Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Working on the 2005 photo collage

I decided to work on the annual newsletter for the Christmas cards. I use to write about what we did during the year, but that isn't really exciting. Photos tell the story so much better. Of course 2005 was Sean's year. At least it helped me not think about my drip drip. I am a little better, but something irritated my throat. Brian got us pizza, so I appreciated that.

~Update-I can never leave these projects alone. No way was I sending out a collage of myself wearing a bathing suit so I subbed it with Sean and me in EPCOT. My older brother would tease the heck out of me. Brian said it needed to be more festive so I added Christmas balls, gifts and branches.

Chinese water torture

My day has been ruined-no eyeglass shopping, etc. I had 'ants' crawling down one side of my throat all night. I guess it's post nasal drip. I did finally fall asleep after using Flonase (as a last resort), but I am miserable again. I am thinking it may be from a variety of things from moving around dusty items (the box spring had all this pulverized rubber or whatever on it from the mattress cover and guess who had to clean that off?) Then to add insult to injury, I was raking leaves at my mom's house on Sunday. No wonder I am whacked out. I hope that's it and I can get over it quickly. Wish me luck.

Conan O'Brien mentioned the guy who dumped his mother's ashes on the playing field during a football game in Philly this past weekend. That was her final wish. That must have been fun to clean up!
...Christopher Noteboom faces a charge of defiant trespass.
His mother died of emphysema in January and he says she "never cared for any other team except the Eagles." He tells local TV that now she'll "always be a part of Lincoln Financial Field and the Eagles."
Police say they have "zero tolerance" for people who run on the field. The Eagles say they've gotten requests to spread ashes in the past but don't permit it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Weird weather

It's been in the 60s around these parts. Talk about messing with your sinuses-ugh! Tonight my throat feels funny. Brian says his throat is clogged. It's been raining buckets all night.I guess it could have been snow if it was colder. If it's almost December, so I prefer colder weather.
My neighbor just shot an 8 point deer near our side yard and he did it on his 75th birthday yesterday. I was talking to his wife about our lousy trash service and she filled me in on the deer. He had just killed one on a recent trip too. We were saying with all the deer around how it was amazing how neither of us (or our guys) had seen that many ticks. That's a good thing.
Sean is working on one of his last papers of the semester on the last war in the former Yugoslavia. It was suppose to be a group project and the other guys aren't doing their share. I tried to proof read the draft, but couldn't follow this one section with a jumble of facts. I told Sean he really needs to organize those facts to make the professor happy. And to make matters worse, one of his team members called at 10:30 tonight to say his grandmom was in an accident. Geez.
Tomorrow I'm going to mom's and maybe look for glasses where they won't rob me. Sean picked up his pair today and the new rectangular shaped, dark pewter framed glasses look nice on him. The sunglass part is detachable, but they can also flip up. Hope he is careful with them.

Papa bear passes on

Brian was reading that Stan Berenstain who co-wrote all the Berenstain books with his wife Jan just passed away at the age of 82 at his home in Bucks County, Pa. Now I never knew they were from up that way, one of my favorite PA spots. Sean said he didn't remember the name, but he definitely had a few Berenstain books as I probably did as the couple started writing the books in 1962. If he saw the drawings of the bear family, he would remember. A salute to Stan for his bear books concerning family relationships. I think I even have a cross stitch leaflet featuring the Berenstain bears!

Stitching blogger question

A little late as the new one is coming up tomorrow...
Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question" was suggested by Kimberly and is:

Do you always sign your projects? If not, why? If so, do you use your first name, initials or what?
I do sign everything. It's my hard work and a unique piece and that's true with all pieces because your stitching itself is a signature even though the pattern may be designed by someone else.
For the Love Quilts I usually do my first name and last initials and year. Mostly I do my initials and the year.

Mixed feelings

I would like to thank the people I know who are overflowing with Christmas spirit and have their homes decorated already. I have been admiring your lovely photos and getting ideas for my house. I do things in a little bit of a different order. I like to get the Christmas cards and photo/photo newsletter done first. A few years ago, it snowed at the beginning of December, so we threw on our red sweaters and took a photo. It turned out really nice. We took another one last year of the three of us sitting on the new red sofa. My idea this year was to have Sean sitting in his '98 Taurus and us standing next to the car on either side. I don't know if they like that idea. We may skip it this year. And the photo newsletter isn't a brag letter (you know the horrible ones you get), it's a few shots of us through the year. People know I like to take photos and enjoy this kind of update on us.
One thing I would like to do is decorate the tree in something other the multi-color lights and a mismatch of ornaments. Not to get me wrong, I cherish all of them, but I want a Victorian tree with no red on it this year-mostly pink and white and silver. I've been saving these gorgeous Martha Stewart ornaments for a while, so it's my turn to do the tree as I please. Maybe just this once or whatever. I do most of the prep work for all the holidays, so that will be my reward.
My mixed feelings are the way people are handling gift buying. I was sickened last year by the people rushing in the stores before the crack of dawn to purchase the 'popular' items at various retail stores. The stores know what happened last year (and other years), but their greed gets in the way. What's the holiday about anyway? I am hoping that people will learn and celebrate the holiday like it is suppose to be celebrated-surrounded by family and loved ones.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Sunday night

