Thursday, July 05, 2012

Of Busy-ness and Bereavements

I know, I know -you're gonna say about my title "Here we go again" -more excuses. And it's true, I do have more excuses and yes, they do revolve around pretty much the same things of late, that is for sure.

But baby, I have been busy lately!

And, I even have a couple of pictures to prove it too, for a change!

First off, I was occupied for a great deal of my oh-so-valuable time between January and mid-June working off and on trying to complete a tabletopper I started a day or two before Christmas but didn't get it completed until June 18th! No, I wasn't working all the time in my spare time on this piece -mainly because for awhile, I was occupied with trying to get semi-caught up on my book readings and a lot of the time I could have spent working on the embroidery project was caught up in some problems with that piece along the way. First off, the company that puts out this particular kit, does not give any specifics as to how much thread (or floss) one needs to purchase for it and therefore, since this piece also used a type of thread I had never used before, therefore, I had no "stash" of thread to go to and pull out what I needed, instead I had to make special trips either to State College or Dubois to get the damned thread needed. THen I underestimated how much to buy so ran out of the colors I needed and didn't have enough cash to cover gas for the jeep plus purchasing the thread (which is much more expensive than the floss I normally use for embroidery projects.) so I lost time there. Then when I did get the required thread, I had to almost force myself to work on it and complete it as I was tired of looking at it. Eventually, it was the being tired of looking at it, laying here, uncompleted, that got me motivated to finish it!

And I finished it two days before my best friend's birthday so I decided to give it to her for her birthday because I knew if I tried to find a buyer for it, I would never be able to ask what would be needed to show any kind of profit on it because of the higher prices involved in the floss. And also, I wanted it to go to someone who I knew would care for it lovingly, and who would recognize as well as remember how long it had taken me to complete it and how much bitching I had also done in at least 3-4 of those months involved with it being my only project ongoing here.

So that brings me now to the picture I have of the piece. This is not a photo of the actual item but rather is a picture of the picture that came with the piece when I started it! Why? Yes, I normally do take a photo -or several -or my craft items when I get them completed but this one, I was in such a rush trying to find gift wrap (which I never was able to locate even though only 2 days earlier I'd had a big sheet of the stuff laying on the counter top, just waiting to be put to use) and I ended up just putting it and the card for Kate in a grocery plastic bag! Not very pretty, certainly not an ingenious gift-wrap, that's for sure but it did serve the needed purpose at the time.

The only thing that I have ever embroidered -I think in my lifetime -that took me longer than this piece did to complete would have been the very first tabletopper I ever did and that was one that I worked on periodically between the ages, I think, of 12 and 14, before I got that one completed. My best friend, Kate -to whom I gave this piece, had a tabletopper she too began at the same time as I started that one when I was a pre-teen, completed hers the summer we started those pieces. I was a very slow starter and learner way back in those days!

Then, another thing that's kept me moving -or sort of -has been the need for the dog to get walked and also, the need for me to keep myself walking too. I've been derelict of those duties now and again, but some days when taking the mutt for a stroll, I've had someone accompany me too. Kurtis has often been my walking companion and having him along often provides a bit of funny business along with a little frustration now and again too because of some of his strange fears and quirks.

This house -pictured above -is along one of the streets here in town that we walk when we do a longer walk -referred to here as "walk around the block" and it amounts to almost 2 miles from start to finish. Anyway, this house has this loveseat type chair sitting out front and the owner uses it mainly during halloween to put hay bales on the seat and perch some scarecrow type hay creatures on there too. For some unknown reason of late, Kurtis is terrified of this one chair! He calls it the "Scary chair" and the only way we can get him to walk past this house is to remind him to put his hands up to his face, covering or shielding his eyes and thus, not looking directly at the bad chair!
Here he is, walking past the scary chair with his eyes covered!

Although the area where I live is very near the woods and the woods here used to be really loaded with wildlife but the local hunters claim that isn't so much the case these days, but in any event, the nite of our last walk around the block we saw this rabbit sitting in the side yard over at Breezy and Jill's house in the Dobry Town section of Grassflat! Took both Maya and Kurtis quite a bit of eyeballing before they finally saw the rabbit I had been trying to call to their attention and then, it took a bit of explaining to them what that rabbit might have been doing there and why they couldn't just walk up to it and try to pet it too!

