Being laid up is giving me plenty of stitching time. I'm probably averaging 10 hours a day. I've already completed many smaller things---witches hats and a mummy, a witch and a dracula 3D sitters---complete with beaded dangly legs. I've already sent them for finishing without taking photos, so I'll have to wait and photograph the finished projects when I get them back. It won't be any time soon because I told the finisher to not worry about my things until after Christmas. After all, I won't be enjoying them right now anyway. It's always more fun to stitch holiday related things during the holiday season. I don't want to stitch Halloween at Christmas, or Christmas during the summer. That means that you have to wait a full year to enjoy the finished project during the appropriate season. I'm okay with that. Usually, by the time a year goes by, I've forgotten all about the project, so it's all new and exciting again. Little things make me so happy!! Plus, by delaying my finish work, some people that did not meet the Christmas deadline of October 1st, just might have a chance to get their things before Christmas after all.
I'm completely caught up on my latest class---a 5 panel Halloween piece that will make a 3D cat. Here are the panels that I've finished:
Each panel is about 10" tall and about 5" wide at the bottom. When it's all put together, the little spooky cat will be about 8" tall. It actually has a name---I think it's "pudgy cat." The stitch on the gables took me three times to "get." After seeing Connie's, I realize I still didn't get it right. One thing I've learned through the years with stitching---even if you do it wrong, as long as you do it wrong consistently, it will look okay!
Those spiders on the background drove me insane! First, I spaced a row incorrectly which threw off the pattern. I couldn't live with it and had to tear out a row and a half. It takes LONGER to take out than to stitch. Since that's a metallic thread, it just shredded and was nearly impossible to remove. I have to use tweezers. Then, once I did that and re-stitched it correctly, I forgot to stop midway for the bottom part. I had both rows on the left go all the way down to the edge. That gave me another evening of "take out." The spiders are so cute, I just had to use them.
It's hard to tell, but the pumpkins are solid beads. We learned a new beading technique, so they were fun to do. Mostly beading used to be just tedious. The cats are done with a fiber called "fuzzy stuff." You stitch it and then take the needle and "rough it up" so all the fibers stick out like fur.
I wasn't able to finish this one because I ran out of the threads. Our class is on Tuesdays, but I'm not able to go right now. Since there are only 3 of us in the class, the teacher/owner was more than happy to push the class out another week. The woman is brilliant, but not very organized. When we get there, she doesn't have our assignment ready. She's typing and printing as we go along. Connie is going to run by and pick up what I need to finish this one. The witch and broom are not stitched yet. We haven't been assigned that yet, so I have no idea what we'll be doing there.
This is the final panel---actually the front/face of the cat. You have to picture cat eyes on the face at the top. There will be little black felt ears coming out of the top. The most fun thing about projects like this is if you do not like a particular stitch, you do not have to do it for very long. Everything is in small sections. Plus, if you don't like a stitch, you can change it all together and not do it all. It's all the decorative stitches that make these projects look so rich.
When we were at our class last Tuesday, I fell in love with this! I just love that spider perched on top of the jack-o-lantern. I'm so glad I bought it because little did I know that the very next day would put me down completely!!
I'll be having this made in to an awesome pillow. I already have a vision.
So far, I've completed the entire checkerboard table top.
I've done all of the black on the jack-o-lantern too. I did a double brick stitch inside the mouth with a sparkly fiber. I really like how it turned out---so much texture. I'm pretty sure I'm going to use "very velvet" on the spider for that feel and look. The owner is going to recommend a few other stitches and the fibers to do them with for me. She said she has a lot of wallpaper patterns for the purple background. I can't wait to see what she comes up with. I even thought about those spiders, but I don't think I want to do that many!
And now we come to the reason for this post. What's wrong with this picture?
Look a little closer...
I drop needles all the time. They blend right in with the carpet. Sometimes I'm aware that I've lost one, but most of the time---not.
They are supposed to be parked on the magnet. But sometimes they escape. I try to remember how many needles I have there, so I'll notice when one goes missing. But my brain is just not "sharp" enough to remember. A little stitching humor.
