Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Not a good night

Sean, my son got bad news through email tonight. One of his fellow freshman was killed in a car accident yesterday. He is really shook up. When he's upset he yells and acts out. He's a commuter and I think this is scaring him a bit.
This lead to a discussion about him saying he wants to go to a school in the boonies three hours from here. He would not be happy in the boonies. Living in the boonies cost $7k a year (just living there) that we can't afford. He only has one more year where he goes now. He doesn't work and is home by 1pm, 3 days a week. Not too bad.
I guess he doesn't realize what life is really about until something tragic happens. I feel terrible for him, but I am upset for all the yelling and harsh words. Wish him well. He really needs a punching bag sometimes.

I may be psychic

Ok, here goes. I was looking at old writing assignments from a correspondence course I took going on 13 yrs ago. An online friend sent me a story she wrote and I wanted to review my own. One of the main characters in one of my stories was named 'Tory'. Now if you know me, I have a niece named Victoria, but they call her Tori. WOOOOH. I never discussed names with my brother or sister-in-law at all. And of all the names in the world...
I should mention that when I was going through some old papers down my basement a year or so ago, I ran across some calligraphy that I was practicing to address our wedding invitations. I was writing mostly our names, a few family names, but also the name Sean Matthew. I was practicing back in 1983 and our Sean Matthew was born at the end of 1986! Brian may have seen these practice sheets, but he chose Sean two years later. Eerie stuff. Good thing I didn't practice Hubert or something scarier.

Trail Mix

Linda with tenor Ronan Tynan

Remember when Brian took me to see Linda Eder, the fabulous singer back in October? Sunday night her Animal Planet show, Trail Mix premiered. I was always a bit afraid of horses. I had one step on my foot once (I was wearing big 1970s shoes so I was ok), but watching the different celebrities shone a new light on these amazing creatures for me. Sheryl Crow is just getting into raising horses and she did well with her horse training session. Linda was impressed too. Try to catch it-not sure if Sunday night is the night it will always air.
Sandy-this is a must see for your g/f!

Monday, January 30, 2006

I wish I was a steamroller...

The sofa is gone for I don't know how long. In it's place is a little floral loveseat from the living room. Mass destruction is all around me. There's a knock on the door. I had been playing with my hair and I am sure it was sticking up funny. And who is at the door, a lady who is a hairdresser who lives down the road. She and her teenage daughter are at my front step and they have never been in here before, yet we were in the same choir (the lady) for about 5 yrs. So I invite her in. She hasn't been in this house since the last owners. I commented that they probably didn't have all the tchotchkes and teddy bears. I showed her around though things were out of place. What the heck. All she really wanted to know is who made our roofing shingles! I did manage to locate the pamphlet after they left (they had just turned onto the road-darn I'm good!). So I called her on her cell and said to turn around. The pamphlet awaits her return. Maybe next time she can stay for a cup of tea in a much neater environment.

I am on the ball with getting the needed home equity loan for the kitchen. I called about 5 banks and found a great rate. I am just waiting for the lady to call me back. I happen to drive by the bank today and it was pretty crowded, so maybe she had to wait until the end of the day.

Calling all Blogger Buds

Ok, I've had that link over on the left there for about a week. So far I am the only one with a pushpin in the click through under the title 'Blogger Buds'. You can move the map around by holding down you mouse on it-so if you are in Europe or whereever, locate your country that way. I am jealous because Monster Crochet has about 25 friends. At least think about it. You can just use your blogger name if you don't want to put in your real name.
Totally awesome! Thanks for all of you who answered my plea.
Sandy, you are very close to my pal in Renton, Washington.

Spaghetti and meatballs kind of day

It was a dreary and weary day around here. We were all worn out from the all day wait yesterday of the guys to take our sofa to get repaired. I called twice, the last time at 4 and they told us at the store that 'they were on their way'. They were not, because at 5:40 the guy called and said he lost the paperwork for the sofa. So now they are suppose to come tomorrow-when, tomorrow, I don't know. All I know is that the springs completely collapsed and some are even sticking out of the bottom! We've had the sofa only since late September of '04.
To make us feel better, I made the guys the above mentioned meal. Guess I used too much garlic or they both ate too much as I was afraid to light matches, if you get my drift. I didn't have that problem!
I am itching to start in the kitchen I have three big empty plastic boxes now. Brian said to wait. Man he is so pessimistic about that loan.

I am doing too much bidding on eBay! I am winning a few cross stitch magazines from the UK. I think USA xs magazines can't compare to UK-cuter designs, more of a variety, etc.
We have a new mouse-it lights up blue-isn't that exciting!?
I was trying to find the microphone so I could play with making audio files, but we can't locate it. I did find about 4 other mouses (mice) for the computer in a drawer. Like we needed the one with the blue light. That was Brian's idea.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Trading Spaces hits my hometown

I was sitting on the broken down sofa (they made some lame excuse why they never showed up) and I switched on Trading Spaces on TLC. Frank Bielec (who we met last year at a Home Show) and carpenter Amy Winn Pastor came on. Frank says, "We're in Media, PA". I almost fell through the sofa! They were in a neighborhood near where we all took our driver's tests (Sean most recently-see Bortondale on the map). The map shows the start at moms (blanked out the name of her road) and the area of the makeovers-about 5 miles away.
What we thought was really a hoot was when the one couple went to The Riddle Thrift Shop. That's a shop off a nearby hospital where Sean was born and mom's doctor is located. Just in Nov. '04, Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie went to another haunt of ours, a Goodwill in Delaware. So funny.
We were intrigued by the tiling that the one couple did in the other couple's kitchen. I like the look and think we can do it. The mini-tiles come in sheets that are easy to glue on the wall then to grout. They also had taken down the cabinets, but they were small and metal, nothing like what we have to contend with. Media is definitely 'Everyone's hometown' (their motto).

