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What’s happening here?

March 3rd, 2017 · Family Life

I’m thinking about what I need to take with me to the Robotics Tournament in Texas next week.  My job at these things appears to be to hang about and offer moral support and occasionally money to sustain my participant.  The last time, I didn’t have my great new glasses yet, so I spent my spare time (of which there was much) stitching basketweave on a 13hpi piece I carry around in my car.  Good soothing work, but nothing to write home about.

This is different than when my daughter played basketball.  Then we would have to be at a game at a particular time in a particular place then we would be free until we had to be at the next game at the next place at a particular time.  Robotics seems to be…..lots of networking?  I’m not sure what they are doing.  But there certainly isn’t anything for a Robotics Mom novice like me to do.  So I’m figuring out what stitching to take and what stitching stores I need to hit while I’m in that part of the country with a car, google directions and time on my hands.

This is a piece that languishes in my WIP basket that I think I need to get done so I can move on to one of the other pieces.


My problem is that left side. I’ve done something wrong with the stitch on the robe but I can’t quite figure out exactly what I’ve done wrong.  On the other hand, I love the way the sleeves turned out.  You can click on the picture to en-biggen it.

I HATE taking out stitches but I think that is what I’m going to have to do. I was hoping the two diagonal stitches on the left and right side would meet when it was put together.  So I tried to change the direction of the stitches (I think, it’s been so long since I last worked on it I’m not sure what I was thinking) to make that happen.  As it sits now, that really doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.  And the stitches on the left just look WRONG.  If I didn’t have a diagram of the stitch in the bag, I’d say I was doing the wrong stitch.

So, I’m going to do some frog stitching.  Afterwards, do I do the left side like the right side, or try again to make the stitches on the round meet up?

This is one piece of a complete set of a Kathy Schenkel Nativity I bought many years ago at a trunk sale from a store that has probably been closed for, plus or minus, 12 years.

I really do have a thing about stitching the Nativity.  Or at least buying the Nativity even if I don’t get it stitched.  Anne, do you have a Nativity?  I know you have a web page, but I can’t find it right now.

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Karma

March 2nd, 2017 · Family Life

I worked the Ash Wednesday noon prayer service yesterday.

There was a woman there with a bunch of kids.  One pretty small, who obviously didn’t want to be there.   He was making that pretty plain.  She eventually made the decision to take him and her other kids out of there.  But not before a woman, with one child, sitting at the back, rolled her eyes at what I can only assume was derision that the other woman couldn’t make her kid behave.

I’ve been there.  My kid was loud.  Louder than that poor woman who left if all her kids made noise at the same time.  I don’t judge because:  Man, I’ve been there.

The woman I caught rolling her eyes?  Her daughter dropped something during a quiet moment in the prayer service.  She made a lot of noise and everyone turned to look at her.

I think it was karma biting her in the ass for rolling her eyes at the first Mother.

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Does anyone know what this is?

March 1st, 2017 · Family Life


I found this tonight when I was putting Celeste’s lunch for tomorrow.  I don’t even think I have anything that it fits. My own little blast from the past

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2017 Ornaments

February 28th, 2017 · Needlepoint

I’ve started the first 2017 Christmas Ornaments for the kids.

I’m trying to give myself a break, and be realistic about what I can actually accomplish, and only order one at a time.

That means, in 2016, I only got two (one of which remains unfinished).  Jacob and Celeste were the lucky ones this year.

Here is Jacob’s 2017 ornament.

It is one from a group of ornaments from J.Malahy Designs.  This is the Noel ornament except she put Jacob’s name on it for me.  I think it turned out fabulous and will be very pretty when finished!

The bow is going to be stitched in the basketweave in PVV in two shades of red and Kreinik braid.  The Green is going to be Vineyard Silk in diagonal mosaic stitch.  The name is going to be in the PVV and the white is going to be Pepper Pot Silk.  I’m going to try the stitch recommended by The French Knot.  The red/green/gold diamonds are going to be another stitch recommended by TFK.  The bottom is going to be the T-Stitch, also recommended by the TFK.

I think this will be a quick stitch, though time to stitch these days seems elusive.  When I get it stitched, I’ll order Celeste’s ornament.  And then if I get hers done, I’ll order one for Liz.  Then, when I get the kids in my family are done, I’ll order ones for my nieces.   Ambitious.  Especially for me with my slow stitching ways.  But we’ll see.

If time and money were no object, I would do more of the J. Malahy designs.  I’ve already stitched this one:

It was a kit from TFK and I think I even returned it to them for finishing.  I don’t remember what all the stitches were, but they really were perfect for this piece.

I’d also like to do the other’s from this nativity series.  I think TFK has most of them kitted up and stitch guides already written.  Or I’d love to see what others have done with these pieces.

