That's about all I get on the Internet these days. I just tried to upload a photo and it ACTUALLY WORKED!! So I will try again now with this cute photo of Blacky/Lowell. She ( not a "he" as we all had assumed) was 'fixed' last Tuesday and is recovering well. As much as I love kittens I am the first to promote the spay/neuter thing. There are so many strays running around and it's especially heart-breaking in this cold weather. So now there is another happy house pet to add to the ranks. Yes, Blacky is now allowed inside the heated garage/man-cave. I am hoping the neighbors let her in the house soon. I've hinted at how much easier that would be, rather then trudging through the snow out to the garage to feed her and feed the stove heater with wood. I think it's only a matter of time.
No, not another history lesson, but a reference to the computer I am stuck using. I had to haul out the old carcass with the Windows 6 version that had been exiled to the attic when we bought the spiffy new little E-Machine. That one croaked completely last week with a big, huge blue spyware screen taking over the whole mess. It wouldn't even allow me my greatest of all escapes......."system restore". Yes, for a while there I fancied myself the computer genius for being able to press the system restore button and "fix" the computer. Do you know you can't even use the Chat feature on Facebook with Windows 6. It gave me some nasty screen suggesting I update to the current century! So I wonder how picture uploads will go with this dinosaur? The words "connection timed-out" seem to be it's favorite phrase. Hey look, there it is again on the photo upload screen. Oh well, I guess I wait to use Mom and Dad's computer next week. See you then...........
Every once in a while I break away from the standard fare of gymnasts, cats, cross-stitch and knitting and delve into my favorite little space of history. That of the great Royal Ladies. My all time favorite and my childhood inspiration to study this subject came from this lady, Her Royal Highness Princess Alix of Hesse, The Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia. Daughter of Princess Alice of Great Britain and Grand Duke Louis of Hesse, she was born in 1872. She was the youngest surviving child and a great beauty of her time, as were her sisters Victoria, Ella and Irene. Like her elder sister Ella, Alix married into the Russian Imperial Family in 1894. She and her husband, Tsar Nicholas II were the last ruling couple of the dynasty. Unlike many royal marriages, Alix and Nicholas were very much in love. They had four daughters, Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia and a son, Alexei. Tragically Alix, her 5 children and her husband were executed during the Russian Revolution in July of 1918. Alix converted to the Russian Orthodox faith when she married and her devout beliefs sustained her until the end of her life. Her her life as a loving wife and mother and woman of God has made her an inspiration to many.
This tasty batch arrived today from Edgar. Hmm, notice how one of the chocolate-covered cherry papers is already empty. How did that happen? Must have been that greedy postman. All so delicious and incredibly thoughtful, Edgar. Thank you so much.
Crazy snowing outside and I love it. Time to stitch, and as of Saturday a lot more time then I had anticipated. Again, the outside world has invaded what semblance of order I had made of my life, if oh-so briefly. Hats off to USAG for recognizing my 10+ years of dedicated service (not to mention outrageous yearly dues) with another slap in the face. After 34 years, it may be time to move on from gymnastics. But that decision can be left for another time. I need to pull myself together and tough it out through another "happy holiday season".
So I am doing some serious "nesting"...baking Christmas cookies, working on a quilt and finishing some more socks and ornaments. The company of my beloved animals is always a plus. No matter what happens I always have their unconditional love.
As much as I hate using cliche computer terms, those two simple words seem to have cured the computer...if only temporarily. I am sure the whole sorry bucket of wires and will end up in the trash very soon; at least for now it is allowing me to navigate the Internet and visit some blogs. All the nice Autumn and Winter needlework going on out there in Blogland! I am so impressed, and bit jealous. I've been whiling away the off hours mostly with socks. There are actually a few finishes to show this time.
As promised in the last post, here's a view of the finished Beth Tweddle gymnastics cross-stitch. Then there are two new pairs of socks that are destined as Christmas gifts for two sisters! I am sure they will guess who they are and the surprise will be ruined. Oh well, I owe them both big-time and these socks are just a small token of my appreciation. The first pair is Red Heart "Heart & Sole" in Spring Stripe. The other pair are knitted of Jawoll from eBay in what I will call "Countryside Competition" colors. This brings my total to 26 pairs completed in the one year since I have learned to knit socks.
Been tea-dying some linen lately and have done up a few little Prim cross-stitch items. I'll save those for next time though. Too busy enjoying the rather warm (61 F) weather today to stop and take any photos. Snow is predicted for Thanksgiving, which I am soooooo looking forward to. Made it through a week at the gym that I termed "Disaster Week" with none of the previously predicted disasters. One still looms on the horizon, but again it is an issue beyond my control. So I will bury my head in the sand a bit longer on that one and hope for the best. With great satisfaction I run that red ink line through each day on the calendar as it passes. All my life I have considered myself a doom and gloom sort of person. Always seeing the brutal reality of things; the glass as half empty. But I have recently discovered that deep down inside (under the layers of York Peppermints and cookie dough) I am really a very hopeful person. I think I'll just go with that for a little while.............................
