Friday, November 25, 2016

Giving Thanks

It's that time of year when we pause and give thanks.  I truly have so much to be thankful for!  We are healthy, we truly love one another, and we have everything we need to include a warm house to live in, food and clothing.  After the year that we've had, it's feels good to be home and be at peace for the time being.  Life has taught me that this can change in an instant, so I will never take this peace for granted.  Thank you, Lord!

It's been an eventful week!  I've never hosted a Thanksgiving meal before, so this was entirely new for me!  Thanks to my friends who gave me advice, encouraged me and most importantly, gave me some awesome recipes, we successfully navigated our first real dinner party.  I have to say, it was a little nerve wracking, but in the end, everyone ate well, nobody got sick, and we had fun.  Yes, I would do it again!  But I would hope to have a little more preparation time so I could get organized a little sooner!!  LOL  Here's the whole gang...please disregard the man in the Elf suit...he gets a little carried away when we have guests...

I was asked to show pictures of my china cabinet, so here are some of my pieces...

Here are the cups that belong to my Grandparents.

The pink depression glass candy dish.

The silver coffee service my college roommate gave us as a wedding gift, all polished up, and the Anniversary plate that was my Mom and Dad's and now ours, and one of the Lenox candle holders!

The cross stitched gifts through the years...

 And last, our table set for our guests.  I don't have the opportunity to use the china often, so it was a real pleasure to use them yesterday.  I really need to have guests over more often.

Now the hustle and bustle begins for preparation for Christmas.  How appropriate that we pause to be thankful for the things we have in this moment....and I hope we carry that through the next few weeks.  My goal this year is to remember how blessed we are, to try to bring blessings to others, and to remember the true meaning behind this holiday, that a savior was born to redeem THAT is something to be truly thankful for.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cleaning House...

Something magical happens when you start cleaning an area that hasn't been cleaned in  while.  Like finding things you forgot you had...or finding things that have a special significance and brings memories (some good, some sad) flooding back and ministering to your soul.

I'm cleaning my china cabinet, getting ready for Thanksgiving.  The dishes have been sitting for a long time, and I will say are a bit dusty (shhh....don't spread it around...LOL)  The glass windows were a little dirty, the mirror in the back of the cabinet is now so sparkly, I had forgotten how nice it looks all spruced up!  The sliver has been polished and all of it takes on a different kind of glow.  I can't explain the joy I've gotten from making it look so nice!

But then, the things I've been finding are sending me to a different place.  The china we searched all over Germany for...Mike promised me if we ever lived in Germany we would buy a set of china and the last month we were living there we finally found the perfect set with violets on them.  The plate that my Mom gave me for our 10th anniversary, which was given to her and Dad for their 10th anniversary by her sisters, all of whom are gone now.  The silver coffee service we got for a wedding gift, that sat in the box for 20 years until we had a china cabinet to put it in.  The tiny blue glass bird that Dad gave us, our little blue bird of happiness he called it.  And honestly, we have been truly happy for most of our  married life.  The two cups, one that belonged to my Grandmother, the other my Grandfather, that sit side by side.  The depression glass candy dish that was the one thing I asked for from my Grandmother's collection when we were getting ready to sell her house.  Many pin pillows, biscornu, and tea cup pincushion...little treasures sent to me by stitching friends for different reasons.  One in particular that says, "This too shall pass", sent by a dear lady in Alabama when I was going through cancer treatment means so much....since now it truly has passed!  There are little trinkets from past vacations or from different places we have lived that bring back such fun...and dare I say funny... memories from our travels to foreign places.  The Lenox candle holders my friend bought at a flea market for next to nothing for me for my birthday that get ooooohs and aaaaahhs from most folks that see them because they are so different.  And the dishes that belonged to Grandmothers, Great-Grandmothers, Great-Aunts and family members long past.  I keep thinking there will be 8 of us here for dinner on Thursday, but in spirit, we'll be surrounded by a host of folks who live in our memories and will share a place at our table.   Memories of huge Thanksgiving dinners we've shared in the past with family and friends will be present at the table too.  

