Friday, September 30, 2005

Creating with PSP

I found this lovely photo of Elsa Lanchester as
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

I took this edgy shot of myself-lol and...
Super imposed it over Ms. L's. face.

It still needed a little something to look like a blended photo so...
I tried some special effects and this is what I got!

I thought this looked like a mirror, so I added some light spots.
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Halloween sewing

Yesterday I was cutting up fabric to make little Halloween pillows that you hang from door knobs, from the center of wreaths, etc. I have one pinned together and it is looking cute. I am hoping to make and sell a few on eBay. I bought a pillow from a craft store and decided I could use it as an example. I went on the web and looked for Halloween cat designs (more vintage) than the one used on the store bought pillow. The front has a felt center where you add the design. I cut the design out of felt and glued it on. I added embroidery floss whiskers, etc. Later I pinned and basted the pilllow while watching tv. I need to do more assembly line stitching to work faster. I'll post a photo when I complete a few of these.
I also want to make a 'pumpkin head' doll that I saw in a magazine. I need to look for baby ornamental corn for it's feet, but I got a nice variety of pumpkins from JoAnns. I like using the creative side of my brain!
BTW, off topic, but it got to around 41 last night. Not to worry as next week it will be in the low 80s (that's hot for this time of year).

Token of Love

Ah, look at this:

My brother Don made this box for me. It has black and white buttons around the edges. Inside is a photo of Sean when he was about 9 months old. My little baldie in his Phillies uniform. I was really touched by this. Thanks Don!

Martha is mass producing...

Her infamous 'coming home' poncho! I was just visiting her website and there it was up for sale at $49.99 with the red being sold out. Don't worry, she is donating all the money from the sales of the ponchos to charities like Katrina. I thought that was pretty cool.
Will I make this poncho? I don't know. I do like to crochet, but I have a few other ponchos and am not sure if I will add another to my collection. The others aren't homemade. I made a wool poncho once in high school and I hardly wore the thing!
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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Stitching Blogger Question

Thanks to Mindy for reminding me to answer this:

Have you ever just quit a project while in the midst of it? (We’re not referring to UFOs here, rather projects that you know that you’ll never work on again.) Why? What did you do with it - throw it out, give it away, put it away?

There are a few that became so infuriating to stitch on, I packed them up. One is a Dimension kit of ocean waves that turn into galloping horses. I could finish it sometime, so it is really an UFO. The problem was that the color chart/symbols were on the other side of the chart. I'd go to change colors and lose my place! I need to get the one page copied. Why Dimensions would do this with a large chart is beyond me. Paper is cheap. I haven't worked on it for a few years and whether or not I do is questionable.
The other things are a beagle dog I was making for a friend of my brother's and I think the dog died, so I didn't finish it. I may finish it and give it to my mom the dog lover. The other was a design I was doing for a friend who isn't a friend anymore. Looking at it makes me unhappy even though it's not a bad design. Guess they sound more like UFOs, but it's been several years since I have put one stitch in any of them.
I just purchased the Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue for 2005. It's nice and I am happy to have all the past issues of this yearly issue. I just need to stitch more of them! I like these because of the different designers who contributed their designs, a few I have met.
My brother just sent a big box of cross stitch stuff from his thrift shops excursions down in Florida. There were several bags of DMC floss which I could always use. I had to laugh because there were about 10 skeins of this green color and several of a gold. One kit had the little ornaments all stitched up, they only needed washing. I will probably donate them for a Love Quilt. There was a nice North America animal design still in the metal hoop. I took it off, and you guessed it, there was a hoop mark! I washed and soaked it twice and it's faded alot. I think that the stitching will cover a majority of the mark that is left. I thought that I didn't have the floss for it, but here it was in a little bag and the colors were all nicely wrapped on cardboard spools. I don't even do that with my own DMC. I may complete the design, I may not. I got someone else's UFO!!! I appreciate Don thinking of me and sending me goodies once in a while.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Designing cross stitch patterns

I was playing around with my cross stitch software and I came up with this, all free handed:

I didn't center it or put in the correct size, but this is something I think I will pursue in the colder months when I don't have to worry about doing anything outside. You can tell it's a mushroom, right? : ) Remember it's a fantasy mushroom. I, of course, didn't have time to cross stitch it. Brian got all excited (he bought me the software last year) and asked if I was going to stitch it up. I told him to think of a funny thing to do with mushrooms. I'm still waiting....
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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Amazing Race 8 runs around Pennsylvania!

I missed the first 15 minutes of the new season of 'The Amazing Race' because it was usually on Wednesdays and we had 'My Name is Earl' on (this is rather quirky, but a little funny). I asked Sean to flip the channel and sure enough the family edition of TAR was on. They were in New York City looking for a hot dog cart that was being guarded by the 2 bald guys from Season 1.
So they find out they have to go to Washington Crossing, PA. Yes, where our founding father crossed the Delaware River. My college pal lived in near by Morrisville. Sesame Place is nearby too! So I think that most of them got lost. I just love our highways here in PA. I really liked the Black family who happened to be black. They had trouble crossing the river because of the current.
Next they went to camp out in Fairmount Park near Philly. They could see the 'Filthydelphia' skyline. I hope they had lots of police around. ; ) It's near the Philly Zoo. Been to Fairmount at the Mann Music Center (several times) and my 10th high school reunion there at Memorial Hall.
Next they went to Mount Joy, PA. That's near Lancaster and about 50 miles from here. I am bummed because we never heard anything about the show being in this area. They either had to pull a buggy with two people inside or build a shed with a water wheel. The first family crashed the buggy and disabled it and they had to then build the shed. The others who pulled the buggy had a heck of a time. 1.5 miles is further than you think.
This one family was awful. The mother is a heavy set woman who yelled at her husband and two teen sons all the time. I was hoping the Blacks would beat them to Lancaster for the pit stop, but no! So the nice family was out and that left the big mouths in!
They are headed for Gettysburg next week. I am wondering if they will go on to Ohio or DC next? Looks like an interesting race!
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When my brothers were nice

