Saturday, December 31, 2005

Christmas Wrap Up

We all had a very good Christmas. I got the twin size Aero bed I wanted (to take on our yearly Girl's Gathering), and some Beautiful perfume. My DH got a bike, so now we can all ride together. DS/8 got PS2 games, a Taylor guitar, and a media chair that plugs into his game system. My DD/24 and her fiance got lots of items for their home. DS/19 got items for his apartment. The biggest gift we got was just being together. I'm so thankful that most of our family lives nearby.

Looking forward to the New Year....
DH will be playing in the Countdown on Beale St. tonight and it will be televised on Channel 5 in Memphis. They will be performing at 10:20 p.m. , if you want to tape it, or better yet, celebrate downtown with us!

I have been getting a little stitching time squeezed in here and there, so I'll post a pic very soon. I'll also post some pics of Christmas when they are transferred. Gotta go for now....

But first...
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Christmas Cards

I am soooo far behind on Christmas! I still need to finish buying gifts, decorating, and send out Christmas cards. Unfortunately, I tried to edit my Christmas card list, but instead, the list was deleted! I had to re-create the list from scratch. What a headache. I also send out a family newsletter to some of the folks on the list. (It goes to the ones who can tolerate reading all of our family stuff without gagging, LOL!).

Tonight DH and I went to our Bible Fellowship Class' Christmas Party. It was great fun! We had potluck and played the white elephant game. We ended up with a "normal" gift: a bible cover.

We had our Bunko night this past Tuesday. It was a lot of fun. I won an iron 3 tiered basket stand for the kitchen. It's for veggies and fruit.

As for stitching, I will post some updated pics of Gathering Honey soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Today: One Year Of Blogging

Today is my one year anniversary since my first blog post! Also today, my husband was on a local tv station playing music live! Today, I'm preparing food to be cooked tomorrow for Thanksgiving. I'll post pics of all the latest, along with my stitching when I get a little down time!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Dr. Adrian P. Rogers 9/12/31 - 11/15/05


Sadly, today, we will be saying goodbye to our beloved pastor, Dr. Adrian Rogers. He is known around the world for his broadcasts through Love Worth Finding. We pray for his wife, and his family, to have peace. He always said that when he died, not to mourn, because he would be kicking up gold dust in Heaven. What a joy to know he is laying his crowns before the Lord.

All 3 of my children came to know Jesus through his teaching. What a blessing he has been to us! Until we meet again, we love and miss you!

NOTE: Daystar Christian Television Network will air the Memorial Service live, Thursday, November 17, at 6:00 p.m. CT. Daystar is on DirecTV channel 369. The service will also be replayed at 12:00.am.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Slowly Progressing


I finally took a photo of the progress I've made on Gathering Honey. I have finished the backstitching in the top right corner. I am over halfway finished with the backstitching on the grey stones. I'll backstitch the beehive next. My DS/19 saw it and asked if it was a bell! I think some "detailing" is in order!

In other news, we've almost completed the makeover on the kitchen. I'll share some photos of that if I can find any good before photos.

DS/8 needs eyeglasses, so we'll be picking those out today. Both, my DH and I, along with all 3 children are nearsighted. When I'm stitching, I wear contacts and reading glasses, plus, I use a magnifying light. I'm blind as a bat!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Birthday Wishes!

Today is my DH's birthday! Maybe we'll go out to lunch (great idea!)... He reads my blog, so Happy Birthday, Honey! Two of his gifts were the cd's at the left, The Very Best of Supertramp and The Alan Parsons Project: The Definitive Collection. Boy, do these songs bring back memories!

I've backstitched some of the stones on Gathering Honey and all of the upper right corner of the garden area. I want to backstitch the hive before posting a progress pic.

I have really loved seeing all the photos of CATS and the stitching retreats that some of you have posted on your blogs. I've never been to anything like that. I think it would be great fun. Maybe someday.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Shrimpfest

Today, DH is on his way to Gulf Shores, AL, to play music at the National Shrimpfest. He'll play today at 2 p.m. and tomorrow at 4 p.m. If you are going to the Shrimpfest, be sure to check out the band & Dani. DH took the new digital camera with him, so I'll post some more progress pics when he returns home.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I Stand Corrected!

Okay, so everyone thinks the design above the lettuces are carrots. Well, after backstitching them, it turns out that they are CARROTS, not cactus, like I thought. If you only look at the charted picture, they look like cactuses. The more I backstitched, the more they looked like carrots! So, I asked my DH (who, by the way, had read my earlier post) what he thought they were. He said that they are carrots. That makes a way more sense than cactus. What was I thinking? Oh well, sorry for the confusion. The carrots, however, look very nice since they have been backstitched (if anyone even cares after all of this!!!!) I'll post a updated pic as soon as I complete that upper left corner.

We bought a new digital camera today!!! YAY!!

We also went to the Vesta Home Show today. The show consist of 11 newly built homes (5,000 - 6,500 sq. ft.) in a new neighborhood. They are on 1 - 5 acre lots. They were gorgeous!!! We got lots of ideas for our next home and also loads of decorating ideas. We took photos of a few of them. If we are able to build our next home, it will not be anywhere near the size of these, but it was still fun to dream!

Today, I have been married to the most handsome, loving, and patient man I know...my DH, for 14 years. I love him more each day.

This is for him since I didn't get him a card....

Hello, It's Me...Loving You
Just You & Me... Always
You Are My Inspiration...Forever
More Than Words...Could Ever Express
I Love You

Sunday, October 09, 2005

New Progress Pic!




















I finally got a photo of my progress on Gathering Honey! The top left section of the garden is finished, with the exception of all the backstitching. The lettuces are backstitched and the two-tone green border is partially backstitched, but the rest I still need to do. Above the lettuces are another plant that will look totally different with backstitching. See if you can guess what they are. I know I've said this before, but backstitching sure makes a design come to life with detail! Even though I've taken many breaks from this project, it hasn't been a hassle to stitch. In fact, it has been the most enjoyable project I have stitched so far. Because of all the color changes and spaces of fabric separations, I haven't gotten tired of any one particular color...yet.

