Sep 28, 2006

Rods, Hoops, Qnaps... Oh My!

For designs with specialty stitches, hardanger, and needlepoint... You will want to use hoops, scroll rods, stretcher bars, or qsnaps.

Some stitchers prefer to stitch without hoops, scroll rods, or qsnaps. This is referred to stitching 'in hand." If you can keep even tension while stitching, this may be an option for you. Your stitches should not distort or change how the fabric looks (i.e. “puckering” the fabric, or opening up the holes at the corners of the stitches). When stitching in hand, you can stitch in a sewing motion (think running stitch) -- from front to back to front in one movement of your needle. The only time you’d need to go to the backside is when you begin or end a thread. Of course, you could also use the “stitck & stab” method -- pulling your needle up from the back and pushing it straight down toward the back. This requires you to move one hand from the front to the back to pull the needle through and vice versa.

Hoops come in many sizes. They’re usually round or oval, but I’ve seen some that are sort of rectangular in shape. They can be made of wood, plastic, or metal. Hoops will have an outside ring and an inside ring. Depending on your viewpoint, you can put the smaller hoop underneath the fabric and place the larger hoop on top directly over the smaller hoop. (or vice versa) Then, you push the larger hoop down over the smaller one and it will give you a good tension for your fabric. Some put the smaller hoop on top in order to keep the front side of the fabric clean. I have always put the larger hoop on top. On the metal hoops, there is a spring-like mechanism and it automatically tightens itself when pushed over the smaller hoop. The bad thing about metal hoops is that they rust over time. On wood and plastic hoops, there is usually a little screw and you will need to tighten this once you put the two hoops together. I use this kind. To avoid deep wrinkles and stains in the fabric, always remove the hoop each time you are finished working on the design.

Qsnaps remind me of lightweight PVC pipe. A minimum of four pieces of plastic tubing is snapped together to form a square or rectangle. The fabric is placed over the square and then a plastic clamp snaps over the fabric. Qsnaps come in a variety of sizes in order to make the frame the perfect size for your stitching project. I have a small 8” set that I haven’t used yet, so I can’t comment on how well they work. Some stitchers think they’re great!

Scroll rods and frame consist of two side bars -- which determine the height of your work area -- and two dowels (also called rods) for the top and bottom of the frame -- which determine width of your work area. Fabric is secured to the rods and rolled so the desired working area is showing and then secured with the knobs or wing nuts to hold the fabric tight. Fabric can be attached to scroll rods in a variety of ways: 1) Fabric is basted to a fabric “tape” attached to the rods 2) “No Stitch” Velcro system 3) Split dowels where fabric is placed between each half of the dowel. No basting required with this either. To use scroll rods, attach the fabric to the top dowel first. Roll the top of the fabric to the desired position and place the side bars onto the dowels and tighten with the knobs or wing nuts to hold fabric securely in the top dowel. Next, attach the fabric to bottom dowel and roll fabric around bottom dowel until it’s taught. Slip the side bars onto the bottom dowel and secure knobs or wing nuts. If you roll the fabric so that the wrong side is facing outwards on the dowels, it keeps the fabric clean while stitching.

Floor stands and lap stands allow you to stitch without having to hold the frame, hoop, or qsnaps, etc. There are many on the market! It’s always best to determine how and where it’ll be used and then do some research as to which one is right for you. If you have a chance to try one out at an LNS or a friend’s house, that’s even better! Some companies that offer stands:

K's Creations
Gripit Plus, Inc.
American Dream Products
Artisan Design, Inc.
Hearthside Craftworks

Stretcher bars come in various length and width sizes. They fit together and make a frame for your needlework. Stretcher bars should be about an inch or so smaller than your fabric size to enable you to attach the fabric over the outer edges of the stretcher bars. To do this, you place your fabric on top of the stretcher bar, with the fabric overhanging the edge of the bars. Then use a stapler or tacks and secure the fabric evenly across the top of the stretcher bar. Next, gently stretch your fabric taut across the bottom edge of the stretcher bars and attach in the same way. Repeat for the two remaining sides, keeping the fabric tension even.