Well it's been a heck of a ride these last few days. I have been doing more cleaning and moving stuff then I have done in years. We did get the new bed yesterday. When I stand up next to it, it cuts me in half, that's how high it is. It's going to take some getting use to. My 4 poster white iron bed frame was removed. The delivery guys said it 'wouldn't work' (they were a bunch of Hispanic kids). I believe the bed is too high for it now. We have no headboard and the bed is in a corner. Brian thinks he can at least salvage the old one and I was thinking of making a fabric cover to put over it since it's missing it's top poles now. I really didn't want a 'footer' at the end. The iron bars were getting so creaky anyway. When you lay on the new bed it feels like you are laying on dozens of those oval sponges. I'm not use to anything like that. I am sure I will love it soon.
Brian and I took mom home today. We stopped at my brother Ken's so she could pick up her car. It was due for inspection and Ken replaced the rear bumper that mom had damaged. He is a master mechanic. He's the brother (I have three) who is redoing his entire house. He is working on his great room/kitchen and doing most of the work himself. Today we found out that a neighbor's tree in the back came crashing down on their deck, destroying that, all the furniture and the grill. The garage's gutter is hanging off, and their new skylight is scratched. The neighbor never said anything (Ken has homeowner's). It's a hilly neighborhood where you can look up and see the neighbor's backyards. I was sick when I saw all the damage. I almost cried, so I was glad to go over to mom's house. Everything Ken does is self-taught. I am really proud of my handsome little brother.
When we went to mom's we got busy raking leaves. I turned on the leaf blower and cleaned off the patio. We were out there over an hour and made a big dent in the leaves, but we are far from finished. I told Brian I would take him out to dinner, so we went to Ruby's Diner. I had the best bacon cheeseburger ever.
When I got home, I wrote my first recommendation letter for a friend. She had sent me one from another mutual friend and mine paled in comparsion. Needless to say, I added to my letter. I hope my friend likes it.
The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show tonight is one that a young woman from went to witness. She took many photos of all the people associated with the show. I'm anxious to see if I notice her in the crowd.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The day after

Surprisingly, I am not that tired. I can't be tired anyway. I have too much to do for the bed delivery tomorrow. I cleared the hallway area (even of the pictures hanging there) and am working on the bedroom. I have bags of Christmas gifts in there, so they need to be moved. The dust bunnies are revolting! I think I have rounded them all up, and another appears around a corner! Tomorrow we will disasemble the old bed and clean under it. Hope I find some goodies (I see boxes under there).
Sean took Mom out to Walmart. No way was I going and getting in the mob scene of Black Friday. I really don't have a lot left to buy for Christmas and I think I'll do most of that online. We said we weren't going to overdo gifts because of our trip to Florida in May.
This afternoon, Carly Simon and her kids Sally and Ben Taylor were on Martha Stewart and sang with their mom. I love the Taylors and have seen Sally in concert a few years ago (it was free at a nice shopping area). I also have signed CDs (thanks to my friend Laurie) from both Ben and Sally's collections. Sally was wearing a dress she had knitted. It was different colors of brown rectangles, with mocha at the top and dark brown at the bottom. Martha commented on it and her nice figure. I should be an 'honorary Taylor' as I have loved James since I've been 13. I almost got to talk to Sally at the concert. She eyeballed me and that's it as she left to sign CDs. I have left a message or two on her website and she responded to one. I said she reminded me of her dad's sister Kate and she liked that.
That's all the excitement for the far.

My birthday poncho

Here I am in my lovely Martha Stewart 'coming home' poncho given to me by my pal Karin. I look a little tired as I had just cooked all day. But don't ya all love it?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Eve snow

I learned that is was snowing from Sean looking at the radar on the internet. Sure enough, it was correct! The first snow of the season. It's a little early for us and probably won't stick around all day tomorrow. Sean has to get my mom and bring her out and she'll stay a night or two, so I hope the inch or so melts by noon. On Friday we have to move stuff away from where the delivery guys will bring the bed. I started that venture earlier in the week. I also need to kill some dust bunnies under the bed the next day. And search for missing shoes, and what not.
Sean and I watched 'Hotel Rowanda'. He had to read the book 'The Bone Woman' that the movie is based on. He had seen the movie in school, but thought I'd like to see it. It was pretty good, a little nasty in some parts, but good.
I had to watch the movie and two of my shows, 'Lost' and 'Invasion' in Sean's room. He has a futon (fold up) bed and it's not too bad to sit on, but not for 4 hours. I had the cat off and on my lap more than once too wondering what the heck was going on. 'Lost' was good tonight as the plane crash survivors from the back met up with those in the front and one set was a married couple.
I got some lovely birthday gifts tonight. My friend Karin sent me an authentic version of the poncho that Martha Stewart wore when she got out of prison, from Martha Stewart's website. I can't remember being that excited about a gift for a long time. It's nice and long. I'll have to pose with it on. And my friend Charlotte sent me delicious chocolates from Ireland and some have liquer center. Oh mama!
That's about it for the night.
Happy Bird day y'all and eat a serving of stuffing on me!

It was the worse of was the best of times...

In that order please. I got up this morning and went to turn on the tv in the family room-no picture. No amount of fooling with the remote helped. Brian called and said he had watched tv this morning. I broke down a few hours ago and called a few places and one quoted me $100-125 to fix the transmitter. They both said it was the power supply. This is the first problem we have had with this tv. Bummer with it being Thanksgiving tomorrow.
I've been cleaning my arsp off too. Finally resorted to the clothes basket dump-throw all the odds and ends in a clothes basket for sorting later. I can't believe the amount of stuff in my kitchen. Brian keeps buying huge cans of coffee and I have no cabinet space for them or lots of other stuff that is piled under the wall oven. I am desperate for a new kitchen. I keep entering contests and have no luck!
The mincemeat pie is baked (ugh) and I put the pumpkin into too hot an oven and when I went to check it, some splashed over the side. Not pretty. I hate when that happens. The house smells so good. Those smells are some of the best parts of any holiday-baking takes me away better than Calgon.
The best thing about today is that I sold some Snoopy flags for over $30! I have a nice collection of flags, but the pole didn't like the stucco, so it fell out all the time. Since I can't use them, eBay seemed like the right venue for them. I was right!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Books, books and more books

