May 31, 2006

Ever have one of those days?

Like walking out of the house with papers and a card in hand. The envelope for the card goes flying in the wind, landing on top of the tiger lily foliage which is wet from the extreme rainfall from the night before. While at work, you’re working so hard that you get thirsty. You take a drink of water. Oops... down the wrong tube. It’s all you can do to push your chair back and try to cover your mouth to avoid spitting water ALL over everything. Too late! Good thing there’s a plastic chair pad on the floor. Water everywhere: big puddle on the floor (Who pee’d on the floor?!), wet slacks, wet blazer, part of the desk wet (Was it raining in here, too?). Used 5 napkins to clean it up. I knew all those napkins would come in handy one day, courtesy of McDonalds. Go to prepare the card for mailing. Where’s the card?! I’m guessing it went flying in the wind this morning, too (only I didn’t see it). So it’s probably laying in my yard somewhere. Then I try to make a balance transfer since the rates are SO cheap and it’s for the life of the loan. Having the letter that I received in the mail is not enough. Oh no. Have to have the card in front of me. Oh, you’ll hold while I GO and get it? Gee thanks, but it’s at home and I’m not! Can I call back later when I have the card? I guess I’ll have to, won’t I? Click. To top it all off, I got a visit from Aunt Flo. Where's the Midol? I feel major nausea and cramping coming on. (Is that TMI?) Could explain my irritability with the woman who wouldn't give me money over the telephone. What will really make my day is if I get to class tonight and find out I failed the exam. (LOL, that won’t happen... but it’d make for a good ending.)

For all of you who are having a bad day, remember this: It’s only ONE day. Tomorrow’s a new day and it WILL be better.

I’m still holding onto the mantra I made this morning when the alarm went off: “Today’s gonna be a good day. Today’s gonna be a good day.”

Update: Woo Hoo!! Happy Dancin' here!! I got an A -- Yes, an A -- on my test!! Had I not screwed up some dates and transposed a couple of composers whose names are similar, I would've gotten 100%. What a great ending to *this* day!!

May 30, 2006

Whew! I didn't think I was gonna make it...

Ever get to a class on the day of an exam... ready to take the test... knowing you're as prepared as you're ever going to be... Books and study guides put away. Composition notebooks passed out. Exam questions passed out. You read the first question thinking "I know this!" You start to write out the essay answer and *BLAM* your mind goes blank!! My gawd... I thought the exam was going to kill me! That sorta thing doesn't usually happen to me.

Maybe it had something to do with the instructor going on and on about how he was going to interrupt us to hear the music selection for question #2 at such and such time, and 2 minutes before that he'd tell us it was almost time, and how so-and-so was going to collect the exams cuz he had to leave early, and how cheating is not acceptable, blah, blah, blah. Shut up already!

Mind went blank. I started to freak out. Had to literally talk myself into concentrating. Not vocally, of course -- in my head. What? Do you think I want the other students to know (oops, I meant "think"... yeah "think") I'm crazy??! So after talking myself out of an anxiety attack, I started answering the essay exam. What is it with instructors and all these essay exams?!? I swear I must've used half the eraser on the first question alone. I think some of it had to do with me still trying to get past the anxiety.

Here's comes the "listening" portion of the exam. This instructor has a thing for screechy, high pitched classical music. Sorta like the same high pitched sound that comes from someone scraping their fingernails over a chalkboard (which BTW, doesn't bother me). I winced my way through the musical selection -- I'm sure the instructor saw the look on my face. Couldn't help it! Had to choose 3 musical elements and write about them in conjunction with the piece.

Onward to the remaining 3 essay questions, which were fairly easy if you studied and paid attention in class. So overall, I'm guessing I got a "B" on the exam and if I'm lucky an "A-". Now wouldn't that be fab?!?

Did I mention that shortly before class, I was sitting in the hallway studying and saw another student run by the doors outside? Oh yes... It had started to rain. I went out to close my sunroof and guess what? Good thing I did because right before class started it started to pour rain... and I mean really dump down hard! Over half the class (including the instructor) showed up drenched. LOL (Oops... that's not funny is it?) By the time the exam was over, it had stopped raining. How lucky was I?

One test down, two more to go.

May 28, 2006

Newest Acquisition - Help!

