Wednesday, December 6, 2017

And The Christmas Season Begins

The calendar says it's December 6. My head says get a move on, decorate already. My body says I did, I hung a Christmas banner on the front door. Sometimes I think my body parts have a life of their own.

This post will be word heavy as I haven't been taking photos much lately. I've mostly just sat in my stitchy chair and worked on WIP's. I did finish this:



This is the Lizzie*Kate Christmas Mystery SAL for 2017. I like it but I don't love it like I have the previous ones. I don't know why that is. The colors are subtle and really pretty and it was an easy stitch. Maybe the recent flood of SALs I've joined and am loving have tainted me a bit.

I did get the new fabric for "The Embrace" 

and got it started again. IN THE MIDDLE, like I should have to begin with. 

This is my progress through last night:


I've gone back to stitching in hand on most things. That has always been my preferred method but I had to start using hoops a couple of years ago because of the pains in my wrists and fingers. That is all under control now and I can hold my fabric again. I think my stitches are much neater when stitching in hand so I'm pleased. Of course, I might have to start using a hoop again but that is okay too. I don't get along with Q-Snaps; it hurts my hands to hold them and I tend to use smaller hoops, usually 6" or 8", nothing larger.

Maybe I should have a WIP parade one day. I'll see how that goes!  LOL

We had our family Thanksgiving at my sister's on Saturday after Thanksgiving. It was too complicated to get everyone together on the actual day. With my family spread out and the grandkids getting older, it's getting harder to find a time when we can all be in one place. Bless my sister's heart, she usually hosts. She lives in Knoxville and so is about an hour closer for the kids. We are already trying to plan our Christmas get together and it looks like it will be January before that happens. That's okay. I enjoy having all my family together in one place and the date really doesn't matter.

My son and DIL, Doug and Trisha, went to the UT Knoxville football game but brought 2 of the grandkids, Ella and Elijah, through to stay with us while at the game. Lilly had decided to stay with Trisha's parents to get some one on one time with Poppy, her other grandfather. My daughter and SIL, Abby and Doug, were there with James and Sam. Papaw came through again with playtime. He took them outside to play jump rope and to run around. Then he disappeared, as he usually does after play and food. The grands discovered him asleep on the couch in the computer room so we let him sleep for a while.

Stacey put in a DVD for the kids because they were getting a little rambunctious and so we all watched "The Secret Life of Pets". It is such a cute movie and I think we all enjoyed it.

That's about all the excitement around the Braxton household at the moment. I've been Christmas shopping online, I don't do stores, and I'm almost done. I only buy for the grandkids and my niece and nephew so online shopping gets done quickly. Now I just need to get Rick to place the tree so I can start decorating. I'm seeing white lights and snowmen all over the tree this year. I'm looking forward to getting it finished and see how it looks. 

On a sadder side, my Mom's youngest sister has terminal cancer. She had surgery for breast cancer when Mom was ill. She was in the hospital over Thanksgiving and she said that the cancer had traveled to her brain and there was nothing that could be done. She came home over that weekend and is now under hospice care. I went to see her this afternoon and she is feeling really tired most of the time. She said her daughter and one of her sisters wore her out giving her a bath today but that she felt much better after the bath.  She's also going to have some physical therapy so she can move from the bed to her wheelchair for a while each day. She told me lying in that bed was getting tiresome and hurting her back. Please keep her in your thoughts. She's only 7 years older than me. Her 73rd birthday was actually Monday, December 4.

I guess I'll stop here. I need to check supper to see if it's ready and do some cross stitching. I've been on the go all day and it's time to relax a bit. 

As always, thank you for visiting and being my bloggy friends.

Hugs,
Sharon




Thursday, November 16, 2017

And the Crud Holds On

I've still got this mess but thankfully, I think I'm on the backside of it. I have coughed like crazy today but I did get out of the house for a while and I think that helped. I hadn't been anywhere in over a week, just sitting in the recliner or lying in bed and blowing my nose and coughing and etc. I told the Hubs he was lucky to be a man when I was in the middle of one of my coughing fits. He thought that was funny. I think you all get my meaning!

I didn't get to go to see the play! Bummer. My sister said it was really good, too. It started at 2:30 and she said they didn't get out until around 5:30. I'm so sad I didn't get to go. My niece starts college next year and she's such a great person to around. She's funny and sardonic, she's sweet and sassy. She's my only niece just like her brother is my only nephew and my goodness, I love those guys. My nephew is a sophomore in college at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. I think he's studying robotics. My niece is going to study forensic science at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. She's already applied and been accepted.