Actually, I keep myself in stitches in more ways than one!
Let's start with Sandy. She is a MAJOR Kid Rock fan. Here is here official fan club package.
She goes to at least two Kid Rock concerts a year---traveling out-of-town to do it. She'll stand for hours and hours. Normally, she's not a pushy person. But when it comes to those open seating festivals, she has no problem working her way to the front.
This year, there was a new Kid Rock event in Nashville. Since he owns a home here now, he did a weekend event at Fontanel (former home of Barbara Mandrell---now event space). Sandy specifically wanted to do the whole package---fish fry, concerts and pajama party---with Kid Rock! Unfortunately, it was the same weekend that Butch was coming to Charlotte for Jeff Gordon's last hometown Nascar race. Mitchell was home for his birthday and the race. AND Victoria had her fist homecoming dance---then a Confirmation retreat.
She really could not get away. But the fact that she even considered it is a "HUGE" deal. She does everything for her family and puts herself second---except when it comes to Kid Rock. When they travel to concerts, she's been known to make the kids just "suck it up" in the hotel room! She's determined to attend during 2016 and has even planned how to justify the money---no Christmas, Valentine's, Mother's Day, birthday or anniversary gifts!! I do hope she gets to do it---at least once. It will be interesting to see how she reacts when she meets him---compared to Stephanie's reaction when she met the New Kids on the Block---"Are you gonna' rock it tonight?" OMGosh, that was lame!!
On to that Homecoming dance at Charlotte Catholic High School.
She went with her friend, Kevin. They have a lot of fun together. Plus, since Elizabeth had to tag along, he didn't mind! Notice the picture in the parking garage? I guess that's the best they could do.
At the dance.
As it turns out, the race was rained out on Saturday. That ended up being a blessing as the weather on Sunday was perfect! Jeff didn't win, but that didn't seem to put a damper on Mitchell, Greg and Butch's enthusiasm.
Last weekend the did a fall family outing to the pumpkin patch and corn maze.
They look like it was chilly. Hard for me to believe as it's still pretty warm here. Of course Greg is in a short sleeved jersey.
On Wednesday, I was going to the theater with my friends. We have season tickets---for over 25 years now. We meet at Connie's and I usually drive since I have the only car that holds 6 people. Since my surgery was on my left foot this time, I've been given the okay to drive. Still, knowing that I needed to get out of the car near doorways, I had Karolyn get behind the wheel.
We had an extra ticket, so Mindy met us at J. Alexander's for dinner. We all piled in my car for the short drive to the theater.
Fast forward to intermission----110 minutes in to the play! It was so terrible, that we decided to leave. We all agreed that this was the worst play we'd ever seen there---Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. We never did figure out which guy was which---they even were confused about it---which I guess was supposed to be funny. It's some sort of weird take-off of Hamlet. Anyway, we hated it, we left.
Mindy went out the side door with me while my friends went to retrieve the car. As we were walking down the steps---yep---you can see this coming---I FELL! Not really a full fall down a flight of stairs type fall---more of a little roll because I didn't realize there was one little 2 inch step at the end. Of course it hurt. I heard the crack. I laid there a bit to absorb the pain. Mindy was panicking, but I knew I was okay. I just needed to collect myself. There were a couple of smokers out there who rushed over. You know the embarrassment of that---"Oh, mam, are you okay?"---as you're laying there feeling all foolish and less than graceful. My thought---"thanks for asking, but please blow your smoke in the other direction."
"Oh my gosh, I can't believe I'm laying on this disgusting pavement!"
"I hope I'm up before my friends pull around."
"How many people have seen me sprawled out on the pavement."
"I can't believe I'm laying on this disgusting pavement!"
"I can't believe I'm laying on this disgusting pavement!"
"I can't believe I'm laying on this disgusting pavement!"
What I actually said:
"Mindy, brush me off!"
"Mindy, did you brush me off?" I even fluffed my hair.
