Sharing my life and love of cross stitch. Thoughts about this and that.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Twice in 12 hours

My mother was back in the Emergency Room yesterday evening. Dad asked me to drive them. It's barely 1/2 mile. After 5 hours in the ER she was released. It was 10pm before I got home. This morning she couldn't remember why she went to the ER. I ask for any prayers you can spare for her. I'm accompanying them to the doctor's office tomorrow morning. It will likely be another visit with no answers.

This morning I was up before 6 for a City-Wide, Multi-Agency Full Scale Disaster Drill at the new Cowboy Stadium in Arlington. I've never seen more police, fire, emergency vehichles, personnel, EMT's and Paramedics in one place in my life. I was one of more than 40 "victims." We were instructed to play it for real, but not to over-dramatize. A paramedic finally asked if I were really OK. :] I can't say enough about their kindness and caring just as if we had been really injured. In my scenario a truck had plowed through the crowd outside, severely injuring many and killing others. I was dreading the make-up, but instead was assigned to walk away from the scene having difficulty breathing & very dizzy. All "victims" were removed from the scene to local hospitals via small school bus or ambulance. One "victim" even got a 60-second helicopter ride. I ended up in an ambulance back to the same hospital to be assigned the room next to the ER holding room where my mother had been 12 hours earlier. The nurse walked in. He looked at me. Me at him, and he said: weren't you ....? Yep. He kindly asked about mother. I took his picture. Very interesting experience. The biggest disappointment is that we all thought we'd be INSIDE the stadium. I'll be writing more about it and hopefully uploading some photos to my EMVolunteer blog (link at right) in the next few days.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Orchid Freebie

One of my other hobbies is raising orchids in my south-facing home office window. Pretty much all you really have to do is water them, give them a bit of food and stay out of the way. Mist occasionally or set in a tray with pebbles and a bit of water to kick up the humidity. I treat mine with studied neglect. One of my favorites was Blazing Treat, a cattleya. After 3 years, I sadly managed to kill it with too much studied neglect. Usually this one had 2 bloom stems with 5 blooms on each one. Unfortunately, the blooms only lasted exactly 3 weeks. I currently have a phalaenopsis that has been in bloom since before Christams. I so loved my Blazing Treat that I converted a similar photo into a cross stitch chart. Never again!! However, I present this for your stitching enjoyment. Download is subject to the copyright information on the right. If you stitch Blazing Treat, please let me know. I'd love to share your work on this blog!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


My brother flew in from LA Thursday for a twice postponed visit. I picked him up at DFW at 3:45, my DD arrived back from a business trip at 5:00, and my sister returned from Geneva following an 8-day visit with a son at 6:00. I am rarely more than a few miles from home. But not the reason for the post. My parents are 82 and 84. Dad had to take Mother to the ER in the middle of the night with a severe headache. Fearing a stroke, she had a CAT scan. Not this time, however they did find evidence she has had one in the past. We don't know when. At least my brother, who being so far away is all but completely insulated from the day-to-day aging and mounting infirmatives of our parents, was the one there to help them this time. Mom's condition continues to get worse. She was always the rock of the family and the glue that kept us together. It is so upsetting to watch her age and grow unable to do the things she's always loved. She's had such a hard 18 months with several broken vertebra and several surgeries. The trauma of repeated surgeries over a 10-month period alone has caused part of this. Though her short term memory suffers more and more, we've seen nothing that would generally indicate a stroke. She's the one person in the family we expected to be going strong well into her 90's. I've been counting on that. Instead, my Dad insists that he can care for her by himself, but that is wearing him down as well. I don't want this to happen. I want them to be the strong, loving and generous parents I've known all my life. I know it is inevitable, but I don't want it to really ever be. I am not ready for it, and I am very sad and very upset.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Modifying a design

I frequently play around with floss types and/or colors, and occasionally with the bits and pieces of a design to meet my need or eye. The insert is the original Prairie Schooler design from their Designer Series book, "Forget-Me-Nots" (still available), which I modified only slightly (though it appears a lot different) and stitched for Mylene in a 2007 exchange. I wanted something more light and airy with pastel/spring colors. The design remains copyright The Prairie Schooler.

  1. Change some of the colors - DMC, Crescent Colors, maybe a GAST

  2. Change text to a similar-looking back-stitch that I made up

  3. Divide the text so part was above and part below the main motif

  4. Remove dark bottom panel

  5. Copy and flip the top half of the borders

  6. Center text & center motif inside

  7. Add a stitch to each side of the horizontal lines at top and bottom to accomodate the backstitch text and position

  8. Add an extra light green stitch to the center-pointing leaves at top

  9. Add an extra light green stitch to the leaves on the sides to match

  10. Then adjust the single side stitches by two stitches toward the center of the side

Remarkably, it ended up the same height as the original. Sometimes things just work out.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Freebie - He Lives

Click on image to be taken to a larger photo. Stitch with or without the back-stitch crosses in the background. Those look best in a very pale shade of the suggested colors or perhaps 211. Enjoy.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Moved my Blog - Finally

I've intended to move my Yahoo360 Bits of Floss blog pretty much from day 2, but instead I've spent years trying to figure out where. I really wish Blogger had Wordpress' static page option. Otherwise, either are FAR preferable to the limited, molasses slow and incredibly cumbersome Yahoo 360. Then there was the question of which template to choose. I've been all over the web and finally found a couple that might be okay, but they wouldn't download. Oh drat! So here I am back with a basic Blogger template that I've enhanced with a photo of my pansies, which I played around with to form the banner. For now the background is this nice soft spring yellow. I was going to brighten it up with colorful text, but have decided that the color should come from the photos I will add. So WELCOME to my new blog on the web. I'll be adding gadgets and other things from time to time, and hopefully some photos of recent finishes, so come back soon! UPDATE: I've discovered due to the "stretch" template's ability to stretch to fit the monitor size, after hours of fine-tuning my banner that it only works right with with a 1024 x 768 monitor setting. Changing to the non-stretch template would cause me to loose all my font and color settings. Blog & learn.