Feb 29, 2008

Brrrr!

Here's my second finish of 2008!

Brrr by San Man Originals


I stitched this in 6½ hours on 14ct baby blue aida with DMC floss. It was embellished with beads for eyes, and buttons for a nose and snowflake. I also added backstitching around the snowman to make it stand out a bit more.

It's Official...

The “mountain”... maybe I should give it a name... Mt. Meari, perhaps?... is taller than me. My poor yard light is barely sticking out of the side of the mountain. Ahhh, more of the white stuff. Will it ever end? We received another 1½-2 inches of snow last night.

It’s a good 30 minute drive from the hospital to my parent’s house. The rural roads are still covered in ice, as the counties are either out or running low on salt. Talk about a fun drive while snowing! I dropped my Mom off, and then still had to drive another 15-20 minutes to get home.

Only... yes, *only* took me an hour and a half to clean my driveway this morning before work. Have I said how much appreciate the snowblower?? Yes, indeed! My new best friend! LOL

Moved!

Happy to report that Dad is doing much better. He has been taken off the oxygen and is allowed to walk around, sit in a chair, etc. He scarfed down my Jimmy Johns sandwich (He had dinner *right* before my Mom and I got there!) and said it was pretty good, but not big enough. LOL Obviously, he's in good spirits... He's scoped out all the nurses and able to report the inordinate number of redheaded nurses on his floor! I pointed out to him that *his* nurse was a bottle redhead. LOL

He was moved from ICU to the heart monitoring floor where his heart rate is being watched. Yesterday, it was hovering between 80 and 90-something per minute. The doctor still hasn’t decided on a course of action, yet. There’s talk about putting a pacemaker in, but right now it’s all speculation.

Anyone see the movie “Something’s Gotta Give” with Jack Nicholson? Remember when he was in the hospital gown and his rear end was exposed? Erm. It was a scene I really didn’t have to experience with my Dad... not once but twice. LOL *Ack* Of course, my mother thought it was funny.

I would like to thank all of you for the comments, prayers, and well wishes (both privately and publicly) for my Dad. They are MUCH appreciated!

Feb 28, 2008

7 Things Revisted

I was tagged by KathyN to share seven random facts about myself. I then have to tag seven people.

The Rules:
1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the Rules on your blog.
3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 people and link them.
5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged

Seven Random Facts About Me: Here I am going to take the easy way out since I was tagged last year by Megan. To see my seven facts, click HERE.

The lucky people who get tagged are: Jenna, Dawn B, Vickie, Rene, Katie, Michelle, and Deb.

Back in the Hospital

Yesterday afternoon, my Dad was taken from work to the E.R. by ambulance. His heart rate was down around 25 beats and his systemic functions were starting to shut down. The doctors at RHS hospital think the meds the VA Hospital had prescribed was too high and instead of keeping his heart rate high, it had the opposite effect. Of course, they don’t know for sure. Currently, his system is being "cleansed" of the drugs so they can see what’s going on with him and his heart. Then they’ll decide on a course of action. The hospital put my Dad on oxygen (which of course, he finds annoying: having to wear the mask all the time –and- the drying out of his throat). I kept watching the heart rate monitor and it was jumping all over the place. One second it was 93, the next 45, the next 78, the next 59, etc. He’ll be spending the next few days in ICU Critical Care for observation and the doctors can figure out how to treat him.

By the time I got home last night, I was emotionally exhausted. I was in bed sleeping by 9:30pm. I’m glad to learn that my brothers have been helping out a bit more when my Dad needs it. Bro #1 has been plowing my parents driveway and Bro #1 took my Dad to the ER last week, as well as took my Mom to the hospital yesterday. Both picked up my Dad’s truck from work and took it back to my parent’s home.

I’ll be going back to the hospital tonight with my Mom.

To put a positive spin on all this (slight as it may be): I was able to work on “Brrr” while sitting at the hospital. I may just finish it by the end of the month!

Feb 27, 2008

Where Did The Month Go?

I thought I'd better get started on my February ornie, since my goal was to do at least one a month. Nothing like waiting til the last minute, eh? Yesterday, I started "Brrr" kit by San Man Originals. After 3 1/2 hours, here's my progress:


I'm stitching it on 14ct baby blue aida with DMC threads. It's a pretty quick stitch and no frogs to speak of *knock on wood*. My only complaint is that I ran out of the blanc floss to do the snowman. Since all my floss is still packed away, I'll have to run to JoAnn's to get a skein.