Two really nice guys helped me up. One went inside and got a wheel chair. Just about the time they wheeled me to the curb, my friends pulled up. They thought I was playing a joke on them. I'm such a faller---always have been. It didn't take them long to realize that I was really hurt.
We made a plan. This is what I wanted to happen: "Just drop me off at the emergency room and then I can "Uber" it home." I was unable to get ahold of Butch. Mindy offered to come with me---I refused. Emergency rooms can take hours. I didn't need anyone wasting their time. Still, Connie insisted on going with me. Karolyn dropped us off at the ER and took the other girls home.
Connie got a wheelchair and wheeled me in. There appeared to be only one person ahead of me, so I was seen within 15 minutes. Karolyn returned and Butch arrived. It was party in the ER!
I had Connie take the pictures---everything is a photo op:
She's not so experienced with cell phone pictures. She kept "holding down" the button, so it didn't look like it was taking. When I got home there were about 30!!
Everyone was very nice. I was in and out in about an hour and a half. The diagnosis: fractured ankle and baby toe! What are the odds! They put me in another boot---didn't have the style I already had. I was sent home with two prescriptions and instructions to see my orthopedic doctor. I had no intention of refilling the prescriptions. After all, I do have my personal stash of oxycodone---should it become necessary. It didn't. Ibuprofen is taking care of it.
I took this one once I got settled on the couch. After about an hour, I switched the boots. The gray one is much more comfortable. I'm going to ask for a matching one when I see my doctor on Friday.
Actually, this type of injury is not new to me. As I said, I've always been a faller. 21 years ago, I had almost this exact same injury. I was just walking across the driveway and "rolled" my foot on a piece of mulch. Yes, a chunk of mulch. I couldn't walk on it for a couple days, but didn't seek medical help because after all, it was a chunk of mulch!! Two weeks went by and my foot wasn't totally healed.
The reason I finally went to the doctor was purely for vanity's sake. Sandy's wedding was just two weeks away and I had the most awesome shoes that I could not wear. Dr. Greg Mencio is head of Orthopedics at Vanderbilt and a personal friend. He is actually a pediatric orthopedics doctor. I looked a little funny sitting in his waiting room with all of those kids. But, hey, you call in favors when you need them!!
Same sort of injury. I had fractured a bone in my foot (same foot too). He put me in a boot. I asked about the shoes and the wedding. He said: "You'll decide how quickly you heal by how much you are willing to stay off of it." By golly, I got in those shoes!!
This feels exactly the same way. You know how I feel about multi-tasking---why not recuperate from two foot issues rather than just one!! It's a win-win! I'd already planned the time off. Now, I don't have to feel guilty about laying around and stitching for hours at a time.
Works for me. Really, all you can do is laugh!! It seems like such a ludicrous situation! You just can't make this stuff up!!
Outside my window: Well, summer is officially over. Butch spent the better part of two days cleaning and putting away the pool floats and furniture cushions. We still need to do the front porch---and bring in the plants. A frost is predicted for this weekend.
I am thinking: That it's really sort of fun to be laid up. You get to do anything you want without feeling lazy. Except I still feel lazy.
I am thankful for: My doctor that put me straight in the boot this time rather than the heavy, cumbersome, uncomfortable cast.
From the kitchen: Stephanie, Nicky and Jordan stayed for dinner after happy hour Friday night. We put Nicky in charge of grilling the steaks---absolutely cooked to perfection for each person!! On the other hand, Steph---who admittedly struggles in the kitchen---botched the bread. When you assign her a task, you really have to go through the process step-by-step. You cannot take anything for granted. I handed her the bread and told her to put foil on the toaster oven pan. The assumption I made was that she would know to butter it---maybe add a little garlic powder or other seasoning. Here's what we ended up dealing with:
Basically, it was cold, dry toast. What a waste of my good Italian bread from St. Louis. Thank goodness she is successful in her career because a cook she ain't! However, she is a good sport about it.
I am wearing: nothing yet---still in my jammies, but I'm fixin' to get dressed!