This is me in a few weeks

It's not going to be easy not having a kitchen...

Big local fire

We didn't even know about it until we saw it on the news! The Sunny Dell Food company only 1.5 miles from here burnt down to the ground because of a gas line leak. We have never been there or did we know exactly where it was until Brian did a mapquest search. We live down in more of a valley and across the street there is a new housing development located up in the hilly area. I swear I smelled smoke last night. I know that both Brian and I woke up really stuffy and with sinus problems. Sean seems alright. The major thing the company canned was the local mushrooms. I think we know the former sister-in-law of the owner. No one was hurt which is the most important thing.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Dianne believes

My bloggers pals have played with googling their names with certain verbs. Barbara tried...Unfortunately Barbara. My name didn't show many interesting results. But 'Dianne believes...very insightful! Thanks to both Barbara and Carol for this fun exercise.

Dianne believes that "public libraries need to be proactive rather than reactive
over patron concerns over the Internet"
Dianne believes one of the ways to bring about greater equality is through ...
Dianne believes it is important for other women to get involved in politics ...
Dianne believes that each person’s soul is on a journey of growth and discovery
and that people are responsible for their own choices.
Dianne believes love is the power that repairs everything.
Dianne believes that it takes a lot of love and sacrifice to be a good parent.
Dianne believes that people need to be shown what is attractive and positive.
Dianne believes that music can be used an effective intervention to enhance
reading and writing skills, to decrease stress, and to meet health care goals ...


Oh holy jeebers. Remodeling is so pricey. Brian is going to have a bird. BUT, it's still cheaper than moving and it will increase the value of our house. I just did an online appraisal as I heard that's the thing to do when you want a home loan. I think it's a little low as it says nothing about our basement, central air or alarm system (not to forget the cable and dishnet hookup). I'd say they would add another 5K to it. And I think 1.4 acres of land is worth something too. Just hoping of course.
Guess what the most expensive thing is? The electrical work! The contractor didn't even include them taking away the cabinets and counters. That saves us about $450. Brian could use some of the cabinets in the shed. I bet we could get some takers if someone is looking for honey maple cabinets from 1960. : ) Brian works for newspaper, so he could put an ad in.
I have some arm twisting to do. Wish me luck.

Monkeys in trees

When we were little kids, it wouldn't be unusual to find us about 8 feet up in the backyard apple tree. Actually we climbed all the trees in our yard and the neighbors' yards. As a mom now, I cringe thinking about these brave feats. I had to learn that doing this was not a good idea when I fell out once and knocked all the air out of me. That was scary. I got no sympathy at home. I was thinking about this lately because of my mom having sciatica problems in her later years. When I took her to the chiropractor a few years ago, she had her back x-rayed, and they could tell she had had some kind of accident from the curve in her spine. She remembers falling off a sled hard as a girl. I sure hope that my 'tree incident' won't haunt me in my later years. I have fallen hard on ice a few times in the last few years. These days there is a little more padding on my rump.
Sean has a nice bump on his head from falling face down on a hardwood floor during a kiddie YMCA class. Brian was climbing a ladder left against a house under construction when it fell backwards and he broke his arm and gashed his head.
It took a generation to actually 'see the light' I think. We baby boomers didn't have carseats. I wasn't watched when I was playing outside. I hope that all parents these days will be super caution with their kids. Remember that less than a year ago, three little local boys were playing around an abandoned car and got locked in the truck and died. Kids really need our guidance and care-all the time!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It must be a small world

I have been listing a few things on eBay in the last few weeks. I use to hang an assortment of flags and then the pole just would not stay in the house's stucco wall. I know, I was wondering why we didn't find wood to screw it into. So I decided to list the flags I had because they were in such good shape. I opened up my eBay summary this morning and there was a question from a flag bidder-did you go to Penncrest and graduate in 1977? I was flabbergasted, as I told this lady in my second note to her. I completely missed her name in the first message. I also added, what's the chance of someone (about 480 in our class) who doesn't live in PA anymore, bidding on your auction? Now this is going to sound weird, but I swear I was thinking of this lady not that long ago, less than a few weeks. You see, I have a tear out from a book/brochure that they give you when you visit one of the beach resorts and her husband is a photographer, so she and her three kids are in the ad! I have it in my yearbook along with a few wedding announcements from other people.
I can think about not seeing people who go to our church and they show up the next week. Is that ESP? ; )
~Update~My old high school classmate did not win the flag. I didn't hear back from her, but I hope if she reads this she'll leave a comment here or on eBay. Sorry you didn't win.

Yeah to Meg!

