Thursday, September 30, 2004

Speaking of Lost Arts

Does not anyone cook from scratch any more?

I attended a Tastefully Simple party last night (Tastefully Simple, Inc. - Small indulgences for busy lives!) where many women did not hesitate to spend $4.99 plus shipping and tax to purchase a beer bread mix. I admit the stuff tasted good, but not 5 bucks a loaf worth of good.

5 dollars gets me 10# worth of King Arthur flour which makes how many loaves of bread?
Just boggles the mind.

Likewise I wouldn't dream of serving my family a soup that was made by adding water and heating.
Tastes like chemicals, not like soup.

I admit that it is a step better than Mickey D's. But not by a lot.

Some of these soups take 30 minutes to fully reconstitute. I can make a from scratch soup in that amount of time.

Color me not impressed by the "gourmet" label...

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

PMSing Political RANT

Okay. I love my family. I really do.
But one more family discussion of politics may send me over the edge.
I am so burned out on the politic climate of hate and vindictiveness that I can no longer even bare to think about the November election.

Where is the rational man in all this? Where is the love? Where is the spirit of cooperation that will let unite us as a country instead of divide? I am so fucking tired of Cheney's implications that Kerry will be unable to protect us from terrorism, that we "deserve" every terrorist act aimed at us if we elect him. I'm tired of W.'s unintelligence. I'm tired of Kerry's ability to pull his act together. He's imitating a loser with a capital L. The only person I like in all this is Elizabeth Edwards. I say let's elect her.

Why are there so many "undecided" voters? It's because they're as disgusted as I am with the choices.

I'm sick of smears, insinuations, and stupid accusations about things that happened 30+ years ago.

What about what's happening now?
What about what's happening next year?
Or in the next four years?
What about a fucking plan people to get us out of Iraq?
What about health care?
What about education?
What about social security?
What about our environment?
How about some real issues?

I think most people in the so-called press are idiots who worry only about making money on sleaze and rumor. Real issues that affect real people aren't stories that sell so they ignore them and run with trumped up allegations and forged documents.

I am so tired of all this.
There must be a better way.
How about making all the elected men in gov't stay home and let the women run the joint for a while? How about someone taking the high road? Where's the honor? Where's the concept of service?

*starting to foam at the mouth now*
rant over

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Catching UP

I did say I was going to spend yesterday working on GCC tea cosy and I did. I still have some white flowers to do and then I begin the interesting process of putting it all together. It feels good to have made some definite progress on something.

On Saturday afternoon I took the kiddos to play putt-putt and visit the bookstore. Where my only purchase was a beading book. Has a couple lovely beaded choker patterns. Which would look lovely on my darling daughter.

Then just by coincidence, on Sunday we went to Playland amusement park in Rye, Ny. Playland Yes, this is where the Zoltar machine ends up in the movie, Big. We got there before the park opened at noon, and played another game of putt-putt. (I won on Sat. Lost on Sunday.) Turned out they were having a blues music fest. So in addition to riding some classic old rides, the coaster, the whip, and the wonderful derby racers, we got to hear some great music.

On the way home I suggested a stop at the Westchester Mall for DD and me. We wanted to visit Sephora Cosmetics, Fragrance, Skincare and Gifts . Much money later, I finally have my With Love perfume, some new lipsticks, and an orangy eye shadow. DD did the lipstitck/eyeshadow thing too. I'm not a girly girl, but there's something about these stores that just makes me want to squeal with delight.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Finally Found my Ornie Issue

After exhausting my usual purchasing spots for the JCS Christmas ornament issue, I finally found it at the grocery store. Now I'm guaranteed to see at the the PX, Wal-Mart, and Barnes and Noble next time I visit these places.

I see why everyone was talking about the Monsterbubble ornament. I love it.

Finally picked up my tea cosy this weekend. Need to finish the embroidery on it so I can put it together. Ah the joys of procrastination.

stitching blogger's QOTW

Would you or have you designed your own cross stitch design? If you have can we see it?

Of course I have. Samplers, perforated paper mats for pics, bread clothes, etc.
Got pics? Nope. Everything I've done has been given as gifts.


