Jul 27, 2017

The big little gift

Krissy B. told me that she and her hubby were sending me a little gift.  I expected little.  Not so.  

I was stunned to open the envelope and see my very first hooked piece.  I've seen small items imported from China in a shop, but this is real.  Honest to goodness real hookin' from a blog buddy with a big heart!  I was blown away. 

But there was more.  The wonderful scent of lavender coming from the sweetest mini stitch ever.  After a week of frustration and stress dealing with family demands again, I just breathed in the lavender and held my gift, it melted away.  The right time, the right day, the perfect gifts.  Kris said I own the only piece of 40 count she will ever stitch. I've never seen this design and have to have it.  It is so tiny and so precious, I just love it. Pineberry Lane's Tokens of Affection.
 

 
 
 
 
Her husband included a gift for mine, too.  Since they both fish and make their own jigs, he shared his creations.  My husband's are solid color so he was happy to see these.  Aren't they cool?
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thank you so very much Kris and Mark.  I am just so thrilled with these pieces and grateful that you both have shared your handwork with us.  Wowee!  Thank you thank you thank you.
 
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Jul 26, 2017

Halfway to frame

There are a few pieces I have stitched that I am not attached to.  Several are favorites, some are meh, some are I don't care.  Since my plan (and has been for a few years) is to streamline and change my home to sparse and efficient, I just can't visualize all these pieces on the walls.  But we'll see. 
 
What I'm debating right now is the display method.  I have older pieces framed and plan to remove the glass. 
This was back in 2012 when I removed the dust covers and opened the frames to clean the glass.  The stitches no longer looked sharp, clear, and cleaning the inside of the glass made a huge difference in them.  It's time again for a cleaning and this time I will leave the glass off.  Not sure what caused this but they certainly were dirty after 20 years. With a sealed backing of paper, maybe the heat and household air does filter through, I don't know.
 
The other more recent pieces are bottom fringed and just hanging on the wall.  I don't know if I will ever frame them.  For now, I'm thinking of a middle ground.  As the small sampler in this group is shown on a wannabe hornbook, mounting these larger samplers on a board with a shaped top may be an option.  Nicer than nothing, not as formal as a frame, much less expensive.  I do like samplers hemstitched and mounted to a background mat, not stretched over it, and that will be my choice for Lucy Redd, Sally Fiske, Eliza Pumroy and any of the big girls.  I just prefer the more aged primitive pieces to have a little texture (wrinkle) and not be perfectly smooth and neat.  I'll only be out a few bucks for trying this because who knows?  I may still prefer the simplicity of a sampler hanging on a cupboard's side or door, free and naked as a bird. 
 
  But as you know, I have a PhD in procrastination so this may take a while.
 
Have a good day!
 
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Jul 25, 2017

Ready for fringe

All done.  I finished the way I usually do, with an unknown error.  For some reason, the zig is zagging a few stitches shy of the chart.  Which means, the flower and house bottom section is off but I can't find it.  Doesn't matter at all and even if I found it there would be no need to correct it.  I will hem stitch the sides and fringe the bottom, using the narrow boning in the top hem for hanging.  But if I am in a pitty poor mood, queen of the crabs and asses, I will machine hem the sides.  I guess I will machine hem the sides.   I refuse to give up my crown.
 
I absolutely love this Polly Cole and especially the bottom area that Lori designed and added.  I'll note my color changes when I post the finish photo.
 
 
Thanks for visiting.
 
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911

Hi folks. I did not know this could happen, so thought I would mention it.  Friends that lived here in PA moved to South Carolina two years ago.  Their cell phone numbers including PA area code did not change, and will not change with the move to another state of a different area code.  During an emergency, 911 was called for an ambulance, and ..... it went to their old address in PA.   The PA dispatch had no idea they moved and called them back, saying they were at the location but the patient wasn't.  So a neighbor (at the new home) offered their cell phone which brought the needed help to the correct address, after 45 minutes.  I'm sure this is an isolated instance because the cell tower that received the call should have pinged their location, and the dispatcher should have verified the address. Neither happened.  They believe the call went directly to the PA 911 because they said "we have your address and are sending help immediately".  How could this happen?  To be safe, check with your cell phone carrier if your phone has another state's area code.  Always have them verify the correct address if you call 911.  And if they fluff you off saying it could never happen, it did in South Carolina.  
 
