Jun 30, 2008

War, wire, and whining

On Friday, I was stung by a wasp for the first time ever in my life right on the top of my head! Ippity, blippity, bleepin' bug! We have tons of wasps out at the new house. I have a feeling we'll be waging war with them from now on. I used to have a kind of "live and let live" attitude toward them. Now I grab the wasp spray and aim with a vengeance whenever I see one. No more nice guy when it comes to wasps; they need to be dead.
Saturday, DH and I got most of the electrical stuff done on the addition. DH pulled and ran wire and I set boxes and then wired in the plugs/switches, something I'd never done before. I'm very handy with tools, so it was no big deal to learn. DH usually does all the electrical stuff, but it made more sense time-wise for us to work together. We have to be out of our rent house by the end of July, so the house needs to be live-in-able by then.
I'm going to whine now. Due to working on the new house, so far this summer, I've spent more time with shoes on my feet than off. You can't go barefooted out at a construction site, at least not unscathed. And for the same reason, I've spend most of my days in one of my four "dirty-job" sets of t-shirts and shorts. These are old, holey, and previously stained clothes that are not fit to be seen in public in (except at Lowe's or Home Depot). Because of this, you don't care if you get more crud on them (paint, stain, oil, dirt, etc.). All my nicer summer clothes are languishing in the closet.
On a good note, I bought stash. I was looking through the "New Fabric!" section at 1-2-3 Stitch! and found some linen banding that I think will work for the JBW pear, apple and pumpkin designs I want to stitch as a bellpull. And I only had to buy half a yard instead of a whole one.

Jun 27, 2008

Kitting-up again, another WIP

No, don't get all excited; I haven't crossed over to the dark side of multiple WIPs. I sat down to start JBW's "French Country Apple" and realized that the banding I had was too narrow. How did I do that? Who knows? So I went on an Internet search to find some wider banding. Found some. Didn't want a whole yard. I'll be going to Ginger's in Austin next weekend and I'll look there. Ginger sells it by the inch.
So, I decided to do the last panel from Prairie Schooler's "Country Seasons" seen here. All I have left is the Spring panel and I'll be finished with the whole bellpull. Of course, the booklet with this pattern in it is in a box somewhere. As I am the queen of packing up and moving (and anally labeling boxes), I will be able to find it quickly. Off to dig in a box and then kit-up!

Jun 26, 2008


Okay. I was going to work on my MIL's "Wild Things," - a honkin' big project - but with all the hoopla going on with our move and remodel, my brain took one look at it and ran off and hid in one of the moving boxes piled in the den. So I decided to do something a little more mindless and more easy.
I'm going to stitch JBW's "French Country Pear", French Country III Apple", and "French Country IV Pumpkin" on 32 count natural linen banding with DMC variations floss and make it into a bellpull.

Jun 24, 2008

One LOL meme

I ran across this meme on someone's blog. It is so not me that it made me laugh. So, I thought I'd post it just for fun. Someone else may identify with it and have fun posting it "for real."
1. What's your favorite foundation? I don't wear the stuff.
2. What's your favorite mascara? I don't wear this either; my eyelashes are already dark. I do comb my eyebrows (dark also) so the hairs go the same direction and aren't higgledy-piggledy; I don't pluck them as I'm not in to self-inflicted pain.
3. What day cream do you wear? I don't wear anything. Everything I've ever tried makes my eyes burn.
4. What's your favorite make-up product? I don't wear make-up.
5. What's your favorite perfume? I don't wear perfume either; it gives DH asthma, and me a headache.
6. What are your favorite hand products? I don't wear polish and I won't have a manicure; I keep my nails very short with hardly any white showing. I use lotion on my hands in the winter when they get dry, but that's about it.
7. What are your favorite foot products? Nothing. I keep them bare as much as possible, and I keep my toenails the same way as I do my nails (see above).
8. What three beauty products would you want to take with you on a desert island? Let's see - food, water, and sunscreen. I don't think dying on a desert island is beautiful, so I'll opt for survival with food and water. I know, I'm no fun.
9. The woman I admire most for her beauty: neither are famous, but I admire Sue P. and Jama R. for their strength of character, ability to be themselves, and their devotion to the Lord.
10. The woman I admire for her best sense of style: the same two women listed above; they don't dress for anyone but themselves with modesty and common sense.
11. My ultimate dream: to hear, "Well done! thou good and faithful servant."
12. How I define womanhood: be the person God created you to be, always.
13. What's your favorite fashion magazine? I don't read them. The few times I've glanced through one, I've laughed.