In the close-up pic, you can really tell how the backstitching makes a dramatic difference. I'm looking forward to finishing this whole sampler so I can enjoy it on my wall.

Have you figured out what the plants are above the lettuces? They are cactus with out their needles! See what I mean about the backstitching thing!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Henry Gross


Last Friday, DH and I went to see Henry Gross in concert. He was one of our favorite musicians when we were still in high school. Henry has still got "it", the voice and the showmanship. For those of you are saying, "Henry who?", well, maybe you remember some of his songs..."Shannon" and "Show Me To The Stage". DH got his picture taken with him. How cool is that?! We had a great time reliving the memories of some of the tunes.

I actually got some stitching done and I will take a pic as soon as I can borrow my DD's camera.
(Henry Gross and DH at Blues City Cafe, Memphis)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Still no stitching

I haven't had an opportunity to do any stitching yet. DH had a nerve block on Monday for his back (ruptured L4). Now, he has begun physical therapy and it is helping relieve the pain. He will be off work a few more weeks at least. He's been busy with music, practicing and performing.

DS/8 is feeling better after having strep throat for the second time since June! It's so hard to see him sick, especially when he runs fever.

DD/24 is busy planning her wedding. She has selected her florist and photographer. She doesn't blog too often, but she did write about the proposal. You can read about it here.

DS/19 is being illusive. That's not unusal, but hard to get used to, since he doesn't have a phone and doesn't answer my emails. I do a lot of praying for him.

I have been having some foot pain problems for some time. I'm having trouble walking at times. I plan to see a doctor soon. In the meantime, my DH bought me some "sensible" shoes. They are Skechers. We bought the at Kohl's for $44. They are very comfortable, although I have to wear inner soles with a heel support in them because of the heel pain. The challenge now is what to wear with them! LOL!

Maybe I will get to stitch some tonight since DH has a gig tonight.
It will be just DS/8 and me at home.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Busy, busy, busy

These past few days have been very busy.
  • Last Tuesday was Bunko night at my house. We all had a great time.
  • Wednesday night was church/choir night.
  • Thursday night was DH's gig at the Shanti Steak House. (DS/8 and I didn't go, but worked on homework.)
  • Friday night, DH played a gig at Isaac Hayes.
  • Saturday, DH had a gig at City Cafe in Holly Springs, MS. It was a Jimmy Buffett Tribute. It was a fun night.
  • Sunday, we went to church and had a potluck lunch.
Yesterday, DH finally had his appointment for the neuro dr. to read his MRI and discuss treatment. He has a ruptured disk (L4) and he is having a nerve block on Monday. He will begin physical therapy soon. He'll be off work for at least another 3 weeks. He's already been on sick leave for about 1 month.

DD and I went to Macy's and she picked out her china pattern and silverware. The china she picked is Vera Wang's "Golden Grosgrain" Dinnerware Collection.

As for cross stitching, I haven't stitched one "x"! I hope I can squeeze in some time on Gathering Honey in the next day or so. I miss it. Cross stitching keeps me sane, I think.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Catching Up


DH went on a road trip with the band and Dani to the BayDays Festival in Hampton, VA, last Thursday. They had 3 gigs, one on the way, and the other 2 were at the festival. On Friday night, they were the headliner. On Saturday, they warmed up Bo Diddley, the famous guitarist! DH got to visit with him in Bo's trailer and got a photo with him. DH was supposed to arrived back home Sunday night. Instead, the trailer, that hauls the music equipment, broke an axle. So, DH had to spend another night and he should arrive home this evening.

I've been trying to get the house in order because I have Bunko at our home tomorrow night! The kitchen is about 85% complete, and I hope we can knock some more of the work out tomorrow during the day. The great room has gotten in such a mess that it has been a "de-cluttering process" before I could begin to clean.

I still have to buy the food for Bunko and clean the house. I have already bought the gifts for the winners. I'll try to get a photo of them.

DS/8 has a soccer game tonight, so this will be a late night for me.

I haven't cross stitched any, but I can't wait to get back to it.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina - Giving Me a New Perspective

Hurricane Katrina has been such an eye opener! I am so glad I don't work for FEMA. What was the delay all about? Politics! Protocol! Oh, Pleeeeassssse! Thousands of people ripped from their homes, losing love ones, and some dying before FEMA can get their act together. It just makes me sick for all those people who, not only have to deal with the devastation of the disaster caused by Katrina, but also the disaster created by FEMA's incompetence. No apology will replace the loss of life that was caused by this mess.

Our church is housing and feeding about 117 Katrina survivors and growing. They even had a job fair today to help the survivors find employment. In an email I received from our church staff, it states, "Only a few hours ago the first Bellevue Disaster Relief Team left for Louisiana to assist with the immense relief efforts of helping the many people displaced by the flooding. Bellevue plans to continue to send at least one Disaster Relief Team a week to the disaster area for the next year."
They will be taking supplies and monetary gifts as well as feeding those who need that assistance. I think other churches are giving the same type of help. Hopefully, it will shine some light on these dark days.

On a totally different note,

I managed to run over my cell phone yesterday following my grandmother's funeral. Leave it to me to do something that lame! It fell out of my lap as I was getting out of my van. I later moved my van into the driveway (and ran over the phone, I think). If I didn't run over it, my neighbor did or the big school bus ran over it. All I know for sure is one of us ran over it. It will work randomly, but I can't dial any numbers. How awful it must have been for all those people involved in Katrina who didn't have cell phone service to call their loved ones! Everything seems to take on a secondary value to human life...isn't that the way it should be?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Bad News & Good News Day

Yesterday... what an emotional day!
We wake up to find we had been "misled" about an issue near and dear to us. Bummer! Bad News.

Bought necessities to stock some kits for refugees of Katrina. Dropped them off at our church that's housing 300 refugees.

By noon, I get a call to tell me that my Grandmother, who was like a mother to me, has died. (She was ill with Alzheimer's Disease for 8 years.) Sad News.