Sep 27, 2006

How Times Have Changed

“What are some of the things you remember growing up (candy, fashion, electronics, etc.)?

Growing up, we weren’t stressed out by being in every activity under the sun – and we knew how to use our imagination to find “things to do” without getting into trouble. We played outside, rode bikes, and camped in the backyard by making our own tents out of blankets. We built tree houses out of scrap wood and bent nails that we straightened.

Atari was the hottest video game system on the market. My Dad was pretty proud of himself to be able to buy one for us, which I’m sure wasn’t an easy task. We were happy with the rudimentary graphics!

Remote control TV’s and VCR’s came into being. We had 3 channels on the TV to watch – my parents still only watch 3 channels, as do I. TV shows I watched growing up: ALF, Bosom Buddies, Diff'rent Strokes, The Dukes of Hazzard, Facts of Life, Family Ties, Growing Pains, Knots Landing, Dallas, MacGyver, Miami Vice, Night Court, Who's The Boss. We also watched reruns of MASH, Happy Days, and I Love Lucy.

Microwaves were new. I remember my parents trying to figure out how to use one... trying recipes out of the cookbook that came with every one... exploding an egg all over the inside because they didn’t know you had to poke a hole in the shell. LOL

I learned to type on a manual typewriter. By the time I finished high school, electric typewriters were the norm. Computers were becoming more and more popular. On holidays from school, students were allowed to “check out” and take home computers. I would drag an entire system home on the bus every chance I could get. Instant messaging was done on the computer – an early version of email. There was no internet.

My first car had an 8-track player, cost $300, and was 11 years old. My Dad actually had 8-track tapes! LPs and cassettes were popular. There was no such thing as MP3s or music downloading. We spent time in front of the radio and taped music from there onto cassettes.

There was no caller ID, answering machines, or call waiting. The telephone was only used when you absolutely had to. My parents still don’t like talking on the phone, let alone leaving a message on voicemail. If it weren’t for caller ID, I wouldn’t know they call.

Big hair was all the rage. Bobbie socks with high heels and short skirts. Polo shirts, stirrup pants (Glad those for the most part are gone!), parachute pants, and paint-splattered jean jackets were just some of the fashions. Oh, and let’s not forget the Michael Jackson glove and red jacket!

Sep 26, 2006

Ladies & Gents... Welcome to the Powder Puff Game!

For anyone who doesn't know what a powder puff game is... It's a football game between girls. This one in particular is played during homecoming week. Three of my nieces are freshmen this year. One participated in the powder puff game. Actually, she was one of the quarterbacks. Go team, Go... Go... Go! Isn't that a rough-looking bunch?

Unfortunately, the freshmen team lost to the junior team.... 28 to 42. Maybe next year, girls! You played a good game.

Sep 25, 2006

Field Trip!

As you may or may not know, I am enrolled in Intro to Ecology at the college this semester. It really is quite interesting! I still don’t know how I did on our first test (taken last week) since the instructor doesn’t have them all graded yet. Inquiring minds want to know! To be truthful, I’ll be happy if I get a C. I think a lot of students in my class are hoping to do that well! Anyway...

Our instructor likes us to pretend that we’re ecological scientists. As one of our lab assignments, we took a trek out to the re-created prairie on the college campus. When the college was built (many, many moons ago), several acres of land was planted with prairie grasses and plants indigenous to this area. Our assignment was to plot off 1x1 yard sections of prairie and identify the percentage of each plant in the section. We had to document six plots. Keep in mind prairie is at least 6 foot tall!

I did make an observation to the younger members of my group. I asked them to imagine having to drive through those tall prairie grasses in a covered wagon. Tough going, indeed!