Trying to get a post in here before this computer finally gives out it's last choking breath. It's been misbehaving for about two weeks now. Everytime I turn it on some sort of "System Defragmenter" program pops up. I know it's just spam trying to get me to buy something and steal my credit card info. Good luck with that one spammers. You'll get one hour of wild abandon in Cleveland with the credit I've got left. Anyway, along with the constant pop-ups from those jokers I get the big yellow triangle with the !inside it telling me "hard drive missing". Well damn it, then what's this big piece of machinery sitting next to me then!?!? Then there is that sad little red heart with the X inside warning me of impending doom should I not download a virus program immediately. On top of all that it continues to eat random files, mess with my precious photos and simply refuse to operate any of the "holes" on the front of the computer i.e: memory card reader, the plug to my camera, the CD player etc.
As the planets seemed to have aligned for the last 30 minutes I am giving a valiant attempt at posting some new photos. I'll save the rambling, wordy news for another day. Who knows how much time I have to post the photos before the the whole thing crashes and burns.
So here goes:
HALLOWEEN:Carriage House Samplings tombstone set.
At the gym (I'm Raggedy Ann) PETS SNAPS:
MelSammyCoal(and rat friend)
Blacky, allowing himself to be petted.
I don't think Roy got into any photos this time.
NEXT TIME (if there is a next time!)
Latest pair of socks. Red Heart Heart & Sole "Spring Stripes".
Latest cross-stitch finish. Gymnast Beth Tweddle of Great Britain.
Not a reference to the impending time change (when is that anyway?); more a reference to my first venture into the world of professional gymnastics judging. This weekend I am off to Kent Sate University to volunteer at Judge's Cup. Of course this brings me a mix of excitement and anxiety. I have what could best be described as a love/hate relationship with travel. I dream of traveling all over the world, be it for gymnastics, to return to my ancestral homelands of Ireland and Italy, or to visit my numerous pen-pals and e-pals. Then comes the overwhelming anxiety of leaving my beloved animals behind. Joe is so good at taking care of them, but those two little cats can be unpredictable. Roy and Carmella have been with us nearly two years. Both are quite independent in their own way. Roy's latest escapade is to run across the street to the big barn. He spends hours over there, so it's not like he's playing in the street. It's just that nerve wracking few seconds and the random speeding cars that freak me out. Carmella has been known to travel pretty far too. Spotted her down near the neighbor's house at 9pm on my way home from the gym last Tuesday night. This constant worry really takes all the joy out of traveling. Yes, I am a very over-protective pet owner.
Anyway, my massive baking adventure is nearly complete. Judge's Cup is a 100% volunteer-run competition so all the food is brought in by the judges. I read over the list of usual suspects....hotdog/hamburger buns, bottles of soda, granola bars, plates, napkins, etc. Then I saw it, my speciality, BAKED GOODS. I am sure they meant something picked up at the local grocery store, but instead they are getting these: 64 Pumpkin Spice Mini Cupcakes. They now have orange-colored creamcheese frosting and a little candy corner atop each one. Also 5 dozen M&M cookies with the appropriate Fall colored M&Ms. It's been more and more difficult each season to find those "speciality" M&Ms. I find a lot of empty boxes on the shelves where they used to be. So in my usual style of over-compensation I bought three bags.
As if Judge's Cup isn't enough gymnastics for one weekend, October 16th also marks the start of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Rotterdam Holland. I've been following the trainings on-line and have found some excellent photos here: http://couch-gymnast.blogspot.com/. Bridgid is a wonderful photographer and her sense of humor adds such a flair to an overly serious sport.
I wonder if there will be any time to work in a little knitting or cross-stitch this weekend? Probably not since I'm driving the carpool to Kent State...well, there's always next weekend.
I love the look of Candy Corn. Those lovely colors, that cute triangular shape. Can't stand the taste of those little buggers though. This one I made for Coal has catnip infused with the cotton stuffing, so the taste seems to meet with his approval.
Most people think of Spring as the Season of Renewal; for me it is Autumn. Not only is it my favorite time of year, this year it had brought to me some positive change. The changing of the leaves and plants, the changing of the weather and at last a change in my financial and employment situation. After an exhaustive and stressful 11 month search I have finally found a new job. I started last week at a brand-new gym Perfection Gymnastics. Though I am relieved to have this job and some sense of security, it is not the familiar "comfort zone" of the old gym. I have never been one to adjust easily to change and I am finding it very difficult to go to work each day and not see my group of good friends or the gymnasts I have worked with for years and years. I am trying to adjust and be more open to the new situation. It helps that the gymnasts and their families are very friendly. Here I am with my new friend Faith! I am settling in to my new schedule which is totally opposite to my previous one. I've had to adapt my "time management skills" a bit, but I have found time for some crafting and stitching. Here is the latest tombstone: "Carolina Handley" by Carriage House Samplings. Once again dear Joe outdid himself in the construction of the wooden tombstone. WalMart came through again with it's selection of "faux stone" spray paint and the little wooden accents are from Hobby Lobby.
My other new friend, Lowell (aka Blacky) is getting bigger and quite a bit bolder. It's very easy to pet him now. He comes running up as soon as you call him....the neighbors have changed his name to Blacky, but I still prefer Lowell.
The expression "One Day At A Time" has become my new phrase to live by. Sometimes when I look at the overall situation I get overwhelmed and a bit sad. If I take each day as it comes then I can savor the sweet time spent at home with my animals and stitching and still enjoy my work in the sport that I love.