Can you believe I bought this custom oak framed cross stitched piece at a thrift store for 50 cents? The frame itself is worth a lot more than that, not to mention the time that was put into stitching the piece. The stitching is 12¼" x 9¼" in size. There's no signature or date on it, so here's where I'm looking for help. Anyone know the name of this piece? Or, who the manufacturer is?

Update: Thanks to my stitching friend, Julie in OH, I have figured out what this piece is. Yay! I contacted Dimensions and found out it is a discontinued 1990 Dimensions kit (#3101) called "Farmer Rabbit's Family" designed by Barbara Mock. Thanks also goes out to Danielle Todd who stitched another Farmer Rabbit's Family and was able to give insight on it.

May 26, 2006

Axe Murderers???

Lizzie Borden took an ax
And gave her mother forty whacks;
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one!

How many of you have spouses or family members who continually warn you against the axe-murdering people on the internet? C’mon now! Us internet junkies may be weird... we may talk funny... we may have abnormal hobbies, but most of us are NOT axe murderers! I say “most” because just like in the real world (which is no more perfect than the internet world) there are murderers, child molesters, and others who are just plain PITAs. Why did I choose to write on this topic? You see, I belong to several online stitching groups. Yes, stitching groups – groups where mostly women gather to discuss cross stitch topics... women with needle and thread. The spouse of one fellow stitcher is convinced that an internet axe murderer is going to show up on their doorstep. I guess it could be construed as a particularly deadly situation if you spilled something –anything– on a stitched project. An angry stitcher with pointy needle in one hand and little sharp scissors in the other could become a deadly situation indeed! So for all the spouses out there who are worried that one of us (with axe in hand) may show up in your bedroom while you’re sleeping... take a chill pill. Chances are that you’re more likely to get hit by a bus. The closest thing you're going to come to an axe murderer is this:

Tales of the Axe by Ross Psuty

Or this:

However, if I still haven't convinced you it's safe, you might want to educate yourself on How To Spot An Axe Murderer: Click HERE.

P.S. The woman in the photo is Alicia Christy. You can read more about her by clicking on her name. Also, thank you to Nancy & Susie for sparking my interest in axe murdering.

May 24, 2006

The Grades Are In!

Oh happy day! Grades were finally posted on the college’s website. I got a good solid B in my American Literature II class. Yay! Hopefully, I do as well in my 3-week Music in the USA class. Once I get through the music class, I’ll have two more to go before I graduate with an AS in Business Administration. Double Yay!

The grades are in for 3 of my nieces, too. They all graduate 8th grade at the same school this afternoon. The same school my siblings and I graduated Jr. High and High School. It was just yesterday my nieces were little babies. Where did the time go? Each one is different and special in their own way. Watch out high school, here they come!

May 23, 2006

Do You Wanna Dance?

Ever get the urge... you know... to let it all hang out... and just DANCE?!? Afraid to show your stuff because you might look like and idiot? I’m here to tell you that you will not look like and idiot. Click on the arrow below.

May 21, 2006

You found a what??

8:15pm Saturday evening. I hear my niece come into the house and thumpety-thump-thump down the stairs into the basement. She never goes into the basement unless I plead with her to get me something. I stick my head in the doorway and ask her what she's doing.

"Looking for a box and a cloth." she says

"Why?" I ask with doubt in my voice.

"Cuz the neighbor's cat found something, and I saved it." she hurriedly tells me as she's searching through my pile of boxes for just the right size.

"Whatt? What did the neighbor's cat find?" I question.

She tells me that she was outside and saw the neighbor's cat playing with something in the driveway. When she approached, she saw a baby "something" and had to throw wood chips at the cat to get it to run away. She picked the baby up and put it into the play fort and then ran in to get a box. Hence where the story started.

In looking at this thing, I had no idea what it was. It was gray, had a tiny tail, a bit smaller than a newborn kitten, it's eyes were still closed and it had no fur. While my niece did her motherly duty and put it in a warm safe place, I search on the internet -- thinking baby what? squirrel? rabbit? Found some pics and we compared... looks like a newborn rabbit. Let me tell you... They ain't the cutest things around! So now what?

