Sharing my life and love of cross stitch. Thoughts about this and that.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

ABC's of Aging Artfully


Lizzie Kate isn't my designer of choice, but I feel too close a kinship with this so ordered it a while back. Since I wasn't aware it was a kit (chart and floss) and it cost a LOT more than expected, I put off buying fabric until Monday, taking advantage of a 20% off everything sale at Stitch Niche.  After considering the neutrals, on a crazy whim I chose 32ct Wedgewood Lugana. Hoping that works! If not then I'm probably buying inexpensive natural linen at Hobby Lobby or Joanns or get practical and look through all my stash at home. Which I should have done first, of course.  Only AFTER I got home did I remember I already HAVE the same fat quarter of Wedgewood Lugana. Now I'm trying to find the LK chart pack that I'd looked at just a couple of days earlier and, of course, had set aside in a spot so I'd know exactly where it was. Meaning I may never see it ever again. I'll thinking about taking take this project with me to the conference in San Antonio.

I've decided to drive so I'll have transportation, though the 4-1/2 hours or so drive is NOT something I'm looking forward to. Re accommodations: First I was told the Hyatt Regency River Walk, where the conference will be, was booked and I would be staying in a hotel some blocks away. Nooo. That won't work for several reasons. Then I was told they were going to book me in at the Marriott Towne Place facility right next door. OKAY! Nicer rooms, free breakfasts, kitchenette, etc. Yeah! Today I got a call from Matt at the EOC to confirm my registration and to let me know I'd been booked at the Hyatt. Hmmm. The conference info indicates that first night was booked solid 2 weeks ago. Guess we'll see, huh? 

Monday I finally ordered new glasses from the prescription I got on 12/30/11, delayed because of necessary follow-up Specialist appointments. I've picked Sophia Loren rose metal frames with an opening large enough to accommodate my trifocals. To be honest, I have no idea exactly what they look like other than they were okay, similar to frames I had a few years ago, and I didn't feel like trying on multiple others when I can't really see what they look like on me without my glasses on to start with.

Friday, May 25, 2012

New Project

I originally blogged the following on February 23rd but somehow never posted it: This explains the Sunflower project that still languishes. I'm having a lot of problems with my eyes and hunting down small sections and confetti stitches to complete is more than they want to handle.

Last spring I discovered Mom trying to stitch a pillow kit from the photo graph as she'd misplaced the chart. She'd just started. I told her I'd bring the picture home to see if I could rechart it on PM. Noooo way, I quickly discovered. So I emailed Janlyn asking if there was someone just to purchase the chart. I got a kind email saying they would mail one to me, free. I called to let her know, but she'd had a bad reaction to a medication that never should have been prescribed for her in the first place. A couple of days later Dad found her unconscious ... Sadly, the chart was mailed the day my Mother passed away. I brought the kit, minus charts, home with me with the intent to finish it for her. After deciding my next project, I came across it instead. So far I've got the center of the center sunflower stitched. I had to start over. First the fabric was too small for the entire pillow and obviously did not come with the kit. It looks like linen aida and is a natural rather than the kit's white. And, to my dismay, I simply could not figure out which section of the chart mother had started on.  I now realize it was foolish to cut the fabric into a square. I kept her start on the fabric, but now it's on the edge, when I should have left that long and included it at the bottom of the design in her memory. I need to find a creative way to still display it when I finish the center part of the chart.

Cecilia's Samplers Freebies

Four small freebie designs:

JBW:  Sailing Alphabet
CherryWood Designs: Give Me Floss 
NeedleWorkPress: Summer
The Queen Stitch: Sunset Beach

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wow! Nominated for Award

I just found out I've been nominated by the the Arlington OEM for the 2012 Jack Colley Citizen Corps Award, the highest honor awarded to a Texas Citizen Corps volunteer and only the second year it is to be awarded. The recipient will be announced June 15th at the Texas Unites Conference in San Antonio.  Because there are so many other volunteers serving various disaster relief agencies throughout the state who have put in so much more time and effort, I have no expectation whatsoever of "winning," nonetheless: Wow!  BTW, last year's recipient was later invited to the White House as a "Champion of Change." Hmmmm.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

COMPUTER - AT LAST!!!

What's more, in attempting to extract whatever data he could from "dead" hard drive on previous computer to save to NEW computer hard drive, my friend, GERRY (who helped me out last computer crash as well), discovered what was REALLY wrong with the old hard drive and fixed it. So as of 10pm last night, I have TWO working computers! No more trips to Library to use computer! HOORAY, HOORAH!!! But what do I do with two computers? Hmmmm. My next technical expenditures will be for newer monitor and wireless keyboard and mouse!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day. This was the first without my Mom. My DD made dinner for my Dad, brother (in town for 4 days), and sister. Very nice and I was very appreciative. Dad says he came out of his computer room one evening last week and Mother was standing beside the table and looked up him, then disappeared. I asked what he said to her, but he was too shocked to say anything. When I asked if she was her young self or as she was in her middle years all he would say was that she looked wonderful.