I'll be honest and say I was a bit scared to host this dinner for folks we barely know, but I'm truly glad we are now.  (I just hope I don't make them sick with my cooking!  LOL)  We'll be giving Ben (and maybe Katie too) some fond memories that they will be tucking away in their memory banks that they may be hauling out of future china cabinets.  And when they do, I hope they will think of us just as I'm thinking of those who are a huge part of Thanksgiving memories for us.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Happy Dancing!!

I just had to update, as I've finished my last Advent Calendar piece!!  After finishing up the ornaments I had made for the exchanges this year, and gifts, I went ahead and finished up the last of the motifs.  I'm thrilled that I finished them all in one year!!  Now to get them finished into ornaments so I can actually use them....but that will have to wait until after Thanksgiving.  Here are the last two I finished stitching...

I also tried my hand at making these little ornaments that I found on facebook.  They are little tea lights that will light up their nose when you flip the switch on the back.  I hope to make a few more later on.

That is all for today, I just couldn't wait to share the news!!  Happy Stitching!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November Gifted Gorgeousness

This post will be only directed to the Gifted Gorgeousness Challenge.  I've really enjoyed participating in this challenge because it has prompted me to get out those charts, fabrics and fibers that others have given me, or stitch up those things for others, that I have had sitting around for ages.  It's given me incentive to finish something up each month so I have something to show.  It's been a lot of fun!  Thank you so much Jo for hosting this challenge and keeping us on the straight and narrow.  If you want to participate or see the rules, you can find them here.

If you want to see what other who are participating have stitched, you can see their blogs listed here.  I encourage you to come join the fun! 

I've had a little time here and there for stitching this past month.  I've been working on Christmas ornaments for a couple of exchanges I decided to join.  As usual, I try to stitch something I think my partners would like, but when it came to finishing, I lost my mojo.  I'm hoping to get something finished soon and get them in the mail, but life keeps getting in the way.  I can't post pictures of the things I finished just yet, I will post them next month, but I will show you some of the things I stitched that were "rejected" for my partners.  If either of my partners see something the would have liked instead, I can certainly send another one along if they are unhappy with what I'm sending. are my "rejects".  They are rejects ... not because I didn't like how they were stitched, but because I didn't have a clue how to finish them.

I've posted most of these numbers before, but not on a gifted gorgeousness here are the advent calendar numbers I've been able to finish since last month...and one I just finished this week!  Only two more to finish to get them finished into ornaments so I can hang them for the countdown to Christmas this year....think I'll be able to do it?  We shall see.  I found these on the EMS board found here.  They are stitched on 28 count natural linen over one.

I stitched a little on my Mom's Sweet Nectar's my progress so far.

I received a couple of gifts.  One is from my exchange partner, Joyce.  It's so cute!  I can't wait to hang it on the tree!  Thank you so much, Joyce!

The other is from my friend, Mouse, in England.  Part is a birthday gift as well.  She knows I love purple and violets, and I truly adore the ornament she sent.  I can't wait to hang it on my tree as well.  I wish I had her talent for finishing ornaments.  Thank you so much Mouse!!

I guess that's all I have to share.   I hope everyone is finding time to remember the things we are thankful for.  We will be having a houseful of people for Thanksgiving this year.  At first I was terrified, but as we make preparations, I'm finding myself thinking this will be one of our best Thanksgivings.  What better way to spend a holiday then surrounded by people you care about.  I'm thankful my son will be here with his girlfriend (it would truly be lonely without him here) and they won't be torn where to spend the day if she brings her family along.  I hope I don't injure anyone with my cooking...LOL  Wish me luck!  I probably will be too busy for any more updates until after Thanksgiving day, but I'll be back before Christmas!  So...I'll wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving, and wish you many blessings to be thankful for.  I leave you with a parting shot of Thomas, who likes having me home after such a long time away....


