Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ta Da!

ALL RIGHT! I did it! Finished the table topper I've been slaving away at for the past two weeks now tonight. And to prove it to you, here are some pictures of this cloth as well as the one I finished just before starting the floral one.

The fabric for the floral cloth is a homespun type and it came with the lace edging already attached to it. All I had to do was follow the stamped pattern on it and "color" the lines with gobs and gobs of embroidery floss in tons and tons of satin stitching!

The fabric for the red tablecloth is just a light-weight cotton and it is done in cross stitch with all white thread so it was actually quite easy to do up. Didn't have bunches of color changes nor pattern instructions to be studied to try to follow where each color was meant to be place then ya know!

Although I still have one other table-topper, similar to the floral one shown above, as well as three full-sized tablecloths waiting for me to start working on -and I will be doing that most likely this week sometime -I got a sale flyer the other day from Herrschnerrs which had two 52x52 Christmas design tablecloths on sale at a very reasonable price, as well as at least 2 different design table-toppers, on the order of the floral one above and also at an extremely good sale price so I think I am going to treat myself to purchasing those items this week now too. Can never have too many projects laying around, waiting for the right time to go on a tear and embroiderying them! There's always next Christmas just around the bend and I'd like to be prepared, as much as possible, anyway!

I would say that I wish you could see my kitchen right now but in truth, I really wouldn't want you to see it because right now, it looks worse than it's usual cluttered self. The reason being my son-in-law has been busy making jerky. He always saves out some of the meat when he gets a deer (or has one given to him) to make venison jerky but this batch is bear jerky. No, Bill didn't get a bear -doesn't even get a license for that season. However, the father of one of his friends did go bear hunting and got lucky. So, he gave Bill a big batch of bear meat. Bill butchered it up last night and made the jerky tonight but we only ended up with maybe about 2 pound of ground bear meat because Bill said the meat was so fatty and apparently has a sort of oily type texture to it that he had a hard time trimming it to get anything really usable for us. So, sometime in the future I guess I will be trying out cooking ground bear meat now. Should be interesting -I hope! I've never eaten bear meat as I never knew anyone before who had bagged one.

Here's Bill last night as he was getting ready to cut up the bear meat .

Today, I swear Maya was either stir-crazy or just plain possessed by the devil! Man, was she contrary and loud too -very. very. loud! She was frequently very rude -flat out arguing and going into meltdown phase, over and over, with both Mandy and me over everything and anything you could think of! Shortly after supper, she had an accident -wet pants -which did nothing to endear herself to me or to Mandy but anyway, Mandy took the wet clothes off her and put a pair of dry undies on her along with her shirt and she threw a hissy fit because Mandy wouldn't go get her a dry pair of jeans to wear -or not the jeans she wanted or some such inane argument at any rate. So she sat on the sofa and alternated between fake crying and the god-aweful ear-piercing shrieks and screams while Mandy and I totally ignored her pathetic requests. She was whining about her legs being cold so I told her to get up on the sofa and pull a cover up over her legs and she'd be warm as toast in nothing flat but she wanted no part of that. Then, with her noise, Kurtis decides he doesn't like that so he joins in the chorus! After being bombarded with all that racket from the two of them, it is a minor miracle I have any hearing at all left now!

But finally, she did quiet down and got herself ready for bed -pjs, etc., and in addition, she insisted on putting on these "water-wings" thing that she found down in the basement tonight while playing around there with her dad. I have no idea where these came from or when they landed in this house for that matter, but she was hell-bent on wearing them at any rate.

Now, just look at that sweet, innocent looking little face there! Hard to believe she can be as mouthy as she is at times and as disobedient as all get out too all too frequently! She looks so pretty and downright angelic here, doesn't she? But don't let appearances deceive you!

That's ok -she's still Gram's little sweetheart, my Princess Maya even when she's being miserable and misbehaving -like tonight!

By the looks of the comments I got from my post last night -where I was grumping and growling about some of the not-so-nicer moments in my prior employment as a truckstop waitress -I gather that most folks reading that were a bit surprised about the ice cream orders being hated or dreaded by the waitresses. Let me explain why that is.

First off, nine times out of ten, Murphy and his law reign supreme and people will order those desserts generally when you are really, really jammed up, busy! Either that, or after you make one and take it out to the customer, they tend to instill a "monkey see, monkey do" atmosphere among the other customers so you run the risk then of at least one, if not several, others ordering a sundae or banana split.

What makes them so hated is that the waitress has to make them -no staff is there to prepare things like that for the waitress and they are time-consuming. First you have to locate the bananas -not always easy if someone has put them a bit out-of-the way. Then you peel it, slice it and the hard part generally is next as you have to dig into the freezer and scoop out three scoops of ice cream -vanilla, chocolate and strawberry -and if you are busy when you start making these, you can guarantee the ice cream will be absolutely rock solid and take forever for you to dig and dig till you get a scoop of each flavor plunked onto that sliced banana. Then you have to dig out the toppings, ladle it gently over the ice cream, spray it with whipped topping, put a cherry on top of each blob of whipped topping and sprinkle nuts over that and presto magic, it is done. Yeah, the banana split is done, but before you take it out, you also have to clean up any spillage you may have around your work space too -thus taking up a few more minutes of time you really don't have to spare.