There we were in our groups of 3 – pushing our way through dry, crunchy, potentially tick infested grassland. Kicking grass and taking notes. Being a country girl it really didn’t bother me all that much. I would’ve liked advance notice since I was wearing my work clothes while trompsing through the wilderness. I also have allergies, too, so I would’ve taken something to avoid sniffling through the rest of the evening. I must say that I did find it amusing listening to comments from other women who were not used to the “great outdoors”. Couldn’t see them through the thicket, but could hear them. LOL We even had one guy yelling out “Marco!” Then there’d be a chorus of “Polo!” My group managed to finish first… we didn’t mess around… we got right in there, did our thing, and got out. Yay for us because that meant we got to leave class early too! Woo Hoo.

Sep 22, 2006

10/25/50 Project Challenge

I’m taking a deep breath and jumping right in! Oh what have I done? I just committed myself to the 10/25/50 Project Challenge. Actually, I committed myself to the 10 project challenge, since my projects are BAPs with little ones in between. Heaven knows I need to go on a stash diet, and I have plenty of To-Do’s in my stash.

Purpose of the Challenge: to reduce the amount of patterns not stitched, and stash not used.

The Rules:
1. Have fun reducing my stash.

2. There is no time limit.

3. Thou shall not purchase any new patterns until 10 projects have been stitched. Pattern size does not matter.

4. Exemptions. Remember, the goal of this challenge is to reduce stash so too many exemptions will sabotage these efforts.

My exemptions are:
Gifts, gift cards, trades, RAKs.
Floss and Fabric (i.e supplies) for projects stitched during challenge do not count.

5. The official start date of this challenge was Sept 1, 2006.

Ready! On your mark! Get set! Go!

UPDATE: I finished the Project Challenge on Feb 7, 2007!! All my projects can be seen HERE.

Musings of the Week

Ahhh... It’s Friday. Today is a bad allergy day. I took my meds this morning like I always do, yet my sinuses feel like they’re stuffed with cotton and my nose has a mind of it’s own. I’m positive mowing the yard last night has a lot to do with why I’m feeling like I do. Especially since it all started about 20 minutes after I started mowing. My arthritis is inflamed this morning, too... the pain in my shoulder is well, a pain (LOL) and the dull aching in my arm is driving me crazy. Does it all really have to act up at once?

I had my first test in Ecology on Wed. 40 questions of multiple choice with a few T/F thrown in for good measure, and about 15 short answer/fill in the blank. I’ll be happy if I get a C (please!). We had a little field trip also... to the “re-created” prairie in the center of campus. It’s a 6x6’ square representative of what the area looked like before it became urbanized. By the time the instructor was done talking about the various grasses, it was dark and the students were cold. Night classes will do that to you. We were also given the last part of our current lab assignment, which is to write a lab report on the observations we’ve made about the microscopic critters in the ecological ponds/streams on campus. Yikes! I’ve never written a lab report before.

I worked on Freedom last night. I have about 2 hours worth of stitching left on the eagle and flag before I’m done. Then I’ll be working on the backstitching. After that, the only thing left is the poem about freedom and the “memorial” information about the soldier. I had some disappointing news... I happened to be reading the paper (I never read the paper) on Tuesday and found out that the soldier’s mother had died. I was going to send her the piece. I had a dilemma as to where to send it. Do I send it to the step-father and soldier’s siblings (who are still in high school)? Do I send it to the mother’s sisters? Do I send it to the father? My sister says I should send it to the father. She rationalizes that when you lose a son, you lose a son... no matter if you were deeply involved in his life or not. So I guess I’ll have to figure out where the soldier’s father is so I can send it to him instead.

And finally...

How many pieces have you stitched? Out of these, how many have been for you? How many have had specialty stitches or other techniques besides cross stitch?