My Mom would be beyond proud of her progeny. We all managed to go to college. I have an Associate degree in business from our local community college, Stacey has a degree in Aerospace Engineering from UT, Knoxville. Doug (my son) has a degree in Aerospace Engineering from UT, Knoxville and a degree in Computer Science from Kennesaw State in GA. Abby (she of the abbycrafty blog) has a degree in Computer Science from Middle Tennessee University, Murfreesboro.

Well, that was a tangent!  I've found more and more often I get off on these tangents and it takes me a while to get back on target. It's pretty annoying for the Hubs, as you can imagine. hehe

I finished "Miss Julia Weathers the Storm" and oh my goodness, was it ever good! Miss Julia can get herself into some big messes and this one was no exception. If you haven't tried Ann Ross' "Miss Julia" series, do give them a try. You will definitely enjoy the process.

I'm listening to "For We Are Many: Bobiverse", the second book in the series. The first one, "We Are Bob" caught my interest. I like science fiction and futuristic books and this series takes it to another level. The author is Dennis E Taylor.


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I've ordered some books from ThriftyBooks.com. I'm really enjoying Deborah Crombie's series about DCI Duncan Kincaid and Inspector Gemma James. I got #9, #10, and #11 in the series. 

I'm expecting fabric tomorrow so I can restart "The Embrace" and maybe start "2017 Linens and Things Mystery Sampler". This sampler is almost over but as I'm usually late to the party that's okay. I'm also getting fabric to do Carolyn Manning's Scrap Happy Crazy Quilt SAL. I'm going to be doing 2 blocks. I think that's about all I can handle at this point.

I'm also going to be working, over the next few wintery months, on a blanket for a childhood friend. He saw a post on Facebook about the Virus Shawl I made and asked if I could make him a blanket for a twin size bed. I asked what colors and he said, "Orange and Brown" ! I found this yarn and he approved. 



Wish me luck!  LOL

Okay, that's it for this week. I'm going to go read for a while and then go to bed. As always, thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. 

Hugs,
Sharon

Friday, November 10, 2017

How-deeeee! I'm just so glad to be here!

How-deeeee! I'm just so glad to be here! (With apologies to Minnie Pearl)

In case you don't know who Minnie Pearl was, she was a country comedienne who was a regular on the Grand Ole Opry stage. She was famous for her straw hat with the tag on it.

Minnie Pearl
American comedian
Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, known professionally as her stage character Minnie Pearl, was an American country comedian who appeared at the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years and on the television show Hee Haw from 1969 to 1971. Wikipedia
BornOctober 25, 1912, Centerville, TN
DiedMarch 4, 1996, Nashville, TN
Full nameSarah Ophelia Colley Cannon
SpouseHenry Cannon (m. 1947–1996)
She was a proud Tennessean and I still miss her to this day. I look back on those simpler days and, while things were simpler, they had their challenges and struggles just like today.
I really don't know where that tangent came from. I just sat down to write a post and the first thing that popped in my mind was the How-dee line. Of course that led to an explanation of Miss Minnie and here I am now wondering what I'm going to say.

We had a quiet Halloween. No trick or treaters (we've not had any for several years now), no candy bought because of the lack of little ones, and thankfully, no tricks. I did get the Grands a treat and got them mailed off before Halloween for a change. I got pics back of happy faces so I guess I did fine. 

I've been cross stitching, as usual. I found a new pattern that I simply fell in love with. It is called "The Embrace" and I started it immediately! 


  I didn't start in the center (big mistake) since most of the things I do now I measure the framing allowance and then start in the upper left corner. I also do a lot of SALs and unless they specifically are started in the center, this is the best way to start them. So, I was merrily stitching along as you can see in my two progress photos.......



.....and today, I realized that I had measured the framing allowance WRONG! The pattern is 12"x 12" and the fabric included is 16" x 16". Great I thought, no problem with the size. Then, I apparently had a gray cell dump because I measured my piece's starting point at 3.5 inches. Yep! Instead of the 2" on all sides that was allowed, I had 3.5 inches on the top and left side. That left 1/2 inch on the right side and bottom!!!!! I was so disgusted that I folded it up and put it in time out. Which was actually silly because unless I frog all of that stitching (I ain't gonna do it), this piece is almost useless. I can salvage the lower part and the right side for smalls, I guess. We'll see.

Since The Embrace has been occupying me so fully, I haven't done much of anything else. I did do a Christmas Card stitch for a card swap but silly me didn't take a photo of it. However, my swap partner did and posted it to the group doing the swap. She liked it. When I looked at all the cards others had done, I felt out of my league but it's just made me want to do more cards and embellish them. I will be getting some doo dads and sparkly things, ribbons and washi tape, etc. This might get out of hand!!  HA!

