My Thoughts on Life and Family and Where Every Stitch is a hope, a dream, a smile, a prayer, a good thought.

Friday, February 01, 2008

It's The Weekend!!

Good Morning Everyone!! Well it is half the weekend for me. DD is off school today and I think she is still sleeping. We have plans later which includes her working on a project that is due Monday. DS has school but it is a fun day for him as it is Patriot Pride Day and he can wear jeans along with his HS emblem t-shirt.

It has been a busy week for DH this week. I never imagined that he would have most of the cabinets installed this week but there isn't much left to do in the way of the actual install process. Of course there is still a lot of work to do as there is the trim, lightrails, tile backsplash, etc. BUT my new kitchen is looking like a kitchen finally. I am so happy and never dreamed I would ever have a kitchen like this one. Since early in our marriage, I always dreamed of a big kitchen but was always happy with what I had. Now I am going to have something that I hand-picked. Cool!!

Here is a photo of the sink side of the kitchen. I think the dishwasher looks cool with the cabinets. It will be even better when it is all hooked up and working. My hands are being destroyed because of the hand washing everything and the cold weather. But hand cream seems to be finally working and it won't be long now before that baby is washing and drying our dishes.

This next picture is the stove/refrigerator side of the kitchen. Hopefully tonight or tomorrow, DH will have the rest of the cabinets up and the refrigerator in place. I would have taken a picture of the fridge but there are tools in the way (what else is new in this house these days?)

And here is my new stove. It is not white, it is stainless. It is just all covered in this protector stuff and everything else. I don't want DH unwrapping it til it needs to be put in its place.

And here is my stitching for the week. It is not much, but I have been trying to sit for at least 15-30 minutes each day and do a little bit. This week found me a little anxious and unsettled and I didn't want to have to frog any stitches so I left it alone a few days to avoid the ripping out. I know if I have to start ripping, it will all be put away yet again. I don't want that happening.

It is shaping up to be a busy weekend around here. Besides DD's report, we have lots going on. DS has been invited to a Freshman Dance at our local high school (not his). It is just a friend and she doesn't live far away. But most of his other friends will be there so he should have a blast tonight. I still don't know what time the dance is and I have stopped bugging DS about it. I did my part with the permission slip and clothing. He needs to find out when to be ready and if we are driving to or from the dance. I don't know the girl's parents but they live near my father in law so it isn't far away or in some unknown area where I am prone to get lost without Mapquest or DH's GPS.
Kitchen related, we are going to pick out the granite this weekend too. Then after that, the granite company will come out and make templates. I "think" shortly after that it will be installed within a couple of weeks. I don't know all this stuff exactly. I am finding that if my brain gets overloaded with unknown building stuff, I tend to have selective hearing. But all is good. I will be educated in that this weekend. I just need to decide on a color of granite. I have a feeling that will not be easy. It took me over a week to pick out paint. I won't have a week to pick out stone.
I also need to look at faucets again. I did a search online at the local stores but the pictures do not do these faucets any justice. I need to see these in person. As an example, I saw my sister-in-law's faucet online. It is beautiful up close and personal. The picture is ugly and for the price, I can see people saying they would never pay the price for that faucet. Yet, like I said, it is beautiful. So that is also on the agenda.
There are other things going on but at the moment, I can't remember. I just know that I want to enjoy the weekend and I want DH to get the kitchen futher to completion. I think that is why I am having anxiety problems. LOL It comes and goes but I am like a kid waiting for Christmas these days and I really need to settle down a bit. Otherwise, I will never get my kitchen stitching finished in time for the grand opening.
Have a great weekend everyone!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Focus, Baby!!

After spending a weekend with boxes of cabinets all around and dealing with DH tiling the kitchen and the dust of him having to cut the drywall in order to anchor cabinets, I figured out I need to remove myself from the situation for a bit. Right now I am anxious, excited, tired, excited and worse than a kid waiting for Santa to arrive at Christmas. Sooooooooo...I sat down and decided to stitch. After about 3 minutes tops, I put it down, grabbed my coat and DD and went out and did errands. That cleared my head and my wallet but at least it was stuff that we needed and not impulse stuff. I am getting good at making a list and sticking to it. It is the only way the budget will survive these days. I came home to DH still tiling, cabinets still everywhere you can see and decided to get on the computer. I really wanted to settle in and stitch but it just wasn't happening. Then it hit me... While I was trying to get motivated by reading blogs, looking at all of your finishes and WIPS, it came to me. I need some focus. With focus will come the concentration I need to settle down a bit. Of course, it is easier said than done. This all came to me on Saturday and here it is Tuesday. But I have a plan and it will start later today. That is my goal. Later today... I tried yesterday but I had to clean up from all the dust that was made from the NEW drywall being cut. Do you know I really REALLY despise cleaning? I need a maid. When I win the lottery, I am getting a maid. Then again, she will probably quit because I live with slobs. So I better get used to the fact that I am the maid.

Okay I digress...this post is about focus and what I plan on doing. I have quite a few things I want to stitch for my kitchen along with quite a few things that have already been stitched. For the moment I have two kitchen WIPS. They are "Coffee" by Mystic Stitch and "Chef's Wardrobe" by Sue Hillis. I will be jumping back and forth between those two til they are finished or close to finish. Chef's Wardrobe will be finished sooner and then I will add another to my list. Hey, I get a new start sometime in the near future. That is something to look forward to. It has been a long time since I started something NEW.

Now for the already stitched pieces. They are somewhere in my attic which is somewhere in my new upstairs in a box (I hope). Years ago, I bought 6 kits (I was a novice back then) of coffee pots and had them hanging in my old kitchen in my old house. The frames will not match the new kitchen and I am so sure they are dusty (especially if they are not in a box somewhere). So the plan is to unframe them, rewash, stretch and press them and put them in brand new frames that will match my new kitchen. I already know they will go along the top of the huge window. DH even thinks they will look great there as they are each 5 X 7 in size and very colorful. So my plan is to dig them out, check them out and then put them aside til I can get new frames. My only saving grace is that they are all under glass so any damage done will be minimal. I just hope I can locate them quickly. There is lots of stuff in the new upstairs.

