That's the final diagnosis for me.

Just got back from the doctor with much stronger drugs and a prescription to "read some good books, watch TV and get lots of rest" until further notice.

I have no idea how often I'll be online in the next few days...probably very little, so think "well" thoughts and I'll be back soon.


I'm alive - barely

Just a quick post to say that I did make it home from Hershey but I've been down sick since.

My Hershey trip was not as I'd hoped. My annoying cough was full-blown "yuk" by the time we arrived late Wednesday night. I have to give a huge "Thank You!" to everyone that helped make it at least a pleasant trip! Everyone was incredibly understanding even when I had no voice or had to stop talking to cough for 5 minutes :sigh: I know I missed meeting several folks and I am so sorry! For those I did see, I am usually *much* perkier....really.

I did manage to acquire a few bits, though....

Brushed stainless Dovos (pewter finish)
Vera Bradley Spectator bag (in Seaport Navy)
6 skeins Dinky Dyes silk
Hinzeit "Stitching" Chart
Maureen Appleton Silk Sampler kit (Tea & Crumpets) - gift
2 small Textile Heritage kits (Whiskey distillery and Medieval Knight)
Hershey Street Lamp kit - gift
Flaming Dragon needle-felting kit (large and small)
Couple of Secret Stitcher items ;)
Non-stitching stuff for DH, DS & DD

That's it. If you've ever seen one of my CATS stash listings, you'll know this is an incredibly short list. Mom bought way more than I did - a first.

Now, this doesn't include the awesome gift from Jenni. Her recently hand-knitted bear :) He's happy hanging out here in Arizona in my home office.


Your Assignment....

...acceptance is purely voluntary, of course.

I'm going to be gone for the next few days off to Hershey, PA. Right now the thought of getting on an airplane tomorrow isn't all that appealing as my head is stuffed up....but I'm hoping with some good antihistamines I can survive the multiple-hour trip without killing other passengers.

But that's a tangent....back to the subject at hand.

I'm leaving you with two questions. Answer one or both or none if you so choose :)

The first comes from another world:

Post a memory you have of me. Any memory at all. Then post this in your own blog if you want to see what others remember about you.

Yeah, shameless comment plug, I know.

The second is of my own creation:

What do you want to see in this blog in the next year?

My blog is over a year old (first post was October 1, 2003) and while it's been a mishmash of stitching, reading, and work topics I've been posting what I want to see or what I feel is interesting. Now it's your turn to give me some direct feedback. Go for it!

See you Monday.....


Monday Hodge Podge

Wow, where has the time gone? Lots to catch up on! Let's start with Sunday Brunch:

1) What size is your bed?

Queen size. I'd love a king, but as I bought a new mattress this year, I'm not buying another one anytime soon.

2) Do you prefer fabric sofas or leather sofas? What do you have?

Fabric, which is what we have. I don't like the "squidgy" noises leather sofas make (parents have leather).

3) What wood stain color is your favorite? (Pine, walnut, cherry, etc.)

Cherry. I love the richness of it.

4) What piece of furniture is at the top of your wish list right now?

A bed/dressers/nightstands bedroom suite. We've looked at several but have yet to find *the* set that we can afford and is available. No great rush though.

5) Do you have a piece of furniture in your home that doesn’t seem to fit but that you can’t bear to part with?

If I was concerned about things "matching" there might be a piece or two, but since I'm more interested in "function" everything fits just fine ;)

Weekend Happenings

Well, Sunday was baking/cooking day for me. I find that even though I avoid cooking as much as possible during the week, I still feel the need to spend quality time in the kitchen on the weekends making yummy things. As I had a craving for cheesy-Italian this week, Cheese-Stuffed Shells was on Sunday's dinner menu. And what is an Italian-style dinner without breadsticks? So, a double-batch of garlic breadsticks were made as well. I have to make a double in order for them to last until dinner. Even then we have maybe a half-dozen survive thru the night but never longer than breakfast the next morning.

Dessert is then a must, so I broke out the Cake Mix Doctor cookbook and made a butter layer cake for home and a Darn Good Chocolate cake to bring to work today. I ran out of energy for home-made frosting, but thankfully both cakes are good enough without it.

All this accomplished while I felt like cr&p with monthly aches compounded with the mini-cold I'm working to get over. DH shook his head, but he ate well...LOL.

