Sunday, June 6, 2021

The Two Seasons of Nod

In Nod, we have two seasons:  Winter and June
 We went from 29° to 95° in just over a week's time.

June has arrived as impetuously as a spoiled child.
But she is, after all, June:  The adolescent youth of Summer...mischievous, unpredictable, and oh so winsome and cunning.

And so now it is time to attend to the joys of June:

The riot of blooms that seemingly appear overnight - old friends well welcomed after a long winter's absence...

The impossible cloud formations that only June can imagine...

Unexpected visits as though June put out her own welcome sign...

The smell of fresh-cut hay...

The chorus of frogs orchestrated by Mother Nature each evening at permitting...

The fog that settles over the low lands in the late humid evenings...

Paths and walkways wrapped in verdure...

Do not grow up too quickly June!

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Going In Circles And Seeing Stars

Really and truly.
I decided some of the stars were too wonky...even for me.
Soooo, after I finished hooking it, I started reverse hooking a "few" stars.
I thought if I fixed one or two, I'd be happy. (You should be laughing right about now.)
Yet every time I redid one (which is no easy task because it requires reverse hooking the background surrounding the star and "refitting" it around the "new" star), I was dissatisfied with the adjacent star....
So, around in a circle I went...until I realized that this little endeavor had no end.
(And I honestly didn't know where I had started anymore or whether I was redoing stars I had already redone.)

Fortunately, I had a brief moment of lucidness and stopped the madness.

{"13 Stars" by The Tattered Flag)

It still needs to be bound, but it will have to wait until I get the binding material.
(Note to self:  You dislike hooking stars as much as you dislike hooking symmetrical scroll designs....and please don't ever hook in a circle in the middle of design.  And, NO, DON'T redo that too.)

I am not sure what's next.  I'm still frogging the dang eagle, but when that's done, decisions will need to be made.  (Is it just me, or do I sense a theme here??)


There is not much else (good) news here to share, and looking at my camera roll, I see I have taken few no inspiration there either.
The weather has been fickle.  We had almost a week of freezing temps at night and even snow on Thursday, but there have been a few pleasant days as well.

{Kitties on humming bird watch - I won't show you what happened next LOL}


I won't fumble around any longer searching for something to say, but did want to check in and wish everyone a memorable Memorial Day weekend...full of reflection and a heart filled with gratitude for all who have served and sacrificed and their families who bear/bore much of the pain as well.

Our family has always "expanded" on the traditional Memorial Day observance by treating it as a day to remember all those loved by us who have passed.  Accordingly, the holiday always meant visits to the cemeteries.
Perhaps that's where I will go tomorrow.


One last thing:

If you find it in your heart, I would appreciate prayers for my beloved Snowdog.


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Red, White and (Still) Blue....

The first words are the hardest it seems.  I know regular readers of my blog may find that somewhat difficult to believe since, most of the time, I have a love affair with words.  But it's true.  Like putting a project or a relationship down and walking away....sometimes picking things up again becomes least for me.

So bear with me - I am struggling to regain my balance on that bicycle of life that I keep falling off of.
Pain comes in many forms.

In my time "away" (figuratively speaking only, trust me), I pulled some skeletons out of my closet (again, the figurative ones...the literal ones are still there and thriving).  The first was this RED work piece I started well over a year ago:

("Centennial Eagles" by Tina Woltman)

I had completed the eagle on the left, the 1776, the star motif to the left of it and the center motif before putting it away.  When I pulled it out again, I started on the right side and had to start a new skein of floss.  Clever me had known I would need more than one skein of floss and had purchased two but, guessed it, the dye lots were not the same.  The eagle on the left was definitely much lighter than the one on the right.  So, guessed it again...I am frogging the eagle on the left.   (You can see in the photo below the difference in the floss from the top of the head (redone) of the eagle on the left to the bottom (yet to be redone).  Then the issue will be whether to redo the center tree/flower thing, the 1776 and the star to the left of it (essentially re-stitching the whole thing) knowing full well that, once again, I will have to start a new skein of floss taking a ride on the color lotto.  (You wonder why some things are put side and abandoned??)