Even thought I've been stitching off and on since I was a teenager, I've only done approximately 50 projects. Most of them, I have given away as gifts. I only have a handful of things that I've kept. The only project that has specialty stitches is Japanese Garden. It's not finished yet. That one's for me. :)

Sep 21, 2006

Smells Like Sulfur

I’m not really into politics and had never voted until the last election. (No, I didn’t vote for George Bush.) I couldn’t resist commenting on the latest political news…

Perhaps Venezula’s president, Hugo Chavez, needs to see an ear, nose, & throat doctor. I’m pretty sure that if the podium at the UN Security Council meeting smelled like sulfur, someone would’ve noticed before him. On the verge of Halloween, I have to admit I do find it amusing that Chavez accuses George W of being the devil. It takes some nerve to walk into a meeting held on US soil and accuse Bush of being a tyrant, dictator, a supporter of terrorism, and a threat to the human race. Yes, indeed, Chavez’ comments and approach were undignified and unbecoming of any country’s president. In his speech, he also said that the UN system has collapsed and is worthless. Yet... He’s trying to go after a seat on the UN Security Council. He wants to take away veto powers for the permanent members (US, Russia, China, Britain, France). Do we really want countries certain Middle East countries to gain more control in the world? Chavez also suggested the UN headquarters be moved from NY. Where do you think he wants the headquarters to be? LOL, you got it... Venezuela. I don’t agree with George W’s domestic/foreign policies or the way he goes about things, but c’mon Hugo... What are you thinking?

Sep 20, 2006

Lost Your Toot?

Maybe this will help you find it... Click HERE

Sep 17, 2006

Cheese Days

After walking what seemed like a mile to get to the square in downtown, we found the perfect spot to see the parade despite four rows of people in lawn chairs in front of us. Sadly, my 9yr old niece couldn’t get close enough to get the candy and goodies being thrown by the parade exhibitors. She did get a cheese stick! LOL, fitting since it was the Cheese Days festival parade. Exhibitors from all over WI and northern IL were in the parade. In addition to costumed people on stilts, clowns, and hearses, there were acrobatics and the usual cheese farms, Shriners, etc. Let’s not forget the Marching Bands!

Two of my nieces are in their school’s marching band. One is a flag twirler and the other plays percussion with the big ‘ole bass drum. She’s the only girl in the bass drum section and the smallest drummer. Her concert band teacher thought she had what it takes, and asked her to be in the Marching Band.

Of course, I took lots of pics while they marched around the square. However... It DOES help if you put a compact flash card in the camera first! I was so excited about the shots I got, too. My BIL then suggested we walk several blocks north of the square in order to catch the band again so I could take more pics... with CF card in the camera. LOL We rushed up there and I managed to get a few shots. Not nearly as good as the ones I *thought* I got downtown. Oh well, there will be more parades.

My sister, 9yr old niece, and I walked the last 10 blocks of the parade route, along with the band. Talk about exhausting. At least we didn’t have to march the entire parade route, which was 4 miles long!

Sep 15, 2006

Odds & Ends

TV Situation
I am still debating whether I want to buy a new TV yet. It’s going to cost me about $550 and I don’t want to part with the cash. LOL I’m getting tired of watching TV on the small set in my bedroom though. Half the bed is covered in cross stitch stuff!

My Ecology class is going OK so far. We’ve had our first hands-on “scientific” data gathering project which involved taking samples of water at the college’s ponds/streams and observing the critters under a microscope. We were informed that we’ll have to write a short report on it once the instructor compiles the data from all the classes. Our first test is next Wed. How well I do on that test will determine the path of this class....

$100,000 Gift Bags
This was in an industry newsletter I read today:

“The IRS is taking some of the fun out of the Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys for celebrities. The value of the 2006 Oscar gift bag was estimated at more than $100,000. Anyone who received that bag will get a notice from the organization that runs the Academy Awards reminding them of their tax obligations. In the future, the IRS wants 1099 forms issued to all gift bag recipients.”

Holy Cow! A $100,000 gift bag?!

Feelin' The Love

I'm sure you've all heard about the FDA announcement about not eating any packaged spinach, due to one person dying and 54 others getting very ill. My 14yr old niece saw a news story about the spinach on TV and knows I buy packaged spinach. So she called me to tell me not to eat any. Aww... she was worried about me. Wasn't that sweet?

