Thursday, November 29, 2007

Catching up

I feel that I have neglected my poor ol' blog really bad lately! First of all, I want to thank everyone who has stopped by and left notes wishing me well.

My eyes have finally stopped bothering me so much and feeling all dried out. I stopped stitching for awhile to see if that was the culprit and it looks like I was right. Too much close up work. I can't bear the thought of giving up my stitching again so soon after rediscovering it so I will live with the alternative of just cutting back!

I got back the results on my most recent blood test and it says that my thyroid levels are PERFECT which means I still don't need to start the meds. Normally that would be something to be thrilled about but if I am doing so great, how come I have been feeling so rotten! I literally broke down and cried when I got the news! The doctors all keep telling me "you will feel so much better when you start the medicine" but they won't let me start because of my "perfect" blood tests!

On the brighter side, I did get out today with my camera to enjoy the birds! Winter birdwatching is definitely different from warmer months. More of a challenge but just as much fun.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


HAPPY THANKSGIVING to those of you who will celebrate! I am slowly preparing by chopping the onions and celery for the dressing, boiling the eggs, making the cornbread and after we get back from dr. appointments today I will start on the desserts.

May you have a lovely holiday with your family and friends in the comfort of a warm home. If you go out shopping the day after, may you find lots of good bargains and be safe in the crowds.

I challenge each of you to list 5 or more things you are grateful for then challenge your family to do the same and read these together sometime during the day tomorrow.

Have a wonderful and blessed day!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Is It ONLY Wednesday?

I tried working on my finishing skills again yesterday. I even wrote to several people whose work I admire to get some tips from them. They were helpful but I still wasn't happy with the results. I think I am my own worst critic when it comes to crafts and I can find a handful of things that really *urk* me about my work.

I finally decided to pull out my sewing machine and make a mini pillow that could be adjusted into a scissor fob. It worked and today's picture is the result. Of course it would look much better if there was an actual design stitched on the fob but this was practice on a finishing technique. I'm really glad to finally have this resolved because after two days, it was giving me a horrible headache! Later in the evening I decided to try the tutorial method one more time. It worked! Maybe because I was no longer feeling so stressed but whatever the reason, I am glad to have that part behind me!

No stitching the past several nights as I have been going to bed early. I knew it was just a matter of time before I caught Ryan's stomach virus. I started taking extra Vitamin C in preparation and I think it helped because the virus didn't stick around long this time! I did pick out the chart I want to get started on making for the Cross Stitch Lottery! (Did you notice that I am getting my sidebar ready for 2008?)

Trying to get back on my schedule and that means today is recipe day! I found a new recipe for a Thanksgiving dressing that I am anxious to try! It sounds so yummy but I will make my usual dressing also to act as a stand by! So much of my cooking is done by "tasteful thinking" instead of the exact recipe in front of me. For instance "I think this needs 2 cups of this instead of 1" "I think I will substitute this spice instead of using what it calls for"! But I have never had any complaints about the end results! So I'm sure I will be tweaking this recipe also!


1-2 (8 inch square) pans of your favorite corn bread (can be done ahead)
1 lb. bulk sausage
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped celery including tops
1 c. chopped apple
1/4 c. butter
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. poultry seasoning or use fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, tarragon)
1/4 to 1 c. chicken broth, depending on how moist you like dressing

Break up sausage and saute gently until brown. Add onion, celery, and apple and saute just until limp. Mix in diced or crumbled corn bread, salt and pepper and spices. Moisten to your liking with chicken broth and the butter which has been melted. Taste and correct seasoning. Stuffs a 20-pound turkey or bake uncovered in 9x13 pan for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

No Pictures Today

I made up my wish list for Santa! So he should have plenty to choose from now for both occasions coming up!

1. Gift Certificate (always well appreciated and used)
2. A new sewing machine. This is only a maybe.
3. I found several stitching books I want.
4. A new programmable coffee maker.
5. Subscription to Coffee of the Month Club at the Flying Bean

Harold surprised me by telling me that we are going to Biltmore Estates to see the Christmas decorations sometime over Thanksgiving week! I have never been there at this time of year and am so excited to see all the holiday splendor!

Started a couple of smalls but I can't show them yet as they for gifts and exchanges! But I spent a good part of yesterday practicing on scissor fob finishes since I have never done these. I used a tutorial at Annette's Acre ( *pulling out my hair* It was AWFUL! I tried over and over and even several different ways! I don't know what I am doing wrong but I just can't get it to look right! The corners are so bulky they don't stitch right, and the stitched edgings don't want to meet properly! To put it bluntly, each try was a disaster in it's self! I will glad to hear any hints or tips that could help me out!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Just My Luck!

Until I get this thyroid mess straightened out, I am not going to worry about sticking to my rotation so rigidly! LOL! Like you haven't noticed that already! *wink* I will be working on them though! And I will be picking up some smalls to work on that will hopefully give me the kick in the pants I need to work on some of these larger pieces!

