Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy Bday, NASA and being MIA

Today, July 29th is NASA's 50th birthday. Everyone should have cake in their honor! Go on, you know you want to!

NASA 50th Logo RGB_Hi

As for me, I'm missing ya'll and I'm not meaning to ignore you, I'm just rushed off my feet at work. I have much news and many non-stitchy pics for you, but that'll have to wait until later this week.

Hugs all--- I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Come and join the Fastasy SAL Blog --

I've opened up the Fantasy SAL Blog. So come on over and pull up a keyboard! We can work our way through some fo those patterns and canvases that have been languishing in our stash.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

All good things......

... sigh. Well, I was forced out of my resort. My sister arrived from DC Thursday night and we swept our way inland from blissful hammock moments to yard deconstruction in semi-humid heat.

Some last images of paradise --

Want to have breakfast with me on the guest house porch?
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Or how about joining me on the guest house swing?
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I learned many things house sitting. For instance:
I learned how to handle the clutter of grandchildren's toys:
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Yup, that's the shower stall all the toys are kept in. For the record, the DVDs and video tapes are in the same bathroom's drawers.

I learned that the best place to keep your frogs is....
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on your wall paper! lol

I learned that a raccoon with talent can do interesting things to an orange
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Yup, that's still hanging on the tree.

I learned that the reason we (the family) rarely made the famed family recipe for "mock chicken almond" was that we never had enough freezer space. One recipe makes:
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I learned that I might need to get the next layer of cable -- I need the Science Channel and the Travel Channel. Damn!

And most importantly,
I learned that I really want them to want me back!

The final accomplishments of my time in paradise are
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That's one of Isa Vautier's freebies in Vicki Clayton silks over one.

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Now just bits and background for my little flightless friend. The canvas is from Gimmies. The stitch is a modified, slated cashmere (I think) and the threads are Lola rayon (pain in the assets) and Fyre Werks Soft Sheen.

There's been no stitching since Shangri-La, just cleaning and catching up. Tonight was dinner with my aunt and cousin --
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That's the sis, the cousin, and the aunt. It's not a flattering picture of any of them, but the choice was an unflattering pic of all of them or flattering pictures of two of them and a hideous one of the other. I decided this was the best route. They are gathered around my sister's slide who of her recent trip to Bhutan. One important thing to know about Bhutan -- life's way better for the rooster than the hen.-- You see, as Buddhists, the Bhutanese eschew all carnivoristic tendencies. When Bhutanese go trading near the border with India and encounter Indian traders selling chickens (and roosters) they trade for the roosters and bring them back home and leave them at a temple with the monks to take care of. They are called "rescue roosters." They only rescue the roosters because it wouldn't be fair for there to be boy and girl poultry living with celibate monks. lol

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Horticulture, Cooking, Wildlife, Progress, and Work -- or, Adventures in Hammock Land

Well tomorrow night my sister arrives from D.C. for a startlingly exciting weekend of cleaning my mom's yard. A dumpster is involved. Does that tell you something? Hey, but it seems like we're in for a break! It's not supposed to go above 99 this weekend! Woo hoo. What with working outside all morning and then living in a house with a single room air conditioner, I'm sure we'll be overjoyed. lol Go ahead, tell me it won't be like leaving the Hyatt for Ernie's Motor Lodge where the slogan is "Fleas stay free!" Sigh. No really, it'll be good. I'll have fun with the sis, we'll visit my aunt and cousin, and we'll have good Mexican food. It'll be great. It will also be too hot to stitch. Sigh.

Since I was "on vacation" today (ie. using the comp time they don't pay me enough to consider a perk) it made sense that instead of testing out the hammock all afternoon I was at ... WORK! Sheesh. I WAS NOT going in. I was NOT. Then I was only going in to do the office bills.
Did I ever mention how much I hate office bills? It's not even my money and I hate office bills. Look, here's the short version. You subscribe to magazines, right? And you get annoyed when they send you those bi-weekly renewal letters starting the month after you renew, right? Well, I run a corporation library. We get 75-100 magazines or other periodical-type stuff. Imagine how many nuisance renewal bills I get every bloomin day. And I have to open them all (another pet peeve -- I want a Constitutional amendment requiring all envelopes to carry a complete business name and address on the corner where a return address is supposed to be. Don't make me open 10 letters a day to find out I could finance a Toyota for free or get a really good deal on Sports Illustrated.

