Saturday, January 29, 2022

The Elusive Anna Bolen...

I wrote your name in the sky,
but the wind blew it away.
I wrote your name in the sand,
but the waves washed it away.
I wrote your name in my heart,
and forever it will stay.

The elusive Anna Bolen...
...not to be confused with Anne Boylen (who probably should have been a bit more elusive).
Anyway - Long story short:  I stitched this piece sometime before WWR but, true to form, I did not "fully" finish it and it must have gotten packed away in one of the many boxes that still haunt my lower level - just another casualty of WWR.  
Unlike a few other things that I recently "found" while excavating in my basement, I had actually remembered doing this stitching and kept looking for it each time I brought out the hearts for the season.  My mind's eye actually "saw" her completely finished and it puzzled me that I could not find her.
Then, a few months back, I unearthed several "finds" in an ambiguously marked box "down there."
And there was Anna.  
She was not fully finished (as in my recollections of her), but there she was nonetheless. 
I had already stitched the little coverlet heart on the front and had wrapped the remaining coverlet around her before she was entombed, so I did not have to search for a backing fabric.

***Unfortunately, I do not remember whose design this is, or what flosses I used, but I do know it is stitched on lightly distressed Osnaburg.  If any of you know whose design it is, please let me know so I can give proper credit.***
***UPDATE!*** "arcadia" suggested this might be one of Jenny Hoffman's (Country Rustic Primitives) designs.  I had suspected this, but could not find it and did not think to message her.  I since have, and she confirmed that this is her design.  The pattern is currently listed in her Etsy shop.  (If you search for it, it is named "I Wrote Your Name" and not "Anna Bolen."} Thanks "arcadia"!

In other news, I have decided I do not like pink. It's one of those things that just isn't for everyone.  Funny because, when my sister married and left home, I was so excited that I would have her teeny tiny room at the top of the stairs (hey, it was better than sleeping in the "big" room that was part of a storage area and had no doors).  After much pleading, my parents bought me some pink paint and I painted the room pink.  (It was about the only color that would go with the gross linoleum flooring.)  
It was the first and last time I was allowed to paint ANYTHING.

But I digress - that's another story for another time. As I said, I have fallen out of love with pink and so am giving away this punch needle heart and the two coordinating fabric hearts (they reverse so you can display with the solid fabric or the polka dot fabric).
They aren't as "white" as they appear in the photo, as the fabrics have been lightly distressed.  They are lightly stuffed and all three have jute hangers.

If you are interested, just comment on this post (and this post only)...or send me an email with "pink" in the subject line. Please, no sharing on social media, etc.
If there is more than one of you who would like to adopt these, I will randomly choose a winner on Thursday, February 3rd. That person must contact me within 3 days or someone else's name will be chosen. I cannot guarantee that they will get to the winner by Valentine's Day, but I will try.

And, lastly, I intended to post my latest read in my last post, but totally forgot about it. (There's a lot of "last/lateness" in that last sentence 😆).  This is what it was (I've since finished it and moved on...I will share that one next time):

My abbreviated review: I am a bit equivocal about it.  It is a debut novel and has some typical sophomoric "issues" (what happened to good copyediting??) and the "plot" was a bit trite....but there were a few surprises along the way...ok, not along the the end...but even that should not have been totally unexpected.  Probably the most interesting thing I can say about it is that it made me remember the difference between a "sanatorium" and a "sanitarium."  (If you don't care to look it up, essentially a "sanatorium" is a facility for long-term physical illnesses (e.g., tuberculosis) while a "sanitarium" is a long-term care facility for those suffering from mental illnesses.
If you like Lifetime mystery shows, you'll enjoy it.
In my defense, it was left at a friend's house and I "inherited" it.

It is hard to believe that there are only 2 more days left in this wretched month. (I detest January and February if you didn't know.)
I hope those in the path of the winter storm out east stay safe and warm. (Saundra...the cleanup can wait until spring.)
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 20, 2022

There's Just a Little More Magic in Some Days Than Others...

{Angel with Scandinavian Woven Heart}

Those kind of days are rare; but like anything rare, they seem mercurial and vanish quickly leaving the person experiencing them doubting their existence in the first place.

Despite my misgivings about this new year (being 2020-too and all), I have been blessed to have had several of these most magical days in this first month of this new year....

While seeing an eagle is not uncommon here (especially at the lake as we have a nest in the tree outside the front door), one does not always see two together (I believe the adult inhabitants of our nest)...keeping each other warm...on a frozen lake...during a storm....