Stitching-wise I had hoped to finish the Vermillion Santa ornament (A Joyful Christmas - JCS 2004 Ornament issue) this weekend, but I'm not quite done. All the regular stitching is complete, only the backstitch left. And I wouldn't have gotten that far without yet another marathon baseball playoff game last night. I'll be done before Wednesday......

.....which is when I leave for Hershey! Woohoo!


The Greatest Secret of the Ages

Who says that Corporate training is a waste? Ok, I've said it a time or two when I'm sitting in a class bored to tears with a mile-long list of customer requests to handle and reply to.

Far too many times, the "trainer" comes in and starts on his/her great secret to be a better employee and nine times out of ten it's involves making your *work* the focus of your life. I'm sorry, but that will never happen with me. I've had trainers tell me I should spend my personal time reading or taking classes specific to my job. While I have done that on occasion, I refuse to make it either a habit or priority. My time is for my family and myself. Work gets enough hours as it is.

The training I completed last week was different. We spent significantly less time talking about work situations and challenges and more time on personal goals and opportunities. While the training and "takeaways" from the class were easily related to work, they also easily related to other personal areas.

Become a better employee by being a better all-around *person*

What a unique concept!

One of the highlights (for me) of the second day of training was the revealing of "The Greatest Secret of the Ages." This was one of three key components that the instructor, D, lived by in his daily life. (The other two weren't appropriate for our class but he did share some hints afterwards. It left me with great respect for the man.)

Now, is this "secret" any real surprise? No. Is it something I'd never heard before? No. Is it something I didn't already know/believe/act on? Surprisingly, no.

Do you want to know what it is?

Is that a Yes?

I'll take that as a Yes.....I see the smile....

"You create your own world by how you THINK and SPEAK about it"

Interesting, eh? I have been labelled by many as an "eternal optimist" and I happily accept that title. Good stuff happens when you expect it to. Ok, so does bad stuff, but remember, I'm an Optimist. I always look for the good in people. I always assume positive intent. Does this mean I'm always right and never disappointed? Heavens no.... But I'm right often enough that I don't feel it necessary to modify my expectations. Or, if it gets to be more frustrating than I'm willing to deal with, I simply remove myself from the situation (thus my departure from a couple online BBs). There are always going to be folks who insist on trying to disrupt and create chaos where none is needed or welcome.

I am very happy with my world. I've worked hard to get to a technical position with respect and opportunity that is financially stable. I have a wonderful family and marvel each day at my children (sometimes at the trouble they can be....most times at the joy they bring!). I am blessed with a remarkable husband that loves me for *me* and not for what he thinks I *should* be.

I've made a good world and I intend to keep it that way.


At least I could stitch....

My sickness for the past few days allowed me to stitch more than usual. Fever didn't interfere much with my focus and it certainly kept the frogs away. I can still feel just the remnants today, but I had to come back to work (I am *not* dipping into my planned PTO for next week's Hershey trip!)

Here's what I accomplished since Saturday:

Shepherd's Bush's Spooky Sheep
This was a gift from my Secret Stitcher was just *too* cute to sit in my stash for more than a few days. I'll turn him into a little hanging pillow for my cube at work.

Wee Beasties Round Robin
This is for a certain wondering someone and is the Fourteen-Spot Ladybug from Wee Beasties #8. Looks simple, eh? Don't be fooled - this bug took 20+ floss colors and more fractionals than a comparably sized TW.

Ornament Round Robin
One of my last Group 2 Ornaments (Lindy - don't look if you don't want to know!). I do like this designer's work but had never actually stitched anything by her. I did leave off some metallic - I liked the look much better without it.

Ornament RR

Other than stitching (primarily while watching football and the baseball playoffs - {sigh} season over for me....) I also got sucked into the new Laurel Hamilton Incubus Dreams. I can say it probably didn't help the fever much....whew....steamy!



I'm on day two of fever and general yuckiness so I'm using a day of time off to rest and hope it burns itself out. DS had it for two days and was fine....let's all hope that works for me. I am getting stitching done. Pictures later....

And the Braves pulled it out. Of course I was too nervous to watch, though. Heaven knows what I'll do tonight!

Stitcher's Question of the Week

You've just been given a $100 gift certificate to buy anything cross stitch or needlework related - what would you spend it on right now?

Hmmm...my first thought is using it for the Secret Stitcher and Seasonal Exchanges I'm in. I've got two folks with *great* Wish Lists and I'd love to whittle them down in the next several months :)

For me, it would have to go to supplies for Chatelaine's Mystery VIII. The winter theme is definitely *me* and while I've signed up for the group, I've yet to order the kit. That's usually a Hershey purchase, but as European Cross Stitch won't be there this year, I'll have to order it direct.