Jun 23, 2008

A fine mess

Thank y'all for the kind comments regarding my bovine finish. As I was unkitting the bovine and rekitting up the "Wild Things" HBP for my MIL, I realized, "Hey! Why is my Tacky BOB sitting here with five beads in it?" I had forgotten to add them to the bovine (cactus flowers and bovine eyes). So I added them. The bovine for now will be washed and ironed and laid away in my finished project box. I'll probably frame it, but not in the near future.
DH spent Saturday ripping out the ceiling in the den area of the new house. The house sat vacant for about four years, and then had questionable tenants in it for six months before we bought it. During the vacancy, wildlife moved into the attic space. The tenants tore off a fascia board in order to get satellite cable to every room in the house. This allowed the wind to blow up in the attic and tangle and shred the fiberglass insulation. Morons.
Since we aren't yet living in the house, DH wanted to get this very messy and yucky job done now. It's a good thing; we need to do a little TLC on some of the ceiling joists. Also, I was pleased that DH was able to remove the remains of several critters, including a flattened and mummified squirrel. ACK!
Here are pictures of the "fun with fiberglass." DH filled up eight large trash bags with insulation.

Jun 21, 2008

A bovine completion

Yippee skippy! I finally finished my bovine, "Texas Longhorn" by Redbird Designs. Stitched on 32 count antique white Lugana with DMC and GAST "Bluebonnet" for the sky.

Jun 19, 2008

Powered up

DH and I currently have two residences. We live in a rent house while we are doing renovations on our new house. Therefore we have two accounts with the water and electric companies. DH has gone to great lengths to make sure of our continued access to water and power by making numerous pre-closing phone calls to both companies. Supposedly, all is squared away.
Yesterday, I came home from grocery "shocking" to find our power off at the rent house. Yep, the power company turned it off "at our request" according to them. Uh, no, we didn't make such a request; we still live here. DH had even called and double-checked on having two open accounts last week because the power company sent the bill for the rent house to the new house address. The bank monkeys apparently work for the power company, too.
We finally got the power turned back on after four phone calls. *sigh* Then we went out to the new house to work and check on progress. The walls on all sides of the addition are up!
This picture is from the bedroom looking out onto the floor of the addition (bathroom and closet) on Monday.
This picture is of the addition last night (with walls!).
I did get to stitch a bit last night and I'm on the home stretch with my bovine. Hopefully a finish will happen this week!

Jun 18, 2008

Hand-dyed fabrics?

I both like and dislike hand-dyed fabrics. I like them and have used them, but I don't think they are appropriate for all patterns.
Too often I think the fabric takes away from the impact of the pattern due to the busy-ness of it; the pattern fades into the background. I'll see someone's finish of a pattern on hand-dyed fabric and I'm thinking, "I like the pattern and I like the fabric, but I don't like them together." But that's just me. I don't like pink either.
When I do use hand-dyed fabrics, I tend to prefer more muted colors, not the wild mixings of color as shown in the fabric sample above. I often see a color I like, but have no idea what I'd stitch on it. And I do like the wild color mixes, I just can't picture anything stitched on them. I wonder if just framing the fabric as a work of art in itself would work?
So for me, I'll continue to stitch on hand-dyeds on the rare occasion. But I'll still visit all the hand-dyed sellers and drool over their wares!
*FYI: the Knicker Knotter #3 post ranting about spelling errors was not directed at anyone commenting here. It was a general rant directed at writers everywhere who don't seem to have a handle on lose/loose. I must have run across lose/loose errors about 20 bazillion times that day thus prompting the rant. If you read this blog long enough, you'll find I have many grammar/spelling pet peeves, and I'll eventually post about most of them.

Jun 17, 2008

A short meme

Here's a meme I saw on Kendra's blog:
Where were you 10 years ago? Living in Wichita, Kansas. DH and I were in the application process for serving with an international children's ministry.
What are five things on your to do list for today? 1) get more boxes packed for our move, 2) stitch some on my bovine, 3) file some bills away, 4) put a second coat of stain on the bedroom door out at the new house, and 5) get the usual daily household chores done.
What are your favorite snack foods? Vanilla yogurt with nuts, granola or chopped apple, tortilla chips with black bean and corn hot sauce, 1/8 cup of dark or mint M&Ms, celery with peanut butter.
What would you do if you were a billionaire? My lifestyle wouldn't change much. I'd pay off our mortgage, do all our house remodel work right now instead of over two or three years, replace my 20-year-old truck with a new one, set up trust funds for our nephews for college, research and give to charity, let DH get all the woodworking tools he wanted, travel. Oh, and I wouldn't want anyone to know I was wealthy.
Places you've lived? Dallas area in Texas, Memphis (Tennessee), Dallas again, Wichita (Kansas), Fort Smith and Greenwood (Arkansas), Wichita again, Prague (Oklahoma), and south central Texas currently.