She talked to her mom, who said she could bring it home and keep it. Then we ran to five different stores looking for kitten formula -- cuz that's what the net says to feed them. Think any of the stores we went to had it? NO! The one place that probably did have it was closed. I could tell my niece was getting concerned -- she needed to feed the baby!

Well the little guy (or girl) survived the night (The cat did manage to give it some surface wounds because it was bleeding a little bit). Since we couldn't get any kitten formula, we gave it watered down milk until the kitten juice could be bought. It drank some Sat night and again Sun morning. Which is a good sign, I guess.

My niece took it home with her. If it survives the week, I'll be surprised.

Update: It's 4:56pm on Sun. Got a call from my niece. The bunny died. :-( Funeral services were held in the backyard a short time later. The wee lil one was buried with a towel wrapped around it so it wouldn't get cold.

May 20, 2006

What do these things have in common?

• 15 boxes of "stuff"
• 1 lawn sweeper
• 2 almost dead houseplants
• 8 tables
• $82.00
• 2 bright sunny days
• 139 people

My garage sale, that's what. Let me give you the sordid details. The story starts back in March when 2 little old ladies walked around the neighborhood passing out flyers informing us of the neighbordhood garage sales that were occurring in Apr & May. I was too lazy (plus it was too cold) to get my stuff ready in time for the April sale.

For the May sale, I took two days off work (with pay of course). Bright and early on Thurdsay morning, I eyeballed 15 boxes of "stuff". It was a bit overwhelming! It took me practically the entire day to get the tables and set everything up. I ended up with 8 tables full of stuff. After being in the garage all day (you'd be surprised at how much DIRT is out there), I had to then take a shower and get to the bank before they closed in order to make change during the sale. My Dad warned me that I needed more than 5 ones... so I got 10. With $82 worth of bills and change, I started off for home. By Thursday evening, my ENTIRE body was sore and screaming out in pain: "Why? Why? What were you thinking?!?"

The big day arrives: Friday - the first day of the sale. The day starts out cloudy and cool, but I ended up with 2 bright sunny days. I wondered to myself, "How many other sales will there be on this street?" Guess how many? THREE! The street is 3 blocks long and 3, count them 1-2-3 sales. I set out my street sign, which is a big A-frame art easel that I made computer generated "garage sale" signs and decorated with colorful balloons. Now, one of those balloons just made one little girl's day. Well, it did until she managed to hit it into the neighbor's fenced in backyard. She cried and the sap that I am couldn't take it. I offered her another one, her choice of colors even.

My parents put some stuff in the sale. In the first half hour, some guy looked at my Dad's lawn sweeper (which was cheaply priced at $75) and asks, "How low will you go on the sweeper?" Now, I should've taken that as a sign... an omen... a signal... of things to come. I told the guy $65 and he says, "It's not for me. It's for another couple." Uh huh. My mother put a couple of almost dead houseplants in the sale. I have to be honest, I was embarassed to put them in the sale. They were that bad. She said to put 25 cents on one and "a lot more" on the other. Now, what does "a lot more" mean? OK, I took that as $1. Guess what?? Both those plants sold!! One lady said to me, "He looks quite angry. I'll take him home and fix him up." LOL, angry??

Who'da thunk that within the first half hour everyone would've been paying with 5's and 10's?? Had to call my sister and ask her to bring me 10 more ones before she went to work!! I can hear my Dad now... tapping his temple with his forefinger... "Ole Dad knows" Yeah. Yeah.

Remember the omen I mentioned earlier?? Garage salers are cheap and I mean CHEAP! Keep in mind that 95% of my stuff was very cheaply priced. For instance, I had a new in-the-package-never-opened surge protector for $1. A lady offered 50 cents. I countered with 75 cents. LOL, she put it back. Basketball hoop and backboard $5 -- a guy offered $2.50 (Now tell me where you can get a backboard and hoop for $5? Last I priced one, which was a month ago... they're at least $40) The best laugh I got was a guy who bought my 25cent camera lens filters and told my sister he was going to sell them on ebay. Thing is... they're all off brand filters and I already tried selling them on ebay. You can buy those in camera shops for 25-50 cents a piece. Good luck, friend. Then we come to another guy who was interested in the lawn sweeper. He says, "Will you take $50?" I explain to him that it's not mine, that it's my Dad's, and that NEW ones cost about $200. Then I counter with $65. He fiddled around looking at it and asked his buddy what he thought. Yeah, get a second opinion! Finally, he decided to buy it. The best part about that was: My Dad had told me to put $65 on it but I couldn't remember what he said when I made the sign for it. I'd made one for $75 and one for $50 -- then asked my Dad, explaining about the signs. LOL, he says put $75 on it. So in the end he got what he wanted for it anyway.