Except one mini-sampler I finished last year. I need to get going on posting pics. Will try to get to this in a week or two...

Friday, September 24, 2004

welcoming my self back to weight watchers

It's kind of funny. After joining up again yesterday, I went and found my old materials. And there in black and white and red was documentation of the fact that WW was working for me.

My last successful weigh-in was Sept. 10th, 2001 at which point I had lost 18 lbs.

After that I yo-yo'd up and down for a little while, then stopped attending meetings and following the program.

Not that I'm blaming what happened on 9/11 for my problems, but I know my perspective on things changed.

Back to reality.
If I want to have knees that work in my old age, I'd better change things now.

I know I can lose weight.
It's just - can I keep it off?

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Baubles and Beads and Buttons, Oh My

Oh Oh.

I feel a problem coming on.

I lucked into a beaded woven bracelet (that someone made for someone else but was too big) by giving a donation to my EGA. It's a lovely color.

But it seems to have made me unearth my beads and beading supplies and beading books.

It made me start a new folder for favorite beading sites on the web.

And even led me into the beading sections of my local craft stores.

Oh the humanity.

Where will it end?

Okay. I did make a beaded watch.
Took about 10 minutes. Gotta love quick results.

And yesh.
I bought more beads.
And yesh even more bead storage.

*sigh* but at least it's a happy one

crack monkies

I tried posting here twice yesterday (4 hoursapart) and both times the connection timed out.
I hate that...

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

second try - hours later

Ah. It's so frustrating when your blog doesn't publish. Makes your blood boil.

I don't even remember what I wrote about...LOL

next link

Blackwork Embroidery Archives

Great site. Lots of info. Makes me want to stitch some artichokes.

Looking Around

I swear I'm the only stitchy person on the 'net who hasn't yet found their JCS ornament issue yet. Hasn't shown up at my normal sources. But I'll be patient. Otherwise I've got to drive a hour to find one. I know it'll appear soon, but everyone's talking about what they like the best. Waaaa!

Next Link

a link to the Tristan Brooks website and the Pineapple Pleasures blackwork piece done in red - actually designed by Barbara Jackson and meant to be stitched with Pearsall's silk.
Tristan Brooks Designs Pineapple Pleasures
But hey, if you can't fudge the thread choices on blackwork, then maybe you need another hobby???

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Last Day of Summer

This info brought to you just in case you forgot!
Enjoy your last day of summer.

Disappointing Yard Sale Day

Normally I have good luck at yard sales. Kids and I walked all around the community yard sale and didn't see anything worth my buying. This would be because I had money...if I was broke, there would have been tons of stuff.

Did not see a lick of craft stuff that interested me. No books, no rubber stamps, nada. Rats. I was hoping for a bargain. *Le sigh*

Monday, September 20, 2004

Here's to the Ladies Who Lunch

Gotta love Elaine Stritch at the Emmy Awards last night. Okay, I know some people out there were shaking their heads saying who is this crazy broad. Well, educate yourself! Watch Elaine Stritch: At Liberty.

And just for kicks, I had lunch out today with the ladies lunch bunch. Great meal. I had salmon that was wonderful and a lovely little piece of chocolate tart for desert. Now if only these ladies carried on a slightly more educated conversation instead of just hair, nails, and kids...

site of the day

For those looking for a cross stitch mag database

Done by Taneya (Taneya's Weblog)and friends. Lots of work going into this project and I think the results are invaluable.

stitching bloggers question of the week

If you could design your dream needlework/cross stitch shop, what would it be like?

Large. Light. Airy. Full of a variety of things, but sorry, no yarn. Staffed by friendly and knowledgable people. Have a frame shop next door. And on the other side a wonderful little cafe with good coffee.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Remnants of Ivan gave us an extra long dose of rain.
DH decides he needs to go to Tower Records and buy new music.
(If this store ever goes belly-up, which it is threatening to do, my whole family will suffer a major depressive event.)

So it was Iggy Pop for DS
Jeff Buckley for DD
Scissor Sisters, and the soundtrack for the future of america for me
Al Green, Otis Redding, Green Day, Kenny Loggins, and Oscar Peterson for DH

That's an impressively varied haul...