By afternoon, my 19 year old son calls me to tell me he's finally gotten a job! Great pay, too! Job doesn't start, though, for 3 more weeks! Overall, good news.

What a roller-coaster of a day!

Today, we are still working on the kitchen renovation. Painting, patching, and nail pulling. Yuck. It's slowly coming together. The area is actually 2 rooms, the kitchen and the dining area, separated by the cabinets and stove.

No stitching time...what a drag!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Productive Day

DH and I had a productive day working on our kitchen renovation. We were able to get several panels of beadboard up, so we can get a better idea what it will look like when finished. The cabinets are finished (repaired, repainted, and new hardware). The walls are partially primed. We are making progress. Hopefully, tomorrow following church, we can get back to painting. I still haven't taken pics because my camera isn't working. I hope it is repairable.

I haven't stitched one stitch. DD is busy planning her wedding and the house is a mess due to kitchen redo. Thanks to all who commented about my DD's engagement. You are all so sweet. Once my turn at Bunco is behind me, I'll go through all my charts on hand to see what I have as far as wedding design\

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Suggest A Chart


My DD got engaged tonight! She has been dating her boyfriend for 4 years. He's a great guy and we think we are very fortunate to gain him as a son-in-law. They compliment each other. (She is my oldest child and my only daughter.)

I would like to cross stitch a wedding sampler or design for them, so please leave me comments with your suggestions.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Hot And Humid

It was 105 today (including the heat index)! It was so humid and muggy. I'll be glad to see fall.

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes! You are all so thoughtful!

I'm still painting cabinets, so no stitching time...yet....

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Kitchen Is A Wreck

We (DH and I) are renovating our kitchen. Since we plan to sale our home next spring, we are using the most neutral colors we can find (not the colors I'd prefer if we weren't moving soon). We bought "linen white" paint for the cabinets, trim, and lower walls. The upper walls will be a very light tan. zzzzzzz.... Boring, but great for attracting buyers later.

Before we could prep our kitchen cabinets to paint them, I had to remove every single item from my kitchen cabinets and stack them on the countertops, dining table, floor, etc. What a mess! Next, we had to sand all the cabinet doors, fill spots that were damaged, and re-sand, and sand some more.

We bought new hardware at Lowe's. The knobs and handles are a brushed nickle finish (less than $2 each!) For $60, we bought 13 knobs, 5 handles, and 18 hinges. We bought a tub of wood filler for repairing the cabinet doors for $5 (instead of replacing 13 doors at a cost of $$$$). We purchased beadboard paneling to go on the lower half of the walls, which we hope will give the whole room an updated look. Our camera isn't working, so I can't take photos of the "makeover". Maybe I can get my DD to take some with her camera. I'll give that a shot.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me (Whoopee)

Today, I turned 44 years old. I don't feel "old", but I do feel "older". My DH gave me a bike (at my request), so I can ride with my DS/8. It was a little tough to keep up with him on his bike and me walking. Now, we can ride together. My daughter's 24th birthday was yesterday. She gave me an exercise ball/video set (I have been wanting one). You can read about my DD/24 here (Aug. 13th post) and read her blog. DH is taking me out to dinner tonight, also.

DS/8 starts 3rd grade tomorrow and we are busy getting organized for school. He's looking forward to it.

DH and I bought some more supplies to get back to our kitchen renovating. We bought beadboard panels for the lower part of the walls and paint. We will need to repair the cabinet doors, paint the cabinets and all the walls. There is lots of work ahead. We would like to finish it before my turn at Bunco, which is September 12th.

I still hope to get in some stitching time. We will see.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Great Review














Here's a review from a couple in the audience last night during DH's gig. The review is the Aug. 11th post. "Le Chat" and her fiance came to hear the concert in Court Square. Dani and her band put on a great show. This particular couple had front row seats, so they got a close up view of the band and Dani's performance.

It is always nice to get feedback following gigs, especially when it's so complimentary!

Here's a photo of DS/8 enjoying the concert, also.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Not a Stitch in Sight

On Monday I went back to Dr. Brain. Since the medicine he gave me helped my migraines, he doesn't need to see me again for a year (unless the migraines get more frequent). He did tell me that the MRI scans were consistent with having migraines and he didn't think it looked like MS. Well, that's a relief!

Tuesday was Bunco night. It was a great time. I won the "door prize": 2 sets of tongs. One set of tongs will even lock. They are really cool. Next month is my turn to have Bunco at my home. My house needs a lot of painting and repairs, so not as much stitching will happen in the next few weeks.

Thanks for all your comments on Gathering Honey. It really motivates me. 12 women coming to my home in a few weeks will hopefully motivate me to patch holes, paint, lay carpet, etc. Hopefully, we'll get it done in time.

Tonight DH played with Dani and the band at the Summer Concert Series at Court Square in downtown Memphis. It was hot and humid, but when the sun went down, it was tolerable. The radio station, FM100, was the host. The music was great and the crowd seemed to enjoy it. A coworker of DH's even brought some friends from England. (DH hurt his back so he wasn't able to do the splits like he usually does at the end of the show......Just kidding!)

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Gathering Honey Garden "Growing"


I'm making progress on my cross stitch WIP, Gathering Honey. The lower right corner of the garden is "planted" , I mean to say, stitched. I also backstitched that area because it would have been too tedious to go back later. I haven't backstitched the stones or hive yet. I am enjoying this project so far. I get to use a lot of my favorite colors, which is nice, and there are lots of color changes so I haven't gotten burned out on any one particular shade. I tried to keep up with my time (even bought a timer), but I've failed at it miserably so far. I'll try to do better.

Thursday, I registered DS/8 for 3rd grade (school starts Aug. 15th). It's hard to believe his summer break is almost over! He took some beginner swim lessons this week and started practices for soccer.

