Feb 27, 2009

WIP update

I've not been stitching a lot lately. Sometimes I get like that. Oh well. But I hope to stitch today. We'll see.
I have made progress on my WIP since I last posted a picture of it, so I thought I post a picture of said progress. If you look real hard, you can sort of tell that the pattern is of two hands clasping.

Feb 26, 2009

Getting older is not for wimps

DH and I played softball on Monday night. We had late games at 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. While the weather during the day was nice, after the sun went down we had "blue norther" winds blow in and it was dang cold.
I am very careful to stretch out thoroughly before athletic activity. In spite of this - probably because of the cold - I ended up pulling both my quads muscles on my first dash to first base after a really nice hit. (BTW - I've discovered that the newer bats the youngsters bring are a lot better than my old one as I can hit much farther with them!) I had to sit out the rest of the first and all of the second game as I could hardly walk much less run. And kneeling down to catch behind home plate was completely out of the question at that point. ACK!
Since then, I've been gimping around the house grousing and grumping and grumbling and mumbering under my breath. I've been stretching and moving and trying to get the ol' quads back into shape before the next game. It's been slow going. (No, I don't need to go to the doctor. I was a physical therapist back in my checkered past and know how to properly treat a pulled quad.) I'm very aggravated that I have a pair of injured quads. I'm sure that if I was younger it wouldn't have happened. Although to be fair, two of the youngsters also pulled muscles during the games.
I like the wisdom derived from having more life experience that age brings, but I sure miss my younger body sometimes. In my mind, I still think I'm twenty-something. Oh well.
To console myself, I bought a bit of stash yesterday off the internet. I ordered some Davosa fabric to stitch a Prairie Schooler Santa on. I'll use the Santa as a gift at DH's Christmas party present swap in December. The shop I bought the fabric from had copies of the 2004 JCS Christmas Ornament magazine so I ordered one, as I don't have that issue.
And I haven't stitched much as I've had several errands in town and also found a new book to read. But hopefully I can stitch this evening. Hopefully.
I'll leave you with a picture of Emma investigating the UBSU right before I started filling it full of stuff. She's such a nosy jert.

Feb 24, 2009

Stash in the mail!

I've received a bit of stash in the mail lately. A lot of designers release new patterns during February and I had fun drooling over them. I only bought one new pattern, "Cleaning Day" from The Needle's Notion. I already have "Wash Day" and "Baking Day" and wanted to add to my collection.
While looking at a website that had "sneak previews" of the newest Prairie Schooler designs, I saw an older PS that I decided I had to have. None of the new designs did anything for me.
I also received a pattern in the mail from a stitching buddy who was clearing out some old stitching magazines and ran across a pattern that she was sure DH would love. (Thanks, Irene!!) He did. He looked at it, smiled, and asked me to stitch it for him. And I will, probably after I get my MIL's HBP done which I will stitch on after I get my current WIP done.

Feb 23, 2009

Sundry topics

Over the weekend, DH was finally able to finish the doors for the UBSU. Now it is my turn - I have to paint all of them along with the two drawer fronts. Thankfully, the weather will be warming up into the 70s for most of the week (good painting weather).
Now DH is finishing up the face frames for the cabinets which will go over my computer area. Then I'll paint them. We were going to pay a friend to paint them using his paint sprayer, but he is real short of time right now and couldn't get to it until June. So I will paint them using a new-to-me paint that advertises itself as being for cabinets and that leaves no brush marks. We'll see.
After several months of looking high and low in local stores and all over the Internet for some rainboots THAT FIT MY VERY WIDE FEET and didn't cost tons of money, I finally found a pair at Wal-Mart last week. With our long driveway and its mud problems in rainy weather that necessitates parking our car and truck down toward the end of it, I needed good rainboots.
In warm weather, I usually just walk barefoot through the mud and rinse my feet off with water that I carry with me, but this technique is not good in cold weather. DH and I have been using our hunting and hiking boots respectively, but they are time-consuming to clean and the repeated exposure to mud and water is hard on the leather. Rainboots clean easy. Wal-Mart had these in a "getting ready for spring" display. The other available color was polkadots in wild pink shades. I chose these.
A note from my stitching chair: I actually stitched this weekend and have my stitching mojo back. I hope to make a lot of progress on my WIP this week and will post a picture at the end of the week.

