Aug 29, 2019

The cat and the cabinet

Hello people!  It reached over 70 degrees today.  It's August.  It should have been hot day and night instead of the mild temps all month.  I'm sitting on my swing with a jacket, and thought I would show you the finished cabinet and some pics of the cat.
I made an error on the paint.  The sample jars had their lids crossed and Shaded White was on the label but Natural Cream was inside.  It is more on the pinkish/grayish side of beige which is better for small rooms lit by incandescent light.  It has a habit to show more yellow and green in paint so I chose this color.
 I would like to install a very small iron hook on the cabinet's door to hang a small wreath or stitched piece, but since I have one on the powder room's door, it may be too much.  But it sure would look nice even if nothing is hung on it.
Very happy with this built in, lots of storage and makes the tiny room look much larger without the wall hung cabinet.  Love the color too.  Surprised?  So is Mark.
And here's Nosey.  He seems to be living in the bushes behind the wood pile and waits for me to feed the deer.  Even though it's dried corn, he needs to check it out.  Twice I have left a little pile of cat food.  If you feed me, I will come.  And stay!
 Good grief I do not want another cat.  After his meal, he decided to take a snooze.There aren't any fights, they are all cautious around each other, but he has been seen off and on all summer so they may be used to him.
Jason the Gorgeous has not appeared as yet, so I hired another firm to take over and finish what he started.  He is not the best business man, or landscaper by far, but who cares?  This outfit is very professional and a ton more money, but with the number of employees and crews and experience, it will be done pronto and proper once and for all.  Unfortunately, the work will be done during my three days of quiet time while Mark is away for golf.
Have a fabulous Friday!!
Thanks for visiting.

Aug 28, 2019


5.  Another.
6.  May be going back to Cleveland Clinic sooner than expected.  Hope to find out more very soon.
Have a good weekend as August closes down. 
I am crabass, hear me scream.

Aug 27, 2019

Three things

1.  I am sick to my stomach and pained in my heart about the Amazon.

2.  I do not want or need another stray to care for, but this pitiful big boy will not leave.
3.  There is great improvement to my eyes.  The extreme dryness seems to be breaking blood vessels?  I get a bloody bump that feels like a thumb in my eye and then it breaks and there is relief.  Stitching tonight!
And of no importance but I prefer even numbers...
4.  I have been eating way too much chocolate.

Aug 26, 2019

A new sampler?

Greetings.  Did you have a great weekend?  Did you have to wear a sweatshirt?  Are you as upset as I am that summer is over?  The shortest one ever!!
I had no intention to browse for a new chart, and honestly, don't know where online to view new samplers without spending a great deal of time going through all new releases.  There are many I have missed over the years, and I guess this is one.
Jannet Spiers by NeedleWorkPress.  I happened to peruse Facebook's stitching sites and spotted what I believe is the original piece.  Looking at this photo of the chart is not appealing to my taste.  Seeing that aged original on a beautiful tan linen was a different reaction.  I love it.  I have many R&R charts that are not that eye catching on the chart, but with a different fabric and color scheme, they are.  Weird isn't it?  The design should be what attracts us to a project but sometimes seeing the original or a different linen changes it completely.  For me, anyway.  I may actually order this one. 
Would love to show you the photo I saw but I don't know if we can share posted FB photos.  But after playing with the colors in the photo program, this is similar.
This little girl is munching on mushrooms she is harvesting from the yard.  Full of various types and lots of fallen leaves.
This is what Mark did with the leftover pieces of wood from the cabinet.  Years ago he made a short height footstool for Carole, a boxed style that is more stable than legs. 
Standing too close to the edge will not tip it.  She keeps it by her bed which helps her get in and out much easier, and she also moves it to the tub.  Its 4 1/2" height is just enough for an assist.  She requested this one at 5 1/2" and we added a sturdy handle on the side for easier handling.
All that's left is adding the no-slip strips to the top since the wood is smooth and slippery.  It was sealed with a spray of clear enamel. 
For Anonymous -the built in cabinet, we sanded lightly (steel wool) after staining and then used Collinite solid paste wax (a car wax found in auto stores) which gives a soft sheen and waterproofing.  It can also be used over acrylic varnish, I'm not a fan of polyurethane which can't be painted over or refinished easily.
Painting the powder room tomorrow and waiting for the hinges to arrive.  Tried a new eye drop, I think I've tried every single brand, and it's no different than the others.  Similasan seems to be the easiest to apply and the most soothing.
Have a good day to start the last week of summer!
Thanks for visiting.