We've had a busy few days with DH's music schedule, also. Thursday night he played at Rum Boogie Cafe and Friday night he played at B.B. Kings on Beale Street. Both shows went great and the crowds responded well to the music. This Wednesday, he'll be playing at Court Square for the Summer Concert Series.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Frogging Defined

Since creating this blog, I've had several non-stitchers asked me why I named my blog: Frogging Out. Candice's blog explains it perfectly.

Excerpts of Candice's Blog defining frogging....

"If you are reading this and you are not a cross stitcher, you may not know the significance of the frog. To us, the term "frog" means not only a tailless amphibian with webbed feet, but also the sound "ribbit ribbit," meaning that your stitching must be ripped out and restitched. To the cross stitcher, the frog can connote hours of painful picking away at floss, trying to get it free from delicate fabric without tearing anything."

"We cross stitchers regularly accuse each other of sicking a frog on us, of someone letting their frog out to invade every other cross stitcher's life, or the frog coming for a visit. Nobody wants that kind of frog. The tailless amphibian, however, is beloved."

"To the cross stitcher, frog is a noun and a verb. "To frog" is to remove stitches, and when one does that, one is "frogging." We all hate frogging."

Monday, August 01, 2005

Airheads Are A Lifesaver!


My DS/8 started swim lessons last week. His third lesson was today. DS/8 was not wanting to jump in (with a "noodle" wrapped around him). He reasoned, he cried, he resisted. Then, another lifeguard came over to them and told my DS/8 that he would reward him if he jumped in with him. So the lifeguard held his hand and they jumped in together! When he came up to the surface, DS/wasn't upset , but instead, he was ready to do it again! So he jumped in again with the lifeguard. The lesson was over, so he followed the lifeguard to get his "reward"...a green apple flavored Airheads. He was so proud of himself. His instructor told me that he didn't even think of offering him a reward. He said it was the one thing he hadn't tried with him. I told him if he offered DS/8 an eraser, he'd probably "swim" the length of the pool! He just laughed. Now, DS/8 is motivated, all because of a 10 cent Airheads!

You can read all about Airheads candy here...

Friday, July 29, 2005

Mirabilia's new freebie - Gold Butterfly!

Mirabilia has a new freebie, Gold Butterfly! If you go to the freebies, you'll see it. I really like it. It's the second in the series "Bejeweled Bugs." If you remember, the first one was a bumblebee. Check it out.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Gathering Honey Update


Gathering Honey progress as of today. The only backstitching I've done is the lower plants because it had to be done before those challenging french knots. Finally, I can start on the colorful parts. I was getting a little weary of grey stones! I even found a mistake at the top (I saw it when I enlarged my last progress pic), which I'll be frogging out and restitching. That's an added bonus to posting the progress photos. It comes in handy to spot overlooked errors. I think I'll also restitch the bees in the center (because the thread shows through from the back where I carried it from bee to bee). I'm off to put DS/8 to bed since he keeps getting back up.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Fishing Trip

DH took DS/8 fishing for the first time. The first fish he caught was this 1 lb. catfish! He caught several brim, also. He was very excited, though a little leary of the fish flipping around. He tried out his new fishing pole. They used hotdogs, instead of lures though.It was 99 degrees today so tey couldn't stay very long. It was just too hot! (Memphis is under a heat advisory!) Here is DH's Catch-of-the-Day! It was about a 5 lb. catfish! Who knew that catfish love hotdogs?

*Note to Readers: I removed the photos of the fish, due to the comment below. You can still see them, but you have to click on the above links. I didn't dream they would be upsetting to anyone.

Small Victories

I finally got my medication problem resolved and received it in the mail. Thank goodness! Small victory, if you want to call it that.

Stitching Update:
I attempted the french knots again on Gathering Honey WIP. I had searched several websites to see what I was missing. Finally, I figured out that you have to hold the thread at different tautness at different times. I got the hang of it, finally, and I'm on a roll (another small victory.) I found that it takes total focus to do the knots, unlike the full cross stitches. (At least, for me, it does.) I hope to have a progress photo to post soon.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Medusa says, "Give Me A Break!"

I have been trying since April to get a mistake corrected that was made by our health insurance company's meds-by-mail program. (The mail order meds are those that are "maintenance" type that are taken daily). I won't bore you with the details, but it has turned into a nightmare and now I'm completely out of medicine. I've made 7 phone calls and each time was told they had ordered it. To make things even more interesting, the med I'm out of is my hormone. I'm not a joy to be around without it, not to mention what it does to my body.

I went to Dr. Brain#2 yesterday and had an EEG. Can you say "Gluey Mess"? Fortunately, the glue will wash out with a good scrub. I felt like Medusa with all the wires coming out of my head. The Dr. said the EEG looked good. That's good news, because I need all the good brain waves I can get to deal with the incompetence of our meds-by-mail reps.

My car wouldn't start when I got ready to go to the doctor. I had to call my DH and get instructions over the phone on recharging the battery with a battery charger. It was 89 degrees and extremely humid, so by the time I got the van charged, my hair (not to mention the rest of me) was wringing wet. Not a pretty sight, I can assure you. I'm just glad yesterday is gone forever.

In stitching news, I've cross stitched some more areas on "Gathering Honey". I started on some flowers that are french knots. After I would make one knot, the next knot would pull the first knot through the fabric. I got frustrated and thought it best to come back to it later. Well, later, I was able to make 3 "good" knots and I stopped because it was getting late. I'll try to get those flowers stitched so I can post an update soon.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Duct Tape Dress Form


After reading Belinda's blog, "View From an Alternate Dementia", I remembered a great duct tape idea I found online. It is how to make a dress form out of duct tape. It's much cheaper than buying a commerical dress form, and the finished result is a body double of yourself. What a cool idea. If you sew clothing for yourself or someone else, it's a great way to cut down on the fittings. I hope to make one (when I start sewing clothing again). Here's another site that has a lot of information and photos and tips, too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Progress on "Gathering Honey" WIP


Here's the progress, as of yesterday, on my "Gathering Honey" WIP. I have stitched more since this photo, but not enough for another update just yet. I'll post another update when I get further along. For reference, here's the model photo.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Recycle & ReUse!