Monday, November 14, 2016


Another quick update here....we've been busy!!  I'm calling this post "Super" because we took a "Super" quick trip to the Lancaster/Reading area of PA.  We did have a very good time!  We visited a "Super" neat needlework store!  And we enjoyed watching the "Super" moon!  Where should I start?

Well...I had a little stash enhancement experience at Stitch and Stuff in Reading, PA last Friday.  It's located next to a Wawa on 3646 Pottsville Pike and you can visit their website here.

DH keeps driving me to these needlework stores.  Honest, he's the one who finds them and then actively searches the store for things I might like to stitch.  I have to write a little about this one though.  I don't think I've ever been in a friendlier shop.  I was looking for a few specific things and when I didn't find them, I asked the owner, Deb, who just happened to walk by and asked if I needed any help.  I felt awful as she kept saying she was going to get a cup of coffee, but then would overhear us ask a question or say something to each other and she went waaaaay out of her way to help us out.  She helped us figure out how much thread we would need for a particular project, helped us pick out fibers, and searched online for a particular item I was looking for and even called the company to ask about it, then ordered it for me.  After I had made my purchases, she put a brochure about things to do in the area in my bag.  We actually used it the next day to look for something to do before we left for home!  We asked about a restaurant in the area, and she directed us to a lovely place a couple of miles away that had a fabulous salad bar and some awesome deserts!  I only wish I had had something with me to have framed.  Not only was there a needlework store on the ground floor, but there was a frame shop on the second floor called the Framer's Nook.  We didn't have time to check up there, but next time I'm going to go up and see what's available.  Notice I said "next time"?  I will definitely be going back!!  

So what else did we do while I was there?  We went to Sight and Sound to see our 4th show there.  

If you ever get the chance to go...please do.  The productions we've seen there are just a feast for the senses!  We saw Samson this time, but we've also seen Jonah, Joseph, and Moses.  All of them were amazing, with live animals on the stage, fabulous costumes, and awe inspiring music!  One thing I love there is their roasted almonds.  When you walk in the theater, you can smell them roasting.  They are such a treat!  The sky was amazing that night, and we got a nice sunset shot as well as a shot of the moon.  AND...a shot of DH bringing down the house!  LOL

We also went to the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater to see Anything Goes.  I have seen the old Bing Crosby movie, but it's nothing like the stage production.  This cast was absolutely amazing too, and I can't remember laughing so hard during a performance before.  It was just a fun evening!

Our last morning there, we looked through the brochure and found a look out called the Pagoda.  I wish we had been there a week or two earlier, when the fall foliage was at it's peak.  It was a lovely drive, and the view was beautiful from there.  We were a little too early, it didn't open until noon, so we didn't get to see the inside.  But what was kinda neat was we met a couple from Lake Placid, NY there.  That is only about 25 miles from where DH grew up.  It was fun reminiscing about the area with them.

Last, but not least, did you see the moon last night?  Talk about super....I am really loving my new camera.  I've never been able to get such good shots of the moon before!

I should be back tomorrow with my Gifted Gorgeousness update...stay tuned!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Prepare the padded room....

The past 3 days have been crazy busy....and then last night DH dropped a bombshell.  We have a three day weekend coming up for Veterans day...and he wants to go see a show in Pennsylvania...and leave at noon Thursday.  I've been trying like crazy to get ornaments finished up for an exchange, and now I'll be gone through Saturday.  Yesterday, after DH's bombshell, DS asked me if his girlfriend could come over for Thanksgiving (two weeks from Thursday).  I was thinking about it, and he continued on....saying DGF's grandmother passed away since last Thanksgiving, she always had the big meal and gathering, they have nowhere to have the celebration, it's DGF's favorite holiday, and if she doesn't come over it will ruin her favorite holiday.  I'm getting ready to say...ok....when he says, and can her family come too?  I'm thinking....what am I getting myself into???  So I ask, how many people are we talking about?  He starts listing them off ... DGF, her Mom, her sister, her Dad (who is divorced from her Mom) and his girlfriend.....and it will end up with 8 people here for the meal.  Her Mom, Dad and soon to be stepmom?  Can we spell AWKWARD???   It's only been us three for I've gotten into a routine of a turkey breast and a few fixings.  I haven't cooked a full turkey in 30 years!!!!!  But he pleaded and now I've agreed.  You can stop rolling on the floor laughing now.  I don't have a table big enough for all these people.  I hope both he and DH help me get this place cleaned up....I haven't been home long enough to clean up the mess they made while I was gone for 4 months...and can you help me figure out how to expand my oven to accommodate the menu he's planning.  Um....does anyone have a spare room you could let for a couple of weeks until Thanksgiving is over?  I'm thinking of running screaming into the night!  Could you send some good STRONG wine....or vodka....or good old fashioned whiskey?  Anyone have a spare straight jacket?  I'll send measurements if you'd like to help me out and make one for me....

