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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Brother Jim duets with James Galway!

My Dad has recently started a private webalbum on and has been uploading a mere fraction of his photos and slides taken over a life-time. I ran across this photo a bit ago that I didn't know had been taken. My brother Jim is a professional musician/composer/arranger/conductor/producer, etc. One of his regular gigs is in the orchestra at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA. He's also been their Asst/Guest conductor for several years. About 9 years ago the Cathedral's special guest was James Galway, there to play an unusual duet with a trombone. However, the person who normally played it with him (I think it was his wife) was under the weather, So Jim got the unexpected and thrillling opportunity to fill-in at literally the last minute and ended up sight-reading music he'd barely had time to quickly scan and had never heard before while standing next to the best-known flautist in the world! Jim's a consummate pro and unless you knew he was sight-reading you'd never be able to tell. It sounded wonderful! Galway turned and mouthed GOOD JOB! Because the services are taped a week in advance I was able to video tape it. Jim later asked if I had, and I ended up sending him the tape I would have loved to have kept! Occasionally the TV ministry "Hour of Power" still uses it as background music for various purposes, and I aways smile when I hear it. On Saturday evenings or Sunday mornings the current services air here, so when I catch them and spot my brother I always say aloud - "Theeerrre's Jiminy!" Always good to see a brother who lives so far away!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Freebie: Patriotic Elements

Just some doodling patriotic designs to mix and match as you choose. Enjoy.

I know a lot of stitchers are looking, but I have no idea how many might be downloading designs or whether I'm wasting my time posting some of these. If you've d/l a chart, I would really appreciate just a quick comment. THANKS!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

To the husbands and fathers, brothers, in-laws and friends, and in particular those men who though not the biodads, have stepped in to patiently raise and support children not even theirs! My sister and husband have invited us over for late lunch. This year it will just be DD and me, along with Mom and Dad.

In our family we celebrate my Dad and my great brother-in-law, who has been a wonderful step-Dad to my sister's twins, and even my brother who has been a father figure and confidant to and for my DD all her life. We choose to honor those men in our family who took over when the biodads utterly failed, and try to forget those who should done the right thing by their own children.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Daughter lost job

So to speak. She has her own business and had a contract with a German firm as their North American Manufacturer's Rep for the past couple of years, the result of a relationship she created when she cold-called them and convinced them they could have a profitable share of the North American market. They were so impressed that before the end of the 6 month trial period they tried to hire her full time. She declined. Long story short, she begin to get suspicious when a few months ago she met for a business lunch with them and at end of lunch was asked to wait in the lobby so the men could discuss business. She was absolutely livid. It's gone downhill from then. Monday she got a call from guy she caught in a bold face lie last week that they were reconsidering their contract. Oh, and they don't intend to reimburse her several thousand in expenses they insisted she incur and approved in advance, nor the monthly payments for May & June. She's hired a German lawyer to do some preliminary "Pay or else" work. Not knowing about lawyer, they called during the week to make sure she's still working for them. HUH??? It's totally bumfuzzling!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Freebie: Pinwheel Border

This fits a Charles Craft Hand Towel, or it can be repeated and stitched on a long piece of narrow cross stitch band and used for decoration on a basket, clothing, etc. Downloand subject to copyright information on the right. Stitch & enjoy.

Freebie: Pledge of Allegiance

Decided to go ahead and upload this one. Perfect for teachers, military personnel, professionals, children, and as a reminder to us all of who we are and what we stand for. The blue in the chart will print black on a BW printer. Downloads subject to copyright information on the right. Copy/Paste the Pattern Information below. Please stitch and enjoy.

Pattern Information - Pledge of Allegiance

Proud to be an American? Show your patriotism and share it with others! Choose your favorite patriotic colors or overdyes for a special effect. The Liberty Bell isn't really gold, so if you like, substitute 612 for a more bronze shade.

