Needlework, Finishing, Designing, Quilting, Some Discoveries and Adventures in Stitching from Windy Ridge Designs

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What A Week!

So I lived through the BIG one!  Yep, all 5.9 sizemos or whatever they're called.  Thought I was gonna die.  Thought that some terrorist organization had dropped a bomb on Washington and was in a panic until I knew my husband was OK and it was confirmed that it really was what I said it felt like - an earthquake!!!  In beautiful, pastoral Virginia of all places.  Now, you west coasters may laugh at us, but it's just not something that happens around here with great regularity.  In fact, never in my lifetime - the last one of any similar size having been in 1944 and the last one of that size to occur in Virginia was in 1897.  And in either case, I'm just not that old!  And I really can't believe that we've had "aftershocks".  When we do have a tremor - which I have never felt here, they announce it on the news and we all go "huh!".

The first big aftershock happened in the middle of the night.  I was sound asleep with the 80 pound golden retriever at my feet.  He jumped up like a scalded cat and scared me so bad I had to get up and pee.  Heart pounding, I returned to bed, he did a couple of turns, lay down, and went back to sleep.  I lay there looking at my toes telling myself how much I really do love him.  In the morning it was "BREAKING NEWS" that we'd had an aftershock at such and such a time.  At which point I looked at him and said that it was as good an explanation for his rude behavior in the middle of the night as we were gonna get.  I'm pretty sure there was one last night.  We were watching T.V. and I was stitching.  Things were relatively quiet except that I'm kinda hard of hearing and have to turn up the T.V. to hear it.  Suddenly Buddy jumped up and began barking fiercely.  Good lord!  I jumped like a scalded cat!

As I told you, my husband's birthday is this month.  We finally had a chance to celebrate this weekend.  I was at the grocery store picking up what I'd need to create the culinary masterpiece he'd requested.  I was in a hurry, getting home later than I'd wanted and still having places to go so I went to the self-check lane.  Last summer I completed a training course on the self-check lane with my son.  He was very frustrated with me, but I did finally succeed in showing him that I am trainable (darnit!).  So I go through there pretty quickly now that I know what I'm doing.  So I have this big tub of Greek yogurt in my hand, just about to scan it.  I hear "Ma'am"  "Excuse me, Ma'am".  It's funny, I still don't think I'm old enough to be called "Ma'am" so I generally don't pay any attention.  But, the self-check lanes were pretty deserted at that time so I kinda figured it was someone trying to get my attention.  It was the cashier that stands at the kiosk to make sure you pay for everything.  When I turned she began waving me over to the kiosk.  I still have that tub of yogurt in my hand and I'm slowing walking over there, very confused, not knowing what she wants me for.  However, I had brought my own bag so I was just piling my groceries on the scale with the bags to stop the annoying machine from telling me "Please Place the Item in the Bag".  So, I thought she was going to chastize me for this.  As I approach the kiosk however, she starts waving her arms like a madwoman and telling me it was my lucky day!  Yippie!

There's another woman standing there - I assumed she'd been signing her credit receipt as I would be doing in a few minutes.  She has a surprised/concerned look on her face.  The cashier is still waving her arms.  In one hand she has a sheaf of small papers.  I begin backing away.  This woman concerns me.  She tells me to stop.  I keep backing away.  She starts to follow me.  I said, my purse is over here - to explain why I'm backing away - which was true, it was sitting there on the self-check machine.  But in truth I just wanted to get away from her period.

So she says "Oh, I'll take care of that"  and like any good running back, she does an end-run around me, grabs up my purse, puts it on her shoulder and dashes back to the kiosk where the other woman is still standing.  Her eyebrows are now up in the rafters!  Me, I'm after her faster than a speeding bullet.  And remember, I'm still holding that tub of yogurt in my hand.  At that very moment I actually considered lobbing it at her head.  My blood was boiling!  So the cashier tells me that this other woman has just donated so much money to a particular charity which has earned her so many chances to complete and drop into the box for a drawing.  This is apparently what the sheaf of papers in her hand was all about.  In reality, her mouth was moving, but I was hearing "blah, blah, blah, blah" 'cause I was really seeing red now.  She'd put her finger on one of my shopping pet peaves which I'll get to later.