If you need me I'll be babbling away in the corner...

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A little of this....A little of that...'s been a wild ride lately...and though I don't have much stitching to show you...I do have a LOT to talk here goes...

I've been working frantically on getting my Advent calendar pieces done.  *Drum Roll Please*  I have stitched all but THREE!!  Here are the most recent finishes...and remember I'm working backwards here (although I already finished 1 and 2)...






Just to clarify, they are all close to the same size, I just took them at different distances...because I'm a horrible picture taker...LOL...And all these lovely patterns can be found on the EMS board designed by Ellen Maurer-Stroh. 

I made a little progress on my Mom's is an update on Sweet Nectar... 

I finished a couple of Christmas ornaments, because I'm doing some exchanges.  I finished these and the heck do you finish these shapes?  So....I had to dig around in my bag of tricks and find others that are easier to finish.  I'm such a wimp...LOL.  Maybe by next year I'll have figured it out, or found a finisher...

The first is by JBW Designs and is Frosty the Snowman...

The second is a freebie, and can be found here.  I only stitched half, and thought about stitching it to some wool...I'll have to keep thinking about that...

My husband and I had to take another trip to Northern NY to take my Mom to another appointment (I am crossing my fingers that this is the last trip for a while!!!) and decided we would take some time for ourselves on the way back and see some sights.  Here are a few highlights from our trip...

Along the shores of Lake Champlain if you look close you might see some snow in them thar hills...

Traveling through the Adirondack Mountains

Traveling through Pennsylvania

The sunrises over the Ocean at Ocean City, Maryland

The view of Assateague Island from the Chesapeake Bay, the wild ponies, and eagles that live there and the lighthouse...

Driving along the road on Assateague Island

Scenes from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the way home...

Some cross stitch shops we visited...and the things we bought there...

Just Cross Stitch in Harleysville, PA

The Strawberry Sampler in Glen Mills, PA

Salty Yarns in Ocean City, MD

Last, but not least, I needed some threads, so off to The Stitching Post in Baltimore, MD to get some supplies for a Round Robin I hope to participate in starting in January...

Can I just say, I think I've had my fill of Cross Stitch shops for a while?  Not to mention I need to save my pennies until I visit another one any time soon...hehehehe.  This is what happens when you deprive someone of stitching for several months!!  LOL

I was strolling through Facebook the other day and saw a post from a friend about some must do hikes in Maryland.  Of course, I fell in love with the first one I really looked at, and posted on Facebook that I wanted to take the hike.  The ONE time my husband goes on Facebook, he sees the post and tells me we are going on Saturday.  Yup, you got it, he shamed me into it.  It was 4 miles round trip but every corner on the hike left my jaw dropping.  I probably took WAAAAAY too many pictures, but it was impossible not to.  Here are a few of the highlights...and if you are my friend on Facebook, you can see quite a few more.  It was a beautiful time of year, and such a lovely day, we met a lot of folks on the hike, but it was soooo worth the aches and pains I'm feeling today!  LOL  

I hope I haven't bored you too much with all my pictures, now you know why I haven't posted in such a long time....busy is my middle name these days!  LOL  I'll be back on the 15th to share for the Gifted Gorgeousness...till then, happy stitching!