When we were at the City Cafe in Holly Springs, MS, I saw several things that caught my eye. I love things that are made from recycled items. For instance, I like tables that are made from old doors. I like the look of an old window becoming a photo frame and old doors turned into tables.
This is the vanity in the women's restroom...

It's a antique sewing machine base, a scrap piece of marble, and a bowl for the sink! The drawers from the old sewing machine are even used as storage! How cool!! I love this idea. There was also a great vintage screen door hanging on the one of the walls as art, but I didn't get a pic of it.

(This is the same cafe where my son cracked the safe and got his prized buttons.)

The 8 Month Search Has Ended


Drum Roll, please.....We have a new pastor for our church!
He is Dr. Steve Gaines from Gardendale, AL.
You can read more about him here.



Our family is looking forward to having Dr. Gaines as our pastor. At the same time, we are praying for our former pastor, Dr. Rogers, who retired recently and has since started chemo treatments for cancer.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Cracking Safe in City Cafe

Last night, DH, DS/8 and I drove to Holly Springs, MS, for a gig at the City Cafe. We had a great time! Family and friends came to hear the music and eat some yummy catfish! DS/8 spied a safe the was as tall as he was. The owner told him to try to crack the combination. He could keep whatever was in it if he could open it. With his ear planted on the door of the safe, he carefully listened to hear the "clicks" as he turned the knob left and right. After many tries, he whispered in my ear, "I cracked the safe and I got the treasure!" When I turned around to see what the "treasure" was, I saw a small jar of buttons! The funny thing is, most children would be disappointed, but he was excited. He has #1: a mom who sews and (quoting him) #2: he has "ideas flying out of his head" all the time about projects we can make. The buttons will find a home in a pillow or something that will remind him of this adventure for years to come. (I think I'll sew the buttons in a fish design on a pillow, if I can talk him into it).

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Sad Day in London, Sad Day for All Who Value Life

"I never knew grief felt so much like fear."

Quote from: A Grief Observed - C. S. Lewis


When I saw on t.v. the bombings in London by terrorists, I began to grieve. What goes so wrong in a person's life that makes them hate so strong? It's just horrible. This is the messed up world my children have to grow up in. My heart and prayers go to the families who lost loved ones & suffered injuries.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

"Gathering Honey" Stitching Stones


I'm chugging along on the stone path in the "Gathering Honey" project. Hopefully I won't see any more "frogs". As I've said before, I haven't done any of the backstitching yet. You can see what this design looks like when finished...here.

Fireworks and Announcement of New Pastor

On Sunday evening, my DH, DD/23 & DS/8 went to our July 4th Celebration at our church, Bellevue Bapt. The fireworks were awesome! Sunday morning, the announcement was made that a new pastor for our church has been selected. We don't know who it is yet, but he'll be preaching next Sunday. Our Pastor Emeritus, Dr. Adrian Rogers, has started receiving chemo treatments for colon cancer. God bless him and his family.

I have stitched and I have frogged out the beginning of the pathway on Gathering Honey. Now that I'm back on track with the stone path, I'll post a progress pic soon. It has been a fun project so far. The frogging out slowed me down, but the path is stitching up nicely.

My DS/8 saw the Stoney Creek design, Noah's Sub, and asked if he could stitch it. This is coming from a child that already has 3 works in progress (WIPs)! Of course, I said, "Not just yet". What, on earth, have I started?

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Shame On Me

I propped up my "Gathering Honey" project against a lamp on a table (that is in front of a window). On that same table was a green highlighter that I use to mark my chart as I stitch. My peekapoo jumped on the table to bark at something outside, and down came everything off the table, except the lamp. When I found my fabric (still in the Q-snaps), it now has a green spot on the bottom the size of a half dollar! The top had come off the green highlighter when it fell to the floor. I knew better than to leave my stitching there. I knew I was flirting with disaster. Shame on me! That darn dog! He's over 12 years old, so it doesn't do much good to scold him. I couldn't be mad at him, because the blame is really on me.

I immediately tried to get the spot out. It had already dried, but I got most of it out. Now, all that's left is a bright lime spot about the size of a nickel. I just hope it is far enough down that it will be under the matting once it's framed.

Lesson (once again) learned the hard way!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Dr. Brain Visit

Thanks for all your thoughtful comments. You can get an update on my visit to Dr. Brain here...

Progress on Gathering Honey

Here's the first progress pic for Gathering Honey. I haven't backstitched any of it, yet. I usually do that last. It's going a little slow because I'm railroading each stitch. I am still getting used to this way of stitching. I really like how it makes the stitches flat and smooth. This has always been one of my favorite designs, so it's been enjoyable to stitch so far. This is the very first design I've ever stitched for myself since I began cross stitching over 22 years ago. None of my friends or family cross stitch (that I'm aware of), so the only way I see other projects is by cruising blogs or online galleries. It's keeping me motivated to do the one thing that relaxes me. So, thanks to all you gals who spend the time to put your work online.

Monday, June 27, 2005

New Ornament Start



I didn't have a small project to take along for soccer practice, doctor visits, etc., so I picked this one to add to my "Names of Jesus" Tree for Christmas. The design is from Cross Country Stitching Magazine Issue December, 1992.

Here's how it will look finished, but I'll be making it into an ornament instead of framing it.

Jesus - Author of Faith

Here's a freebie I found from Cross Country Stitching.

Gathering Honey Update:
I took a photo of it, but it was blurry. I'll take another one and post it soon. I really need to learn how to transfer photos from the camera to the computer myself. (My DH has been doing it for me so far.)

My Son, The self-proclaimed "King of Rock & Roll"

My DH bought DS/8 an electric guitar and amp. He is so excited. Now he just needs to learn how to play it. He said the guitar was better than cable. I wouldn't go that far, but he's loving it.


"PUT THE LIME IN THE COCONUT AND DRINK IT ALL UP"

My Dr. Brain appointment is tomorrow. It should be very interesting.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Brain Surgeon?