I finished up stitching my piece for the Cross Stitch Lottery! As I took my final stitch to bury the thread, I cut myself and before I realized it, a major part of the piece was covered in blood! OH NO! I tried to get it out the best I could but it was still too noticeable. That means I will be starting on another piece sometime soon! Actually, I am glad. I loved the picture of the finished piece on the chart but it just didn't stitch up as pretty as I had thought it would. I have ideas!

I recently found a designer whose work I love but it is near impossible to find! Why? She is retired. Just my luck! I guess by now you know that I am talking about Mary Garry. I cannot find even find any freebies on the web!!

Today's picture is an update of The Hunt Sampler.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Energy and Coffee

It has been 7 months since I had my last cigarette but I still get the cravings for one from time to time. They usually pass very quickly but last just long enough to be extremely annoying! Most of the time I find myself unconsciously reaching for one to light up. Then I realize "oh yeah, I don't smoke anymore". LOL!

I really need to get myself back into a routine and on track with my schedule again! It seems as though my blogging has been sporadic and my stitching has been even more so! Not to mention that I have felt really lazy about getting outside to take my nature photos! I was told that as I began to change from hyper thyroid to hypo thyroid I would feel sluggish and lacking any energy. I must be in the transition because I have felt so blah with absolutely no get up and go! Hopefully this will be the month I am able to start taking the thyroid medicine that will help get me off this horrible roller coaster ride!

While making a quick run to the grocery store yesterday I noticed that the holiday coffees had arrived so I splurged! I bought a pound each of Pumpkin Spice, Cinnamon Gingerbread and Holiday Peppermint! Yum! I can't wait to fix a pot of each! I enjoy my coffee but I have a true weakness for flavored coffees!

Our mail arrived late yesterday but look what I got! A wonderful Crazy Exchange ( from Nadia! Everything is so beautiful! Thank you Nadia and now I will find the perfect return exchange to send to you!

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Weekend is Over

Gee, there are just so many charts I am anxious to start! I even tried making my list for 2008 but that was a little too overwhelming! I have decided that I will wait until the New Year to begin any new starts because of all the holiday busyness over the next several months. I would be very happy to finish up at least two of the WIP I am currently stitching before 2008 which means I will need to give extra time to them. And if they are not finished by the New Year they may be extremely close!

It was another slow stitching weekend. Harold and I had some errands to run, watching old movies on TV together, more errands and yesterday we decided that we were tired of take out and bringing dinner home so we went in to a nice restaurant, sat down and ate there!

Harold asked me what I want for my birthday and Christmas (the two are very close). I really couldn't think of a specific item so I told him I would be happy for a GC to help have some future pieces framed or even a GC to a LNS.

Speaking of Christmas, the radio stations here are already playing Christmas music!! We listened to Bing Crosby's White Christmas. Burl Ives, Karen Carpenter and more this weekend on a local station!

*update* I did go out over the weekend and picked up several new sweaters that I couldn't resist! I also decided to invest in some Flossaway bags for my stitching threads! Hopefully these will make it a little easier to keep track of what I have and what I need!

Today's picture is of a sign at a convience store that gave me a giggle. It's like a subtle reminder to "Just Breathe".

Friday, November 02, 2007

My Forest Grows

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been working on AAFG. I will be glad when this piece gets far enough along that it feels like I am actually making some worthwhile progress! It doesn't seem like I worked on Willow Tree much at all the past several weeks. I hope it is not getting ready to become a UFO. I am just too close to finishing it up to let that happen! I may spend some extra time working on it this month.

Order #1 arrived yesterday! I got my confirmation on order #2 and as I suspected there are some items are on back order but I should be receiving the ones below by the first part of next week.
A Birder's Welcome - Crossed Winged
Glad Tidings - Blackbird Designs

Happy Hearts Sampler - Birds of a Feather

My Betrothed Sampler - same
Sally Spencer Sampler - same

Liberty - same

I will have to wait on "12 Days Of Christmas" and "American Star".

I really need to go through my stash and refresh my memory of what I have and what I most work on. Do I see another "list" in the making? *wink wink*

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Goals and Lists

I already received a confirmation for one of my orders and I was surprised that everything was in stock! Usually several items are out of stock and/or have been discontinued. It has already been dropped into the mail so I should have it within several days! Order #1 will include --
Drawn Thread - Sampler Game Board
Little House Needleworks - Snowflakes
Little House Needleworks - Winter Whites
Blackbird Designs - Awake The Dawning Day
Blackbird Designs - Beneath The Sunlit Sky

Order #2 is still out for the count (so to speak) and I have asked they let me know if any of the items are not currently available. Until I hear from them I don't want to jinx my order by saying what is supposed to be in it so I will wait for the order confirmation on it before saying!

I saw a wonderful coffee questionnaire on another blog and thought I would do it also since I am such a coffee fanatic!

1. Whole bean or ground? I usually buy ground since I haven't bought my own coffee grinder yet!

2. Fully-loaded or decaf? No decaf is allowed in this house! LOL

3. Regular or flavored? Both! I love to try out different and new flavors! But I need that regular for a good kick in the pants!