It can take between five and ten minutes -depending on the circumstances -to make a banana split or a sundae (heaven forbid a customer wants a hot fudge sundae which means then you have to heat the packet of hot fudge, which inevitably will burst in the microwave, thus making another mess to be cleaned up too then) and get it out to the customer. All the while you are doing this, you have customers growling and grumbling because you, the waitress are no where to be seen and not available to top off their coffee or soda, get them more rolls and butter, nor are you available then either to bring out your hot food orders which are coming up, ready for delivery. The cook is screaming your name to pick up your orders, you may have tables vacated and in need of being cleared off, people set up, waiting for you to take their order -and all of this is going on simultaneously. (Oh, and the ice cream freezer area is ALWAYS well away from where everything else you are supposed to be delivering, waiting, on, cleaning up or setting up is located too!)

And the other thing I forgot to mention in my post last night about the deer hunters is that the ones who come in from the woods for supper -well, very often they stink! And, I do mean STINK too! I think they spray deer pee on their hunting clothes or somethng like that to try to attract the deer out into the open and also, maybe some of the smell maybe from field dressing a deer -if someone in their group managed to get a kill in that day! There was this one group of hunters that came in the truckstop where I worked for every hunting season imaginable but deer season was the one where they were the worst for the smell. There was one guy in particular in this group who you could smell as soon as he came through the door and entered the dining room area. I kid you not! And his odor was just as bad in the morning when he came in with his buddies for breakfast and to get his thermos filled as it was when they returned that evening for supper. I think maybe he must never have washed his hunting clothes from one season, one year, to the next! Often, after that group would leave, we would get out the spray and try to fumigate the chairs and table where they had been seated to try to get the stink toned down a bit!

But, all of that aside, though I said I hated deer season and the hunters from the waitress perspective -there were lots of other things I disliked about the job too but overall, I have to say most of the time I really liked the job. Mainly for some of the great friends I made -truckers I came to know like they were my next-door neighbors; friends to talk to about things that were going on around the region as well as around the world. You -or at least I did -got to know so many of the drivers, their likes, dislikes, their families, kids, problems at home, on the job, whatever. And the best thing about work at that place with the truckers especially were the jokes -the ones that they came in and told us, the practical jokes they schemed to pull on us -the waitresses -and also, the ones we concocted to get even with the drivers in many cases too!

Trust me when I tell you this that the good days, the fun we frequently had working there, outweighed the bad times ten to one, at least!

And, I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything other than maybe that some of the customers would have been better had they believed in tipping more! The wages in most establishments like that do suck swamp water, for sure. And, because both my daughters and I have waitressed a good bit and my son, growing up with a mother who was a waitress and sisters who depended on those tips too, we all tend to tip a bit on the high side when we go out simply because we know, remember, understand so many of the background things that go into the job. It is very physical work the majority of the time with a whole lot of leg work involved so when you leave after an eight hour shift -especially if it has been a big day, you are dead-assed tired by the time you get home and kick those shoes off to relax.

Someday, I'll have to dredge my memory for some of the stories I can tell about some of the drivers and the pranks we used to pull on each other. But be prepared too because a lot of the things that went on were a bit on the "off-color" side perhaps to some folks' sensitivities. I'll warn you in advance if that comes to pass.

And now, I think it is time for me to go to bed. I see the ltitle boy has finally decided now to go back to sleep -after having awakened around 1:30 a.m., fussing, and wanting milk and to play a while. Hopefully, this time around he'll be down for the count now till about 9:30 in the morning when he and Maya will start the whole process all over again. She is on "vacation" tomorrow (or rather today now) because of the holiday -Thanksgiving and Deer Season here gets two extra days off from schools.


Linda said...

First off, let me just say that I will definitely think more than twice before I order an ice cream dessert at a restaurant again! :-)

Second, looking at the table toppers you just finished reminded me of back when I embroidered a couple of tablecloths as presents for others long, long ago. I always felt like I had really accomplished something when I would finish one of those projects!

A few years ago I took to doing counted crossstitch and made a few nice things but I'm afraid that now I'd probably spend way too much time squinting at things and messing up the count totally as those aren't done with a stamped pattern.

I tell ya, getting old and having one's eyesight start to go bad is just not a good thing!

Anonymous said...

Deer jerky? Man you're driving me out of my mind! I grew up eating deer jerky and deer cracklins. My family wasted none of the animal if they could.

The embroidery is so pretty Jeni. My mother and sister used to crosstitch but never taught me because I'm left handed and hated it so they didn't press me to learn.

Anyway, I have a sweet-faced niece too and I know that behind that face is a mouth that too easily talks back. But we love those kids don't we?

Debo Blue

Theresa said...

Love the table toppers- great work. When my my was visiting for Turkey day I had her fixing my quilts and having to requilt the whole back of one. So I can appreciate great stiching like you did!

Ick, those deer hunters must of smelled!

Yes I agree those pictures of Maya makes her look so adorable that there was no way she was behaving the way you blogged!

SnoopMurph said...

Your needlework is beautiful and I must say that I think the red reindeer one is my personal favorite-perfect for the holidays!

I think Maya and Connor would probably get along very well....there is a lot of mischief behind the cute exterior! :)

mlh said...

Oh, Maya just looks too cute in those water wings!