I'm trying to make room for people to walk in the living room. I still had the books from Saturday and the last book sale piled high between the living room and dining area. We really don't use our living room. It has a little floral Victorian settee covered with teddy bears situated in front of the fire place. In front of the settee is a little curio table with goodies displayed inside not to compete with the tall curio cabinet in the corner next to the fireplace.There are teddies under a sofa table too. Then I have a roll top desk (painted dark green and bought new) and an old opened hutch that belonged to my great aunt that I had painted mauve about 10 years ago. I saved that piece from my mom's basement. I may paint it again to go better with the desk. It sounds cluttered, but I do rearrange and switch out the teddies, especially at this time of the year. So on either side of that hutch are my 50+ hardback cross stitch books. I am gathering them all together to sort and inventory. I have to see if I really like them all enough to keep. I was telling Barbara (Mainly Stitching) that I have gone to one too many book sales and discount book stores. I go to them now and I hardly ever buy anything related to cross stitch-I have most of them I guess. If anyone in blogger world is looking for any hardback cross stitch book and I have it, maybe I can cut you a good deal.
The 'neat' person that is hiding in me wants to get things organized. We have people coming in the house and I need to clear a path, to where the cable guy may go. I need help with that. Then the new bed is hopefully coming on Saturday. I am counting the days.
I'll 'bake' the frozen pies tomorrow and clean some more. A bomb looks like it dropped in the kitchen!

Medium in 3D

I wonder how many people bought the TV Guide this week to get the 3D glasses for 'Medium' tonight? I think it's a cool concept, but maybe I was too far away to really appreciate or see the whole effect of it. I should have been sitting like 2 feet in front of the tv. I am near-sighted and I could never get those books that were popular a few years ago, also 3D or you were suppose to see the design moving. I usually felt half sick trying not to blink.
I went out in the rain to food shop. I really didn't want to go. I was hoping it wouldn't be too crowded and it wasn't at all. I had a coupon for $18 off if you spend $180. With Thanksgiving looming and it being over a week since I shopped, I had no problem spending that. I even treated myself to some flowers for the dinner table. I figured they were free.
When I got home I made a batch of chili in about 20 minutes, took care of laundry and getting the flowers in a vase so I could see Oprah's holiday giveaway show. I am so glad that the audience all helped in the Katrina relief effort. They got some awesome things like a video Ipod and a desktop computer. And a diamond watch.
My house doesn't look like it is ready for company. It's just going to be Brian's dad and my mom, though the guys are squawking at having to go get her that day. She really isn't able to drive herself 45 minutes. I was even thinking of us eating and then taking mom and Jim dinner and having dessert with them. Brian thinks I will be too tired. He may be right, I know what time of the month it is (perfect timing) and I haven't felt great all week. Wish me luck because I need it!
My friend Vikki from Philly sent me some lovely things for my birthday today. She handmade me a silver beaded bracelet with teal beads (can you tell I like that color?) She also sent me a scissor fob made from beads and homemade beads. I'll have to take a photo of them. I appreciate getting a sharp pair of scissors too. I can't forget the little Uncle Sam button she also made that will go on something Patriotic. Thanks VG! We've chatted a few times on the phone lately which is nice, but my father-in-law keeps interrupting us-every time!
Gonna go watch Jimmy Carter on the Tonight Show, one of my favorite ex-prez and all around human. I wrote a paper about the election back in 1976 and got an 'A' on it, so I've admired him that long!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Stitching Blogger Question

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

How do you feel about staying totally true to a pattern? Do you feel that you have to rip out stitches to fix a mistake or do you feel it's acceptable to incorporate a mistake into the design?

I would say I do stay true to the original pattern. Usually the colors are the main attractions to the design, correct? But if I wanted to change something, I have no trouble doing so.
I only rip out stitches if they totally screw up that area of the design. I will work around something if it's only known to me that it is the incorrect color and still looks good.

In the mood for Thanksgiving?

Hope this helps!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Dairy Queen turns into a funeral home

This could only happen in suburban America. Am I right?
Down the pike in Kennett, the red and white Dairy Queen, that also happens to look like a barn, closed down after 33 years. A funeral home is definitely taking it over as displayed on the big red and white sign that is faded on one side from the sun and use to inform us of new Blizzard flavors. I do have some memories of DQ. I remember going in there very pregnant after looking at houses for sale as I had to go to the bathroom so badly. We went there the last time we saw Brian's mom in the hospital. We didn't know it was going to be the last time we saw her as she passed on two days later. She was telling us to leave as visitor's hours were over at 9. So you see why we stopped for ice cream on that hot August night.
So I can't see this place as a funeral home when I used the drive thru more times then I care to share. It's not a bad location, but the people driving north will have a heck of a time getting in there or leaving. I am sure they will probably tear it all down.
They are doing something to the Pizza Hut down the road. I sure hope it's not a bank, or funeral parlor!

Change in the future

I was on the phone today with Comcast and we will probably be switching to broadband within the next few weeks. We can also get phone service through them too. The woman was really nice and hopefully this will save us $40 a month. I had just added another phone to our wireless and the woman who sold me the phone said I should drop our long distance service. I went on the internet and actually signed up with Vontage, but guess what, you still need a broadband provider. Comcast has 'voice over internet' so we can drop the two phone lines we have. There aren't too many people on our road who have Comcast, so they have to 'survey' the area before we can sign up. I know our neighbor 2 doors down has it.
We are excited to get rid of dial-up as it's so slow. Maybe I can get more accomplished in a shorter amount of time. We'll be dropping AOL.
Thanks to Vikki in Philly for her help too!