Aug 24, 2019

A cabinet is born

All that's left is the trim and door.  I can only imagine what this would have looked like if we allowed the stairway carpenter to have at it!!  I decided to use the same iron H hinges that I have on the other cupboards instead of the costly rat tails.  Rather than prime and apply two coats of paint on the interior, staining and waxing was much quicker and will be easier to care for.  For projects that have cut edges of drywall, I always wrap those crumbling edges with masking tape to prevent further dust.   Mark did not agree with the height of the top shelf but I am glad to have the tall space for cleaning supplies.  The narrow shelf for nail polish and smaller items will have a basket to hold them all.
The air conditioner has not been on for quite a while and it was so chilly, we had to close the windows.  Damn.  Not happy!!
Hope your weekend goes well!!

Aug 22, 2019


So here we go.  We knew there was a double wall with a vent stack, but did not know there were pipes limiting the usable depth.  The cabinet will still be over 6" deep and that's a good size for tissue and cleaning supplies, and 28 bottles of hardened nail polish.
Oh how I hate cutting drywall.  That dust goes everywhere!  When I took down the stair wall I made a hole with a hammer and pulled it off in pieces, still a mess, but not as bad as using a saw.  This was necessary in order to have a straight edge and is his preferred method.  Mine is to wait until he's golfing and then go nuts. 
Since Mark is doing the work (not something he likes) I am not changing the wainscot.  This one has what is called chatter marks where the saw making the grooves creates a rippled cut, not straight and smooth.  Wasn't noticeable until paint was applied and it has always bugged me.  But since this job is now ours, I don't want to push my luck by asking for more changes.  I appreciate that he is willing to do this and will just whine about the chatter until he can't take it any more.  Nah.  Just kidding.
We'll trim it out with a simple flush door and black butterfly or rattail hinges, painted the same Shaded White.  Much lighter than what we have now, but still a good contrast with white walls.
Have a great day!!


Aug 21, 2019

Johnny Marzetti

Hi folks.  No stitching to show.  My eyes have been really bad lately and the drops only last for about 10 minutes before more are needed. 

I am viewing Instagram more and more, and enjoy seeing the photos of those participating in #commonthreadedstitcher.  When I saw the ones for chart, thread, and fabric stash, I was floored!  I thought I had quite a few charts and linen yardage but I was WAY wrong.  Way way way.  I've been to stitching shops with less inventory than a few of the stitchers!  Holy cabolie.  Sampler Queen Carol had the most impressive stash, not only for organization but for quantity.  As with FB, I am naïve to the tips and tools, so the more people I choose to follow the more confused I get.  But one day, when the fog lifts and the eyes are clear, when jowls recede and hormones return, when summer is six months and winter is a week, I'll have an epiphany about such sites and may even purchase a phone to participate. 

I wanted to share my sister's most requested meal from the kids and friends.  Many versions of Johnny Marzetti out there, this is hers.

I large onion, chopped fine
2# lean ground  beef
12 oz package of very wide noodles, cooked
3 tsp salt (less if watching)
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 28 oz. can tomato puree
1 can tomato soup (like Campbell's)
1 16 oz. can tomato sauce
3 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup (more) shredded sharp cheddar

Saute onions, add meat and brown.  Drain if needed.  Add sauce, puree, soup, and seasonings.  Bring to a boil, add cooked noodles, pour into greased casserole dish.  Sprinkle top with the cheese and bake for 35 to 45 minutes at 350.  Can be made a day ahead, just bake a little longer if cold.

Many versions but with some not liking green peppers, or mushrooms, or sausage, or anything else you could add, she keeps it simple and everyone can partake.

A few days of nice weather, still not the heat that some are having, and my crabass claws are starting to emerge.  In a few months, I will be snow crabass.
Hope the week is going well!!

Aug 18, 2019

One more Sunday to September

Unbelievable.  I can't wait until summer.
Been painting and trying to imagine a plan to correct the wonky work, but unless it's all removed, there really isn't anything we can do.
 I wanted to show you the Limelight hydrangea bush, flower heads just as large as last year.  Yep, that's my arm holding it up.  We have the tree version and neither it nor others that I've seen generate the flower size of the bush variety.

The Annabelles are starting to bloom again, mixed in with the large dried blooms in that lovely green.