"How much is that little doggie in the window? Arf! Arf!" I had my 4lb. Pomeranian, Celeste, leashed outside with me while I manned the sale. More people than I can count asked me, "How much is the doggie?" I thought to myself... "You're bickering over a 25cent item, you can't afford the dog!" It got to the point that so many people were asking about the dog, that my niece made a sign:

Celeste had a blast the entire sale. She loves "company" and everybody is her friend. Everybody except other dogs! Yes, there were actually people who showed up at the sale with their dogs on leashes.

I'm guessing you're wondering... "How did the sale go?" I have come to the conclusion that if I do this again, I am only having it on a Friday. Why? Between 7:30am and Noon on Friday, 83 people visited the sale. Between 3pm and 5pm on Friday afternoon, there were 28 people. Between 7:30am and 11am on Sat, 28 people showed up. 139 people total. Since the bulk of them showed up Friday morning, it only makes sense to have it on Friday. All in all, I got rid of at least 6 boxes of junk.... errr, I mean "stuff" and made about $200.

May 19, 2006

I need to go on a diet....

Not the kind of diet you're thinking of, though. I think I need to go on a stash diet. Or, I need to attend MANY more XA meetings! You see, I closed up my garage sale early on Friday because I had a Dr. appt and then was supposed to make a quick stop to pick up some framing supplies to frame "A Virtuous Woman" that my sister found at a consignment shop for $6. I stopped at WR Crafts which is going out of business. Everything was 50-90% off. I went through the entire store twice! LOL Then I stopped at Hobby Lobby which had all their cross stitch books and leaflets 40-75% off. I came home with:

Roses Sampler 50% off
Flip Flop Trivet 40% off
Close To My Heart 60% off
Stoney Creek Book 332 - More Hard Working Vehicles 82% off
Needlework Rules by Dragon Fire Designs 80% off
Rose Garden 86% off
Shimmering Seashells 87% off
Thunder of '59 87% off
I Love Stitching 80% off
Exquisite Kimono 46% off
Times To Remember 82% off
Gifts To Cross Stitch 80% off
Cross Stitch Greeting Cards 87% off
Stoney Creek 319 - Orient Expressions 75% off
Elegant Greetings in Hardanger Embroidery 75% off
Cross Stitch Samplers on Perforated Plastic 87% off
Native American Angel 88% off
Patches & Pals 87% off
Linen Stitches: The Textbook for Linen 88% off
LoRan 6x10 Magnetic Board 50% off
DMC Floss 8/$1
Charts & Charms: Life's Treasures 50% off
Favorite Findings Buttons: Retro, Sew It 50% off
LoRan Needlework Accessory Kit 50% off
Bag-It Project Pak 50% off
Kreinik #4 Very Fine Braid 72% off
Charles Craft Towels 50% off
Charles Craft Aida: Willow Green 70% off
Charles Craft Fiddlers: Light Green 70% off
Charles Craft Aida: Beige 70% off
Charles Craft Monoco: Dove Gray 50% off

I've provided links for some stuff to enhance your stash enabling experience. It was a great stash shopping day!! I also got a custom frame and mat board for my sister for 50% off.

May 16, 2006

What is Papa Smurf?

A blue cartoon character with a red hat and white beard. No, this isn’t a round of Jeopardy. Just another atypical day in my life. As I sat in my cube working my way through the latest stack of paperwork, I noticed I had a text message on my cell phone. It came from a male friend of mine. “what is a papasmurf on a female?” it said.

After I recovered from disbelief, thinking to myself: What the?? I sent a text message back. “a blue cartoon character. Why?”

Response: “They said papsmart or something at the health dept. I was just wondering. I never heard of it.