I really love stitching the Nativity.  Again, if time and money were no object, I would do the Annie Lane Nativity.   I saw on their blog that Pocket Full of Stitches has one in stock.  I’m not sure if it’s a trunk show or just something they ordered at market.  It is so cute though.

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Geepers Peepers

February 27th, 2017 · Family Life

Last week I went to the eye doctor.  My eye pressure was low. Which is good.  Yah me!

Jacob and I got new glasses.



These are mine.  They also have sunglasses which have a magnet on them.



Pretty cool.  Huh? I had the no-line bifocals before.  They were nice and I didn’t have any trouble making the transition to them.  The lined ones are going to take more getting used to but I already feel like I’m figuring them out.  The eye insurance would pay for the lined bifocals but the no-line ones had a pretty low limit of what they’d pay for, so I

I also got some contacts to try.  Not really much to see there.  Because I have bifocals, you can see the tear dropped shapes in the glasses above, I also had to get readers.


These are the really high powered readers.  I think they are 3.25.

These, without the sparkly things in the corners, are the 1.5 power.



My doctor said I’d need a pair for stitching, hence the 3.25 power and a pair for working on the computer.  These were only $1 so I can lose them with abandon!  The sparkley parts were so I could tell the powers apart.  I see lots of fashion accessory potential there.

And, of course, I needed sunglasses.

Jacob gave me these.  He said aviator glasses were in style now.  And I’m not a fashion maven who is aware of such things, so I must take his word for it.

The 3.25 power glasses are da’bomb for stitching!  The others are just o.k.  I mean reading the computer is a necessity in my life, but nothing to write home about.  Now, hopefully, since I can see again, I will be able to stitch more.

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Tired

February 23rd, 2017 · Family Life

It is only Thursday, but it feels like it has been a long week.

Last weekend Jacob and I went to Weatherford with the Robotics Team for a tournament.  I hadn’t really planned on going.  Jacob has reached that point where he doesn’t need me and finds me a little bit embarrassing.  I don’t have to do anything to embarrass him.  I can just stand there and he’ll think I should be somewhere else doing something else.  Let me actually do anything.  Gah!

But last Tuesday Jacob asked to be picked up right after school because he didn’t feel good.  He came home at 3:15 and slept and when I checked him about 5:30 he was running a low grade fever that by 8:00 had gone to a high, more worrying fever.  Wednesday he still had a high, but not freak-out high, fever.  So, since I’d heard strep and the flu were going around his school, I made him a doctor’s appointment.  It was a little disturbing because Jacob is NEVER sick these days.

He had the Flu A virus.  It was an odd situation waiting in the doctor’s office talking with him about whether the Flu or Strep was the better disease to have.  With Strep, they can return to school 24 hours after they begin an antibiotic.  With Flu, they can return to school 24 hours after they are fever free.  So we talked about the virtues of each and the disadvantages.  We both came to the conclusion that Strep was better than Flu because you could sort of control when you began your antibiotic.  With the flu, even with the Tamiflu, you couldn’t control when the fever would leave and stay gone.

Jacob started the Tamiflu and almost exactly 12 hours after he started it, the fever was gone and did not come back.  I know because he had a scary high fever Wednesday night and I checked him about every hour through the night.  Because he had the scary high fever even with Motrin which as we all know is the fever KILLER.  My brother called (not the one who is a doctor), because he’d heard Jacob was sick.  He was advocating that I simply let the fever run its course and not give him any Motrin and said that as long as it didn’t go above some really scary high number it would be o.k.  I think I’m a pretty chill sort of Mom, but high fevers FREAK.ME.OUT.  I was having none of that.  I remember the days when Motrin was a prescription drug.  If you didn’t have any left from when the kids were sick before, you’d have to wait until the morning to call and have them call you in a prescription before your appointment because THE SCARY HIGH FEVERS.  So. While I appreciated my brother’s concern, I do not like the SCARY.HIGH.FEVERS.

As luck would have it, Jacob was well enough to return to school on Friday.  Just in time to climb on the bus at noon and go to Weatherford.  Since he’d been sick, I told him he could only go if I could go because I didn’t want him having a relapse and me being an hour or more away.  But I had a meeting from 1-4 which turned into a meeting from 1-4:30 and then I had to go back to my office before I could go home and pack so I didn’t even get there until after 7:00.

The Robotics tournament was at SWOSU Wellness Center.  It is a very nice facility but sitting around waiting for our teams to compete was a little…tiresome.  I talked to the other adults that were there with our team and stitched.  The Girls team kicked ass, winning lots of awards.  I’d be more specific but this was my first time at a Robotics event and I honestly didn’t follow much of what went on but they got their pictures taken a lot so I knew they did well.  So kicked ass is about as close as I can get.  The Boys team came in 7th overall, which isn’t bad with 36 or more teams competing, but not good enough to really win anything but an “atta boy!”