So there you have it. I am going to focus and settle down and stitch. It is all there waiting at my stitching side of the sofa. I am hoping to get something done while I do my laundry today. I still have some more cleaning up to do but that is minimal compared to yesterday.

On the kitchen front, the first cabinet was hung up last night. I was going to take a picture but I think I will wait til more are hung up so you can get the full effect. I still don't like the picture I showed you the other day. In the meantime, while you are waiting for kitchen pictures, I may have a cross stitch picture to share. I just need to focus...

Have a great day everyone!


Friday, January 25, 2008

They're Here!! They're Here!!

FINALLY!!! After many long months (even though this part of the addition is relatively new), my cabinets arrived this morning. I have looked at so many cabinets, etc. in the past couple of months that I forgot what they looked like. DH unboxed one and I said it is lighter in color than I remember. But I am in love with them and can't wait til they are installed.

We chose a teal colored paint for the walls. DH wanted a blue shade. I wanted a green shade. So this was a compromise. I was not crazy about it at first but once the second coat was on and it dried I was very pleased. I was even more pleased when I made DH put a cabinet next to the wall to see if it looked good with the cabinet. He got a little worried because I have mentioned a few times this week that I may want the paint color changed. This was the true test and I am very pleased with the result.

It is not the best picture but here is the cabinet next to the wall. In looking at the photo, the color looks different up close and personal. But at least you get the idea. Hopefully at the end of the weekend, I will have another picture or two. DH is installing the tiles this weekend.

In stitching news, I have been stitching but not a lot. I have managed maybe an hour tops all week. It is exam week here at our house and I was busy helping DS study and prepare for this exams. He is finished and I can pretty much relax this weekend and hopefully get lots of stitching done.

DD does not have exams til June but she has been busy with a book report and just general tests and quizzes.

I guess that is about it from here. I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend. I plan on stitching, relaxing and having fun!!


Friday, January 18, 2008

Camera Found!

After I posted yesterday, it started bothering me that I could not locate the camera ANYWHERE!!! So after much searching I managed to find it in my very messy living room. So to give you a visual update, here are some photos I took just a few minutes ago.

This first picture is what is left of my "old" kitchen. I still have the stove and fridge and a few cabinets. The plastic covered wall you see is now the wall of my new kitchen. It used to be my sink, dishwasher, window to the outside and a few cabinets.
This next picture is the back section of my new kitchen. If I were to stand outside and take the picture I would have gotten the whole thing but I wasn't about to stand on slush covered steps. The door leads to the side/back yard area of the house. The window is on the side of house (driveway) and that is where my new sink will be.

This next one is the front half of the kitchen. My kitchen table will go in front of that window. This is also the front of the house. And I have to tell you that with no lights in there and the blinds open, it is so bright and cheery (well as cheery as drywalled walls can be LOL).

This is the view from my dining room showing the entryway into the new kitchen. My DH made that curved archway (well he made everything) but I am proud that he didn't just settle on having it squared. He added something special to the entryway.

And to prove that my living room is a mess, here is the proof. Please know that I am not a messy person and the rest of the house is clean and as neat as can possibly be during this renovation. I need normalcy and the other areas of the house are cleaner than they have been BEFORE the building of the addition. LOL In this picture you can see the contents of most of the cabinets that we had to empty along with a few of the old cabinets that DH is going to hang in our cantina (wine cellar/storage). I found my camera in that mess. Not easy considering the camera was not in its case and is very small compared to what I had to sift through on the tabletops.

And because I mentioned it yesterday, here is a photo of DD and myself after she received her DARE medal. Please excuse my looks. In this picture I am in DIRE need of a haircut. Also, I am not tall. DD is just very petite for her age. It is a shame that DH had to leave. What a moment that was when she got that medal. Even she was not expecting that after having to read her essay.

And last, here is where I left off on Chef's Wardrobe when I put it away. I never got a chance to stitch last night as there was homework and phone calls and whatnot. But I do plan on putting some stitches in between now and the long weekend we are going to have. Especially since the weather is supposed to turn very, very cold by Sunday. I plan on staying in and cuddling up on the sofa and stitching on Chef's Wardrobe.

Well I guess that is about it from here. I need to get myself together as I am finally getting that haircut today. I can't wait. If I have progress on Chef's Wardrobe I will make sure to take a picture to share with all of you.
Have a great Friday and a great weekend everyone!

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

It has been a very long time since I have updated my blog. I almost thought of just deleting it but I knew there would come a time when I would want to return.

Lots has happened and it would take many posts to update you all on my life. I have missed reading everyone's blogs and have been trying to catch up in the last few days.

Since my last post, my stitching mojo was completely gone. Gasp...stitching felt like a chore instead of the joy you are supposed to get. When I started frogging more than stitching all got put away. In the past week or so, I am getting the itch to get back to it. There are a lot of reasons but the most important is that sometime in the next 6 weeks, my new kitchen will be complete or at least functional. DH has drywalled the room and is now spackling it so it can be painted.

Our cabinets are ordered and should be here in the next 2 weeks or so. I still need to buy the appliances but I have picked them out so it is a matter of going to the right store for the best deal. We bought the tiles for the floor so things are moving and moving fast. I am loving that I am now seeing the room that it will be as opposed to this big empty space that reminded me of a barn. We also need to pick out paint and the tile for the backsplash. But that shouldn't be too hard. It means a trip to either Home Depot or Lowes or both. :)

Some time between now and the weekend, I will pull out a WIP (Chef's Wardrobe) so it will be ready to hang in the new kitchen. I guess that is where the mojo is starting to return. And it helps that the weather is colder and I am tired of just watching t.v. or getting on the computer at night.

