I love the appearance of counted cross stitch items when they are all done -except when I have done them. My friends, the sisters Kate and Shirley -two of my long-time friends and neighbors -are both very good at counted cross stitch.
Shirley has been after me for probably about 30 years now to get me interested in doing counted cross stitch. When she first discovered it and told me to give it a try, she had suggested I start with something small - like a little Christmas ornament type thing. So, I found some cute little ornament thingys and one day during the summer, the kids were small and wanted to go swimming, so I piled 'em in the car and headed out to Black Moshannon State Park. I figured I could sit on the blanket on the beach, play with the embroidery and still keep an eye on the kids, keeping them close to where I was sitting and all that kind of stuff.
Well, I got totally confused with the instructions -how to start the project, then following the graph and ended up getting really ticked off over the whole deal. I came home, called Shirley and told her she was surely putting me on with all her raving about how much fun it was to do counted cross stitch stuff. I tossed those little ornament thingys into my box of "unfinished now, probably will never be touched again by my fingers" box and forgot about counted cross stitch for many years.
Oh, I have delved into that realm on a couple of occasions since then but not very often and then, only small items. I did complete a little picture maybe about 20 years back and about 10 years or so I found this kit on sale at a really great price to make 10 or 12 (memory escapes me there) of the blasted Christmas ornaments -again. These were really cute and the aida cloth was sort of like a homespun fabric, a beigeish-greyish shade and the designs were really cute, very old-fashioned. I got as far as opening the package, looking at the instructions and promptly put it back into my "stash" pile of possible projects for sometime in the probably distant future. That package kit is still in that stash box, I might add.
About two years ago, at our church's fall bazaar, I saw a cute little kit on sale there -for a buck -which would make up into a neat little christmas picture -about a 5x7 size I think. I mulled over whether I should waste the dollar on it or not but finally, I was overcome with the theory of what a great bargain this kit was. (Keep in mind, it was brand-spanking new -never been opened!) Well, I got it and started it and yes, even finished it but not after having had many episodes where I was ready to pull my heir out, felt like I was going totally crosseyed from trying to read the graph and just plain getting frustrated and ticked off while working on the blasted thing. I swore then -"Never again!" No way was I EVER going to put myself through the challenge of reading a graph and doing another counted cross stitch item!
Well, that is until I placed an order to my favorite online craft shop -Herrschnerrs -about a month or so ago and I had found this kit online to make a cute little trivet with a counted cross stitch piece of a little multi-colored teapot and flowers. No, it wasn't near as inexpensive as was the Christmas picture I did about two years ago but it was still on sale at a very good price. I'm a sucker for the "really good sale priced" items, ya know. I started work on this trivet thing -which is maybe 4x5 inches overall, last week. So far, I am roughly half-way through the damned thing. Yes, you see it is bringing out the cuss words of my vocabulary now, don't you? That's because those damned lines and marks on the chart are all starting to blend together. That's because when I am stitching, the floss colors are also blending together and I'm having issues seeing where my stitches are -which color is which ya know -to compare to the chart and find where to start with this or that color to continue!
Last night, things were going fairly smoothly for me so I had kept working on the thing till I really was way to tired to continue on and I put it up, went to bed.
Tonight, when I picked it up again and tried to get re-started where I left off, I couldn't make heads or tails of some of the lines, the floss colors and stitches, discovered some wild errors in colors I'd used -why and how, I can not figure out because that part of the design where those mistakes are is pretty straight-forward, easy counting really. But there they are anyway -these glaring mistakes staring at me and causing me to say a lot more words than just "damn!" I think I may have referred to my self as "you dumb m-f-er a under my breath on a couple occasions tonight, that's how pissed off I was with this stinking thing!
But, I will persevere and keep plugging away at it. I will not toss this into the "do not ever touch again" project box! That's what I am telling myself tonight anyway. But when I do finish it, you can bet your bottom dollar I'm going to accuse Shirley all over again for leading me down the garden pathway where counted cross stitch is concerned.
All this now after just last night I placed another order to Herrschnerrs and what did I include in this order this time but two more small pictures to be done in, yes -you guessed it -counted cross stitch. Yes, I am truly a glutton for self punishment and abuse, aren't I?
But anyway -on to other things.
Today was the day for three of my good friends from high school and I to get together for our monthly luncheon excursion. Normally, our lunches are usually over with by 2 p.m. but today -we all must have had tons and tons of stuff on our minds because by the time we left the restaurant, it was about 3:15! Yeah, we were really on a roll today -yakking up a storm, for sure!
Next month, we are meeting on the last Friday of the month and will also be going to gather in PHilipsburg at the building that was for many years a hotel, on somewhat of a grand scale too in its heydey -the Hotel Philips. Two ladies from the Philipsburg area are in the process of trying to renovate the old hotel and in the process, they have set up a very nice, rather upscale restaurant there now that just opened for business about 4-6 weeks back or so.
We talked about going to this place sometime this spring at our last gathering and had planned on doing that in April or May -well after the snow will be melted so parking and walking on the sidewalks in town won't be quite as difficult as it is in some places there right now.
However, about a week or two after our last lunch, I got an e-mail from another girl from our class with whom I was very good friends back in high school and who I have kept in fairly good contact with her over the years as well. I was maid of honor at her wedding, stayed with her and her husband for about a week when I first went down to D.C. to work in 1964, till I found some other girls who were looking for another roommate and who lived about a mile down the road from where my friend, Cheryl and her husband, Mitch, lived.