I was so happy to see that my birthday twin Meg Ryan (the actress) adopted a little Chinese girl about a week ago. She has a teenage son by Dennis Quaid. This is something I would have loved to do. Sean didn't want to share the spotlight. We didn't have the money either. I always love to see the little Asian girls who I know are adopted. They are usually totally Americanized. Is that a good thing?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Top songs of the 70s

I was checking out some of the blogs on the side bar and went to visit Kate's. Now she ran across a list of top songs of the 90s and she was talking about them. Heck she's only in her mid 20s and I didn't recognize some of the songs. Now here's part of a list that I could relate to:
+1. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
2. Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
*3. Hotel California - The Eagles
4. What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
+5. Imagine - John Lennon
6. Layla - Derek and the Dominos
*7. Superstition - Stevie Wonder
*8. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel
9. Let's Stay Together - Al Green
+10. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
*11. Maggie May - Rod Stewart
+12. Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who
*13. Stayin' Alive - The Bee Gees
+14. Brown Sugar - The Rolling Stones
+15. Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
*16. American Pie - Don McLean
+17. Let It Be - The Beatles
18. Papa Was a Rollin' Stone - The Temptations
*19. Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
20. Family Affair - Sly and the Family Stone
21. London Calling - The Clash
22. Anarchy in the UK - The Sex Pistols
*23. Your Song - Elton John
24. No Woman, No Cry - Bob Marley and the Wailers
+25. Tangled Up in Blue - Bob Dylan

*I had the album or 45
+someone in the family had it.
What about you? Are you humming right now?

Contractor coming on Friday

This is all happening so quickly. The contractor called last night when I was down at my mom's house. I have never had a contractor here before-just the Amish roofer. I know what cabinets I want, but I haven't chosen the countertop, the flooring or the lighting. I sure hope this guy can help me with the lighting. I will probably have under the cabinet lighting. We only have four outlets in the entire kitchen! And if I have two appliciances in the same general area, I trip a fuse. Guess he'll suggest an electrician. I sure hope these guys are good. I have seen several designers on tv use The Home Depot and rave about how fast they got in and out. That's my aim.
My sofa is going to the repair shop. It was worse than I thought. It is sagging along almost the entire bottom. The man who was suppose to look at it and fix it can't come until the 14th of Feb. I decided I couldn't sit on a busted sofa for 3 long weeks. I called and complained. They are taking it on Saturday and will hopefully get it back to me in a week-and hopefully good as new. If not, they better give me a new sofa and a different make. What a hassle!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Thunder snow!

Just a quick post as I may have to get off the computer. About 10 minutes ago it started to thunder and lightning. Now that is weird for January. My resident meteorology student then ran in an said we were having a thunder snow event! It's was snowing sideways! It was a front coming through.
Look at those huge snowflakes!

Saggy sofa

I swear, I have the worst luck! When I first starting blogging, I was redoing my family room. I had purchased a second bookcase. We were in the furniture store and I saw a ultrasuede red sofa. I didn't order it until the next day and on the phone. I had to wait for it until the end of Sept. 04. A few days I ago, I felt something 'move' under the cushion. As the days wore on, I know I was sitting lower. This morning I looked underneath, and the springs were all sagging to the floor! I had to go through tons of papers until I found the receipt and I called the furniture store right up. They have some guy coming here the middle of next month to check it out. I don't know what he's going to do, disassemble my sofa and fix the springs? I don't think so. I am going to raise a stink if they give me a hassle. A sofa that is only a little over a year old should not have broken.
My sister-in-law has had problems with her sofa (and she has kids) and they even replaced the cushions. And we didn't purchase them from the same place. What's up with craftsmanship these days? I am sick about this. My last new sofa was 12 yrs ago when I did have a little boy.
So I went down to mom's and we had some Macy's gift cards to play with. We bought pretty hats (I got two Liz Claiborne's and yes I will photograph myself in them soon), undies, makeup and a pretty crushed velvet like jacket in a wine color. I treated mom to dinner in Carrabarras...it was good.

I actually won something!

Thanks to Kleenex tissue! They have an Olympics game on the pull-off part and the prize number is underneath. I went to the webpage and entered the numbers and played the game. I hit the correct Olympic competition and won 12 Kodak photo stickers! They arrived in less than a week. I am giving them to my mom as a little gift as it was the photo of the two of us on Christmas eve. Cool! BTW, the stickers are crystal clear, though they don't look that way in the above photo.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Yahoo Widgets

I was reading a post over at Tribe and the guy mentioned Yahoo widgets. I was curious and went to look. They are little 'extras' that you can put on your desktop. I decided to try them out. I have a weather forecast widget up for my in house weatherman Sean. I labeled it 'Sean Hurricane C' after our local weatherman Glenn 'Hurricane Schwartz, whom we have met. There's a little photo album, notepad, stick-up notes, etc.
Below are the memory button, the weather forecast and a clock that chimes every half hour. You get a bunch of them free in a little folder that's stored in your documents area.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The kitchen is designed...

Yeah! It was a long two hour process at the Home Depot (Sean went along too). I got everything I really needed in the plan. It was the same man who initially helped us a few weeks back. He didn't do something right and had to rechart the design (on the computer), so we had to sit even longer. When he quoted us the price 'just for the cabinets', Brian looked like he did when we were looking at engagement rings. Actually he got off way back then a lot cheaper! LOL. The guy forgot a few details, but I am sure the contractor will point out that I need a shelf for my microwave (no more wobbly table) and someplace for the trashbins (a pull out contraption for under the sink). The Home Depot guy printed me off the design, but two of the one wall, he forgot the range wall. I will try and photograph it. Anyway, I have a pantry closet, a separate food prep area (storage underneath) with two wall cabinets-one with a plate rack and the other for 'some' of my cookbooks.In that same area there are two pull out cabinets for spices, etc. I have a corner cabinet for pots and pans and the top will hold the toaster oven and coffee maker. And I requested some pretty glass doors with little stain glass panels for my drinking glass cabinet. I figure it will cost a grand for every year we lived here. I'll probably get blue marble counters and laminated wood floors. I have to have a boat load of people go through here. It will probably take six weeks total, like 3 days just to install the cabinets. We may do the floor ourselves. We did the last one when Sean was into Sesame Street so we were a lot younger too! And don't get me started on how much demolition and installation cost. I guess I won't be getting any fancy range. : (
In the long run, we will have people compliment our kitchen and I won't be ashamed of it. BTW, the guy who measured did take photos and man the old cabinets sure looked ugly. Wish us luck with the financing part. I see a desk job for me in the future. Of course this has to be the time when Brian's work is on his back (and the other ad people) about acquiring more clients. They are telling them to contact 10-15 people 'in person' a day! I told him to open the phone book and at least find a few new ones along with older clients. Good luck to him. He was irritable all weekend. Maybe the kitchen financing will give him the incentive to work harder.