A couple other people have made me feel special this week:

Early in the week, I received a RAK (random act of kindness) from Mare who send me an angel bookmark kit.

Yesterday, I received another RAK from Suzi in Australia. It was a package of hand-dyed threads. How wonderful!

Sep 14, 2006

A Bit of CYA

Again, my neighbors lie in wait for me... I came home tonight and wasn't even out of my car and the daughter (my age) came out the backdoor. She admitted she mowed the yard and "claimed" she didn't know she should mow to the edge of the yard. Huh?? Give me a break. Wouldn't that be obvious? She said she'd mow the rest of it. Just in case she wasn't clear, I told her that it should be mowed all the way to the edge of the driveway next door and all the way back to the fence. I also commented on how bad it looks as it is. I wasn't rude or sarcastic about it... Just matter of fact. Can't be anymore clear than that, can I?
(I wonder if they know they're on thin ice?)

Beating My Head Against A Wall

Anyone have a brick wall handy? I may as well just stand and beat my head against it, rather than expect my neighbors to do a decent job of mowing the yard. Do I need to set up a hands-on class entitled "Mowing for Dummies" or "Mowing 101"? Geez...

Last night, I got home from class around 9pm. I thought the yard had been mowed but I wasn't sure. Today at lunchtime, I went home (like I do every day) to find that the neighbors did indeed mow the yard. All except for a 4-5ft span on MY SIDE of the front yard!

Is it really too much to ask that they take a little pride in how the yard looks? I was so peeved about it, I left a post-it note on their backdoor: "Thanks for taking your turn. Do you plan on finishing mowing the front yard, or is this going to become a problem too?"

Sep 10, 2006

Freedom Update

I'm finally getting excited again about this project. You know... When you're getting close to finishing it, and that surge of excitment comes back? Yeah. That's where I'm at. I still have quite a bit to go, but I know I'm on the home stretch! So far, I've invested 140 hours in this project.

Sep 8, 2006

It's MY Turn!

I just got done taking my turn mowing the lawn. Haha... The best part of it? The landlady happened to be delivering mail (Yes, she's a mailperson, too) today and saw me mowing! She smiled and waved... I smiled and waved. LOL Here's what the driveway looks like when I'm done mowing... No sweeping done, either.

Here's what part of the driveway looks like after the neighbor gets done. Image the above picture with grass ALL along the concrete, up against my car....

Oh, was I supposed to mow underneath that swing that had the sign, "Do Not Touch"? Sorry for the oversight. I did have this thought while mowing, though. I have the Bill Engvall CD called "Here's Your Sign". For those of you not familiar with the cover, it's a close up of Bill's head with a note pasted to it saying "Here's Your Sign." If you want to read the lyrics, click HERE. LOL, I thought about scanning the CD cover and then clipping it to the outside of their mailbox. Hahahahaha.....

Car Troubles - Yet Again

On Tuesday, I had to walk to work because my car wouldn’t start.

I assumed it was because of all the rain we had on Labor Day. My brother came over to look at and it said it was the battery... AGAIN. Back in January, the current battery was replaced under warranty because the other one went bad after 3 months. Now here again, a battery has gone dead! My brother says if it goes dead again, he is taking it back to Auto Zone and chewing some royal butt. LOL, that’s the nice version of what he said. He said if he has to take that battery out again (not an easy task), he is getting my money back and we’re going to Farm & Fleet to get a battery.

The holiday really screwed up my work schedule, so I had to stay late Tuesday to get some client work done. With no car, I had to walk to the post office to mail the client’s stuff – which is in the opposite direction of where I live. Then I had to walk home. By the time I got home, I had a nickel size blister on the bottom of one foot. Ouchies!!

It’s Friday... Can anything else happen this week???

Meeting with Heads of State

I’d like to say that this situation with my current neighbors has been stressing me out. More than I realized... This past week, I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night... thinking about the neighbors and their shenanigans.