Nice day yesterday

I swear I was going to post something about my birthday. I was just too blasted tired last night to think straight.
We did go down to Dover, DE and Sean drove the 120 miles round trip. It's a pretty direct route-not a lot to see, but it took about 1 hour to get there.
The bookstore I like, one of my main reasons for going to Dover, had a November sale. All the books with yellow stickers were 50% off. I could have done some serious damage there, but I did get some awfully good buys. My favorites are: 'Beside the Seaside' by Joseph Connolly filled with old-fashioned shots of people romping on various beaches and boardwalk scenes. Since I live near lots of beaches, I love photos like this (priced at $7.98 with I think 60% off that price). I also love 'The Wizard of Oz' and never read all the books related to the original. I got 'The Annotated Wizard of Oz-Centennial Edition' that talks about the book and has all the illustrations in one volume for only $5.00! Those are only a few of many purchased. Needless to say, I bought a lot of gifts yesterday.
The guys gave me thoughtful gifts before we left on our day trip. Sean even bought wrapping paper! He presented me with Penn State ornaments (blue and white balls with the Nittany Lion motto), a Nittany Lion beanie and some hand lotion and things bought from the mall.
Brian gave me emerald earrings, a amaryllis to grow and a few little things.
We went to The Olive Garden for dinner which was good as usual and I hit Dollar Tree and AC Moore before we hit the road.
I had to remind them to get me a cake and they ran into a food store there and bought me a chocolate fudge cake which we enjoyed when we got home.
Here we are at the Olive Garden waiting to eat:

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Cute birthday share

Thank you to all my pals near and far for wishing me a Happy Birthday.
We are about to partake on a little day trip to Delaware for some shopping, my favorite way to spend my birthday. Here's a cute share.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Blogger and family connection

Late last night I got an email about a blogger post. Here my '3rd' cousin (not sure about the cousin rank) did a search for his store and found a post I left back in April of this year. My post was about the passing of Prince Rainier. Drew's grandmom went on the boat to Monaco because she was a close family friend of the Kellys when Grace and Rainier married. So Drew was trying to remember who I was and I filled him in, etc. Our great grandfathers were brothers! He and his brothers (there are 8 siblings-4 of each) run Dane Decor an upscale Danish furniture store in the Philly area. His mom Gloria started the store in an old church back in 1973. I did get to see this store when it first opened. Gloria came to our wedding and gave us a teak tea cart that we still use.
I told Drew that my mom had his mom as a student teacher in high school. Drew's mom and grandmom were really wonderful women.

I shared this photo with Drew from about 1904. That's my great grandmom Caroline (Carrie) who was married to William. The little girl standing is Ethel Grace who passed on from pneumonia when she was only 7. And the little baby is my grandmom Ruth Caroline. My brother Ken looked just like her when he was a baby. Ken's daughter's name is Victoria Caroline.
A sad reflection is that most of my Hasselberg relatives are buried in unmarked graves because my family couldn't afford tombstones. Little Ethel was one of the first ones buried at Arlington Cemetery (not the one in DC). I would like to at least get a marker placed there someday. My Stroud great and grandparents have one because my mom is going in the same place. I helped pay for it after saving money for a while.

Things change but really stay the same

On the way to mom's I am mainly on Route 1 which runs through Chadds Ford. A business took over an old stone house (or was it a mill?) that has been boarded up as long as I can remember. It's right near the Brandywine River Museum. There is a new addition and a big drive and parking lot. It really looks nice. So glad a landmark building was sound enough to reuse.
Driving through Media, my hometown, there are some changes, but not too many. Businesses have come and gone. In my mind's eye I can see what stores use to be there. Like the old Woolworth store (still retail) and the Thriftway food store which is now an Iron Hill Restaurant and Brewery. The old army auxilary (I think) is now a Trader's Joe. Mom is so lucky to have a TJ.
I can say the same thing about Kennett Square, the nearest town to me. The old Newberrys (like Woolworth) is now a restaurant (several different ones in the last 8 or so years). The old dept store was torn down and a Health Care org was rebuilt with a town clock at it's highest point. I think every town needs a town clock. Remember the importance of the town clock in 'Back to the Future'?
What touches my heart the most is remembering the places where I went with my grandmom and the new places she will never see.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Shopaholic alert-my mom must feel better

I ventured down to Media today to spend some time with mom and to take her shopping. I try to run the vacuum after I get there so she doesn't have to.
I had trouble getting down there. First I lost power twice. Then I went in the Dollar Store to look for something and went to check out and the register was down and the people who were originally behind me wouldn't let me in front of them! I did ok at the post office. An elderly lady came in out of breath and wheezing. She scared me but she was better in a few minutes.
Mom gave me way too many gifts, and because my birthday is so close to Christmas I made her save some of them. She gave me a neat watch with interchangeable faces and bands. I had a lavendar sweater on today so I changed the watch to match. She also got me a cute candy dish-the little gingerbread men are holding up a crackle glass dish. I may use it to float candy shaped candles in it. I like Christmas stuff, but not necessarily as birthday gifts. Do you know what I mean or does that sound snobbish?
We went to a store down the pike from her so she could pick up a gift for her boarder from his sister. I can't say what it is, but I got Brian and Sean the same thing for Christmas. It's really a family gift and I think we all will use this item. Aren't you curious?
We went to Michaels and I got a lot of cute things in there for gift giving and decorating. I needed more styrofoam balls for one thing. My little mushroom pin cushions are a hit for gifts, so I may make some more to show the lady up at 'The Mushroom Cap' in Kennett.
Mom took me out to dinner at Carrabbas. I got rigatoni, grilled chicken, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes in a creamy sauce. Good, but not like The Olive Garden!
While at the mall, Mom bought me a cute chocolate brown cord car coat (Bill Blass-$14.50!), a olive green top that looks like suede, a pretty purple knitted open front sweater and new shabby chic bedsheets. I am so spoiled and to think she wanted to buy me a cashmere sweater! All the above added up to what that would have cost. And I have a black cashmere sweater I got for half nothing at Kohls last year!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Willy Wonka 2005 vs 1971

Sean is funny-he rented Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this afternoon. I like Johnny Depp anyway. I liked Gene Wilder better as Willy Wonka. It must have been his bulgey eyes and wild reddish hair-I don't know. And Tim Burton really messed with the story line too. Shame on him. I guess he made it clearer why Willy loved chocolate so much. I won't say.
Johnny acted like Mister Rodgers' gay son. And what was with the gray skin tone?
They changed the golden goose to squirrels who were nut sorters. Ha!
The special effects were good. But the boat in the original was so much cooler with that psychedelic trip and everything.
I would see it for the little guy who plays Charlie and the Oompa Loompas-all played by one man!

