Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

First of all, if I'd known how easy loading a video was, I'd have done one a long time ago. This is my granddog Duncan and his cousin Rambo. Both are around 6 months old and this is what they did for, I bet, over an hour, thus entertaining us one and all this Thanksfgiving day.

I only wish that I'd taped my Beast, chasing Duncan all over my family room last night. Poor Duncan only wanted to play and he just couldn't grasp the fact that Beast wanted no part of his idea of fun. But I have to hand it to The Beast, she never backed down. Actually I think she enjoyed standing her ground. She refused to leave the room and each time Duncan approached, she would raise a paw, and when this warning was ignored, she would then launch herself (no easy feat for a 20 + pound cat) into a hissing and smacking frenzy and chase poor Duncan clear across the room.

The same thing happened at my parent's house today. When Duncan and Rambo weren't rolling around on the floor, one of them would chase poor old Smokey the cat. Except at one point I was washing dishes when a tornado roared through the kitchen. It was Duncan being chased by Smokey and Duncan couldn't run fast enough.

So, while most families bring new grandchildren to holiday gatherings, we bring new granddogs.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Drum roll please....

....and the winner is: ME!!!!

Here it is.

My winning Scrabble game board.

Here is the final score.

H (Hans) 369.

L (Laura) 453.

Here is Hans' comments on the previous night's score sheet.

Just because I accidentally 'bumped' the board at the end of the game (therefor ruining any photo ops) Hans felt the need to keep record of this minor occurrence. That man!!

Like I mentioned in my previous post I can't help it if I got lousy letters!!!

We finally got Miss Kitty closed up for the winter. The 'Engine Man' came by and pumped her engines full of antifreeze and then we finished up by pumping even more antifreeze into all of her other openings. What fun. She has two water tanks and each holds over 25 gallons. It took forever to emtpy both of them and then the two water tank indicators played fun little games with us by alternately reading empty and then full.
Again and again.
She does love attention though and we hope that she'll behave herself this winter and not present us with any unforeseen problems when we open her back up next spring.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

still here, still cold, but still blogging

Last October I took some pictures of a boat that we encountered while we sailing in the Chester River in Maryland.

Today we decided to take a drive into Annapolis and from clear across town we saw the masts and riggings of a boat and thought "That's it! That's the boat we saw last month!" So after parking and walking through the unbelievable, unseasonable frigid temperatures that this part of Maryland is experiencing (don't blame me!!!) we finally found the boat. I took a couple of pictures but after getting back to our boat and doing a little research we realized that it was a totally different ship.
But that's ok, we still had a good time.
Did I mention that it's cold here?

Dear God, it's unbelievable. Normally it's about 50 degrees this time of year but right now, outside of our boat it's about 28 degrees.

I took this very blurry picture last night. See the palm trees?

No, they aren't real.

But this is what the wind here is doing to the big plastic fakes!

Fake, fake, fake!

Shame on them!

I'm not sure if you can see the ice on our windows.

Here's another picture with ice on the lines outside and on the windows.

But my Nicole, Belle Bag is ever so becoming, isn't she?

Here is glow-in-the-dark-Hans.

Complete with tags.

He was lucky enough to stumble across some 'end of the season' sales and found himself some very nice foul weather gear.

When I finally got down here he took me over to the same store and we found some gear for me too.

I got my Christmas present a month early.
I certainly didn't mind that, and I took huge advantage today, and wore my own gear while wandering through town on this hideously cold day.

Another cold picture from one of our windows.

And you haven't lived until you've taken a shower in a very cold head.


It's a space heater!!

With the temperature outside the boat at around 28 degrees, this is a MUST.

Right now as I type this we are at a very cozy 60 degrees.

For me, this has been a lot of fun and I know it's cold but we're having a good time.

Last night we played Scrabble and a certain someone got all the good letters and I got all the sucky ones and I refused to take a picture like I did last month when I won. But tonight we have a rematch scheduled.
Once again, stay tuned.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The curse continues

I'm talking about my vacation jinx affliction.

Hans and I have been pretty lucky this past year in our travels and except for a few squalls while aboard our boat (which is to be expected) we've been pretty much jinx free.

And then I decided to fly down to Annapolis to join Hans who's been there all week on business. He drove down last weekend, stayed on our boat, and commuted into DC each day. We decided that we would both take Thursday and Friday off and use this long weekend to winterize the boat.

