Jun 24, 2011

More enabling

I recently passed the half-century mark and I set out to acquire stash in celebration.  The UK Cross Stitcher Magazine (and the stitching world) has been anticipating the release of "The Best of Margaret Sherry" bookazine on June 10th.

Now, usually, cross stitching magazines and books published by Cross Stitcher eventually make their way "over the pond" to the shores of the US of A and can be purchased here in the states.  I didn't want to wait.  So I bought it from a UK bookstore the day it was released (where it is now unfortunately sold out) and it arrived in 10 days.
I love Margaret Sherry designs; they always make me smile.  I'll enjoy stitching from this book.

Jun 22, 2011

A most unexpected morning

We've been in drought conditions here in my part of Texas for many months.  We've had rain in the forecast lots of times, but it seems to usually move north of us.  When we'd see a weather forecast predicting rain, DH and I would roll our eyes and mutter, "Yeah, right!"

So when we went to bed last night and noticed faint lightning to the north of us, we went to sleep utterly confident that it wouldn't rain.  Yeah, right.  Thunder, lightning, and rain woke us both up a couple of times and we both thought, "Oh! Rain! How nice!"  

It was still raining this morning when we got up and then it hit DH; the car and truck are parked up by the house, instead of past the spot where our 300-foot-long dirt driveway turns into a car-sucking quagmire at one particular point.  Uh oh.

DH got in his car and was sure he could make it out.  Ten minutes later he was back at the front door; the car had lost traction at the quagmire and was stuck.  So while DH removed the mowing brush hog attachment from the tractor, I walked down to the stuck car to steer it out once DH arrived with the tractor to pull it free.

Most American cars and trucks have a handy tow hook under the front of the car.  We have a German-made Jetta.  It, too, has a tow hook.  However, it is hidden behind a fancy grill.  DH ended up having to dig out the owner's manual to read up on how to access the tow hook.  To remove the grill, he had to dig out a special tool kit stowed in the trunk under the spare tire.  He had to try several different tools as they were not well-marked.  This took about fifteen minutes.  Did I mention it was raining still?

Once DH actually got the tow chain on the tow hook, the job of pulling the car free took about a minute.  He was not a happy Jetta owner at that point.

How was your morning?


Jun 20, 2011

Another WIP update

I finished another page on my WIP.  It's still boring to stitch.  I've gotten 19 stars and ten state names finished.  Stripes, letters, and stars...when will it all end?!!

DH was supposed to gut the ceiling in the utility room and replace it with new sheetrock and insulation this weekend.  He ended up having a mowing / brush clearing frenzy and spent a lot of time with the chainsaw, weedeater, and tractor.  Did I mention it was 101 degrees this weekend with a heat advisory?  ;-)

Because of his frenzy, the brush pile is bigger.  When we moved here, we "inherited" a brush pile that the former owner had made when he trimmed some trees.  He couldn't burn it before we took possession because of a burn ban that year.  There was also a burn ban the first year we were owners.  Then the next year, it was too wet to burn and DH was culling through it for usable firewood.  This year, we are ready to burn it, but we are in drought conditions and there is another burn ban.  Someday it may come to life, crawl over to, and eat the house.


Jun 18, 2011

Unsuccessfully navigating enabling territory

I like to read stitching blogs, but to the unsuspecting reader, these blogs are often evil enablers.

As you know, I recently finished "Photobooth Snowmen" by Bent Creek.  It was a very fun stitch.  Bent Creek has several other patterns in the Photobooth series, but the Snowmen one is my favorite.  My second favorite is "Flags & Friends" with Uncle Sam and an eagle but I resisted the urge to buy it.  

I resisted that is until Rachel posted a finish of it over on her blog.  I couldn't withstand such blatant enabling, so I bought the pattern myself.  I bought it from Down Sunshine Lane and although Amy had to order it, it still arrived quickly - a shop with great service a great communication!

I may start stitching on it after I finish "One Nation" unless I am too sick of red, white, and blue at that point.  In which case I may find something pink to stitch - just kidding!  ;-)  


Jun 17, 2011

I may be a prude, but I just think it's wrong!

I was perusing a couple of stitching message boards yesterday.  Lots of folks post pictures of their kids, pets, grandkids - you name it and someone will post a picture of it.  I don't have a problem with that at all (although I, personally, would not post pictures of my children if I had any).

A proud grandma posted some professionally done portraits of her granddaughter at age six months, eleven months, and twelve months.  The little girl was cute.  And in all three of the pictures, she wasn't wearing a shirt.  Although her "nether regions" weren't showing, the posings and props in the pictures made you believe the kid had no clothes on.

Fer cryin' out loud!  I'm not a fan of "nekkid" newborn baby pictures anyway, and this kid was way past newborn age.  I think these pictures were wrong on many levels.  

For starters, this child is a girl.  Girls should not go around topless.  Okay, yeah, she doesn't have breasts that show, but she is still a girl!  It's not cute.  It's indecent.

And while she's "still only a baby," do you really want your child to associate disrobing with getting her picture taken?  Kids pick up on more that most adults realize.

And parents should protect their child's modesty when they are too young to do it for themselves.  This helps them learn modesty.  

Long ago, DH and I were visiting some friends with a very young baby.  We were walking around taking in the sights of a local city when the mother noticed the baby needed her diaper changed.  The father proposed that we sit down on nearby benches to change the diaper.  The mother said, "I'm not changing her diaper there where everyone can see her!"  The father said that the baby was too young to know the difference.  The mother replied with a steely voice, "I will know the difference!"  And she found a secluded place to change her baby.

Call me a prude, but that's the way I see it.