After the latest incident when she blew grass all over my car and then had the nerve to yell at me in the front yard about it... when she clearly was in the wrong, I called and arranged a meeting with the landlords. For 45 minutes, I detailed out ALL of the neighbor’s behavior. I told them about the flower labeling, the grass on the concrete, the selective mowing, the 5ft tall weeds. I also informed them of some other things they did not know. Apparently Donna told them her daughter had only been staying there for the past week. Ahem… look at the date of when she moved in. The landlords also did not know that there were 2 dogs and 2 cats next door. Vicki hates cats. Well, maybe not "hate" but she has bad allergies like me. The lease the neighbor signed said "one dog". Oopps... caught in yet another lie. I also told them that the one dog barks and barks and barks, which it does. It's not a soft bark either, it's loud. All I have do is walk through my place sometimes and the dog goes off barking! It's ridiculous. After I got done with my side of the story, Vicki did comment that she knew there was more to the story then what Donna was letting on.

I also found out another interesting tidbit of information: It seems when Donna talked to Vicki, she asked if she could put a lock on the gate to the backyard to keep ME out. LOL Would you like to hear the reason why she wanted to lock me out? Sure, you do!! She told the landlady that she had a nice swing in the backyard and she didn't know if one day she'd come home to find a baseball bat taken to it. LOL! Hmmm... Anyone who knows me would roll their eyes and die laughing. It tells me what kind of world she comes from if people are taking baseball bats to personal property. Sorry, I don't live in *that* world.

At one point Vicki mentioned breaking the lease with Donna. I don't see that happening since winter is approaching and it's difficult finding renters in winter. I asked the landlords if they had any other properties with a house and garage on it. I wanted to put the idea in their head that I was possibly thinking about moving. Which do you think they'd want to keep? Someone who's lived there for 5 years and paid rent consisently every single month -or- Someone who's been there not even a year and is causing problems and lying about it. The landlords are going to have a "chat" with Donna and get a few issues resolved. As I left the landlord's home, Vicki said "Sounds like she needs Prozac" or something... LOL

Sep 7, 2006

Just Plain Stupidity or Just Being A Witch?

After the little "chat" with the neighbor lady, I spent over an hour early Saturday afternoon washing and vacuuming my car. During that time, Donna came and went at least three times. While cleaning the inside of my car, guess what I found?! Besides the usual tiny cash treasures, I found my favorite watch! I lost it months and months ago... thought it fell off while I was shopping in a store. I was ecstatic to find my watch! :-)

It was a beautiful day, so I washed my sheets and hung them outside to dry. I LOVE the smell of freshly air dried sheets. Mmmmmmm! While they were on the line drying, I cleaned the upstairs of my house. Meanwhile, the neighbor decided she was going to mow the yard. When I thought the sheets were dry, I started out the door... and stopped dead in my tracks.

Donna had mowed the yard all right! She had blown grass ALL OVER the side of my newly washed car! Not only was there grass on the car, but it was all over the concrete in front of my garage and the area where I normally park my car. Needless to say I was livid. As angry as I was, I calmly walked to the front of the house where Donna and her grown daughter were and simply said to her: "I really don't appreciate you blowing grass all over my car when I just got done washing it." Well, that was enough to get her screaming... yes, screaming at me in the front yard. She first asked, "WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!! YOU KNEW I WAS MOWING THE YARD" When I responded to her that all she had to do was face the blower the opposite direction... away from the concrete. Her daughter pipes up... "It's a mulching lawnmower." So freakin' what. You can still face the lawnmower in the opposite direction. IMO, it doesn't matter if I did or didn't know she was mowing the lawn. My car has been parked in the same spot for the last 5 years and NEVER had any of the other tenants blown grass all over my car... clean or dirty. Donna is still screaming at me as I walk away. Actually, she followed me to the back yard. Remember? I was going to take the sheets off? She tried to rationalize her behavior as being "right" and telling me that all I had to do was hose it off. I simply told her "That is NOT the point." Then she said, "Well, it'll blow off when you drive down the road" What? Does she think I'll be going 120? Her final statement to me was (keep in mind my back was to her because I just kept on walking)... in a sarcastic tone "I guess it's all my fault." All I said, "Obviously, it is." and kept on going toward the clothes line. Donna's responses were so ignorant I was very disgusted. (My brother said I handled it a lot better than he would have. He said I should've gotten right up in her face and yell louder than she did. LOL)