4. How do you drink your coffee? Usually with non dairy creamer only. At restaurants , I use both sugar and creamer.

5. Favorite coffee ever? I love Pumpkin Spice and Italian Roast by Starbucks!

6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? It depends on the brand. I do love Starbucks, Millhouse and Flying Bean but they are a little expensive to get all the time.

7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? Biscotti, pecan twirls, or any type of pastry

8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? I am happy with almost anything coffee related. If I have my coffee, I am happy! The mug is almost as important as the coffee that is in it!

I checked my October goals and did fairly good. Better than I thought I would. Time for November's goals. With the busyness of the next several months, I am going to be rather easy on myself.

1. Continue working AAFG - YES
2. Complete Willow Tree Sampler
3. Two New Starts - YES
4. Work on 30 day journal at Peek - YES
5. Catch up on housework (YUK) - SORT OF YES
6. Start working on Cross Stitch Lottery piece - YES
7. Start posting on group blogs (I have been lax in this area) - YES
8. Start on some smalls - YES
9. Recipe swap at Peek
10. Crazy Exchange - YES
11. Get a rotation schedule started - YES

1. Work on HOHRH
2. Work on AAFG
3. Work on Willow Tree Sampler
4. Work on Sampler Folk
5. Work on Hunt Sampler
6. At least 1 new start
7. At least one exchange
8. Fix up Christmas exchanges
9. Work on finishing off Cross Stitch Lottery piece
10. Peek recipe swap

I worked on AAFG yesterday but haven't taken a picture of my progress yet. So for today I will share an updated photo of Sampler Folk that is moving right along!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Gobble Gobble

We finally got rain! Several days worth so far! Nothing very hard but it has been steady. Everyone around here is grateful for anything at this point but in all honesty we can use a lot more!

Since the past several days have been rainy and chilly, it has been perfect weather to stay indoors and do some extra stitching! I decided to pull out HOHRH and do some more on it. I took this picture before I was finished working on it for the night.

Earlier today I got my hair trimmed up which always makes me feel better! Then, on to do part of my grocery shopping. After I made out the menu for our Thanksgiving dinner, I started picking up some of the items needed for it. There is now a lovely turkey sitting in our freezer for the big day!

Even though there are only 4 of us to actually cook Thanksgiving dinner for, I always make extra and it never goes to waste! With everyone coming into the kitchen through out the day and nibbling on food as I fix it and then the raid on leftovers, it gets cleaned out very quickly! I start making the desserts early in the week and everyone gets their favorite. This is our 2007 Thanksgiving menu as it stands for now.

Roasted Herb Turkey
Cornbread Dressing
Sausage and Apple Dressing
Cajun Yams
Mashed Potatoes (ds likes to have these)
Green Bean Cassarole
Deviled Eggs
Corn on the Cob
German Chocolate Cake
Pumpkin Pie
Carrot Cake
Monkey Bread

P.S. I do NOT cook like this on Christmas! LOL!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Historical Stitches

How do you hang your cross stitch pieces? In groups or just scatter them about? I had a dream last night about a wall in our living covered with lovely pieces of stitching! This was definitely a special wall and held many reproduction pieces. What a lovely wall it was! And one that I am now itching to work on and make it a reality! Another project for 2008! LOL!

I love historical needlecraft arts. Whether if be reproduction cross stitch samplers or historical quilts. I love to study the work and read about the people who made the item. What was their motivation? How long did it take for them to complete it? I want to hear (or read) the stories that make these item personal.

To my readers, both new and old, thank you for stopping by! My blog is the backdoor of my soul. And to quote an old saying "backdoor guests are best"!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stop and Start

I NEED A SEWING ROOM! I want a sewing room! I deserve a sewing room! Plain and Simple! I have waited patiently for my boys to grow up so that when one (or both) left home I could claim the empty bedroom! The years have marched on as I have watched them turn into grown ups and they are still living here and are showing no signs of any desire for independence! LOL! Woe is me! So I continue to set my machine as needed on the kitchen table and then put it away again!

I took a break over the weekend and the first part of the week. No stitching at all over the weekend. We did go to a quilt show. What fun and such beautiful works of art! I also managed to get by our local fabric store and start stocking up on some wonderful fat quarters!

My most recent stitching has been Sampler Folk. I left off in an odd place on this one and had been waiting anxiously to pick it back up! I am also thinking it is time for another new start. There are two pieces still waiting their turns. Who knows -- maybe they both will be started by the end of the month!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

That Darn Bug!

Quilts. I love them. I collect them. I make them. But I put my needle down about 5 years ago thinking that I had taken my last stitch as a quilter! GASP! Upon cleaning out some seldom used closets, I ran across 5 quilt tops yet to be finished off and was bitten by the "bug" once more! Fabric, batting, cuddling up in a quilt on a cold night, fat quarters....... and I began to drool! LOL! So many quilts I still want to make!