I also completed hooking the WHITE Whale (a/k/a "the Beast").  "Final finishing" it will be a ways off.  It needs some serious blocking (it's a large rug and I only have a small-ish Puritan frame and I believe parts of it stretched along the way). I also have to decide whether I am going to just bind it or try to mount it on a frame.  So don't hold your breath for a final finish.

("White Whale Tavern" by The Paisley Studio)

As for something BLUE, I started this pattern from The Tattered Flag: "13 Stars."  Nine of the thirteen stars hooked and no two alike.  Go figure.  (Note to self:  Self does not like hooking stars.)

I hope you forgive my abrupt departure and hesitant re-entrance, and also forgive me that I cannot put into words here all that is going on in my world.  It is a culmination of many "littles" that has broke me and sometimes I feel like a ghost in my own life.
I know that the most necessary part of growing up is figuring out where your empty spaces are and figuring out, too, how to fill them for yourself.

Please be patient with me.  I certainly know where many of my empty spaces are, but the second part is proving to be a bit of a challenge.

Friday, April 9, 2021

In My Heart and Thoughts

 For many reasons, I need to "go away" for a while.

Before "leaving," however, I want to thank sweet Donna of "A Little of This and A Little of That" for the happy mail I received.

She is an incredibly gifted artist and how she stuffs so much joy in one envelope (which, by the way, is as "happy" as everything inside) has to involve a bit of magic.

From the first time I read her blog, I fell in love with the beautiful watercolors she creates.

I mentioned my "sleep" issues, so she thoughtfully sent some Valerian tea. And the card is a little masterpiece of mixed media.

Thank you Donna....your kindnesses are so very beautiful in this grey world and this brought me a much-needed smile.


I will keep you all in my heart and thoughts. 


Saturday, March 27, 2021

A Rose By Any Other Name....

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...." said Juliet to Romeo, suggesting that it mattered not that his last name was Montague and he was from her family's rival house.

In other words, things are what they are, no matter what name you give them.  And no truer thing could ever be said about Woodrose floss from The Gentle Art:  It is what is no matter that it is called Woodrose...  No matter that one Woodrose is entirely different in tone and color from another Woodrose.  (Come to think of it, that is very true of families too....)

I love overdyed flosses for the variegation they have. I hate them for the same reason.  There is just too MUCH variation in the variegation.

I am still in that equivocal place of uncertainty as I have been for some time regarding my next "project," so thought I would once again "fill in" with a quick (ha!) stitch while I decide where I go next.  Besides, I needed a bunny fix.
So I started a little design called "imagine*dream*believe" by Artful Offerings.
It came kitted, but since I (relatively recently) organized my stitching and knew from my journal that I already had the Woodrose floss called for, I thought it wise to use what was started rather than start on a new skein.

After stitching several of the numbers in the pattern, I began have to have throwbacks to the mauve-y pinks and colonial/baby blues of the '80s.  
Not a good I went back and compared the Woodrose that I had and was using with the Woodrose that came in the kit.  Whoa....2 very different colors: the one I had a very pale pink, the kitted one a definite tangerine orange.

I was already not overly thrilled with the "baby blue" involved, but the pink threw me over the edge, and out it came.  Here you can see (at least a was more dramatic in person) that 0, 1, and 2 are done in the "pink" Woodrose, while the 3 and 4 are done in the tangerine Woodrose:

I had actually already stitched through "5" before acknowledging I wasn't "thrilled," but happily frogged and re-stitched, grateful that I had not settled for the PINK Woodrose.

So grateful, in fact, that I stitched all the numbers AND the verbiage at the top of the design...only to become dissatisfied with the actual "variegation" (or, more precisely, the lack thereof) of the tangerine Woodrose.
(It's not easy being me....)

And, yes, I tempted fate a by going to the LNS: Most Woodroses they had were not only of the "orange" variety, but also more variegated...and less "in-your-face-plain-carrot-orange."

So....out it all came...
....and in went the perfect Woodrose (or maybe not....):
(The "8" and "9" still need to be redone....or maybe not.)

And then I saw it: I totally messed up the border.  The inner 5 vertical rows were supposed to be two rows light, 1 row dark, 2 rows light.  I did 2 rows dark, 1 row light, 2 rows dark.  
It was meant to mimic ticking - my version looks decidedly less like ticking, but I am not certain I have the wherewithal to actually redo it all.
  I think I am over that bunny thing.
I just may coax the Beast out of that dark closet.
Or maybe not.

