Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
On a more positive note, I am still trying to keep up with my New Years’ Resolution of no new craft/sewing/needlework/hobby supply buying for 6 months. As for the need for fabric…. no there is no great need. I certainly WANT more fabric, but I do not need any. I have one of those large plastic storage bins full of fabrics. I have another storage area too. It is rather interesting and I have thought of submitting it to a magazine under their "Helpful Hints" column. I use a wrapping paper storage container to hold the large "spools" of fabric I have bought. Sometimes I can find clearance stuff at Hobby Lobby or Michael's that are sold on the bolt, so-to-speak, meaning wrapped on those large cardboard tubes. I stand them right up as if they were a roll of wrapping paper and they stay clean and unwrinkled. I am currently being tortured by the latest Herrschner's catalog that has a large selection of cross-stitch Aida and linen at ridiculously low clearance prices. Then I browse at the on-line shops and look at all the beautiful variegated and over-dyed flosses. But no buying. I did break the resolution a bit by buying 6 packages of large snaps to complete some doll clothes and also two spools of thread in colors I ran out of (also for doll clothes). I try to reason this out as a money-making venture, rather then money-spending.
I am still trying to work my way through the UFO bag and complete some more stuff that has been hanging around forever. I am currently working on Birds of a Feather "Blackbird Sampler". With a bit of snow last week and a bit more today I tried to settle in and stitch a bit after taking some time away from cross-stitch to complete more doll clothes. But no luck today. With Joe off from work due to the snow he can hardly stand it to stay at home while I stitch away. He is one of those people who likes to use the house for showering, sleeping and occasional food preparation. He likes to be out and around. I don’t mind it much, except that “out and around” to me means shopping. Here is a bit more done "Blackbird Sampler". I am tempted to buy the frame sections to finish-finish “One Stag a Leaping”, but I will hold out a bit longer. Maybe the tax refund check will come soon. Most of that is allotted to the current Mastercard bill still hovering over us from Christmas time. Ahh, to be free and clear of that and then I wouldn’t feel too bad writing a check to buy some frame sections. You see, already I am trying to modify the resolution to only include credit card “outbursts”.
Speaking of uncontrollable spending, has anyone seen the new Prairie Schooler designs yet? I hear they are coming out soon and I have already gotten the tantalizing e-mail from my eBay connection to pre-order the new charts.
I close for tonight with a photo of Coal and Sammy. Coal is the original "copy cat". Wherever Sammy or Alix go and whatever they do Coal has to be the next to do it. At first we thought he was a bully, being so big. But really he is just a copy cat, trying to do whatever the two older cats do. Here they are side-by-side, but a moment before this photo was snapped Coal had jumped up into the chair and landed on top of Sammy!
With my "excile" from blogland over I will try to keep my postings here more upbeat and positive. There is so much sadness, anger and vengefulness in the World that I will try to keep my little corner of it a pleasant place to visit.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
As for the coaching situation. There I was on Monday night, agonizing throughout the first group from 4-7pm. Such a sour mood, but I converted it into a bunch of new teaching ideas that just floored my coaching partner. She really didn't know what to make of my new-found bossiness! It was compounded by the fact that she new perfectly well what was going to occur at 7pm when she went merrily on to work with the Level 5 group and I was uncerimoniously sent home like a naughty child. The clock inched slowly forward, maybe because I kept looking up at it every five minutes. At 7pm the shift in groups occured...the Level 4s leave and the 5,6 and Optional Level groups begin. But where was she? The Level 6 coach was not there. The official training starts at 6:00 when all groups come together for conditioning and flexibility training so she was already an hour late. 7:15, still no sign of her and the boss was shut away in a meeting. Should I just walk out and leave them hanging? Of course not. Human doormat that I am I stayed with the Level 6 group who were quite happy to see me. I was almost brought to tears as one of them had brought me a hand-made card to thank me for my work with them while their usual coach was away. 7:20 Kelly, a former coach shows up. She fills in sometimes when we are short-handed. Short-handed? We weren't short-handed. More approrpiately I was back-handed by the boss again as she told me that she had Kelly come in to cover for Becca, the abscent Level 6 coach, and that I should go home now. This made no sense at all and it felt like even more of a personal insult then ever before. The very shocking thing is, after I had dwelled upon this all night and most of this morning, she came up to me at Noon today and apologized! She said she had been confused about the situation since it was her monthly Monday night Parent League meeting and Kelly always comes in on that Monday. She hadn't put two and two together to also realize Becca was out sick and I was already there to take Becca's place. It did feel a bit better to know she admitted her mistake but the damage has been done. It must be my personality type, but it seems this happens to me quite often. Either I am totally over-looked or I am the first one to accept compromise while everyone else gets exactly what they want no matter what. As I was heading out the door last night, coat on, purse in hand, the Level 6 girls were still asking me questions about certain elements and who would be working with them that night. What a mess. But what sort of stand can I make now? I accepted her apology with sort of a half-smile and a nod...nothing to the effect of "it's OK" or finding any humor at all in it. I am one of those people that gets stepped on and no on seems to notice that I am flattened. So my reaction, or lack of one, to her apologize (and the whole situation in general) I am sure will go quite un-noticed.
Although this pitiful situation is far from finished, I do have a cross-stitch finish to show. "The Planets". I also worked rather diligently at Barrick Samplers "One Stag a Leaping" during the Super Bowl party and completed the grassy hills and part of the over-dyed blue sky. I deleted some of the little flowers and trees, because I like the look of the clean color areas surrounding the stag. I have to complete the clover flowers in the border area and then that one is complete also. I feel I am really pushing forward on emptying that canvas bag of UFOs. I will tackle the tremendous "Citrus Fruits" pillow next. There is a small counting error in one of the oranges and I think it may throw everything else out of whack. I have to figure a way around it and still keep the pillow square. Joe is not feeling well and has gone to bed very early. Although I am lacking in good company and conversation I do get the "good chair" to myself, the one with the good lighting that is, so I can stitch for the next 2 hours. In my browsing of the Internet earlier today I am very happy to see Annemarie back on-line. I missed your sharp sense of humor, Annemarie. Your blog is always filled with interesting stories that give me the proper perspective of Life's ups and downs.