Stitch Size: 85w x 69h
  • 14/28 ct 6" x 4-7/8"
  • 16/32 ct 5-1/4" x 4-1/4"
  • Flag and Pledge in Blue
  • Liberty Bell Crack in Dark Brown
  • Straps in Gold
French Knot:
  • Bell clapper - Dark Brown
For interest:
  • Add Mill Hill white beads to the 50 stars and add embellisments in the upper corners.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Busy Week, Little Sleep, More Baby Possums

Very busy weather week in North Texas. Area-wide: Heavy rains. A bit of hail. Some high winds and resulting tree and roof damage. Flash flooding. River flooding. Half a million without power at one time or other. Some still in the dark. And at least one small tornado. I've been monitoring storms and doing event logging for the EOC, handling the Arlington frequency while logging the Tarrant County frequency used for National Weather Service storm spotter activation and in-the-field reports. See my EMVolunteer blog and my Twitter page.

Mama possum has been busy this spring. I had 2 more babies inside this week. I think they are coming in through the dryer vent, which I can't get to to block. Wednesday, when I realized I hadn't gotten garbage to street for pick up went to quickly do so. I was trying to figure out why the garbage sack had fallen inside bin yet again, reached in for edge of sack and exposed 2 sad little eyes looking up at me. No idea how long it'd been in there but it had chewed up a whole bunch of stuff. It was likely starving as not much goes in there it could actually eat. I removed what garbage I safely could, went out the back door, tipped over can, gently whopped the bottom until baby possum took off, then cleaned spilled garbage off patio. In the meantime, I missed the garbage truck. Thursday night, eating a very late supper between late storms, I heard a sack rattle. Not cat sitting at my feet so went to investigate. Heard scuffling in the empty dog food sack to be hauled out to the street Saturday am. I tilted it up and unfolded the top. After I took it's photo, I gently dumped him on the back patio as well. Then FRIDAY night, I was walking past closed garbage sack containing previously gnawed garbage to be hauled to street THIS morning and heard scrambling. Something had chewed a hole in the sack. I carefully moved ALL new and old garbage into THIRD sack. Whatever was inside had scrambled away. I set up cat carrier with food inside and door set so that if something moved inside it the door would fall shut. Hope whoever takes the bait. I can't put sacks out overnight on the street because other animals get into them, so I have to get up and take them out early = if I don't oversleep. I can't wait until baby possums they are too big to sneak in! The one in the dog food sack may be the same one I caught in the carrier last week. No idea who is back inside now. I'm apparently going to have to start taking these guys far far away to release. Baby possums are left to fend for themselves when they are about the size of a large rat. I give them credit for finding a way inside! I think they are cute, but I want them OUTSIDE. Sadly, even the most successful ones lead short little lives. Perhaps I need to post about my strangest and most miraculous encounter with the largest and oldest possum I've ever met. I still think it was heaven-sent.

Freebies: I'll be uploading a new patriotic freebie this weekend, but at moment I've GOT to get some sleep to boost my weekly sleep total up from only 12 or 15 hours since Monday morning. Since it's already 5:45 a.m. and I have to take out trash, get some sleep and still be up by 8:45 to make it to a high school alumni meeting by 9:30, and with more storms predicted for later today, looks like I'm going to remain a zombie through the weekend. I wonder why I can't get any stitching done???

[edited a few times since originally posted]

Monday, June 8, 2009

Freebie: Patriotic

When using the smaller of the two rockets, this is a quick stitch and fun project for party decorations or favors. The larger pattern makes a larger rocket. Rather than stitching all that white, choose a white fabric and only stitch the blue and red. Example is stitched on 14ct white Aida. Stitch a front and back on same piece of fabric leaving 3/4" between them. When complete face the front sides together and stitch a seam so that the space between the front and back will be 3/4". Take a tuck on either side of the nose of the rocket so that it ends in a blunt point. Turn inside out, then stuff with bits of fiberfill. Stick 3/8" wooden dowel up through fiber fill to nose of rocket. Fold under the raw bottom edge 1/2 to 3/4 inch then tie 1/4" ribbon around the bottom for streamers. CAUTION: USE EXTRA CAUTION AROUND SMALL CHILDREN who could fall and injure themselves on or with the dowel. I'm afraid my example was sort of beat up a bit by the time I thought to take a photo. I thought these would make nice pot stickers! In the past another stitcher or group or stitchers used this chart to make bookmarks for St. Jude's. Download subject to copyright information on the right. Stitch and enjoy. If you make a rocket, I'd love to see how and where you display it!