Then my little voice of reason chimes in to remind me of all the cross stitch projects currently in progress. No problem-o. I need to restock my fabric stash and get some other needed supplies. There is time for both!

Since I only hand quilt, it takes quite a while for me to complete a quilt so I prefer to make the tops and then send it off to be quilted. The ladies do a fantastic job, the price is reasonable and I have more time to create!

Friday, October 19, 2007

To Be or Not To Be

Aida vs. Linen. Let me first say that I have linen in my stash and I can cross stitch on it. I just PREFER to use my 18ct. Aida. I feel more comfortable and confident when using it and my stitches seem to flow when I do a project using this. Some people prefer the look and feel of the linen which is fine but for me, why spoil a good thing. I buy special types of Aida with a softer feel (more like fabric) that are a joy to work with. I do my cross stitch to relax and the fabric I use has a lot to do with that!

So many of you have asked what count and type of fabrics I am using on different pieces. I hope this means you think they look good *wink* so I will share that info with you now.

AAFG - 18 ct. Aida
Hunt Sampler 14 ct. Aida
Sampler Folk - 16 ct. Aida
Willow Tree Sampler - 14 ct. Aida
HOHRH - 18 ct. Aida

still left to started and fabrics I will be using

Maria P. Oliver - 18 ct. Aida
Victoria's Quaker - 18 ct. Aida

Our boring town has no cross stitch or quilt shops but there are plenty in the surrounding areas so Harold has promised when I have my appointment with the thyroid doctor next month in a near by city, we will make a special trip to several of their needlework shops! FUN!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Chances Are

Last night I worked on the Hunt Sampler for awhile before putting it down and working on an exchange. I hope to have the exchange finished up soon so I can mail it out this weekend!

Today I will be devoting a lot of my day to our bedroom. I have no idea how it got into this awful condition but it sure needs some attention or it won't be long before we will be whacking our way through the jungle of mess!

It looks rather overcast outside this morning. Could there be a chance of rain for us? Fingers crossed! I have been loving these wonderful Fall days lately but it has been so dry here that some rain would definitely be welcome!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another Start

Houses of Hawk Run Hollow has offically been started! I actually got more stitched on it after I took this picture. I still have Maria P. Oliver and Victoria's Quaker (from my list) left to start. Hopefully I will be able to get them going sometime this week.

Today is the 1 month anniversary since we said good bye to our beloved Whiner. It has been a hard month without him. I still find myself reaching down to pet him at night as I used to when he would sleep curled up at my knees. Last night we smelled the distinct oder of dog food. He is still with us in many ways. This is the memorial stone we put out for him several weeks ago.

I was given this award by Jamie at Lavender and Lace (url in sidebar). I am supposed to give it back out to 10 people who make me smile. Naming only 10 people is too hard so I am opting to give this award to all my wonderful readers!

Monday, October 15, 2007

First Look!

Here is the first look at what I have done so far on Sampler Folk. I had hoped to get farther along but I kept being interrupted and then decided to look through my charts for some gift and exchange ideas.

I started on several exchange goodies over the weekend. I can mention that one is for the Cross Stitch Lottery (addy in side bar)! Another one is a return exchange. *wink wink* After some deep thought I think I picked out the perfect thing for this wonderful lady but she will just have to be patient and that's all I can say about it for now! The final item has to remain hush hush for a while longer! The next several weekends will be used for stitching other than my own which should be lots of fun but I can stitch on my rotations during the week.

Today I make my thread run so that I can start on HOHRH this coming week and my weekly not so fun grocery shopping trip.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Looky1 Looky!!

Yesterday was a fun mail day! My HOHRH chart arrived and I received my first Crazy Exchange ( What a fun group this will be! A wonderful little pin cushion pillow made by Carol (! Look at that wonderful beading around the edges! And she picked the perfect design for me! It is a design from AAFG which I am currently working on and I love my birds/ backyard wildlife! I just love it so much! Thank you, Carol! I hope I can make something just as nice to send you in return!

Yesterday I started on Sampler Folks by Carriage House Samplings. I need to make a run for some needed threads on Monday so that I can start HOHRH sometime next week!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Projects Galore

Yahoo! Several of my new charts arrived yesterday. I pulled out the needed threads and bundled up kits for the ones that will taking a spot on my first ever rotation schedule. I am still waiting on HOHRH to arrive - hopefully today!

I spent part of yesterday working on AAFG for the first time in what seemed like a long time! I enjoyed pulling it back out and getting some more added to it. Slowly but surely my forest is growing!

I guess you are wondering what projects will be added to my list. First of all, let me say that my rotation schedule is a bit different from the normal daily rotation. I plan to work on each project no less than 8 hours each. This will insure that I get a substantial amount done on each one before moving on to the next. It may take 2 or 3 nights to meet the required stitching limit but I am in no hurry.

Those marked with * at the beginning have not yet been started but will be soon and then added to the sidebar area. I tried to choose a variety of projects. From large pieces demanding a good bit of attention to those that will move along more smoothly and at a quicker rate.