I have an appointment with a neuro-surgeon next Tuesday. No kidding?! He will review my CT scan and MRI scans. I don't know any details of my MRI, except that this appointment was requested as a result of this test. Hopefully, I'll know more on my brain, or lack there of, next week!

DH recorded the Beatles song, "Oh, Darling", in the studio today with Dani and her band. It will be one of the songs on the upcoming "Fried Glass Onions II" CD that is in the process of being recorded. He had a great time in the studio. Tonight, he'll be playing at Rum Boogie with Dani and her band.

In the meantime, today I got in a little stitching time on Gathering Honey. I also started on an ornament. It's a small enough project to take along while I'm watching DS/8 at soccer camp this week. It's an ornament from the magazine, Cross Country Stitching, the December 1992 issue. The ornament is "Jesus-Author of Faith". I'll have to post a pic when I get a few more stitches in.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Searching for my Brain

Last week, I had a CT scan on my head because of some neuro issues (unable to verbalize thoughts, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, etc.). Because a 7mm dense nodule was noticed, I had a MRI today. Since they had not received a copy of my actual CT scan, they couldn't compare the two. So, now I still don't know anything. Following the MRI, the tech told me they didn't see the spot, so I'll go with that, for now. Once I got home, though, I got another migraine headache. It's so frustrating!

Because of the migraines, my stitching is going kind of slow. I did manage, however, to get the bee hive stitched that is the center of the design, Gathering Honey. I love this design!! The verse on the design is one of my favorites. I'll have a progress photo in the next day or so.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Weekend WhirlwindI

DH played music at Friday night's Memphis Redbirds game. There was a large crowd, so it was a lot of fun. Saturday night, DH played music at Isaac Hayes Club again. It was a great show!

Father's Day was nice. We went out to eat and spent time with family. Later, last night, we watched the Eagles Farewell 1 Tour Live From Melbourne DVD that was one of DH's Father's Day gifts. What an awesome concert! I highly recommend it if you are an Eagle's fan.

I had to make a working copy of Gathering Honey today. (I tried earlier, but I didn't notice that while the chart appeared to be black and white, it actually had pesky red symbols and lines, also! Duh! Hopefully, I can actually get some stitching action today...finally!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Gathering Honey Floss Toss


I had never heard of a floss toss until I began reading cross stitching blogs. So this is my first one. I can see where it's crucial when trying to decide on which fabric to use for a particular design. I've never stitched on any hand-dyed fabric, and I've never ventured too far away from the "recommended fabric choice" for the designs I've stitched so far. However, hopefully, in the future, I can acquire some hand-dyes or other interesting fabrics for my stitching. I had no idea there are so many different kinds of fabrics to choose from. For this design, I will be using 25 count cream Dublin linen.

Gathering Honey is a design that I've wanted to stitch for my home since I first saw it on the cover of Cross Stitch & Country Crafts Magazine in the May/June 1987 issue. Every time I would go back through all my cross stitch magazines, I'd pull it aside and think that I'd stitch it "someday". Well, that someday is here. I thought I'd better start it while I can still see well enough (with a magnifying lamp) to stitch it. If any of you have stitched this one, I'd love to know if there are any errors in the pattern before I start. Leave me a comment if you are aware of any errors for me to watch for.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Happy Dancing!!!


Fish Medley Completed

Here it is, unwashed and before it's ironed. Now I need to decide on framing options.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Happy Dance for Fish Medley

Fish Medley is complete!!! However, I noticed a small ink spot, at least I think it is ink, on the fabric. Do any of you know of a way to get this out without harming the stitching or fabric? Let me know if you have suggestions. What a difference it makes when you backstitch a piece! It just brings everything to life.

DS/8 attended Vacation Bible School at our church this past week. He had a blast!

They learned the Lord's Prayer, verse by verse, so now he knows the whole prayer by memory. I am so proud of him. It was quite a sight to see the rooms that were decorated for the children. A lot of work goes into it. I saw a lot of great ideas that could be adapted for a school classroom that has a safari theme. You can see some of the decorations here.

As you may remember, our Pastor, Dr. Rogers, retired recently. Now he has colon cancer. He has already had surgery once, and now, he is being evaluated at a center in Texas. We still don't have a new pastor. I think we all are still grieving over the fact he is no longer "in the pulpit". I had hoped he would have a carefree retirement, but instead, he is battling cancer. He has touched so many lives, and I'm sure through this experience, he'll touch many more.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Cross Stitching Stand Has Extended Life

I called Artisan Design, after no response from my email, regarding a replacement part. It is so much easier to cross stitch large projects with a stand. Without mine, my hands aren't large enough to hold my Q-snaps, comfortably, for very long. When I spoke with the maker of my Gazelle stand, they told me they only had 2 or 3 of this part left! Yikes! It's a good thing I called when I did. They are shipping it out snail mail and it cost approximately $19. I'm guessing it will take a week or so to arrive. I would like to have a heavier stand with maybe more bells and whistles, but that can wait until after we move in a year or so.

Note: If you go to Artisan Design, the stand I use is the original Gazelle, not the Gazelle II, as featured on their site. The Gazelle II is more sturdy and has some features that aren't on the original.

DH, DS/8 and I watched a rental movie called Racing Stripes last night. It was a really cute film about a zebra who thinks he is a horse. My son loved it.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Very Musical Weekend

DH (on the keys) had another gig with Dani at Isaac Hayes Club Friday night.


Dueling Guitars at Isaac's
(L to R: Jimmy Craig, Zack Mack & Stephen Adkisson)

DH (aka MusicJock) and Dani (In the background - Jimmy Craig on guitar & Jeremy on drums)

On Saturday, he had a gig with Dani and the band to raise awareness and funds to sponsor children (i.e. homeless children as a result of Tsunami). This gig was a starting point the tour called Play For Change.

What is Play for Change?

It's a tour that is sponsored by Indieheaven.com and Mission of Mercy. Indieheaven has artists across the USA and their founder, Keith Mohr thought it would be great to visit towns across the country to hold concerts with Indieheaven artists. Mission of Mercy is a child relief and development agency based in Colorado Springs, CO. You can read more about this 18-city tour here. The Play for Change blog can be read here.