Feb 26, 2008

Random Meme

I snagged this list from Pam's blog...

1. Where is your cell phone? On a table next to me
2. Your significant other? don't have one
3. Your hair? Black
4. Your mother? Eccentric & stubborn
5. Your father? Sick & stubborn
6. Your favorite thing? Photography
7. Your dream last night? I rarely remember dreams
8. Your favorite drink? Water
9. Your dream/goal? To be able to stay home
10. The room you’re in? Living room
11. Your ex? Ex what
12. Your fear? Getting lost
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Same as where I am not
14. Where were you last night? At Home
15. What you’re not? Outgoing
16. Muffins? Lemon Poppyseed
17. One of your wish list items? To be totally out of debt within a year
18. Where you grew up? In the country
19. The last thing you did? Stitching
20. What are you wearing? Sweatpants and Tshirt
21. Your TV? 32" flatscreen
22. Your pet? Celeste
23. Your computer? HP laptop, Dell desktop
24. Your life? Full of contentment
25. Your mood? Yucky
26. Missing someone? No
27 Your car? Red Pontiac Grand Prix GTP
28. Something you’re not wearing? Socks
29. Favorite Store? Any that have good sales
30. Your summer? After this winter, looking forward to it!
31. Like someone? *like like* in that way? no
32. Your favorite colour? I like all colors
33. When is the last time you laughed? Last night
34. Last time you cried? 3 months ago
35. Who will/would re-post this? I dunno, but I want to know if you do so please leave me a comment!

Only 2/10ths Away

LOL, I wonder what Celeste would think about Maxine's thought of the day?

As predicted, we got another 3-4" of snow last night. Heavy stuff, too... Practically need an endloader to move it! I appreciate that snowblower more than ever. (Thanks J, for thinking of me!!)

I got up at 5am and spent the next 2 1/2 hours clearing my driveway. "Shove" helped a little... clearing the steps and the areas the snowblower couldn't reach.

As of midnight, we have had 63.2" of snow this meteorological winter. Another 2/10" and the 2007/2008 snowfall will surpass the 1978/1979 winter record. Somehow, I think we'll beat that record seeing as forecasters are calling for more snow on Thur/Fri and then again on Sun.

Here are some snow pics from today:

As you can see, I still have the mountain in the front yard.
It's expanded all the way over to the pine tree. The
mountain is about 5 1/2 feet tall by the light and tapers off to
4 feet over by the tree. This is not from blowing or drifting
snow -- It's from clearing the driveway of all the snow I've
gotten this winter. Ski bunnies?

Here's the bunny hill. It, too, has expanded and takes up about a
10ft section of the backyard. Celeste likes to play "Queen of the Mountain"
and climbs to the top to observe her "court". Silly dog!

South view of my street

Feb 25, 2008

Monday Update 2/25/08

Dad
As you know, my Dad has been in and out of the hospital and ER for quite a while. Apparently, he's been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. The doctors are still waiting for the blood clot to dissolve so he can have a procedure done to "clean out" the arteries of his heart. Until then, he struggles with breathing problems and water retention, which are common symptons of CHF. It's difficult to see your Dad, who's been a tough, strong guy all his life struggle with health problems that pretty much reduce him to an old man sitting in a chair. :(


School
I had my first test in B Law II last week. I find out tomorrow night how well (or how bad) I did. Surprisingly, I stayed calm throughout the test and think I did OK. I was a bit worried, as I had 11 pages of typed notes (which started out as at least twice as many handwritten pages) to study from. I *almost* finished my online Access class, however when I got to the last task on the final quiz it seemed too easy so I sent an email to the instructor asking for clarification before I upload it for grading.


Get Fit Challenge
I stepped on the scale on Sat and saw that I lost 2-3 lbs. I'm not so concerned about weight loss as I am about eating healthy and working out more. I didn't do so well on working out this past week, but made up for it this weekend. On Saturday, I did two cardio workouts (Pilates Fat Burning DVD & Walk Away The Pounds 3-mile Super Fat Burning VHS). Sunday, I did the WATP video.

I've been doing the PFB DVD for a while now and I think it is a fun workout. It's challenged my coordination, and I can finally do all the moves correctly. LOL

The WATP is a simple routine that does cardio and strength training (weights). I really like it. I'm hoping it will help to tone up my thighs!