Stormy weather

I went to the hairdresser today around 2:30. The sky looked very ominous-very dark and heavy. Thank goodness Diana works fast as I was out of there in a little over an hour. And no, it wasn't just a haircut that took so long. ; )
I headed over to the office supply center for brown wrapping paper and to copy some things. The sky looked like a plague from 'The Ten Commandments' with it's inky fingers stretching over the once clear spots. I almost got to go into Subway, but I chickened out. The first drops of rain began to fall and I scooted home. I threw some frozen coconut shrimp and fish sticks in the toaster oven just in case the power went out. Man, so close to not cooking. I really do hate my kitchen. And then it poured like crazy.
After dinner I just couldn't concentrate on writing notes or address labels. I ruined a few. It occurred to me that not only was I warm (the house was like 72 degrees) I had PMS. Oh joy. Right before the big day too.
I did work on a stitching project a little bit. Another goof this morning-I was holding it upside down and added a row of stitches before I realized the boo-boo.
Tonight on the news they were going to talk about 'the bug bite that may effect your weight'. I wanted to see that. Brian had to channel surf just when it was coming on. I heard it may be a tick and Lyme Disease. Some people try all kinds of diets and still can't lose weight. Hmm...I'll have to check out the website. This sounds like me. Lyme Disease really effected me in more ways than I know. I can't even stand on a ladder without being achy the next day from reaching too much.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

New Jersey's new slogan?

"New Jersey: You Got a Problem With That?"
"NJ: How You Doin'?!"
"Most of Our Elected Officials Have Not Been Indicted."
~LOL~ I found a neat blog called and they mentioned about NJ looking for state slogans . Now I almost live in NJ and my brother and his family live there, so I can poke fun at them. ; )
Here's my suggestion:
"Got a nest egg? Crack it open at Caesars!"
Check out my link over there on the left.

Anyone need a new header?

I might as well make a little moola off of this. I can make you a header in the dimensions shown or to your preference. Let me know what you like: colors, graphics, lettering. Please be specific. I will make three different headers for only $10! (I have a paypal account). If you are interested, leave me a message or contact me by email (found at the bottom of my blog-mouse over my name). And if you have been following my blog, you know I am particular about graphics, etc.
Thank you...thank you very much.

Being honest

This morning I just retracted all the bids on one of my eBay items. It was a stuffed tiger from 1995 that looked a heck of a lot like Hobbes from the Calvin and Hobbes comics. It was Brian's idea to email the toy company because the tag didn't say who he was. To my delight, the bids got up to over $27! But unfortunately, it was Topper Tiger, not Hobbes as stated by the lady from the company in a reply email to me last night. Bummer. Hopefully someone will bid on it because they like tigers. To tell you the truth, I don't think there was ever a stuffed Hobbes toy, thus the excitement over my auction-there were over 200 views.
Sean and Brian said not to say anything and be dishonest to my bidders. I just couldn't do that. Mom and my brother Don said to tell them. So I did and I feel sad, but my consciousness is clear.
~Update-I have a new bid on 'Topper'! ; )
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Odd day Monday

My mom went to her doctor yesterday because she still isn't feeling great. He told her it was 'ok' to take the pain pills as needed. He also recommended she see a nerve specialist or whatever they are called. He asked if she was depressed. Wouldn't you be if you hurt all the time?
I think a person hurting should try different alternatives to healing their bodies. Mom had massage therapy for her sciatica and that helped a bit. I was thinking acupuncture and Holistic treatment. I have told her a zillion times that people into herbs say to consume large amounts of garlic. She didn't buy the gel ones. So, if she decides to try something other than the western medicine approach, I think she may find some relief. Herbs have been around a lot longer than meds.
I speak from experience-Milk Thistle helped my elevated liver enzymes restore to normal. I've been taking it for over 3 years.
Tonight I made some little Christmas gifts. I can't list them here as I don't know who reads this blog.
I was a bit depressed when my mom called and said 'she was on her way out.' My brother called me and said mom has always wanted to be the center of attention and was coddled her entire life. As an old lady, she can't handle it because her kids have a life that isn't centered around her. I love her dearly, but she needs to be more thoughtful about remarks she makes.
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More trouble in Penna.

I am sure you have heard about the 18 yr guy who allegedly killed his 14 year old girlfriend's parents and fled with her over the weekend. They are from Lititz, PA, about 40 or so miles from here.
I have to commend the Amber alert as they were caught and apprehended in Indiana.

Monday, November 14, 2005


I made this fella back in 1994. I remember because the OJ Simpson trial was going on. It was one of those years I was making autumn goodies like stuffed pumpkins (which aren't that hard to make and they last for a long time).
I may have had him on my blog around this time last year, but isn't it funny how I remember what I was watching on tv when I was stitching him up?
The poor guy has a floppy head. I should put a stick up his neck. I also finished the bench he is sitting on (the spindles are painted Colonial red or something like that). The cats have 'added' their signature to it in claw marks.
I guess I did him in honor of the scarecrow from 'The Wizard of Oz', one of my favorite flicks.

November stash enhancement

So I thought this order didn't go through! I've been waiting a few weeks. (Nordic Needle online)
I added two The Prairie Schoolers to my PS collection and a Little House Needleworks called
Moon & Stars because I tried to win it on eBay and saved money ordering it through NN.
The verse says-'The moon and the stars twinkling over my head are hung from the night with an invisible thread'. Isn't that precious?

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Please vote

These are the last three headers that I have made. Click to enlarge. Which one do you like the best? Are there elements from one that are better than the others?
#1-Pink lettering
#2-Night sky
#3 Aqua sky
Let me know. I'm always open for suggestions.
I forgot how many neat photos and graphics that they have over at So I found the cute graphic plus the photo of Diana-Goddess of the Moon. I think the lettering explaining the blog looks better too.
I may not be finished yet though. ; )

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Purdy dried flowers

I gathered a bunch of hydrangeas before the cool weather hit.
I love the pink bunch on the top.