Feb 20, 2009

Another softball story

Monday night we played our first softball games in a very weird league. This is spring softball and we are only playing for one night a week for five weeks. There are only five teams in the league, but we get to play eight games. So we have double-headers three of the five weeks. But I'm not complaining!
The fields are very nice - groomed infield, both dugouts have benches with backs and a water fountain, covered spectator seating. I was pleased that we had two umpires for the games, one for home plate and one for the field.
We won our first game and lost the second of our double-header. It was raining most of the second game. Eyeglasses and rain don't mix. "Luckily" we were out in the field most for most of the game (did I mention we were creamed?) and my catcher's mask kept most of the rain off my eyeglasses.
I was rather bummed because this league is very picky about not allowing usage of illegal equipment. The umpire inspected our bats and told me to bag mine. It's so old and well used that you can't read any label on it so you can't tell if it's a softball bat or what. So I had to use one of the newer bats that the youngsters brought.
I was also pleased that both of the teams we played were made up of nice folks who liked softball. We were all out for a fun time and some good, clean softball with exemplary sportsmanship. There were no hot heads or overly-competitive people.
DH and I have played in leagues that were not fun because of misguided players. Hey! We play recreational "C" league slow-pitch - if you're that competitive, move up to "B" or "A" league play. Play fast-pitch. Play baseball. Get over it.
Normally, I never lose my temper playing games. But there was one game where I did. The team we were playing trash-talked and mocked us the whole game. They made fun of everything we did. I found it rather annoying that the umpire didn't say a thing to them.
It was a close game. They were up to bat with two outs to go and a runner on third. They had to score two runs to win. The guy on third had heckled me while batting, telling me I was worthless and everyone knew that the worst girl players had to play catcher because they couldn't do anything else.
The batter hit the ball and our left fielder snagged it. One out. He threw the ball to me and I tagged the third base runner who was sliding head-first into home plate. I'm afraid that "lost my balance" and mashed his face heavily into the dirt while tagging him on the back of the head. The umpire called him out and we won the game.
I asked the umpire why he let them get away with all the trash-talking. He looked real sheepish and said the other team's coach was his brother-in-law and he had to keep peace in the family. Geesh.

Feb 15, 2009

Stitchtogether, reading, not-sleep, etc.

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth.
First Saturday's IH35 Stitchtogether was a blast as usual. This month, everyone decided to bring chips and dips. Mary saved us from chocolate withdrawal by bringing a bag of chocolate candy. We stitched, ate, talked, ate, stitched, ate, etc. There were a lot of show-n-tell pieces to ooh and ah over, too. All in all a fun day. Here's the chocolate frog that I brought as a door prize; he has gummy bugs inside.
I spent a goodly portion of last week reading through a Star Wars nine-book series. Del Rey Publishers has this annoying habit of releasing a hardback and paperback book in a series out of order. For instance, in 2006 they released the first book and second book of this series at the same time; the first book as a hardback, and the second as a paperback. Now, as a tightwad, I typically only buy paperbacks for my collection with few exceptions. So I had to wait until 2007 for the release of the first book in paperback. In the meantime, they released the third book in hardback. ACK! So I decided to wait until all the books were out in paperback before I read the entire series. Then I indulged in a three-day reading orgy to the exclusion of just about everything else. It was worth it.
On Thursday night, I went for one of those sleep studies at a local sleep medicine center. I snore like a bear and have started having sleep apnea episodes and my doctor thought that I should have it checked out. It was not an experience I care to repeat. The staff was nice, the facility was nice, but I slept very little. They hook you up to many and various electrodes and monitors to diagnose your problem. None of them hurt or break the skin. But I have very little patience for that sort of thing and they maxed out my tolerance. With all the wires hanging off my body, I felt like I was wrestling a large herd of snakes every time I tried to turn over in bed.
At any rate, I will soon be the resigned owner of a CPAP machine. Hopefully, it will decrease my daytime tiredness and resolve the apnea issue. Sleep apnea is a very serious problem that can cause numerous health problems including strokes and heart attacks. So I am taking it seriously.
Friday, I was on another planet due to my lack of sleep the night before. DH was kind enough to take me out for dinner on Friday night to a local Mexican food restaurant that we discovered a few weeks ago. It is absolutely THE best Mexican food place we've ever eaten in.
Yesterday, we had an informal softball team practice. We start actual play on Monday with a double header. Practice was fun. DH's glove, which he bought in 1976, is older than all of the players except me. Most of the players are under the age of 30. One young lady came up to bat and called me "ma'am." It was only southern politeness, but I asked her to please not call me that as it made me feel about a billion years old. She laughed and promised not to.
Today, DH and I are creaking around like 47-year-olds who played softball for the first time in nine years for two hours the previous day. In spite of my decrepit condition, I can't wait until tomorrow night!
No notes from my stitching chair today as I haven't sat in it for a week.