*Maria P. Oliver (Not overly demanding or time consuming)
AAFG (big project & already started)
*Victoria Quaker (should be a smooth stitch)
Willow Tree Sampler (over 1/2 completed)
*Small and Gifts (these DO pop up and need to be tended to)
*HOHRH (a big project)
*Sampler Folk (should be an easy and fun stitch)
Hunt Sampler (started and a very smooth stitch

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Nature's Bounty

More pictures from one of our trips to the mountains this past summer.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Quite Day

The doctor called about my test results yesterday. My levels are still not low enough to get on the medicine yet! And so another month of feeling really yucky and crummy until I go back for another appointment and blood test! *big frustrated sigh*

I did a chart swap with Tracy! I had a lot of fun doing it and enjoyed making a new friend in the process!

No recipe to share today. Maybe I will be able to dig up something extra good to share later in the week. But for now, a picture of our brand new shiny big truck! LOL! Harold has wanted one since we got married. It was this or a motorcycle and I really couldn't see myself riding around on the back of one! Besides where would we put all those bags of food on grocery shopping day! LOL!

Harold had the day off yesterday and we spent most of the day just riding around, doing errands and a lot of window shopping. We went to a different Walmart other than our usual and they still had oodles and oodles of DMC on sale so I stocked up AGAIN!

I am hoping that my order arrives this week and I can put my new rotation schedule into play by this coming Sunday.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Business as Usual

There are several more new pieces that will soon be added to my CURRENT PROJECTS list in my sidebar and by the end of the month I hope to have a full fledged rotation schedule in progress! For now, I will say that I am really excited about each of them! I have given you a sneak peek by naming one of them at the end of this post!

What have I worked on the past few days? Choosing my recipe to use for the Peek recipe swap. This time it is a Winter Treat theme! Working on The Willow Tree Sampler, catching up on some scrapbooking, The Hunt Sampler and making up a list of thread colors I am out of and need to pick up for certain projects!

Tomorrow is October 10th. The deadline I had set for myself to finish up The Willow Tree Sampler. As I had fore seen, it is not yet completed. But I have gotten a lot more done on it meaning I am getting closer and closer to the end! If I can finish it up before Thanksgiving I will be happy!

Another chart on my upcoming order is Victoria's Quaker! Yummy! I do so miss having a LNS nearby! I enjoy the anticipation of a good mail order but there is nothing like going in to fondle everything and then bring your purchases directly home to enjoy!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunday News

I took yesterday as a day off from blogging. I didn't hear from the doctor on Friday as I had hoped to. Maybe I will hear something good by early in the week. I would really like to get on this medicine and have time to get my levels adjusted before the holidays begin and all the busyness that goes along with them!

I used the time to work on some stitching that I recently started. Here is a picture of the Hunt Sampler. What a great piece! Such a smooth and easy stitch. I am loving working on this one! The cover picture shows it done in all one color (navy blue) but I wanted to add some variety and use several colors (like Mindi did) that will fit into our home's color scheme. It's hard to see in the picture but the design in the center of the small medallion is done in green. Some updating to my wish list is in the midst of being taken care as well! Gotta get it ready for dh and the holidays coming up! *big wink*

I also tidied up my crafting goodies! I put away a BIG stack of scrapbooking layouts into albums! Finally! And I sorted through a stack of stitching threads that made their home on the end table of my stitching chair! Now I only have out what I actually need for the current WIP.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday Five

Do you like online catalogs as much as I do? I thought I would share a few of my favorites.

I will be so glad when the doctor decides I am ready to start taking thyroid hormones! The past few months have been like a horrible roller coaster ride and I am more than ready to start taking some meds that will help level me off a bit! After yesterday's visit, she is hoping that I will be starting on it this weekend, depending on my lab results. Fingers crossed! I am so ready to get back to old self!

Look at the additions on my sidebar! I have added some new needlework blogs. As we get into the weekend, I hope to add a few new Current Projects also. I forgot to name a chart from my recent order yesterday so I will name two of them today! Flea Market Souvenir by Blackbird Designs and Acorn Hill by Little House Needleworks.

How about this fella? I love to add to my holiday ornaments each year and he was too cute to pass up while we were out yesterday!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Want Some Soup?

Time for another Autumn recipe!

Loaded Potato Soup (serves 8)

8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
8 cups milk
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Place cubed potatoes into a glass dish, and cook in the microwave oven for 7 to 10 minutes, or until soft.
While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour until smooth, then gradually stir in the milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Stir in the potatoes and onion, and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in the sour cream and Cheddar cheese until melted and well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with crisp bacon bits, grated cheese and a spoonful of sour cream! YUM!

I finally got to pick up my stitching again after all the confusion around here the past few weeks. This is how my Willow Tree Sampler looked yesterday. More has been done on it since then. I am hoping to meet my deadline goal of October 10th but the closer it gets, the more I wonder if it will be completed. DH will be taking me to a dr. appointment tomorrow (a good hour drive) so I plan to take this along to work on in the car.