And then we moved on to the nearest Fuddruckers for burgers.
I did get inside Chef Central while DH was buying cigars, but didn't find anything yelling for me to purchase.

By the time we came home, I was suffering from the onset of a cold. This morning I seem to be winning. But sleep last night was a difficult commodity to find.

New Project

Of course I'm not letting deadlines on current projects interfere with starting something new.
So it's a heather green granny square poncho for DD. I've already used two skeins of wool-ease and had to go buy more because I didn't read the instructions before buying the original yarn. Course not. Why bother?

Here's the directions:
Poncho Free Patterns

Friday, September 17, 2004

Things We Want at my House

The Star Wars DVD's.
George, what took you so long?
Can't be the extras included because there's not that much new included from what I've read...

Green Day's "American Idiot" CD

a weekend without rain!

Remnants of Ivan Arriving

Flood warnings again. This year has made me glad to be living on top of the hill.

Guess that means I should spend the day cooking.
I had originally planned on a trip to a LNS, but just don't feel like driving today.
Lasagne, French bread, maybe some oatmeal choco chip cookies?
Do some laundry
finally pick up my tea cosy again as the deadline is approaching

Oh but I did buy some yarn after finally finding a pattern for a granny square poncho
This should work up fast

Oh Wait

The pirates have a blog too

The Ship's Log O' the Festerin' Boil

Nice name, eh?

I Remembered!

Avast, ye maties!
Sept 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19

I celebrated this last year in my blog. Don't remember where I got it from originally, but I'm proud of myself for remembering!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

just trying

was trying to add to my template but can't get blogspot to publish

so this is just an expirement...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

site of the day

From the Heritage Shop - directions for the Romanian Stitch.

Couching - Romananian Stitch - Heritage Shoppe - Oconto, WI

I haven't actually tried this one myself, but it looks so much like painting with thread that I' m terribly intrigued. Will definitely experiment with this one of these days.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Burning Issues

I've got a friend with a fire burning. She's hot to organize a group of various women to discuss feminism. Especially interested in having some older women perspectives as she's a young mom herself. I'm looking forward to participating in any way I can.

But today I was taken by something on In a Minute Ago's blog.

" I started to think about how feminists represented the domestic and framed many attitudes towards 'women's work'. A generation of women were raised with the impression that if you wanted to achieve a good life you left your domestic skills behind.
Although feminism wanted to lift the level of satisfaction many women had in their lives it did demean the domestic work of women. The skill involved in creating and maintaining a home was not acknowledged enough."

I once had a 15 year old babysitter for my daughter who did not know how to cook anything. Couldn't make grilled cheese, cook a hot dog, heat soup, fry an egg, make Kraft mac n cheese, etc. (Pre-microwave era.) When I asked her mom about this, she said that she didn't want her daughter to learn any cooking skills. She said her daughter was going to college and was going to get educated, get a good job, and hire people to do the domestic stuff for her. I was appalled. Her daughter was going to starve. How could anyone not arm their child with basic cooking knowledge.

This is an example of someone who had taken the feminist thing to what to her seemed like a logical conclusion. I couldn't help but feel that there was a mental disconnect there.

Why did being "domestic," (i.e. knowing how to take care of yourself!) equate with not being feminist?

Just because you can cook, sew, and clean does not mean you don't have a brain! And if you enjoy any of these activities, good for you.

stitching bloggers QOTW

Do you stitch small projects one at a time that you can finish quickly, have numerous large projects going at once that you rotate,or both? How does your current system work for you and have you thought about changing it?

System. What system?

I stitch what I feel like stitching.

I do like alternating a large piece with smaller things, that way I get to seem something through to fruition. But if I sat down and counted, I probably have at least twenty projects going at one time. And I pick which one I feel like stitching strictly by feeling...

Is it working for me?
Well, a qualified yes.
Currently, the eyesight thing is taking pleasure out of stitching. It's not so much that my lack of system is keeping me from accomplishing projects. I don't think a strict rotation system with defined goals would help at all.