Feb 6, 2009


DH has been working happily in his shop every night this week. He reports that the two drawers are all made, and that the five doors will be done for sure by the end of the weekend. He then launched into a complicated and woodly technical explanation that included his router, Kreg jig, and various and assorted clamping devices. I'll not bore you with it.
BTW, a Kreg jig is yet another woodworking tool that is used to join pieces of wood together, but it uses special screws instead of wooden biscuits. Yes, it uses glue. Everything that is joined together must have glue or construction adhesive.
So hopefully I'll be painting drawers, doors, and the UBSU platform by next week. I've been tasked with buying drawer and door handles when I make a trip to town today. DH will buy the hinges for the doors (he's picky about his hinges) when we are in Austin Saturday for the IH35 Stitchtogether. DH always comes with me so he can go to Cabela's, Academy Sports, and other assorted man shops while I stitch.
Speaking of the IH35 Stitchtogether, I found this really cute little gift to give away as a door prize. I'd post a picture, but it would spoil the surprise. So I'll post a picture tomorrow night.
A note from my stitching chair: I've been getting a lot of time in on my current WIP. And after finishing up all of one of the colors, I'm no longer worried about running out of floss (unless I have a major frog visit). The picture's kind of dim, but you get the idea of my progress.

Feb 4, 2009

WIP from a kit

I've enjoyed everyone's recent comments. Gloria, you might as well give up; I ain't giving up my stitching chair. Rachel, I had fun thinking about what a biscuit joiner might look like if it wasn't a tool. ☺ Sharon, I grew up around job-sites, too, although my dad was an HVAC sub-contractor. I told Emma that she has blog fans. She was impressed and promptly asked for a dog biscuit.
While DH has been working on UBSU drawers and doors in the evenings, I've been stitching on the WIP for my parents' 50th anniversary. It's a kit from Vervaco. Normally, I'm not a kit stitcher. But I liked this pattern and decided to go for it as Vervaco has a good reputation for quality kits (and I couldn't find the pattern in anything other than as a kit).
It came with some rather boring ivory Aida fabric, so I changed it out to some linen I had in an "Attic Lace" color. And as I was not thinking things through, I hope I don't run out of floss as I changed from 18 count Aida to 32 count linen. Dummy. *crossing fingers*
The pattern is in sepia tones and is a close up of a man's and woman' hands clasping. I thought I ought to tell you that as you can't tell anything from what I've stitched so far.

Feb 3, 2009

DH's new toy

No, it's not a hunting toy. It's a shop toy. Shop and hunting toys are way more expensive than stitching toys. But if a shop toy will get me storage areas made faster and easier, then I'm all for them.
Anyway, DH stated that being able to use a biscuit joiner on it would sure make the top platform of the UBSU much more secure and stable. I checked the tool savings budget and we had enough in there for a biscuit joiner. We're tightwads; we have savings and a budget for everything.
So last Friday evening, we went shopping for a biscuit joiner. Lowe's had one DH wanted at a great price, but it was out of stock and wouldn't be in stock for at least two weeks (which always seems to be the case at our local Lowe's). Home Depot didn't have any brands DH liked. So we went to Sears and found one that was in stock and on sale.
Biscuit joiners cut little slots in the ends or edges of two pieces of wood. You then squirt glue in the slot of one piece of wood and stick a football-shaped piece of wood in the slot. Then you squirt glue in the slot of the other piece of wood and stick that slot over the "biscuit" of wood. This makes a very strong join. Hence the name "biscuit joiner."
DH has had lots of fun with it and is full of plans for easy and quick UBSU and cabinet door construction with his new toy...er, tool.

Feb 2, 2009

UBSU pictures and progress

Well, the UBSU is essentially finished except for DH making five doors for it and two drawers. He'll be working on those tonight. Oh, and it needs a little paint.
On one side of the UBSU, there is a place for my blueprint flat file which holds all my stitching fabric. The hole closest to the wall, which goes the width of the UBSU, will hold our Rubbermaid tubs of Christmas stuff. The middle hole with the shelf in the middle, which also goes the width of the UBSU, will hold smaller Rubbermaid tubs of stuff. And two drawers will go on the other side and will hold DH's bow, arrows, and other hunting accoutrements. There is also a space at the foot of the UBSU that will hold more stuff! WHEE-E-O! A home for stuff!
I need to paint the top platform and the door and drawer fronts, but will wait until DH gets them done so I can do it all at once. I was just going to polyurethane the platform, but DH wants it white to match the rest of the UBSU, so I'll indulge him. Doing three coats of polyurethane is the same to me as a coat of primer and two coats of paint. And it will be an easy way to make DH happy. ☺

Feb 1, 2009

Emma hates the nail gun

DH has been working on the UBSU all weekend. He has had to use his pneumatic nail gun which Emma hates. She will stand at full attention as he gets ready to fire it off.
After he fires it off, she runs over immediately to nibble and paw at it. Silly jert.
I'll post UBSU pictures tomorrow.
A note from my stitching chair: while DH has been working on the UBSU, I managed to finish my photoing. Whee-e-o! I've been stitching and plan to stitch more this afternoon until the Super Bowl comes on. Which reminds me, I need to go make some guacamole...