Sep 30, 2008

Gack. Snort. Sniff. Achoo! ACK!!

Sunday afternoon, DH and I spent time outdoors working in the yard. Well, DH worked in the yard, I caulked the outside of a door. Later, as we settled in to watch the Dallas Cowboys allow the Washington Redskins to beat them at home in Texas Stadium, we both had allergy/sinus attacks. Allergies and sinuses, ya gotta love 'em! After administering the appropriate OTC medications, we managed to survive the afternoon and evening.
Monday was not good. Sinuses are NOT your friend. Did you know that the only physiological purpose our sinuses serve is to make our skull lighter? Sinuses serve no other purpose except as a source of misery. Oh well.
DH said everyone at work was hacking, sneezing, snorting, blowing, and moaning; the lab sounded like a pulmonary ward. So basically, we got nothing done yesterday except survive. My brain refused to have anything to do with my sinuses, so it refused to connect. I tried to stitch yesterday but fell asleep in my chair. Not good.
But today is a new day. I found a new-to-me cross stitch website - Joyful Expressions. Most of the designs feature Bible verses. The designer has some very nice freebies. There are "Name Blessings" available with a name, name meaning, and a Bible verse that "fits" the name. She also will custom design your favorite verse in any Bible version for you. The designs are available for instant download in .pdf format. I thought the site was really cool and she uses bright and uplifting colors for the designs.
While I prefer to study and read out of the New American Standard version of the Bible, I've always memorized in the King James version, so most biblical things I've stitched are in King James.
Well, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, my primer paint on my door trim is dry, so I shall go slap on a paint coat!

Sep 27, 2008

I stitch, therefore I am content

Today, all is mostly right with the world. I've decided to make a list each week of all the things we've accomplished on the house during that week. Then when I get grumpy, I can go back and look at the list and be inspired. Especially if I keep the list near the chocolate. :-)
But yesterday, I was the grump queen and finally took my grumpy self off to stitch. I stitched for about three hours and life is good.
Here is the last update picture of my WIP.
Here it is as of last night.

Sep 26, 2008

I'm a saint

I'm a saint. Most women would not put up with living the way I am right now, and today I am feeling VERY grumpy about it. Usually, I take the long view and visualize how great everything will be once we get a lot of the work done, but not today. I am a complete grouch. I'll get over it, but not until I find some chocolate. :-)
I will now proceed to list a few things that I am especially grumpy about. 1) My den is full of construction muck. It needs to be deep cleaned and I can't do that with the muck all about. DH needs to move his muck but that can't happen until a few other things get done. I can't put furniture in the den until it is deep cleaned and the muck is gone. 2) Ninety-five percent of my furniture is out in the P.O.D.S., including my stitching rocking chair (and my fabric and specialty floss). 3) I am sleeping on the floor on an air mattress. We still don't have the proper cover for our waterbed. It is on order. Again. 4) I don't have a "real" place to stitch even if I had time to. (And I can end my sentences with a preposition if I want to.)
Okay. I am done whining. For now.
I will now brag about my new stove. I have always lusted after kitchens with double wall ovens. My mom has one. They're really nice when you have guests or need to cook more than one thing. I also LOATHE cooking on electric burners - gas only for me. Well, when we were shopping for the stove, we came across a Jenn-Air stove that is a duel-fuel and has two ovens. The burners are gas, and the ovens (two!) are electric. And the bottom oven is convection - cooks faster! This configuration is actually the most fuel efficient and saves money. My stove is so cool! I just love it! Of course, I can only use the ovens right now as the propane tank has to be moved and a gas line run. I'm cooking on a borrowed hot plate. *sigh*

Sep 24, 2008

JCS 2008 Christmas Ornaments Issue

I received my Just Cross Stitch 2008 Christmas Ornaments Issue in the mail yesterday. I don't subscribe to the magazine, but ordered this particular issue from 1-2-3 Stitch!. I rarely buy or stitch from magazines, but I got caught up in the gottahaveit frenzy for this several years ago, and now I just pre-order and buy it every year.
As usual, I enjoyed looking at all the lovely ornaments. Some of them are pretty, but I'm not interested in stitching them - not my style, whatever that is. There are several on my "might stitch if I have the time" list, two on my "MUST STITCH!" list, and one is on my "would like to stitch if I have the bucks for it" list.
I will for sure be stitching M Designs' Bluebird of Christmas Happiness (picture - page 13, chart - page 73) and The Prairie Schooler's Snowy Night (picture - page 15, chart - page 87).
I'd love to stitch the very adorable sea otter ornament Snowdon by Jemini Designs (picture - page 27, chart - page 62), but it uses three colors of GAST Simply Wool, a Glissen Gloss specialty fiber, and nine - count 'em, NINE - JABC BUTTONS! But it is REALLY cute.
On that note, for those of you that may not be aware of it, Needlecraft Corner sells fabric cuts for most of the ornaments and has button packs available for ornaments needing them, too. I find this wonderful. I don't have to buy a huge hunk of weird fabric for one little ornament, and I don't have to search high and low for the correct buttons. Drema (the owner) doesn't have the listing of cuts/button packs up yet on her website, but should by this weekend or early next week. You can call, fax, or e-mail your order to her. Her prices and shipping costs are very reasonable and her service is superb.