Late, but Not Forgotten

A September 11th musing.

On September 11, 2001, I was on my computer 10 miles from the Pentagon. When I signed off, my phone rang. It was my niece calling from Georgetown wanting to make sure my husband was okay. By the time I turned on the television, both Towers and the Pentagon had already been hit.

I immediately picked up the phone to call DH who is active duty Army, but worked in downtown D.C. After many tries, I finally got through on cell phone. Most D.C. offices had evacuted their personnel, but DH's building was not evacuting. They were staying to deal with this crisis. I spent lots of time trying to reach family to let them know he was okay.

Neighbors and I met in the street to try and make sense of what we were seeing and hearing. Everyone was glad to know DH hadn't been at the Pentagon that day. I walked to my daughter's high school and met her after school. They had watched the footage all day in their classrooms. Then met son's bus from the middle school, where the children were essentially kept in the dark about what was happening.

Thanks to the Pentagon renovation, we did not personally lose any friends that day. Things could have been much worse there.

My heart aches for all who lost loved ones that day.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Next Link

I have the red linen to stitch this on. I was thinking of making for my MIL whose heritage is Norwegian.

freechart The Norwegian Souvenir Sampler

Things I'm Happy About

1)I took a mental health day on Wednesday and went shopping.

Added two new OPI colors to my nail polish collection - Nice Color, Eh? and At Your Quebec and Call (which is an interesting shade of green/gold which I'm officially passing on to DD.)

Found a new denim jacket - longer than the traditional Levi's jacket and totally cool.

And lucked into a huge sale at Filene's where a mere $85 netted me 3 jackets, 2 long sleeve shirts, 1 sleeveless blouse, and a sweater. Now if only I could have found a pair of pants that I liked.

2) Patriots won last night!

3) Army football starts tomorrow! Go, Black Knights!

4) Sun is shining after the remnants of Frances tried to drown us.

5) Many more things - good health, good marriage, good children

Thursday, September 09, 2004


As this seems to be in working order this morning, on with the regularly scheduled programming...

Next link.

This is a half-doll silhouette alphabet. Very charming. But I know my teenage bowie-lovin', goth-appreciating free spirt would not go for it. So I'll pass it on. Someone may have little girls...

Half Doll Alphabet Chart Introduction -


Blogger would not let me post.
Just kept cycling through again and again. With 0%.
Trying now.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

trouble posting - test

just trying to get something to publish....

Next Link

Half Doll Alphabet Chart Introduction -

This is a charming half doll silhouette alphabet pattern freebie.


I do my DD's initials, but I don't think the love-bowie-goth's-good-free spirit that is my teenage daughter would be appreciative...LOL

Next Link

I don't even remember where I got this one from. It's a half doll silhouette alphabet freebie.

Half Doll Alphabet Chart Introduction -

Quite charming, actually. And if I had a "little" girl still, I would be doing her initials.
Some how I think the goth-wanna-be free spirit that is my teenage daughter would not appreciate this at all right now. LOL

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

New Idea

I'm currently checking links. So I think I'll start to share.
Who knows? You may find something you haven't seen yet...

I originally bookmarked this site in order to have the "how-to-finish-a-needleroll" directions. But there are other interesting things here.

Learn to Finish a Needleroll

I see no one has really updated this site in a while. But the instructional articles are a great aid.


It was an uneventful weekend, but I did get in some stitching while watching parts of the Monk marathon. What a great show!

I took off from the eagle in the middle of the exemplary and started working towards the upper right hand corner, which is where I normally start working on a piece. But now I need to get a question answered by the designer.

Anyone familiar with the Eagle Exemplary by Sheepish Designs? I already e-mailed this question and got an automatic reply back.

I need to know what color to do the rhodes stitch with. The photo of the design makes it look like a white thread was used on the inside of the stars for the rhodes stitch. But the directions don't this clear. It seems like the inside of the stars should be the same color as the cross stitched part on the outside of the stars according to the directions. Clear as mud, right?

