Thursday, August 21, 2008

So Much to Show.....

The days of my mini break from the gym have gone by in a flash...or should I say splash. Inspired by the 41 year-old swimmer Dara Torres at the Olympics, I've taken up swimming, again. I love to swim. I used to be in the water 4 to 5 hours a day as a child. Either in the community pool or the Atlantic Ocean, depending on where we were on any given day over the Summer holidays. Well, I am back at it. I now go every morning over to the gym and swim laps. No, there will absolutely not be any photos of this. I am still surprised that they haven't kicked me out for displacing too much water already! I haven't been in a pool, much less a swimsuit in at least 5 years. As with every new adventure I was a bit nervous. I am not much of a "joiner" so it's a bit tough for me to get out there and do stuff when it involves public places and strange people. The first day (Monday) it was 2 elderly ladies, one elderly man, two very fit swim team girls and me. Yesterday and today it was only me, so apparently the site of me in a swim suit has scared all the others away. I do my little breast stroke thing with my head up out of the water and a full-fledged back stroke, which was my favorite racing stroke as a kid. The technique is still there, but I need to work on the speed! I last about 20-25 minutes or about 15 laps. I go early in the morning, between 7:30 and 8:30am and then I am showered, dressed and back home around 9am. It's a great start to the day and I'm now totally addicted. I don't know what I'll do when I go back to the regular evening gym schedule. I really can't afford to make two trips a day other there. I missed swimming on Tuesday because I went to the Newport Aquarium with my mother-in-law, Joe's sister and three of her 4 kids. It was really nice to have a family day out and my mother-in-law was kind enough to pay for everything, including our lunch! I love zoos and aquariums (museums and botanical gardens too). I am such a tourist! My favorite parts were the seahorse tank, the otter tank( I could have stood there for hours watching those little guys) and the walk-through tropical bird area. Little did I know that my sister-in-law is a "birdophobe". She is absolutely terrified of birds flying near her or (God forbid!) landing on her. My niece fed the beautiful tropical birds from a little cup of nectar that could be purchased for 50 cents. My sister-in-law cowered in the corner for a few minutes and then made a quick exit. Overall it was very fun day. This aquarium is only about a 40 minute drive south of here, but I would never have gone on my own. Hopefully I will get to the zoo again soon.

On the stitching front I am bouncing around between several different project, none worthy of a photo yet. I did make this primitive Halloween display. The pattern is in one of my favorite series of books by Needl'Love Company. The books are a bit pricey, but worth every penny. They are filled with felt-work designs, rug hooking, quilting, applique and a bit of cross stitch. I found a good selection of them on-line. I am always searching eBay to get a good deal on these. So far I have "Haunted Threads", "Spooky Threads", and "Autumn Threads". I would love to get a few of the Christmas-themed books.

A beautiful gift arrived from Barbara over the weekend. A late birthday surprise. These are the best because then it feels like my birthday celebration goes on forever. Don't you just love Prim Kitty sitting here with Alix. Alix bonded with her immediately. It might have something to do with the natural wool filling of Prim Kitty. She is stitched on a lovely hand-dyed linen of a tea color with a soft red wool nose and real button eyes. The backing fabric is shades of brown printed with smiling cat faces! Also in the package was a beautiful card, an amazing French cross-stitch magazine, and a bundle of DMC white floss for me to dye. Thank you so much Barbara, you really made my day...and Alix's too.

Time to get rolling on the gymnastics cross-stitches for the Fall. The Olympic competitions in Artistic Gymnastics is over. I am very satisfied with the results. Sad that the Olympics are coming to an end though. it was a joy to watch, for a change. Usually I am very stressed and tend to disagree with the results. But this time I think everyone was placed where they should be, even though I still struggle to work with the new scoring system. From what I saw of the other events there have been many records broken and very little controversy surrounding various victories. I am also impressed with the overall good sportsmanship I have seen, especially from the host Chinese athletes. The scenes of Beijing and the nearby country side are amazing. Now I have to take all these ideas and motivation and convert them into cross-stitch.

I will savor the few remaining days of my break and try to get as much accomplished as possible without spending too much money in the process. I have resisted trips to my favorite needlework shops and have instead searched through my massive piles of supplies. If I do this once or twice a year it is almost like "buying" new stuff just through re-discovering what I already have.


  1. you really enjoy your life.:)I also love the Aquarium.The place make me comfortable.

    By the way,I read your comment on my blog that you don't recieve my mail.I'm really sorry,because I sent my address to you soon.Probablly mail trouble.:( I'll send you my add from the other mail address.Thank you for telling me.

  2. Your outing sounds like a lot of fun. I also enjoy being a tourist when family or friends come to visit - finally get to see all that stuff I've been meaning to see! LOL!

    So glad that Alix likes Prim Kitty! :D (And that you do, too!)

  3. Ooh, that's a great gift from Barbara! And I just love, love, love your Halloween display! You really aremulti-talented, aren't you? And a swimmer, too. Hope you get to keep your routine once you start working at the gym again.

  4. You are soooo good to get back into swimming. That is one of the best ways to exercise and very little stress on the body. I know what you mean about swimsuits. Not sure when I had one on last.

    Love your Halloween arrangement. Neat gift. Kitty doing display looks like a natural at that. She might take Vanna's place soon.