Thursday morning I took a bus from the Big City (the $2.60 it costs for this trip more than makes up for the fact that there is not one friendly bus driver to be had in this city!) and an hour later I arrived at the airport much earlier than I really needed to, for one never knows how long the security people might like to detain and torture one. But I breezed through security and was all bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready for my 45 minute flight to Baltimore where Hans and I were going to go out for lunch.

About 7 HOURS later I landed.

Needless to say, we didn't go out for lunch and we just got to the restaurant near our boat in time to eat the last of the dried up happy hour food.

As near as I can figure, the plane that I was to fly on caught wind of the fact that I was going to be on board, and gave up the ghost, bought the farm, or maybe just went on strike.

Our first delay was for 3 hours so I went to the food court and drank my lunch.

The next delay was for 2 hours so I went to the food court and drank my dinner.

Finally a plane from a different Big City was flown in and before it could register the fact that I was on board we were already landing.

Of course no trip is complete without the obligatory phone call from home that something's gone wrong.

As soon as I heard Baby Girl's wobbly voice I knew something had happened.

She ran over a neighbor's mail box.

Not my neighbor's mailbox.

Her dad's neighbor's mailbox.

So after Dad gets done screaming at her, I get the phone call.

I guess since I bought the car Baby Girl drives, then I'm responsible for everything she hits.

That's the rationale back home anyway.

Stay tuned, I don't think we're done yet.

Chlorox Kitty waiting for Mommy to come home.
Just keep out of Baby Girl's way.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fun stuff.

Here's my latest purchase.

The first two prints with the obvious wine motif are destined to be turned into gifts. I knew what day they were supposed to arrive by UPS but when I got home they still weren't here. An hour or so later I thought I heard the rumble of a truck outside my house but no one knocked at my door.

Imagine my surprise when I found this lying by my front door when I went to go for my run. Why my UPS guy didn't knock is beyond me. I'm just glad I ventured out or this would have sat on my front porch until morning.

The colors are so rich, I just love them!

This is what the wine fabrics are destined to become. This came in the mail yesterday and I forgot how nice KWIK SEW patterns are. I've made countless shirts and kid clothes over the years, all with great success.
I'm thinking burgundy would be a good choice for the vests but I can't help but wonder if the bottom part (the print) should be underlined (2 layers) for ooomph. An apron (even a cute one) is designed to protect and I don't see one layer of cotton doing the job.

I don't know if I can even explain why I bought this particular print. All I can say is that when I found it I said "Bingo!"

I have a feeling that even when the project that I have planned for this is done, there will be some head shaking and serious doubts about my sanity.

I found these prints at J & O Fabric Center. They have tons of novelty prints. This isn't the first order I've placed and it won't be the last. Check them out sometime.

Monday, November 17, 2008

How do you spell stupid?


We all know about the dangers of plastic bags, right?

Well, I don't have little kids (or big kids for that matter) in my house anymore so baby proofing my home hasn't been a top priority in my life these days.

Until now that is.

I spent a good deal of time in my sewing room this weekend, as did my cats. Honestly, no matter what room I'm in, I'm guaranteed to trip over or sit on a cat at any given time.

Here is The Beast lying on my 'garbage bag'. Except, for reasons only known to her, she's decided to stick her head through one of the handles.

A close up.

And finally the nap.

You're to ignore the unswept floor.

I fully expected to witness a panic attack when it was time to wake up and make a dash for the food dish.

No such luck. With perfect grace, she slid out of her harness and elegantly exited the room.

God knows what must go on when I'm not home.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A finished project

I mentioned in a previous post that I was making curtains for Baby Girl's apartment. I finished them a while back but I didn't have my camera with me the day I put up the last panels. Today I went over to her apartment and this time I brought my camera. Since Hans is out of town I asked if I could go over and hang out with her for awhile. Surprisingly, she was fine with it and I refuse to believe it had anything to do with my offering to make white chicken chile.

We had a nice afternoon and when I left, she and one of the other girls were watching and criticizing Sunday afternoon football.

The bottom panel was the missing piece of the curtain puzzle.

The other panel is on an opposite window but the TV is in front of it and I for one was not about to risk the wrath of football fans in order to get a picture. But anyway, it looks just like this one.

This is a broader picture. I also made tie backs for the bigger curtain so that during the day they can yank them open and let some sunlight in.

