Thursday, November 27, 2014


First Thanksgiving away from my Ohio home in over 25 years. I'm here in New Jersey with my parents.  Very thankful that my mother is doing better and things seem to be back to normal.....on the sliding scale of "normal"!!
Joe is at our home with the cats and I miss them very much.  Spending my days knitting socks and watching endless football games on TV.  But for the next hour or two I have control of the remote and I'm watching the Macy's Parade.  Turkey in the oven, the smell of Brussels sprouts with bacon roasting away.  Although I am not in my own space I am determined to make this a joyous Thanksgiving for my parents.  My moments of peace and joy will be next week when I'm back at home.
Wishing all of you a pleasant and plentiful Thanksgiving Day.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Winter Wonderland

In a matter of hours we went from this.......
....basking in the sun outside.
To this........

huddled around the woodstove inside!
Outside it became a Winter Wonderland over night!

As the temperature continues to drop, I have turned once again to indoor projects.  This lovely quilt is not my own work.  It is a vintage 1930's quilt that I am repairing for a friend.  His grandmother made it.  It is surprisingly similar to a reproduction vintage quilt I have been working on for several decades in the same pattern and colors.

Two rigorous bathes and a new binding brought this beauty back to life.  I took my chance on washing it in my machine.  I hoped that I wouldn't end up with a faded pinky-red tattered blob.  Luckily the original maker was wise enough to wash her pinks and reds before she pieced her quilt.  It looks to me like a larger "bride's quilt" was cut in half to make a child-sized quilt.  Some of the star patterns end rather abruptly at the borders.  Who knows where the other half ended up, but this half now has a new lease on life.
Again I turn to Nature and sewing/crafting to ease my anxiety over another planned visit to my parents' house next week for Thanksgiving.  It so horrible of me to say, but I do not even enjoy visiting there anymore.  I am simply useful to them and find no joy in it at all.  I will get to see lovely Pepper the Bengal cat again.  She is always happy to see me.  Well, my parents are happy to see me too, but I find each visit there more and more stressful.  A stair lift device is being installed this week for my mother (much to my father's emotional and financial dismay).  But I suppose this is a fact of aging parents that so many others deal with in their lives.  I am grateful that after 46 days of being entirely bed-ridden, my mother decided to get up and join the world of the living again on October 30.  She told us she would get out of the bed when she was "damn-well ready"...and that she did!  So the rest of us are labeled cry babies and drama queens and all is now right with the world.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

September and October Happiness

Let me write only of the happy things of my life.  Too much time and energy in September and October have been spent on sadness and worry.  I certainly would not call this wasted time, since the worry is over my parents, particularly my mothers health.  But so much time has passed me by in this perpetual state of anxiety, depression and panic.
September and October are my favorite months.  The training groups are set at the gym and there are no competitions yet to take up my weekends.  The colors are a collection of all my favorite browns, golds and oranges.  The temperature has gone down, but not so low that I must hide inside.
So I share with you a collection of recent photos of my beloved house and land and my sweet, loving cats.


Contrary to popular myth, black cats do not like to pose with pumpkins!  I wondered why they would, since there is no pleasant smell of meat of fish associated with a pumpkin......

Deuce cats don't much like to pose with pumpkins either

Coal and Roy

 There are two "visitor cats" of late. Both and white and equally as scared of me. The first guy sits on my patio table, waiting for a snack.  I see him almost every night and just today he has made a daylight appearance.
The other guy I saw at the neighbor's house when I went to drop the trash in their dumpster.  Both look pretty healthy and well- cared for and quite willing to pose for photos, at a respectable distance of course.

September is now long over and October is moving towards it's end.  Though they have not been the most pleasant or productive two months for me I will still be sad to see them go.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

To The Beat Of A Different Drum

Drum Pinkeeps!!  I just love them.  I've admired so many of them in cross-stitch groups and on blogs.  I knew it was time that I tried one.  I got Stacey Nash's sweet chart "Addy's Pinkeep Drum" and modified it a bit.  No insult to the designer intended, I just wanted to experiment with other themes and designs.  I preserved Stacey's original alphabet along the top and her main peacock theme.  I deleted the name and instead put my own initials and the date 1814.  I also added another peacock design and some keys.