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Jul 23, 2017

Give us this day...

our daily bread.  I switched to low carbs and high protein instead of following Weight Watchers and have lost pounds. 
 
Still eating fruits, veggies, and lots of cottage cheese, eggs, meats, even bacon PLUS my three daily Dove dark chocolates.  I found a bread that I think is fabulous when watching carbs and calories.  It's very soft and tastes great.  I do not like many of the whole wheat varieties that seem to disguise anything between the bread with overpowering bitterness.  Two slices are 18 carbs less the 5 gr fiber for a net 13, plus 6 gr of protein! 



My favorite treat this past week has been whipped cream cheese and a little jelly over a slice.  Yummo.  I also stick slices in a low oven to dry for croutons.
This is whole grain and includes whole wheat, bulgur, rye, oats, barley, corn, millet. The two breads I used to make every week were oatmeal honey (L.O.V.E.) and my own dark whole wheat covered with seeds, not bitter at all.
 
You know you've reached senior status when you purchase more ready made foods that were previously home made foods.
 
 
The brat pack finally came in and all were de-flea'd, only one drew my blood.  But as usual, most of it is on their hair.  Missy is more fuzz than hair and even parting it, her skin is not visible.  They are recuperating.
 
Possible storms again this afternoon.
 
Working on Polly's big house, changed a color, hope to finish soon.
 
Thanks for visiting.
 
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Jul 22, 2017

Scaredy cats

Good grief it's sprinkling.  We need to take cover!
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Holy cow was that thunder?   Move over Nit!  Can we both fit in this box?  There is no way we are going in that house no matter how often she calls us.  We can sense those flea med vials a mile away. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Quote of the day -
You've reached senior status when shaving your lip takes priority over shaving your legs.
 
Hope your day is great.
 
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Jul 21, 2017

Coloring

You would think with a motif this simple, colored to make the placement so much easier, there would be few errors if any.  You would be oh so wrong. 
 
 
But I still love this.  The 3864 is a pink that isn't and perfect.  The house may be changed to a very light blue or gray.  I'm sorry I didn't dye the fabric a little darker and use the lighter threads as called for, but this is nice also.   Just a few needed changed because they were not visible on this color linen.
 
I saw two linens that melted my chocolate, both from Patti.  One is her finish on Murky from PTP and the other color is unknown to me but shown on her post, a Nash kit from County Sampler that I cannot get out of my head.  I may not want to stitch, but the desire for luscious linen is not fading.
 
Have a great weekend.
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Jul 19, 2017

Page 4


...done, as you can see in the craptastic photo.  After two more short lines, on to the motifs and house, pages 5 and 6.  I'm very surprised that I'm this close to completion because the slump is still hanging heavy. 
 
This sampler was too appealing to not stitch even though much larger than the small projects I've kept to.  Am I ready for one of the larger reproductions with more detail?  Hell no.
 
 About the kidney thing - iced tea will not bother you and yes green tea has health benefits.  But anything in excess can have unintended consequences.  On hot days throughout the summer, I sometimes consumed a half gallon, the only liquid I would drink, which is another bad habit of forgoing water.  Black tea is worse than green, but more than 5-6 cups a day of either can affect the kidneys.  A cup of tea is less than half the amount of an iced tumbler, so my consumption was pretty high.  This doesn't mean everyone will have the same reaction but I do not have HBP, family history, or diabetes which are main factors of kidney disease, so this was the doctor's assessment of cause.  I've researched this online also and read about oxalate and polyphenols (in teas) being detrimental to kidneys in excess.
 
Don't be concerned about your tea!  If you drink it excessively, just cut back. I have for the last six months and I will get test results Friday.  Fingers crossed.
 