Sep 23, 2008

Please fence me in

Everyone that knows us knows that DH and I are tightwads. But sometimes, you just have to spend money to save money in the long run.
Our house came with a 84' x 95' square fence around the house. It is made of old oil well drilling pipe (which will last for centuries) that has been welded together and has 4' x 20' hog panels spot-welded to it. It is an extremely durable and long-lasting fence. There's just one problem. Hog panel comes in two mesh sizes. Ours is 8" x 6" and our little dog can scamper right through it. Not good. We're not the kind of country living pet owners who allow their dogs to run free. Ain't happening. I guess we could get a bigger dog, but we're rather attached to our small one.
So DH and I began investigating and mulling over ways to make the fence Emma-proof. We considered chicken wiring the bottom half. Very cost effective, really ugly, very hard to weed-eat around. We considered replacing all the hog panel with regular chain-link fencing. Fairly expensive and it won't fit the dimensions of the drill pipe fencing frame. We considered an electric fence charger. Not really cost-effective or viable due to the number of gates (4) in the fence. We considered horse panels. Cost effective, but ugly. Then we discovered the smaller mesh (4" x 4") hog panels. Not cheap, but much better looking and it will last forever. DH has a friend who will weld the new panels on once we get the old panels off.
It will make Emma very happy to have access to the yard again. She is used to having a dog door that she can go in and out of at will. Since we've been here, she's pretty much had to stay in the house except for when we let her out and closely supervise her. She does not come when called reliably off leash - typical of terriers.
Here is a picture of the fence. This was taken before we did any work on the house.
Here is Emma napping in her most lady-like pose. Not.

Sep 22, 2008

Normal interruptions

If you've ever owned and worked on an older home, you know how the simplest project can turn into one that lasts several days. This happens to us frequently.
DH decided to replace the locks on our two outside doors. The house came with door locks, but they don't match or have the same keys. In fact, the kitchen door has no key, but we can lock it from the inside. Both doors are slated to be replaced, but not until we gut the den walls; a project pretty far down on the list at this point. However, we do have the replacement doors already purchased and painted.
Anyway, DH replaced the front door locks pretty quickly with only minimal muttering under his breath. When he went to do the kitchen door (which is a very "vintage" door), he found problems. As he removed the old lock, big chunks of wood began to fall off the door. Not good. So, he decided to go ahead and replace the door and frame with the new one. Of course, this made the project a two-day one instead of the hour or two anticipated (and was accompanied by much muttering and grumping).
Here is the not-quite-finished door from inside the kitchen.
Here is what it looks like from outside - the old door is on the left.
It will be finished up tonight, but right now, it looks pretty funny what with all of the expanding foam squishing out around the frame.
And no, I didn't get to stitch a lick this weekend. In fact, two ladies from my stitching group, were taunting me online. They went to a weekend stitching retreat and had a blast. They stitched, ate, had fun, had S.E.X. and e-mailed those of us still at home.

Sep 19, 2008

Yep, I'm a Trekker

Geesh! I can't believe I've only made one other post this week. I've got to get some semblance of a routine going.
I didn't make it back out to the porch to stitch after my wonderful Monday afternoon of stitching. Oh well. Maybe this weekend. I usually average around 15-20 finishes a year. This year ain't lookin' too good. Oh well. My current WIP will get finished eventually. On a good note, things are slowly progressing around the house.
Have you ever been online and found yourself chasing rabbits? All of a sudden, you're somewhere new and fun, and you don't remember how you got there or what you were searching for in the first place? Yep, BTDT. One day this week I found myself online delightedly exploring The Klingon Language Institute. Yep, I'm a Trekker.
I love every genre, I have seen most of the episodes and movies, I have just about every Star Trek book ever printed, and my computer screen saver is a picture of Worf. I didn't watch the original series when it first aired. Although I do remember watching part of the episode "The Apple" with my dad until my mom made him turn it off as she thought it might give me nightmares like "The Twilight Zone" did. Incidentally, the TZ episode that gave me the worst nightmares? You guessed it! The one with William Shatner, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet!"
Anyway, I have always loved Klingons; they are my favorite aliens. If our white dog - who has one brown patch over one eye - had been male, she would have been named Martok. But I digress once again...
I downloaded the Klingon font from KLI. As the website also has lots of Klingon phrases, I picked my favorite, typed it with the Klingon font, and then used PatternMaker to chart it.
I plan to stitch it and hang it over my computer desk. In English, it is spelled "nuqneH" and means "hello." Well, in Klingon, it really means, "What do you want?!" which is how Klingons say hello to one another. And don't ask me how to pronounce it. Whenever I try to say it, I cough. Violently.