I am still feeling rather sluggish after all that has happened recently so I will take some advice this month from a very wise song.

Nothing's impossible I have found,
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up,
Dust myself off,
Start all over again.

Don't lose your confidence if you slip,
Be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up,
Dust yourself off,
Start all over again.

I added a few more items to my October goals list to help give me the shove I need to get started!

1. Start working on Cross Stitch Lottery piece
2. Start posting on group blogs (I have been lax in this area)
3. Start on some smalls
4. Recipe swap at Peek
5. Do a Crazy Exchange for ??

I also ordered Phoebe's Forest by The City Stitcher yesterday. I have loved this pattern for quite awhile. Now I will just keep my fingers crossed it is in stock!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Thank You, My Friends

The first thing I want to do this morning is send out a big thank you to all of you who read my blog! And an even bigger thank you to those of you that post comments! I don't get quite as many comments as some blogs I read get but each one I do get is special to me and a comment from a friend! Thank you all for taking time to come spend part of your busy days with me!

This is the picture that hangs in our dining area now. Or one of them! A different piece of art used to hang in this frame in this very spot but after we painted I decided to change things around a bit.

I am finally ready to place my order for some new goodies! I bet you want to know what I plan to get! Don't you? LOL! I will tell you an item a day so it doesn't seem like so much! I just couldn't stand it anymore and had to get the Houses of Hawk Run Hollow chart by Carriage House Samplings! I may have bitten off more than I can chew with this one but I just love watching everyone else's progress with it so I took the plunge! *wink*

Monday, October 01, 2007

Hello October!

When it rains, it pours. Or so they say. So much has happened last month to throw our normal dull lives AND our house into utter turmoil. I definitely need to pay some attention to doing some cleaning around here the next few days! Hopefully everything is over for awhile and we can get back on track with our ordinary drab lives now!

Several people have asked how old my MIL was at her passing. She was 85. As I said she lived a long life. Married 64 years, 5 children, 11 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

No stitching for me the past few nights again. By the time we would finally get home from all we had to do, I was too exhausted to do much else other than just fall into my chair. I will be glad to get back on my schedules for stitching and scrapbooking! I did make this journal awhile back and never got a chance to post it. I can keep pictures of my stitching along with dates and special comments in here.

Time to review last month's goals and list my goals for Oct. Hopefully I will be able accomplish more this month!

1. Continue working on And A Forest Grew - YES
2. Complete Willow Tree Sampler - NO
3. Get new chairs for house - YES
4. Get new rug for living area - YES
5. At least one new stitching start - NO
6. Stitch no less than 2 smalls - NO
7. Paint the kitchen - NO

1. Continue working AAFG
2. Complete Willow Tree Sampler
3. Two New Starts
4. Work on 30 day journal at Peek
5. Catch up on housework (YUK)

September did turn out to be a good blog month for me as I ran across some new ones to add to my list of those I enjoy reading but all in all September was a long and hard month around here. I am glad to see it end. Hopefully, October will bring happy times for us again and lots of new beginnings!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Rest in Peace

My Mother In Law passed away last night. It was quick and peaceful. She had a long life that had become hard for her at the end so I am glad there was no pain for her. I wanted to share this picture of her when she was much younger and so happy along with being full of dreams for the future instead of a more recent one where you can see how tired she was becoming. She often talked of going home to see her beloved husband who passed away several years ago.

Rest in Peace.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Nature's Bounty

Some of the wonderful berries in my yard that the birds love to snack on! These are only a few of the varieties I have planted for them.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Birds and Trees

Where do Christmas trees come from? Why, Christmas Tree Farms, of course! This picture was taken earlier this summer on one of our day trips and I totally forgot about it with so many other things going on! We saw oodles of Christmas Tree Farms like this one while in the mountains and it really put us in an early holiday mood! Ho Ho Ho!

Time to update my Wishlist and some of the links on my sidebar!

Harold is working extra hours for awhile. Until this job is finished my calendar is totally turned around for awhile! Sunday seems like Monday. Thursday seems like Saturday. Monday seems like Friday. Hopefully this won't last very long. For awhile I have to find recipes to make for dinner that I can fix early enough for me and the boys to eat and being able to reheat (or keep hot) for Harold when he gets home a few hours later without that stale "nuked" taste.

Cooking for the birds! Yep, you read right! Even our feathered friends enjoy a nice homebaked meal from time to time! Next time you have a little time to spare, try out this recipe. Your backyard buddies will thank you!

Seed Cornbread
Get a package of cornbread mix.
Prepare it as directed on the package except add an extra egg (egg shells crumbled into the mixture also.)
Add 1 c. bird seed. (I often add some dried fruit and nuts as well)
If the mixture is too dry, add a little more water.
Bake as directed on package. Cool.

Cut into serving size pieces. Freeze in small freezer bags until needed. Defrost and crumble into pieces onto a platform feeder and watch your birds devour it!