Anyway, off soap box, I acquiesced to going in until lunch. Then I was planting my fanny in that hammock darn it. Do you know when I got to leave? Do you? 4 fricken 47 P.M. ("P.M." stands in this case for Pissy Mood since I missed nearly 4 hours of quality hammock time!).

Ok, I guess that's out of my system. I'm actually not nearly as bitter as I sound-- because I did get to come back to The Resort and test out the hammock for an hour. Here's proof -- the view in a feet-ish direction
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Doesn't it remind you of Boston's really cool bridge? It does me.
The view up -- sigh. Tell me you can't see heaven from here:
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BTW, leaves are really cool looking from underneath when they are lit from above. I'll have to try and get a decent pic. It was too hard to do with my eyes continually closing. lol

For the record, I didn't actually get up and fully extended in the hammock. I lay cross-ways and used my feet to push it like a swing. Reason being, I'm to tall to not have my head resting on the hammock's wooden bar. Yeah, I could have brought a pillow, but what the heck, I like swinging.

I made no finishes today (too mellow from hammock time I guess), but I can show a little progress:
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A Gimmie's pengie -- I hope I get a better picture tomorrow to show off the two threads involved

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A terribly lit shot of my over-one Isa Vautier ornie

And for your viewing pleasure some more of The Resort's environs and denizens--
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Fritz and Frances (Fritz is the long one). They were at this stand off when I arrive. Apparently, even for all the years they've been together, they still don't trust each other enough to turn their backs on the one another.
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Cassie "I swear it wasn't me that ate the catnip" Jones
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Chou Chou (no she doesn't work-- what a shock, someone like Chouey being not so very functional)
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The Captain (he tells all the chicks he was "in the war" to score free corn)
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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Still hanging on to my waning moments of bliss

Hey there. The clock is ticking away on my time here in fantasy land. It can't be over! I tell you it just can't!!! I haven't bonded with the hammock yet. I haven't spent nearly enough time chilling on the swing (hmm, must remember to take a picture of My Swing!) on the porch of the guest house. Did I mention the guest house? It has a quail door knocker. Ya'll know I love quail, right? I mean is this destiny or what? A quail door knocker? It was obviously meant to be -- me, on that porch swing, admiring the quail door knocker. Sigh.
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Isn't he great? As an impressionable and easily distracted child I spent many long hours in the deserts of CA counting quail (not at all like counting coup, I promise) and sometimes road runners while we drove for hours and hours and hours to meet up with other pigeon breeders/racers and/or train birds. Ahh, the good ole days. You know what, we used to do it all without air conditioning either> I guess I used to be tougher. lol

As I mentioned, I had a stitch fest in honor of a buddy from way out of town dropping by. Here's the crew:
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that's Jenn (the Queen of the Needlepoint Tallis), yours truly who is standing sideways to cover the pasta spot she put on her shirt during dinner, Julie (visiting after too-long an absence), and Judy who likes to harrass people's stitching. Julie, Judy, and I used to work together (Judy is still my lunch-time stitching buddy) and Jenn, Julie, and I went to grad school together.
We gossiped (I could keep you shocked for hours with the sagas, just suffice it to say Julie deserves a much cooler family-- well at least parts of it-- for those of you who know, it's not funny like when the "car was stolen" -- someday I really must tell you that, it is VERY funny -- it's just shocking and annoying and makes you wonder if people really think their brians are best left curbside in a pool of bitter vindictiveness); we noshed (veggies, chips, dips, hummus, and pita followed by a stunning pasta fest from our fave local restaurant): and we crafted (Jenn worked on a tallis bag and a dimensional turtle; Julie had the softest, coolest yarn she was making a scarf with; I ornied; Judy ornied; adn Allison, Judy's daughter worked in her trademark shades of purple on a Celtic plastic canvas piece); and much frivolity happened throughout the afternoon. Oh, and they let me finish watching Wimbledon without me having to lock them outside to watch in peace. I'm serious about Wimbledon (sorry, I can't get into the French -- tennis should be played on green, not orange. I can stretch it to blue, but no way can I get all the way to orange. It's just not attractive.)

This is us (with Allison) noshing al fresco at the big-people picnic table--
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I'm taking the picture of course. For the record, I had the wood-shaved pasta with spicy sausage and tomatos. Since it's the best, there's no need to explain the others.

I have two more finishes to report in the Ornie Campaign --
The St. Ruth's (ya gotta love it) Designs piece from JCS 1998 got finished at the stitch in:
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Despite the debate that raged at the stitch-in this weekend, that is Santa's legs WITH BOOTS on them stitcking out of the top of the chimney with his bag dragging off the side. My "dear friend" Judy insisted that it looked lame and that those were like no boots she'd ever seen and what was that big red splot off to the side. Hmpf.
For the record he's on opalascent lugana in DMCs.

