Thursday, August 31, 2006

sbq of the week

Good question.

I know I've used questionable storing practices over the years. Once upon a time, I only had fabric for the project I was working on. Then I got a deal on yard of Belfast linen. Then I got a deal on some fiddler's cloth. Then I returned stateside and found needlework stores. And more deals. I'd buy small pieces of pretty linens for ornaments. I'd buy large pieces for what I working on and save the leftover bits. I've even had people give me fabric. Then I'd buy fabric when I didn't find anything else I needed. First, it all fit nicely in a plastic shopping bag from In Stitches in Alexandria. Then it moved into an antique trunk along with bags of fibers and my patterns. Then things moved into an antique bureau, so the fabric had its own drawer. Now my fabric is in a large Rubbermaid tote. The aida tends to stay on the bottom. The linens and evenweaves float to the top. Some of it is wrapped in acid free tissue paper (that really expensive Italian stuff.)

It's funny that I don't feel any compelling desire to organize it better. Right now I enjoy going through the entire collection to see if I can find anything I can use when I start a new project. It's almost a walk down memory lane looking at the leftover pieces of fabric that match pieces I've done. I did eventually learn to label my fabric, unless it's a really small piece. I write what it is on a piece of paper and pin it to the fabric.


They are predicting 6-10 inches of rain from this storm here in metro D.C.
Lovely. What happened to summer?

If I put on some bug spray, I could go outside and finally dig those bricks into the ground in the backyard. It's definitely cool enough for yard work as we expecting a high of 75 today. Which would also make this a good day for cooking. And I've got a desire for a chocolate cream pie.

Also bought my plywood and foam yesterday to make my headboard. And paint for the ceiling of my bedroom. And paint for the closets in the bedroom. Just continuing on with the same color used on 3 of the walls - Vanilla Steam. I didn't know that they make ceiling paint that goes on purple and dries white - so that you don't miss any spots. How clever.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

the "piece"


This one nearly killed all desire for stitching. I did not pick it out. It was a gift my MIL. Hated the colors. Did not enjoy stitching it. Finished it while living at Ft. Ord in CA so that was probably 1995.

I didn't stitch for more than a year after I finished this piece. And that's when I resolved to only stitch for me. I stopped making gifts for other people. Though now I occasionally do something, it is no longer my priority to stitch gifts. Now I stitch what I love. Posted by Picasa

major needlepoint piece


Did this in 1982-1983 for my then boyfriend's parents. They became my in-laws in '84. I still love this piece. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 28, 2006

There and Back Again

DD has officially started her second year of college. Somehow everything worked out - from the packing of the car to the purchase of the mini-fridge.

I had a horrendous drive from Worcester to Virginia yesterday. Took 10 1/2 hours. Rain and too many cars. Not a good mix.

Off to catch up on laundry. And shopping. And all the other things.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I swear

that I posted yesterday.

But I don't see anything here.

Very strange.

What's Up

Shopping. Packing. Changing oil and getting new wipers blades before return to college road trip.

Went to Shenandoah Nat'l Park on Sunday for one last family outing. My legs still hurt when I walk down the stairs.

We had watched the Feasting on Asphalt marathon on Saturday and so we searched for our own "road food" on our way home Sunday. Found a wonderful place called the Frost Cafe in downtown Culpepper. A cash only business which is usually a sign of good things. Food was terrific. I had Virginia grilled ham with potato salad and lima beans. But my choice of regular ice tea, not sweet tea, always betrays where I'm from.

It will be an early morning hit the road before 6 a.m. tomorrow. Not looking forward to driving. Even more fun will be packing the car. LOL

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Our plans for sharing the Red Sox/Yankees game today with fellow New Englanders fell through. Rats. I was looking forward to company.

But meanwhile I've got some beef short ribs marinating. And I went to the farmer's market this morning. Came home with corn, tomatoes, cukes, zucchini, green beans, artichokes, black raspberries, peaches, and honey. Good haul. I didn't even know anyone grew artichokes here in the mid-Atlantic states. Yeah! These are the little ones and if people are nice to me, maybe I'll cook them like they do at the street fairs around the central coast of CA - trimmed, quartered, battered and fried!