Sunday Brunch

First, let me say I feel "blah" today. DS came home from school on Thursday with fever and guess who has one today? Yeah, me. Along with sneezes, a few coughs and a sore throat. Braves are royally *sucking* in the playoffs and not a decent football game on (I hate Dallas). I'll be breaking out the DVD's here soon.

At least I'm getting some stitching done.....finished my Ornament RR and Spooky Sheep is almost done. Last on today's agenda is the WBRR. Might manage a few pictures for tomorrow's blog ;)

But for now....Sunday Brunch.

1) What is your favorite Disney movie and why?

Aladdin. How convenient it came out on DVD this week! Robin Williams absolutely *makes* this movie.

Technically this is a *very* close race between Aladdin, Nightmare before Christmas, Sleeping Beauty, Pirates of the Caribbean and Monsters, Inc. All are favorites.

2) Who is your favorite Disney character and why?

Jack Skellington in Nightmare before Christmas. I love Halloween and Jack is da man! Favorite Villian: Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty

3) What is your favorite Disney song and why?

Anything from Pirates of the Caribbean (love the energetic instrumentals), Hawaiin Roller Coaster from Lilo and Stitch, Jack's Lament from NbC

4) Disneyland or Disneyworld? Why?

Disneyland! I've never been to Disney World LOL

5) Do you have any decorations or articles of clothing in your home that are Disney and what are they?

As I was named for members of the original Mickey Mouse Club, Disney 'stuff' has been in my house forever. Recent additions: Jack Skellington purse, various pins (Haunted Mansion, Lilo & Stitch, and NbC themes mostly), Mickey Mouse "2004 Grad" t-shirt, "Best of Annette" CD (had to mention that...lol) and loads of Disney coffee mugs.


Questions and more questions....

This is a shameless theft of Jen's version. It's been popping up on a few blogs this week....

1) What time do you get up?
Only as early as I absolutely need to. 6:30ish during the week, later on the weekends.

2) If you could eat lunch with one person, who would it be?
Probably a favorite author: David Eddings, Robert Jordan, Dave Duncan....one of those.

3) Gold/silver?

4) What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

5) What is your favorite tv show?
An Atlanta Braves baseball game. Off-season: Monk, Good Eats, Amazing Race....

6) What did you have for breakfast?
Java Chip Frappaccino and a butter croissant

7) Who would you hate to be stuck in a room with?
Someone who talks incessantly. Yes, I have names. No, I won't post them.

8) What/Who inspires you?
My husband, my children, a beautiful painting or amazing book

9) What is your middle name?

10) Beach, City or Country?

11) Favorite ice cream?
Cold Stone Creamery - Cake Batter ice cream with chocolate chips and macadamia mix-ins.

12) Butter, plain or salted popcorn?
Butter with parmesan cheese and garlic salt

13) Favorite color?
Deep purple

14) What kind of car do you drive?
2002 Jeep Liberty

15) Favorite sandwich?
Black Forest ham with domestic swiss cheese, sweet pickles, lettuce and Miracle Whip on Jewish rye bread.

16) What characteristic do you despise?
Opportunists (at the expense of others)

17) Favorite flowers?

18) What is your dream vacation?
A month touring Europe or a couple weeks in Egypt

19) What color is your bathroom?
White walls with wood floor. A southwest-y wallpaper border that really needs to come down....

20) Favorite brand of clothing?
Anything that is comfortable

21) Where would you retire?

22) Favorite day of the week?
Saturday. Work is a memory and still another day left before one must return

23) What did you do for your last birthday?
Dinner with my family and enjoyed their undivided love and attention

24) Where were you born?
NW Indiana

25) Favorite sport to watch?

28) Which detergent do you use?
Soapworks, liquid. Fragrance free and all natural.

29) Coke or Pepsi?

30) Are you a morning person or a night owl?!
Night owl

31) What is your shoe size?
8.5-9 depending on the style

32) Do you have any pets?
Yes. Two dogs (George and Carmella) and three fish (we're building up the tank still)

33) Your favorite season?
Winter - such that it is in Arizona

34) What time is it?
1:39PM MST on Friday

35) Name as it appears on your birth certificate.
Well, you know my middle name and "regular" readers know my first name. Maiden name....if you're indoors, see those things holding up the roof? That's my maiden name (though a slight spelling variation)

36) Nickname?
None that I will admit

37) Number of candles on your last birthday cake?
39 - or at least that's what there should have been with a slightly larger cake....