We are all doing well and the holidays were wonderful. The kids are doing well in school and DS's adjustment to high school is pretty much on a good path with just a couple of bumps here and there. Much better than a few months ago when I was living with rose colored glasses on. LOL He is now getting excited about going to the "Snow Ball" on Friday evening. Yes it is another dance and yes, I will be a nervous wreck that night.

During the Christmas season, DS was in his school's concert. What a beautiful concert it was. It was the Band and the Chorus and I never heard such beautiful music and heard such beautiful voices. It really put Christmas into perspective.

He is loving school and the activities he is involved in. He is turning into a great young man. I always knew he would as he was a great baby, toddler, child, and so on. I just wish sometimes that he wasn't such a TEENAGER. Oy, the attitude he gives us sometimes.

DD is doing exceptionally well. This past Fall, her class completed the DARE program. They had to write an essay at the end of the program. Unknown to DH and myself, DD won the essay contest out of the entire 5th grade. Her class had one boy and one girl win the essay. Hers was much better than the boy that won in her class. About a week or two before the closing ceremony, DD's teacher kept asking me if we were attending. "Of course" was my reply. At the last minute it looked like DH was not going to be able to make it. But that was still okay and DD was fine with it. The teacher kept saying to me to "try" to see if DH could make it. I never knew about the essay contest UNTIL the actual ceremony. In the end DH was there but left before the medal ceremony. Again, we had no idea and he had to get back to work. I was shocked and surprised when they had her go up to the sergeant to get her medal. I was crying and I don't think I stopped til after I picked her up from school that day.

Then to make matters even better, that same week, she was chosen from the 5th grade choir to sing cantor at First Friday Mass on January 4. I never heard "Joy to the World", "Christ has died (sung during Eucharistic Prayer) and the Great Amen sound so beautiful. I am tearing up now just remembering that day at Mass which was probably the best Mass I ever attended.

Since then we have cleaned up from the holidays, made a mess with the existing kitchen (I have no sink or dishwasher and have to use the laundry room tub for dishes) but everything is starting to fall into place and we see the light at the end of the tunnel

With any luck, I will pull out my stitching later and will take joy in those stitches I stitch. I also hope to update more on here. I need to take pictures but can't find the camera (half of the contents of my cabinets are in the living room) and hopefully I will have some pictures to share with you very soon.

I hope you all have a great day and keep warm if you are in my part of the world where it is very VERY cold and we are expecting a wintry mess a/k/a snow, sleet, rain later today.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Quick Update

So much for trying to blog more. LOL It has been crazy around here. I think I am spending more time in the car than I actually do at home or anywhere else. My kids are really keeping me on my toes but that is fine. It is their time to shine and have social lives. :)

Since my last post, there has been a Homecoming Football game (we are 7-1 and won that day), a Homecoming Dance (DS had a great time even though I was practically biting my nails all night hoping he had a good time), last night's band competition (we came in 3rd) and all the after school activities DS is involved in. I swear I am picking him up at school after hours 3-4 times a week and school is only in session 5 days a week. LOL

As for DD, there have been 2 intense school projects, shopping for Halloween costume (medievel princess/damsel sorta thing), Halloween Party at school sponsored by the Home and School and just her general carting around to various friends' homes.

That leaves little time for me. Between all the school functions and activities, I am trying to keep on top of the housework, shopping, bill paying, etc. So that means, my stitching time has suffered or as I like to put it, my ME time. In the past two weeks I think I have managed two evenings of uninterrupted stitching. Now that sounds like a lot of time, but really we are only talking about 1-2 hours. After the next two weeks, I should have more time but not really because Thanksgiving is around the corner and that means Christmas is not far behind. ACK!! I have no idea where the year went. I think most of it is in my car. LOL But that is okay. I am glad that my kids have lots of friends and activities to attend. They are not "popular" but they hang out with great groups of kids.

We had horrible rain on Friday and the HS football game was rescheduled to tonight. I am not happy about that because it seems that Sunday is my only day that I have no where to go. So this afternoon will be another rush in getting DS ready for the game. Then it starts all over again. Hopefully next Sunday will be a free day for me.

So for most of today, I have laundry to do, dinner to cook and a band t-shirt to wash (he wore it last night and only has ONE). Then I have to get him to and from school. But at least it is later in the day that he has to be at school and not the middle of the day when I get most of my work accomplished.

I need to take pictures but the outside of our remodel is finished. It is stuccoed, sided and cleaned up and it looks great. If you were to ride by the outside of my house, you would never know that the inside is about to be a mess. But that will wait til after Christmas. In the meantime, DH has lots of prep work to do in order to knock down some walls.

Well I guess that is about it from here. I am sure I am forgetting something but I just wanted to post a blog entry to let you know I am alive and well. I just spend lots of time in my car. :)


Thursday, October 11, 2007

I Really Do Stitch (sometimes)

It may take me awhile, but I really do stitch and now I have some pictures to prove it. LOL Here is my car project all finished. Sorry for the wrinkles but it won't be washed and ironed until all 3 of this series is finished.

Here are the details:
Victorian Sink from UK Cross Stitcher, Issue 182
Designer: Maria Diaz
Started: March 21, 2007
Finished: October 5, 2007
This was solely a car project and it would have been done sooner if it didn't sit in the car untouched from June til mid-September. :)

I have already made a start on the Victorian Toilet and hopefully that will be finished in 2007 as now I have lots of waiting time in the car between DD and DS's after school activities.

Next up is my current WIP and it is Chef's Wardrobe. My stitching time lately has been at a premium as we have been very busy but I have managed to finish all the white and blended white/gray of the chef's uniform and have now started the dark gray (DMC 3799).

Finally the weather is feeling like Autumn (my fav. season) and I am so hoping to have more evenings to sit and stitch. It would be great to have weekends too but that won't be happening until sometime in late November and by that time, I will be getting ready for Christmas. So here's hoping I can have lots of stitching time starting right after Christmas.