Plans are to leave on Wed. to bring DD back to school. Let's just hope she doesn't explode with excitement before we get to NH. Or maybe she'll implode. I'm not sure.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Cheers to the NESN Feed

Thank Bob we had the NESN feed the other night when Dennis Leary and Lenny Clark showed up in the booth. It was so funny we had to find it again on the web. NESN keeps making YouTube take it down - LOL. If anyone needs to look for this clip - try searching for Dennis Leary and Mel Gibson. I thought Jerry Remy was going to cough up a lung.

Today the evil empire comes to town for a five game stretch over the next four days. Tonight the Red Sox will either be in sole possession of first place, 3 1/2 games back, or still 1 1/2 games back. I'm rooting for the first possibility.

X-country continues to wipe out my son. As he was falling asleep in the recliner yesterday, I told him to go upstairs and nap. But no. He slept there for 3 hours while I played music, hung a pot rack in the kitchen, used the drill to hang shelves in the kitchen, vacuumed and in general banged pots and pans around making much noise.

Here's a recommendation for John Grogan's book Marley and Me. I should have known better than to be reading towards the end of this book at bedtime. Had me crying and all stuffed up so I couldn't breathe. But mostly the book is funny.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Never Got to the Wallpaper Border

Hey. It was a good thought. Just ran out of time and energy the past two days.

DS finally cut hair for the cross country season. Looks good. But he feels nekkid. All the glorious curls will grow back. Quickly.

Now a I need to create a menu as we're having some fellow New Englanders over on Saturday to watch the Red Sox/Yankees game. Last time they were here we did flank steak, rice salad, corn and black bean salsa, and sesame green beans. I punted desert that day and just had cookies and ice cream. I've been thinking about this all week and I'm still short of inspiration.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New Skill of the Day

I learned how to change the blade on a coping saw. I guess I wasn't supposed to buy one of these saws that came with 4 additional blades unless I already knew how to change the blade. 'Cause they don't give you a hint on how to do it. Google groups to the rescue. All the other websites just wanted to sell me a saw.

Off to use my saw then I think I'll try to remove the wallpaper border in the kitchen. I can't believe I've let it stay there this long. It just screams not me!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Still Suffering Back Issues

But I got my plants in the ground on Saturday anyway. And I weeded. And did some pruning. Which is when I realized that my boxwoods have powdery mildew. ?????????
Now how come under the less-than-benign neglect of the former owner, these things were fine. And for me, someone who cares, I get problems? It's not because we've been having too much rain. This is not good cosmic karma stuff.

Friday night went to see the Air Force jazz band. And in between sets I wandered into William Sonama to see what's new and to be envied. I came out with 2 cookbooks. One on ice cream and the other is the Le Creuset cookbook. Both published in 2005 - both cost me $3.99. My bargain of the week. I guess I should go put my ice cream maker in the freezer.

And on the whole topic of cooking - on Saturday while I was out front playing in the yard and listening to the Red Sox vs. O's on the radio, my DH was out back in the gazebo smoking a cigar and watching the game on the TV he dragged out there. When I got too hot, I came in and popped the game on. And that's when I realized my DH was no longer watching the Red Sox. He was outside watching Jacques Pepin's Fast Food My Way. Came in and announced that when he takes up a cooking, and that he will take up cooking, he's gonna cook like Jacques. I can hardly wait. LOL

Yesterday we went in to the city with intention of going to the Spy Museum after a quick tour around the new exhibits at the National Building Museum. We spent way more time in the building museum than we planned. Saw the Green House exhibit, and an exhibit on Frank Lloyd Wright's Price Tower. Decided we took too much time and couldn't do the Spy Museum justice, so we went off to show the kids the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It's just such an interesting piece of architecture. This byzantium dome and lots of gold decorations. And a gift shop that has glow in the dark crucifixes and Pietas. Nothing like crass commercialism and the Catholic faith. Did I mention the Bible Bars? You can google them to see for yourself.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Back at Fenway

Glad they are back in Boston. Had tremendous fun watching the Mike Lowell show last night. Unfortunately we are watching the O's feed. I am starting to wonder which team those announcers want to win. It was all love for the Red Sox. Bizarre, but I'll take it.