Cheryl did live in Louisiana (Slidell) until Hurricane Katrina came through and pretty much made mincemeat out of the home she and Mitch had there. Since then, they have been living in the condo they have in Destin, FLorida. Cheryl -like me -is also now a cancer survivor too -having had cancer back in 1990 or 91 -somewhere along that time -Ovarian, I believe and then, last summer, she was diagnosed with cancer again -this time, colo-rectal. So she had written to tell me she was now finished with the chemo treatments and is able to "reclaim" her life once more. In her note, she had given me the itinerary she and Mitch have lined up -places they intend to visit over the next several months and one of the things she mentioned was that sometime this spring, she will be coming back home to accompany her Mom back to her home in the village of Karthaus which is about 12-15 miles from where I live.
So I wrote back to her, asking when she plans to bring her Mom home for the summer and if it might coincide with our end-of the month lunch, we could revamp our meeting date a bit to accomodate her.
Well, she wrote back saying that she and her Mom will be arriving back here on March 26th -which is the date when our little group would normally be meeting but if we could change it to the next day -Friday, March 27th -she would definitely be able to make lunch that day with us and also, would bring her Mom with her then too as her Mom already has a doctor's appointment for a check-up on the 27th in Philipsburg.
So we did that -changed our meeting date for next month and we will then also be dining then at the new restaurant in the old Hotel Philips -the "1921 Restaurant." I had sent the girls the website for the place and printed off the menu to give to Linda because I have the wrong e-mail address for her so when I e-mailed the info out, it didn't go through to her. We're trying to contact other girls from our class to see if any of them can make it to the Philips that date too and join us for a mini-girls-reunion of the class of 1962! So far, Cheryl's cousin Sharon has said she will be there, probably Carol -who wasn't with us today -will also be able to come and yet another girl -Bernie -who now lives down in Carlisle, PA has said she will come up for the day too! (Carlise is about a 2 hour drive from Philipsburg.) And, Bernie also invited her sister, Anne -who graduated from the same school as we did but in 1958 -and who now lives in Cleveland, to come with her too! I'm really excited about this coming event now -can you tell?
Now, to other things I wanted to tell you about too!
Last night, Mandy was having a bit of a difficult time with Maya. She had reprimanded her for something, telling her to get moving and to do it "Right Now!" Maya was doing her normal routine of the stare-down and shaking her head "no" to Mandy which was not a move that made her all that endearing to her mother. (We both tend to get really ticked off, very tight-jawed ya know, with Maya when she responds like that to us. So anyway, Mandy kept telling her to do whatever it was and to do it NOW with her voice rising, getting louder and louder each time she repeated herself. Finally, she stomped from the kitchen through the dining room and standing there, face to face with Miss Maya, she was shaking her hand, finger pointing almost in Maya's nose, and telling her quite vehemently to "Do this NOW and I mean RIGHT NOW!"
And as she was yelling this at Maya, here comes Kurtis to stand beside Mandy and he too then points his little finger at Maya, shaking it and he hollers at her his version of saying "right now" but because he tends to not pronounce the first letter of many of his "words" it came out "Ight Ow!" But he was really lecturing Maya and yelling that, shaking/pointing that little finger at her to let her know that he too, along with their Mother, meant business!
Yesterday, blogger buddy Toni of Ramblings of an Unstable Mind gave my dear little cat, Chino, an award. Here it is:
The Honest Scrap AwardTo be honest now, I am not really sure how this award gets its name but I am supposed to pass it on to other furry friends along the blogosphere who need a little bit of recognition right now for services rendered in loving their people.
(Or for little tricks they may have pulled on their people recently too -whatever!)
So, with that in mind, I'd like to pass this on then to the following:
Pyewacket -the lovely and very independent-minded cat who lives with Sandi McBride over at Holding Patterns for his recent actions in a vet visit.
Dakota -the sweet and adorable puppy who is giving Mary at Mary's Writing Nook a good run for her money as Mary is trying to train her.
Hannah Rose -the also adorable puppy that Barb over at Skittle's Place just acquired and who is still in the "training phase" too.
and finally to Silvio -that poor little cat who shares his home with Fermicat at Cosmic Cat and who is having some health issues of late.
Now, before I close there's just one other thing on my mind tonight. This past week, Chino cat here has been making a lot of those strange noises, whining, crying, howling at times and all this means only one thing to folks who have a female cat who has not yet been to see the vet to get "fixed." Yeah, Chino is either "in heat" or pretty darned close at any rate so we've been trying to guard her, to keep her from escaping into the outside world. Don't need no baby kitties ya know!
Well, tonight, as I was sitting here, all engrossed in my embroidery, getting a bit cross as well as crosseyed, I heard this noise -sounded like a major explosion coming from the upstairs. I called up the steps to Mandy to ask what that noise was and neither she nor Bill had heard it -they were that sound asleep apparently. But man, it sounded like half the upstairs must have been caving in or something. It's been relatively warm of late so I figured there were no icicles left on the roof to come loose and fall but what the heck could it be?
So, I went to the front door, turned on the porch light and stepped out on the stoop, looking around for anything that I thought might have created such a racket. I think I may have discovered the culprit as I noticed there were some really big branches laying in the front yard, just off the porch roof (which is over my room) and they may have broken off the maple tree, hit the porch roof on their way down and thus, pretty much shook the house then in the process.
Unfortunately, as I was doing this, don't you know that stinking little cat, Chino, made an escape and now, she's out roaming freely in the neighborhood, turning herself into a "lady of the evening" I suppose to any stray male cat that may just happen to be wandering loose around the whole damned town. And boy, am I gonna catch "high holy" too in the morning when Mandy gets up and finds out how I managed to allow Chino to go run amok!
I tried coaxing Chino back in, tried yelling at her too -"Right Now" -but she gave me pretty much the same look that Maya gave Mandy last night, don't 'cha know!
Anyone want a kitten in, oh say about 3-4 months from now?