I tend to complain about my brothers. Some of the things they do have not been 'right' in the eyes of their only sister. So last night, when my brain wouldn't shut down (I had bad knee pain), I thought about each guy and something they did that was unconditionally nice.
Dave-when I had my gallbladder out in 1987, I was in the hospital for several days. Sean was 9 months old and I missed him so! The doctor figured out it was a bum gallbladder when I started to turn yellow (lots of tests too). Anyway, Dave brought down his music cassette collection for me to listen to. I was deeply touched by him offering these to me. I also liked the way he gets all 'dreamy-eyed' when I use to talk about Sean when he was little. He does this now when Colleen or Ken talk about Kenny and Tori, their kids.
Don-I was really depressed as a high school junior. Deep down, I really wanted someone to care about me. I literally stopped eating for a month and went from 128 to 110 pounds. (I would love to be at 128 again). Don said that a boy I really liked was looking for me one day. (I missed almost 2 months of school that year-not all at once, but that's a heck of a lot of time). That brought me out of my depression. I thank him for that. Thanks for your goodie packages too-he knows I love to get mail.
Ken-My little brother. I just think about him and feel mushy. He was always so cute. I thank him for helping out with our cars over the years, mom's too. I thank him for the occassional kiss on the cheek. (Sniff).

Monday, September 26, 2005

On the run again

There was another flea market this week near mom's. I love going to them this time of year before the foul weather envelopes us. I had just made that trip on Friday, but something had come in the mail for mom (jewelry), so I decided to go down. Mom wanted to actually walk around a flea market! This is the first time in a long time the two of us have been out together. The flea market wasn't as big as the one we went to a few weeks ago. The first thing I bought was a small Penn State banner for Sean for a big ol' $1. I was happy to get it for him. We each bought some things that caught our eye, my most expensive things were two Cherished Teddies figurines. The lady had so many cute ones it was hard to chose.
I want to make some Halloween items, so we headed to A.C. Moore. As I went in the door, a woman and I met eyes and I knew who she was right away. She looked away and went inside. So Cathy Simms from Penncrest HS, I remembered you!
We were in there a little while and then I asked if we could try JoAnns for the little fake pumpkins I needed since ACM didn't have them. The JoAnns moved into this huge, beautiful store just this past Friday and they had everything I needed, plus some! I am getting that crafting bug again.
Mom and I went to McDonalds (I am going to blow up) and I watched a mentally challenged lady my age lick her fingers after every bite of food. I swear, I will be making 'Sunday pot roast' soon, after the sales. We saw another woman in there, dressed in a Henry Fonda outfit like from 'In Golden Pond' with the puffy vest and fisherman's hat (it was in the high 70s today). Mom recognized her from the hospital thrift shop where she had cornered mom to talk politics-mumbo jumbo. I would have said, 'get lost you crazy you know what'. You see all kinds.
Well my son made a face over the PSU banner asking where he would put it. I could have said 'someplace', but I refrained to use that language. Later, I gave him the only birthday gift I had bought him so far, a PSU license plate. I told him since he made such a stink over the little banner, no way was I saving the license plate for October. He commented, I shouldn't spend the money and that he may not be going to the school in a few years. He isn't taking to college life that well yet. He's in the newspaper club (a good start), but he doesn't stick around to meet people. Good luck son.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Happy 75th Mom

September 23, 2005
Dear Mom,
Today is a special day and I am delighted I am here to share the occasion of your 75th birthday. I am happy that most of us are here for you. Remember the others are here in spirit.
I wanted to write a cheery-remember when letter to you. Good stuff with lots of warm fuzzies to make you smile or even laugh a little. Where can I start?
How about the little performances that Don and I use to do for you and Mom-mom? He definitely outshone his big sister more than once. I like to say I made up for it by later being in the church choir and singing in front of the Cardinal of Philadelphia.
One time you and I were sitting on the sofa and I was drawing a lady who was in the TV Guide, I think she was on Little House on the Prairie. Anyway, we started to pass the drawing between the two of us and it turned out pretty good, maybe a little exaggerated, but good. I still have that drawing. And I am glad that you still draw.
The countless daytrips we made to places like The King of Prussia mall where we always got something to remember the day. Then there was the Downingtown Market-who can forget the sights and smells of that place-dust and cinnamon buns? How many paperbacks did you buy there and from Booth Corners?
Speaking of daytrips, why on earth would we take daytrips to places like Gettysburg and the Poconos? I remember the trip to Gettysburg seemed endless and it was really hot. We mainly walked around a shopping village that day. The trip to the Poconos had us tramping in the woods with Mom-mom.
Going to the shore was always an interesting experience. The time we stayed at Brownies cottage and spent the entire time driving the Rambler around looking for Monkees trading cards is a stand-out. And the 3rd floor apartment we rented in Wildwood was fun and interesting. Don dropping clothes to the open back trunk was a time saver. And then you and Mom-mom playing Bingo in your fancy dresses- well that memory will never fade.
And you made sure we all had gifts a plenty for birthdays and Christmas. We know you loved a good bargain. I know you passed that gene on to Sean and me.
Your creativity shows in so many ways, from your singing voice to the way you embellish gifts. Thanks for passing on those genes to the four of us in varying degrees. You always made due with what you had, making birthday parties and Halloween extra special.
I hope you enjoy today. Feel stronger and better.
Love always,

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Darn that looks like me!

