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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Am I wishing my life away?

Today I was talking with a friend about retirement.  We are both approximately the same age, I'm a little bit older.  I told her I had a count down on my phone to retirement - well actually two, one for the soonest I can retire (AKA - the start of I don't shive a get period) and one for the maximum social security amount.

She told me she wasn't doing that because it was wishing her life it got me to thinking, am I wishing my life away waiting the next several of years to pass quickly?  Or am I like a little child waiting for Christmas to come, knowing that the thing I want most will be under the tree?

What do I want most?  Time....time to quilt, time to stitch, time to travel, time to spend time with my family and friends......wishing my life away?  Nope, waiting until the time that my alarm is only set occasionally vs. every day.  When I decided what to do vs. someone telling me what needs to be done.  Am I wishing away my working years?  You bet!!

So more about our trip to Colorado, this week I'm feature our trip to Georgetown to ride the Loop in an old time steam engine train.  I didn't think ahead, so we didn't get the opportunity to go and see a mine, and we had to ride in an open car vs. the parlor cars that had real chairs and tables.

 The trip wasn't long and you spent more time waiting while they unloaded and loaded people, but it was still fun and the view was great.   Love the little bit of history we got, the train was a narrow gauge train, which was designed to traverse the mountains.  While silver was at the top of it's game - i.e. the banking system was using it to back the dollar, these towns and mines were booming and life was good.  Then the government in all of their wisdom stopped backing the dollar with either silver or gold and the bottom dropped out of silver.   They showed us where rock had to be blasted to make way for the rails, did you know they used 7 -14 year kids to set the dynamite?  They figured they could run faster and avoid blowing themselves up - their lives were as valuable as an adult man who would work in the how times have changed.

Would like to do this again, but going to find one that gives you a little bit longer ride, so I can stitch and relax while watching the world go by :)

After we got done there I decided that since hubby had been a good sport going to the hotel with me and riding the train that we would do something he would enjoy.  So we went to a casino that we'd passed on our way to Georgetown.  As usually he went his way and I went mine (he claims I'm bad luck).

I'm cheap when it comes to putting money into a machine that I have no hope of really getting it back out - so when I was down to my last nickel I cashed out LOL - OK so most of my money was still in my wallet where it was safe, I should have said when i got down to the last nickel of the money I was willing to part with I cashed out.  Since it was too embarrassing to go and cash this in, I brought it home instead.  So while he continue to put his hard earned money into the one arm bandits, I went and got some fries and watch my NetFlix on my i-phone.

After our train ride and trip to the casino we went to Buffalo Bill's Grave.  We just missed the museum, which was disappointing, but the view from his grave site was wonderful.  The pictures were a little harder to get as we were there about 2 hrs before the sun set, so it was low in the sky and hard to get good pictures.

 The trip back to Boulder was very excited as this was off the beaten path, so the road going back to the highway was full of S curves, switch backs and hairpin curves, the speed limit most of the way was 20 miles an hour and there really wasn't anyone chopping at the bit to go faster.  I enjoyed the ride, as it reminded me of a vacation I took with my parents as a teenager with a new driver's license.  We took turn driving and everyone drove their assigned time.  Mine was the road up to Old Tucson in AZ in a station wagon (for those born after 1980 a station wagon was the pre-curser to the mini van and now SUV), pulling a pop-up tent camper and the roads were just like these.  Even if I had wanted to pull over (which I did in the worse way), there wasn't any place to do it and I had a line of people behind me wanting me to go faster.  My Dad decided he would take the rest of my turn and drive out of Old Tucson, only difference was he got 4 lane highways going out (opposite side of town I guess).  Oh well, I was much more seasoned this time and my palms weren't sweaty and I didn't curse once :)

The last picture is from a turn out along the road, wanted to stop and get one picture, and this one doesn't do the view justice - it as wonderful (when I could look that is).

