09 January 2007
outta here
Remember I said one of my resolutions this year was to procrastinate less? After Karen kindly answered bunches of questions and generally quelled my concerns, I've also made the move to WordPress. I've just now 'ported my blog over there, so the place is still kind of new and impersonal, but I'll work on that as I steal a little more time from kids, homework, work and all that other stuff that interferes with cross stitching and blogging. In the meantime, you'll find me at the new Mainely Stitching. Hope to see you there!
08 January 2007
just what the doctor ordered
Wow, what a wonderful weekend away! Niek booked us a vacation house in Emmen for the weekend and it was wonderful. As if the getaway weren't great enough, he spoiled me further by doing the cooking and shopping as well. Boy, did I ever luck out!

We arrived rather later Friday afternoon than planned and it was already getting dark so we just tucked up and enjoyed the house. On Saturday we went to the Noorder Dierenpark, a very unique zoo where a number of the animals actually wander around free. They also have a butterfly house - if I lived anywhere nearby, I'd go to that daily for a dose of magic. Those butterflies flitting around, jewel-bright, are like tiny fairies. Incredible. We saw crocodiles that actually moved, armadillos, elephants, and so much more. On Sunday, we took the kids to the indoor play area at the vacation park and they had a blast jumping into the balls, climbing ropes, sailing ships, and telling the other kids what to do. They aren't shy children ...

We wrapped the weekend up with a stop at McDonalds where all three kids got a Furby in their Happy Meal, which seemed like the crowning glory. They all slept with their little French fry-smelling critters and snuck them off to daycare and school today.

Today I went back to work and tonight I could finally resume fitness. My foot is still sensitive, but I managed to get through most of my routine and tonight it only hurts a little bit. Hard to believe that such a silly thing can be a bother for such a long time.

Not too much stitching done, but lots of fun has been had. I hope the same is true for you (the fun part, not the lack of stitching! LOL!).

These pictures are clickable. :)

posted by mainely stitching at 10:53 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 2 comments
04 January 2007
that's it, no more, and this time I mean it!
Did I scare you? Nah, I'm not going to quit blogging or cross stitching or anything extreme like that. But I've given up on trying to complete X number of projects before buying any more stash. It's like quitting smoking - you either go cold turkey or you're chewing Nicodent forever.

So, I placed an order with Stitching Bits and Bobs during their Christmas sale for a number of charts that I plan to give away for upcoming exchanges and the birthday club and stuff (I can only pray that the order actually arrives in time - do you think 6 weeks is enough?). And I placed an order with Stitches N' Things for the DMC flosses I'm missing to complete the set. I was "only" missing about 50 colors, but every time I pick up a project, I'm missing at least one of the colors I need. Floss at my LNS just went up to a staggering 1.50 euro (that's $1.96 USD, folks) and when I had to purchase a skein of 400 for my neighborhood round robin, I said ENOUGH! SNT has it for 30 euro cents (40 cents in US funds), so even with the hefty shipping charges it's a huge savings. And I will finally have a full set. Now I need a place to keep them!

But I digress. Which I do so very easily lately. What I mean to say is, I've quit buying. My New Year's resolutions, such as they were, were to procrastinate less, buy less, and use what I have more. Sort of like Reduce, reuse, recycle but different.

No stitching picures here tonight, but if you wander over to our neighborhood blog in a couple of hours, you may see my house in Su's neighborhood. It's still a WIP, but there's finally enough to make a photo worthwhile.

Tomorrow we're off for a long weekend to say goodbye to the holiday season. It has been so wonderful to get up late and take our time with meals but on the other hand, the kids really miss the structure of our routine and now bicker over anything and everything. So we'll enjoy one last fling before going back to the grind.
02 January 2007
ringing in the new year
I've been trying two days to post this - Internet woes. I hope the wait was worth it! (Regarding the pictures of Nicky - he spilled his fruit juice all over himself; it's not a bloody nose!)

** Edited to add: The pictures are clickable even though they're from Photobucket. Blogger hasn't allowed me to add pictures for some time now, regardless of size. **

I hope everyone's enjoying a wonderful beginning of the New Year. We celebrated as we "always" do - New Year's Eve is one of the few holidays for which we have a very definate tradition, and we all enjoy it very much.

Niek started cooking in the early afternoon. He made oliebollen, apelflappen, and battered banana balls - all of which are traditional Dutch deep-fried bread-like things. You could compare them to doughnuts, but it's not an accurate comparison. Anyway, he makes them all totally from scratch and it's such a treat, even if one (aka me) doesn't normally eat deep-fried anything. LOL! He also makes an amazing salmon salad, which is my particular favorite. We have a special dinner (grilled prawns this year!), which is usually hard to make the kids eat because they only have eyes for the sweets. Each year Niek also adds a few new little tastes and nibbles that change the following year. And of course, a bottle of champagne at midnight is required!