Geez. It must be an old photo before MS lost her prison weight. It's a good thing! ; )

For my mom

Mom and I always give flowers to each other on our birthdays.
Brian suggested that I give her a sampling of the flowers I grew.
It makes it a little more personal for sure. I hope they look good
in the morning for her birthday. I love the flowers that look
like orchids. I was trying to find the tag, but it's gone. The
little statue is one she gave me and I thought it looked pretty
next to the flowers.

A neat shot of my old classmate

Thanks to my pal Julie out in California who actually got to see a filming of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in the L.A., CA. area. She is actually in this photo but she cut herself out. : (

What is neat about this photo-Paul is wearing a t-shirt from our old school-Penncrest. I think the casting agents who were at the local mall (behind Penncrest) probably were given this to give to Paul.

Julie says he and the rest of the cast were really nice and spoke to her and the other people watching quite a bit.

EM:HE may be in this area as mentioned above, so I'd love to meet them too. Crossing fingers.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

You know you are a lovely lady...

....your skin is so nice!
Ok, back track. I'm standing in line at the post office like I do every week. A 30- something lady is a head of me in her black jeans covered with tiny white polka dots, causing a bit of a commotion over goodness knows what. I was still waiting my turn and she approached me and said the above. Huh? Oh thanks. (Ok, nice meeting you, be off!!) Hey you with the nice skin, have you heard of Mary Kay? (OMG) I have over 60 contacts and blah, blah and are you interested? I looked at her square in the eyes and said 'Not really'. Ha. It was as though I had slapped her. Honestly, I just bought Sheer Cover from Leeza Gibbons and Melissa 'half pint' Gilbert from an infomercial and I like the stuff-hence the 'nice skin'. I told her that her little girl was sweet and by then she was peeved and just waved me off as she left the post office. She didn't know she was dealing with a saleslady with almost 3,000 transactions (so there!). Sean said she probably fed all prospective clients with the 'nice skin' line. I said, 'Well thanks a lot Sean'. I felt all glowing and 30- something for a brief moment. Oh pooh!

In the World of Nature...

Ok gang,
I have a little paperback book from Barron's Whiz Quiz called The World of Nature. Let's see if you know the answers to a few of the questions. I had to think a bit, so you do the same. Write down your answers. No goggling!! Answers will be in the comment section of this post.
What mammal has the longest life expectancy?

how about another?

How old are the giant Sequioa trees in California?

and finally...

If a plant was to be described as sanative, what power will it have?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

164 Martha Stewarts

What an interesting premise for a show! It's on right now. I just found it last week as I wasn't sure what time it was on. It's either miss the noon news to watch it or catch it later on TLC at 6. I can't seem to catch it on TLC.
Anyway, they just had a little black lady come out and said 'hello, I'm Martha Stewart'. So cute, right?
I guess prison may have humbled our Martha. She seems more open and not as reserved. I hope that the second Cybil Shephard tv movie about her life behind bars won't burst my bubble. She was asked if she had scrubbed toilets, and she said she did. They showed a scene from the movie where she wanted her fellow inmates to make origami cranes as Christmas decorations (guess they can't use scissors). I'd watch the movie just to see that!
It was funny to see Sean Combs (P Diddy or Diddy or whatever) on with her. He taught her how to rap and she taught him how to wrap as in gift wrapping. One of the editors from 'Celebrity Baby Blog' caught the taping of that show and had people recognize her from the show or audience! She was invited back for a baby shower show they are doing. Danielle's own daughter is due in early October, so she doesn't know if she can come back for the special show.
I still love the MSL magazine. I stopped getting it for a while and then found myself picking it up at the grocery store.
Catch her if you can-don't forget her apprentice show is airing on Wednesday nights.

Mystery Flower and the skunks

So something I started from seed finally bloomed! And did I get to see this when it was opened up? No! What is it? (I do know)
I see a few more ready to be coaxed by the luna enhanced sky. But, we are being visited by skunks lately. They are digging for grubs and are leaving their cone shaped holes all over the yard! If I venture out when these like to bloom, I don't want to surprise Pepe Le Pew and have to burn my clothes and bathe in tomato juice!
So maybe I will catch the bloom tomorrow in it's full glory (and make a lot of noise on my way out the backdoor)!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Late Sunday

I went to my mom's today to deliver a new vacuum to her. The motor on the one I tried to fix must have gone bad. When I plugged it in last week, it sounded like a jet engine taking off! So I suggested that she get a new one from Walmart. Actually Brian and I got it and she paid for it. It was the same exact vacuum for under $40. I wasn't going to pay over $55 for another make that was also 12 amps of power. So today I took off parts that may break (please no) off the old one and took the empty shell out to the trash bin. Then I tried the 'whiz whiz' (we call it that for the scaredy cat here Cosmo). I got up at least two+ pounds of dirt out of her downstairs rugs! That was after I 'raked' (she has a plastic rug rake) up dog hair. I decided to change the bag already just so all that fine dust doesn't get into the motor.