Sep 16, 2008

Fighting withdrawal

First off, I have to say, "Way to go Cowboys! Y'all beat the Eagles 41-37! Yeehaw!"
Yesterday I couldn't stand it. I just HAD to stitch. My stitching rocking chair is in the P.O.D.S. The only other chairs in the house are metal folding chairs - not comfortable at all for stitching. I really don't have a place to set up to stitch in the house yet. I can find my stitching lamp, but with only the table base, not the rolling base. So I improvised!
I grabbed a lawn chair and an ice chest and made a stitching spot on our front porch with the help of a long extension cord. And I stitched the afternoon away! Whee-e-o!! I am a happy stitcher! I hope to repeat this action again this afternoon after I get some chores done. Maybe I'll even have a nice progress picture to post later this week! Whoohoo!

Sep 13, 2008

What do you do when Ike visits?

Hurricane Ike is visiting the coast of Texas and is also visiting us here in central Texas. It's been raining all day and the winds are very blustery. We still have power and water, and no tree limbs down. DH and I hope that if a tree does decide to fall on the house, that it picks the unrenovated side to fall on. *grin*
DH is busy putting up trim molding in the bedroom around the doors and the rest of the floor, and Emma is supervising. Actually, she hates the pneumatic nail gun DH uses. Every time he fires it off, she flinches. If he is working close to the floor, she will come over and try to nibble it. Silly dog.

Sep 12, 2008

ARRR! Avast!

I tried yesterday to post three times, but Blogger was being a pain. But today is a new day. ☺
Work on the house proceeds slowly. DH's spider bite is healing well and is no longer an issue. I haven't stitched in a month.
So I am in a stitchy mood (which I guess is better than a *itchy mood). While I don't have a huge wishlist like some stitchers, I do have one or two things on my list at a time (until they get acquired and get moved to my stash list).
I collect pirates (and they must be maimed - eye patch, peg leg - in some way in order to join my collection). I'd take a picture but all my pirates are in boxes in the P.O.D.S. right now. Anyway, I saw this great pattern by Bothy Threads of a cut-through pirate ship and it's now on my wishlist.
BTW, the word "avast" is a word used by sailors as a command to stop doing something or to ignore a previous order. It's the truth! I looked it up! Yeah, I'm weird like that; I actually own and use a dictionary.

Sep 9, 2008

Spider bite update

DH's spider bite gave us quite a scare. In all, he went to the doctor four times in seven days. He was put on strong antibiotics with two booster shots, along with a topical antibiotic. His hand "swoll up like a poisoned pup" and was very painful. Last Thursday night, he felt like "hammered poop" and had a fever until 3:30 a.m.
When he went to the doctor last Friday morning, the doctor sent him home from work and told him to keep his hand elevated and not to use it over the weekend. So no working on the house. I was at a loss as to what to do with a grumpy DH over the weekend. So we decided to drive up to Dallas to visit our relatives and get acquainted with our new nephew.
He is quite adorable and has the same kind of foot shape as his Auntie and great-grandfather. I was always told, "Oh, you have feet just like Papaw!" Yeah, well, I always wanted to give 'em back as they are a weird shape and are very wide. Not a problem if you are male, but they have been the bane of my existence since childhood - probably why I go barefoot so much as shoes rarely fit me. But I digress...
We had a nice visit with the family, and DH's hand is on the mend. Whee-e-o!! It is MUCH better. The doctor called DH on Monday and had him come in so he could check it. He said that if it wasn't better, then he would refer DH to a specialist. It was so he didn't.
I was going to post a picture of a spider for this post, but that would creep me out too much. I hate spiders. And I wouldn't want to creep out anybody reading the post either. So I posted a picture with the word "spider" in the title: "Spider's Egg Fractal."

Sep 3, 2008

I'm back

Well, we got everything moved from the rent house by Sunday evening and we're now living in our new house. Whee-e-o!! Things went well and not so well.
The new water heater DH installed in the new house was faulty and we had no hot water until today. I was thankful that we at least had water, but cold showers - ACK!
When DH emptied our waterbed, he discovered mold in our soft-side cover. We had to find a local waterbed dealer and order a new cover. Apparently, this is a common occurrence with waterbeds in this area due to the humidity; it can be prevented but not corrected once it happens. We are sleeping on air mattresses until the new cover comes in. Whee.
DH got bit on the back of his hand between the first and second knuckles by a spider. He had to go to the doctor and his hand is sore and swollen. Whee.
My den is covered in construction clutter and will be until this weekend. ARGH!
When I tried to post earlier today, Blogger ate my post. ARGH!!