I still haven't transferred all my files from my backup of my old laptop to the new one, so I'm not sure about my book count. I have read or listened to several more books. I listened to "Sleeping Beauties" by Stephen and Owen King. It was really, really good. I also listened to "A Town Like Alice" by Nevile Shute. As close as I can tell, to date, I've read 53 books. It's probably more but I haven't taken the time to check my Kindle or Audible Library.  That leaves 12 books before the end of the year to meet my goal. That should be doable even if it has to be audible books. They all count!

At the moment I'm reading "Miss Julia Weathers the Storm" by Ann Ross. I was lucky enough to get an autographed copy when she came to the little book shop in the next town to do a reading and Q&A. I wasn't able to attend the event but since I had pre-ordered my book, she was gracious enough to sign it and I picked it up later. This little used-book store always has something going on and there is the hope that they will have other writers and events. 

So I guess that's it for this time. I'm fighting a cold that my husband was so nice to give me earlier this week. Each day I have texted him and asked if that was the worse day (he's a day ahead of me in the course of whatever this is) and each day, he answers no. Today is day 4 for me and day 5 for him. I'm suppose to go to Knoxville on Sunday to attend a play with my sister and niece and Sunday will be day 6. He's still feeling bad but he said that today was better and that by day 6, he should be almost over it. Yay! Maybe after seeing "Oklahoma" and spending time with my peeps, I'll be better also. One can only hope.

As always, thank you for being my bloggy friend and for reading my blog.

Hugs,
Sharon

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Back again

Hello, fellow bloggers! I'm back and I'm ready to talk.

I am sorry to say that my old laptop bit the dust. The hard drive was BAD and it was going to cost $200+ to fix it. I decided a new laptop would be a better investment and ordered a new one from Dell for $250. This one is smaller and lighter and so far, I'm very happy with it. I spent yesterday afternoon getting use to it and downloading programs that I had on my other one. It will be a learning experience......again. I might be getting too old for all this.

So what have I been up to since my last post? Well, I'm getting out more and I'm (gasp) shopping. Yep, I'm going into stores and looking around. Have no fear though, my avoidance of shopping is still firmly in place. I'm just having to find sheets and blankets for my smaller bed. I was sleeping in a king bed and it was just too big. Due to differing opinions of mattress firmness (me medium, him firm), my using a C-Pap and the fact that he's all over the bed and SNORES, the Hubs and I sleep in different rooms now. I wanted a smaller bed to have more space and I really, really, really wanted an adjustable bed. I bought a full size (or double) and I've had a really hard time finding sheets and blankets for it. There are tons of queen and king size and a good assortment of twin, but full seems to be an unwanted size these days. As my daughter said, most people do have a queen or king bed and twins are still in use for children. That's the way I roll bucking the system.  Ha!  Anyway, I bought some microfiber sheets and I love them. They are so soft and cuddly. With the head of the bed raised to a comfortable level, I sleep so well. I'm a happy sleeper, finally. AND it has a night light under the bed so when I get up at night, I can turn it on and make my way to the bathroom without any problems.

I've also been able to catch up on some chores that have been neglected lately. I'm slowly working my way through a list of jobs and there is quite a bit of satisfaction in marking those things off. Of course, I'm constantly adding things so it's a never ending list. And I'm walking to the mailbox everyday for the mail without having to stop and without being out of breath. This pacemaker is starting to be worth it.

I'm also cross stitching a lot. I'm currently working on Sam's birth sampler and I've told myself I need to work only on it until it's finished. I'm pretty happy with the design I've chosen and all the different pieces are coming together quite nicely.

I've done some work on some of the SALs. I really do enjoy Carolyn Manning's designs and she has so many different SALs. I just got the latest one, "The Scrap Happy Crazy Quilt" and I'm really looking forward to doing it. The design offers 4 different options for each section and it runs from November 2017 to December 2018. There are 44 sections with 176 choices. Here is a photo of the cover sheet. Please excuse the shadows.



I'm really looking forward to starting this. I'm planning on doing all 4 options (mixing them up) in 4 separate pieces and then having them framed together. It will be a bit of an undertaking but I think it will be a beautiful effect.

I'm also working occasionally on the "Granny is no Square" SAL. I have finished putting in all the basic outlines and I'm currently working on adding the major border and the individual squares' borders.



I'm enjoying, well, maybe that's the wrong word, I'm anxiously watching the Cubs-Dodgers series. My beloved Cubbies won the 2016 World Series last year and they are in the League Championships again this year, playing the same team as last year. Currently they are down 3 games to 1 and they have to win the next 3 to move on to the World Series against the New York Yankees. Fingers crossed they make it again.