The guys went to Pop-pop's house, so I came home to an empty house. I got my shower and settled in to watch the pre-show for the Emmys and then the actual Emmys. I like to see what the Hollywood gals are wearing. I guess if you once dressed Barbie and her friends, you love evening dresses. ; ) I think the judges have no imagination or something. Brad Garrett is good, but 3 Emmys in a row? I was happy that 'Lost' won for best drama. I got hooked on that show. May season 2 be is as good.

I guess I will be cleaning up the yard decorations this week. I hate to wait until I have to do a mad scramble when the cold weather sets in. I have all the gnomes and fairies in a group already. It looks like they are having a meeting or something.

Mom's birthday is Friday. My two sister-in-laws, my brother, maybe aunt and uncle and I will be taking her to a restaurant that I have never been to. I like the restaurant within walking distance of mom's, but they want to take her somewhere different. I have to write a little something this week in celebration of mom's 75th. I hope she likes her gifts from us. I'll tell you about them after they are given to mom.

Stitching Blogger Question

Do you stitch for events like weddings, engagements, or other things that might not last? If you've been unlucky, and the two have broken up, what happened to your stitched gift?
This is an unusual question.
I have stitched a wedding sampler for a friend. I mainly do gifts for kids or for people who I know will appreciate my many hours of stitching and will hang or display the design. As for if the people broke up, I don't know. The sampler contained a Biblical verse and it had hung in their home years ago, so at least it got some 'wall time'.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

So Britney has a Sean too...

...I thought she was going for Preston and then I heard on Access Hollywood that she went with Sean Preston. Brian actually picked our boy's name. At the time I was thinking the only well known Seans were Sean Connery and Shaun Cassidy. I think it's a pretty name.
My Sean has a mean streak in him tonight. I had Cosmo on my lap and he was a bit skitterish there. I was trying to play with him and Sean came in and clapped his hands really loud. Why? Anyway, you guessed it, the cat tore into my hand and even left a piece of his claw embedded there. Ouch! Now I haven't been feeling well either, and that's all I needed. All my emotions over the last few months came to the surface and the floodgates opened. I went to the bedroom to collect myself and Brian told Sean to apologize to me and he got mad and threw down the remote control to the Dishnet and broke it! We now have the one out of his room and also ordered two from a seller on eBay which Sean paid for.
I guess he's tired from driving a lot, but he knew that the cat freaked before the other two times he clapped his hands. So as punishment, I am not washing his clothes, getting his dinner or helping him with a school paper due soon.

A level of blahness

The three of us have had our 'moments of weakness' this week. Brian had his on Sunday with his tummy, but after 'that passed' he was able to walk around the flea markets we attended. Sean had his on Tuesday with his mini-migraine which lasted a hour (until he took Tylenol) and mine was last night with my body aches. It must be some kind of bug floating around. I got up with a lower backache and sore knees. I did all my walking days ago, so what the hey? I need to get groceries in this house today, so I will push myself to get out.
We did have rain and it was a torrent rain. It rained a bit this morning too. When you depend on well water, every bit of rain is a blessing. We were lucky enough to get a water pumping station across the road at the end of our property-so if worse came to worse, we could hook up to it.
A pal on tribe got to go to a Extreme Makeover: Home Edition location last week. I am so happy for her! She got to meet everyone on the show except Ed and Preston. Preston is her main man. I don't know if she mentioned to Paul DiMeo about our high school connection, but maybe she isn't a talker. I would be blabbing my head off. The EM:HE gang were at a local mall here looking for candidates for a makeover. Maybe I'll be able to go to a location too! That would be awesome.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Last of the Mohicans

This is a green zinnia (started from seed) next to a watering can wind chimes.

I just call these wild begonias. They came with the house!

Really trooper-salmon impatiens-this is one big pot!

Before the rain...

Today it's a funny kind of a day. I was going to go food shopping (tomorrow, tomorrow!), but it looks like we will be getting the first rain in 2 weeks. If we have had some more rain, the flowers in these photos would be twice as big.

Love those blue salvias, yellow celosia and marigolds mingling among the columbine and I believe soapwort. The annual under the pink portuluca took off-it's blue blazer (my memory is bad today).
This did great except that the one salvia died. It looks a little unbalanced. I found some vinca on the ground and stuck it in and it took root.

Welcome to my home. Brian put down the brick sideway about 10 years ago.

Guilty as charged

I found this on Jenna's Blog...if I did this or something like it before, excuse me! It's a fun way to spend some puter time:

Bold all those that you ever were guilty of doing. When you are done, add one thing that is true about yourself to the end, then post the list to your journal.