I came home and after my run I jumped back into my current sewing project which is the Amy Butler Messenger Bag. I'm making some changes to it so it's taking a more time than normal. And as I've mentioned before; this is a very time consuming pattern.

I decided to use some of these. So far so good.

Here's something I've been wanting to try.

This is quick fuse.

It's for transferring photos or images onto fabric.

Supposedly all you have to do is download a picture to your printer and print onto one of these sheets. You then place the picture (right side up) onto fabric and press with dry heat.

There are sooooo many different products that offer to do the same thing and I had no idea which to buy. I really don't know why this one won the lottery.

I guess it just seemed to be the easiest. It was a bit pricey in my opinion. 3 sheets of paper for 9.99. But I used a coupon.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

One Wild Weekend

I'm on my own this weekend as Hans had to go out of town on business.

And boy, there's gonna be some wild partying going on here, let me tell you! I've got on my sweat pants and Chlorox (who's in charge of the hors' d'oeuvre's) has spent most of the day turning herself inside out and chasing what I assume is a mouse but I've yet to see or hear it.

And of course there was my crazy, zany, fun trip to WalMart where every idiot this side of the Mississippi decided to shop, at the exact same time as me.

First, the parking lot where I swear the driver in front of me was blind because there's no other explanation for it.

Yes, please leave your overflowing cart in the middle of the aisle while you go visit with Bubba and the WHOLE Bubba family because "I aint seen you since last week at Bingo." And don't even think of giving me a dirty look when I shove your stupid cart to the side.

I know if I were a child I'd behave a lot better too if my mother shrieked and screamed at me and told me to shut the F up.

You there, in front of the bakery rack, with your cart blocking the entire bread section. Can you see me twisting my body into positions it was never meant to be in while I try to reach around you to get a GD loaf of Italian bread? And please forgive me when I say through clenched teeth, "I've been in this place long enough." in response to your "I'm gonna wait right here till they bring some fresh bread out. They're baking it right now you know." comment.

After dodging way too many slow moving, aisle hogging locals I raced for the under 20 items checkout counter and got behind old 'let me tell you my life story' lady and the 'let me listen and then give you my life story' cashier. "Aren't these niiize?" We all got to look at the candy dishes that were placed on the conveyor belt. "Just perfect for Christmas presents, doncha think? Except this one's chipped. Should I go back and get another?" The cashier gushed that, yes, they're just wonderful and then we got to hear about all the crafty things she's done for the past twenty Christmases, and they both finally decide that some glue and glitter will probably take care of the chip. At this point I leaned on my cart, groaned, and under my breath, muttered, "Oh please shut the hell up and get moving." I looked up to see the cashier at the next counter watching me and I think she reads lips.

Finally 'life story lady' was bagged up and then and only then did she haul out her check book. Could she have been prepared and had the damn thing filled out with just the amount remaining to be filled in?

Of course not.

This then resulted in "I know you're honest but I need to see some ID." Chuckle, chuckle.

A lot of digging through a massive purse finally produced a driver's license and then Sweet Jesus, someone couldn't read the numbers.

I almost cried.

I'm not kidding when I say it's damned lucky that the people I encountered on my way out were quick on their feet or I would have run them over and never looked back.

This all happened by noon!

When Hans called to tell me he was on the road and would call me later I told him that I'd locked myself in the house with my sewing machine and, except for my run I was going nowhere.

"I don't care if I have to eat cat food or wipe with sandpaper! Nothing will get me back to that store today!"

And then I remembered that I forgot to buy Gouda cheese.

This is Chlorox's (the gourmand) and my favorite snack, and we share some every evening.

Why do I have the feeling that Hans might be might relieved to be on the road this weekend?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

tiny little update

Here are a few pieces of the Amy Butler Messenger Bag that I cut out this weekend. Just a few. Some pieces are stuck under others, and there are more on the ironing board that you can't see.

I'll work on this tomorrow night.

I had to work at the Inn tonight, and Inn nights translate into 'no sewing nights.'

Hans and I went out to breakfast this weekend and this is one of the signs displayed at the diner where we ate.

Of course I had to take a picture of it.