Labor Day Redux

I guess it was no coincidence that Norma Rae was showing last night. As I watched this movie about the unionizing of a southern textile mill, I kept thinking - great, they got the union they wanted and less than 20 years later the factory closed down and moved to Mexico/China/Vietnam/etc.

I also was thinking about my grandparents, both of whom worked in textile mills in New England. My gram tells this great story about how while she was walking the picket the line, my grandfather was a scab crossing the picket line. I'm sure for my grandfather this was simply a practical consideration - one had to have money for food and shelter. The other thing this movie highlights is why my grandmother at 95 has major hearing problems. Back in the day no one knew a thing about protecting your hearing and that machinery was loud!

Monday, September 06, 2004

Labor Day

Okay. I thought the weatherpeople promised us 3 gorgeous days in a row.
Saturday was great. Sunday was wet and a lot cooler. Today, Mr. Sunshine is having a difficult time finding his way to earth, and again I'm forced to wear pants for warmth. *Heavy sigh.*

Now I know the origins of this holiday, yada, yada. (From the Dept. of Labor - " All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation.
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

Sounds noble. But how well does this fit the nation? Seems to me most American workers aren't thinking that they have something to celebrate today. (insert the ususal - it's just a reason to have or attend a party/picnic/bbq) I think most American laborers today are pissed off. Job security is disappearing. Company loyalty is shot. Pay plus benefits is dwindling. And a living wage is not guaranteed. Major corporations have moved their manufacturing to cheaper labor markets. And moved their corporate headquarters offshore to avoid paying taxes.

Anyone care to comment?

stitching bloggers' question

of the week.

How do you explain cross stitch to non-cross stitching people? Do they get it or do they say “Oh, right.. you do knitting then (or sewing, or needlepoint)"?

It isn't easy, is it?
I always say that I do needlework. Usually they either nod (like they understand, but really they don't want me to explain any further) or they say the dumb stuff like "oh you knit. My grandmother does/did that." Very seldom do I run into the random person who understands...

Frankly, the most fun discussions are the ones that happen while you are actually doing needlework in a public space. An amazing number of people seem genuinely interested in the process. But I guess they wouldn't say anything to begin with if they weren't interested.

Friday, September 03, 2004

My Neighbor and I Were Talking

She's got company arriving today. And she meant to spend all week preparing for her friends arrival.
She had her list of things to do - normal things - like cleaning the bathrooms and washing the kitchen floor. So yesterday afternoon we got to talking about how we end up adding stupid things to our to-do lists when preparing for something like this.

Like she was washing all the bedding on her daughter's bed. LOL

And we spent an hour recovering her kitchen chairs.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

I knew I was having more than 40 people over for a cook out last month - and what do I decide to do? Two days before I'm going through all my cooking mags and taking out the recipes I want. (Sounds like a small project - wasn't. Took hours to organize everything.) Did I have my shopping complete? Was my house clean? No. And no. Did I even have my menu finalized? Uh, nope.

Know I realize I'm an expert procrastinator. Is this all this is? Do I just like to sabotage myself? or can I only do my best work under pressure? Iknow I'm not the only one...

Thursday, September 02, 2004

School's Started

My high schoolers are finally back to school today. The cat ran around like a possessed animal all morning, and he's finally collapsed in the chair beside me. It's hard for a 17 lb cat to look dainty, but he's trying. LOL

So I'm off to vacuum downstairs, pack up some things that need to go to the P.O., do a mailing that should have gone out yesterday, but I was unsure of the correct info. No more ignoring things that need to get done.

I'm planning on finding time to stitch around 2:00 p.m. outside where the light is wonderful. Supposed to a lovely sunny day with a high around 76. Perfect.

I can see the quality of the light changing and I hate that autumn is coming. Summer was very screwy, lacking heat and too much rain. But my grass looks great!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Need: Motivation

What a lazy bum I am!

I've got a long list of to-dos and all I can think of don't-want-tos.

Reason to Celebrate:

Yankees biggest loss ever 22-0 against the Cleveland Indians. We actually stopped to watch the Indians score 3 runs because it was too good to miss this drubbing.

And the Red Sox won! Just 3 1/2 games back now. I love this sport.