Which Lost character are you?


You scored 72% kindness, 19% courage, 10% seedy past, and 30% secretiveness!

"Don't talk to me about the baby. I'm sick of everyone telling me what to do."

You are Claire. You are a very kind and caring person. You're not the bravest on the island, but you will stand up for yourself when the need arises. Compared to the other survivors, you have a pretty clean past and you're open and honest about most things. It's a good thing, too - Turniphead needs you to be nurturing and caring in order for him to grow up and NOT become the antichrist. Luckily, Charlie seems more than happy to assist you.

Your polar opposite is:
Sawyer. You are similar to: Charlie and Sun.
From Ok Cupid.com

Or is it?

Geez, who am I most like?

You are Jack. Self-appointed hero and doctor
extraordinaire, it's your job to save everyone.
You have little time for fun and games, but you
do like a good stiff drink every now and then.
You prefer your stitches black and have been
known to make gross pasta comparisons. And if
anyone needs CPR or a tracheotomy, you're the
correct person to go to.

Which Lost Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Map and stuff

Found the map on another blog (Monster Crochet) and thought it would be cool to add it here. You can actually see my house from the satellite link! Feel free to add your link to the map.
I also added some more blogs that I have had in my Favorite Places. I have William Shatner's too-just to see if he updates more. He is a man of few words.

We ate at a burger and hotdog place tonight called 'Five Guys' where Sean and his pals hang out. My burger was pretty good, but I won't eat any pink burger and there was a wee bit in the middle of mine. In the same shopping center there is a 'Tuesday Morning' and it was about to close. That store is filled to the gills with stuff. Managed to get-two cookbooks (The Sopranos (tv show) cookbook and Retro Breakfast), a meat pounder (I was actually looking for one and Sean just randomly picked one off a shelf where it wasn't suppose to be), a cute (and teenie) Easter hen topiary and some DMC pearl cotton. Not bad for 10 minutes of quick browsing.

Home Depot is coming up! Yippee. Brian doesn't act that excited. I guess he's thinking about the money part.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Ms. Fix-it

About three weeks ago I was looking for a wrist watch to wear. I have plenty, but they were mostly duds, meaning their batteries were dead. So I divided what I really liked from the 'so-so' ones and took the bunch to the dining room table (my all purpose wobbly work table) and began to pry off the backs of several of them. Some wouldn't budge (I use a mini screwdriver or a big darning needle).It's like performing surgery-so exciting when you can see the guts of the watch! I finally ended up with 7 and I had to get the trusty magnifying glass to get the numbers off the batteries.
Brian and I went to Walmart and I got the batteries I needed ($20!). Instead of having to buy 6 new watches, I replaced all of them with no problem except for one Timex that took the biggest battery. The back just wouldn't snap on again! Both Bri and I tried our best until I broke the darn thing. It was an Indiglo light up one too. Not to worry, bet one of my Mickey Mouse watches uses the mammoth battery. Now I have some fancy ones (marcasite) and plainer ones I can switch off with. Mom said I am just like her mom in this respect-I will try to fix anything on my own-well at least try first. : )

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cooking all week

It's a record! I made dinner for 5 straight nights in a row! We had gourmet hot dogs tonight (I get the lower calorie beef ones), but I made homemade potato salad (with egg, relish and fresh dill thank you) and zucchini with red onion and parmesan. The guys dove into the potato salad like it was going out of style. Last night we only had ravioli and salad, but the sauce was excellent-Ragu's sun dried tomato and basil.
We are going to talk 'kitchens' at the Home Depot on Sunday! Yippee! I am a bit nervous, but excited. I know what I want-the offwhite cabinets, honey maple colored flooring (to tie in with the wood in the rest of the house) and probably slate blue countertops. I wouldn't mind slate or marble, but I'm also the person who is looking at retro ranges which are sky high in price. I'd like a decent size pantry, a long counter for baking and appliance storage(maybe I can get a slab of marble there) and maybe a place for my cookbooks. I can't wait to bring my 1960 kitchen into this century.

Stitching Blogger question

Q. Have you had a happy dance yet this year? If so, tell us about it! (Or just point to the entry that talks about it.) If not, when do you predict it will be?
I guess we all do more of a happy dance over finishing larger projects. I don't have any recent big finishes, just a few ornaments and I am about to finish my second Love Quilt's square for 2006. It's really cute and I'll be sharing it within a week or so.
I am really happy about participating in the Neighborhood Round Robin and meeting new stitching friends who are mostly in the Netherland region. Our blog is over in the side bar 'Our Neighborhood of Make Believe'.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Unfortunate but it comes with age

Mom just told me tonight that my uncle's wife is going in assisted living. Her three daughters (his stepdaughters) came over to talk to him tonight and he agreed to it. My aunt is in the hospital now! My uncle got out Friday and then my aunt couldn't breath right (she has asthma) because of a bad cough. She's been in the hospital all week. My uncle went to visit her, but he is weak and had to be pushed in a wheelchair. They've been married since 1959 (a few days after my arrival), so it's going to be traumatic. She doesn't know where she is half the time.
Now my mom says that my aunt may only be in the assisted living faculty until she is better. The doctor told my uncle that my aunt isn't very healthy-one thing is she has a tumor on one of her kidneys. She's 90, so maybe there could be worse things. Heck, I have tumors (fibroids) and I am about half her age.