Then, one late afternoon/early evening after returning to Nod, I looked out my front window and saw something that seemed out of sorts.

I initially dismissed it thinking it just a strange agglomeration of snow from the most recent snowfall - one that would be there in the same place the next time I glanced out until the sun found it.

But as I continued to look out, I realized what I was looking at.
{Pay no mind to those strange glowing eye things in the trees behind him...}

He stayed until the sun set and the gloaming began.  His wondrous white stood out against the darkness.

And he was were his antlers.  (I eventually dug through several closets and came up with a pair of binoculars...unfortunately, you can't take photos with binoculars and his magnificent rack is lost in the photos.)

I have heard there is a "pocket" of albino deer in these parts and have seen them on others' trails cams and photos, but had never ever seen one in person. Now I have.
Legend has it that one who sees a white stag will have good luck (and woe be to anyone who harms one).

 I guess there are perks to living in Nod after all.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Marly's Minestrone & Other Stuff

I am still holed up at the lake. 
The snows have stopped so I will need to take my leave while the leaving permits.

But it is cold...wretched, burn-your-nose, make-your-eyes-water, skin-sticking, cold.

So I believe I will wait this patch out and hope for a warm-up. Just thinking of loading and packing makes my teeth chatter.  I only hope it doesn't get colder yet and those "feel like" temps become the actual temps...'cuz you know what will happen to the "feel-like" temps then.

To me, cold weather and soup go together like dandelions and daydreams (and, where I live, there is much more of the former than the latter). So soup it is. 
As a disclaimer here, I am a bit of a soup snob.  My mom made the best soups in my world.  So while I LOVE soup, I expect 2 things from them:  (1) That they be homemade; and (2) that they be good...really good.
(Throw in a hunk of good homemade crusty bread and you will have a pal for life.)

I decided to finally try Marly's (Samplers-and-Santas) "Upstate Minestrone" soup.
For some reason, I have never been a huge fan of minestrones but, oh my heck....this.minnestrone.I.LOVE!!!

An unassuming tomato and beef base, complimented by hearty Italian sausage, zucchini, cabbage, and beans, quickly and effortlessly secured it a spot in my top 5 of soups.  Added bonus:  It reheats wonderfully and, like many soups, gets better with each reheating.

You really need to try it if you're a soup person.  You can find Marly's recipe here:

It's hard to believe I have been here 2 weeks (??) already.  Time seems to evaporate here.  I did bring my hooking project along with the thought of, if not finishing it, getting close to finishing it.
But I haven't even put it on my rug frame.
This is where I left off:

{"Simple Santa" by Therese Shick.  Sorry for the wonky photo but it is laying on the top of a curved trunk and I was too lazy to move it.}

I did start a new stitch:
{"Noel Sampler" by Brenda Gervais - With Thy Needle & Thread}

It was a gift from my sister-in-law and I am joining her in a "stitch-along."  Those participating stitch on this design from the 25th of each month until the month's end.  Those participating started already on December 25th (it's a Christmas sampler...get it??), but since I did not get the gift until after the new year (and since I stitch like I do most everything...slowly...) I decided I was entitled to "catch up" out of synch.

And, of course, I'm reading.

I am not certain what drew me to this book as it is not the genre to which I would typically be drawn.  I guess it goes to show how eclectic my taste can be.
It is the, unfortunately, true story of the Galvin family - a seemingly "all American" family with 12 children.  However, over time, 6 of the 12 children are diagnosed with schizophrenia.  The story interweaves the family drama and struggles (and, trust me, there IS drama and there ARE struggles) with the medical field's quest to unravel the how's and why's of the disease in the hopes of developing an effective treatment, if not cure.
I am nearing the end, though, so another reason I need to leave.

But not tonight....not tonight.

Stay safe and warm...and thank you for your companionship during my "purdah."

Saturday, January 1, 2022

A New Year

In between the storms this past week, I bundled Snowdog, herded the cats and headed to my quiet place.

I wasn't here to hear the lake make ice this year.
I missed her other-worldly moans as she surrendered to winter's bitter caress.

She could not wait for me.

She is asleep now, her secrets safe as dreams

The snows have since stopped; it was brutal cold that saw the new year in.

I wish you all a new year ahead filled blessings, joys, magic, and miracles...and a measure of good madness.

(Is it just me or do you hesitate calling the new year "2022"?  It scares the dickens out of me as it sounds like "2020 too" ya know?)