Jun 16, 2008

Knicker Knotter #3

Okay, okay, I've had it people! Get a clue! Learn the difference between "lose" and "loose" and use the right one in your sentences! You are making my inner Spelling-Nazi want to infest your armpits with the fleas of a thousand camels and with many frothing diseases while causing the Great Bird of the Galaxy to fly up your nose!
You lose weight. You turn loose of the snake. "Lose" (looz) as in lost. "Loose" (loos) as in not attached, not tied up, not confined. They are not pronounced the same. They are not spelled the same. THEY ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE WORDS!
When you are writing, if you aren't sure, look in the dictionary or in a thesaurus. If you don't have one, pull up the online dictionary or thesaurus in your Internet browser. Use SpellCheck. Proofread. Ask the Spelling-Nazi lady in the cubicle next to you. Try!
BTW, if you're wondering, YES, the word is incorrect in the picture!

Jun 15, 2008

Framing progress

DH and I went out to work on the house yesterday. We got there around noon and found that the framers had put in an appearance that morning. They framed in the front and side wall of the bedroom and installed two of the new windows. They had already left by the time we got there, but it was nice to see some progress! (ACK! I have pink 2x4's in my house! Thankfully, the pinkness will be covered by drywall.)
I haven't stitched since Friday. Phooey. Maybe I'll get to later today!

Jun 13, 2008

This and that

As always, I appreciate all the comments y'all are leaving on my posts! Thanks for taking the time to read and respond (and make me laugh!).
Well, it's Friday the 13th. Whoopdedoo. No, I'm not superstitious. Superstition and my faith in Christ have no place together. But I am happy that it's nearly the weekend!
I am pleased to report that we are now cow-free. Our neighbor (or his minions) fixed his fence this weekend. Having noted the lack of cows and cow patties, DH investigated and found the fixed fence. He said the cows were hanging out near it and came right over to him when they saw him. They must miss us.
The framers were supposed to start yesterday, and I went out to spend the day at the house in eager anticipation of observing, but they never came. Maybe they'll start today. I'll go out there hoping. The lumber is sitting in a neat pile near the house all ready for use. I just love the smell of fresh lumber! I love lumber yards! I know, weird, huh?
I stitched a bit yesterday and will post an update early next week - maybe even a finish!

Jun 11, 2008

My bovine WIP

Well, I actually got to stitch some on Sunday afternoon and yesterday afternoon. So, I'm posting my Texas bovine. I'm almost done with the scenery, and then I'll start on the wording and border (click here for pattern picture).

Jun 10, 2008

Stash in the mail!

Whoopdedoo! I got stash in the mail yesterday!
I ordered these two booklets from 123 Stitch! about a week ago. There are eight designs in each one. I love a lot of the designs from Little House Needleworks (LHN) designer Diane Williams. She apparently designed under the Leisure Arts label before striking out on her own. Leisure Arts still must have the rights to some of her earlier work as these designs are definitely hers. In fact, the ones in the "Cherished Scripture Samplers" are attributed to her. The other booklet mentions no designer, but the designs are her style. Anyway, I like them. Now as to when I'll actually get around to stitching them?

Jun 9, 2008

A man in trees

On Friday, the contractor and a couple of guys came out to start work on our addition. The first thing he had to do was cut down two large oak trees. Silly me, I assumed he would sub-contract this to professional tree cutters. He didn't. He did it himself. It took over half the day and struck terror in my heart.
I am the daughter of a safety maniac. I know and follow every safety rule for any tool or machine made. I annoy other people with my knowledge of safety rules, but I am usually right. The rules are there for a reason.
Our contractor marched into our backyard with his two guys, two chainsaws, a very long extension ladder, and a rope. Notice that I did not mention any safety equipment as there was none. No safety belts/harnesses, no safety rigs for the chainsaws, no eye/hearing/head protection.
I watched the whole thing from a very safe distance, mentally running through first aid procedures in my mind as the day progressed, and hoping that the contractor had adequate insurance. I was sure that he would lop off one of his own limbs, or drop a tree branch on one of his guys. There were several times where I was sure he would fall out of a tree or off the ladder. I was amazed that neither of the running chainsaws fell, and neither did the precariously perched ladder. I expected that the man would put one or both of his eyes out with flying wood chips. There were several times when I expected a tree branch to fall on our house. None of these things happened, proof that God watches over fools.
After the trees were down, they laid the footings for the addition and then left. Later that evening, I took a picture of the gutted-to-the-studs bedroom and some of the concrete block footings. DH is cleaning up some residual fiberglass (I hate that stuff!) so the dog wouldn't get into it.