Later in the evening, I was sitting on the back porch when the daughter came outside to let their dogs do the potty break. I asked her, "Are you guys going to sweep up the grass? I really need to know how to handle it next week." LOL OMG, she went off on me about my attitude about MY car having grass on it. I calmly replied, "I believe I have a right to have a problem with you blowing grass all over my car when I just washed it." LOL, well she didn't like that and went into the house slamming the door behind her. I could hear her telling Donna, and then Donna screaming about it. Yes, screaming. Btw, they didn't sweep up the grass... I HAD to.

So now I ask you.... Is she just plain stupid? Or is she being a snotty, retalitory witch (replace the "w" with a "b")?

Stay tuned for the next episode of "As The Yard Grows..."

I'm Telling Mom!

I bet you're thinking this has something to do with sibling rivalry, aren't you? Nope. You're wrong. Ever get the feeling you know someone is lying in wait for you? Waiting to pounce... After arriving home from a hair appointment last Saturday, I barely stepped out of my car when my neighbor (Who's name is Donna, btw) came out her backdoor.

While standing there with her arms crossed in front of her chest with an aggessive tone of voice, she *told* me several things. She complained about the grass left on the driveway last week. I pointed out the fact that whenever she mowed, she left grass on the concrete where I parked and pulled into the garage. She boldly denied doing it!

She also informed me that she talked to the landlady about the lawnmowing situation. Know what immediately popped into my head? "I'm telling Mom!" Apparently, Donna complained to the landlady about how I "never" mowed the yard. Then she went on with, "Vicki said..." (Vicki is the landlady) I stood there thinking to myself, "Mom said..." Anyway, "Vicki said... We should take turns every other week mowing the entire yard." I responded to Donna by telling her that I didn't have a problem with that, which I don't and never have. It was at this point I shared with Donna how I had made plans to pay my niece to mow the entire yard during the summer... until she (as in Donna) started playing the lawnmowing games. Yes, I said exactly that! Her response? "Well, you didn't tell me that." Straight-faced (even though I was laughing inside), I told her it really wasn't her business arrangements I had made regarding the lawn. Was she going to pay half? I can guarantee the answer would be NO.

I reminded Donna that it was she who segregated the yard duties with her lawnmowing actions and I just followed suit by mowing the sections she didn't as my own. I thought about calling her out on her passive-aggressive actions, but I didn't.

I brought up the labeling of the flowers. She complained that *someone* picked all the "beautiful roses" off it... Which is another bold-faced lie because when the sign was put on there, the bush was full of blooms. When I replied I didn't pick them, she responded, "Well I didn't either!" LOL, I didn't recall accusing her, but hey whatever. She then had the audacity to blame a neighborhood girl. How many teenage girls do you know who carry around scissors or pruning shears in order to get roses?

Since she got her jabs in, I thought it was only fair that I asked when she planned out doing something with the 5ft tall weeds up against her side of the building. Know what she said? "I work all week." I looked her straight in the face and said, "I work all week, too. And I go to school at night." That shut her up for oh about 10 seconds before she spouted off with: "I've been trying to keep up with it. If you don't like it, you can pull them." Such audacity! First of all, if they are 5 feet tall, there is NO WAY she's been keeping up with anything. Secondly, there is no way I am going to clean her side of the building. Sorry, not with her attitude problem.

Don't you find it ironic (I did) for someone to stand in front of me and tell me she's open to communication... all the while her body language (arms crossed) and verbal tone (aggressiveness) told me the exact opposite?