What in the world?

This is what I found when I pulled a plant out of it's container yesterday.
Now what are they?
The answer to the previous 'mystery' item from a few months ago was that it was a Trumpet vine pod.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Header happy!

So this is #19, I think. I like to play with Paint Shop Pro, can you tell? I was not happy with the lettering and I may get up to #30 before I am. If at first you don't succeed...try, try again. ; )
I have a really nice $30 book I got for cheap because someone ordered it at Border's and never picked it up. It's for PSP6 and I have PSP7, so I had to figure out where a few of the pull down options were.
To make the lettering 'all cool', you have to make it a floating selection. And in PSP7, the metallic is all built in the color selection! I should have figured that out. Thank goodness for books.
I hope you like the 'sculpted' lettering. It was really easy. I also have a glowing letter header that I need to finish.
I definitely earned this button:

Reaching for 10k

email I just received after selling on eBay for over 6 years. Not bad...

A positive feedback rating of 2500 on eBay is quite a feat. And you've made it happen! You are halfway to earning your Green Star.

Thank you for being such an active member of the eBay community. We value our partnership and we look forward to helping you achieve continued success.

You have truly helped make eBay the vibrant online community and marketplace it is today.

Thank you 2,500 times over!

New specs needed

Sean and I went for our 2 year check-up at the eye doctor yesterday. Brian went at the end of September. Brian didn't need new glasses but we did! Sean and I both had trouble reading the chart. We are both near-sighted. I have no problem reading books, stitching or other close-up work.
That's gonna cost something this time because Sean had a plan before that paid for his glasses-two pairs to be exact. We will probably go to America's Best Eyewear where I got mine a few years ago. I got two pairs for under $200. One pair was sunglasses. Prescription sunglasses are great and I recommend them! I'll probably just keep the sunglasses I have and not get new ones as I don't wear them a heck of a lot anyway. It's too bad when your eye glass prescription needs a little tweaking in only two years. I like glasses over contacts as I don't wear them all the time. I wear them when I go out driving and shopping. I wear them when I watch tv. I like picking out new styles though.
Oh yeah-my eye were dilated for over 6 hours!
Barbara asked what am I doing with all the yarn. Probably using it to make a few hats for my mom and charity. I made a hat for myself but I have to play with it a bit as it was a design with a lot of holes. I look like Jenny from 'Love Story' when I wear it. I may weave some ribbons in and out of it. I wonder if I steam it, it will stretch? It's made out of Italian cotton yarn.
Brian has a ton of leaves to clean up tomorrow. We are trying to get Sean to help more, but he is full of excuses. Start them early gang! Guess mom here better take an interest.
We are probably going to have our first hard frost tonight. Bye-bye flowers. ; (

Friday, November 11, 2005

A nice lunch with mom yesterday

My mom has wanted to go to the restaurant up the road from her since her birthday. That was my original plan until my sister-in-laws changed the location. Turns out mom didn't enjoy what she had at that restaurant and craved 'The Little Inn's' crabcakes. I know all too well how good their food is there. I use to go in there with Brian when we dated and had late night snacks-mostly their chicken salad clubs. I promptly gained about 20 pounds in two years! So I had another chicken salad club yesterday and mom got a fried seafood platter with her beloved crabcakes. She said The Little Inn's crabcakes were so delicious next to the other place. She took most of her meal home (she eats like a bird) and I took a quarter of my club home. Sean was there (remember Penn State is about 4 miles from my mom's). He was working on an English paper. I decided to take the impatiens and other flowers back outside. I told mom it wasn't worth trying to save them. Then I started to sweep and vacuum and just tidy up. She is pulling boxes out of bedrooms and one had all these loose family photos in it, many of which are fading. I should get that box, sort them and put them in a big album. Mom started to weep because of the shingles/sciatica pain she has daily. She needed a hug and an ice pack.
After a while we went to a local shopping center where we went in a store called 'Five Below' (everything is $5 and under) and I got a few things for my brother for his birthday. We then went into a new Mexico restaurant so Sean could get dinner (I got a kiddie meal to share with mom until she ate the rest of her lunch). We then ventured into JoAnn's and I picked up some yarn. I am getting addicted to yarn.
When we got home, all 'my' shows were much better than last week. So it was nice to settle in and enjoy them. I then went looking for a neat background for my blog and borrowed the one from a Conan O'Brien site (I was checking in there to see if his wife had baby #2 and she did, a boy they named Beckett!). I lightened the star background a bit and made a new banner. I got my eyes nice and tired for my eye doctor appt. today-not smart.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Your Birthdate: November 19

You are resilient, and no doubt your resilience has already been tested.
You've had some difficult experiences in your life, but you are wise from them.
Having had to grow up quickly, you tend to discount the advice of others.
You tend to be a loner, having learned that the only person you can depend on is yourself.

Your strength: Well developed stability and confidence

Your weakness: Suspicion of others

Your power color: Eggplant

Your power symbol: Spade

Your power month: October

Barbara asked if any of the above rang true. And actually most of it does. I surely have been tested as being an only daughter and sister. I am from a broken home. I feel like I had to grow up fast. I was 'working' (babysitting) for spending money from age 11 to 20. I have held a number of jobs since those early years. The most important 'job' to me is being a mom for 19 yrs.
As for being a loner-I am more of an introvert, but when I go out to social events or even the post office, people seem to like to talk to me. I certainly don't need to be lead around by any individual or a group of people. I have plenty to keep me entertained at home, so I am never bored.
I may be suspicious of older men because of my father.
I prefer the color aquamarine/teal over eggplant.
I had Sean in October, so that month means a lot to me.
The next time I go to Atlantic City I'll look for spades!

I guess we will take a daytrip to Dover, DE. for my birthday. Someday we'll have to go to Dover Downs, the racetrack, but Sean is always with us and he's under age. I love this big store there called Atlantic Book warehouse-it's huge! Then we may go to a few other stores and then to dinner. That is about exciting as it gets.
We've been to Smithville, NJ and then Atlantic City one year. Other years we went to Bucks County to Peddler's Village and ate at a great brunch and strolled among the stores.