Last night as I was stitching on Chef's Wardrobe, I decided that as soon as I finish up a motif in the closet, I will move to another project (Tesori or Coffee). That way, it will feel like I am doing a small design between my larger projects. I am enjoying Chef's Wardrobe and highly recommend Sue Hillis Designs. I love the way her charts are and I love the designs.

Like I mentioned earlier, Fall has arrived and it is so blissfully cool outside. It feels great to have jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt on. I even have the energy to tackle my housework today. My goal is to have everything finished between today and tomorrow so I can enjoy the weekend. We have an off weekend with DS. There are no football games or band competitions scheduled so I can hang around the house and make spur of the moment plans. My kind of weekend.

I best be getting along if I want a housework-free weekend. I hope you all have a great day and hopefully I will have more progress pictures very soon.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fall Stitching Goals

It has been awhile since I thought about projects and upcoming projects and finishes and so forth. It has been awhile since I stitched. But now that I seem to be back into the swing of things I started thinking about my stitching. I updated my Projects List (in my sidebar) and the list keeps growing. I am going to try to stay with the challenge but I have to admit, I have slipped up a few times in the past year with the most recent purchase being last night.

Looking at my list, it is HUGE. There are 33 projects I want to do NOW and I am sure there are many more that I can add. It is scary actually and I think that is what sets me up for defeat. The size of the list. So I am breaking it down a bit to make it more manageable.

I figure I can work on 5 projects and I need to make them various sizes. Let's face it, Tesori is not going to be finished any time soon. It will be on the list for quite awhile. So for now I have 4 projects and I need one more. I am not sure which project it will be. It will definitely be off the list unless of course I track down a JCS Ornament Issue and pick out an ornament. But to date, the magazine is nowhere in the region and I may have to order it. I just hate the fact that I have to pay shipping and handling for a magazine. So I will wait it out just a bit to see what project 5 will be. When I finish one of the 5, I will add a new one without feeling guilt. I know Cathy does something like this and it seems to work for her. Let's see if it works for moi.

The 5 projects are:
1. Tesori (1/5 finished)
2. Coffee (1/3 finished)
3. Victorian Sink (car project-almost finished)
4. Chef's Wardrobe (just restarted)
5. To be announced.

So if I should finish Victorian Sink in the next week, I will start another project which will be the Victorian Toilet or Tub. The sink has been a quick stitch and would have been finished long ago but it stayed in the car all summer without me touching it. I am now doing all the backstitch and should finish in a few days.

The other 4 projects I will probably just rotate but not a weekly or daily rotation. More like, when I get sick of one project, I will pick up another. But I would like to see me stitch on each project at least once a month to get more progress on them. I figure I will switch off of Chef's Wardrobe once it starts looking like something other than a white blob. Or I may finish an area and then switch. I don't know yet. I haven't put much thought into it.

If I can stick to something like this, I should see some more finishes which is what I want. But most importantly, I want to enjoy what I stitch and see it hanging on the walls or decorating my home in some way. And it is cheap therapy. So I get off easy by stitching my stress away. :)

Have a great day everyone!!


Monday, September 24, 2007

New Week

Another Monday here in PA. Why is it that weekends go by in a hurry but it takes forever for the weekend to get here? Don't worry about answering that because I don't think there is an answer. LOL

The weekend was very nice and the wedding we attended on Saturday night was just beautiful. I can't believe M is married. Like I said on Friday, it was just yesterday when he was 6 or 7.

Yesterday I was tired but accomplished a good bit of stuff before I had to force myself to bed at the ripe old time of 9 PM. If I don't get in bed at 9 and do my normal nightly reading, I am up til way past 11 or midnight. That is not good when the alarm goes off at 5:30 AM.

This week is going to be busy as I am lunch mother all week and it is double-shift. So the middle of my day is shot. The only good thing is that the lunch mothers get paid at our school and it will be nice on Friday to have some extra pocket money.

After I send this, I must haul my butt to one of my children's rooms and start dumping. I hate that I have their rooms all clean and about a minute later, it looks like a bomb went off. They will not be happy this week but I will be.

I never got a chance to stitch this weekend BUT that is about to change. The fall t.v. season is starting and I get to sit for 2 blissful hours tonight watching Dancing With the Stars. So t.v. this week is good til Friday. Between DWTS and Survivor, I should be able to show you a picture of Chef's Wardrobe (providing there is more than white on the linen).

I won't be able to make CATS this weekend as DS's Marching Band Competitions are beginning. It is a shame that this is not the weekend we are in Hershey. Then I would definitely have found a couple hours to go to CATS. But I have priorities and DS is one of the two top priorities in my life. I am actually very excited to enter this whole new world. Friday night is a football game and I am working the concession stand. I sure hope I get to get out of there during half-time to see the band play on the field. BUT that is wishful thinking. That will be when we are most crowded. Then some time on Saturday I drop him off at school and he will head to another high school and then DH, DD and myself will follow a short time later. I am anxious to see how this band competition stuff works. Supposedly the band at DS's high school is up there in the ranks. This coming weekend should be interesting.

I hope you all have a great day. I need to get myself upstairs armed with trash bags and cleaning stuff.


Friday, September 21, 2007

High School Musical

Last night it was back to high school for DH and myself. We went to our very first Back to School Night at DS's school. I am exhausted and did a weeks' worth of workouts in the 2+ hours we were there. My favorite time was lunch. LOL I got to sit and have some water before my next trek up to the 4th floor.

We started in homeroom and met the teacher who is also DS's Physical Science teacher. Then every 8 minutes the bell would ring and we would move on to the next class. The school is HUGE. It used to be a girls' school and boys' school. In the past 20 years it merged into one school and both buildings are connected by a "bridge". I was a pro going through that thing on the second floor by 6th period. I got to know one of the student ambassador girls and she would grab me after the first few periods to direct me. By the 5 class (right after lunch), I told her I was bound and determined to find my way. She gave me a thumbs up at 6th period cause I told her the room and pointed to where I was going. I was so proud of myself.