Jun 16, 2011

Batteries are a wonderful thing

A blog reader recently commented about also having a Jack Russell terrier dog named Emma that hates nail guns going off just as much as my Emma does.  I wonder if it is something in Jack Russell terrier genes?   ;-)

I went by Wal-Mart yesterday and finally got some AA batteries for my camera.  

Incidentally, and not related to anything, they are remodeling/upgrading my Wal-Mart and it is a sad state of affairs.  All the little sub businesses at the front of the store are now located in plywood "stores" in various parts of the store.  Lots of the aisles have been moved and the spaces where they were are roped off.  The aisles have not been moved to any logical place.  Luckily, they had lots of associates standing around asking to help all the lost-looking shoppers.  It took me twice as long to shop there as I couldn't find anything.  And as I'm really not too keen on Wal-Mart anyway; this did not endear the Wal-Mart shopping experience to me at all.

You may remember how our latest DIY project looked after DH got it framed: I chronicled it here.  DH got sheetrock and one coat of taping/bedding done on the kitchen side of the project.

He was going to sheetrock the utility room side of the project until he realized that he needs to gut the ceiling in there and sheetrock it first before he puts up the wall sheetrock.  So he's taking Friday off to spend the weekend doing that.

One of the nice things about this project is that I will be able to unstack my washer/dryer by  moving my freezer to a better place; it will go where the old bathtub used to go.  I'll be able to put cabinets above my washer/dryer to store stuff properly instead of stacking stuff haphazardly over the washer/dryer and freezer, where the vibrations from the washer occasionally make things fall off the back to vanish behind them.

I'm coming along on "One Nation" although DH may get tired of hearing me moan about how boring it is.  And it's hotter than all get out down here in my part of Texas.  We've been in triple digits or close to it all week with nary a rain cloud in sight!


Jun 13, 2011

Weekend musings

DH got a lot done this weekend on our current DIY project.  I was planning on taking a lot of pictures.  I grabbed my camera, but alas! the batteries were dead.  And wouldn't you know it, I have every size of battery in my extra battery box but the size I need.  So no pictures yet.

I made good progress on the ever-boring "One Nation."  I discovered another bad thing about stitching this pattern - ear worms!  (An ear worm, so I'm told, is a song that gets stuck in your head and plays over and over and over and over...)

As you know, this pattern has the names of all the states on it.  When I was a kid, I took piano lessons for several years.  One of the early songs I learned to play had these words:
"What did Delaware to Georgia's party down in Maryland?
She wore a New Jersey that Virginia bought in Washington.
Did you know that Tennessee did see a saw in Arkansas?
For this silly songs of states, Iowa big apology!"

Now every time I sit down to stitch on this darn project, that song starts running through my head!  Ack!


Jun 9, 2011

What to do, what to do!

Emma gets a dog biscuit every morning as soon as one of her humans can drag him/herself into the kitchen.  Some mornings she grabs it and eats it right on the spot.  Other mornings, she carries it around in her mouth and wanders around the house.  It's like she can't decide what to do with it.

Sometimes she'll "bury" it on the couch.  And although we heavily discourage this, occasionally, she'll sneak out of the house and REALLY bury it.  As she always brings is back into the house to eat it after she digs it up, we try to make sure she doesn't do this.

This morning, she carried it around the house for about 20 minutes before finally eating it.  Silly dog.


Jun 8, 2011

A WIP update

I finished the first page of eight of "One Nation."  The starfield is about a page and a third and I won't count it finished until I get all the stars stitched.  Right now, I have eight of them stitched.  In order to be orderly and to keep myself on track in my boredom in stitching this, I stitch a row of stripes with whatever letters are on that page and on that stripe, then I stitch a star.  DH was excited when I showed him my progress last night.  The things we do for love...


Jun 5, 2011

A wall WIP

DH worked on the wall between the kitchen and utility room yesterday.  He got it all framed and got the pocket door frame installed.  This afternoon, he hopes to get some sheetrock up on the framing.  I don't know if you can tell, but the plywood part to the left of the doorway is the pocket for the door.  DH made it out of plywood to make it stronger as we want to hang pantry shelves on it for canned goods.  The plywood will be covered in sheetrock.

Emma supervised.  She hates the nail gun.  She will stand right by it poised to attack.  When DH fires it off, she growls or barks, and then paws at it.  I can't get a picture of her pawing as she is quicker than the camera and all I end up with is a blur.


"One Nation" is coming along.  I should be done with a page by tomorrow sometime and will post a picture.


Jun 1, 2011

How was your Memorial Day weekend?

We had a nice long weekend.  DH took off Friday and Tuesday, too, so he had five days to work on the house, all in ninety-degree heat!  He got all the floor leveling done on the kitchen side of the house and also put insulation back in the attic over the kitchen.  (He'd removed the old, tattered, and poorly done insulation back in the spring.)  And he only made two trips to Lowe's!

Here is a picture of the work on the front of the house; he had to repour a concrete footing and reset the blocks (the orange thing on the right is the house jack).  And next is a picture of it all finished.


DH also spent some time working in his shop.  They've been doing some remodeling up at work and took the doors off some cabinets.  The doors were going to be thrown away, but DH rescued them and reused them to make doors to the cabinets in his shop.  He cut them down to size.  The piece he cut off will be the drawer fronts some day.  How's that for being green?  And the doors are already painted, so at least I won't have to paint them (at least they're not pink).  Here they are leaning against the door openings waiting to be hung on hinges.

I got some stitching done on "One Nation" and it is proving to be a boring stitch to me, just as I figured.  But I'll keep working on it until it is done; if I put it aside I know I'll never pick it back up.  I'll post pictures as I get each page of stitching done (there are eight pages).  Right now I have six stars and the names of five states stitched along with various motifs and parts of stripes.