The weather is full on Fall. With highs only in the upper sixties (at the moment, it's 63 at 12:45 PM) and nights dipping down into the 30s, it's been chilly for me. We've had frost warnings the last couple of nights. The high today is suppose to be 71. We'll see. The trees in our yard aren't really turning; they are just dropping their leaves. I've seen some turning but not much. I'm not sure this will be a good year for leaf viewing in our area.

My sister, niece and I are going to the local theatre production of "The Rocky Horror Show" on Saturday night. I've never seen the movie and I'm excited to watch the play. Our local group puts on some really amazing productions. Last year they did "Spamalot" and it was wonderful. We're also going to see "The Wizard of Oz" in November. This is one of my favorite movies and in truth, my sister hates it. But we are all looking forward to the play.

So that's all for me at the moment. I'm planning on cross stitching today and resting from yesterday. I've learned to go at that pace with RA. I'm in a really good place at the moment with only some occasional pain, mostly in my right hand and wrist and in my toes. I've already made the beds and picked up a little bit, so an afternoon in my stitchy chair will be a good thing.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Happiness and love is sent your way.

Hugs
Sharon


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Back soon, I hope

My poor laptop has been having issues this week so I had to take it to the computer hospital. I'm doing this on my tablet and it's beyond annoying. I'll post a catch-up post as soon as I can.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Short Poem

The GP's went down to GA,
They were looking to spend some time,
With the grands while their Mom and Dad
Went off to unwind.

Papaw and the grands rode bikes,
played outside and took a hike.
Grammy fed, both the kids and dog,
and slept each night like a log.

When it was time to head back home,
the littles started to moan.
I think they liked having us there,
But we had to rest our bones.

We'll be back, we told them,
But now we must go home to rest.
Three little ones hugged and kissed us,
We certainly are blessed.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ramblings

Hello there blogging friends. I'm back with another post. Please, deep breaths, relax. It's really me after only a week.  :)

How have y'all been? I hope everyone is safe after Harvey and Irma. If you are in the Northwest, I hope you are out of the path of the fire. Here in Hillbilly country, AKA East Tennessee, we are experiencing winds and rain from Irma but nothing of the proportions folks in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina felt. I'm absolutely ready for fall but not wet and windy.

I'm getting better every day. I actually went to Walmart yesterday for the first time in probably a year. I didn't use an electric cart. I knew what I wanted to get and that was the extent of my shopping. Straight in, grab the things and out. Then I went to the grocery and I did use the electric cart there. After Walmart, I thought I shouldn't push it. Two stores in one trip! I told the Hubs last night when he came in and he said, "I'm glad you were able to do that!" When I asked if he was glad because he didn't have to go grocery shopping as much, he said that was part of it, but he was mostly glad that I was able to get out and do these things. I think he's been worried about me!  :)

I got the sweetest photo from Abby the other day. She had taken James and Sam to the library and James want to take Sam to the play area.  Isn't this the cutest photo??


It makes my heart melt!

I've been cross stitching like crazy. I'm back in my happy place. I've totally lost any desire to crochet and that's really too bad as I had planned on making the grands snuggle sacks for Christmas. However, I've fallen out of love with them and they seem more like a chore than a pleasure so they won't be made this year. Maybe next year or I'll totally do something else. I have another plan up my sleeve, one which I think will go faster and be happily received. We'll see how that works.

I got happy mail last Thursday. I bought Lizzie*Kate's Christmas Mystery Sampler and I received the first part. I love doing these samplers. This year, I went with 16 count fabric and I'm really enjoying it. I'm not a linen or evenweave person. Aida is my friend as my eyes get older and personally, I think it looks just fine. 




Tuesday, I started:


Wednesday I did more:


There's a big debate on Facebook about not showing any of the sampler until the next installment comes out because it ruins it for those who haven't gotten theirs yet. Some don't even want it shown until all the installments have been mailed. I don't go on Facebook much anymore except to check out some cross stitch sites and personally, I don't have a problem with anyone posting their work. Even if I hadn't received mine and gotten started, I would enjoy seeing others' work. But then, I'm usually a laid back, live and let live type of person. BTW, I'm also on Instagram and post there quite often. I'm @grammybraxton. 

Just getting around to posting this today, Saturday. I had to have cavities filled on Thursday afternoon and it knocked me down. I didn't realize how sore I would be but Friday morning my jaw was swollen and the joint ached. There was a lot going on in there and I have a small mouth, so room is at a premium. I didn't manage to do much at all Friday and when I was falling asleep in my chair at 6:30 PM, I decided it was time to put the ole gal to bed. I woke up at 7:30 this morning after 13 solid hours of sleep, and I do mean solid.

That's all for now. I'll get this posted and try to get chores done before my Cubs play the Cardinals. As always, thank you for reading my blog and commenting.

Hugs,
Sharon