We started my granddaughter at a new Pre-School this week.  It is a place where Jacob went when he was small.  I’d recently come across a book they made for me with pictures and things he’d done while there that made my heart melt to remember when he was that small and had done such things.  The transition has gone smoothly.  She loves going to school.  The class is small and she seems to like it.  And I know I’m biased, but she is SO smart!  Everyone says so.

Since he’d been sick, and then was gone when he returned to school, there has been the make up school work to do.  It isn’t my job, but he likes for me to be available to….I don’t know.  Keep him company?  Type stuff up for him?  Offer moral support?  I don’t do the work for him, so it isn’t that.   So most nights this week I was sitting around with Jacob stitching while he worked.  Not bad work if you can get it and not a particularly unusual activity for me.

It may be because I have a heavy heart and know tomorrow is going to be a hard day.  A friend’s daughter died recently and the services are tomorrow.  There is nothing you can say or do under those circumstances but be there.  And hold your own children tight that night.

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My Musings on Saturday’s Loss to Golden State

February 13th, 2017 · Family Life

Saturday night the OKC Thunder played the Golden State Warriors.

For those of you who do not follow OKC Basketball, Kevin Durant got free agency last year.  He left the Thunder for Golden State for, I’m sure, a variety of reasons.  He did it in a way that probably could have been handled differently.  Saturday night was the first time Kevin Durant had been back in OKC since he made that move.  The Thunder had already played Golden State and been soundly beaten by them.  Twice.

I don’t have cable TV, so I don’t regularly watch the games.  Frankly, I’m only mildly interested though I’m proud that such a young team came to OKC and has done so well in the relatively short time they have been here.  I’m impressed with the way the City has embraced the team and the team has seemed to have embraced the City and been willing to give back.  I don’t really know what happened when the team left Seattle, but they are very well liked here.  Kevin Durant was well liked.  He came here when he was young.  He stayed a long time.  He left in a way that sort of left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.  I don’t know if he could have left in a way that didn’t feel like a betrayal but that is something we will never know.

Having said that, I think booing Kevin Durant when he came out on the court wasn’t nice and the audience shouldn’t have done it.   I think complete and total silence would have been much more effective.  He was a favorite son.  He’s not anymore.  Who is to say he won’t want to come back here to retire?  I understand that’s commonly done in football.  Do they do that in basketball?  I sort of assumed that is what LaBron James is doing back in Cleveland.

Kevin Durant did what is best for him.  It was based on his decision or a decision someone else made and talked him into.  I get that he wants a championship ring.  He thinks he is more likely to get that with the Golden State Warriors than with the OKC Thunder.  There are those that say he wants it but doesn’t want to work to get it.  I’m not quite willing to indict him in quite that way, but I see their point.

Another observation about the game last weekend.  When you are losing by 20 points, it isn’t Kevin Durant’s fault.  Getting in his face about anything at that point, just made us/you look bad.  When you are down by 20, put on your big boy pants, continue to play to the best of your ability, accept you got beaten by the better team, move on and strive to do better next time.

And finally, rumor has it that Kevin Durant tried to reserve a local restaurant after the game to take the Golden State Warriors team and staff and assorted people who travel with the team.  They apparently turned him down.  It is a restaurant I’ve never been to.  And frankly it’s one I’m not likely to eat at because I don’t generally eat in the same class of restaurant that multi-millionaire NBA basketball players eat.  I don’t know what went into the decision to turn Kevin Durant down.

That’s a hard one to formulate an opinion about.  Was it right? Was it wrong?  Was it simply a business decision?  If the restaurant had accommodated Kevin Durant, and not opened on Saturday night (at what I can only assume would have been an exorbitant, eye popping cost) would that have angered their normal clientele enough that they would have been willing to boycott the restaurant.  Was that a chance the restaurant was willing to take?  I saw one sign on TV that read, “I’m going to Mahogany’s for dinner after the game.” Was the restaurant owner one of those people who felt betrayed, in some personal way, by Kevin Durant’s defection to Golden State?

When Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were both on the Thunder, I, as an uninformed professional basketball player watcher, never understood why KD was the “star” and Russell was the “sidekick.”  The Thunder pretty consistently won when KD was out but Russell Westbrook was playing.  They didn’t consistently win when Russell Westbrook was out but KD was playing.  I still don’t really get it.  On a team full of stars, Kevin Durant doesn’t particularly stand out.  I didn’t think he particularly stood out on Saturday.

I still think Russell Westbrook is the star.