Ok, here it goes:
Four jobs I've had:
Daycare assistant teacher
Uniform shop salesperson
Gourmet food take-out assistant
Teacher's aid at local schools
Four movies I could watch over and over:
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
The Wizard of Oz
Indiana Jones movies
The Truman Show
Four places where I've lived:
Media, West Chester, Drexel Hill and
Fort Pierce, Florida
Four favorite tv shows
Extreme Makeover:Home Edition
The Amazing Race
Four places where I have been on vacation:
Orlando, Florida
Newport, RI
Cancun, Mexico
Mystic, CT (part of the RI trip)
Four favorite foods:
chicken salad
Four places I'd rather be right now:
The Bahamas
a chocolate shop
Four sites I visit daily:
My eBay page
MSN groups
almost all of the blogs
listed in the sidebar
Four bloggers I'm tagging:
Mindy, Vikki, Sandy and Zoey!
You see your name-cut and paste gals!

Adorable Cape May design

While going through my xs freebie newsletter, I found Valentine's Stitchery. I was so excited to find this design:

This is a xs rendering of Cape May, NJ one of my favorite spots on earth. So I looked around the different places suggested by the designer to buy it and I couldn't find it. I then wrote to the designer, Nicole who lives in West Chester, PA., a few towns from here. She pointed me in the right direction (my fave LNS had it too, but I decided to order it online). She says she drew the design while sitting on the beach. To get this view, you'd have to be in the ocean, I had to chuckle to myself. My grandparents honeymooned in Cape May back in about 1921. I love nostalgia.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Chicken this and that

Superfresh food store had two split chicken breasts for $1.00 a pound! I bought two packages and should go get more as that is a steal. Yesterday I boiled the one package with celery, onion and carrots and made a nice broth. We had turkey chili last night though ( from scratch). Tonight we had chicken noodle soup and pecan apple chicken salad. I learned from my cookbook Chicken Soup by Marcie Ver Ploeg that you don't cook chicken soup all day long like our great grandmoms did. They were dealing with tough birds. Our chickens are not bred to be tough. I also learned if you don't cook a variety of pieces together, like the wings, etc. your broth will be weak. Since I was just cooking breasts, I added three packages of boullion and that did the trick. I forgot I had the above cookbook the last time I made chicken soup. It has 75 recipes and is illustrated with little cartoon style chickens. The cover shows two chickens in a Viking style ship with spoons for oars. I guess you would have liked to see the finished product, but they were goobled up too quickly by the guys.
By the way, don't store cooked chicken in plastic bags in the frig. I stored them this way a few times and they tasted odd. I used a storage container last night and the chicken tasted much better.

If you are a blonde

...you may not want to read this joke. It's hysterical!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Kitchen measuring

I had the guy here this morning with the measuring tape and clipboard. I think he was somewhat of a wise guy as he called me yesterday telling me he'd also be taking photos! Now that scared the bejeebers out of me! So I got my trusty clothesbasket and piled all the stuff that was sitting around on the counters, etc inside the basket. He arrived about 1/2 hour early and promptly knocked something into the sink. I had to move the trash can so he could get to the heating duct. When he left he said that Home Depot would be contacting me in a few days. I went out in the kitchen and there was stuff spilling out of my under the sink cabinets! He just left it. He could have at least told me he needed to get under there and I would have moved the stuff the night before. And I didn't see one hint of a camera flash. The only good things about him is that he was fast, he looked like Ray Ramano, he wore some cologne and he was a leftie!
Here are a few stoves I like. Way too expensive, but maybe if I beg enough....

These are between $3k and $6k. I know, I'm a dreamer.


I think it's nice when people are thoughtful, especially the people who live under your own roof. It sure was nice for Brian to run back and forth to McDonalds, the Chinese take-out, etc while my mom was here (don't have people over when you need to grocery shop), but hey, he had to eat too. I did make a big breakfast for us yesterday though. : ) Brian tends to use my van on the weekends for all these short trips. I was a bit peeved when I got in it to take mom home and the gas tank was pointing toward 1/4 tank. Okay, you would think maybe one of those times he had it out, he would drive it to the gas station and get me some gas. He didn't. And guess who wound up in the gusting wind getting gas-yep, me. I told him about it.
Though he did point out he had put his clothes away from the clean laundry basket, he left mine all over the bed. I really didn't feel like putting clothes away when I got home from the cold and grocery shopping and then fixing a fast dinner. What's with guys?
Both of these guys think the weekend is leisure time for them. I don't feel bad at all now about taking a half hour to stitch here and there because of their lack of interest in being thoughtful and getting things done around here.
I've been surrounded by men my entire life. It ain't been easy kids.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Tropical visions

Who knew?

Wow-almost 100 hits in a few days time! I decided to get a counter to check out the stats feature. Pretty cool.