38) Kids?
A couple. Daughter (14) and Son (6)

39) Hair colour?
Brown with ever-increasing grey "natural highlights"

40) Tattoos?

41) Eyes?

42) How much do you love your job?
Enough to come back every day.

43) Favorite foods?
A nice rare rib-eye steak, salad with lots of veggies and spicy french dressing, brussel sprouts in butter, extra extra sharp cheddar cheese...

44) Been to Africa?
Not yet

45) Been toileting papering?

46) Have you ever been in love?
Yes. Still am.

47) Been in a car accident?
More than I care to remember or count. The last one was December 2001.

48) Croutons or bacon bits?

49) Favorite saying or phrase?
Changes often. Today: "The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules" - Pirates of the Caribbean

50) Favorite restaurant?
Macaroni Grill - Pasta Milano and Ensalada Bleu

51) Favorite non-alcoholic drink?

52) How many times did you fail your driver's test?

53) Do you sing in the shower?
Once in a while

54) At which store would you like to max your credit card?
Target. Where else could I buy DVDs, small appliances, clothes, toys and holiday decorations? Gotta love Target...

55) What do you do most when you are bored?
Surf (online...I live in the desert, remember?)

56) Bedtime?

59) Glass half empty or half full?
Half full

60) If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live?

61) What is your most annoying habit?

62) When was your last true vacation?
August trip to Vegas with da family and a few BB'ers.

63) Time you finished this post?
2:04 PM Friday....right about the time my script has finished running. Great timing!

Friday Forum - Senses

1] Seeing: What's the most beautiful piece of artwork that you've
ever seen in person? Where was it, and when? Why does it
stand out in your mind?

Years ago I had the opportunity to visit the Chicago Art Museum for an exhibition by Gaugin. It was amazing, but the pieces that impressed me were in the "regular" collection by Monet. I love landscape paintings and the beautiful colors used by Monet in his works.

I've also visited the museum at Stanford University and marvelled not only at the beautiful paintings but their phenomenal collection of Rodin sculpture.

2] Hearing: How would you describe the sound of your voice?
When it's played back for you, do you like the sound of it? Do you
feel that your voice is similar to anyone else's?

I like the sound of my voice....at least the one that *I* hear! When I hear it played back it sounds far too high. I've been told my mother and I sound alike - in fact, my grandmother has a hard time telling us apart on the phone. It's usually a sentence or two before she's sure who she is speaking with.

3] Tasting: Are there any foods or beverages that most people
seem to like, but you just don't seem to have a taste for?

Coffee, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, green beans, meatloaf, rice pudding, bread pudding....I'll stop there...

4] Touching: Would you consider yourself a "touchy-feely"
person, or do you prefer staying within your own personal "zone"
most of the time? Do you often give/receive hugs, offer
handshakes, or greet others with a kiss on the cheek?

I am a very "touchy-feely" person. I give lots of hugs (if I'm positive they will be received in the spirit intended - I know several folks who prize their personal space). Handshakes - absolutely! Kiss on the cheek...well....that is limited to family members (DH, kids, parents, grandparents, brother...).

5] Smelling: Do you wear perfume/cologne? What kind? Do you
have a particular favorite? What fragrances do you tend to prefer?

I have an odd chemistry that tends to bring out the "bad" side of most perfumes and colognes. There are only a handful that remain pleasant after I've been wearing them awhile. Calvin Klein's Obsession and Camp Beverly Hills (which I can't even find anymore) were the two most commonly found on my vanity for years.

In college I had the opportunity to have a scent created for me. It had vanilla and carnation notes as the main components and a few others mixed in. This was the only thing I wore during college until I finally ran out and couldn't find the fellow that had created the scent. I can still bring back that scent memory now and then...

Now if I want a splash of something, it's a spray of vanilla or lilac from Bath and Body Works. I prefer to stick with just a vanilla body wash as a gentle "clean" scent for everyday.


Baby G has arrived!

I got a call a bit ago that Baby G arrived at 12:36pm EDT! He is 8.5 lbs and was delivered via C-section.

Dad says that Mom and Baby are doing fine and the official naming will be chosen once they have been reunited in Mom's room (she was just coming out of recovery when he called).

:) Yay!!!

Here are the stats!