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Jul 17, 2017

A cute chick, Polly too

The birds were back this morning and I wanted to show you the little ones.   You can see how tiny they are compared to the larger brood.   I am so nervous about Nitzy because he would definitely go after either one.  The young were lounging on the cool dirt with their wings spread and mommas were roaming.  NO!!!  Nit could grab one in a split second if momma is not there to scare him off.
See the little blur in front of the juveniles, right front?
 
 
 
 
Little guy left front.
 
 
 
This is Polly with three pages completed, not much stitching on page four to complete the right side.
 
Did all of Carole's shopping again this morning and I have been flashing for two days.  Continual.  Going for testing this week because of kidney disease.  I kept reading the benefits of green tea and my drink of choice for many years has been iced green tea.  Who knew that drinking a lot of it could cause kidney disease, stones, failure.  Black tea also.  A glass or two a day certainly won't hurt you, but this was my only beverage throughout the year.  No soda, no "pop".  I have no other conditions that would cause these numbers and this is what she attributed it to, after my own research, yep it is.
 
Have a good day!

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Jul 16, 2017

Power flower

Hey all.  How was the weekend?  We had nice weather without rain for two days.  But I am still upset that July is half over because with the cold and then rain, it seems like summer is just starting, not half over. 
A few photos of yard stuff with those amazing Vista petunias.  The whiskey barrels are already covered and the plants have been trimmed twice.  These were transplanted single baskets, and because of the extra dirt and room for growth, they are three times the size of the others still in pots.

The white planter is the original pink Wave petunia.
 
This is also a Vista petunia in fuchsia.  It is still in a pot, no extra dirt like the barrel, but I assume it would get just as large.  Next year, this may be the color in the barrels.
 
We had visitors this morning, three hens and two different broods, both with only a few chicks. 
 
I'm making good progress on Polly, almost finished with page three.  If you remember, I offered three bags of floss with hundreds of skeins each because I had way too many.  So now, when I run out, I have no backup inventory.  That's OK. 
 
 
 
When I went into the room to check my floss box, I see my sampler sack down, feathers removed, cupboard door open, and dried parsnips that hung on the knob on the floor.  Missy was here.  What a brat.  Missy Mischief, or Punky Monkey as we sometimes call her.
 
This afternoon we attended a family graduation party and good thing we did.  I was planning a surprise birthday party for husband, his 70th, and was told by my cousin that he is indeed, not turning 70.  He will be 69.  Whew.  That would have been embarrassing.
 
 
 
I should be starting on page four this evening.  I don't believe I have any errands to run for Carole, that will be tomorrow.  She will be having the surgery within weeks if the cardiologist agrees to sign off.  He is debating and thinks her heart may be too weak for anesthesia, but another doc feels the risk is minimal.  Answers will come this week.
 
Have a great start to your week.
 
Thanks for visiting.
 
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Jul 14, 2017

A diagnosis

that took three days and a full night in ER, something that should have been obvious from the symptoms, maybe one of the first things you look for, a condition that affects many people and is common .... but only after an echocardiogram, nuclear stress test, CT scan with dye, several ultrasounds of the lungs and legs for clots, an endoscopy, a few other tests with machines that are unknown to her, and a thwarted heart catheterization, it's her gall bladder.   I assumed they checked this and ruled it out but no, that test was after all the others.
 
Then she was having trouble breathing and called the nurse (a very good nurse as they all were) and after some research discovered that something in her IV was the cause.  Maybe mixed with the nuclear and dye injections, I don't know.  She was told in the lab that two of her meds cannot be taken for several days because of them.  It was handled and she is fine now.  She's decided to treat first before committing to surgery.  Since she has had such critical results to routine procedures, she is scared to death for even laparoscopic surgery.  We will wait and see after she is released this weekend with medication.  Her first episode with the gall bladder, and we hope the last, but time will tell.  If the surgery is absolutely necessary, she will consent and hope for the best.  General anesthesia could be life threatening with her weakened heart, she was told.
 
At least we have an answer!
Thanks for all your concern and best wishes.  You guys are the best.
 