Jun 7, 2008

Herding cows and launching rodents

Thursday evening, DH and I went out to the new house to do some work before the contractor arrived on Friday. Things did not go as planned. It turns out that the person we thought owned the cows does not. But we got the name of the correct owner and DH planned to call him the next day.
Best laid plans. We had left the gate open and the cows sneaked over to it and escaped. They saw the open gate and ran like bats out of Hades down our 1000 foot driveway and out into the road. The cattle guard at the end of our driveway did not phase them. DH called the owner, introduced himself, and then said that though there was a fence down between our properties, his cows had escaped out our gate. The owner, who lives in Houston, told DH what to do. I wonder if every landowner around our place who keeps cows live in Houston?!
We found a five-gallon bucket, hopped in our truck and drove out to the road to find the cows. They were about half a mile down. DH got out, threw some gravel in the bucket and shook it at the cows. Stupid things thought he had food, so they followed him home. I followed DH and the 11 cows back to our land in the truck and then SHUT THE GATE BEHIND THEM. DH called the owner who was very relieved that we had rescued his cows. He will be out this weekend to fix the fence. We did not get anything done on the house.
As we were leaving that night, I pulled open a drawer in the kitchen and let out a yell. There was a mouse in the drawer (filthy peeing and pooping rodent!). DH was wearing his leather work gloves so he snatched open the drawer, grabbed the mouse by the tail, opened the kitchen screen door, and hurled the mouse into the air and about 100 feet away. We will have to seal all the mouse holes in the kitchen before I put ANYTHING in the cabinets. And I'll have to re-clean what I already cleaned. Ack!
More of our home-moaner tale tomorrow. I didn't stitch a lick today. Phooey.

Jun 5, 2008

Duh. And she's not blonde.

While browsing blogs this morning while munching my morning bowl of oatmeal and walnuts (with brown sugar and cinnamon, of course), I stopped by Michelle's blog and read with interest her entry regarding an audio tape.
Actually the entry was about an audio book. As a hard-of-hearing (HoH) person, audio books don't interest me. I have a hard time understanding the reader - especially female readers - and usually end up frustrated and annoyed because I have to keep playing back portions because I misheard them and didn't understand what was being said. Besides, I read faster than anyone can read aloud anyway. I was relieved to see that a print book was available.
That reminded me of a recent encounter with a nameless person. This person shall remain nameless to protect them from numerous and incredulous "duh!" looks. This person is not a blonde. This person mentioned that she had listened to a great audio tape of a speech recently and that I would probably like it and that she would loan it to me. I graciously thanked her for her offer and then gave her my "why HoHs don't like audio tapes" spiel. She replied, "Don't they have to close-caption those for the deaf?"

Jun 4, 2008

Now you see it, now you don't

We are still dealing with inadequate fencing and cows. I haven't stitched since Sunday. Wah.
The contractor starts later this week on the addition to our bedroom. He is not doing a complete finish out. DH and I will be doing a lot of the inside work ourselves, including insulating the walls, sheetrocking, electrical, plumbing, tiling of the bathroom, flooring, etc. Although we can both tape and bed quite well, we both hate it with a flaming purple passion and are hiring it done. Anyway, DH is nearly finished gutting the bedroom COMPLETELY to the studs. Here is a "before" picture:
Here are "after" pictures:

Jun 2, 2008

A familial visit

DH and I went north this weekend to visit family. Most of our family lives in the Dallas area, although DH's parents live on the south coast of Texas. It was a nice visit with my folks, my Bro, SisIL, nephew #1, and my SisIL's parents. We hung out and visited most of Saturday and ate a lot. Nephew #2 will be arriving in late June, so we'll be going back up to see him when he gets here.
My SisIL is the youngest of seven kids; her parents are about 8-10 years older than mine. They were missionaries/translators with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Papua New Guinea for over 35 years (my SisIL was pretty much raised there). When they retired several years ago, they ended up in a the same neighborhood as my Bro and SisIL. They quickly became a part of our family (I don't know if that's good or bad) and we enjoy them.
But today, it's back to work on the new house for us. Besides the usual Monday laundry duties, I need to research where to sell this old Farmall tractor that was left on our property. Our realtor gave us the name of a guy who buys them for parts, and I need to get all the specifics. No, it doesn't run.