Instantly, I knew he was NOT talking about Papa Smurf. I also was trying my best not to bust up laughing – not good laughing by yourself in a cubicle. People tend to think you’re off your rocker! Next thing I know, I’m left a voicemail message saying that he wasn’t paying close attention and heard it on the radio. Thought it had something to do with kids and maybe ice cream.

LOL Do you mean Pap Smear?” I texted back.

Indeed that is what he meant. I continued to enlighten this guy about the female’s glorious gyno exam. Giggling to myself (quietly), I texted: “Feet in stirrups, open wide, scoot your booty down. Yessssss, that’s it.

I got a text back: “I feel dumb now.

Not willing to let it go, I continued on: “I can see it now. C’mon kids let’s go watch Mom get a papsmear. They have ice cream too.

Still giggling, I sent another one: “Hey kids, wanna see where you came from? That’s were babies come out.

Response: “Don’t you have work to do?

The good sport that he is, he said I could tell this story just so long as identities are kept secret and taken to the grave. At least he has a good sense of humor.

LOL…. never a dull moment… never a dull moment.

May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day to Mom

I made this card for my Mom in honor of Mother's Day. Isn't it lovely? I stitched the rose for her. Don't all Moms deserve roses? Pink is her favorite color. Want to get on Mom's good side? Give her ANYTHING that's in a shade of pink. Guaranteed, she'll love it!

For Mom. For Mom who spent countless hours changing diapers, potty training, and cooking meals for four hungry children. To this day, all of us look forward to the holidays and going home for Mom's Japanese cooking. For Mom who taught us how to read and write. It comes as no surprise that to this day I am an excellent writer and love to read. For Mom who took our school pictures to work with her EVERY year to show off her beautiful children because she was so proud. For Mom who sat valiantly in the passenger seat while her eldest -me- learned how to drive, because Dad had enough after one trip! LOL, It's kinda funny that I drive like Dad. For Mom who "talked" with Dad after I had my first car accident, and convinced him not to kill me. For Mom who allowed us to watch the holiday cartoons, even though Dad complained we'd seen them every year for the past 6 years. So what's wrong with watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" for 6 years in a row? Who would've thought a petite 4'10" woman could keep 4 teenagers who were way taller than her in line? Ha, the look on her face when her youngest at age 14 realized he was also taller than her! Lucky for him, he's still her favorite. For Mom who raised 4 children to become successful adults. (OK, I guess Dad helped a little bit, too.) For everything Mom has done for us -- Happy Mother's Day!

This is my Mom. She's the one on the left in the black and white photo. Probably 19 or 20 years old then. They're standing in front of her uncle's barber shop. She worked there as a hair dresser to help support and raise her brother and sister. She was a hottie back then! It's no wonder Dad chased after her!! The color photo was taken Easter 2004. At 58 with 4 kids and 8 grandkids, she is still a hottie!

An update: I took the card along with two potted rose bushes to my mother. She was busy talking to me and opened the card. She read the inside and looked at the backside of my stitching and remarked "Ohhhh... It's SO pretty!" oblivious that it *was* the wrong side she was supposed to be looking at! LOL She closed the card and saw the front side and thought that side was really pretty too. My Dad was outside when all this happened so she recounted the story and we all had a good laugh. He said: "Well the backside looks almost as good as the front... Think of it as morning dew on the flower making it kinda blurry." *sigh* Parents.... I’ve also found out that one of my nieces is mortified that I called my mother, her grandmother, a hottie. LOL, gotta love the family!

May 13, 2006

Creativity is in My Blood

There once was a little girl... with a little curl... No, no. Wait, that's a different story. Let's start over: There once was a little girl who was about 7 years old. Every now and then she'd "borrow" Mom & Dad's polaroid camera and take a picture or two without them knowing. She was sure to put it back so no one was the wiser (That's what she thought, but I'm sure Mom & Dad figured it out.) You see, this little girl was fascinated with how those little pictures came out of that box with the swinging door on the front. Soon that girl grew to be a teenager and wanted a camera of her own. Her wish came true one Christmas! From there on out, addiction was set into motion. When the girl became an adult, everyone encouraged her as talent became apparent. Soon she was taking every class offered for your average family photos. When those avenues were exausted, she went on to study at professional seminars. Having the photographic eye came easy and the education only fine-tuned her talents even more. You see... That little girl was me. I thought it'd be a good idea to showcase my photographic talents seeing as I've spent considerable time and money learning how to paint with light. I put a link in the sidebar for my photographic blog. A little note: A few years ago, my Dad gave me that camera I used to "borrow" from my parents.