So have I been stitching?  You bet I have :)  but I made a mistake on my Lizzy Kate, so I'm having an internal fight with myself.  The Perfectionist in me wants it ALL ripped out and made right!!  The Let it Be in my says - "who will notice and you're 1/2 done now".  Not sure who will win, but thinking it will be a compromise - I'll take out some of it and leave the rest.

I'm also working on my needlepoint at lunch, getting close to having the background done - hoping it will be done by the end of the week :)!!  Then I can go back and add the mane on the giraffe, the toes and noses and tusks on the elephant.

Will show off my stitching next time, for now enjoy the view!!


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Geek will NEVER be thy name

I've been called a lot of names in my life time, but Geek has never been one of them.  This really hit home when I had written and posted my blog, only to accidentally delete it :(  Then managed to lock myself out of my while I will go by many names in my life, Geek surely will never be one of them.  I wish it would be, wouldn't mind being more computer savvy.

So what had I posted?  Well my trip to Colorado last week of course!!

Vacation started out with a baseball game.  We went to see the Rockies play the Tigers on Tuesday, which only happens once in a really blue moon as they are in different leagues normally.  I'm a Tiger fan, even thought I don't really follow them all the time.  So I donned my Tiger shirt and hat and we found our seats with our hot dogs in hand (you gotta have a hot dog at a baseball game) and watched my beloved Tigers lose :(  They had won the day before and they won the next day.  It was a good game, a couple of home runs spiced it up nicely.

Wednesday we will just skip over, as it was a work day for me and what I do for a living bore most people to tears.  But I did have a quick visit to a local needlepoint shop and found my thread that I needed to finish up my tooth pillow!!  I was so totally blown way, it was a different dye lot, but it was dyed by the same person, so the colors are very close.  I stitch a length of it today and it looks perfect to me!!  Will post a picture next week after I finish up the background so you can see.

Thursday I told hubby he had no choice that we were going up to Estes Park to see the Stanley Hotel.  I've been wanting to go there for a very long time.  We had a nice but over priced lunch and then went on the great but again really overpriced tour of the hotel.  The history was wonderful, loved hearing how the hotel came to be and why it's so special now.  If you are Steven King fan, you know he got the idea for the Shinning while visiting the hotel.  But even better are the ghosts that supposedly haunt the hotel, told hubby we needed to book a room, but he just wasn't into it...wonder why?   the room I would love to stay in has a 3 year wait,  so maybe I should book it now and take the next 3 years to talk him into going ;-)

So a little history - the Stanley brothers did not make their fortunes inventing the Stanley Steamer..and side note the mystery books that take place in MN - can't think of the name, but the main character is Betsey something,  her depiction of the car is pretty accurate based on the short film they showed  and I'm going to be looking for Jay Leno driving his around LA now LOL.

So back to the history - they made their money developing a the gel plate used for taking photographs, reduced the time from 45 minutes to something like 45 seconds.  They made even more money when they sold their invention to Kodak.  We have talking $$$$$, even in today's standards.

So how did one of the brothers end up in Estes Park CO?  Interesting, he had TB and the doctors gave me 6 months to live, of which he decided to spend 3 months up a cabin in the mountains.  At the end of those months, his doctor expected to find him either dead or at death's door, but instead he had put on something like 30 lbs and was hiking up to a nearby peak.  So someone who should have been dead at 62 lived to be 92...good reason to go up into the mountains wouldn't you think?

So Ms. FO Stanley wanted her hubby to be healthy, but wasn't into outhouses and cabin living, so she got FO to build her a nice house, but it wasn't big enough for family and friends, so he built the hotel. Which originally only operated during the summer months, and people came for the whole summer.  Interesting fact, the wives were expected to change their dress for each meal and also for any special events, so on average each woman brought with her 270 to 300 dresses for the summer.  I don't think I have more than 3 dresses in my closet!!  I suppose Iw ould have lost a lot of weight skipping all of the meals as your husband was thought poorly of if his wife wore the same dress twice.

So Ms. FO also was an accomplished pianist so FO built her a concert hall to preform in for family and friend.  The two lights are from that hall, the one that isn't lit is an original light, but it no longer works, but remains in the room, the other ones replaced it.