I am looking to comfort myself with a nice order. Cross stitch. Scrapbooking. Maybe a little of both?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Open House

I have a thing for houses. I love to use them in my decor. Pillows, wall hangings, and more. I also have a love for birds (big surprise), small wildlife and trees. Of course they all seem to tie into together. The backyard of our HOUSE is always busy with BIRDS & SMALL WILDLIFE because of all the TREES! Any wonder I want to do a wall for each of these! YIKES!

I have recently set a goal for myself of October 10th to complete The Willow Tree Sampler so that I can put this piece aside and begin several new starts. I am at the half way mark so I should be able to meet this goal or get very close to finishing.

October 1st, I will begin a 30 Day Journal over at Peek ( with some prompts for an insight into my everyday life and the things often taken for granted.

I recently joined the Crazy-Exchange at It looks like a lot of fun and I am anxious to get started!

Monday, September 24, 2007


It's Monday and I have nothing to show. In all honesty, I will be glad when this month is over. Possibly a new month will give me the feeling of a new beginning which is what I need right now.

Even though it has been exactly one week today since we took Whiner for his last visit to the vet, I feel much better. I still cry from time to time but I know in my heart he is better off with no anguish. Now it just a matter of getting myself moving again and back on the track of life.

I did go outside yesterday and roamed the yard with my camera and took some pictures. I puttered around the garden area and put out some mums for some extra Fall color and put fresh wter in the bird bath.The temps sure didn't feel like Fall but the colors of the season were beginning to make an appearance. Sweater days are not far behind.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Section One

Is almost complete. By the time I do another update, I should be well into section two after a run to pick up some needed thread colors.

As I worked on And A Forest Grew this week, I felt a certain peace. I even found myself smiling. For some reason it managed to help comfort me. So much of it has reminded me of Whiner and how he loved to walk in the backyard near the wooded area with the birds and other small wildlife critters.

For those who have inquired, I am starting to do better. I definitely feel better since bringing Whiner's ashes back home. Like Harold said "this is where he belongs". His memorial stone arrived yesterday and has been set out. The area looks lovely (which is also a comfort).

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Time Heals

It has definitely been a rough week. For some reason there was a delay about Whiner's cremation and I wasn't able to pick up his ashes to bring home until today. Very upsetting as I had been told they would be ready for me to come and get the day after his passing. But he is home now where he belongs. The picture is of the memorial I fixed up out back in the area he loved best. The flowers are not in full bloom yet nor has his memorial stone arrived but time will take care of all of this.

I have tried to do some scrapbooking but it has just been too hard for me. This was a hobby that Whiner shared with me. He always wanted me to scrap on the bed so that he could lay near me and play with the scraps of paper I would discard. I tried to scrapbook in a different area but there was no inspiration. When I moved my supplies to the bed, all I could do was cry. It will take awhile before I am able to resume this hobby. I know that time will heal this terrible loss I feel right now.

I have been able to do more and more stitching the past few days. Whiner wasn't involved in this hobby as much (basically only laying at my feet) so it easier for me to do without the heavy flood of memories and emotions.

I realize that last week I had announced that I would begin several new pieces but considering all that has happened recently, I am going to post pone these for awhile and work on what I have already have in progress along with some smalls I would like to do. For now, these are more than enough for me - at least until my energy level begins to rise again.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Days and Nights

The past several days and nights have definitely been extremely hard for me. Especially the nights. I am so used to feeling Whiner snuggled up against me as I sleep and I have had a hard time sleeping without him. I am still feeling an empty kind of tired but I know that I must begin to move on with life. It will be slow for awhile. I have had many friends reach out to me during this time which has meant a lot to me. Thank you all.

I did do a little stitching last night. Not much but it was a beginning after this long break. It wasn't enough to bother taking a picture of but hopefully I can begin doing a little more each day now.

We have been having such beautiful Fall days this week and this is a perfect recipe for enjoying in the Autumn.

Caramel Apple Dip

8 oz. Cream Cheese softened
1/2 c. caramel ice cream topping
1/4 c. honey
3 - 4 green and red apples, cored and sliced

In a medium serving bowl, combine cream cheese, caramel topping, honey and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Beat until smooth. Store in refrigerator til chilled. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve with apple slices. Makes 2 cups.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Goodbye, my little sweetheart. This morning I held you in my arms as you fell into a sleep that will last forever. It was fast and peaceful. I cried as I watched your tiny body lay on my lap, taking its last breaths. When I came home, I stood on the deck looking at the area you loved to walk among the bird feeders and a wren began to sing. I believe in my heart it was singing for you. You are gone from our lives but never from our hearts.

You came into our lives quite by accident. It had been decided there would be no more dogs which was a decision I intended to change someday but when we were given the opportunity to take the boys over to a friends to see some new puppies, I had no idea I would fall in love. It was agreed that the boys could have a puppy but it was I who ended up choosing which one to bring home. As I held you, my heart melted. It was you or nothing. You came home with us and won the hearts of everyone. You and I have shared the most special bond and you have been my third child.