So I marched to the beat of a different drummer on this one.  There will be more drums in my future.  I really like the concept and the finished product.  I added a large rock to the center of mine when I stuffed it.  I don't have much use for a pinkeep as an actually holder of pins.  I will use this as a paperweight.
Another among us who marches to the beat of a different drummer is our new friend Deuce.  He is getting less aggressive but there is still plenty of howling and hissing going on.  We are well into month number three of him being around, so I do hope this settles down soon.  He is allowed inside during the day with free roam of the house.  He likes the attic room the best and causes no trouble with the others.  When we all gather in one location....well that's a different story.

They played with opposite ends of the paper towel roll for a few minutes.  Then it became a swat-fest in the paper bag.

Outside they need constant monitoring so no one gets chased towards the street.  Can you spot them all in this photo(above).  Mel on the grill, Coal and Roy in the picnic table, and Deuce as usual, taking center stage.

Mel eyes him cautiously.  He seems to like to chase her the most.

Coal seemed ready to allow Deuce usage of this lawn chair....

..well, maybe NOT!
Raised my blood pressure and anxiety level by booking my flight to New Jersey for early September.  I can no longer pick and choose the days I go to visit my parents.  I always chose dates that I was off from work when there was a break from gymnastics.  Not so anymore.  My father would like me to come the first week of September so I can help with the giant neighborhood yard sale.  Year after year they attempt to rid themselves of the clutter in their garage and basement and year after year the clutter seems to multiply 10 times over instead.  So I'm going to take a crack at it this year.  I think the last yard sale I attended there was 1998.
Mr. Deuce will spend that week at Charm School (aka boarding at the Vet).  He is just too much for Joe to handle while I'm gone.  Not an ideal situation, but anything to make these trips go smoother.
I hear the drum beating(or is that just my pulse!).  Time to pick up some stitching and put September out of my mind for a while longer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

When You Have Lemons............... make lemonade, so the expression goes.  I like this little verse, but I also really like lemons, so I find it hard to relate.  I certainly can relate to the stress and nastiness at the gym lately.  Usually my place of comfort and joy, it has become a pit of grumpiness these past few weeks.  I seem to be the catch-all for everyone's complaints, the fill-in for everyone who is out of town, and the know-all for everyone's endless questions.  Although I appreciate their confidence in me I AM NOT: a surgeon, a psychiatrist, a physical therapist.  I am not in charge of the time, the weather or the cycles of the moon.  I am not wealthy, nor do I wield great influence with the powers that be....but I do thank everyone for the compliment!
So when given lemons, I make lemonade!  When given a yard full of grape vines, I make wreaths
...and that's exactly what I did this morning.  I left the laptop OFF and let the battery on my phone go DEAD.  I went outside, in my pajamas, a made some grape vine wreaths.
When the neighbor gets ready to move away and throws out a ton of stuff.....lemonade again!  She tossed out these two amazing tents, still in the original packaging.  I don't think they were every used.
If I was on Twitter it would say #GaragePickSCORE!
When my quilt was the only one of my items at the County Fair that didn't win a prize, I took that "lemon" and put together these two "lemonades".
Certainly I would never call a cat or any other animal a lemon, but little Deuce is definitely a challenge.  He still feels the need to hiss, howl and chase the other cats.  Today was a bit of a lemonade moment.  All four eating together during a temporary cease fire.
Joe finds the whole new cat situation a bit exhausting.  Luckily loyal Coal is willing to keep him company.


Mel finds her solitude amongst the bittersweet vine and the lone sunflower.

Half the day is over already, but I'll still find  time for some stitch, knitty, crafty things.  And I'll wait until later to charge up that phone battery........... 


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

At The Fair

After my birthday lunch last week, my friend Karena and I went to the Warren County Fair.  I love to look at ALL the animal exhibits and luckily Karena was patient enough to indulge me.
We strolled through every barn.  The weather was unseasonably cool, in the low 70sF, so it was pleasant for the animals as well as the tourists.

What an interesting color cow

My gymnast Aubrey and her llama, Eli.

I think I need to make this guy my Facebook profile picture


My needlework/crafts did pretty well.  I entered 20 categories and won 16 First Places and 3 Second Places.  The only item that didn't win anything was my Stars and Moons quilt.  I really don't know why.  There were some other nice quilts there but they were common patchwork patterns in bright colors.  What I would call "country" style.  I didn't see any other applique quilts.  Maybe my choice of colors and design was just too contemporary for the judge's taste.
I won Blue Ribbons in 4 Doll Clothes categories and all 7 cross-stitch categories.
I'm already tossing around ideas for next year's entries.  I will definitely go the more traditional route with my quilt entry.  Overall a very good day and a big pay-off of $50.50 in prize money.