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Slow Polly progress

Hiya folks.  When do you do the majority of stitching?  Early morning?  Evening?  The only time I stitch during the day is when I am outside, late evening is best for me.  I guess because that is the time we sit and watch a movie or TV, no chores are done.  During the day I fidget and get up and down and can't focus, thinking I should be more productive and not sitting.  Between the ER evening, phone calls, and washing/rehanging all her curtains, I haven't had time to work on Polly.
 
I love the section of initials at a 90 degree turn.

Today I had an eye appointment for sharply declining vision (within a year) and am dilated, but should be OK by this evening.  I am very sensitive to any drug.  When the dentist tells me the numbness should be gone in two hours, it lasts closer to eight.  Dilation should be two to three hours, it's already been three and no change.  The strange result of today's visit, is improvement.  ????  I wear one contact lens for distance, the other eye bare for close up and have for many years.  The eye wearing the contact has gone from -2.25 DOWN to -1.25.  That's a huge difference and I have never heard of such a drastic change (improvement) in a short time, in a older person.  Or young for that matter.  He did all the testing and checked inside, said all is well.  I am very anxious for the pupils to return to normal so I can tell if the new Rx lens works.  Hopefully I will be able to tell if the worker in bright orange is holding a SLOW or STOP sign. Really strange isn't it?  The bare eye stayed the same. 
 
As for Carole, her scope revealed nothing new, same hiatal hernia as always.  They then sent her for a CT scan, early this morning.  She still has pain and has not been given her BP meds, heart pill, Lasix, nothing since she was admitted and this is day three.  Developing edema in her legs people!  She takes Lasix twice a day because of CHF so what the hell are you doing?  I can understand another test may be necessary so no food but for days without either?  The lady in her room is there because of another hospital giving her the wrong meds.  Same with the woman in the next room, doctor error.  Hospitalists are the thing now, but with most older patients, their personal doc knows their condition and should be making the decisions.  Carole's physician still makes daily rounds for his patients as do a few others, but most rely on the hospitalist.   He consults with her every morning even though she is under the orders of other specialists.  His opinion matters to her. 
 
I think the rain will stay away for the weekend and it is pretty hot and muggy.  Still can't believe it's the middle of July.
 
Have a great day and thanks for visiting.
 
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Jul 13, 2017

Thanks!

Your thoughts and prayers are much appreciated.  The problem is not stemming from her heart.  Whew.  We had to argue with the doctors that her slightly elevated enzymes, were not reason for catheterization.  They even mentioned open heart surgery!  I checked several medical sites and there are a number of benign issues that can cause this, it can be temporary, and many times a reason is not found.  She agreed to a stress test and echo first, both showed no change from priors.  If they had their way, a heart cath would have been done first, and totally unnecessary.  She will be having the endoscopy soon.
 
Nitzy, stump sitting.  The overturned copper kettle is a safe house for chased chipmunks.  I have several around the yard, the least I can do after homing feral killers.  The toads have their pot houses but rarely have the sense to hide in them. 
 
The logs and limbs in Carole's yard are because the loggers do not clean up, they are not a tree service.  They want the trunk only and leave the limbs.  Passing by wooded areas reveals a mess just like the one behind her house. Her yard trees were white oak, poker straight, and huge for which the logger will get a very fine price, in exchange for cutting.   I begged her to hire someone for cleanup but she thinks her grandson will cut and take it all for his woodburner.  No he won't.  Monthly income is not even enough to pay bills let alone removal expense but we offered to chip in.  If the mess is still there in four weeks, I am calling a few people myself and she can get mad if she wants. Years ago, a logger stopped at her house and gave her a price for some of her trees (cherry and hickory) and she was thrilled.  He cut, stacked, and sneaked back at 3:00 in the morning with the rig and took them all.  She couldn't hear them at the bottom of the hill but the neighbor did, knew she was selling the trees so didn't question it.  She received nothing and no one could locate him behind several fake businesses, including BBB and the police.  The 13 cherry and 8 hickory trees were worth a great deal of money.
 
Garden was drowned again and now the tomatoes have a blight from the damp and humid days (weeks!).  But the Roma beans we were given, an Italian green bean that is wide and flat, popped and are growing nicely. 
I can't believe July is half over.  Where is summer going??
 