It was Michael who decided that you needed a middle name and was allowed to give it to you. Whiner Leon Human. It worked and there was no argument from us about it. Your full name was used often especially when you were bad.

As you got older, your sight failed and your hearing vanished. Your mind become a clouded fuzz. It became harder and harder to care for your needs. It became apparent the time was nearing the end. It took along time for everyone in the family to accept this fact and come to terms to life without you.

Thank you --

for loving us unconditionally.

for all the nights you would sleep curled up next to me.

for protecting me when Harold worked odd hours.

for missing me whenever I went out to run errands.

for making us laugh.

for the wonderful memories I have.

for being the wonderful valued family member you were.

I love you and I will always miss you.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

New Beginnings and Sad Goodbyes

It's a new week and lots of new things going on! New chairs, new cross stitch starts begin this week, new glasses (I decided to get a second pair in large frames!), a new TV, my new rug has been shipped and a new stand for the TV. I hate to write about everything in one blog post and possibly miss some great details so I will spread out everything over the course of this week!

I love our new chairs! Especially mine! The print is so yummy and the picture doesn't do it justice! I bought that wonderful stitching basket a while back on sale with the intentions of putting it beside my chair when it arrived. Harold was a sweetie and installed the wall lamp to give me some extra light while I stitch! I can vision many projects being worked on (and finished) in this chair!

Over the weekend we made a quick Wally World stop and I grabbed several BIG handfuls of DMC that was on clearance! The selection was already mighty thin but I was able to get 30 skeins of floss for $3.00! A lot of greens which will probably come in handy on AAFG! What a great buy!

We finally got rain that was needed so desperately and it was extremely welcome! I'm sure the plants are much happier with a fresh rain shower than with a substitute soaking via the hose!

We went to the lake over the weekend. My BIL and SIL have boat and took us out. What a great time! I am already looking forward to going out on the lake with them again!

On a sad note, tomorrow we will be taking Whiner into the vet's to be put down after 17 years of loving companionship. I have already done so much of my grieving as I have known for quite awhile this was inevitable. It just took awhile longer for other family members to finally accept it. The thought of walking through a house without his presence is very upsetting.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Full Circle

I promised a better picture of me in my new glasses. This is about as good as it's gonna get! I really do miss my larger frames and am seriously thinking about getting a second pair so that I can have both looks as my mood desires.

I have been asked if I still scrapbook since I talk about stitching quite a bit now. DEFINITELY, I still scrap! For me, scrapbooking is a daytime hobby while cross stitching is a night time hobby. Scrapping is about action with photography and journaling. Stitching is relaxing and calming. The perfect way to unwind in the evenings.

So what are my new stitching starts going to be? The new starts are marked by a * and will begin next week. All have a reserved spot waiting for them to be hung up!

Mon --- Willow Tree Sampler (I am nearing the half way mark on this piece)

*Tues -- Because Nice Matters*

*Wed - various smalls for ornaments, pin cushions, pillows, ect.*

Thurs - And a Forest Grew (LOTS left to do!)

*Fri - Matter's Choice*

Sat - Free Stitch

Sun - Free Stitch

Our new chairs will be delivered sometime today so I should have a picture of those to share by tomorrow! Also, we heard from the warranty place about our TV and were given a voucher to pick out a brand new television! Hopefully we will be going to the store to do that today and I will have a picture of it to post as well. A NEW tv to watch while I sit and stitch in my NEW chair! Can life get any better? *wink wink*

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Found a fun test to share

Your Brain is Blue

Of all the brain types, yours is the most mellow.
You tend to be in a meditative state most of the time. You don't try to think away your troubles.
Your thoughts are realistic, fresh, and honest. You truly see things as how they are.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about your friends, your surroundings, and your life.

Nature's Bounty

These pictures were taken when we took a day trip to Grandfather Mountain this summer. So much beautiful nature. What a great place to refresh your soul and spirit! And yes, we were at the top of the mountain and the clouds danced around our ankles as we walked!

A lot of people have asked just how close I was to the Mountain Lion to get this picture. LOL! Actually -- TOO CLOSE! Even though you are walking above the animal's habitat area, it is not caged. These mountain lions CAN JUMP HIGH enough to get out if provoked! While we were admiring these beauties, Harold turned to me and said "That mountain lion sure is staring mighty hard at you, Sherry". He wasn't staring at me but at the little girl next to me (about 3 years old) that kept screaming with an excited high pitch voice "I see Tigers! I see Tigers!" Maybe he didn't like her high pitched screaming or maybe he didn't appreciate the fact she mistook him for a Tiger. Whatever the reason, I moved away from her! There is a reason they have up signs that say DO NOT TEASE, SCREAM AT OR PROVOKE THE MOUNTAIN LIONS.

Stitchy News! My JSC Ornament issue arrived yesterday! Lots of drooling while I thumbed through it!