Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Rich Life

I've been thinking a lot about getting through difficult times. To say we are all tightening our belts is an understatement. The word prioritize has taken on a whole new meaning. We are learning, for some the hard way, to appreciate what we have, to delay gratification, and to keep "to do" lists and wishlists. We seem to need to "one-up" a co-worker, or friend, with tales of money woes. Yes, misery sure does love company.

But as a student of history, I know that our forbears have been through times like these, have persevered, have discovered their inner strengths, have unearthed hidden talents, and have forged friendships that will last well past these challenging days.

Maybe it's time to re-define what it means to live a rich life, a life filled with friends and family, humor, appreciation, and contemplation. We will have spent a great deal of time kicking ourselves for past errors in judgment, for living only for today and not planning adequately for the future, for keeping up appearances at any cost. Hopefully, we will have also discovered that some of those former priorities feel just a little hollow now, stacked up against what we have come to count on as sure and constant.

I was cashing out a customer today at the bookstore who was buying three or four British cross-stitch magazines, so we got talking. I gave her my opinion that, even though they were expensive, she could be spending money on worse things, like booze and cigarettes. Of course, if I didn't stitch, I told her, I'd probably take up smoking!

Here's my start on the Old Salty Santas. So far, I've found all the DMC colors in my stash.

Posted by Picasa

I'm also progressing on the third sail of Sailors' Knots. This piece sure has taken a lot longer than I ever thought it would. I remember taking the kit to a stitch-in at a local shop several years ago. That shop, like so many, has now gone out of business.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 17, 2009

That Ole Black Magic, aka Startitis

Yes, I fell under the spell again. Came across this great Old Salty Santas chart (in my stash, which is a good thing), and decided I just HAD to kit this up. It's nautical and Christmasy all-in-one. I'm going to stitch it on 14 ct. Misty Taupe Aida (like the model, yeah I'm like that). Aren't they just adorable?!

Posted by Picasa

Found a real treasure on eBay this past week. I had a saved search posted in there for the Oberlin Gettysburg cross-stitch chart, hoping for the one with just the word, like the other state and city ones, but got "BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG," which I think is way cooler, especially for a history buff like myself. It has real significance for me this year, since I walked Pickett's Charge in June.

Posted by Picasa

And, finally, I am making good progress on the largest and last sail. I have mounted it in my stitching stand, and that has made it alot easier to stitch (and easier to photograph, too! )

Friday, October 2, 2009


With each October, comes increased Breast Cancer awareness and for me, that means memories, some horrific, some warm and loving. And, as I think about others facing cancer, I am reminded of dear friends who saw me through it and are there to this day. When my friend Marianne heard about my diagnosis 16 years ago, she told her husband she just had to see me in person. So she and Joe came down from Toledo to see me in Montgomery. Here we are in my driveway (me in my wig, overcompensating with way too much make-up!)

Posted by Picasa

The following spring, as I was finishing up with chemo, they came down to Cincinnati again, this time to hear my son Nathaniel sing with the Cincinnati Boychoir during May Festival. Here we are on Fountain Square (I was sure skinny!). And, yes, she is still great at accessorizing with scarves!

Posted by Picasa

Marianne and Joe lost their dear Westie last year. He had been Joe's dog before they got married, and brightened their days from 1991 to 2008. When I saw this design stitched on khaki fabric, I knew I had to stitch this for them. I gave it to Marianne this past week, when she was in town for our librarians' meeting.

Posted by Picasa

Here's to great friends, warm memories, and to Finding a Cure !!