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Jul 12, 2017

Here we go again.

In the ER until 3am with Carole.  Chest pains and rising enzymes, not sure what is happening yet.  They will do endoscopy and also a heart catheterization which she is terrified of after all the other heart procedures that ended life threatening.  Blockage?  The TAVR valve?  As more enzymes show up, they are getting concerned. 
 
I had to be at her house early this morning to let in the lady I hired to give her house a good cleaning.  She was doing walls while I worked in the kitchen.  While I was there I decided to use my $7 a month phone to show you the luge track driveway I refer to in winter.
 
Starting to go down... 
 
 
 
 
half way down....
 
 
veering sharp right at the bottom where cars come flying around this bend.
 
Going up!

You can see how steep the hill is ..
 
They logged the property behind her house and left this mess for her to look at.



In exchange for the wood's value, they also removed a few of her dangerously leaning trees.  What a fricking mess.  Some of the trunk pieces are 2 feet wide, too large to cut and too heavy to move.
 
 
 
 
 
We won't know anything about her condition until tomorrow.  Hopefully it is something that can be fixed without a bodily invasion.
 
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Jul 10, 2017

Dark and damp once again

More rain today - see the drops on the tub?  Just started when I went outside to check geraniums.  And it's chilly.  Very cool air last night and I needed a cover to sit outside. 
 

 We've been pressure washing the driveway which takes a few days and Mark is out there now adding new strings of obscenities to the standard phrases.  Seems there is a problem with the washer so I will stay in here.  I don't understand why men get so upset when we tell them what the problem could be and ask forty questions all starting with "did you...".  They are so sensitive.
 
 Now the sun is out.  Whoops.  There it went. 
 Still working on Polly and completed the first two pages of the chart.  Enjoying it! 
Have a nice week.
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Jul 9, 2017

It ain't over...

until the crabass says so.  So.  Now it's over.
 
  
These dogs bothered me from the beginning but unlike every other aspect of a design, I never thought to change them.  Had not a clue how or what to modify.  Then I saw Patti Gagliardi's finish on her post and knew what to do.  Thank you Patti!  Patti has two dachshunds and likes to include them in her stitching which is what I assume, led to the change. 
 
 
I added a few more stitches to the head, shown on the right, original on the left.  Not the first time I added stitches to a completed and sewn finish.  It's not hard to do, even with the fusible interfacing.  And if it was, the dogs were barking loud enough for me to attempt it anyway.  One is still barking because he's a little short in the tail.  Sorry pal, that I can't fix.
 
Done. Again.

 
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Jul 8, 2017

Green and galvanized

Even in the shade, I just love the pop of sweet potato vines,

 
and galvanized metal.

 
Hope your weekend is splendid.
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Jul 5, 2017

It's a good thing

I didn't attempt a pouch.  SO much trouble with this small piece and there was no good reason for it.  Easy to sew following the straight border, but between the machine, the iron, the interfacing, the glue, the Frixion, the fill - there was a conspiracy to aggravate.  And they succeeded.  Every fricking one of them.
 
 
 
 
So all I did was use the same leather cording for each and slipped the little heart over.  This way, I can remove the heart to hang elsewhere when I choose, and as always, straps are not in seam but sewn to the back, easily removed also.  If I didn't like this design so much the flames would have been scorching my hair as I croaked out a song.

Although fabulous as charted, I'm glad I removed the row of hearts at the top.


But it's over now and I deserve a treat.  My melt-a-ways are gone.  I guess I'll settle for a Dove with a tall one.  Iced tea of course. 
Sweet as can be.
 
Have a good day folks!
Thanks for visiting.
 
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Jul 2, 2017

Borderline finish

... except for the border.  I don't think I will roll it as instructed (big surprise) because I want to see the entire design.  Not sure my patience can handle it, but a lined pocket the size of the piece with the velvet heart inside, maybe hanging on the side, is the plan. 
 
I moved the dogs one row up and one row closer to the chimney. 
 
Have a safe 4th of July everyone. 
 
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