In other news:  

I have spent the better part of the week at the vet.  This one had a blockage and we spent 6+ hours (and a great deal of money) at the emergency vet:
(Rajah Roo)

This one developed an upper respiratory infection from who-knows-where:
(Liza Bean)

And this one's chronic bronchitis (??) is back and his arthritis is worsening:

I have pills, liquid orals and injections...some need refrigeration, some are light sensitive.  I sure hope I keep all this straight.

Easter/spring decorating was sidelined.  I did not even put out my antique German bunny candy containers.  Little carrots and a lone needle felted bunny will be it it looks like.

Maybe next year.  Maybe not.


As an unhappy side note, "Buddy" (from a few posts back about my technology issues) suffered an aneurysm and brain bleed.  They are thinking they will be taking him off life support soon.  😒  Prayers for him would be sincerely appreciated.  All sarcasm aside, he has a beautiful heart.

Friday, March 12, 2021

I Like To Do What Most Hookers Don't.....

Cathy from Acorn Hollow likes them "big," Lauren from Rugs and Pugs enjoys (and often pursues) "quickies" and dear Mummy Dearest (a/k/a Saundra) of Woodland Junction's penchant is clearly for "older" ones.

To each their own, I suppose, and while I have experienced, at some point, some of the pleasures of the above preferences, my predilection is, as in most aspects of my life, of a more peculiar bend:  I like to do what other hookers do not like to do.

I like to bind rugs.
(What were you thinking I was going to say???)
Most hookers (including those above-named wonted hookers) dread binding their rugs.  I, however, find it relaxing, mindless and effortless...the part where I don't really have to do any work.  

While I have not yet brought the Beast forth from his dark hiding place or otherwise engaged in full-blown hooking activities, I did finally bind my "Guilford Runner" that I had finished hooking some time ago.

There are some amazing old paisleys used in the red and gold portions that do not show in the above photo, but think that you can see in the photo below:


This design (by Edyth O'Niell) was what I first chose to hook after having taken a long hiatus from hooking.  I should have thought more clearly in both my choice and technique while doing it.  The pattern is clearly very symmetrical in design and was not drawn as symmetrically as it should have been (at least according to the dictates of my OCD).  It, therefore, required many "adjustments," most usually in the form of reverse hooking.
In the end, however, I was "satisfied" enough to even consider doing the same one again sometime - something I never, ever, do. (I am usually a "once and done" kind of hooker.)  There are so many tempting color combinations and it just might be better the second time around.
I'll have to "circle back" on that.

And since I had no more rugs to bind am fickle, I finally also finished "Salem Village," a design by Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm.  I am ashamed to admit this took me over 4 years to finish. And it is not "finished" still needs to be framed...or something.
 I guess sometimes I like it slow too.

I have not decided what's next.  I have a few things started, but none is really getting me terribly excited.  At the risk of once again not finishing something I have started, I may pick up something entirely new.

But, not tonight because I have a headache.

 Yes, my internet woes are continuing.
  I will not bore you with all the technicalities but, basically, my "system" is dropping connectivity somewhere between my devices and the satellite. Still trying to figure out if it is a router issue, a modem issue, or something else altogether.  The bottom line is it's not fixed and I am operating now on "borrowed time."  Hence, why I have a headache.

(Where I go when "she" has a headache.  Smart kitteh....)

Signing off for now while I am still connected.  Hope you are all well and happy. Happier than me will do.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Way Things Go in Nod

*Note: My original post has been edited to correct a grammatical error brought to my attention by "Annonymous":   I was not attempting to "UNthaw" my pipes, but THAW them.  Yes, I do know the difference, but it is an unfortunate colloquialism here which I used inadvertently.  I also did not take much time, under the circumstances, to review my post before publishing, so from one grammar Nazi to another, I do hope I can be forgiven.  I do not know what I would have done without you Annonymous....but somehow know why you choose to be "annonymous."  (And, did you miss the mis-spelling of "satellite"? Or were just taking pity on me? LOL)

Yes, it's going to be one of those "it started with" posts.

 It started with the cold....bitter, bone-chilling cold.

The cold led to frozen water lines, as it does every year.  Despite my efforts and several Mr. Heaters, I was unable to unthawthaw them.