During the tour they said that we should take as many pictures as we wanted, but we couldn't record what the tour guild was saying and you were especially encouraged to take lots of pictures in mirrors, as this is where the spirits could be seen.  I took a couple of pictures, but decided I really didn't want to see any spirits in the mirror.  So the picture with the mirror is what is left of the original bar in what else, the Bar.  Because FO had TB, people were not allowed to smoke in the hotel except for the cigar room/bar.  This and the pool hall were there only two rooms that were actually trimmed in real wood.  The reason for the wood in those to rooms was to limit the smoke escaping into the rest of the hotel.  The rest of the hotel's trim is actually plaster that has been molted to look like wood.

The other picture that looks like a wall with wood trim is actually a row of benches which the women were allowed to sit on while watching their husbands or boyfriends play pool.  Note they were NOT allowed in the bar/cigar room at all.

The actual seats did not have any cushions (they were added later) and there was a chair rail that would hit about at the neck area, so they weren't comfortable at all.  This was to discourage the women from staying too long.  They were encouraged to go into their own room that had writing tables, which could be used to write letters, journal or maybe write a book.....I missed the desks as they were on the 3rd floor now, and we opted to take the elevator up and down.  Also in bar room is the flag, this was NOT from the original hotel, but it was gifted to the current owners by an Iraq soldier, who's hummer had been blown up by a bomb, and he was the only survivor.  If you look closely at the picture they say you can see FO Stanley face.   Look at the upper left in the red & white stripes.  Not sure I buy it, but something has defiantly faded the material.

Lastly, while we saw the outside of room 217 (the one that I would love to spend the night in, but hubby won't) and several other haunted rooms, we weren't allowed to go inside.  So I took a quick peek in a room that was being cleaned up on the 4th floor.  The rooms looked neat and I think it would be fun to stay there, even if it wasn't one of the prime rooms with their own spirits.

If you get a chance, I would recommend going and seeing the hotel, eating there is optional as the food wasn't all that great, but the tour was fun and while over priced, worth spending the money.  Oh last little fact - Jim Carey filmed Dumb and Dumber there, and stayed in room 217 for a whole 3 hrs. He came running out and refused to stay at the hotel.  He did film his scenes at the hotel, but stayed at the lodge next door where the single men stayed during the summer.  He also waited outside for his scenes to start, he would not spend one minute more than he had to in the hotel.  Oh also, the Shining was NOT filmed there, but the series was, need to see the series now.

I did do a little stitching while there, and had lots of family time, hated to have to come home.  Can't wait for my next adventure.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

August is almost in the history books - just a few more days

Once again I'm surprised that the end of the month is here and time to post in Measi's WIPocalypse SAL -

Measi organized this group for stitcher like me that have way too many WIP/UFO's in their stash who really want to complete them before the end of time.

My problem is I keep adding to that list and not really finishing any up so my list just keeps growing every year.  Can you believe that at one time in my life I was a one-timer person?  My undoing was when I thought I could handle a rotation and started 10 different projects.  That was almost 20 years ago!!  The idea was to work on each project for 10 hrs and then going on to the next.  Which was fine, but I wouldn't remember to watch the clock or write down the starting stopping time.  So thought I'd go to 12 hrs - and use a cheap electrical clock, but that meant remembering to plug it in and more importantly to unplug it, didn't happen.  Next thought I to 10 days, but then couldn't remember when I switched and the list goes on.  Of most recent it's more of a grab and work on what you want and that seems to be good for me, especially when I hit that age that I think of something I need to do, get up and walk into another room and can't remember why.......

One year I'll really buckle down and get things finished, until then I'm not going to feel bad or ashamed of all of my new starts each year.  This is my GUILT FREE ZONE :)

So first my favorite part of the post - the question for the month

How do you get yourself out of stitching drought?