Name: Luke Warren G**
Born on: October 7th, 2004
At: 12:36 pm
Weight: 8 lb, 9.2 oz
Length: 19.5 inches
Status: Mom, Dad, and Luke are tired after a VERY long day and a half, but doing just fine.


Baby watch....

Today, my bestest online buddy Erin went in for induction for her baby boy. I'm waiting semi-patiently for a phone call from her Mom! I'll post (and email for those folks that have requested) as soon as I hear!

I've been in training today (more on that tomorrow....one blog-gable item stands out) and not online - thank heaven for a cel! LOL


3rs Quarter StRIP Club Update

Why is it that when I have lots of stuff to blog about, I have *no* time and when I have plenty of time, I have nothing of interest to say? This week is definitely the former...

3rd Quarter Update....

This Quarter saw me sincerely StRIP-ping a few small pieces. Six finishes! And even with four starts, the overall trend was fewer pieces in the WIP pile. Of course, I did retire a few pieces as well, which reduced the numbers even more. I am *officially* at 30.

I've employed a "monthly rotation" strategy - planning out the month's stitching in accordance with goals for the same defined length of time. I'm quite happy with my progress. I have yet to hit the plan 100% in any given month, but hey, there's always room for improvement!

Dare I set goals for fourth quarter? Ok, if you insist:

Four Ornaments (outside of the two Ornament Round Robins I'm in)
Finish TW's Castles by the Sea
Finish Apple Cloisonne Ornament (can count in Item #1)
Start Royal Holiday & VS Heirloom Christmas Sampler
Start one other medium/large piece providing I manage to adopt out Chatelaine Xmas Mystery (this will be de-kitted if not adopted. Interested? Email me!)
Progress on at least two other large WIPs

See ya!


Question of the Week - Threads

Thread organization: plastic bobbins, yes or no? How do you organize your threads?

I do use bobbins, but not always plastic. My DMC is primarily on paper bobbins and I have many still in use from my very first batch of DMC in 1987. My growing Anchor collection is on plastic bobbins with the number sleeve held underneath the wound thread to identify the color.

WIPs that are mostly specialty threads or from kits are organized with flossaway bags on a large ring (if less than 30) or in a plastic shoe box or photo box. I flirted with "all-bag" organization for awhile but I'm happy with my bobbins :)


Catchup Time! (Friday and Sunday Memes)

Friday was a zoo at work so there was no hope for the Friday Forum LOL. This weekend I've either been out (shopping with Mom and DD Saturday) or hunkered on the couch (Sunday) stitching on The Vermillion Stitchery's Santa from 2004 JCS Ornament issue (about halfway....yeah, I know I had something else on the schedule for today, but I can still make my deadline dates....no worries!)

First, well, Friday Firsts...

1] What was your first date like? When was it, and where did you
go? What did you do? Did you have a good time?

In all honesty....I don't remember! Must not have been too exciting :
2] Who is the first person listed in your phone/address book?
How do you know that person, and do you keep in touch often?

Here at home it's Angi (http://faeryglade.blogspot.com) and I know her from various and sundry Stitching boards and the community surrounding them.

3] What's the first music album that you ever bought yourself,
with your own money? Do you still have it?

I want to say it's The Beatles Sgnt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band....and yes, I still have it. I even have a turntable to play it on ;)

4] Do you remember your first day of high school, or perhaps
your first day at college? What was it like, and how did you feel?

I vaguely remember my first day of college well over 20 years ago. Finding my way around the University of New Mexico campus was almost overwhelming! I also quickly learned that 8:00 classes were definitely *not* for me....

5] Have you had any "firsts" recently ~ perhaps within the past
month? [For example, trying a new food for the first time, traveling
somewhere for the first time, grasping the concept of something
for the first time, etc.]

This is the first year I've taken a more in-depth interest in baseball. We watched more teams than any other year (thank you DirecTV) and I can spout player trivia better than a couple fellows I work with ;)

And now for some Sunday Brunch:

1) Have you ever ridden a horse?

Yes. When I was a freshman in high school I went to a friend's house in Colorado that had horses. Spent a few days and rode twice.

2) What is your favorite horse story or movie?


3) If you had the means, would you own a horse?

No, I'm not a "horse person."

4) Do you think it would be neat if we went back to everyone traveling by horse and buggy or just an inconvenience?

Hmmm...good question. On one hand a definite inconvenience, but on the other hand it might serve to slow life down a bit and that would be a good thing.

5) Have you ever ridden in a hansom cab?

No but someday I will :)