Saturday night, DH, DS/8 and I went to the Memphis Italian Festival to hear Larry Raspberry in concert. It was extremely loud and hot! The music was great (just wish it wasn't so loud). Following Larry Raspberry was a former member of Grand Funk Railroad, Mark Farner, and he put on a great show. You can read more about the concert here.

Not much stitching accomplished. I'm lost without my stand. I did, however, email the manufacturer, as Connie suggested. I'm waiting on a response. I have been backstitching Fish Medley at a snail's pace. I'm anxious to start a new project, so I really need to wrap this one up!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Bummer!

I haven't crossed many stitches since returning from Chattanooga. I was backstitching Fish Medley and a section of my needlework stand cracked! The stand is the original Gazelle and is about 12 years old. I'm sick about it. The piece that cracked is the one that holds everything, including the scroll, and bookholder. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me about what stand you use and the reason you chose it. I may have to replace mine since it's useless if I can't get a replacement part.

I did have a non-stitching HD this week. DH and I finished the ceramic tile in our kitchen! Yay! Now, we have to do the laundry closet and we are officially finished tiling floors (that's after tiling the den, livingroom, and kitchen).

Friday, May 27, 2005

Mini Vacation to Chattanooga


Watch Out for the Shark!


DH, DS/8 and I flew to Chattanooga, TN, on Wednesday and returned Thursday. We visited the Tennessee Aquarium, the world's largest freshwater aquarium, and Ruby Falls, America's highest underground waterfall. The weather was great and it wasn't humid like it is in Memphis.

On Wednesday, at the aquarium, we were able to touch stingrays, sharks, and sturgeons. My DS/8 loved it! There was an entire exhibit of seahorses, too. We spent several hours at the aquarium which is in two buildings. One is the Ocean journey and the other is the River journey. At the top of the Ocean Journey Building is the Butterfly Tropical Garden. It was breathtaking.
Many species of butterflies were everywhere.
Visiting the Tennessee Aquarium website before our trip made it very helpful to identify the fish, sharks and seahorses. I highly recommend taking the time to go through each page, of the interactive portion, if you are taking school-age children. It made it more interesting to my son and me.

Following the aquarium visit, we walked up to the BluffView Art District and saw the large-scale outdoor sculptures along the way. After passing the exhibits, we were able to walk across Walnut Street Bridge, for pedestrians, that crossed over the Tennessee River to North Shore.
Walnut Street Bridge
(The red, black & white thing around DS/8's neck is his souvenir stuffed snake!

On the bridge we had a great view of the skyline and Coolidge Park. Before walking back over the bridge, we stopped in Mudpie Coffeehouse and had some coffee. Later, we ate dinner at Big River Grille (located 1/2 block from the aquarium). After dinner, we caught the free shuttle by to the hotel to watch the finale of American Idol.

On Thursday, we had breakfast at City Cafe Diner, then set out for the trip to see Ruby Falls. We had a great view of the town of Chattanooga from Lookout Mountain following our tour of Ruby Falls. Ruby Falls also has a lesson plan (in case you homeschool or just for fun.) While driving back down the mountain, we stopped in a roadside shop that had handmade quilts.
What eye candy!!!! This quilt featured ants eating a picnic lunch.
Picnic Quilt

All in all, we had a great trip. If we visit again, I'd like to see more of the Art District.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Happy Dance on Final Fish


Squarespot Basslet

I finally completed the last fish on Fish Medley! This fish has also been backstitched. I only need to backstitch the other four fish to complete. Yay! This fish was also shown as a frame piece by itself in the Cross My Heart leaflet called "The Ocean".


Thursday night was Bunco night and I won the door prize. It was a "Jolly Rancher" candle. It smelled good enough to eat! We all had a great time together and had lots of laughs, especially when my cousin, Michael, had to wear a strand of pearls around his neck because he won a round of Bunco! (He was subbing for a player who couldn't attend). I'm already looking forward to next month.

Last night DH played 2 shows at Isaac Hayes. We all had a great time. The crowd really got into the music. DH will post pics soon on his blog.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Awards & Autographs

My DS/8 won a CD boom box at school for being the Top Accelerated Reader in his class! He is so excited! I'm so proud of him. His last day of 2nd grade is Friday. He is ready for summer break.

My DH played with the band in Bixby, Oklahoma, this past weekend, which meant a road trip. They had a great time. The event was Bixby BBQ & Blues Festival. The town built a new amphitheater following last year's festival, so it was a great place to play music. There was a crowd of around 2,000 and they really enjoyed the show. DH even signed a few autographs. They will playing again this Friday night at Isaac Hayes Club.

In stitching news, I've completed all the coral and the last fish on Fish Medley. I have begun the backstitching. I'll try to post a pic soon. The last fish is really colorful.

Bunco Night is tomorrow night and I'm really looking forward to it.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Designer Teresa Wentzler on Indefinite Hiatus

Teresa Wentzler has announced she will no longer design cross stitch patterns indefinitely. You can read more about this surprising news at the Teresa Wentzler Bulletin Board.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by Taneya!

Choose 5 and complete the sentence...

If I could be a scientist . . .
If I could be a farmer . . .
If I could be a musician . . .
If I could be a doctor . . .
If I could be a painter . . .
If I could be a gardener . . .
If I could be a missionary . . .
If I could be a chef . . .
If I could be an architect . . .
If I could be a linguist . . .
If I could be a psychologist . . .
If I could be a librarian . . .
If I could be an athlete . . .
If I could be a lawyer . . .
If I could be an inn-keeper . . .
If I could be a professor . . .
If I could be a writer . . .
If I could be a llama-rider . . .
If I could be a bonnie pirate . . .
If I could be an astronaut . . .
If I could be a world famous blogger . . .
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world . . .
If I could be married to any current famous political figure . . .

If I could be a writer...I'd write lyrics. It would be very cool to hear your song on the radio. That would be very cool. Songs can also outlive you.