I’ve run away from home.
I listen to political music.
I collect comic books.
I shut others out when I’m sad.
I open up to others easily.
If I like you I will.
I am keeping a secret from the world. Doesn't everyone?
I watch the news.
I own over 5 rap CDs.
I own an ipod. Sean has one.
I own something from Hot Topic-the only Hot Topic I can think of is 'The View'
I love Disney movies.
Stop killing the mothers off
I am a sucker for hair/eyes.
I don’t kill bugs.
I curse regularly.
Let's say I try not to let one slip out when mad or stressed
I have “x”s in my screen name.
I’ve slipped out a “lol” in a real conversation.
I love Spam.
I bake well. I love to bake especially cookies
I would wear pajamas to school.
I own something from Abercrombie.
I have a job. Well, sorta..not only am I a domestic goddess, I'm also an online auctioneer.
I love Martha Stewart. Or can I say she's my mentor? LOL
I am in love with someone. Gee I hope so after over 21 years!
I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS.
I am self conscious.
I like to laugh. I 'understood' Monty Python as a teenager!
I smoke a pack a day.
I loved Go Ask Alice.
We had to watch in in middle school.
I have cough drops when I’m not sick.
I can’t swallow pills. Not the horse size ones!
I have many scars.
C-section and gallbladder to blame on my torso and a few minor ones on my face and hands from a car accident and other boo boos
I’ve been out of this country.Oh Mexico!
I believe in ghosts. Why not?
I can’t sleep if there is a spider in the room. See my earlier post!
I am really ticklish. But you can't tickle yourself!
I love chocolate. I would bathe in it if I could!
I bite my nails.
I am comfortable with being me. So who else can I be?
I play computer games/video games when I’m bored.
Gotten lost in the city.
DC was not a fun place to get lost in.
Saw a shooting star.
I have had two serious surgical procedures.
See above comment.
Gone out in public in my pajamas.
I have kissed a stranger.
Mainly at weddings?
Hugged a stranger. See above.
Been in a fist fight with the same sex.
It helps having 3 brothers to teach me to defend myself.
Been arrested.
Laughed and had milk/soda come out of your nose.
It was soda and I had a seriously choking attack. Pushed all the buttons on an elevator.
Made out in an elevator.
Sworn at my parents.
Kicked a guy where it hurts. As I said I have three brothers...
Been skydiving.
Been bungee jumping.
Broken a bone. Does a toe count?
Played spin the bottle.
Gotten stitches.
I climbed a ragged fence when I was about 3-right between my thumb and pointer finger.
Drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour. I hate milk.
Bitten someone.
Been to Niagara Falls.
Gotten the chicken pox.
Crashed into a car. I was the passenger in a VW Bug and it was an Econoline van-blacked out even.
Been to Asia.
Ridden in a taxi.
Been fired.
Stole something from my job.
I ate a few good chocolates from a Gourmet Shop I worked at.
Gone on a blind date.
Had a crush on a teacher/coach.
Celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Been to Europe.
Slept with a co-worker.
Been married. Am married
Gotten divorced.
Saw someone dying. My maternal grandmom.
Driven over 400 miles in one day. We drove to Florida the year I graduated from high school.
Been to Canada.
Been on a plane.
Seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Thrown up in a bar.
Eaten Sushi.
tried sushi-yeck
Been snowboarding.
Been skiing.
Been ice skating.
Met someone in person from the internet.
Been to a car show.

Gone to college.
Done hard drugs.
Taken painkillers.
Met a celebrity.
John Travolta-we didn't actually talk with him back in '75-he signed a photo of himself for me! And then there was Frank Bielec from Trading Spaces.
I like playing practical jokes. I do occassionally
Once swore Disco would never die. I have to swear I did disco dance!
Seen a ghost.
It was on an internet site where they had cameras set up in an abandoned old hospital. A face came right up to the camera after I had seen nothing but darkness for like an hour!
Attended a professional sporting event.
Phillies and Flyers
Attended a live rock concert. Many!!
Have ESP-I have foretold many events-it's like a feeling of doom sometimes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

More stress

My mom went to the doctor today because he was concerned that she was still suffering with pain after over 2 months of having shingles. She has postherpetic neuralgia.
Researchers say about 10%-15% of those who experience shingles go on to develop persistent pain, a condition known as postherpetic neuralgia. The condition affects the nerves and the skin and causes pain that can burn, ache, or resemble an electric shock. (Sounds like fun!)

I am bummed that she couldn't have been in the percentage that gets over it. She's lost 10 pounds and is down to 113, but she looks thinner. Now she has a pain patch, the pain pills and some other kind of medication. Hopefully the Ensure she drinks will help build her up. I'm still pushing vitamin and herbal therapy. Too bad she didn't go a month ago. Wish her well as her big birthday is in 10 days.
Brian just called and wanted to know if I wanted a three week old kitten that needs to be bottlefed. A lady at work has three. Now who would be feeding this kitten all the time? And what about my 5 yr old cat Cosmo? I would break his little heart! Cosmo has to go to the vet's for a few shots today as it is. I think because he saw the kitten in person he was 'taken in' by its cuteness. Ah, what a guy.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Flea markets

So it's coming into my favorite time of the year, the time for festivals and flea markets. Yesterday we hit a flea market/tailgate sale at my old college. You all know that among the mostly junky stuff are buried treasures. Not that we get to them at the crack of dawn, but if you go later in the day, the sellers would rather lose a few dollars then wrap the item up and load it back into their vehicle. I got a few treasures-one of which was a Royal Copley cat planter (the photo is one like mine and it looks like my cat). Before I go into details, make sure you wear dark sunglasses and haggle a bit. After many years of going to these kinds of sales, you know the good stuff. I would do so well on the BBC America show 'Bargain Hunt'! So the guy wanted $15 for this. I pretended I thought it was a pitcher (so lame) and he corrected me and said 'no it's a planter'. So I said how about $10, and he said how about $12 and I said ok. He didn't have change for a $20 and Brian came up with $4 for me to add to my $7. All the time this guy is telling me it's a Shawnee pottery item. He didn't know he was actually being helpful.
So after I got home, I hopped on eBay and first did a 'Shawnee cat planter' search-nothing. But, there were items that were designed and painted like mine and they were Royal Copleys! I did a search again using 'Royal Copley cat planter' and someone was selling the same item for $9.99. I was a bit bummed, but did a google search and Ruby Lane antiques came up. They were selling the same cat planter-two of them for $45 and $55. Yeah! Even at half price, I did well paying $12.
I also got a cute Children's book (lithographs)from 1893, a cobalt
blue Bicentennial bell, a Hallmark ornament of a bunny cross stitching and an old chef salt shaker.
We went up to my hometown and hit Super Sunday. More vendors! I found a table where they were selling Precious Moments and Charming Tails items are great prices. Unfortunately getting there late, they were pushing the last of what they had, but what I bought I was happy with.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Scenes of the day