 

 

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I have been stitching Santas

February 8th, 2017 · Needlepoint

Not sure what’s going on these days.  I’ve been stitching a lot of Santas.  I think in some ways I’m going to my own little happy place.

Everytime I read the news or listen to it on TV I find myself closing my eyes, shaking my head and sometimes grinding my teeth. So I’ve been needing my happy place more and more these days.

I’ve finished (or near enough I’ll call it done) three standup Santas.

This is a Petei Santa. Not sure what it is called. I call him the Skiing Santa. He needs his beard and a background. I picked the stitches and pulled the threads from my stash.

This is my Bugsy Santa. It is a KS design. Bugsy is our Boston Terrier. I’m not sure what KS Designs actually calls it. I already have a Baloo Santa with a black lab instead of a Boston Terrier. (I’m sorry people, I looked on the web page and couldn’t find the link.  But there is so much fabulous stuff, you’ll get lost looking at it all and may actually find the standing santa with dogs.) The stitches are my own. The threads come from my stash. I’ve got a little ceramic bone to hang from the moon and I’m going to have the finisher add a bow where the ribbon meets the star.

This is the Zookeeper Santa. I can’t find my picture with the beard but I’ve stitched it. This is another Petei Santa. I still need to decide what I’m going to do for the background.  The stitch guide was done by the French Knot in Ft. Worth. I bought it as a kit. I did mostly TFK’s stitches with minor changes of my own. TFK has a sort of random zebra looking background.  I’m not good at random, so I will think about what I’m going to do.

Next up is probably going to be another Petei Santa: the Patchwork Santa.

I got the canvas and the threads from a class I enrolled in many years ago but could not attend. Just recently, I ordered the stitchguide from John Waddell in Texas who taught the class.  I’ve not looked at it closely, so I haven’t figured out whether I am going to follow it or just use it as a general guideline

I’m getting my own little collection of stand up Santas. And I hardly ever grind my teeth when I stitch.

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The Haircut

February 8th, 2017 · Family Life

Early in December,  I took Jacob to get a haircut.  He had a thing at school and had been needing to get a haircut for awhile.

This was the result:

I stayed in the car while he went into the barbershop.  I didn’t give any directions about the haircut.  Usually, his Dad takes him, but we have been busy and they hadn’t had time to go.

Despite that look, he was proud of his haircut.

It is a little sobering to me that my youngest child is old enough to go into the barber shop by himself and give directions on his hair cut.  I am further sobered by the fact that he will soon, much too soon, be old enough to drive himself to the barbershop and give directions on his haircut.

I suspect, however, I will still be called upon to pay for it for awhile.

 

 

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Pretty American Teeth

October 27th, 2016 · Family Life

The other night David and I were watching some show on PBS.  It was a mystery.  Set in Scotland.  Or maybe just the main character had a Scottish accent.  One of the characters has braces.  They are talking about them and why she has them.  I don’t remember the exact question but I do remember her saying, “I want to have beautiful American teeth.”

Not for the first time, I thought it bit odd that having nice teeth is an American trait.  Is it? Doesn’t everyone want to have nice teeth?  Isn’t nice teeth a part of having good, overall, health?

Several years ago I was in a book club.  I signed us up for a “meeting with an author” drawing.  If your group won, the publisher would send you this particular author’s book and then schedule a phone meeting.  I don’t remember what the book was.  The author was English but living in Italy somewhere.   One of the characters in the book had bad, nasty teeth and someone (my sister, I think) mentioned it.  The author laughed and said something like, “Oh you Americans, with your fascination with oral hygiene.”  I was a little taken aback by the observation but we quickly moved on to other things.

We have spent a chunk of money having Jacob’s teeth fixed.  Right now he’s in phase II (of what I hope are only two phases) and has a Herbst Appliance and braces.  I don’t remember when we had that put on but it has been relatively recently. It is designed to pull his jaw forward so his teeth meet properly in the back.  Jacob also has braces on his top and bottom teeth.

We first took him to the orthodontist when he was about eight.  They chastised me for waiting so long to bring him in.  When he was about nine they slapped braces on his teeth and straightened out his front upper teeth.  Now they are trying to line his teeth up in the back.  It’s more complicated than that but that’s the gist of it.

My understanding is that if we don’t do this, the back teeth will ultimately wear out from not meeting up properly.  If we don’t fix this problem now, the alternatives are (1) breaking his jaw after he stops growing and stretching his jaw or (2) pulling his teeth when he’s in his thirties because the enamel will wear off and his teeth will be yucky.  Neither of those seem to be viable alternatives when we can do it relatively painlessly and inexpensively now.

So.  Does anyone know?  Are “pretty teeth” a particularly American trait?

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