And, look, Julie, your ornie is done!
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LK's flip-its ornie from last yearwhich Julie saw in my excessive packing pile and wanted me to stitch for her. It's in DMCs on Wichelts hand-dyed jobelan "Summer Sky"-- I love that stuff. I'm thinking I'll do the whole set for myself as one large piece on the Summer Sky. All I will need to do is change the borders of the squares which are all called to be white in the patterns. But that's not hard for an inveterate changer like myself.

You know I can't leve without sharing more of paradise with you. How about some horticulture? I feel especially close to the garden since with the holiday the gardeners have been MIA and I've been bonding with the hoses.
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This isn't so much a plant pic, but I think it's too darn cute--
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See him?
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Doesn't he make you at least think "awwww?"

Some asides:
Courtney -- Duncan says that's properly pronounced "quack"-- as in it "quacked you up." It is the one punhe tolerates.

Kedra, back away from my resort. Go get your own! lol

Linen, you'd think in all that excessive stash I hauled here I'd have an appropriate star, but no. I even hauled back to the hovel and could find one I liked. Sigh.

Chris, I'm glad you're keeping track. I'm scared to count, but then again I'm not sure all my piddly little finishes should count. lol

Svenja, Sharon, Sandy, Sonda, Barbara, Maizey, Sally, and Dani -- thank you for saying such nice things about my ornies/my house sitting reverie. I wish you all could be having this much fun ---- say, did I tell you how the house locked me in yesterday. lol Honest. I'll tell you tomorrow. It's really pretty funny.... unless you think about it too hard and read the occasionaly Harlan Ellison short story/book about large, inanimate objects eating people.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Still living in Shangri-la

Hey everyone, thanks so much for keeping me company during my lounging adventure. I do appreciate all the comments. Here's to us all inspiring each other to stitch new and wonderful things!

I'm about half-way through my resort time (aka house sitting), and I must say that I see the appeal of becoming a full-time house sitter. .... well, if I don't have to wrangle sprinklers anyway. Yes, ladies and gentlemen the sprinklers and I are not friends. The drip irrigation and I are fine, but I swear to you I paid attention to the sprinkler instructions and yet I can't get them to come on. Never fear! I do know how to work a hose! So the front bedding plants got watered the old-fashioned way. Now they'll survive until the gardeners return on Tuesday. Ahh, the joys of staff -- constant security patrols, twice-a-week gardeners, and a weekly house keeper who does laundry and picks flowers to brighten the place up. Yeah, it's the life.

And did I mention the oven works? lol Yes Cooking 2008 continues apace. I regret to say I forgot to picture the meatloaf from yesterday, and I took a corner out of today's lasagna before picturing. Heck, I didn't even think of a picture of food until now. No, I don't know why I'm doing the pics of Cooking 08, but so many blogs make me hungry with pictures of their dinners that I figure turn about is fair play. So later. It'll give you something to "look forward to."

The Ornament Campaign is going ok. I think I should be faster, after all everyone on the web seems to have ultra-fast needles, why shouldn't I? Regardless of my speed, I have two finishes to show so that's something.
First my little over-one sleigh--
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Yvonne, the little bit of the page I have for a working copy says the design in by Polly Carbonari, but I haven't found out which book it was in. I'll keep hunting!

And a funky little tree that I don't have a pattern for, but I found a picture on the web so I went from a really bad blow up of the picture --
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There will be some sort of star charm or button on the top of the tree, but I didn't bring any of those with me (see, I UNDER-packed!!!!).

I've moved on to another ornie from one of the JCS' (1998 I think) by St. Ruth designs (ya gotta love those folks!!)
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That's it in the corner of the picture. I'm doing it on white opalescent in a dark navy (the pattern called for black crow from Sampler Threads, but I wasn't in a black mood).

Other than those little bits I have not much to report. The swing on the guest house's porch is my favorite evening locale. The humming birds that inhabit the back garden have decided I'm no treat. I have foiled the raccoon who discovered the sealed can of bird food behind the garage. I have not mastered the peppermill, and we now all know about me and the front sprinklers. So, I still have room to "grow." I think that means the hosts should stay on vacation longer.

Tomorrow I'm having a sort of stitch-in. A friend is in from waaaay out of town (try the Prairie states) so she's coming by and my usual stitch group who are also friends with her are coming over to catch up on all the gossip. If anything's really juicy, I'll be sure to tell you first.