And then too, for the past two weeks, after completing the Nutcracker tabletopper for Kate's birthday gift, I began work on one of the kind of embroidery projects I generally steer clear of doing. That would be anything dealing with counted cross stitch but this time, I let my ideas about my abilities override my brain and knowledge of past experiences (not very nice usually) in dealing with counted cross stitch and I embarked on working on this piece shown here below. To my utmost surprise, I finished it -all 9x13 inches of it -in a day shy of two weeks time. That, for me, is pretty much record breaking time and also, I pleased to say, there weren't a whole lot of episodes where my vocabulary turned the air around my chair and me really, really blue!

Technically, this is still not fully completed as I need to matte it and frame it but, since I don't know how to go about doing that, I'm going to have to plan a trip to State College to the Michael's Crafts store there and see how much it will cost me to have it matted and then framed! But overall, I'm very happy with this piece,.one because I got it done fairly fast and two, it looks half decent too. Needs laundered and ironed too before I head over to Michaels with it but just wanted to prove that I have, indeed, been busy, busy, busy!

Earlier today, I was out in my garden, trying to pull some more weeds out and make it look better plus better for the stuff I have planted there to expand, bloom, be harvested eventually too.

I now have 5 tomatoes growing on one plant, along with at least 5 little yellow banana peppers forming and several green bell peppers are now just above being little buds! This week -actually about two days ago -I got up one morning to a sight that was really pretty to me consisting of more yellow-orange blossoms than I could count nestling amongst the squash plants of my little veggie garden! Today, those orange-yellow blossoms are actually starting to show that they are about to turn into beautiful yellow summer squash for our evening meals! Sadly though, today I spied a couple of those damnable ugly black Squash bugs that plagued my plants last year and now, they are beginning to return, earlier than last year unfortunately, and that will no doubt signify the end of the delightful  squash for supper routines Mandy and I both enjoy!

If anyone knows of something you can do, some topical solution to put on the squash leaves/plants to deter the destruction these darned bugs have in mind for my plants, please, please, please share it with me! (All I've seen is to not plant in the same place each years and to also, mix in some kind of squash bug deterrent into the soil prior to planting.)

And that brings me near the end of this post. But you're saying what about the "Bereavement" you mentioned in your headline. I'm beginning to wonder if someone somewhere has designated Wednesdays to now be the day of taking people from our midst here. Yesterday, July 4th, marked the 3rd Wednesday morning in a row that I learned terrible, sad news about the passing of yet another person from this area.

This time it was a young woman, a mother, wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, only 41 years old, who succumbed to the ravages of cancer of the liver. Her mother-in-law also happens to be one of my lunch group friends, as well as having been a friend of mine since we were about 6 years old. I'm also good friends with an aunt of this young woman too and know the families involved on many sides there too. Life does seem so unfair at times and yes, I've known that for many, many years now too but it still does not make another loss, especially of a young woman such as she was, any easier to cope with, does it.

And now -to move forward, to take all that has happened of late and close doors that needed closed, yes and to remember too, in thoughts and prayers, all those who lost much, much more than I did when the recent passings from our community. I can but empathize and sympathize with their losses having also been in those same straits at times and yet, never having lost a sister, a brother, a spouse, a daughter or daughter-in-law, can I truly empathize with their loss after all?

And so it goes....


Maggie May said...

The embroidery is absolutely wonderful.

It is so sad to have to start to sell jewellery that has sentimental connections. I'm really sorry this had to happen.

I was interested to read about the *scary chair* on Kurtis's walk!

Sorry about the young person in the neighbourhood who died. All we can do is support and empathise with the relatives.

Maggie X

Nuts in May

terri said...

You certainly have more patience than I do. Those embroidery projects require too much concentration and too much sitting still for my liking! Your really do create some beautiful things though.

So sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. 41 is much too young, for sure.

CiCi said...

The table topper turned out so nice. And the cross stitch piece is wonderful. I have been doing embroidery at our Friday morning Needlers group and this past Friday I started a piece doing candle wicking. White on white. Will make it into a pillow when I finish it. As for the embroidery work, I drew some simple flowers on a shirt that had a hole and I disguised the hole. Then I did something similar on some shorts that had paint on them.

My heart hurts for the family of the very young woman who passed away. The children have much adjusting to do, I hope they will be okay.