I seem to be in a perpetual drought period, while I'm no longer going months without touching needle and thread, I will still go for a couple of days.  My droughts were really self imposed because I would need or want to get something done that I didn't want to do it.  Never because I didn't enjoy the stitch or love what it was, but because it was something I felt like it "had to do".  So the procrastinator in me would take over, and the more I procrastinate, the less I would get anything done.

This would lead to another problem, if I'm not stitching, I'm buying stitching stuff.  So I would go to a shop or get on-line and buy a ton of charts, things I knew I would never even start, but liked.  This wasn't good as we are looking at me retiring in a few years and need to get a few more things paid off so we can retire without having to worry about the small things in life - like food, water and heat.

When I go through these periods I also get testy, I yell at the kids, the cat, the dog and my husband.  At one point it got so bad my husband took me by the hand and said "come with me", and he took me down to my stitching room - told me to go inside and not to come out until I had de-stressed, he would send in food as needed.  LOL - it made me realize that I needed some stitching time, even if its just a couple of hours during the week.

So hence my new rotation- grab and stitch and I don't put any self imposed due dates, with the exception of Christmas stockings.

What have I been doing since the last posting?

First up is my needlepoint tooth pillow.  I'm almost done with the background but have run into a problem.  Not enough thread to finish it :(  Not sure what I'll do, since it's an over dyed that my granddaughter picked out over 2 years ago!!  And I don't remember where I got it.  I'm hoping that maybe I can find something close enough to get it finished.

Next up is my Multiplication Table by Plum Street.   While there is progress, it's not very interesting progress, just putting in the table part itself.  I'm still trying to decided what to do for the numbers - black just seems so boring.  Will start on some of the motifs next, just for change.

What would a new month be without a new start :)  this one is a small project and should go fast.  I'm actually further along than this picture shows.  This is one of my Starbuck projects.  I love to go down to a local coffee shop, which where we live happens to be Starbucks.  I get a fancy drink, set up my I-pad to stream Netflix, which right now are the NCIS shows and my stitching.  I can spend 2 hrs without even noticing the time.  Hubby usually comes and collects me when he is ready to start the day - I'm a morning person, he is not.

Last - I finished up the row before putting this one away.  I love how it looks, just wasn't all the enjoyable to stitch in my option.  

None of my angels got any loving this month, hoping they will in September!!  It is time to put what I've been working on back in the bin and pull out something new.

Hope you all had a great stitching month and will made your goal of getting everything done by the end of time.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Getting it all set up

I'm not sure if it takes longer to restore everything on a new computer or if it would be easier to just start over.  But I'm restoring and each time i think I'm done I find one more thing that needs something.  I still need to get my geeky side on and buy a new excel program, totally forgot to do that when I got the new computer.

In the mean time I've been able to stitch a little bit on my lunch hours and it feels good to destress for an hour each day.  Not a lot of progress, but I'm taking what I can get.  I'm hoping I have enough thread to do it all, I'm starting to stress because I'm not a good judge on if I have enough or not.  Given that it's an over dyed my changes of getting the same dye lot are slim to none, so hoping I'll be OK.

Tomorrow will be Starbuck time and some stitching in my favorite spot with a yummy drink and maybe something sweet or savory to eat.  Last week I started a new project, haven't taken a picture of it yet, but hopefully will tomorrow so i can post it soon.

Hope you all have great weekends with lots of stitching.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

It seems that the older you yet

the faster time goes by, sometimes with you and sometimes without you.  It seems that it's been without me lately, I just wake up and it's a new week, or a new month.

I can remember as a child thinking how long it took holidays or vacations to come and it would take forever to grow old.

But here I am, much older than I was, but not as old as I hope to be, because heaven knows I have a ton of projects that need to be finished before I am :)

I've been working on my tooth pillow needlepoint and trying to decided what to do for the back ground.  The thread was picked out by my granddaughter, so changing it to something else really isn't an option (unless I let it linger for 20 years, then she might forget).

My first try was kind of a zig-zap stitch, but didn't like the coverage, I could see the white canvas behind it and didn't like how it looked.  I put in several rows before I pulled it out.

