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

Thursday, October 25, 2012

WIP Progress, Reading Binge, New Freebie Links

After a long hiatus, I finally did some stitching earlier this month. But mostly I've been on a reading (and ice cream) binge. Since 9/5 I've read 19 books, six of them in the past week including 3 mysteries by Laura Levine, a TV sitcom writer turned novelist (her heroine, Jaine Austen, is owned by a cat named Prozac - it gets funnier), the latest MC Beaton Agatha Raisen mystery, the final Anne & Todd McCaffrey PERN novel (okay, I read some, became totally disenchanted and confused, read the ending which left me even more confused, put it aside while I read 2 other books and deciding whether I wanted to even go back to it, skimmed another couple of chapters then took it back to the library. Okay, I didn't read all of it, nor can I recommend it even to hardcore Anne and PERN fans.The last couple of days I've read Killing Lincoln, pausing in the middle to read one of the far more light-hearted and wholly inconsequential Jaine Austen mysteries. I've got a several hundred page, non-fiction Time Traveller's Guide to the Universe to probably read all of (I enjoy astronomy), a cozy mystery by a different writer, and put 2 more Jaine Austen mysteries on reserve at the Library. Now that my eyes are totally fried, I need to try to get back to stitching - something anyway. I really hadn't intended to finish "Bless This Nest," yet there I was stitching on it for hours at a time. I'm a fast reader but a very SLOW stitcher.

** Check out the new links on my Freebie List!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Good News - More Sad News

Alex April 2008


April 2004

My son-in-law, Dan, called Tuesday to tell me he's been accepted into the M.Div. program at Brite Divinity School (TCU). I was unaware he had applied. However, I am very happy and excited as it is very meaningful to him. As he started to hang up he asked if I'd like to have the left over cat food from when they had a cat at the house.

Huh? WHAT??? I asked "Has something happened to ...." which is when I found out DD's 16-year-old Miss Chatty Cat (my name for her) had been missing for 3 or 4 weeks, since shortly after Brulet disappeared. I was disappointed they hadn't told me. Then last night at choir practice Dan told me that Alex, DD's almost 14-year-old Akita? mix had taken a turn for the worst, that they had put off the decision too long (they mentioned hard decisions in August when I last watched over DD's cat and dogs), and that they had asked a vet to come to their home. It turned out to be the same one that had done the emergency C-Section when Alex gave birth to her late-in-life, cruise-souvenir "Pups" in 2008.  Alex was gently released from her pain and the infirmaties of advanced age in her own back yard, with my DD holding her.

DD has never had to do this before and I know it was something she's been dreading for a long time. The decision was, as is usually for each of us pet owners, sadly inevitable. I've taken care of Alex and Miss CC off and on for the past 12 years (and more recently the Pups) when my DD was out-of-town - sometimes as often as twice a month for a week or more at a time. They have been as much part of my family and my heart as my own furbabies. I have been crying all morning. One of the reasons my DD kept 3 of the now 4-year-old Pups, was so that when Alex passed she would have something left of her. They are her solace. One looks so much like Alex we have all sometimes mistaken him for her. l can't find a picture of Miss Chatty Cat, a beautiful domestic long hair.

UPDATE: A night or so later, Heather got up in the middle of the night and was shocked to see Alex asleep in her dog bed. It was only when she reached down to see if she could pat her that she realized it was the look-alike Pup, who had never before slept in it. He continues to do so.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sang in Quartet at Church This Morning

Northwest Christian Church - Arlington

 I'm the short one. (Can't believe I had to say that! I must already be getting shorter.) I'm standing next to my Son In Law. Yes, he's somewhat older than my DD. My DD and Dad also attend. Dad took the photo.

Webshots is Shutting Down - Permanently

As of December 1st. They've started a new "photo storage" site called Smile, which has a annual fee and is NOT a public photo share site like Webshots is. You MUST do something prior to December 1st, otherwise you'll lose access to your photos forever. You can tranfer your photos to Smile (though I understand from people who have that they end up all scrambled, NOT in the original albums, and are only available to view for invited guests - a real bummer for those who want to look at cross stitch projects), or you can d/l back to your computer. I have an old Flickr Account I rarely used, and tried out PhotoBucket, but preferred Webshots format at the time. This is the 3rd online photo storage/share site that has closed on me. Not sure what I will do.  Be aware that if you've linked to photos on Webshots, those links will no longer be valid. When my computer crashed and I lost everything between 2005 and early 2010 (my backups didn't work), I was able to replace SOME of them because I did have a Webshots and FlickR account. The link to one of my Webshots albums is apparently listed in a Galveston tour guide, and I have traffic because of that. I don't know who lists it, so I'm not sure what will become of those photos. I'm unsure what to do now. Anyone have any suggestions?


Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Library & Lost Books - I FINALLY Acidentally Found Them!!

I love my branch library. Though originally located in a much smaller stand-alone building, with some actual individual character, it was moved into it's current storefront location within the same shopping center in 1996 when the small Safeway sold out to some other chain (now defunct) which built a new, much larger facility directly behind the former Safeway (where the Library was) requiring it's destruction. Though considerably larger in square footage than the building it replaced, the storefront location was too small from the outset. It's ALWAYS busy.