I took very few photos-it was crowded and not much to photograph.

The banner next to the fairly new clock tower in downtown Kennett Square, PA

Where's Sean? Actually I didn't see him when I took this photo of the masses. See the flood of people behind the rock climbing wall? Sean is in the light yellow plaid shirt and sunglasses.

All I brought home-a free guide (all ads) and 3 locally made bars of soap. The one thing I wanted to see, a cooking demo was all ready over.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Another anniversary

I cross stitched a square for the WTC (World Trade Center) quilt project back in 2002. I was looking at this site as the woman who made the three for the above project is starting up another project for Hurricane Katrina victims. She had also done one for the Columbine tragedy. My square ended up on the Pennsylvania quilt as I hoped it would. Kathi (the seamstress and organizer) tried to put people in order of where they lived. I did the apple pie square. The plane went down in Somerset County about 4 squares away from mine on the quilt. It is outlined in red. Very scary and such a sad anniversary.

Incidently, Shanksville is 3 hours and 46 minutes away from where we live. See the purple line and go right to left. Geez, my friend Melanie from suburban Pitts lives a lot closer!

20th anniversary Mushroom Festival

We practically live in Kennett Square, PA. They changed our mailing addy to another town, yet we live a hop, skip and a jump away from KS. We have lived here for 19 years. The Mushroom Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. We plan to try to get up there before the crowds hit. They say they had 100,000 in attendance last year. This may be due in part to the fact that the festival was on Food Network in 2003. I believe I mentioned this last September. And I recognized half the people they filmed for the show (including one of Sean's kindergarten teachers)!
Sean is writing an English paper on the festival. He emailed two local mushroom farms and one of the managers from Phillips took time from his busy pre-festival schedule to answer Sean's 5 questions (part of the assignment). Very nice.
So I may be doing a follow-up to this post. I can't even imagine 5K people in KS let alone 100,000, but that was over the course of the two day event. The imagine is from a t-shirt going for $25-ouch!

Perennials I have...

I don't want Kasmira from Cincinnati Cape Cod coming over here and thinking I just plant all annuals. I have tons of perennials. The following list is off the top of my head and may not be the correct name for the plant, but I'll give it a shot:
I have several ground covers-one a pretty yellow and one a green with a silvery trim
Sweet Peas
Wild begonias
grasses-variegated and another
Japanese iris and bearded iris
day lily and Asiatic lilies
Trumpet vine
Autumn Joy Sedum
some bulbs-a few tulips, daffodils and grape hyacinth
Baby's breath
a few varieties of ferns
a pretty heart-shaped leaf with little pinkish bells-'something' wort
Bleeding Heart
and many flowering bushes
I find that more perennials will not make it and then I have to replace them and they can be pricey. I think it's great anytime you can share with neighbors or friends. But I will continue to plant my beloved annuals in all their festive colors. The perennials make a nice backdrop for them!

Thursday, September 08, 2005


I like some bugs, but spiders bother me. It has to do with an article I read years ago about the brown recluse spider and Brian's dad. A lady had been cleaning her stylist chair in the basement of her house (she cut hair down there) and a brown recluse was hiding under it and bit her on the arm. Her arm got painful and swollen and she got a fever. I believe she ended up getting a hunk of her arm cut out. My father-in-law also had some weird craters on his legs and they wouldn't heal. The doctors at the wound center were perplexed and guessed the sores were caused by spider bites. So you see where my fear came from.
Yesterday I was in our bedroom getting dressed and a large spider was walking along the edge of Brian's armoire. I decided to brush it off and squoosh it with my sneaker. After I brushed it off, it disappeared! Shoot!
It took me forever to settle down last night. I had to look in every corner of the ceiling and shake the pillows. I'm hoping the spider took a hike out of there.
Yesterday I found a small, lifeless black swallowtail near the mailbox. His little antenneas were straight, but his feet were curled under. Probably got in the way of a car, though his wings were undamaged. I rested him gently on a flower in the front garden.

This is a similar butterfly.