DS goes from the 4th floor East to 2nd Floor West then east and west and so on all day long. My legs were BURNING by the time I hit 7th period Algebra. Whew!!!!

All in all, it was a great experience and we get to do it all again next year. I got to see familiar faces from SPX (well we do live in the same neighborhood) and I got to see some old faces from our old neighborhood. DS never told me that one student from Roxborough was in 3 of his classes. It was great to see M's parents again. I always liked them and we had a nice chat at lunchtime.

But best of all, I got to see how my son's day goes. I give him credit. It has been a week since he has been late to class. He has to run around with each bell ringing and forget going to his locker. He must bring everything with him. I never asked but there is no way no how that he goes back to his locker during the day.

I think it will be a great year. I am impressed with the school and very impressed with the teachers. I liked them all and see great things happening in this my child's first year of high school.

It was fun meeting parents and making jokes in the hallways when we saw people we knew.

In other news, I am so HAPPY today is Friday. This week was long. Those early mornings get to me by Friday. Today I work at DD's school in the cafeteria. Then next week I am lunch mother all week to 1st and 6th grade. So next week is busy before it even begins.

This weekend we are attending a wedding. This is a very special wedding as it marks the wedding of the son of two of our very dear friends. I remember M when he was 7. Now he is getting married. It should be fun and I am looking forward to it. Sunday will be low-key and between now and Monday I really want the house in some kind of order. I have tried but with school starting and the work going on, it has been hard. Hopefully I will get lots accomplished including some stitching. I did start again on Chef's Wardrobe and so far so good. No more mistakes YET!!!

I hope you all have a nice weekend. I am planning on it.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Inside

There is a post below this one that shows the outside of my house remodel.

Okay, since I can pretty much safely move within the work area and since that is where most of the photos will now be taken, it is time to show you the inside of the addition. This is the back view of my soon to be kitchen. This is about 2/3 of the room. The other third is on the other side of the black wall. That wall will not be broken into til after the holidays. I still need the old kitchen and dining room.

This is just a close-up view of the new door and the existing house wall. Where the old kitchen window is, will eventually be my stove but further inside. I think DH told me that he is moving 3-4 feet inside the house and the new support wall will be built there.

This is a view of the new front window. My kitchen table will reside there in the Spring. I absolutely love the size of the window and because it is a bay window there is a nice size ledge for plants and pretty decorative things. I am so looking forward to having more than one house plant. (We have a Christmas cactus that my dear FIL bought us last year and it is the only house plant we have at the moment)

This is the view from the existing attic door. I cannot get inside of the upstairs without a bigger ladder so I stood on a step stool at the door. This is the showing the front of the upstairs. It is really big up there. :)

Again, here is a view to the right from the attic door. I must be crazy to have let DH do this. I will have twice the amount of housework to do when this is all finished.

So there you have it. I have to say here that I am very proud of my DH and my brother in law. They did all the work so far to date with the help of a few friends. The only contract work we have had to date has been a stone mason (the basement), the plumber (sewer pipes) and roofer (new roof).
I just realized I didn't take pictures of the inside of the basement. I will save them for another post. It is not much to look at but it will give you an idea and a good way to see the before and after.
Have a great day! Hopefully the next pictures I show will be of stitching. I really do stitch. Just not that much lately. :)


The Outside

As promised, I took a few minutes from my crazy life and took pictures. If I had to show you all the steps that have happened since my last house update, you would be reading for awhile. So I broke it down.

This is what we started with. This is what the house looked like for the first three years we lived here.

And this is what it looked like as of this morning. The huge window is the new kitchen. The smaller long windows is the dining room. The upstairs will be broken into two large bedrooms, a bathroom and are you ready... a small craft room for me. The window on the right should be where the craft room will go. I am not 100% sure but I don't see a need for a huge window in the bathroom. It will just be a shower stall, toilet and sink/vanity. The kids will had to deal with artificial light. LOL

And not to be forgotten, here is what the back of the house looked like.

And here is what it looked like this morning. The upper window will be a bedroom. The door is in the kitchen and will lead out to a small deck. The steps are just temporary and of course there is still work to be done i.e. moving the a/c unit, etc.
It has been crazy here and I have been trying to get pictures to show you what is going on in my life. I would have had a stitching photo but something went wrong. I had to end up frogging the white blog in my Chef's Wardrobe and am now down to a blank piece of linen again. If all goes well, I should be able to stitch tonight. It has been hard as I have been exhausted after dinner. I am hoping by the end of this week that I will be used to getting up at 5:30 AM every morning. And I am hoping that I have some sort of new household routine in place. It has not been easy and I have always hated the first couple weeks of school.

More later...


Wednesday, September 12, 2007


That describes the day here. Finally, after what seems like forever, the humidity has broken and it feels more seasonal around here. I don't think our temperature is going to even reach 80 today. I am so ready for Autumn. It is my favorite time of year and I can't wait for it to get here.

In other news, the roofers are here putting on our new roof. The outside of the addition is now complete other than the siding and the roof and the odds and ends that DH needs to finish. There is also one more window that needs to be installed and I think that is happening this weekend. I am thinking that in the next month that from the outside, people will not know that there is still much to be done. It will look like home again. Probably in a month, I will start the panic mode because the inside will be more ripped up than it already is. LOL The target for my new kitchen is next spring. Lots has to be done before the kitchen can be installed. At least I will still have my old kitchen. I have to take pictures to show you. I have been lazy lately when it comes to my camera. I hope to remedy that soon when I am back into the swing of my "school routine".

I went back to stitching on my car project which is the Victorian Sink from a UK Cross Stitcher magazine. There is not much more to finish. Hopefully today I will finish up the cross stitching and then get to the backstitching.

Last night I sat so nicely with Chef's Wardrobe. There is still not enough to take a picture because it is white on white (well antique white actually) and it is just a white looking blobby thing. Maybe by next week, I will have more finished and will actually take a picture.