I conclude this post with photos of one of my favorite historical figures. I am fascinated by all the Victorian and Edwardian Era royalty of Europe, but most especially the Romanov Imperial Family of Russia. The Empress Alexandra Feodorvna and her four daughter were, by all I have read about them, quite talented needleworkers.
For those of you interested in more about the Romanovs and their extended family check out the Alexander Palace Time Machine website. It has a wonderful message board filled with interesting information and gorgeous old photographs.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
A bit more about "The Dwelling Place". On April 1st it will be 17 years that we have lived here. The first two as renters and then we bought it in 1993. A real "steal", as the price of acreage goes, but it is priceless to us. We have enjoyed this secluded life for all these years, although recently the rest of the surrounding land has been sold off and "McMansions" built near us. At one time the entire 250+ acres belonged to Dr. Wiallam Strout, the first doctor in Warren County Ohio. He built this house upon his marriage to Rachel Swallow in 1823. The house and farm property has had only two other owners after the Strouts. A family called Poe had it in the 1920s-late 1930s. Then Clifford and Edith Beuterbaugh owned it up until their deaths when their rotten little money-grubbing nephew inherited it. He had no regard for either the house or the land and rented it to another young couple for 2 years before we got it in 1991.(our property is where the cut grass area is. It also extends further back then in this aerial photo)
He promptly built himself a house on 10 acres of the land just up the street from us and then began to slowly sell off odd sized lots to various relatives. Since they were all as charming as Dennis (the Nephew) himself, they got in numerous fights and each one sold their property vowing to never see or speak to the other again. We jumped at the chance to buy ours in 1993 and got 4.75 acres, the house and three out-buildings for $40,000. At the time Dennis was moving on to "a less crowded area" to build another huge house and desperately needed the money. As his new house progressed he eventually sold about half of the remaining land to a developer. These 8 houses are on the opposite side of the road to us. He left us the option to buy the 5+ acre lot directly outside our kitchen window. In a sudden fit of greed/debt he gave us 2 weeks in 1995 to come up with the $25,000 ( in cash) to buy the adjoining lot. Of course we did not (and still do not today) have that kind of money laying around. The lot went to the local realestate baron(or baroness) Drexanne Evers who owns all the reamining land that the Strouts didn't oringinally have. The lot sat serenely empty for 12 years until Drexanne's greed over came her and she sold over 150 acres to a developer. We now sit in the path of "Mauerfield Estates-25 Beautiful Secluded Lots with Luxury Homes Built to Suit."(our property is outlined in red) What we got for it is a one acre rural easement in the form of a 5 foot wide strip running along the west boundry of our property. There are currently no "luxury homes" built yet, as the housing market has hit rock bottom. There is a series of paved roads that have become a mix of neighborhood park/dog walking,jogging path/skateboard, dirt bike and 4-wheeler testing ground/teen driver speedway course. We savor the five new pine trees that were planted on the 6 foot high dirt hill that was erected outside our kitchen window. On a regular basis we get a phone call from the developer offering to buy our "old eyesore" for some pitiful amount of money.
I close with another shot of Bud, proudly guarding the Strout Homestead.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Well, that seems to be the theme of things lately. I wait for Monday at the gym when I am "rewarded" for my work with the Level 6 group while their coach was away by recieving a three hour reduction in my hours and the loss of my Level 5 group. I am more sad about it all now then I am mad. Do I just leave at 7pm? Do I make a little speach? Do I make a big scene? Most likely I will just slink away, unnoticed and cry in my car on the way home. I had to go in today for an hour and it was really very difficult. The gym had been my place of refuge and now I simply don't feel comfortable there anymore. When the only two positive things I can find about my job are "It's close to home" and "I need the paycheck" then I think it's time to start looking for other opportunities.
I will focus on stitching for the rest of the weekend, trying my best to ignore the Super Bowl and all the over-blown activities that go along with it. The only thing I really like about Super Sunday is that I can try out some new recipes if we are invited anywhere. Once at the party I am totally bored by the game itself and usually spend the time looking through the Spring garden catalogs. I have already ordered all of my seeds/plants to the whopping total of $83.74! This does include to columnar apples trees and two bunches of Cipollini onion plants, so I guess the cost is not unreasonable for the return I will get. My favorite catalog is Territorial Seed Company. They have a wonderful variety of heirloom American seeds and some interesting European varieties as well. My most unique seeds from them are the Organic Black Soy Beans. These are a wonderful alternative to regular black beans and virtually no carbohydrates. I use them in everything from soups, chili, and even ground up to make a bean paste dip for chips. It's bright and sunny outside although the temperature is only 39F. It really makes me long to be out in the garden and the flower beds. Everything looks a total mess right now. A mix of mud and frozen dirt chunks. But in a few months everything will brighten up. Here are some of my veggies from last year:
A photo also of our dog Bud. I don't think I have posted a photo of him yet. He is a Beagle/Rottweiller mix. Very friendly and an superb mouse catcher. Also an excellent exercise partner when I don't want to walk our rural street alone.
I will go on writing about all things needlework. I'm in a rather chatty mood, since I have had no conversation at all with another adult today. Joe was up and gone to work before I got up. Then only one hour at the gym...just me and one student I was testing for placement in a class. No other coaches around and no boss.