After the weekend workouts, my calf muscles are SO sore that I can hardly walk. Switching routines must've did it's job and challenged other muscles. Ouchie.


Weather

Forecasters are telling us another 3-6" of snow is coming later today. First rain, then sleet, then snow. Heck, the ice from the last bout hasn't even melted yet!! My area is right on the border of the 3-6" and 6-8". How fun! Shove and Blower have thought they were on vacation. Silly birds!!

Movie Monday 2/25/08

Fool's Gold
Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey

Ben "Finn" Finnegan (McConaughey) is a good-natured, surf bum-turned-treasure hunter who is obsessed with finding the legendary 18th century Queen's Dowry. In his quest, Finn has sunk everything he has, including his marriage to Tess (Hudson). Just as Tess has begun to rebuild her life, working aboard a mega-yacht owned by billionaire Nigel Honeycutt, Finn discovers a vital clue to the treasure's whereabouts. Certain that his luck will change, Finn maneuvers himself aboard Nigel's yacht and, using his good-natured charm, convinces the tycoon and his Blackberry-wielding, celebutante daughter, Gemma, to join him in the pursuit of the treasure. Against Tess' better judgment, the search rekindles her love... of discovery. But they are not the only ones after the treasure. Finn's mentor-turned-nemesis Moe Fitch has also set out to claim the prize. In the end of course, Finn gets the gold.

I have to agree with the critics on this one: D+ grade. It wasn't that good.

Snowman RR Update 2/25/08

I actually had time to stitch over the weekend! (Call it procrastination of doing my homework...) My RR is actually starting to look like a snowman.

Feb 22, 2008

Finishing Contest Winner

I'm a winner! Well, actually my Victorian Pansies scissor fob was voted the winner of a Finishing Contest on the ILCS group. A big belated THANK YOU to Debra for sending me the prize.

Tuck Ornie & GAST Floss in Buckeye Scarlet


Folk Bird Tin Chart by Finger Work


Father Time Kit by Needlemagic

Snowman RR

I'm making progress! Here's a WIP pic of my snowman RR that I am participating in on the CSF group.

Unfortunately, the scan doesn't show the sparkly gold flecks throughout the fabric. The design is called "Father Time" by Vermillion Stitchery, and I'm stitching it with DMC floss.

Feb 20, 2008

SBQ - Abandonment

This SBQ was suggested by Kathryn and is: Are there other crafts that you have tried and abandoned? Why do you like stitching better?

Define "abandoned" LOL! Does it count as abandonment if I still have all the supplies for my various craft hobbies?

I’ve always been an arts and crafts type of person so I don’t feel that I’ve really abandoned any of them. It’s just that I don’t have enough time to do all of them on a consistent basis!

I’ve done scrapbooking, quilting, sewing, ceramics, embroidery, latch hook, knitting, crochet, and of course cross stitch. I don't really do embroidery anymore because I didn't enjoy it much. I don't do latch hook because there really isn't much challenge in it. (I do have a latch hook rug that's been worked on through out the years... maybe someday *someone* will finish it)

My plaque says it all... I got it last year from The Stitchery, (on clearance). I just looked the other day and saw they don't carry it anymore.

For me, stitching is relaxing. I have to concentrate on what I’m doing, which makes everything else go out of my mind – even if for a little while. It’s also portable. I can take small projects with me wherever I go, if I choose to. I also like seeing the image come to life on the blank canvas. Plus, there are so many fun things you can do with it as far as “finishing”.

SBQ - Starting Over

Do you have any projects that you have scrapped and started over? What made you start over from scratch?

Technically, no. But there's a project I want to start over. I just haven't done it yet. I have an old UFO that was a kit which with 18ct aida. I don't like the way it looks, so i want to start it over.

NIU Prayer Ribbon

Please say a prayer for the families and friends of the victims of this horrible tragedy and for the NIU community to stand strong and to persevere.

May God grant you strength through this tragic and hurtful time.



Gone But Not Forgotten
• Daniel Parmenter, age 20, last of Westchester , IL
• Catalina Garcia, age 20, last of Cicero , IL
• Ryanne Mace, age 19, last of Carpentersville , IL
• Julianna Gehant (pronounced Ghee-hant), age 32,
last of Mendota , IL
• Gayle Dubowski, age 20, last of Carol Stream , IL

For current information, please go to http://www.niu.edu/

Feb 19, 2008

Stitching on Dark Fabric

Elaine's post prompted me to share my solution to stitching on dark fabrics.