School is going good for the kids. They are settling in nicely and I have to admit that I don't have the nervousness and anxiety I had last week. I have my moments, but that is all they are. It passes quickly when I realize that I am getting back into my routine and with any luck, I will have a weekend free from housework. It has been a long summer as weekends were about the only time for me to get things done. And I don't work outside the house. Strange, but true!!

My plan for tonight is to sit and stitch again and veg out in front of the t.v. It felt nice last night and I plan on it again tonight. What a stress reliever!!!

Have a great day everyone!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Always Remember

September 11, 2001
Innocent lives were lost forever.
The innocence of a country was lost forever.
My children will never experience the world I lived in up to that dark day.
Hell is too good of a place for the monsters that caused this terror.
God Bless those fighting for our freedom.
God Bless America.
God Bless the World.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

First Day Updates

First off, thank you for your kind comments yesterday. It really was emotional and I cried on and off most of the day.

Not to be forgotten, DD had a wonderful first day and is happy with the teacher she has. I knew she would be. I sometimes sub as lunch mother for this teacher and I have always liked her. Yesterday when I took DD to school, I was still red eyed from the crying about DS. One of the snotty moms commented to me that she was very emotional as she couldn't believe her princess was in 5th grade. It took all of my self-control not to smack her. I turned to her calm as could be and said 5th grade is nothing. I was still emotional because my son started his very first day of high school. That shut her up and made her move on. Then I come to find out by looking at the school line that her princess is in my DD's class. This is not one of DD's favorite people and DD has been fortunate the past couple years not to have princess in her class. But I have complete faith that DD will be able to stand up to princess this year.

So anyhoo, DD came home from school all excited about what she is going to learn this year. Last night she sat with me as I filled out forms, covered books and picked hot lunch menu for the month of September. She was very animated and I am happy for her. This morning, I did not even have to wake her up. She came down the steps at 7:30 to see if it was time to get dressed. :) What a girl!!

DS had a wonderful day too. Of course I was on pins and needles to see him yesterday afternoon. He was only late for one class and it was because he decided to drop stuff off in his locker. He told me he is not doing that again. :) We have to run out later for his binders and looseleaf paper. I have everything else.

The real worry was when it was time for him to be home. Yesterday felt like forever waiting for his day to end. He got out of school at 2:00 but the bus did not arrive at school til the normal time of 2:30. The HS did not inform the bus company of the special schedule. Okay no problem. I figured that out on my own and was expecting DS to show up on the corner at 3:10 in the afternoon. At 3:00 I stood out on our front lawn and kept looking at the corner. Sure enough at 3:10 a bus went by and didn't stop. Okay I convinced myself that was not the bus. It is not like I could read the bus number as it zoomed by. 3:15 rolled around and then another minute and then I texted DS. DH just rolled his eyes at me. He was working on the addition at this time. Almost immediately DS texted me back that he was on his way home. Cool, I thought. I saw the wrong bus and figured that since it was the first day that there are kinks to be worked out. Wrongo!!! Another few minutes went by and another bus went by. No DS. Okay where the heck is my kid. I text him again and no answer. I finally call him and he tells me "Don't panic". ACK!!!! What kind of way is that to talk to your mother? Of course I will panic. He informs me that he got on the wrong bus but got on with a girl that lives close to us and is in his class. He forgot the bus number he was supposed to get and figured he would get M's bus since she lives closeby. He got off a block and a half from home and was now walking home. At this point I am relieved but I have ants in my pants and start walking to the corner. Next thing you know, I see him before I even made the corner and we walked home together. Again, he is very animated about HS and is looking forward to the year. He is off today but tomorrow is full schedule with the entire school. Tomorrow should be interesting for him but I am not saying a word. Let him find out on his own.

I am glad for the break today because I know I will be worried tomorrow but all should go well. At least I hope so. With any luck, we will be pros at this by the end of next week.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Then and Now

To my little man Nick who is not so little anymore:

10 years ago: You were just about to my hip and holding my hand so tightly as we walked into the pre-k classroom. Your sister was 6 weeks old and in her infant carrier on my other arm. Your hand was so small and you were looking up at me with tears in those big, beautiful brown eyes. After my 1/2 hour that I was allowed to stay, you were crying and holding onto my leg. You wanted me to sit next to you for the next 2 hours til it was time to go home. After the teacher took your hand and lead me to the door, I stayed a few minutes longer making sure you settled in and stopped crying. On that day, you didn't see me peeking in nor did you see my tears. When I came back to pick you up, you were very excited about your first day of pre-k and told me every little detail of your day.

This morning: I tried my hardest not to cry. I told myself for days that I was not going to cry. For the past few days, I have had the biggest butterflies in my stomach. My nerves have gotten the best of me. The minute you walked down the steps in your new high school uniform, I lost it. I am sorry. Of course, you know I cried. I am still teary and you have been gone for almost 3 hours. You look so handsome and grown up. I know you hate that I made you get your haircut yesterday but I want the world to see how handsome my not-so-little man is. Nick, I still see that little boy holding my hand. Only problem is you are independent now. Your hand is bigger than mine. Heck, you are 2 1/4 inches taller than me. You don't need me as much as you did 10 years ago. You are growing up at a rapid speed. I watched as you walked to the bus stop. It took all of my self-control not to walk down to the corner. This is the very first time that I have not taken you to school. I know you saw me out front waiting til the bus came. Dad stayed in his truck just a few minutes longer to make sure all was okay. He won't admit it to me but I know he is just as nervous for you as I am. We can't wait to hear about your day today. Today is so special for all of us. It is the first day of High School.

I have no idea where the past 10 years went. I blinked and here we are. You are beautiful inside and out and I realize that Dad and I are doing a great job of raising you to be the young man that you are. You will do well the next 4 years. We will be at your side the entire time. We have been there before you and high school is the best time of your life. You picked a great high school. In the past few weeks that I have been there, I know you made the right choice. We gave you that ability. We know you listen to us even though you pretend not to.