May 12, 2006

Oh No! I guess I won...

the War. Or, at least this battle.

Remember the post I made several weeks ago about the fuzzy critters who were digging in my newly potted tulip bulbs? Well, I think *he* ate one too many!! It was either that or I had some way potent squirrel repellent: cayenne pepper and garlic powder! I came home from work today and found a dead squirrel laying right in MY flower bed! Ewwww....

It must've crawled there and died just to spite me! It wasn't there at 2pm when I was home on my lunch break, but was there at 5pm when I got home. Called my brother asking if he was coming into town (LOL). I needed someone to take care of the disposal proceedings! Ewwww....

Actually, I knew there was a sick squirrel a couple days ago. When I was home on my lunch break a squirrel just sat... just sat and LOOKED at me... from the neighbor's side of the porch. It had *that* look, you know the one... scruffy, shaggy fur... lifeless eyes. Course, it took me back in time... No, I won't go there (LOL). I guess his days were numbered. Again, I say Ewww!

Since I couldn't talk my brother into making the trip to town and disposing of it. I took his suggestion and got my shovel out of the garage. Scooped the stiff corpse up and made a funeral procession through the gate to the back of my yard and flung it over the fence into the brush.

Where's animal control when you need them? (Their answering machine: "I'm sorry we're closed. Our hours are 8:00 to 4:30. We're closed over the lunch hour. We're closed on the weekends. And we're closed during holidays.") Well gee, I guess nothing happens on the weekends, over the holidays, or for heavens sake on the lunch hour. Wally's on break, call back later.

I am sure all the Sciurophobiacs in the world are glad there is one less furry critter. May he rest in peace on the other side of my fence.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I went to a seminar yesterday. Three hours of driving in the wind and rain to and from southern Chicago. I don't know which was worse, the traffic or the rain. It is still raining today. The meteorologists are calling for SNOW mixed with rain, too! Looks to be the same gray, dreary, rainy weather for the next 3-4 days. The good news is: Illinois is officially out of its drought!! I'm sure the farmers are lovin that.

I finished Spring 99 designed by Ellen Maurer-Stroh. It's for a an exchange on Stitch & Swap 2. Took me about 12 hours to stitch up. I thought it turned out really cute. Might do one up for myself!

Now that I'm done with all my exchanges, I can get back to working on Freedom & Japanese Garden, as well as the UFO's I have started.

When you stitch from a kit and use the supplied floss do you have leftovers? If so, how much and what do you do with them? If not, do you usually have just enough or do you have to dig into your stash to finish?

I have always had left over floss after I've stitched up a kit. I match them up to the closest DMC color and use them whenever I have a project that calls for that color. They're good for ornaments and small designs. I usually write the DMC equivalent on the chart, if it's not already there. That way if I, or someone else wants to stitch it up, it's easy to get the floss.

May 10, 2006

Dear God....

Essay Question: Discuss how the nature and role of God changes through the book and how it relates to the title "The Color Purple".

Celie starts out writing to God because after her stepfather rapes her, he tells her she better talk to God because no one else will listen to someone like her. So in the beginning of the novel, Celie sees God as someone who’ll listen to her and helps her get through the day. She has an image of God as an old white male with long hair and white robes, but she feels something isn’t quite right with that impression. Eventually Celie sees God as someone who behaves like all the other men in her life... the ones who do what they want and don’t listen to black women. Even though she doesn’t feel like God pays attention or listens, Celie maintains her beliefs until Shug challenges her view of God. Shug introduces a new concept of God to Celie. Shug advises Celie to see God not as a man, or a person, but as an “it” – something that takes celebration in creation and wants people to love what’s been created. Shug suggests Celie see the presence of God in everything, and not to be mad at God for the injustices that have happened to her. She tells Celie to take a look around and appreciate the trees, the flowers, the pleasures of life. Celie learns that she doesn’t have to reject God... she can envision him in other things with which she has more of a connection to. Shug teaches Celie that the concept of God is as individual as every person, and everyone should manifest God in their own way. Through these conversations, Shug makes Celie realize that she does not have to blindly accept what’s been told to her.