Soooo, my husband engaged his "buddy" to come over to see what he could do because my husband was ice fishing and could not be bothered.

"Buddy" came over and concluded the issue was (as I already knew) the fact that the water pipe was on an exterior block wall of our basement...hence why this happens each and every year and I just happen to have a small arsenal of Mr. Heaters.

But, Buddy decides he can not only unthawthaw the water pipes, but he can FIX the problem once and for all.  (I cringed as I had already consulted with several other contractors in previous years and they said there really wasn't much that could be done.)

Despite my protests, Buddy began all sorts of machinations and noise-making, and trips down the stairs (salty, snowy, boots and all) and back up the stairs, to the store, and back from the store, down the stairs and back up.

Buddy is going to divert some of the heat from the furnace in the adjoining room to the ceiling area in the basement in the vicinity of the pipes.   This involves no less than 3 trips to the store (in so many days), a perpetual mess in my basement, and every light switch in the vicinity left on for me to go down and shut off.  Oh, and did I mention it also involves me crawling up on a ladder, removing (sharp) tin ceiling tiles and turning a switch on and off???? 

Three days, a pound of wood shavings, a virtual path of salty, dirty footprints, two burnt out light bulbs, and several unidentified metal pieces (left for me to step on in the darkness occasioned by the burnt-out light bulbs) later, Buddy concludes this plan is not going to work.

Not easily deterred, Buddy moves on to Plan B....which also involves numerous trips up and down the stairs (salty, snowy, boots and all) and to town over a course of another 3 days.

Then the drilling began.

And then the television satellite* signal started to falter....

I yell to Buddy to stop, which he does only long enough to inform me that nothing he is doing could possibly have anything to do with the television.

And then the television went out...completely.

After arguing with Buddy that SOMETHING he did affected the wires that run through the ceiling area in which he was drilling, Buddy leaves and goes to the store...again.  When he returns, he spends several hours trying to figure out what might have gone wrong and trying to convince me it was not his fault by showing me the size of drill bit he was using. How this is relevant, I have no clue.  Unsuccessful in restoring our television signal, Buddy leaves to consult with his ex-brother-in-law....and go to the store...again.

For the sake of expediency, I will condense this by simply saying that Buddy eventually did get our television signal restored....

And then my internet went out.

I am completely accustomed to this happening from time to time, and can almost do hard reboots of my pc, modem and router in the dark (but not quite which I found out when I tried because my husband decided to go to bed at 6:30 after (another) hard day of ice fishing and sleeps in the adjoining room.)

I waited until the following morning and re-did the hard reboots....several times (but not as many times as Buddy went to the store).  Nothing worked.  I eventually gave up and called our internet provider only to be told that there is nothing wrong on their has to be something wrong with.....the cable....which cable so happens to run along with the television satellite cable that Buddy did NOT do anything to.

At the risk of invoking my full and complete wrath, Buddy returned...spent several hours in  the ceiling...left to once again consult with his ex-brother-in-law...returned...and then left while I was at an appointment, not to all.

I finally called someone who came out today and took at things. He crawled up into the area in which Buddy was working and saw what Buddy did up there....  Diagnosis:  He suspects that Buddy nicked or tagged the RG6 cable that runs from the dish outdoor to my modem.

Bad news (you weren't really expecting good news at this point, were you?):  We will have to take down the wood ceiling in the downstairs bath to access the cable that will have to be replaced.

So....I have no internet.  I have extremely spotty cellular signal here (when Mars is aligned with Pluto, the moon is full, and the cock crows before daylight) and, therefore, can only access the internet for brief fleeting moments a few times during a day.  I wrote this post in bits and fits while sitting waiting for a prescription to be filled and during those brief otherwise moments.

That is how things go in Nod.  That is one more reason this crow is cranky.

Oh...and that first photo??? No, that's NOT Snowdog.... It's a wolf....on the front of our house. 

That's the way things go in Nod.

(My apologies for the length of this rant. This post was intended to be about some stitching updates...but I got sidetracked....and I guess my "window" of time for being able to download/upload photos from my phone was up.)



Friday, February 5, 2021

Not Feeling the Love

 That pretty much sums it up these days....on so very many levels unfortunately, but I'll stick to the most obvious:
Valentine's Day.
Since I have a predilection for hearts, I have an excuse each year to add splashes of red to the overly white and dreary days of January and February.