My mom is still here. Everyone is tired and the ladies took naps all day. The weather is blah. It was fairly warm for January. We had driving rain at 4 am (I was awake) and now it's windy and cold. Brian was restless and snored all night and usually he is vanished to the guest room, but mom is in there. I guess it will be a Sominex night today. Wish us sweet slumbers.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Trading Card

Thanks to Kate, over on the sidebar for pointing out this. It was fun to make, though I made a boo-boo I had to fix. It must be the Friday the 13th mess up effect. Notice I didn't mention the internet! LOL

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The times, they are a changing...

You think about it, but it seems so far off. Then someone gets sick and ends up in the hospital. Their wife is older than they are by seven years and senile. He takes care of her, but who takes care of him? She is giving her daughters a hard time. She's never been the nicest mother, but when senility set in, she is worse. What to do? Who is going to make the decisions?
I am talking about my uncle and his wife. I don't think they will be living in their house together again. His one stepdaughter says he looks awful. Her mother is yelling at them. I don't think she is even asking for my uncle. Rough stuff. I hope things work out for the best.
~~~This is bothering me too. I had terrible cramps tonight, just like a teenager. I got out the trusty heating pad and took Tylenol. Watching some sitcoms helped too. I feel 95% better as I type this.
~~~I added a stitching rotation to my sidebar (is that a list?). I want to work on more of a variety of things. I know when crunch time comes on the charity or RR, I will probably be working on them non-stop. I have to get the RR finished before the other stitchers in the group because mine is going to be making the rounds across the sea. I am a bit nervous about sending these precious RRs as a Christmas gift to my dear friend Charlotte got lost (she's in Ireland). I think everything is going registered mail from now on.
~~~I got the best surprise in the mail today from my 'coz' Nancy in Illinois. The latest Nicholas Sparks hardback At First Sight. I've read almost all his books, so I thank her for for sending one of my favorite author's newest editions.

~Update-I had Sean bring my mom out for overnight for a change of scenery (1/13). Uncle Don is home! And his wife is there too. Mom and I are shocked. I still think it won't be long before something drastic happens.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Finally...new shows

It seems that I get more into stitching when there are new episodes of my 'must see shows' on the tube. So both Lost and Invasion were new...and pretty good! I can't wait to read what the 'Lost' tribe has to say about the new episode. Talk about being analytic!
I made nice progress on the little boy project last night and did okay with the bear tonight. I am getting a little tired of it. Too many light colors.
I have another special quilt square due in the summer. It's Americana/travel related. I am doing Independence Hall and actually found the book I was looking for in a few minutes! It was published in 1976 and of course has the twin towers in the NYC design. I may just have to do that one.
The chart's print is so small it needs to be blow up abit or I will get cross-eyed or get a terrible headache trying to stitch it. Glad I found it though.


Thought you'd like a peek of four projects I am working on (and they look like something so I won't be contradicting myself from an earlier post. The two on the top have deadlines!

Top left:RR a seaside inn from a Charles Wysocki leaflet (you should see all the fabric tucked under this one!), then the little Love Quilts bear with package (about 75% complete), then Walk in the Woods 'ABCs' by Cross-eyed Cricket (don't cringe about the size of the fabric on this or) Giggles in the Snow, little boy on the fabric with the woven silver metallic threads for the Mirabilia stitch-along. As you can see, I like to start at the top.

Wool socks

All I wanted for Christmas...well almost, was a pair of the awesome wool slipper socks that I found in a shoe store a few years ago. I bought the first pair and fell in love with them. They are not itchy. They keep your piggies warm as toast, as a matter of fact. So Brian worked near another one of the same shoe stores and got me another pair! But low and behold, they are getting shaggy and pilled. He went back to the store last month, no luck. I am looking on the web, there are some like them, but close and no cigar! And expensive. I need to learn how to knit socks. My feet were like ice today, I got my woolies on, and I was happy.

Orchid power

...to mesmerize and to cheer you up...

Taken last week at Longwood Gardens

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Paternal family history

I was going through my desk and found a note from my late grandmother dated 10-8-81. I had asked her to share some family history in a previous note.
She said her maiden name Kuykendall was Holland Dutch and the family came to New York from New Amsterdam. Their name was Jacobson Van Kuykendall and dropped the first two parts of the name later. My great grandfather was finishing med school after my grandmom was born and only practiced medicine for two years before enlisting in World War I. He died in France while waiting to come home. His father was also a doctor and with another doctor, started the Eugene Hospital in Oregon.
Her forefathers came to Oregon from Monroe, Wisconsin in April, 1852. My grandmom's mom came from Galesburg, Ill in 1851 (The Hadleys). I also have relatives from Kentucky (Withers). Her mom's people raised horses and cattle while her dad's family were professionals like doctors and lawyers.
That's all she wrote, but isn't it neat info? Gee, maybe I'll find some long lost relatives. : )

Say a little prayer

My Uncle Don, age 82.5, fainted today in the bathroom. Luckily some guy was out raking leaves or cleaning his yard and his stepdaughter were there, but they had to get an ambulance to take him to the hospital. The only thing I know is that his heart is ok but he can't walk. This is my only uncle, so I am praying his spunk will get him up and moving. It looks like it may be wise to have him and his older wife in an assisted living facility until he (hopefully) is on his feet again.
Lots of 'stuff' hitting the fan, but I won't go into it as I think I'm being stalked on my own blog. Don't worry, I think everything is ok as I have been told by a number of regular eBay users that what I'm doing is fine.