I wish you the best of luck in this your Freshmen year. The next week or so will be difficult for you because everything is new and different. You got used to grade school but now things are different. I know you will do well. You have already proven that over and over again. I hope the next four years of school are filled with fun, laughter, friends and memories that will last a lifetime. I hope that all of your classes are challenging and interesting but rewarding in the end. You will do fine. You are smart and can do anything you set your mind to. We are very proud of you. We always have been and we always will be.

Remember to always reach for the moon. If you miss you will still be among the stars that shine so bright.


Friday, August 31, 2007

Quick Post

I have a busy day ahead of me, but I wanted to write something before the weekend begins.

DS does not have an ear infection and his ears are squeaky clean. He has caught a cold and has now become a miserable whiny little man. I guess he realizes that if he feels this bad, he isn't going to be hanging out with his friends on their usual Friday night get togethers.

Thanks for the compliment, Berta. I thought that Chef's Wardrobe was so cute and will look nice at the entrance to my new kitchen. I told DH I need wall space, lots of wall space. LOL

Judy, when you are done with your wife send her my way. I really need help today.

On my agenda today is to bake cookies for the marching band bake sale tomorrow. Tomorrow is the first football game and we have a concession stand and a bake table. I want to do my part and the way to do that is stress myself out and make a good impression as most of these parents don't know me. Good way to get my foot in the door of high school. A girl has to start somewhere.

I am also baking something to take to my sister in law's for when we jar the tomatoes on Sunday. I know I am making cookies but I want something else too. Hopefully an idea will come to me between now and tonight.

I just pulled all my boxes of empty mason jars out of the "new" cantina. What a haul!! I have over 12 boxes of jars and that doesn't count the ones I gave to my sister in law a month ago when we had visitors from Italy.

Because we ran out of jars (a first in many years), father in law told us we MUST do more especially since we will have more family visiting from Italy between Christmas and New Year and again during 2008. So with that said, the order at the farm is for 50 baskets. We have never jarred that many tomatoes. Sunday is going to be a very long day. But I am not complaining. It is a family day and even though the work is hard, we enjoy each other's company and we get to catch up on things. Only problem is we spent the majority of the summer together and there is not much to catch up on. LOL I am sure we will still have lots of laughs. We always do. I am blessed to have such a good family.

Tomorrow is the first time DS will march onto a football field. I am so proud and I cannot wait to see that moment when I spot him on field in his band uniform. I have to remember to charge the camera battery and take lots of pictures.

DH will be unable to attend the game. A major part of our addition is happening. They will finish the upstairs part but that means ripping up the roof. Don't ask what it entails. I am afraid to ask and am grateful that I will not be home during that part of building. All I know is that tarps are going to be my friend for the next few days and I need to pray hard for no rain or high winds. :)

Saturday night we wash and pick over the tomatoes. It will be a long night. Then Sunday is the actually cooking and jarring. I should take pictures to show you our process. It is comical to those that have no idea how we cook that many tomatoes. We do it outside because I don't think there is a stove big enough in the universe to help us out. :) Propane is our friend on Sunday and 6-7 tanks were filled the other day.

Monday I plan to enjoy my Labor Day. I have no plans and if all goes well between now and then, I will be sitting and watching t.v. and stitching. Oh and we will barbecue something. I will think of that later.

Well I best get the dishwasher loaded and butter out to soften. I also need to get clothes into the washer and dryer.

To my American Friends, have a Happy Labor Day! To my overseas friends, have a Happy Weekend!!

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

More Hours

There I said it...I need MORE hours in a day. This week has found me out and about at various appointments.

DS went to the dr. on Tuesday and is loving the fact that he is 2 1/4 inches taller than me and 2 inches shorter than his dad. The boy is 5 feet 5 1/4 inches and 119 pounds. We are going back again this morning so the nurse can read his TB results (can't even find where the needle went, thank goodness) and he needs to get his ear cleaned out. He has been complaining about his ear and the dr. can't even see if there is an infection. He just guessed that there wasn't because of the absence of a fever. We will find out later today.

Then yesterday DS had Freshmen Orientation at the high school. To say he is loving going to the school is an understatement. I just hope he stays this happy once he actually has to open a book and work. LOL

Tonight he has band practice and then Saturday is the first football game and the marching band will be present. Between now and then, I plan on making something for the bake sale table and I need to charge my camera battery so I can take pictures.

Last night for the first time in forever, I stitched and had fun and can't wait to do it again today and tonight. I don't have pictures yet, but I received my order from 123 Stitch and started "Chef's Wardrobe" by Sue Hillis. It felt great last night to be stitching. It is like finding a long lost friend. Starting something new was just what I needed and this design is much smaller than what I have as WIPs (Tesori and Coffee).

As soon as the camera battery charges, I will take pictures of the things I ordered and if I stop with just stitching white on white, I will take a progress picture of "Chef".

It is going to be a busy weekend. Besides the football game on Saturday, we are jarring our tomato sauce for the year on Sunday. I know I have blogged about it before but my DH's family jars tomato sauce every year. So this weekend we will be spending quality time with DH's sisters and brother in law and jarring sauce and of course having the first pot made for Sunday dinner. Monday should be low key and I think (I can't remember) we will be spending it with the neighbors that we went away to NC with. Then it is just a day before the kids go back to school. I can't believe it. Summer just whooshed on by. But I am ready for Autumn. It is my favorite time of the year because I love the cooler weather and all the pretty colors you see during those short months.

Well I best be going for now. I need to get some housework done before I trek out to the dr. with DS.

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Friday, August 24, 2007


This week was very busy for me but in a good way. I spent the majority of the week schleping DS to Band Camp, pulling out school supplies, making lists for school stuff and getting over a cold. It is all worth it because after today, I should be DONE and waiting for the first day of school.

Today, we are going to get DS's HS uniform and shoes, DD's shoes and the rest of her school supplies. I need DD to try on her uniform but it should fit her as it was a little big on her last year. I also need to bring DS's band uniform to the dry cleaner.