Next I tried a slanted stitch, but it looked too heavy to me.  Again I did several rows so I could see how it looked next to the animals.  Let me tell you, this one was a pain to rippppppp out.  I wanted the background to recede into the background so the animals stand out so I went with the old stand-by - basketweave.

The monkey might get lost in the dark color, but the elephant and giraffe should stand out OK. I'll know soon enough I guess.

I still need to go back and put in the back on the feet and for the eyes, and will add some back stitching to the elephant so you can see his ear better and the head.

I also posted a picture of the small pocket that will be sewn on above the monkey.  I'm hoping that I can do the finishing myself, so might have to start watching floss tubes to get some ideas.

In the meantime, I've started a new project, I wanted something small in my rotation (HAHAHAHAHA-that's what I'm calling my reach and pull system), that I know I can get done this year and feel like I've accomplished something. I'm saving it for another post, would have had more done today if hubby hadn't found my hiding place at Starbucks this morning.  I enjoy walking down to Starbucks on Saturday and Sunday morning, getting a cup of snobby coffee, pulling out my i-pad and stitching.  So totally relaxing, especially after a stressful week at work.  Since hubby is NOT a morning person like me, it's my time, but some mornings he wakes up earlier than usual and will come looking for me, which is what happened this morning.  But to be honest I'd been there for about 2 hrs. so it probably was time to head home.

I also finally broke down and got a new computer today.  My current one gets very warm, very fast, so I've been limiting my time using it.  I've back up everything from this computer and now need to restore to the new computer!!  I totally forgot to get a new excel program, the one I have could be transferred to the new computer, but I would need the code.  Which means I would need to remember where I put the box that it come in, so it won't restore to the new computer.  However, I would love to have an updated version of excel, that's the nerd in me.

So decided that I would post one last time on my old computer so if all crashes down around me at least you've heard from me one last time.  I'm told (by the guy that sold me the computer) that I will be amazed at how fast it is and will love it. We'll see if this all goes as presented, if nothing else I have 30 days to figure it out.  I'm sure I'll love it as it's another MAC and I've been happy with the one I have now and the one I had before this one.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Last Sunday of July

so must be time to post my monthly progress for WIPocalypse which can be found hear:   Measi is helping/inspiring us poor souls who don't want to leave WIP's when the world comes to an end, but getting us to work on them during the year.

I won't say all of the WIPs will be done before I die or the world comes to an end, but hopefully there will be a few less.

I love the questions each month, not sure if I enjoy reading what others say, or if I enjoy thinking about it and answering it myself.

This month's question is:

What is your oldest and newest WIP?  I love it

Well my oldest is a kit needlepoint was started back in 1973 - something I was going to "whip" up for a Christmas present for my Mom.  She loves owls, and I had fund doing the owls and the tree branch/stump they are sitting on, but ran out of steam with the background.  there was also a matching barn, which is actually done, so I must have started with the one I really didn't care about thinking getting it done would mean they both would have been done.  Oh well, maybe next life.  As you can see I didn't know much about needlepointing and was going back and forth.  If you saw the full picture you'd see it is totally distorted as well.  I think I will take that out and do it correctly.

The second picture here is my second oldest WIP - I think I started this one 1989 - not sure of the month.  The plan was to put a "W" for our last name in the middle and then do squares for each of kids, like something for their birthday, the different pets we'd had and other things that were important to us.  It is still in the bag I bought the afghan material - I got it as Jacobson's in Saginaw MI, back when they sold crafts in the basement of their main store.  They have long since closed their doors, use to love that store.

I'm not sure why I never went back to this one after I finished the afghan I did for my parent's 40th Anniversary.  It took me almost 2 years to do my parent's between stitching and planning it all out, I finished up just in time for their party.

I will go back and work on this one again, it just might be awhile :), like the owl, it's been waiting this long, what is another year or so?  I know some of you are saying "WOW that WIP is older than me!!"  Well I was just a baby when I started to stitch  LOL.