The trim paint continues to be Dove Wing from BMoore (on left), and rather than put myself through more sample jars and wasted time, decided to use the Shaded White in the powder room.  You can see the difference in the two colors on the strip of the frame where the hinge is attached.  Shaded White is a dirty white, warm grayish Farrow & Ball color mixed by Behr.  I use matte for the walls and Eggshell for the trim.  After two coats the sheen becomes close to satin but not quite as shiny.

I'll find something to paint yellow, maybe the wall cabinet in the foyer.  Always loved DT Smith's yellow kitchens and I am set on something in this color with black hinges.
This is such a drastic change after living with the very dark taupe for 25 years, and of course I am having second thoughts, but when the walls are painted with the White Dove, there may be enough contrast.  And if not, too bad.
Hope your weekend went well.  Mine was uneventful.  Except for the heartburn after the fried green tomatoes.
Thanks for visiting.

Aug 15, 2019

My last visit to James Creek

James Creek Galleries and Meander Hill in Youngstown Ohio are the only two shops that I like to visit.  James is closing.  The Amish market stand that we visit is in Volant so I decided to stop for one last time.  Their 40-70% off sale starts Saturday but everything is 30% off this week, 40% off Americana.  There were some fall and Christmas items mixed among the wares.  Not wanting anything new for display, I came home with four evergreen bunches for holiday decorating, two gourds that I could not resist, and two pillow shams.  I only purchased one of each color and style.
The pear gourds are a good size, sit perfectly, with great stems.  Who could pass them up for $5?  The shams are queen size in a heavy woven material which I plan to sew into bags.  I will miss that shop.
We've been painting the stair rail and trim in the small foyer, and the door in that hallway to the half bath (with Moore's Dove Wing).  I would love to have a color in a room but decided to follow through with shades of white as planned, except for the powder room.  It may be the colors shown leaning against the wall, Shaded White for the trim, but I am considering colonial yellow. 
The wall cabinet will be coming down and we're removing the drywall and building a larger built in cabinet in that wall.  Remember decades ago when everything had a heart cutout?  I can see a colonial yellow cabinet with black rattail hinges.  Guess I'll be heading out for paint samples tomorrow.  The mirror over the pedestal sink is turned sideways, and I added black hooks on it.  Unfortunately, my tiny Italian aunts could not see themselves in it!!  Oh to be that short. 
 Seems it was only yesterday that I was complaining about August starting, and it's already half gone. 
Happy Friday!

Aug 12, 2019

House complete!

Hi folks.  How was the weekend?  Fall is closing in quickly isn't it?  The correct answer is yes, dammit.  I know there are many of you whose favorite season is Fall, and one of our favorite sampler stitchers loves winter.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion even when we don't agree, maybe the country can take a lesson on how gracious and respectful stitchers are to one another!  From 14 count white Aida to 48 count dark linen, from cute little motifs to massive samplers, from cotton threads to high end silks, from freebies to expensive kits, we respect others' preferences/choices/likes/abilities.  As it should be.
Now, here's my progress.  It's been so long since I filled in a larger area, I forgot about directional change.  My wonky stitches are usually always uneven because of my tension issues.  I use the sewing method and do the first half and then return for the cross, which creates obvious horizontal rows. 
When I stitched horizontal and then vertical to complete the stitch, it created a really nice appearance, even and neat.  I don't know if you can see the difference between the solid areas and the door (the only part done in two directions) but I can!  No visible rows on the door.
The satin stitch rows beneath the house are over four threads, three rows of different greens, and I'm wondering if I should use three threads instead of two.  I'm done for the night, eyes are terribly dry today, tomorrow I will test the coverage.  Two doesn't look bad, and it's a small area of the sampler so it will not be noticeable.  I'm close to finishing this first page and realize that the amount of linen to the piece will be a problem for me at some point.  I used to be able to roll and hold the excess but my arthritis is taking a very sharp turn to WTH!!
Can you find my Monkey Mona?
Taking Carole to the doc tomorrow.  Today I  had my eye makeup tattoo touched up after three years.  For a week after having this done, I have to keep the area greased with Aquaphor and the very dark eyebrows and excess ink will slough off.  Until then, I look gorillaish.  So I'll wait in the car.
Have a good week!!
Thanks for visiting.

Aug 10, 2019

Quick! For a change.