Finally she drew breath and I pointed at my purse on her shoulder and said, "I'd like you to give me my purse now."  I enunciated every word very slowly and clearly - I do that when I'm really p----ed.  She replies oh, sure and turns her body for me to lift my purse off her shoulder.  I'm still considering the yogurt.  Then she attempts to launch back into my lucky day.  I look at the other woman - still standing there - and I look back at the cashier and I said "I don't know what's going on here.  Thank you, but no, I am not interested.  Please give them to someone else."  With that I went back to the self-check and finished my scanning and completed my order.  However, at this particular store, you have to sign your credit receipt at the kiosk.  I took my time packing my groceries in my bag - telling myself  think happy thoughts think happy thoughts and finally turned to the kiosk.  They were still there, both looking at me.  One with concern, the other with this (sorry) stupid grin on her face.  I walked up to the kiosk and asked if she had something for me to sign.  She had my receipt and I signed it, giving her back the receipt and her pen; all very professional.  I was just going to walk away.  But then she opened her mouth and said she was sorry, she just wanted me to have those chances.  Then the other woman chimed in about how she'd been in the banking industry for 30 years and she was so proud of how I'd handled myself and that she knew this woman who'd taken my purse and she couldn't think of anyone more trustworthy.  I just looked at them both (trying to equalize "purse snatcher" and "trustworthy" in my head) and said "I don't know either one of you."  Then, to the cashier, "What you did was very wrong and you should never do something like that to anyone again." I still wasn't quite sure if I wanted to lob that tub of yogurt at them - especially after the "proud" comment.  But, I think in all fairness, that woman wanted to dig a hole in the floor and pull it in over herself - being appalled at what the cashier had done and was really just trying to find the best way out of a bad (for her friend) situation.

As I walked past the customer service desk I thought, all I need to do is go there and have them look at the security tapes.  She would lose her job on the spot for what she'd done.  I can be a real pissant sometimes.  I was that mad, I considered it.  But in this economy it's hard for people to find jobs so I didn't.  It was hard.  I was really mad.  But, I told myself it was over, I had my purse back, I'd kept my eye on it the whole time, no harm, no fowl.  I sure hope she learned something.  And I'm sure that the two of them stood there and watched me walk past that desk and out the door - holding their breath the whole time. I think things like this happen to me because my soul still has a long journey to take through many lives ('cause I'm such a pissant).  This was another one of those darned karma tests, I'm sure of it.  Hope I got a good grade. My son, who works for the competitor grocery store around here was absolutely appalled that I didn't go to customer service and have her fired.  But I think that was mostly bluster because I'm his mom. 

And now we're dealing with the hurricane.  In fact, where we live, there will be little effect.  However, Washington will be another story.  And I've had the news coverage on today as background noise while I worked on canning my tomatoes.  I'm worried about Glenna in Richmond, Alice in Fairfax and Nancy who lives somewhere in  Virginia.  I hope you guys are all all right.  And it's not going to be good for New York, Boston - New England in general either.  So all you all that are in harms way, just remember that the thoughts of one who will eventually be a better person are with you all the way!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Urned It

No, no, don't get the idea I'm patting myself on the back.  I've just had that post title running through my head these last ten days while I worked on The Chase sampler.  Here's why:

I finished both urns and flowers.  I am almost finished with the Jacobean Crewel portion of this sampler; just have those two little birds to do.

Here's a picture I took, indoors, that shows the crewel portion of the sampler and you can see the placement of the birds better.

Finally, I took a picture outside so you can really see the colors.  We have 98% humidity out there so I only stayed out for the one shot.

I have decided that on the two lines I will put my own information; my name, birth date and either birth place (as there is no sampler in my family commemorating my birth) or the name of the town I grew up in.  Right now I'm leaning toward the town I grew up in.  The original sampler has the stitchers info as well as a brief Bible snippet.  I don't know if I'll finish the sampler next month or not, but I'll come darned close!

I want to take an opportunity to say how impressed I am with the people who were attending the concert at the Indiana State Fair where the stage collapsed.  Incredibly brave people who ran into the fray to help those who couldn't help themselves.  And then I want to say how disappointed I am that law suits are already being filed.  Want to know what's wrong with society today?  That's one of the things.  Any opportunity to make a buck.  Anyone remember the phrase "act of God"?  Last weekend my husband made negative comments about the state leaders bringing in people to figure out what happened there - so soon without giving people an opportunity to grieve.  Me, the eternal pessimist, replied that I thought he was naive that lawsuits wouldn't begin pouring in the first week.  Well, guess I win that one - and I just think that's sad!

Back on the stitchy front, I was reading Mary Corbet's blog a week or so ago and she reviewed this book:

She talked about what a great read it was.  Mary so impressed me that I immediately went to Amazon and ordered myself a copy.  It has arrived and although I haven't had an opportunity to read it cover to cover like Mary, I have thumbed through it.  It is now sitting in my "to read" pile by the bed because it certainly deserves a closer look.  I think it will not only inspire design, but explains some older techniques that we may find interesting to use again.  Oh, and the author has two other books that I'm putting on my wish list!

Meanwhile, I needed to beef up my total so I could get that free Super Saver Shipping!  A book I'd had my eye on for quite a while is this one:

When it arrived, I started reading it that night and have read it every night since before going to bed.  My favorite historical era is the American Colonial Period and this is the best book I've ever read that gives you an idea of what it was like to live on a colonial plantation in Virginia.  Martha Washington was some kinda gal!  She has completely come alive for me.