What is my newest?   I started Plum Street Sampler's Vexation Sampler a week ago.  I've not gotten very far yet mainly because I'm working out the numbers.  I think doing them all in black is boring, so want to add some colors - but there can only be one true line that intersect with the same color - so that will be the 6's in black.  

OK, what have I been working on this past month?  I posted pictures of what I worked on last Saturday with our stitching group last week, so will post my progress on my lunch time project.

I'm a little bit further done than this shows - the brown stem is completed on the small pocket and I have all of the spots done on the giraffe, and all of the legs and the elephant is also done except for the tusks.  The monkey has been started, but not much progress.  I was going to take a picture of it on Friday after my lunch, but got a phone call and ended up putting it away without taking the picture.  Oh well, it will just look like I've done more next month :)  I had to take the spots on the giraffe a couple of times before I was happy with the results.

I went to the fair today and when we walked into the Craft building the first things we saw was Butternut Roads Earth Dancer - and I said to my friends - "I'm doing this one" and the lady next to me, looked at the picture next to it and said "And I'm doing this one", and I looked at her and said "no really I'm stitching this design"  and she started to laugh and said "oh I thought you were just saying that".  So now I know I need to pull it back out and work on it some more - here is where it is now.   While it's not my oldest WIP - it is probably the oldest one that was promised and not completed.  It was originally going to be for my young daughter's high school graduation, well that was about 15 years ago now.  I love it and did complete the Spirit Dancer, I really need to get it done.  Seeing it stitched has inspired me to pull it back out.   Happy stitching, Sandy

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday Stitching

I belong to the Southern California Stitching group.  Over the years we have grown and changed, new members come while some old members have moved out of the area, or just kind of disappeared. Summers always seem to have lower turnout at get togethers, I had hoped to make more this summer, but hubby cut his vacation short and came home.  Since he is retired and home all day and I still work, I feel guilty spending my Saturday's away.  But I have resolved to make one get together a month, because I need to have a day for stitching just for me.

Well today was that Saturday :)  there were only two of us, but that is OK, we find things to talk about while we stitch.  We stop for lunch and today we treated ourselves to some ice cream in the afternoon.

So what did I work on??  First up is Nancy's Needle - Starry Night.  Sorry the pictures are dark.  I didn't do a lot, but got almost two more sides done with the lighter blue. (most butter border)

Second up is my new start!!  Plum Street's Multiplication Table.  I had wanted to start this last week, but just didn't get in the stitching mood.  Now I wish I would have because as I started it and realized that all of the numbers are in black, how boring.  So I decided I needed to jazz it up a little bit.  So while I will do the row of 6's in black, I think I'm going to find a few other colors for the other rows.  The chart currently only uses about 4 colors, one being a dark red, and a couple of creams and a gold color.  I think I might add a green and maybe a blue.  And I think I will change the wording at the top to a variegated.  I know that I won't be completing this the way that it was done so long ago by whom ever, but it's mine and I want it to be slightly different.  So we'll see how this one works out, but for now I'm just doing the grid, which I'm OK is all black.

And the last project I worked on was my SB - Angel's Song.  I know I had said that it was going into the dark recesses for the WIP bin because I was at a row I didn't particularly want to do.   However after thinking about it for while, I decided, just maybe if i got that row done, then it would get a lot more loving this year than it got last year when I hit the first row of Swedish Weaving (or Huck weaving).  So I brought it along and it got several hours this afternoon, the first row had to be taken out and corrected once, but after than it seem to fall in line.  I still need to do one more color of thread and three rows and then it will be done.  This row has 7 rows of running stitches, I have 4 of those 7 done in the picture below.  Once I get those last 3 rows of running stitches done I can either put it away, or keep it in my current grab and go rotation.  Sorry that is is sideways, I'm not sure how that happened, I tried to turn it, but it turned it back :(  

Hope you all had a great week of stitching!!  Now on to a new week and hopefully a hour or so tomorrow morning at Starbucks with coffee.  Then my plan is to come home and stitch while doing laundry - if I could get the clothes to fold themselves I would be in heaven :)