You know how decision making has become a real problem for me.  I am happy to announce that I have tried to correct that, and I'm making progress.  Little tasks are finally being accomplished. 
Today, I spotted these boxes, one waiting for a label.  Since my files are mostly gone, I need to start fresh and have no intention of spending the hours and ink trying different pieces.  So I grabbed several unframed pieces and held them up, bingo. 
A few looked good with it but Barbara Schlater looked the best, color and compliment to the top box.  I didn't look any further, did not try them all again, did not pull out any others.  That was easy and it's a good feeling to not drag my butt for weeks thinking about it.  Eureka! 
I made some progress on the house and realized that even though I love to see them in samplers, I do not like to stitch them in samplers.  The side will have a two color pattern, not as much repetition.
Someone is enjoying another very cool morning.  It's been feeling more like September than August!
Hope your weekend is great!

Aug 8, 2019

Page turner

Hi folks.  One week gone in August already.  Hard to believe, tough to swallow. 
This Ann Hicks sampler is the first in memory, maybe the first ever, that I have stitched from a magazine.  The closest I've been is the very large fold out page from Scarlet Letter's big girls.  Stitching fully across starting at top left is my way, right wrong or indifferent.  Sometimes the border would be completed across top and left side as a way to keep an eye on errant stitches.  How many times I have changed the body to align with the border, only to realize later that the border had the error.  Obviously, not a good method.  This project is eight pages and I will complete one before moving on.  My habit is hard to break and I did extend the top area into the next page, and may do that again just to complete a motif or color.  Maybe it won't be as daunting as seeing the entire project at one time.  Another first, the majority of Ann is motif, not my usual alphabet or verse.  I'm sure the majority of you work page by page, but I'm wondering if there are any rebels out there that can't break their routine pattern of stitching?
Back on my feet, I worked a little last night and am starting the house.  Yay!  Why do we all love those houses?  Am I tempted to change its color?  You bet, but I won't.  Damn.  I'm growing up!   I found a few minor errors in the chart so far.  The large star in the top center looks light in the magazine photo but the chart says dark plum.  I like the plum! 
This is for Vickie's Emerson, a finish carpenter who knows why levels are important, unlike the carpenter who turned a very short staircase into a fun house.  I guess if you have continual vertigo, you're not sure if it's your eyes or the walls that are leaning!  Any carpenter knows, starting with a unlevel surface makes everything done after, crooked as well.  This beam is close to 2" wider at the bottom.  Mark wants to tear it off and start over and I told him it's not that important.  Once it's painted, it may not be noticeable.  If it is, I'll hang a candle sconce or slim basket on it!
It's been a long long while since I've felt like stitching a large sampler.  Hope it continues.  This may end up being in my top ten list of favorites.
Have a great day!!

Aug 6, 2019

Morning spin

Yep.  Vertigo again, not too bad though.  Preventing me from stitching, very little progress the other day.  I really want to get back to this sampler.  Just love it!
After heavy downpours last night, this morning is again cool, I love the sun on greens.  Ferns are doing very well.
The garden is not.  A few tomatoes but most have the fungal wilt.  Slugs took down the brussel sprouts, the zucchini rot as they develop, the sugar snaps are yellow, very few peppers.  After the June flooding and rains, not enough time for recovery.  Just like dealing with tint in paint, you can always add, but can't take it away.  That's the story of the garden's water. 
Speaking of paint, it would be best for me to stay off Pinterest.  Rooms and sites that changed to a white scheme and inspired me to switch to a clean look, are adding color.  Silly people.  Don't they know how vulnerable I am?
Enjoy your day.  I'll be sleeping off the Meclizine.