That's all from me for now - hope you enjoyed!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August Update for AotH

Spent the week stitching away on the August block of Anniversaries of the Heart.  Had a lot of disappointments with regard to conversions.  My block doesn't look anything like the one on the cover of the chart.  I first pulled all the DMC colors the chart called for and then matched them with Weeks overdyed colors.  How it could have gone so wrong, I don't know.  I have a feeling that a lot of conversions are subjective.

At any rate, here it is:

In a pale pink/melon, I have stitched my female ancestor for this month:  Sarah Ann Bullock Young.  Sarah was born November 27, 1814.  She was married to Rufus Putnam Young in 1839, according to an old family bible.  They lived in both Kent and Newscastle Counties, Delaware as well as Cecil County, Maryland.  They were my Second Great Grandparents on my father's mother's side.  Sarah's name is done really pale because I don't know much about her.  It's almost as if she's completely fading from memory.

Sarah died in Whiteleysburg, Kent County, Delaware, in 1893.  So why did I put her in August?  Well, that's when I met her - so to speak.

We were up in Wilmington one August, several years ago and I'd found out that many of that branch of the family were buried at the Lombardy Cemetery.  I'd asked my husband if we could stop by so I could get the information off their tombstones.  When we finally did find the Lombardy Cemetery, it was SO disappointing.  It had apparently fallen out of perpetual care some time previously.  We walked the entire cemetery reading the stones.  Finally, in a section I found those stones that are down in the ground; I had to pull the grass up that had grown over the them to see whose they were.  They were the Youngs.  

Fortunately, the weekend before we'd been helping a friend with gardening work and just happened to have the tools still in the trunk of the car.  I pulled them out and went to work weeding.  I was very lucky to find them and get all the information off them.  It helped me to flesh out a part of my family tree that had been hanging leafless.  There were, however, a lot of Bullocks in Wilmington and I have yet to make a connection regarding Sarah - with them.  This fall we're going to go up to Wilmington to see Winterthur and visit the Delaware Historical Society in Wilmington so I can do a little research.  I haven't given up.  Finally, my husband's initials are on the pot for the sunflowers.  He's celebrating his birthday this month!  Hope you enjoyed.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Off Topic - Have You Seen Zen?

I've watched the three Zen Detective stories on Masterpiece Mystery these last few weeks.  I DVR them and it takes me a bit to catch up.  But, last night I saw "Ratking".  All three stories have been wonderful - intense, mysterious, and Rufus Sewell, well, he's just gorgeous.  His eyes have fire in them - or maybe it's call smolder.  Whatever it is, he's a dish! But, Zen is an Italian detective.  He's from Venice, working in Rome.  And the thing that really bothered me about the shows; distracted me many times, in fact, was that all the actors save one spoke with English accents.  Now, I've never been to Italy, but I suspect that Italians speak with Italian accents like Caterina Murino (Zen's love interest) and not English accents.

This series originally aired at the beginning of the year on BBC1 and I found some blog entries from reviewers where the comments were about 50/50 that the accents were confusing/distracting. Anyone else been watching?  Have an opinion?  At any rate, I enjoyed the series so much I'm going to check out the remainder of the books.  Maybe audio?

I have so little  time for reading.  Although, I did have a medical issue recently which left me on my back a few days.  Can't stitch that way, so I read.  First, I fiinished The Eagle by Rosemary Sutcliffe (begun many months ago).  They had a movie out last year based on the story and now that I've finished the book I'd like to see it.  The story, based in Roman Britain, was like a Jr. Reader.  It was interesting, had lots of history.  I recommended it to my son, but he didn't bite.

I pulled an old favorite off the bookshelf too - The Gamble by Lyvyrle Spencer.  Oh, that woman could write!  Toward the end of the story, they are in the main character's home "Waverly" a Southern plantation located in or near Columbus, Mississippi.  Turns out, there really is a Waverly Plantation Mansion just as it is described in the book.  And it's gorgeous!  And haunted!  ooooooowwwwwweeeeeeeoooooooooooo

Finally, a while back I mentioned an old favorite book by Elswyth Thane.  Well, here's another one.  I first read it when I was in the 7th grade.  It's called Mrs. Mike by Benedict & Nancy Freeman.  It's the story of a Boston girl (whose name is Katherine which is probably why I picked the book in the first place) who goes to visit her uncle in Saskatchewan and falls for a RCMP officer named Mike.  I vividly remember little Miss Boston's experience with a filthy rotating hand towel.  It was really funny!  Mike's beat is in the wilderness of the Northwest Territories of Canada - in and around the Great Slave Lake area.  Back then when I read about a place I didn't know, I'd pull out the National Geographic Atlas and look up the places they talked about on a map.  Make a whole research project out of it.  This book is probably how I learned about the Canadian provinces - there are a dozen of them.  And yes, because I am no longer smarter than a 5th grader, I had to look them up to refresh my memory!

Me and my stitchy friends were talking yesterday, trying to figure out why kids today have so little ambition.  I tend to think it's the Great Depression (and I don't mean financial).  When they see the world going to hell in a handbasket, do you think they are thinking, what's the point?  Any thoughts?