Sitting here not good for my back. I can feel that pain radiating down my right hip.

And the stupid award of the day goes to whoever was dumb enough to run into a big blue dumpster yesterday around 5:00 p.m. just down from our house. That van is a goner. But the dumpster looks fine. Must have been going too fast. Too many idiots with drivers licenses....

Friday, August 11, 2006


Great. I woke up at 2:30 yesterday and went downstairs to read. Fell asleep on the couch and woke up with my back protesting. It's still protesting today. Even though the weather is perfect for me to go pop those plants in the ground, I don't know if I should. Maybe I can talk someone into assisting? Oh, darling daughter...

Oh - the phone call from Samuel was a nice touch. He was telling to stop messing in the kitchen just as I was melting sugar for flan. Snakes on a Plane. My grandmother would freak.

favorite headline of the morning -

Huckabee Jams at Pig Roast

Huckabee jam. Sounds interesting. Especially if you can serve it with roast pig.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

favorite headline of the morning

Traffic Stop Yields Crack, Rubies, and Gold

I wanna write newspaper headlines. LOL

Crack, rubies, and gold, oh my!

Or is it - Crack, Rubies, and Gold - the new outfield for the Yankees?

'Kay. Enough being mean.

Managed to go to Fort Myer this week without getting rearended. That's a plus.
DD and I did some college shopping - new umbrella, poker chips, stapler, post-it notes, etc. All the college essentials. Had lunch at our favorite deli, the Celebrity Dely in Falls Church. That is the best corned beef ever! Wasn't prepared for the fact that half the shopping center had been ripped apart for renovations. And Loehman's had moved over into the side with Linens and Things which is totally missing.

I was planning on planting some irises that a neighbor gave me and a brown-eyed susan this morning, but it's been pouring for two hours. Poor DS is at cross country practice in this. I feel bad, but not that bad. Builds character. Guess I should go do housework and build character...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Bedroom Work Continues

Yesterday I went out early looking for new lamps. I think I found some that my DH is absolutely going to detest. LOL I framed a beautiful print we have called Path to the Sea - it's China Cove at Point Lobos in Carmel, CA. I wanted to hang this on the wall opposite the bed. But then I tried it over the bed on the wall that is painted blue, and wow! It is too beautiful not to hang it there. I'm sorry I will no longer get to lie and bed and stare at it.

I repainted a pair of plaster wall sconces I have that were gold toned. Now they are silver, with silver leaf highlights. Much improved. I gessoed a canvas and painted 4 wooden picture frames (these were 2 for $1 at IKEA last year.) I have a plan for the canvas. But it involves my handwriting and I am not always happy with how my handwriting looks. Still nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Now I'm waiting for DD to shower. We're still in acquisition mode for things she needs before heading back to college.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lady in the Water

Better than the Village. Not quite as good as Signs or the Sixth Sense. But highly satisfying. Great soundtrack. And I loved the set decor everytime you saw another apartment. But made me wonder what Reggie's apartment looks like. And I think the marketing was way off on this movie. They tried to make you wonder whether she was good or evil. Duh. And they didn't let you know that this movie has humor in it. Which might explain why only my family was laughing in the theater.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Mountain Bikers


Yes. I've purposely left their faces in shadow. That's my son on the left and his friend after mountain biking in two different states in one day. Posted by Picasa

painting part deux

When I opened that can of blue paint yesterday I asked myself what kind of fool was I?
That color, Office Blue, looked like baby boy blue. Yuck! But then I decided to trust my decision and started cutting in. This paint, thankfully, dried much darker. Phew. I was afraid I was going back to Lowe's. In between coats, I did go back to Lowe's. I forgot I needed a blank switchplate and I picked up a new phone jack in silver to match the rest of the room. Also bought a coping saw because I removed the vertical blinds in the kitchen but couldn't remove all the hardware from the wall. I'm just gonna cut through those screws and plaster over the holes. The bedroom looks so much better. I'm thinking a window scarf can help me camoflauge the hardware at the top of the blinds until I can afford to buy nice wooden blinds. We've got sliding windows onto the balcony in the bedroom and I'm not removing the vertical blinds unless I have a good way to block out light - as much as I abhor vertical blinds - I like sleeping in dark rooms more.