I was getting my 'Bravo fix' tonight and after the season finale of Kathy Griffin's D-list show, an Improv show came on. I love Improv. It really shows the creativity of the performer. There were mostly Saturday Night Live people on tonight. Amy Pollard is a regular. Tina Fey was one of the guests. Tina Fey grew up about 10 miles from me. What they do on this show is pick the guests to do a monologue from a word shouted out in the audience. So Tina kept saying 'I grew up outside of Philadelphia' and mentioned a local tv show called 'Al Alberts Showcase'. My brother happened to be on this show at one time with the school choir and we were in the audience at WPVI. She mentioned the Bicentennial when everyone was painting everything red, white and blue and wearing flags on pants. She mentioned the Phila Art museum and Rocky. That was pretty neat to be able to relate to that. I believe Tina is about to give birth to her first baby, so I wish her well.
Update-thanks to Celebrity Baby Blog:
Live from New York, it's Tina Fey's baby!
Saturday Night Live head writer and Weekend Update co-anchor Tina Fey and her husband Jeff Richmond welcomed a daughter this past Saturday (9-10), who they have named Alice. An NBC rep reveals that the new baby weighed in at a (little!) 5 lbs, 5oz, and that "everyone is safe, home, happy, and thrilled to death." This is the first child for the couple, who have been together for 11 years!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

They should have...

...gotten out of New Orleans as they were warned on the impending danger. This isn't me talking it's someone very close to me. It was in reply to how this person felt about seeing all the people living in the sports arenas. I can hardly ever see eye to eye on subjects like that with this person and it's so frustrating. In fact, so many people I know aren't even talking that much about the horrific events of this past week. One of them is more concerned about getting his stock quotes. Where's the empathy people?
I hope you caught Oprah yesterday Did you see her look at what the 'survivors' (not 'refugees' we are ALL Americans) had to put up with at living in a dark and stinky sports arena? Dr. Oz was examining a few dead people just laying in front of the arena and near a bridge-this is America-leaving the dead laying around for days (they were on high ground) is like a war zone story. The first victim had been shot.
Nate, the designer rescued two dogs so the people would get on the bus out of NOLA. The man was so grateful and hugged Nate. The man and dog were reunited the next day. I have never seen Oprah shed so many tears.
On a personal level, I have not heard from my friend Terri from Jasper, Alabama and Michele from Saucier, MS for a week. Michele wrote, I believe, last Monday a week ago and said she was taking her family to Florida. I hope my pals and their families are well and doing ok.
I am planning to donate some money from my eBay sales to the Red Cross or other orgs. Every little bit helps.
PS-I wanted to add a little something. I have a great friend out west who sent me an email about 'not blaming the government' (in so many words) and that the people should have had emergency kits set up like she does in case there is an earthquake where she lives. I think that's a good idea, but when you are facing winds of 140 mph, I don't know how you can hold on to a kit or whatever when you are trying to save your own life. Plus, the EKs do eventually run out.
Oprah was touching yet again. Good to see some celebs lending a hand. Wonder if Bill Gates has donated anything?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Chicken Castellina

This is what I had for dinner last night. It's so good. Guess you could alter it a bit, but try it this way first! Found the recipe here.

2 oz. Pancetta (or bacon), diced
3 oz. Butter, cubed
1 tsp. Garlic, chopped
2 oz. Sun-dried tomatoes, diced
12 oz. Heavy cream
12 oz. Milk
1 oz. Cornstarch
2 oz. Grated Parmesan
3 oz. Smoked Gouda, chopped
3 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
8 1/2 oz. Can sliced artichokes, drained
1 Tbsp. Fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper

1 1/2 lbs. Skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut in 1 to 1-1/2-inch pieces
6 oz. Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1 1/2 oz. Olive oil
2 oz. White wine
1 1/2 lbs. Cooked pasta
Fresh parsley, chopped

Sauce Preparation
In a 3-qt sauce pan or large pot, sauté pancetta (or bacon) over medium/high heat until crisp and golden (not dark).
Lower heat, add butter and melt.
Add garlic and sun-dried tomatoes.
Sauté for approximately one minute stirring frequently (do not brown).
Whisk in cream, milk and cornstarch. Raise heat to medium/high.
Whisk in Parmesan and Gouda.
Once cheese melts, add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil stirring continuously.
Remove from heat and let stand uncovered.
Chicken Preparation
Mix flour with salt and pepper. Coat chicken in seasoned flour, shake off excess flour.
Heat olive oil in large sauté pan.
Add chicken in a single layer and cook until golden brown on both sides (it should take approximately seven minutes). Using a meat thermometer, make sure the internal temperature of the thickest piece of chicken reaches 165° F.
Begin pasta in a separate pot according to package directions.
Add wine to chicken in pan (caution: there will be a low flame in pan). Toss gently until wine is evaporated.
Once reduced, add sauce and bring to a boil on medium/high heat
Place 6 oz of cooked pasta on each plate.
Evenly distribute chicken and sauce over pasta.
Garnish with chopped parsley.
Serves 4.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Surreal setting

Ever feel like you stepped into a movie and all the main characters were stereotypes of what they looked like? Brian's dad told us a restuarant (and bar) up the road from him sold huge cheesesteaks. I just couldn't hack another KFC fix or Domino cardboard pizza. Since Brian worked so hard, Sean and I went up to the place since we didn't have their takeout menu. We walked in and a bleach blonde woman about my age was standing there in what looked like a modified underwear top. Her white top must have came right out of the Frederick of Hollywood's catalog. It was basically a bra with a little lacy piece hanging a bit over her stomach. The back was a criss cross of gold. And I swore she was wearing a g-string. I believe she was the waitress as I saw her carrying a tray of dirty dishes. My 18 yr old got an eye full! The guy making the food was a typical cute, right off the boat Italian. He reminded me of the John Belushi cheeseburger maker. 'Fries, you whata two-ok.' A little, old black man with a big grin and probably nice buzz and who was probably a regular, came in and said 'hello, I'm Mr. Byrd'. What's that? He pointed to his shirt-his name was embroidered on his shirt! Seeing Sean sitting there, he reintroduced himself and invited my boy to the bar. I said, 'he's only 18'. I guess Sean looked like a nice kid to chat to.
And the cheesesteaks were huge! Next time-delivery.