At one point I even called her aggressive tone into question. LOL! I could tell by the look on her face she didn't like it. She again questioned me about taking turns mowing the yard. I simply responded, "I think we already resolved that." She promptly went into her apartment and closed the door. So much for open communication!

If you're not familiar with the background on this situation, it all started HERE. Then we moved on to HERE. And HERE.

Sep 4, 2006

Noah, Break Out the Ark! Please!!

It's been raining, and raining, and raining today. Just when one would think it has stopped, it starts to rain so some. Before long there is lightning and thunder -- Boy, did it ever BOOM! Next thing you know, pea sized hail comes bouncing down from the skies. Rain and more rain.... It's still thundering out as I write this, but the rain has subsided to a light sprinkle. Is Mother Nature just taking a break? Or is there more to come? Here's what the area around my house looked like not even 15 minutes ago:

I walked out my backdoor to see this....

I am guessing that at this point the water was at least calf level. Before I took this photo, I pulled my car forward because the back end was getting covered in water. Curious as to what the front yard looked like, I went out the front door. Here's what I saw....

Notice all the rushing water at the bottom of my driveway? Yes, that's the flow from the back yard down the driveway into the street. There's another flow coming down the hill from the right side of the photo.

These are some photos after some of the water subsided. This is the play fort that used to have a rope swing and tire swing... but the nieghbor's grandson managed to destroy them in the first two months he was here:

A tractor tire behind the garage... Notice how high the water is?

If you notice on the garage door, the "water marks"... add about 3-4" more because the garage is higher than the rest of the yard. That fact didn't spare the garage, though. At this point, the water was still above ankle deep on me. I just got done sweeping out all the water in there. I am really regretting not cleaning the garage yesterday. Everything on the floor is either ruined or wet!

Here's a view of the driveway from across the street. It had stopped raining and the flooding has subsided some....

To find some humor in this, I *just* heard on the TV that the National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning. LOL, I think the storm has passed fellas!!

Sep 2, 2006

A Good Stash Week

Yes, it's definitely been a good stash week. Today after getting my hair done, I went to the PO and what was there but the final secret sister gift from Colleen in Austrailia. In the package was:

• Door Blessing, a chart by Cross-Eyed Cricket
• Lace Trimmed Hankie
• Angel cross stitch keychain kit
• Aquatic cross stitch kit
• 2 skeins of DMC Linen floss
• Small beaded notebook and pen with it's own little see-thru bag (made in India) - very lovely!
• Stitched pin cushion that is also very lovely :-)

Out of the kindess of her heart, Julie picked up this Mirabilia Lady of the Flag kit for me. It was on clearance at her Hobby Lobby. It had been marked down three times from $51.15 to $25 to $17.05 to finally $10! I've been eyeing this one for a long time. (Thank you Julie!)

On Tuesday, I received two bird charts compliments of Susie in GA. Unbenownst to me, I already had the one entitled The Nestlings so my plan is to pass it on to someone else who will be able to use it.

On Monday, I received two packages that I had ordered from Ebay. They contained huge pieces of evenweave and linen. As a bonus, one of the sellers sent a complimentary hand-dyed piece of 14ct blue aida. Wasn't that nice?

JoAnn Fabrics had a sale going on. Can't pass up a sale... I was pretty good, though. I came home with Dimensions Celestial Angel (which 12x17") for $6 -- 40% off, and a pair of Ginghers Epaulette scissors for $8 -- 50% off.

The bingo prize from Cynthia also arrived this week. I was very excited to see the scissor fob kit seeing has I've been on a fob kick lately. The prize consisted of Lily's Scissor Fob kit, 2 skeins of DMC Light Effects floss, a skein of Needle Necessities floss, and a packet of notecards.

And finally.... I don't remember which day it arrived, but it did arrive. My first needlework stand. My intention is to use it with Japanese Garden since the scroll frame is 25" wide.