I am reading: I just finished my first book club book: Inside the O'Brien's by the author who wrote Still Alice. This book is about a family dealing with Huntington's disease. I didn't really know anything about it---I'm not sure I've ever even heard of it. Loved it but was disappointed in the ending. I really can't say more because several of my book club members read my blog and I don't want to give anything away. I just started our second book All We Had. So far, it's entertaining, but I'm not that far in to it.
I'm watching: I'm going to change this to what I'm NOT watching. Up until now, I've seen every season of American Horror Story. It's always been a pretty creepy show. But this year, I watched the first episode and pretty much figured I would not be able to watch it. I decided to give the second episode a chance to see. I only made it about half way through. Believe me, I'm no prude, but this season is just plain sick and depraved. I'm anxious to see what Stephanie and Mindy think. Lady Gaga is in it this year. I know she's a little weird, but I can't believe that even she would want to do what she's doing in the show. In the larger scope of things, it bothers me that something like this is found to be acceptable. We are becoming way too de-sensitived.
I am busy creating: I have been a needlepointing fool. Again, all of this spare time in front of the television---at least I'll have something fun to show for it. Currently, I'm working on all Halloween projects. I'll be sharing soon.
I'm bummed: That the Cardinals did not make it to the World Series this year. I do not follow baseball at all until the Cards make it to the playoffs. I guess, in a way, I should be thankful. My sister, Janice and I made a pact the last time that we would go to a series game together. It's on my bucket list. When she told me that BLEACHER seats start at $600, I couldn't believe it. I'm not sure my back could handle bleachers for 3 hours. Still, I will definitely go at my next opportunity.
I am hearing: The fall clean-up taking place out in the garden today. Leaf blowers and trimmers buzzing---making way for the winter pansies.
I appreciate: Sandy's "recuperation" package. She sent me a pumpkin cupcake candle (divine), some Boom-chicka-pop popcorn, caramel apple suckers, Russell Stover mini chocolate pumpkins, and some Halloween plates and napkins. She's always so thoughtful! That's why she's our favorite daughter! Yep, it's in writing!
I regret: Not being able to got to Christmas Village this year. Even though I'm officially "over it"---the girls are just starting. We usually go with the Potters and have the best time. Last year was a little weird---I think because there were just too many people besides us. Everyone ended up going their separate ways. We didn't even have dinner together. Next year, we'll do it again for sure.
Around the house: I admitted to making a mistake. I HATE my new kitchen table and chairs. It's the sort of thing you don't realize until after you've made the purchase. Although the set is the same size as the previous one, the chairs do not fit quite right under the table. Thus, they stick out too far, making it awkward to get in and out of the back door. Butch agreed---begrudgingly, I might add---to allow me to purchase a new set. My plan is to put this one in the attic and save it for the next family member who needs it. A bit of an expensive mistake for sure. The new table is 4" smaller, so I'm expecting it to be the perfect size.
I’m craving: Salads. I love a good salad with lots of stuff in it. The one I made last night was really good---avocadoes, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, sunflower seeds, and croutons. I've taken Sandy's lead and only use Romaine lettuce now. It holds up so much better if you have leftovers. If you are looking for some new salad dressings to try, The Simply Dressed ones found in the produce department are fabulous. So far, I've tried the Caeser, Avocado Ranch and the Balsamic. Really good.
I’m feeling: On top of the wedding plans. About a month ago, I made a timeline---I work best with a timeline. It keeps me organized and assured that nothing will fall through the cracks. Of course, Mindy and Justin are making all of the decisions, but she wants me to do all the research and work. I'm good with that. I created a task list for each of us. Each week, I send them their assignments. This week, I've been working on figuring out buses or shuttle service to get people from the hotels to the wedding, then to the reception and back to the hotels. It's complicated when you have no idea how many people are going to be in town yet. Originally, Mindy wanted everyone to stay downtown---where all the wedding festivities will be taking place. But when we found out that the Hampton Inn was charging $465. a night, we freaked out! Nashville officially has New York prices now. Anyway, people will have to stay further out for better rates. Thus, buses have become a necessity.