Stitching on dark fabrics can be challenging for some. There are a couple of things I've done to made it easier. For awhile, I put a white pillowcase over my lap and then positioned a lamp so that the light reflected off the white up to the backside of the dark fabric I was stitching on. Currently, I use this:

It's a 12x12" light GE slide viewing light box that I picked up at a yard sale for $1. I just place it on my lap and the light shines up through the back of the fabric.

Blustery!


The icy breath of Old Man Winter has descended upon the upper midwest. The past two days have been very, very cold and blustery. I tried to shovel the ice... Yes, ICE... (on two different occassions) from my driveway yesterday. After 10-15 minutes, my fingers were going numb in my gloves. After all the rain that fell on Sunday, I still have a sheet of frozen ice in my garage!! I'm not alone, however... I heard my neighbor chipping away at hers with a spade. A coworker said her garage door was frozen shut due to the freezing rain. Later this week, forecasters are saying we will be hitting records lows. Ahhhh.... The joys of winter.

Feb 18, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day To Me

I was remiss in my follow up to Valentine’s Day. I received a lot of positive responses to the virtual flowers I sent to online friends and family. I’m glad I could make your day a bit brighter!

Still no response as to whether T found the card, or even liked it. As Deborah says: Men are like buses. A new one comes along every 15 minutes.

At work, I received a big box of chocolates and a hand-made card from the firm. One of my coworkers gave each of us a heart-shaped sugar cookie. *ack* Like I need this stuff when I’m on the Get Fit Challenge. I appreciate the gestures, though. :) I also received an email from a client wishing me a Happy Valentine's Day. Interesting that he did that...

I ended up with a migraine mid-afternoon on Valentine’s Day. It was all I could do to finish my workday. So I had to cancel my movie/dinner plans. Instead I sat in the dark and tried to watch a movie. I can’t remember the name of it now (That's how bad it was), and suffice to say it was so not conducive to a warm and fuzzy Valentine’s Day evening. (Yet it was in the “Celebrate with these movies perfect for Valentine’s Day” section of Blockbuster – Go figure.)

I talked to a friend over the weekend, and he asked me what I got for Valentine’s Day. My response was: “Do you mean what did I buy for MYSELF for Valentine’s Day?” LOL To which he responded: “I didn’t get anything either. Oh, wait. Yes, I did. I got a text message from you.” It’s always nice to know someone appreciates the little gestures. :)

There was some truth in my response, however. As stated in a previous post... I bought myself two pairs of slacks, two sweaters, and a lace top (which had to be ordered because the store didn’t get them in). For future knowledge: If a store has a sale, won’t be getting the merchandise in (fine print: Not all stores will be carrying blah, blah, blah – saves them from the “false advertising” claim), and has a website... ask the store to order it. You’ll save on shipping and they’ll ship it directly to you. At least that’s what happened in this case. I also bought a cool beaded watch and matching bracelet. Everything was 40=50% off! I don’t go shopping very often, so this was all a big deal for me. So Happy V-Day to me!!

Monday Update 2/18/08

Weather
We didn’t get the 6-8” of snow forecasters were calling for, but we did get LOTS of rain and freezing rain on Sunday. I almost fell on my rear end three times trying to get Celeste to the back yard. It snowed briefly, but only enough to put a light coating over the ice. While it was snowing, it spread a bunch of salt so I could get out the driveway today. We got so much rain that it seeped into the garage and froze there. I had to shovel ice and water out of my garage! In the county east of me, they’re experiencing major flooding problems due to the rain and ice.


Back to the ER
Brother #2 took my Dad to the ER Friday afternoon. Same problem as before. Having trouble breathing. Apparently, the hospital is having a difficult time figuring out the problem. By Saturday, he was feeling better and they wanted to keep him for testing and observation. On Sunday, he came home… AMA (against medical advice).


Pleasant Surprises
All the stores are a President’s Day sale. Since I’ve lost weight, all my clothes are very baggy, so I thought I’d go and see what was available. Career wear was on sale for 40-50% off, so with an armload of clothes I trotted back to the dressing room. I picked sizes that were a bit smaller than I normally wore… only to find out they were TOO BIG! I ended up buying two pairs of slacks that were 4 sizes smaller than what I wore prior to last summer. I haven't worn a Size 10 since high school! I also got two sweaters in small/medium when normally I would wear a large. How’s that for a nice surprise?!