We're off to see Lady in the Water as DH took today off to recoup from his weekend drive to Conneticut.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Yesterday the children and I painted three walls of my bedroom a color called Vanilla Steam. In the subdued bedroom light last night, I wouldn't have known the walls were painted except that they look clean. It's the color of coffee with way too much milk to even be called cafe au lait. But you can see a difference against the white baseboard.

Today they kids have gone off on their mountain biking adventure and I'm left to paint the fourth wall - a blue color called prosaically Office Blue.

We even went out last night and bought blue jeans and bras for the returning to college girl. Then stopped by Lowe's and bought new floor registers and new switch plates. Plans are to finally do the headboard this week and maybe actually hang stuff on the walls. That could be interesting.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Something Told Me

To go to Ikea yesterday. Almost turned around because of traffic problems on the Beltway. But didn't. And I'm glad I didn't.

We were contemplating buying DD a small Billy bookcase for her dorm room - the $39.99 one. And decided I'd look some other places first. But then we went into the As Is room. And there were 2 of the short Billy bookcases - a 24" one like DD wanted and a 36" one. And we got them both for $9.99 a piece. $100 worth of bookcases for $20! I placed the short 36" inch on by my tall one in the living room and that really balances things out. Yeah for bargains at IKEA!

Now onto to painting. Again.

Friday, August 04, 2006

mountain biking

No. Not me.

But DS got up early, which was okay 'cause I knew hubby would wake me up anyway before he left for a family reunion in CT. So I drove DS to a mountain biking haven in Maryland. Fortunately it's a Friday in the summer and the traffic on the beltway at 7:00 a.m wasn't that heavy.

While waiting for DS, I did the sudoku. I did the crossword puzzle. I read some Russian poetry in translation. I took a walk on the bike paths. Then I got out my needlepoint. This was a fact-finding trip for DS before he takes his sister and some friends there tomorrow. Came home. Made breakfast. And while watching a Nova rerun of David Attenborough's show on bower birds, we both fell asleep. LOL

But now my brain seems frazzled again. And my original plans are out the window. oh well.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Got my Mazda back yesterday. Bumper looks brand new. And they nicely cleaned the interior. Yeah! (It's definitely too hot to be outside vacuuming a car!)

We went in and out of too many places yesterday and the change from hot to cold to hot really fried my brain. It wouldn't be so bad if the temperature differential wasn't so great.

Did pick up V for Vendetta and all 3 Kevin Costner baseball movies.
That's right, three.
You know Bull Durham.
And Field of Dreams.

Now, do you remember the last one?

Has the line "Close the mechanism."

For the Love of the Game.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

what the world has come to

At the car rental place yesterday they were out of regular sized cars. Agent asks if it's okay to upgrade me to an SUV. And spends the rest of his time apologizing profusely having to give me a Ford Explorer. I drove about 30 miles in it and I swear you can watch the gas gauge drop. LOL

My teenagers actually got up early yesterday to go mountain biking. They left at 8:00 a.m! That is amazing. Today is a day off, which is a good thing. It was already 80 at 6 a.m. But they think they want to go do this again tomorrow. I think they are nuts. And no warnings are needed about proper hydration, so don't bother.

Yesterday I finished reading "The Historian." That was good. Worth my time. Satisfying. Might be a better winter read, though. We went to the library yesterday to return books and I was going to renew this book, but the parking lot was full. It seems people do flock there to escape the heat.

I will spend the day crossing fingers that we don't have any power outages, because that would just be miserable.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

mad at myself

I started writing something last October and I password protected it in MSWord and now I can't remember the password. I thought I had it written down, but that's not working. I've tried every variation of passwords I can think of. I really, really want to retrieve this piece of writing. I am such an idiot.

But on the positive side, there is nothing like watching Big Papi hit those walk-off homers to end the game. Ortiz, you da man!

Off to shower and on the car place to get my poor little Mazda fixed.