Consequently, having the entire catalog of books and materials from all the Arlington libraries online one can peruse at leisure, reserve any book regardless of actual location, have it delivered to then pick it up from my local branch in under 2 minutes is wonderfully convenient! With renewals, one can check out a book for up to 9-weeks. I rarely have to renew anything. Usually.

Last spring I checked out a  couple of books in the mystery series I was then reading. Finished both in a week or so. Afterwards was pretty sure that at some  point I had had them with me to return when I ran errands one day, but maybe it started raining, and maybe instead I brought them home and inside - where they immediately disappeared into my very own personal black hole - where many things I never find again apparently de-coalesce.  I searched and I searched and I searched, even making special trips to 2 restaurants where I might have taken one or the other of them to read and maybe had inadvertently left it there? Maybe once, but TWICE?? No. I searched places in the house where they couldn't ever possibly be. By the end of the 9-weeks I reluctantly reached the only other reasonable conclusion: that somehow I had inadvertently knocked them off into the recycle bin or garbage can and were long gone, as unlikely as that might be. Still that MIGHT have happened. On the last possible day of the last possible renewal period I womaned-up and told a librarian I simply could not find the books and needed to pay for them. if you don't by the final due date you've got to pay the accumulated fines PLUS the cost of replacing the book. 

I thought that libraries would get some sort of wholesale deal. Apparently not. Full hard cover price was what it was going to cost me, plus $5 fee per book. (Assuming they are till in print, which I doubt.) Total? Sixty bucks! Yikes. I pulled out my MC. To my surprise the librarian suggested I keep looking, checked them out to me as if from scratch and started that whole 9-week cycle over. I received 2 more reprieves over the summer, the last one extending the "absolutely need to find by" date to October 22nd. I had no where else I could look and by the end of September I was past ready to call it quits, pony up the full amount and just get it over with. As of October 1st I had one more 3-week renewal left, but enough was enough. I stopped at the library to just pay. Had the lines not been very long with kids apparently from a near-by children's center checking out books through the librarians (rather than self-serve) I would have. Instead I came home and did that one final 3-week renewal online to avoid fines on top of the cost of the books. I was going to pay Saturday and would have had I managed to get out of the house before the Library closed early. Monday was a holiday, so definitely TUESDAY. I was tired of dealing with it.

With that decision firmly made ... Saturday night I was changing the bed, carefully moving my current reading venture to the nightstand so I'd know exactly where it was. Ok, just how many times have I changed the bed in the last 5 months? I can't even count. As usual I was struggling to tuck the fitted sheet at the foot of the bed. There is always that one last hard to get to corner that necessarily involves brute force and the hope one doesn't dislocated a shoulder or get flung across the room in the process. I'd already done the 3rd corner. Between the last 2 I spotted a piece of fabric between the mattress and the foot of the bed. A pillow case. I plucked it out and ... wait .. what momentary miniscule glint did I just spy out of the corner of my little eye? Still holding on to the ever-so-slightly bent far corner of the mattress, I looked closer into the shadows at the end of the bed. Did I see what I thought I just saw? I reached down to feel. It was hard. I looked closer. Could it possibly be ...YES YES Y E S !!!! BOTH books ... And after months and months, suddenly serendipitously there they were, wedged side-by-side in the just-wide-enough space between the box springs and the railed foot of my will-survive-any-old-EF5 of the cast iron bedstead. But hadn't I looked there several times already? And why hadn't I seen them when changing sheets or when standing at the dresser not 2 feet away?  They SHOULD have been pretty obvious. I can't explain it! Nonetheless, HURRAY!! At LAST.  There they both were, resting edgewise on the lip of the frame that the box spring sits on, otherwise they would have fallen to the floor and I would have found them months ago during any one of the numerous times I looked under the bed with the flashlight (one would hope), but too low for me to feel when I tucked in the top sheets. I couldn't believe it. After all these months and all that searching...

I was going to drop them off at the library after church today, but decided I wanted to make dern sure they were properly checked in by handing them directly to a librarian rather than just drop them in the outside return slot. So Monday then. No TUESDAY.  They're laying on the front seat of my car. Not bringing those 2 back inside the house. WHEW!!!  Quite a scare. I've felt really guilty all along.

UPDATE: I did hand them to a library assistant who immediately checked them in for me. Double WHEW!

MILESTONEI mark the passage of the seasons by more practical measures than a date on the calendar: 1) when in the fall it's finally cool enough inside to put on sweats, and 2) when it's too warm the next spring (here it's usually still officially "winter.") to continue to wear them. This year my YIPPEE SWEATS!! day was October 6th, when we set a Record LOW high of 57, another Record LOW high on Sunday, then tied a record low LOW on Monday morning of 39.  I only recently got to turn my A/C OFF I'm not about to turn the heater ON any time soon. It got down to 63 in the house. I'm pretty sure October 6th is the earliest YIPPEE SWEATS!! Day has ever been! YIPPEE!!!