Last night, we went to the HS to see the "preview" of the marching band. They were awesome and so was DS. He didn't miss a beat and DH and I were so proud. I am so excited for his first game in September. After the preview, the school provided us with a pizza party and we had fun and even met another parent or two.

The best is that DS feels he belongs at that HS. It seems like yesterday I was obsessing about whether the right choice was made. He had the choice of three schools and three good schools at that. He made the decision and I told him last night that he made the right one. To see him smile and interact with the other band members made my heart swell. I only hope that he does well academically. Then the money we are spending will be well worth it. :)

I did manage to buy some new stash. It is for my new kitchen and I will take a picture once it arrives. Of course it is mostly coffee themed things. I also bought supplies for said charts including a few magazine charts I want to stitch. Now I have to wait for it to arrive. :) In the meantime, I plan on doing a freebie and will kit it up some time this weekend.

This weekend should be downtime for all of us. DH will be working on the addition and me and the kids will be taking it easy. I just have some cleaning and laundry on the agenda.

Speaking of the addition, it is coming along nicely. DH hasn't really been doing much because of our family from Italy and vacation, but last night BIL and DH were working on the second floor. They need to prepare in order to build the final part of the walls. A support beam will be put into place and DH is hoping to have it finished or at least almost finished by early next week. I will try really hard to post pictures this weekend or early next week so you can see the progress that has been made.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Note To Self

Note to Self: Never go so long without buying stash!!!

With that said, I have spent some time looking for something new to stitch. Of course, I have "new" stuff in my stash but that is not good enough. I want to BUY something new. The past couple of days have been busy with DS and DD but during my off time, I have been going to my favorite ONS sites and filling shopping carts. Goodness, since last year lots and LOTS of stuff has come out.

I am noticing that I have picked out lots of Autumn type stuff. That is really a no brainer. I love Autumn and all that goes with it. Then there is the Christmas stuff. Then there are the miscellaneous stuff that I just fell in love with. So as of this writing, I have nothing bought. I need to trim it down. I have to pick out favorites and then just buy it. But it is so hard when I want it all. Unfortunately, the wallet says differently. If I could just win the lottery...

Things around here are getting back to normal after vacation and the whirlwind that I called summer. DS is loving Band Camp. Anna, if you see this (I know you are away), my DS is going to a high school on the mainline pretty close to where we both live. Yesterday was a long day for him. He was at school from 9 AM til 8:15 PM. Today is the same schedule. Last night when I arrived at school, the marching band was outside practicing. They looked and sounded awesome. I am getting very excited to see them all in their band uniforms at the first game. Tomorrow night is the "Parents Preview" and we will see them march for the first time. Then there is a pizza party afterwards. Very nice. I am loving this school. And I think DS is too. I notice he has less butterflies with the days leading up to that first day in September.

Yesterday, DD had her 10 year old well visit. My baby is now 51 inches and 71 pounds. Gosh it seems like yesterday when she was 20 1/2 inches and 7 pounds. I swear I blinked. LOL Before the dr. visit, we went to some of our old haunts near our old home. We went to Target and I got her some new pjs and her school bag. We went to the big Barnes and Noble (it has a coffee bar there) and spent some time there. Then we drove off to the dr. and spent time catching up there. I used to work there and love seeing everyone twice a year.

Right now I am trying to plan out our day. I do have a couple of errands to run but they could wait til tomorrow. I am still debating on what to do. I have some laundry to do and straightening to do. So things are pretty much up in the air today. Chances are with just me and DD home, we will do the errands. I need to check my surplus school supplies and see what she still needs and maybe we will add that to our list for today. I don't know. I plan on enjoying my day.

I also need to make a decision about what to buy stitching-wise. I have already picked out a freebie that I printed out and can start that after I place my order. That way I am at least stitching something fresh and new.

Hopefully the next time I post, I will have goodies to show you. :)
Have a great day!!

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Thank You North Carolina

Well it is back to reality for me. We just got back on Saturday from a wonderful vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Wonderful is such an understatement for such a beautiful state and a beautiful beach resort. We stayed in the town of Corolla near Duck in the Outer Banks. We stayed in a beautiful rental home right on the 13th Green of the Currituck Country Club. We were there with our best friends and had many laughs, good food and good times. Even the 8+ hour drive was worth it. If we went straight through from Philly area we would have gotten there in about 7 hours but we made a few pit stops along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed stopping at various shops and restaurants and the people could not have been nicer. We are so hoping to go again next year. Now I need a reality check. LOL

This week is Band Camp for DS and he is already at school. I actually had to make lunch for him today. It has been a long time since I had to do that. I get to do that the rest of the week too. Fun, fun, fun, NOT!!!! But this Band Camp is well worth it as he will meet 10 other freshmen and make friends with the upper classmen/women and go to school in September knowing he knows students and is not all alone those first days of school.

Today I need to go to DD's school to get her school supplies. I love it. Last year, our principal arranged a shopping day with Beckers (school supply store) and I just have to go in, pick out the 5th grade box, pay and go home. After that I just need to get the basic pencils, pens, crayons. Later this week, I need to get her school shoes and be done with that. Her uniform should fit her for a while longer. I need the $$ to buy all new for DS and will do that some time next week. So for the next two weeks, I will be preparing to send my kids back to school.

I haven't been stitching because of preparing for vacation and the visitors we have had from Italy all summer. But that is going to be remedied this week. I am breaking my 25 project challenge and am buying myself something new. Nothing big, but I decided I want to treat myself to something. I just don't know what I want. Today and tonight I will stitch on something. What I don't know. But I have two blessed weeks of nothing to do and nowhere to go. This summer zoomed by because of visitors and normal summer fun. It will be nice to have some down time at home.

For today, since DS is out of the house, I plan on really cleaning up his room. It is a mess and I can't take it anymore. The only way to do it is this week when he is out of the house. I am sure he will appreciate it once he gets over the fact that I stepped into his "shrine". LOL

I best be going for now. Have a great day everyone!

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