Aug 4, 2019


Just a few.  Not really.  the I was browsing Pinterest and happened to see my old photo of the tub I hung from a hook years ago.  Must have been a good idea since LTD Commodities and several others are now selling a hook with a galvanized tub!
There were several others that have a stronger and nicer hook, but you get the idea.
That may have been a good idea but what I did before leaving for Cleveland, was not!  I wanted to update my Garmin GPS, not for directions, just to tick off that evil witch inside when I refuse to turn left.  What else would you call someone who tells you to turn when doing so would require crashing through concrete barriers into oncoming traffic? 
Garmin's website looked exactly the same as it always does.  So I clicked on the update option and your name, email, phone number, and GPS model were to be entered.  I did.  The phone rings and it's Garmin from India.  (A sure sign that it's customer service.)  In order to download the 40 minutes of new maps, remote access is required.  I didn't think twice since my laptop manufacturer has done that several times for repairs.  I followed the instructions but my GPS would not connect to the laptop, he showed me thousands of entries from trojans and malware and said they were the cause.  So he downloaded a program and removed them, my GPS connected, and the maps were downloading.  If I wanted to keep my computer free of trojans I could purchase a security program from him.  Hmmm.  That's odd.  It wasn't until two days later that I called Garmin and found that their website is regularly copied by scammers.  I gave them the phone numbers I was given to purchase and other info, removed anything new in my program listing, and changed my password.  Too late though.  I don't keep any important info, no phone link, and I don't see any problems.  Usually they infect you and then charge a huge amount for removal but I think this guy just wanted to sell a fake program or get my card number.  Lesson learned. 
When I took the flowers and medications to Carole's yesterday, the rep from LifeVest was there.  The large wound she has under her breast, (there was blood on the vest), was because of what we suspected.  The first rep knew nothing.  The fit was FOUR inches too large and those metal packs and electrodes were moving constantly, wearing off her skin and setting off the alarms.  Carole told her it felt too loose but it made no matter.  She also never showed her the proper way to wear the control unit so it doesn't injure your skin, another wound on her shoulder.  Yet this incompetent employee suffers no consequences and keeps her job which seems to be the norm these days.
And speaking of incompetence, check out the work by the new carpenter we hired.  The drywall I tore off a few weeks ago was the short wall that confined the stairs.  We hired him to install hew railing and trim.  The long board against the wall is cut 2.75" at the top, and tapers to 2" in the center, goes back to 2.75" at the bottom.   WTH??  The wall is perfectly level and we will have to remove the board and replace it with one that is cut properly.  How hard is it to keep 2.75 the entire way when using a fence on the table saw?  He used our equipment, we know the fence is spot on.  I did not ask to see his level or his square because he was recommended, but I don't believe he owns either.
Not only could he not calculate the correct distance between balusters, the wide board trim beneath is not cut straight at the top edge.
He obviously cut short and then pieced.
And did not know how to fit with a mitered edge, so he stuck a piece on.
Mike (my other guy that couldn't work because of PTSD) called me for work and stopped at the house.  He is a different man.  Never mentioned the PTSD which he did every 15 minutes before, laughing, joking, bought a new $75000 truck, all after receiving his full disability approval for over $3000 a month (we did not need to hear his finances).  Remarkable recovery.  Jason knows Mike and was here at the same time, said his dad was asked to join this group of five men but refused to go along.  Ah yes, Jason the gorgeous was here too and is coming back.  Mike and Jason are two that actually know their craft, and Mike will re-do the stair railing for me.
Well that was long wasn't it??? 
Beautiful day once again, cool mornings and nights, it's coming.  NOOOO!!!!
Have a great start to your week.
Thanks again for your prayers!!  And for the visit.

Aug 3, 2019

What a difference

a doc makes.  Cleveland Clinic is incomparable when it comes to heart treatments and I'm sure many other ailments and diseases.  We are home.  Our visit was not what was expected after the local doctor visit recommended immediate surgery.  We were packed for a stay, prepared for such.  Dr. Estep, head of the Heart Failure Center, was wonderful.  His approach is medication first to treat symptoms and strengthen the heart, then defibrillator, then mitral clip through a catherization, not open heart.  We will return in 5 weeks for more testing and reevaluation and if her condition at that time is what he expects, will proceed to the clip from there.  The visit's added bonus was meeting an elderly man doing extremely well after a heart transplant. 
The LifeVest is cumbersome, the monitor to wear is heavy, and she was not fitted properly.  Cleveland called to check on her today and after hearing of the problems (it rubbed her skin off, alarms are constant, she cannot get any rest) advised her to remove it.  Developing an infection from the wound in her heart's weakened state is more serious and he does not want her under the stress it is causing.  She is not permitted to use any antibiotic cream or powder, it would interfere with the electrodes.   A tech from the company is coming out to check the fit and that may help, but not until the wound heals.
Picking up her new meds this evening along with a pink hanging basket (she killed the other two) and a DD iced coffee for us both.  Sunday will be a day of rest and gratitude.  And STITCHING!!!  I really feel the need to work on Ann, and I've also got it in my head (after a reader's email) to stitch Anna Eliza Abe again (Threads of Gold).  This time, higher count linen, lighter shade, and a different color for the house.   Anna was my choice to accompany me to Cleveland for the stay, and maybe I should save her until then.
Thank you so much for the prayers and well wishes.  It means so much to me.
Have a wonderful weekend. 
It's fricking August.
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