Stitching blogger question

Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question" was suggested by Dawn and is:
When comparing large projects versus small projects, which do you get more excited about finishing?

I am extremely pleased with myself for completing any project, large or small. To tell you the truth, if it's too big I am usually sick of it and glad to start something else.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sneak peek for Barbara

I don't normally post my unfinished projects, but since Barbara asked nicely, here are the Love Quilts squares in progress. Sorry about the reflection on the bear chart, I colored it in, but you can see that I finished most of that area anyway. I like to do some backstitching as I go because it's a pain to do it all at once.
The train engine only has backstitching for detail. I have until the end of January for the train and the end of February for the bear.
The bear is from a UK magazine and the train is a Puckerbush design from the 80s!
They are both in q-snaps. I am using that hot pink post-it as a guide and winging following the directions with the engine.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Quick update

I had to get a filling late this afternoon and had my first laser treatment. They use it on teeth that don't contain metal. I didn't have novacaine and it still hurt. I almost freaked. It was a pricey procedure as it was over $200! I feel like double checking that charge. My tooth looks like new but it was bothering me a bit tonight.
Jon Corzine won for NJ governor with 53% of the vote, in case you are interested.
I hit a great sale at Peebles, the nearby dept store. Got a load of a nice Halloween things for 75% off! I plan to put them away for next year for eBay. I have quite a few containers that look like antique paper mache candy holders. So cute.
I'm slowly but surely getting my Love Quilts squares done. That little bear on the hat box is a pain with all the color changes in shades of off white. Give me a break!

No more NJ campaign ads-yeah!

Ok, I am so glad not to see those butt kicking ads on tv between John Corzine and Doug Forrester after today. Especially since I don't even live in New Jersey! We share Philly tv stations with southern Jersey, lucky us. Even the gals at 'The View' had something to say about how bad these ads have been. Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who is a Republican (the only thing I don't like about her are most of her politic views) said she won't vote for Forrester either. Forrester contacted Corzine's ex-wife for his ads. How stinky is that?
I hate, and I mean hate campaign ads in general. Makes you want to just watch cable all the time. Do I plan to vote today for people who I don't even know 'just because' it's election day? I know I should, but I probably won't. I don't know the candidates anyway. So bad, but whoever gets whatever isn't that important to me since I live in an area that slants so much one way, if you get my drift.

Playing around

I'm definitely having fun with this blogger template stuff. I have made at least 9 banners. I am almost at the correct length, but it's shaping up! If you think the blue is too dark, let me know. Thanks to you all for you comments of interest and encouragement!
I bought 3 crochet magazines at Borders Books yesterday! They have some really cute things in them and I started a Ponchette from 'Crochet Fantasy' magazine (oh yes, don't we all fantasize about crocheting!). I am a little hung up on the main design area. It's amazing how much more patience I have now with directions.
I'ts 1:11 am and I am wide awake. I better sign off and do a little reading to get me tired.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Blog lay-out

This is a new look for me. I am still changing it (the top isn't exactly what I what), so bear with me! It took me over 2 hours to get this far.

The good, the bad and the ugly

The day didn't start out too badly (Sunday that is). It was in the low 70s. I got my stew going before Brian and I headed to Macy's in Christiana, DE to order a new bed. This was a long time in the making, believe me. My father-in-law had given us (bless his heart) over $500 in Macy's gift cards over the last 6 months (he gets them at Caesars in Atlantic City), so we applied them to a higher price 'plush top' bed. It won't get here until the end of November because I didn't want to wait around on my birthday for a delivery truck to come. I also used one of my coupons (that's a great book-check out to get 10% off a new set of pots and pans-an early birthday gift. I was checking out a good knife, but the prices were skyhigh. I really needed some new saucepans because the T-fal stuff is coming off the inside of the ones I use a lot.
So on the way down to Christiana (about a 25 minute drive), I felt something funny on one of my bottom teeth. I looked in the mirror and the top part of a tooth had mostly chipped away revealing some decay. I was so bummed! I hope it can be repaired so I don't have to get a crown or root canal. Not sure how they handle teeth with no flat surface like molars. Wish me luck.
We came home (after a trip to Borders books and Acme supermarket) to find the stew was turned off with no liquid in it at all-Sean said he 'watched' it. I had to 'doctor' it up again and we had some delicious 'soft' round bread with it.
I had gotten some Ben & Jerry's frozen yogurt and Brian forgot take it out of the bag. He had unbagged most of the stuff while I fixed up the stew. So that was the 'ugly' part of the day. I never have seen a more sadder sight than melted chocolate frozen yogurt!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Last of the flowers

That's a pretty clematis with a lime green center and purple edges next to some blue salvia(front yard).
The other flowers are red salvia (backyard)
Tomorrow we will be enjoying low 70s. Nice. : )

Early November

The leaf wreath on my front door. Not really leaves. I like the little owl.
A hydrangea kind of a bush turning yellow.
The burning bush just starting to turn red.

You know you want some...

A guy from Brian's work brought in a bushel of eggplants that his 90 yr old dad had grown. Unfortunately, Brian only brought home two of them! Here is my eggplant parmigiana from last night. It was one of the best I've made! I told Sean to grab the camera for this frickin' masterpiece-opps-lol! And I even had a slice of it for lunch today.
Off to Big Lots to look for storage boxes that fit under the bed. That's what I do in the cooler month-I try to organize. : )

Imelda I'm not!