I’m organizing: I'm always re-organizing something. Prior to surgery, I was working on photos again. Periodically, I sort through and realistically assess my pictures. I finished that up this morning. I think it's safe to say that I still have enough photos to scrapbook for the next 10 years! I'm obsessing: Over my computer problems. The guy last week has my computer all messed up. I cannot send emails. That's just one of the many problems I'm having right now. I have a new guy coming tomorrow. I just hope he can get me fixed up. I feel out of sorts when my computer is acting up.
I’m looking forward to: Our stitching class on Tuesday. I've really accomplished a lot and can't wait for the next assignment. I really enjoy doing seasonal things during the season.
...by any other name, would still smell as sweet"---Right? Well, let's talk about that. Recently---and I don't even remember how it came up, my friends were teasing about my midwest accent---again. It's been ongoing for 30 years now. I take it all in good sport. But sometimes, they have me questioning myself. It's not like I have another midwesterner here with whom I can confer. Plus, my children grew up here and jumped on the "that's not how you say it" bandwagon early. I married an Oklahoman, so he's no help. There are many words I say differently than everyone else. Anything with an "or" in it comes out and sounds like "ar" from me. Like fork---is fark; forty---is farty; farmer---no wait, that's right, now I'm confused---oh yeah, it rhymes with former. Just reading all that back looks weird and wrong to me. But that's how I talk. Of course, here, I'm surrounded by southern accents. They all drop the "g" at the end of "ing" words, like goin' or speakin'. I guess if you add that little accent sign it's okay. My favorite is "fixin'". Like "I'm fixin' to start supper. Now I know the dropping of "g's" isn't exactly correct because every time I type it like that---spell check keeps correcting me. Man, if I was a southerner, that would drive me crazy! And then we have Cajun friends who say "Laugh--ee--ette" rather than "Lahf-ee-yette" as I was taught. Here in Nashville, they say "La--FAY--ette" which is just wrong. Whatever. Sundae is the word that came up recently. I still can't remember how or what we were discussing. Turns out there are 3 correct pronunciations:Sunday—definitely the most usedSundeeSunduh—you know how y’all’ve (I think I just might have made up a new word—contraction for “you all have”) been razzing me!! You made me second guess myself. When I was in St. Louis recently, I polled all of my siblings. Jeanne, Joyce and Matt—ALL said “sunday.” Now I was really sweating it---like maybe I'm some kind of hick after all. Then I asked Janice and Jennifer. They both said “sunduh.” I asked Ronnie to break the tie. His response, “I never say that word.” Uh, thanks, Ron.The funny thing is that when I'm in St. Louis these days, all those midwest accents really stand out to me---even my siblings. I just don't hear people talking like me much.I think Shakespeare would agree with me, "a sunduh by any other name would still taste as sweet!" Hmmm, I never realized I had so much in common with William. Oh, yeah, it's that "smitten with Britain" thing I've had goin' far at least farty years!
I've figured out potential candidate names for future family members that will fit on the wall. Hopefully, the grands will "buy" in to the plan!
They just need to keep some of these names in mind:
Tony; Alma; Dan; Dana; Deb; Amy; May; Fay; Hillary; Harry; Hannah; Hank; Chad; Chip; Chuck;
Mary; Joey; Sam; Sara; Anna; Andy; Phil; Paul; Paula; and some more "H" names. After Justin's name goes up, there will be even more possibilities.
I taught organizational classes for scrapbooking around the country---from organizing your space and supplies to your pictures, planning pages and getting ready for a scrapbook retreat.
A few years ago, I developed an in-depth photo organization workshop called "Making the Most of My Memories." Once the pictures were organized in a way that made it easy to access any photo at a moment's notice, "A Year of Memories" was the next natural step.
Each month, I assign a topic and provide a kit of materials. The next month each person shares their layout with the group. It's so much fun to see how everyone interprets the theme and uses the same materials---yet each layout is completely different. At the end of the year, we each have a completed album. We're on year 8 now.