Labor Day weekend

We filled up our days pretty good this year.
Saturday-Brian trimmed the forsythia bushes for the second (and probably last time) this year. I'd love for him to get a chainsaw and really cut them in half, but he won't. I weed whacked around the front yard. I didn't realize how weedy my little flagstone path leading to the side yard was! It looks so nice now.
Sunday-Brian's dad gets a belated birthday gift (from June though he had the paint and accessories stored at his house). The guys put the first coat of white paint on the wood part of his dad's porch. It was a long time coming. I cleaned the big bay window and most of the siding on the porch and even started painting a rickety bench there. The prep took the most time. I helped with a wire brush and then I wiped down the three posts holding up the porch. I even cleaned the porch light and today bought Dad C a new door mat. Needless to say, we were tired today.
Monday-I was so achy I didn't get to sleep until after three this morning. I didn't hurt until I laid down on the bed. I wanted to go mattress shopping, but we just weren't up to it. I hope to do that in a few days time. Brian took me to Big Lots and I got another bookcase for my cookbooks and then Sean drove us to Olive Garden (down in Delaware) and we had a nice dinner. The guys got the 'endless bowl of pasta' which they have on a separate menu on the table. If you don't pick that up, you don't see it. They could only manage one bowl each as they had two huge pieces of sausage to eat. I had Chicken Cattelina (I think) with sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and mushrooms. After dinner we hit Marshalls and I bought a cute pair of celery green leather slide-ons with bows on top. I have lots of clothes this color. When we got home I cut Brian's mop.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Froggie piggie back ride

I have a little floating crocodile in the pond and a leopard frog decided he needed a ride. This photo is greatly photoshopped as it was dark and there was lots of grass hanging over the croc's face.

College boy

Friday, September 02, 2005

Ok, I recommend

I was up late looking at all the goodies on which is abbrievated for Better Homes & Gardens online. There's something for everyone! I was there looking at the different themed garden lay-outs; in particular- a front shady bed my mom has in her yard. I'd thought I'd give her an IOU to replant this next spring for her 75th birthday that's coming up. I already did the side of her house as mentioned earlier. You do have to register to check out the garden themes that can be downloaded from a PDF file.
I hopped over briefly to the craft section to get ideas for Christmas gifts. There are some cute ones! Think you can make a snowman candle holder out of a little fishbowl? Yes you can!
And the recipes are probably great, but I saved them for another time.
I just got the pricey latest issue of BHG Garden Ideas and outdoor living. It's really a beauty and a keeper. And they have container plantings Zoey! There is one in a big basket that I love. Check out the container section.

Stitcher's Blogger question...

What do you use to hold your fabric while you stitch? A hoop, a Q-Snap, a scroll frame, something else, or do you stitch in hand? Have you always used just the one thing, or have you tried one or more of the others? Which do you like best, and why?
When I first started I used one of those round, metal embroidery hoops. I've had wooden ones too. I don't like the mark it leaves on the fabric. I found q-snaps about the time I started doing the charity quilts because I knew there had to be a better way. I love them! (but not the big cumbersome ones). I like my fabric tight and my 'x's uniform. Sorry those of you who hold in hand, I can tell when a stitcher does this as the 'x's aren't as straight-my opinion. They may have more of a homemade look which is perfectly fine-whatever floats your boat. I DO hold smaller pieces in my hand and find that my hand gets tired faster. I have a scroll frame that I haven't really grown use to.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I want a full tank for $30!

I was totally disgusted at the gas pump today. For one thing, I never, ever spent $30 on gas in one shot. But when I got in the driver's seat and saw it was a little above half, I wanted to cry. Me, with a son who is a commuter student. My mom said since she can't drive that much, if I come down to take her out somewhere (46 mile round trip), she will help me with gas. I was talking with a man at the pump and he said he called the oil company to lock in the cheaper price. I didn't even think about heating oil. I think we'll be wearing lots of sweaters and utilizing the fireplace more this winter.
I went down to my mom's for the first time since our trip. I had to stop and get her pain pill prescription and then Sean came over after school (his college is about 5 miles away) and we took her to CVS. I did get to put down the 3 bags of autumn red mulch where I planted the 14 daylilies next to the house. They all survived and are coming up nicely. The mulch sets off the bricks on the house nicely. I also used her weed whacker that keeps coming apart where it needs a big bolt between the top and bottom piece.
Sean and I went to the local brick oven place and he got a big dish of spaghetti and I got a white pizza. The owner has some gorgeous coleus in big containers in the front of the restaurant. On one side of the parking lot, he has a long strip garden with tomatoes and cucumbers (saves money on buying them for his salads!). He also has tons of zinnias along the road. Anyway, after we ate, I batted my eyes at the owner and told him his coleus were beautiful and asked if he trimmed them often. He said they were only good for 3 more weeks (no kidding), but I suggested about growing them inside. He gave me a pair of scissors and said 'don't go crazy'. I got a nice sampling of about 5 different varieties. If they make it (root in water), then I will have some for next year. I need to cut some of my colorful ones too. Doesn't hurt to ask, does it?

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