I forgot to mention that Hans and I went to see The Changeling this weekend. We each went into the theater with different ideas of what we thought may have happened to Christine Collin's son. What did happen was very disturbing and while not really that surprising to me, it made Hans absolutely sick and he said it's a movie he doesn't intend to see again. My heart started pounding about one third of the way into the movie and didn't stop until it ended. Not that it was some kind of action packed thriller but because it really was very well done. Now I realize that as a movie, there had to be a lot of 'creative license' taking place but none the less I would recommend it.
It appears to me that Clint Eastwood just can't make a bad movie and it doesn't hurt that John Malkovich appears in it also.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wadda Weekend!!!

A slow spell at the inn resulted in my going to the Big City this weekend.

Which is ok with me.

I knew Hans had a poker game to go to on Saturday and I didn't want to just sit around watching TV so I brought this fabric, my Amy Butler Messenger Bag pattern, some fusible batting, and my iron.
After a 4 mile run I got down to business. I mentioned in a previous post that this pattern's pieces are used for multiple parts of the bag. For example one piece may be needed for 2 exterior pieces and 1 lining piece BUT then you need to fold it thus creating a new pattern piece and then you may need it for 2 lining pieces, 1 exterior piece, and a fusible batting piece. Keep in mind that you need to label the already cut pieces as you don't want to go "OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL ARE THESE ANYWAY??!!!!
You must be sober during this process.

I told myself the first time I made this that I would make individual pattern pieces for any future endeavors and now I'm sorry that I didn't. It took about 4 hours to cut this out but I'm sure it didn't help that I kept looking at the TV and watching the Donald Sutherland version of Invasions of the Body Snatchers.

I love that movie.

But I did get the bag cut out and fused the batting to the proper pieces and I'll start sewing it next week.

Today my daughter Vet Tech Girl granted me a visit with my Granddog Duncan. I could hear her coming up the stairs and suddenly I found myself on my back and feet in the air as I fought off a huge bundle of slobbering muscle named Duncan. My goodness that little boy has grown but his manners leave a little to be desired.

So here's the Big Boy with his Grandpa Hans.

As you can see, the tongue never stops. I only wish I could figure out how to take pictures without the red-eye issue!

I guess when all else fails you can just ask your subject to "close your eyes!"

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A purchase and a purse

Last night I headed off to JoAnn's because I had a 50 percent off coupon burning a hole in my pocket.
I've heard about the SideWinder but the $30.00 price tag was putting me off. I mean, come on! It doesn't kill me to wind bobbins on my machine but it is annoying. So I decided that $15.00 would be acceptable and there went my coupon.
And you know what? I like it! It works slicker than snot!
But I have to tell you, the help at my local JoAnn's leaves a little to be desired. There is one woman there, that I'm sorry to say, is the personification of my Beast.
And really, that's an insult to The Beast.

She's lazy, unpleasant, and knows nothing about sewing.
I drew the short straw and ended up with her at the cutting table (fabric for a messenger bag for Baby Girl). Upon spotting the coupons that I was clutching in my sweaty, frugal, little hands she wheezed, "You can't use those, this fabric is already on sale." Now you might think she was being helpful, and maybe she was, but it came across in a nasty triumphant kind of way. Like maybe she was glad that I couldn't use them. Believe me when I say she's like this with everyone! I cringe every time I walk in and see her.
But on a lighter note, here's my latest purse. It's yet one more Belle Bag. I used left over fabric from some placemats that I made for Hans' brother. I think the colors are very nice for fall and even the Christmas holidays.
I mentioned in a previous post that I'd lost my directions (and I still can't find them!) and Nicole read that post, and emailed me new directions! Is that nice or what?! Talk about service! Since I started blogging I've been so impressed with the kindness of people I've never met. Every day when I read other peoples blogs I'm amazed at the genuine goodness of so many people.

I love the Internet. It's opened up the whole world for me!

Now brace yourself for the next picture, and don't be jealous!

I've mentioned before that I'm a waitress and I had to work tonight. So, while Superman may have his phone booth, I have the ladies room.

I enter it as Laura the clerk and I emerge as Laura the waitress!

Yes, here I am in my uniform.

But, I ask you; how many waitresses have uniforms with a matching purse!!?

All I know is, I do!

So there!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh, what a beautiful day

I mentioned in a past post that The Beast's days on the deck were pretty much numbered.


Because thanks to a case of constipation of the brain I inadvertently left this poor helpless creature out on my deck from lunchtime until the next morning. For those of you not familiar with my Beast this means she went without food and drink for almost 24 hours!