~Update-Uncle Don is being watched in the hospital (the same one that two of my brothers and I were born in). He's got a bit of a fever, is weak, but ate some spaghetti and something else starchy for dinner. I'll give him a call tomorrow.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Getting back to normal schedules

Sean went back to Penn State today and was home by 1:00. He has three classes on Tuesday and Thursday,(only two today). He ordered his books online so he can pick them up tomorrow. Isn't that the life? I remember standing in line for eternity at the bookstore in my younger days. The loan gave him just the right amount of money, so he has like $10 left for binders. We also got a repayment schedule for the loan. I guess they do that if they don't think you are going to use them for the remainder of the student's schooling. I can see Brian freaking. I just thought about it a little and came to that conclusion. I don't remember paying back loans until I graduated. Brian never had a school loan. Nice, huh?
I listed a few things on eBay today. That one seller who is keeping it up with the feedback I left her has taken some of the fun out of it for me. I thumb my nose at her and I bought a few more things today to try and sell. My friend Karin told me to 'stick to my guns' and don't give into pressure to take away the 'bland' negative feedback I left her. In fact, I thank my readers here and on my eBay group for reassuring me about that too.
It's in the high 50s today! I am really tired from taking down the tree and decorations, though I am not finished yet. I wanted to support my mom when she went to a nerve specialist today, but I wasn't up to driving 45 minutes (one way) and I figured it was mostly a consultation. Mom liked the doctor. He said that her scars from shingles were some of the worse he's since. He said she looks good for her age (didn't mention how thin she is at around 113). The nerves are damaged and that can't be reversed. Mom seemed better from going as she has been apprehensive about this visit.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Is it real or is it Memorex?

I know, I know...Memorex is audio and these are visual...
The first two are cakes! (I need to find the link).
The second two are murals. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Color Quiz

ColorQuiz.comDianne took the free ColorQuiz.com personality test!

"Intense, vital, and animated, taking a delight in ..."

Click here to read the rest of the results.

I almost jumped out of the van...

...to rescue a vintage 1920-30s (I'm estimating) wicker rocker that the trash truck was about to load. It was painted a pale yellow. I was so tempted, but then I wondered if it needed repair and that it flipped the person when it rocked. Maybe a cat had perfumed it. But it killed me to see it get crushed.

(It looked like this one from the 20s, but not as in good shape)

I have a respect for old furniture. I have a few 'rescued' pieces in my home. My great aunt's opened shelf hutch, an old child's desk, a few wooden kiddie chairs and my grandmom's Martha Washington sewing cabinet. I can't forget the 1900 dresser with the beveled oval mirror in the guest room.
My only consolation was I had about a 10 pd bag of coins from a combo of what Sean had squirreled away and what I had. I must have been standing at the Coinstar machine for 5+minutes (yeah they take 8%, but that's many hours of wrapping coins that I didn't have to do) and we ended up getting $97! Yippee.
Later today, I guess we'll say 'bye bye' to the pretty Christmas tree. It's been a joy to look at this year. Only wish my mom and other family members could have gotten to see it. My brother and his family were at Longwood Gardens (where Sean and I went last night) on New Year's Day and didn't stop by. We are only 10 minutes away. Guess it was getting late or they had other people with them. They didn't say.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Prolific ice skaters

My mom had viewed a special called Kristi Yamaguchi and Friends on New Year's Day and was telling me about how all the popular ice skaters now have children, including Kristi herself (she has two little girls). Last night I got to see an hour of the show!
Scott Hamilton has a look-alike little boy (so glad as he had had cancer); Kurt Browning has a little boy; Nancy Kerrigan has two little boys and one of my favorite ice skaters-Ekaterina Gordeeva has two daughters by two different Olympic skaters. She lost her first husband Sergei back in '95 when he suffered a massive heart attack at age 28. Their daughter Daria is now 13 and the splitting image of her dad. Guess who Katia is skating with now? Yep, lovely 'Dasha'. It brought tears to my eyes.

Daria 'Dasha' Grinkova

Thursday, January 05, 2006


More gems

Tree in new part of conservatory
Dancing light show-fountains 'dance and change color to the music'
Succulent wreath-that's a lot of hens and chicks!

Beautiful Gardens

Sean and I just got back from Longwood Gardens. It wasn't crowded like it was last year, so yours truly took 60 photos! Want to see them all? I bet you would!
Anyway, here are some of my favorites. I had to use a slower shutter so some may appear a bit blurry-no tripod(you aren't allowed to use them in certain areas anyway).

Here I am in the Main Conservatory. The poinsettias are over 4 feet tall! They have rennovated a large part of it, but work still continues. Mr. DuPont would be proud!

New fountains in the main conservatory

Tree lined paths

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Jaw dropping designs...

What gorgeous designs that are featured in the Herrschener's Needlework Shoppe! When I got home today, the new catalog was waiting for me.
I was at my mom's today dropping off some after Christmas goodies I had purchased for her. When I was leaving I went to use her phone and knowing the MCI message tone (she just switched) I told her she had 7 messages. Mom had bumped a car up at CVS a few weeks ago and the lady had a few scratches on her bumper. Well the lady called to say she had gotten a $450 estimate to get it fixed. Thank goodness my brother is a mechanic and he's taking a look at 'her claim'. Wish mom luck.

Now on for the cross stitch goodies:

A Wash in the Moonlight

Blue Angel

And of course Marilyn (incidently our young waitress last night was named Norma Jean).

Stitching Blogger Question:

Do you do your stash shopping at your LNS, ONS, or both? Which do you like better? Why?

I would say both, though my LNS has moved and downsized. I don't think that is a good thing. I like seeing the designs 'in real life' , which may change my mind if I previously wanted to stitch them. Or it may make me want to stitch them even more! I have so much stash, all I ever need to buy is the occasional floss or fabric.