I decided I better tackle the dusty bins of shoes behind the head of our bed. The bed is 'catty-cornered' so I have a 'v' shape for storage there. But I learned some things...never just store shoes in little bins (like plastic trash cans) without something covering them. First, you forget about the shoes and second, they get so dusty! And to think all that dust was near our heads, well no wonder I have nasal allergies.
So then I can't believe some of the shoes that I have bought over the last few years. After I smacked the dust off them outside, I started to try some on. I will say that I am good at buying leather and not 'man-made' material shoes. But the styles! The big heels, the Maryjanes, what was I thinking?! Some of my favorites-my blue suede shoes-yep-like Elvis-I even have slacks to match, aren't any good because the sole is peeling off at the tip of one of them.They are a good make too.
I'm not finished sorting them all yet. I plan to put all my sandals in the woven basket that I have on top of my armoire. This time I will cover them with a plastic bag. Live and learn and stop buying ugly shoes!
I am doing all this in hopes of getting a new mattress before the month is over. I killed a lot of dust bunnies in the process. Your bedroom should be your clean shrine.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Actors with local connections

My mom is funny. She called me last night just to tell me that the new lawyer on 'Desperate Housewives'-Adrian Pasdar was from Newtown Square, PA. That's right over the reservoir from her. Mom had seen an article about Adrian in the local paper. Not only is he from Delaware County, he's married to Natalie Maines, the blonde main singer for the Dixie Chicks. I decided to 'look him up' on his old high school teacher's website devoted to him.
Not only is Adrian from that area, but actor Tom Verica is too. His most recent tv show was 'American Dream'. Danny Bonaduce is from nearby Broomall, PA.
Of course I still think it's so cool that Paul DiMeo from 'Extreme Makeover:Home Edition' went to the same high school as me, but a year ahead.

Pictured: Adrian and wife Natalie (what a cute couple!), Tom Verica and Paul DiMeo.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Stitching Blogger questions

From last week:
Have you ever stitched something as a gift and later realized that receiver doesn't respect your stitched gift a bit (for example it's never on show, or you have other reason to suspect that it may even be nonexistent or at least placed in some dark storage room corner)? If so, what have you done? If you've been lucky enough to avoid such people what would you do if it'd happen to you?
This happened to some pieces I made for my niece for her second birthday. I made a little
Dragon Dreams castle and a little Joan Walsh Anglund Princess. They weren't huge and I framed them in 5"x7" frames. I have to say that my brother was doing a lot of home improvement and just got around to hanging up the pictures this year. My niece had forgotten that I had even stitched them.
If you have stitched for a while, can you usually pick out the DMC colors you need from memory when you go to your LNS? (For example, you know that 610 is a brown.)
This was my idea for a question. It's so true that I was wondering if other stitchers dreamed in floss colors like I do. If I am working on a piece and running low on a color, I tuck that number in to my brain and pick up a skein on my next shopping trip.

Sparkling Autumn Day

I should be outside basking in the sunshine and cool breeze but I am trying to tidy up in here and take care of this ear issue. The left ear feels clogged and is still echoing a little.
So I got up and did what my mom-mom use to do for earaches-I heated a little Vicks vapor rub on a spoon and dipped a bit of a cottonball in it. I had it in my ear for a while until I took a shower. I also took a Sudafed and blew a little warm air into my ear. I just hate going to the doctor if I can take care of something by myself. Crossing fingers.
As for the cleaning-when I am over my brother's house, I feel like my house is the 'before' picture and theirs is the 'after' picture. There isn't a thing out of place. Even Ken leans over to pick up little pieces of paper off the rug. He never did that at mom's house!
So, I mainly worry about how clean the rugs and floors are. Then the table tops. I have a great vacuum and my 13 yr old rug in the family room looks pretty decent for it's age. Brian and Sean won't pick up little pieces of paper like Ken does. I think that's why his house looks so immaculate-he takes an interest it. He'll clean up after dinner-gasp-wipes down the counters even!
I did one of my Love Quilts squares last night while my ear slowly got worse. I haven't cross stitched for a few days. This particular design has a few shades of white/ecru, so it's not fun doing the fur of the bear.
I am pretty sure I have my design picked out for the Neighborhood Round Robin. I need a border too, so I'll be looking for that. I am leaning toward a seaside town with Victorians, similar to Cape May, NJ-one of my favorite spots. I will probably do a Victorian that I have. That is also my dream house. I would love to live down in Cape May. Dreams occasionally come true, right?
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Cool, I'm in the Blogger's Blog...

They quoted me quoting my brother about his struggle with living without power in Florida thanks to Hurricane Wilma. I've never been quoted before! Thanks BB!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Audio pleasures and difficulties

I pulled out the turntable tonight to listen to a record (remember those?) that Brian bought at a booksale and wants to sell. Talk about bringing back memories of my younger days! We both still have large collections-I'd say at least 300 total. A lot of them are in plastic tubs in the basement. The record sounded good, so I popped on another that I had bought and hadn't listened to. It was a 99¢ one I bought in Doylestown at a record store a few years ago. I'm pretty sure all the Taylor siblings have recordings and this was of James' late brother Alex. I can surely hear JT in his brother's voice, the twangy country part that slips out of him once in a while. I feel bad because his brother passed on a few years back and it was a self-induced passing.
I then popped in a cassette and one of the first JT songs was about 'Alice', but it was really about 'Alex' (well being a big fan, I knew this). Funny that I listened to Alex's lp and then happened to listen to 'Hourglass' that contained that song. I really enjoyed the music for over an hour.
My head has been terrible stopped up, well at least I thought it was. When the weather is chilly and then warms up, I'm in trouble most of the time. My ears were bothering me too, so I put some drops in them-to 'soften up' whatever is in there. Now tonight, I am hearing an echo which is strange. I tried to get all the wax medicine out with water. I hope it corrects itself without me having to go to the doctor. I may have cute little shell-shaped ears (that's from my mom), but they have been troublesome off and on.

Today I decided since it was so nice I'd take a little drive to a local thrift shop. I was disappointed by the high prices and only bought one thing-a pink pressed glass bowl with a lid. When I got home I tackled 8 narcissus bulbs in a little side garden. Thank goodness the ground was soft. I then put some more garden things away. There is so much room in the shed now. Brian should have cleaned it out years ago.
The guys got homemade turkey meatballs and spaghetti for dinner.
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