Say, you've met the sheeps. Want to meet some of the other denizens of the establishment? Allow me to introduce you to my temporary friends -- (names are my own -- it's so must friendlier if you address creatures personally)
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Sue Ellen and Luann (the worm remains anonymous):
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Larissa (her given name was Connie, but she thought "Larissa" sounded so much more Continental.):
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Ignatio and Clyde:
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Flirt (refuses to give real name -- goes by most-appropriate pseudonym):
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and last, but not least Pietro:
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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hello from Ruth's Resort

Hey there. All is fine here on my semi-holiday (aka house-sitting 3-ish blocks from my hovel). The weird thing is I had such plans -- TV and stitching with a breeze at least every night and some of those comp-time (aka work-like-a-dog-and-don't-get-paid) days I'm owed spent stitching too. But noooooo. So far the office has kept me swamped and my Ornament Campaign has suffered. This is what I've managed to finish thus far:
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Elizabeth Designs Christmas house from the 2007 (I think) JCS

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These are JABC's "Jingle All the Way" "freebies"--- is it really free if you need to buy $4.00 worth of buttons? For the record, the buttons aren't actually sewn down yet since I was waiting to get them all done and have an ironing party before affixing the buttons.

The only other stitching that's happened so far here at Ruth's Resort is the start of a new ornie --
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I'm only doing the horse and sleigh and the horse you may note has changed color. Despite all the indications that I brought too much stitching with me on this adventure, I did NOT bring enough .... at least I didn't bring enough browns/the right browns for the horse so now I'm thinking he's a nice dappled Percheron. Whatcha think?

Oh and on this over-packing thing. Just remember Murphy's law -- if you don't pack it you'll need it and the corollary for traveling -- if you don't pack several you'll be stranded by a plague of toads or have a unscheduled 14-hour layover where you are not allowed to leave the gate for flight 14 from the middle of nowhere to wherever you really want to be. You KNOW it's true!

Along the the ornie campaign, I'm having the baking campaign while I'm here. You see, several (let's say at least 5) years ago my oven in The Hovel died. So far pissy me has not been willing to spend a week sitting at home dealing with Mr. Fix-It. trust me, I know how this will play out. Day 1, drop in and ascertain that well the burners sometimes light therefore everything is fine. Day 2, explain that stove-top burners are NOT the same thing as ovens. Day 3, Mr. Fix-It decides whether he thinks the stove is heating. Day 4 (possibly) argue that because an oven set to 350 makes it to 212 does NOT constitute "working." Day 5 Mr. Fix It tries something else and decides in frustration that they need to just buy me a new stove. Day 6, realize old stove has to leave for new stove to arrive -- possibly see to that. Day 7, new stove installed (and hopefully checked for operational ability). Honest, that's how it will go. Trust me. I gave up the battle about the ceiling light fixture. "It works fine, lady" -- "fine" does not in my book mean that a brand-new bulb blows out with an audible pop in an hour. That means there's something wrong with the wiring/fixture. "No, lady, see, the bulb I put in works." Sigh.

Anyway, let's not think of the inhospitable. Let's think of my current resort living status .... Wanna see more reasons why I feel (and Kathryn would feel) instantly at home here? Meet the stove:
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lol Apparently the lady of the house used to keep a plant there, but then kept having to find a home for it when it got watered. She discovered this sheepie on one of her "orchid runs" (she collects orchids -- not like Nero Wolfe with independent contractors hunting the jungles of South America, but doing her very own hunting through the nurseries here in town).

Wanna see my backyard oasis? I'm about to go out there and edit a report about a children's museum in Las Vegas....
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See why I don't want to go?

Oh I almost forgot.... the Baking Campaign -- since I have an oven (actually two of them) that work at my disposal, I have salted in the makings of all my favorite family baked dishes. last night was mom's chicken and rice
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And the beef and onions for both lasagna and tamale pie
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Sharon-- there's a Jim test? Sheesh, I'm afraid to ask.

Kathryn -- You're not gafiating are you? Nah! Can't happen! I will miss you and LV fandom -- have much fun!!!!!!! I'm hoping (fruitlessly I'm sure) that I can make it to Denvention.

ttfn all -- I'm off to lounge in the back with my blue pen (red is so hard to read for the sad people getting told they can't think in English -- Yes, Virginia, you do need a verb in every sentence. You see, the client expects verbs when he pays you $75k for 75 pages of text and tables.