And each year I usually do a small cross stitch pinkeep, or even a small punched or hooked piece, to commemorate the uneventful day.

Not this year.

The best I could muster was finally finishing the heart pinkeep I stitched (ahem) 2 years ago that has been lingering in Never Never Finished Land.

{"Love Bird Pincushion" and "Love Letter Needle Keep" from With Thy Needle & Thread's "Be My Valentine" pattern.  Stitched on 35ct Abecedarian from R&R Reproductions using WDW flosses.}

I did pull out a few heart things....

But, with 9 days to go, that will likely be all she wrote.

I also managed to pull out my "intended" holiday project - pattern, linen and floss...  I don't suppose that counts though.

{"Sweetheart Pincushion" by Blackbird Designs}

Perhaps next year.

Our winter has begun in earnest.  We have had several snows since October of course, but yesterday was the biggest snowfall so far this winter.  

This little fella was out and about in the early part of the storm. I hope he made it home safely.

We got a little over 8" (hmmm, the forecast started out at 2")....then the winds came, and now the Frigid Cold.  As in -20ΒΊ frigid....and that's without the windchill.

Yeah, just not feeling the love.


Thursday, January 14, 2021

A Special Kind of Torture

This may come as a complete surprise to some of you, but I suffer a wee bit from OCD. Mind you, it only manifests itself in the most useless of ways....not, for example, when it comes to housekeeping, promptness, social correctness, etc. but in totally annoying and counterproductive ways: I may have a counter full of "projects" and what-not, but the spices in my cupboard are arranged alphabetically. And, well, I expect an equal degree of "perfectionism" when I stitch...including the chart design.  And that is how it came to be that I am in fits of frustration with my newest project.

It started with the "R"....

Three stitches on the bottom left here....

....but only two stitches on the bottom left here.

Ok...easy enough to "fix," and certainly a more-than-forgivable error.

But then came the g's....

Version 1 vs. Version 2:

But wait for it....yes, there's a third version too:

Letter "u" was also graced with three different versions (and two versions in the very same name!):

And then there's the letter "A":

Since these "A"s begin the names, one can't as easily just add or subtract from them without affecting the left margin of the piece....

Oh...and speaking of that left margin:

"George" and "Rebecca" are in one space from "Ann," "Margaret," and "Alice"
(so, I guess who cares if I added "feet" to Alice's "A" πŸ˜•) ... and "George Burroughs' name is the longest of all the names so, if anything, it should be not be indented.

And speaking of George's long name, why are there 4 spaces between his first and last name (especially since his last name almost touches the leaves next to it), but only two between Rebecca's first and last name?

 And why do others have 3? And one even has 5???

And why do these two "stalks" (or whatever they are) not line up??

Then there is this wonky space where it shouldn't be....

Not a big deal in and of itself, but it throws off the reference points/spacing of things all around it since it doesn't go across the entire chart.

And dear Ann Foster....

This piece is meant as a memorial to those hanged as witches in Salem in 1692.  Giles Cory was pressed to death, not hanged, but he is always included with the group since he was killed for being a witch during the hysteria.

But Ann??? Nope....she was neither hanged nor pressed.  Yes, she was accused of witchcraft and jailed for it...but she died in jail (as many did).  (Many accused witches remained in jail long after the witch hysteria ended and the hangings stopped because their families could not pay the fees charged by the jail for their keep.)  

But MIA is Martha Carrier....who was, indeed, hanged as a witch....on August 19, 1692...the same day as the two Georges and the two Johns were hanged.  She was the only woman hanged that particular day and now she has been edged out her rightful place in history.

Are you still with me here??

No, I haven't burned my work at the stake...but I have resigned myself to the fact that there are just too many inconsistencies to remedy.  I have ripped poor George's name out more times than he has been disinterred and reinterred.

I have made uniform the "R's" and the "A's," the "g's" and some of the "u's" (but not all).  I have lined things up on the left margin, but have not made consistent the spacing between names since I had already stitched a great deal of the stalks to the right before this bugged the crap out of me I noticed this. 

Most importantly, I have given Martha Carrier her rightful place on the list. (Sorry Ann.)

And I bet you thought when I said "special kind of torture" I was referring to the hangings...,