That Darn Shoulder
All I can figure is that I must’ve inflamed my T1 vertebrae when I unloaded the four 50lb. bags of salt from the trunk of my car on Saturday. By Saturday evening, the pain in my neck and shoulder was back. The only remedy is to lie down and keep pressure off the vertebrae. Still in pain on Sunday, all I did was lay on the sofa. It really is a big inconvenience when I have things to do – like study for my B-Law test, and stitching the RR.

Movie Monday 2/18/08

The Ultimate Gift

Based on the best-selling book "The Ultimate Gift" by Jim Stovall, the story sends trust fund baby Jason Stevens (played by Drew Fuller) on an improbable journey of discovery, having to answer the ultimate question: "What is the relationship between wealth and happiness?" Jason had a very simple relationship with his impossibly wealthy Grandfather, Howard "Red" Stevens (played by James Garner). He hated him. No heart-to-heart talks, no warm fuzzies, just cold hard cash. So of course he figured that when Red died, the whole "reading of the will" thing would be another simple cash transaction, that his Grandfather's money would allow him to continue living in the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed. But what Red left him was anything but simple. Red instead devised a plan for Jason to experience a crash course on life. Twelve tasks, which Red calls "gifts," each challenging Jason in an improbable way, the accumulation of which would change him forever.

At one point everything is taken from him and he lives as a homeless man. At another time he visits a developing country where even old library books are a treasure. Along the way, the movie spins a side story that was not in the novel, adding a romantic interest, Alexia (Ali Hillis), and her daughter Emily, an outspoken mysterious girl (Abigail Breslin) who, unbeknowst to Jason, is dying from cancer. As Jason works through these twelve gifts in twelve months, he comes to see Red Stevens as more than a dead billionaire. At the end of the film when he chooses to use his entire inheritance to build a hospital for cancer patients and their families, it turns out he has more than exceeded expectations, and his departed grandfather has one final gift: making him a billionaire.

The 12 Gifts:
* The Gift of Work
* The Gift of Problems
* The Gift of Friends
* The Gift of Giving
* The Gift of Gratitude
* The Gift of Family
* The Gift of Learning
* The Gift of Money
* The Gift of Laughter
* The Gift of a Day
* The Gift of Dreams
* The Gift of Love

EXCELLENT MOVIE!



Catch & Release

Romantic comedy. Grey (Jennifer Garner) was a beautiful woman who found the man of her dreams in Grady Douglas, and was looking forward to spending the rest of her life with him until he suddenly died only a few days before they were to be married. With her wedding turned into an impromptu funeral, Grey is emotionally devastated but has to deal with the practicalities of her new life alone, including moving out of the house she shared with Grady. Short on cash and in need of emotional support, Grey moves in with two longtime friends, sloppy but philosophical Sam (Kevin Smith) and well-meaning but tightly wound Dennis (Sam Jaeger). Grey also finds herself often chatting with Fritz who lives in LA but stays in the house with everyone (Timothy Olyphant – cute!). He’s another of Grady's best friends, though she's always regarded him as a sleaze ball. As time passes, Grey discovers that Grady had a secret life he never shared with her -- including a young son from a previous relationship -- and as she tries to come to terms with the past of her former fiancĂ©, she struggles to put her new life on track, and finds herself reevaluating her long-held feelings about Fritz, even though he’s a womanizer, and doesn’t strike you as the type to settle down. Through DNA testing, it’s determined the little boy isn’t Grady’s but because he wanted the boy to be taken care of, Grey demands Grady’s mother use the estate money to do that very thing. Dennis is crushed when he professes his love for Grey and she doesn’t feel the same. In another scene he questions her judgment in getting involved with Fritz. Fritz overhears Grey’s comments (trying to spare Dennis’ feelings) that “It means nothing.” and he promptly moves back to LA. At the end of the movie, Grey goes to LA to see Fritz. It’s one of those awkward moments where she questions if she did the right thing, and he shuts her up by kissing her and asking “What took you so long?” Awww.

DEFINITELY A CHICK FLICK - AND I LIKED IT!

Feb 15, 2008

About Me... Blinkie Style

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