Sneaky and mean people

I told you about the salesman from Home Depot trying to tell me that the 'cheaper' cabinets I liked weren't all wood and I found out they were. Doesn't he read the brochures that sit around the tables where he works? That's sneaky and mean.
I get on my email account and there's a note from someone on eBay that says someone we both 'tried' to buy from wanted to sue her because of the negative feedback she left the seller! I then went in my eBay account and sure enough, the nutcase sent me the same 'sue' letter! I was more peeved than worried. I showed an online eBay group the letter and they said that she is trying to strong arm so I withdrawn the negative. I promptly forwarded the letter to eBay and said I was being harassed. Can you believe that? The feedback she left me was far worse. I think her account is suspended, but she can still get in her summary to harass people.
I've been with eBay over 6 yrs and have almost 3k positive feedbacks. Who do you think they will side with? I hope they sue her!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Looking into kitchens

I like the above in the color below, not too white. My kitchen is only 11' x 12', so I wouldn't be ordering half of what is pictured above or below, as a matter of fact.
Finally! This is Brian's last day off and we headed to The Home Depot in Delaware. It wasn't busy because of the crappy weather. The man lead us right to the most expensive cabinets. I saw one glazed pale yellow door I like and it was one of the higher end ones. We walked around the displays and ran across another company's doors. I remember really liking them the last time I was there. The HP guy came over and said 'Oh these are builder quality cabinets and they may not be all wood.' I'm old enough to know when someone is trying to give me a snow job, so I just took the brochure and folded back the page with the cabinets I liked. I mean, so what if the middle part is not wood? It's not like I have a lot of people using the kitchen. We had to fork out $100 for someone to come and measure the entire kitchen. Then we can get down to brass tacks and pick out all the goodies. What's in question is how it's going to be financed. Probably a home equity loan. I think a redo will add a lot of value to our home, so it's a great investment.
~Update~ Looking through the brochure, we see where the cabinets are maple with the 'fawn glaze'.

This is what I like from the 'other company' I like the handles on the above.


This just bloomed today. Taken without a flash and edited in photo shop.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Rainy stinky weather

Not much to do. You can only clean so much.
Here's some completely useless but interesting trivia to other Diannes (probably not that many under 30) out there.
So I was reading Southern Lady magazine as it had an article on 'Gone with the Wind' one of my favorite movies. It was made 20 years before I was born as was 'The Wizard of Oz', another one of my other favorites. There was an article about Cammie King, who played Bonnie Blue Butler, the daughter of Rhett and Scarlett. Here Cammie said that her older sister 'Dianne' was suppose to play Bonnie, but she got too big for the part.
Another 'Dianne' is in one of my Oz books-like 'Making of the Wizard of Oz' or something like that. Judy Garland had signed a photo or something 'to Dianne'. Cool, huh?

Make a flake

Thanks to my pal Karin for sending this...
Maybe you'll find mine...here's the # for it 1,932,84!

A little rusty with the needle

I finally started to cross stitch again after at least four days. The first thing I did was to gather the floss I needed for the Mirabilia/LL stitch-along. I had the chart and fabric. So dummy here cuts the fabric too short thinking 26 count was close to 22 count. Wrong! I can't use the words on the chart 'Giggles in the Snow'. The fabric has silver threads running through it so I can't just run out and buy it somewhere. I don't think I really need the words 'Snow angel' anyway. I am doing the little boy. If I do the girl, I can add the words and maybe frame them all together. I hate when that happens but I will not be wasteful.
I also worked on my Love Quilts committment for March the little bear on the box who is holding a present. My choo choo train needs to be mailed this or next week just to get it on it's way.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Stitching goals...do I have to make a list?

Wow, I've seen some really long and detailed cross stitch 'to do' lists for 2006. More power to you. I will not be making a list. I have it all 'upstairs' as to what I want to stitch on or what I committed to stitch. I want cross stitching to be fun and the few deadlines I have are enough to keep me going.
Some people need lists. This is good, they are organized. I use to be that way, well I still am to a small degree. I had all my 33 1/3 record albums (am I dating myself?) in ABC order. Some of my tons of leaflets are that way too. I use to think, should I categorize by designer or theme? I ended up doing a little of each. I collect Prairie Schoolers and Cross-eyed Crickets. Have lots of Leisure Arts. They are mostly bunched together.
Good luck all my nimble fingered pals! Please post because I love seeing your finishes.

Auld Lang Syne

It was really a lowkey New Year's Eve last night. No guns or fireworks going off. I had a little champagne and some potato chips and watched Dick Clark (!) who looks good but sounds different because of his stroke in '04.
No Rose Parade until hopefully tomorrow (we read they don't have it on Sundays) so I guess we will watch the Philly Mummers. Not too crazy about them, but they are a tradition here. All those strings aren't my favorite sound. I think you have to go and see it in person or be involved in it, like my pal Vikki's daughter was! Their costumes are pretty outrageous. We just ate hoagies, so at least that is a Philly favorite
Hope you are having a nice day.
Words adapted from a traditional songby Rabbie Burns (1759-96)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!
And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!
We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl'd in the burnFrae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar'dSin auld lang syne.
And there's a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne

Word meanings
auld lang syne - times gone
bybe - pay for
braes - hills
braid - broad
burn - stream
dine - dinnertime
fiere - friend
fit - foot
gowans - daisies
waught - goodwill drink
monie - many
morning sun - noon
paidl't - paddled
pint-stowp - pint tankard
pou'd - pulled
twa - two

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