But, with the exception of one ugly snowy week we've had unbelievable, unseasonably beautiful weather this fall and The Beast needs and desires to partake of it.

On my deck.

And who am I to refuse?

When I get home at lunch time or in the evening, she charges for the door and in her own rude way lets me know that she needs to go out.

Sucker that I am, I open the door and out she goes.

The first picture is bath time.

The last picture is the look of disdain that I get when I ask if she's ready to come in.

Claire at Little Miss Sew and Sew (the first blog I ever encountered, thus changing my life) has informed us that this month is Gratitude Month.

Do any of us realize how lucky we are?

Probably not.

But I often think about how lucky I am. I really do.

Here's just a small example.

As I was leaving for lunch today, I noticed that one of my co-workers had three, very pretty, pink roses on her desk. Apparently her boyfriend (my nephew, no less!) had sent them to her as an apology.

Not for the first time, I might add.

Very nice I'm sure but there's something slightly bittersweet about getting flowers after a fight. Because let's face it; if there hadn't been a fight there would be no flowers and you know what? I'd rather not have the fight.

Back in the bad old days, I, for one, only got flowers after giving birth, or for some sporadic anniversary and you know what?

That's a hell of a lot of work to go through for some stupid flowers.

So you know what's really nice?

Getting flowers for no reason other than "I haven't given you flowers in a while and I thought you might like them."

That's what Hans does every now and then.

And I think it's the nicest thing in the world! And I think I'm the most fortunate woman in the world! And I know Hans is the most wonderful man in the world and for that I'm very grateful. Among so many other countless things!!

I went and sold my only vase at a garage sale but if all else fails an antique thermos will fit the bill!

Don't you love my Harvest Gold stove?

It goes well with my shag carpet!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I amaze myself...

...but not in a good way.

I decided to make another Belle Bag.

Just because.

I dug it out, cut my fabric (left over place mat material) and then couldn't find my instructions.

But I'm positive that I had them when I started. It's not like I haven't made quite a few purses from this pattern and I don't necessarily need the instructions but I like having them anyway and besides; there are some different variations of this bag that I'd like to try some day.

I'm not kidding when I say that I spent over an hour looking for them. I even went through all of my Nicole patterns but no luck!

I'll be able to finish it anyway but I'm still irked with myself!!! Where the hell are my instructions!!!

So did everyone vote?

I had to get up early so that I could vote before work this morning and in all my life I've never seen such long lines. Baby Girl was in line ahead of me looking ever so stylish in her sweat pants, hoodie, and men's bedroom slippers! I can't blame her attire on the 'college life' as she dressed like this in high school too. But at least she's cute and at least she voted. Right?

I couldn't vote after work because I had to go straight to the inn tonight for my waitress shift. It was almost a total waste of my time though as I only had 2 couples show up. What a difference from last Tuesday when I got slammed, the kid on call wouldn't answer his phone, and I had a group of 9 walk out on me!! But, what possesses 9 people to show up at a fine dining restaurant without reservations?

This isn't MacDonald's folks!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I love Halloween!

I'm disappointed that Hans and I didn't get any real good pictures of our Halloween costumes but it seems like no one knows how to use a camera. We had a couple of people try but this was about as good as it got.

I was a Stepford Wife and Hans was my geeky controller (notice his overbite and computer in all the pictures).

I should have made my apron and skirt from pretty pastels ala a true Stepford Wife but in my typical 'over thinking' way I decided that a true Stepford Wife would have opted to observe the holiday and wear a Halloween themed outfit. Unfortunately though for some reason, maybe because it was black and white, some people thought it was a French Maid costume. All I know is that usually those who wear French Maid outfits. Shouldn't!

I made the apron from black fabric with the word BOO all over it and I made the skirt from black fabric covered with red eyed, white skulls. I also wore pearls and white gloves and I made my purse. Hans hiked his pants up, taped up an old pair of glasses, stuck many pens in his shirt pocket, and connected a tiny little computer (that he used back in the 90's) to me via a computer cord.
Both being very competitive, we were bitterly disappointed to not even place in a costume contest at a place where we hang out. It wouldn't have been so bad if the other outfits had been really worthy of winning. But I have a problem with store bought costumes or themes that have already been done to death. But like I said, WE ARE COMPETITIVE!!

He may think he controls me but I really doubt it!!