If I could be a musician...I'd be a piano player/harmonica playing guitarist.
But, since I'm not, I married a piano playing/mandolin playing/guitarist.
Pretty clever, eh?

If I could be a professor...I'd teach web design. My DS/19 taught himself to make websites by buying manuals and learning everything from scratch. No copy and paste for him. I get excited when something works correctly on my blog, so I know it would be a thrill to learn and teach others web design.

If I could be a painter...I'd paint with intricate detail. My paintings could then be converted to cross stitch. It would be nice to have a gallery and those who stitched could take home the kit of a painting. It's the Paula Vaughn concept.

If I could be a missionary...I believe it would make me more appreciative of all aspects of my life. My daughter has been on a few mission trips, as have many of our friends. Each of them, upon return home, have a more unmaterialistic mind and value relationships more than ever before. For every one I know who's been on a mission trip, it has changed their life. You can read about my friend, Grace, who is a missionary here. Her father has an orphanage in Brazil.

Now it's my turn to tag some people. So here it goes: Debbi, Lake Stitcher, and Musings from a 3-Bedroom Ranch.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you blogging moms!

Following church, we went out for lunch and to the cemetery. We put flowers on my MIL's marker. There were quite a few people on the grounds because of Mother's Day, I guess. We even saw a family having a picnic there, lawn chairs and all! I must admit, that was a little strange. We saw a woman sitting on the ground engrossed in a conversation, very animated with her arms and hands, but she was there alone. I suppose she was talking to her mom who had passed away.

I treated my mom to dinner last night for Mother's Day. She saw DH play music with the Dani band for the first time. We enjoyed spending time together. (She didn't raise me and our relationship has had its ups and downs, so I'm thankful for the good times).

I was able to see all 3 of my children today which was a treat. Each one told me they loved me. That's the best! DS/8 gave me some petunias and DD/23 gave me a bouquet of spring flowers. DS/19 gave me lots of hugs. It's all good!

DH gave me $ to spend on a few things, like the top I wore to dinner last night. He's the best!!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Bookcrossing & DeCluttering

De-Cluttering
I released a few books into the "wild" yesterday. Bookcrossing is a way to pass on books. If you enjoy reading, but have a hard time getting rid of books, this is a great way to pass them on and it's fun. I visit library book sales and buy books from .10 to $2.00.

Books just wanna be FREE! See what I mean at:
Bookcrossing

Please show "Institches" as your referrer if you sign up. See the books I've set free...here

Mirabilia's New Freebie!

Mirabilia has a new free design, Bumblebee. I don't know if I'll stitch it, but I'm keeping it in a file just in case. I want to stitch some of the free angels first.




Friday, April 29, 2005

Punch List

DH and I have made a loooong punch list of repairs and partially finished projects to finish around the house. This has to be done before we can sell by next spring. Boy, what a lot of work. Shame on us for letting it pile up.

We visited the school we hope to send DS/8 to when we move. Our meeting and tour was very informative. The school is small, only 1 classroom per grade, so the students get a lot of one-on-one attention. We are pleased with what we saw. The challenge, now, is to find some property to build on, or home that will suit our needs.

In stitching news, it's pretty boring. I'm still stitching the coral on Fish Medley. I'll post a photo as soon as I complete it. All that's left, after the coral, is one more fish and the backstitching. I'm anxious to complete it because I have some other kitted projects I'm itching to do, along with a few WIPs.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Welcome to the Beach!


Completed "Beach" by DS/8


"Beach" Pillow

As promised, here's the first cross stitch project completed by my DS/8! He wanted me to make a pillow case, with "Beach", for his room. He's already moved ahead to "First Snow" freebie by Drawn Thread and "In the Graveyard" by The Monkey Works.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Cross Stitching buddies

Since my DS/8 has learned to cross stitch, he's my new stitching buddy. He has finished his first project and I'll post a photo as soon as I take one. He has already started on his second project, another freebie called "First Snow" from Drawn Thread. He uses a needle threader so he needs very little assistance now.

I have started on the coral part of Fish Medley. Once I'm finished with the coral, I still need to stitch one more small fish and do all the back stitching. I must say that this project has been enjoyable to stitch (I think it's because of the bright colors and the encouragement I get from my DS/8).

Today, DH and I went for a drive in the country to get an idea of where we want to move in a couple of years. One of his brothers already lives roughly in the area we are considering. What a life change it will be to move away from the "big city". We also would love to build a solar home. If anyone has some info or good websites I could check out to get information about solar home building, just leave me a comment. I plan to go to the library and get whatever is available there on the subject.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Cross Stitching Update and New Stitcher!


Flame Angelfish Closeup


Flame Angelfish

I actually have been stitching this past week and this week. I just hadn't taken pictures until today! I also have been teaching my DS/8 how to cross stitch. He's really into it. He's stitching a freebie from
Rainbow Gallery.
To the Beach

To the Beach model
My son stitches and then I frog a little, then he stitches some more. I have him using DMC floss rather than the Rainbow Gallery threads, since I didn't have those on hand. I wanted to make a pillow out of his design, but he wants a bag, so we'll see.

Girls' Gathering Weekend

The ladies in our family had our latest gathering at the Lodge at Pickwick Lake this past weekend. We had a great time. I think there were 17 of us who attended this time around. Pic of DD/23:


(My DD and I only stayed Friday night and left Saturday because of the "Memphis Meets the Beatles" event that DH was a part of Saturday night.) Everyone seemed to have a great time and we had a lot of laughs playing "our version" of games. We had teams and drew a card (as in the game, Taboo), that had a word to be drawn for the opposing team to guess. We used a large dry erase board for the drawing or we could act out the word. Let's just say we saw some graphic drawing with words like "Monica Lewinsky" and "toilet" and bizarre behavior with words like "exotic dancer" and "hurry". It was great just seeing everyone again.
Our "Pampered Princess" for this weekend was Toya.

She got a lot of neat gifts and was waited on. Next time, the "Pampered Princess" will be Donna. We are already looking forward to next year!
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