One of the examples Shug uses to explain God to Celie is someone walking past a field of purple flowers and not noticing the beauty. Shug thinks God gets angry at people who don’t notice the beauty. The color purple is used to represent worthiness, derived from royalty with regal overtones. Every person is a creation of God, just like the purple flowers. Every person is important and worthy of notice. Many people walked by Celie every day and didn’t notice her, just like the field of purple flowers. Shug noticed Celie, and tried to get her to see that like the field of purple flowers, she is also worthy of notice.

May 8, 2006

Manual Labor Not For Me

Picture a bright sunny Saturday morning. Nice breeze, birds are singing. Now look out into the backyard. Yikes! Grass needs to be mowed. Keep in mind it’s been *at least* 15 years since this woman... woman being ME... has mowed any yard. Confident I can do it, I get the push mower out of the garage. Got this mower from Freecycle. Had the best lawnmower guy in these parts check it over: My Dad! Out on the driveway it sits in the shining sun. Oil – check. Gas – check. Safety handle pushed up – check. Pull the cord. Nothing. Pull the cord. Again, nothing. Duh, forgot the throttle! Push throttle forward. Pull. And she fires up! Woo Hoo! Fast forward ½ hour. How BIG is this yard, anyway?? I think every bump and hole in the neighborhood is in MY backyard! Push, push, push. Lawnmower starts to sputter – Oh no, only ¾ done with the backyard! Finally it dies. Gas, I need more gas. I traipse off to the garage to find the gas can. I finish off the backyard and take a break – Water! I need water... What a workout. Thank goodness the front yard is very tiny! Push, push, push some more. Front yard done. Whew. By Saturday afternoon, I felt like an old, old lady. My back was so sore and the palms of my hands were swollen and bruised. By Sun afternoon, my back felt a little better but my palms still hurt! Today, I noticed I got some sun. Feeling much better! This person is not made for manual labor!

After tonight, I will have only 1 more evening of American Literature - The FINAL exam. I've calculated my grades so far and I'm getting 89% not including the paper I need to turn in next week, and the final. The instructor will be dropping the lowest essay grade, which I'm not sure is really going to affect my grade. After the exam, I’ll have 4 days off and then start the pre-summer session which will last for 3 weeks. I’m taking Music in the USA. It should be interesting.

For the past week, I’ve been working on Spring 99. I have just a bit of regular stitching to do on it and then some backstitching. I should be finished with it sometime this week.

May 4, 2006

Marinated Mushrooms

Have you ever been to a fancy party or company sponsored function where the caterers served Marinated Mushrooms as one of the appetizers? Although, you probably wouldn't want to eat too many, they are pretty good! I had a package of 'shrooms I needed to use up, so I decided to try a recipe I got recently. Actually, it's two recipes I've combined into one:


1 lb. small mushrooms
1 c. balsamic vinaigrette
1/4 c. chopped chives
1 tbsp. minced fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large zip top plastic bag.
Seal bag. Shake well. Marinate in refrigerator 8 hours,
turning bag occasionally. Serve with a slotted spoon.
Makes 8 servings.


1 c. olive oil
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
3 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together vinegar, garlic and grated cheese.
Gradually add the olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

My Notes: I just used a package of regular mushrooms and cut them into halves or quarters if they seemed too big. I tried to keep everything uniform in size. Didn't have balsamic vinaigrette so I made my own from a recipe I had. For the vinaigrette, I subbed feta cheese for the parmeasan, just cuz I had it on hand. I subbed dried herbs for fresh (figure a third of the fresh amount, if you're using dried). I used the minced garlic that comes in a jar at Aldi Foods. Too much work to peel and squish or mince garlic... LOL! This recipe doesn't take long at all to make. The longer you let the mushrooms marinate, the better the flavor. If you leave the mushrooms in the oil/vinegar mixture in the refrigerator for more than 8 hours, the oil will start to solidify and you'll have to sorta "knead" the bag to mix it up well. LOL, guess how I know that??

May 2, 2006

Are Kids Today Spoiled?