The Office of Emergency Management has asked if I would like to attend a conference for volunteers and volunteer agency personnel in San Antonio in June. I said yes. They will cover mileage or flight plus hotel. It's a 275 mile trip each direction and I am NOT fond of driving distances by myself.  OTOH, the mileage expense will be enough to cover meals as well, while flying will not. Because of the need to show up early to airports, it's likely to take longer to get from home to airport to hotel than simply driving - assuming no road issues, that is. Not sure which I will do yet. I haven't been anywhere since 2008, and leaving cats at home for 2 nights shouldn't traumatize them too much. Wonder if they'd spring for a cruise instead? :D

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Still Sans Computer : ( Most recent home invader

I had hoped to have new computer before now. Not sure on timetable as am relying on busy friend to build one - albeit on the far less expensive side. Good news: Expensive medical tests say I'm just fine.  But why do I still feel so lousy? Been stitching on the Sunflower pillow. I'd originally planned only to stitch the center portion, then decided to add 12 extra rows outside the second inside border, then decided to add another 3. Meaning at this point most of what I've got left is mostly like trying to stitch hundreds of often confetti stitches - which is a very very slow slog! Must now repair or replace my non-working air conditioner. It's already up to 84 in the house. TOO WARM!

I've previously posted about wild critters that have found their way inside my house. Baby possums, Baby raccoon, big white rabbit (really!), various mice and rats rodents I do NOT want in my house, and cringe when the only solution is setting out poison because I also have cats who only occasionally bother to catch one, but don't want to risk poisoning them. I walked into the living room late Wednesday afternoon, and caught a shadow and strange movement in the far corner near the fireplace out of the corner of my eye. Huh? Then it moved. What?? OMG, surely NOT!! Making it short: it was a REALLY BIG SNAKE with very bad temper. No, I didn't scream, though OMG was said several times. I quickly determined it looked like rattler, but didn't have the triangular head so wasn't a poisonous variety. I hoped. Then it buzzed its tail at me and decided to protect itself by making the top 1/2 of it's length a tight S then striking out trying to bite me. WHOA! Then I wasn't exactly sure, pretty sure it wasn't poisonous, but .... With plastic container between me and it and a long mop handle I managed to herd it into the fireplace and closed the fire screen. THEN called 911 who turned the report over to after-hour Animal Services. Thinking it was safely trapped then went to put on clothing necessary for inside human visitors. In the 30 seconds that took it got out of the fireplace and then wouldn't cooperate when I tried a second time to herd it back in, including more tail buzzing and striking out. At which point it slid off the other end of the hearth and behind furniture against that wall. Eventually Animal Services called and said it was probably a Texas Rat Snake (non-poisonous) and finally showed up a few minutes later. In the meantime, I'd been watching that wall hoping it did not get any further. It didn't and was coiled up under the book case my TV sits on. The AS guy grabbed the upper part of it with something like what you would use to take something off a high shelf. It got loose a couple of times, and it took the 2 of us to get it into a plastic container: Him grappling front part and holding buzzing tail and me closing the lid on top of it when he finally managed to get both ends in the box at the same time, a somewhat difficult feat because of mad and uncooperative snake. His first comment upon seeing it: "It IS a big snake." Like 4-1/2 -5 feet long and 2" in diameter. He seemed to be expecting the garter snake variety, the kind of thing I'd just have picked up and carried out on my own without a second thought. After getting both ends in container and lid on and latched, he carried container out and transferred snake from mine to his. It only got loose twice in the process, once almost making it into the flower bed. It again took 2 of us to get it in the container and lid closed. He promised to take it somewhere safe and release it. I told him it was welcome to stay here but only if it would stay OUT of the house AND eat all the local rats and mice. Texas Rat snakes are aggressive and ill-tempered by nature, are excellent climbers and will eat anything it can get in its mouth (birds, rodents, lizards, etc), and though it didn't show lump of having had recent undigested meal, it was definitely well fed. Drat! I didn't even think about taking a photo. Overall, after the initial shock and worry of it getting somewhere else where I couldn't find it, my biggest anxiety 1) was anxiously trying to straighten before someone came in my admittedly messy house while at same time trying to watch to make sure snake was staying put as if it got loose in the house, I would NEVER find it again, and 2) oh no, how did it get in and how LONG had it been inside? I DON'T KNOW! Now I'm wondering whether it was female and if it laid eggs anywhere inside. OMG!!

Some photos here:  http://www.houstonherp.com/TxRat.html