It's also traditional to set off fireworks at midnight. Max was utterly terrified of them for the longest time, so we always buy one of the smallest assortments. This year it poured rain, but Niek got out there in his sailing clothes and put on a respectable pyrotechnics display - he's such a hero! The usual wandering in and out of neighbors' houses was curtailed by the rain - too bad, I really like that. Nicky woke up this year for the first time and came down for about an hour. He loved it! At one point he came over to me with his brown eyes so wide and innocent, looking utterly angelic, and I expected to hear something pricelessly sweet ... when he said, "Mommy, thank you so much for not bringing Rowen downstairs, too." Kids!! LOL! Max got up at 11:30 and stayed up for two hours with us, but he was more asleep than awake in the beginning!

I have been stitching, but when the stitching bug bit me, it seems to have caused a weird infection - I want to start and do everything at once! I'm working on our ongoing neighborhood round robin as my main project, but I'm also trying to simultaneously do two SOLAK squares, two Hurricane Katrina squares, a birthday gift, my Valentine exchange, and my birthday recipient for the year. Even if I could stitch with both hands and both feet, I still wouldn't be able to keep up with myself!

Ash and the boys visited today and we had a great time. It's amazing how much fun our kids have together, and it provides a true mini-hoiday for wearied mothers. While we were chatting away, Ash managed to whip together the most amazing sweater for Joe. It was like magic! And she brought a platter of the most amazing brownies you can possibly imagine - I feel like hoarding them and growling MINE! every time someone comes close!

Top of the New Year to you!!
30 December 2006
as New Year's Eve approaches ... this & that
Last night I was gearing up to take a picture of the quilt square I'm doing for the Hurricane Katrina Quilt Project. It wasn't done, but there was enough to make a decent progress photo. But the piece looked, well, weird. I couldn't tell if I was looking at it upside-down or right-side-up. When suddenly it dawned on me - I'd stithed about half of it one way, and the other half upside-down. It sounds impossible, I know, but someone I actually did not notice what I was doing. So instead of taking a picture, I did a fair bit of frogging. Once that was done, I set it aside. Grrr!

On a happier note, the acupuncture/herbal therapy/massage treatments I've been having have made a difference that Mr. Sceptic, aka my DH, had to reluctantly admit to noticing. I've noticed an improvement since the second treatment but I haven't said a thing to anyone (except my mom) about it. I wanted to wait till someone volunteered some comment like, "Wow, you're looking healthier lately!" or, "Have you lost weight?" or something to that effect. Last night, after five treatments, Niek mumbled something about how I seemed to feel better and look better the past week or two and "does that have to do with the Chinese stuff you've been doing?" LOL. It's also interesting to go through the process from the client's perspective.

We'll be celebrating a pleasant New Year's Eve at home with the kids. I'm looking forward to it - we always have a great time. Everyone - knock wood - is healthy. And I didn't get sick!

I hope that everyone will enjoy a great change of the year - safe, and full of joy!

Saw this over at Jenna's blog and it seemed the perfect sort of fiddly thing to do this morning.

The ABC's of me
A - Available or single?:
Happily married.
B - Best Friend?:
C - Cake or pie?:
I’m not crazy about either. Can I choose brownies?
D - Drink of choice?:
Either hot herbal tea or very cold water.
E - Essential item I use every day:
My computer.
F - Favorite color?:
G - Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms?:
Gummy worms, especially the sour kind!
H - Hometown?:
I’d call Downeast Maine my hometown, I guess.
I - Indulgence?:
Quietly stitching in the evening after the kids are in bed.
J - January or February?:
February, when two of my kids celebrate their birthday.
K - Kids and names?:
Max, Nick and Rowen.
M - Marriage date?:
19 May 2003.
N - Number of siblings?:
One brother, two step-sisters and one step-brother.
O - Oranges or apples:
Oranges during cold weather, apples when it’s warm out.
P - Phobias or fears?:
Hospitals. Ugh.
Q - Favorite quote:
Pretty much any of ee cummings poetry.
R - Reasons to smile:
Gosh, there are lots of reasons … the way the trees look against the sky or how my kids look when they aren’t aware of my observation or figuring out something that was puzzling me or ….
S - Season:
T - Tag 3 or 4 people:
Anyone who reads this and wants to try it.
U - Unknown fact about me:
Well if I told, it would hardly be unknown. LOL!
V - Vegetable you don’t like:
Canned veggies. If they’re fresh, I like all vegetables, even tomatoes.
W - Worst habit:
Being impatient. Not seeing the bright side. (It’s a tie, folks.)
X - X-Rays?:
They creep me out, but I’ve had to have some; most recently for my foot.
Y - Your favorite food?:
Shellfish and/or fish.
Z - Zodiac sign?:
Gemini. And how … sigh.
posted by mainely stitching at 10:52 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 0 comments