I received this in an email today:

IF you are 30 or older you will think this is hilarious!!!!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning... uphill BOTH ways through year 'round blizzards. Carrying their younger siblings on their backs... to their one-room schoolhouse, where they maintained a Straight-A average, despite their full-time, after-school job at the local textile mill... where they worked for 35 cents an hour just to help keep their family from starving to death! And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

>> Oh yes! I remember my Dad telling me tall stories like these… LOL

But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a Utopia! And I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it! I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

>> I actually worked in a library with the card catalog system. Up until several years ago, they still used it. You had to have several skills: Know your alphabet, Know how to read, Know how to write the Dewey Decimal #’s down, and Know to how walk the stacks!

There was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter... with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

>> Ahhhh, email makes it so much easier. BUT, kids today don’t have the etiquette either, such as writing Thank You notes to Grandma for the lovely gifts they get.

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and messed it all up!

>> I remember one New Year’s Eve, us kids listened to Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve on the radio and YES, we taped the songs off the radio in order to have the latest music. Cassette tapes to boot!

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

>> Didn’t dare answer the telephone! That was for adults only. To this day, my parents don’t like using the telephone. Answering machine? The only reason they have one is cuz us kids bought it. Do they check it? Nope. LOL Do they leave messages for us? LOL, uh yea. Here’s a sampling: “This is Dad.”

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like "Space Invaders" and "Asteroids" and the graphics sucked ! Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! ... Just like LIFE!

>> Us kids begged and begged our parents for an Atari! I think my Dad was pretty proud of himself in getting us one several years after they were out. We didn’t care! WE FINALLY HAD ATARI!! And we loved it!

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed!

>> Only went to 2 movies as a kid. Was I deprived, or what?!

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no onscreen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You didn't get to channel surf!! You had to get off your butt and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little brats!

>> Yup, Sat morning’s was the highlight of the week. Didn’t have cable, still don’t. And yes, I still watch Sat morning cartoons.

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up . we had to use the stove or go build a frigging fire . Imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid JiffyPop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot. That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled.

>> Microwaves came out when I was a teenager. Thinking back now, it’s quite hilarious thinking about my Dad trying out the “microwave” recipes, and splattering egg all over the inside of it cuz it exploded while cooking! JiffyPop? Oh no, we used a pan and lid! Now, that’s old fashioned!

You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

>> Ah the 80’s...

Tell It All Tuesday

Hmmm... I really don’t have much to tell.

Two more weeks and the Spring semester will be over. For Monday night’s class, I had a 4-question essay test over “The Grapes of Wrath.” It took me about 4 hours to write and ended up being 5 pages long. I also had to read the first half of The Color Purple. I liked it so much, I read the entire book in two days. So, I guess I’ll have a week off for homework! Yay! Class discussion about The Color Purple was quite interesting and it amused me that people are so uncomfortable discussing the sexual overtones and abuse that occur in the book. We are all adults now, and things that occurred was a way of life during that time period.

I managed to get some stitching in over the weekend. So far, I’ve put 59 hours into my Soldier Memorial Project. Once it’s finished, Freedom will look fabulous! It’s to commemorate a young soldier (22yrs old) who died in Iraq. His family lives about 40 miles from me. I finished Love You To The Moon bookmark. It looks so much better in real life, as the yellow and blue stars are stiched with metallic braid.

Oh! Stash shopping! I stopped at my favorite thrift store and found a new-still-in-the-package Zweigert Cross Stitch Afghan for $5. I also found a nice frame for LK “How Does Your Garden Grow?” for 50 cents. I will have to cut it down and reassemble it, though.

Country Cottage Needlearts has (during the month of May) 40% off on all Sue Hillis, Leisure Arts and Stoney Creek in stock charts. Shirley is a great gal, for those of you that don't know her. I walked away with:

Won't these look good on the afghan I got??

My Dad and brothers are Hot Rod lovers!

I think these will make very nice Christmas gifts.Definitely will make some for myself, too!

I figure this one will come in handy for all the athletic nieces and nephews I have.

I got these just cuz I liked 'em!

OK, so I had more to tell than I originally thought! Btw, when's the next XA (Cross Stitchers Anonymous) meeting? I think I need to stand up and take responsibility for my actions. Ahem... My name is Meari, and I'm addicted to stash!