Friday, December 31, 2010


My goodness! Have you ever seen such an original title? Gives you an idea of the state of my mind - depleated! What a crazy busy insane holiday season I've had. I didn't do much in-store shopping. most of my gifts were purchased online and with free shipping, so that was a good thing. But then a good many packages didn't come until the 24th! Not much time left for wrapping them! And non-Christmas stuff squeezed its way in too, which left too many of the fun things - like baking dog cookies for the local shelter (and Santa's reindeer) with my grandkids until the very last second of Christmas Eve afternoon! Those kind of memories are what make the holidays special and I hate it when I feel grouchy and rushed. But, when all was said and done, it was a fabulous, joyous Christmas Day with all of my four children, their wives and grandkids whooping it up, lots of good food, good cheer and laughter. So all the crazies before hand were forgotten and we realize we are so blessed!

Many times this month (it's still Dec. right????) I sat down at the computer and thought "I really need to get out and take some pictures for the blog".......................................and then nothing happened! Or rather I was distracted by other thoughts of what I had do and moved on to something else. So, dear friends, AFTER the New Year is over (exactly what that means - not sure) I will start to KEEP my #1 resolution and post more often and with pictures to boot. We'll see, we'll see! I do have new designs for the Nashville market that are beginning to come together, so I hope to show you snippets and bits to whet your appetite! Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, do have a safe but happy time this weekend- I hope wherever you are Saturday, you are relaxing with some stitching or with family and friends - or both! Make happy memories with those you love!

Wishing you all a happy, prosperous New Year!

New motto for 2011:

"There's Nothing in the Universe That Says I Have to Make Sense."  Love it! It covers so much!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Zeeeesh! I can't believe I have been gone for so long - and I apologize! I thought about posting a whole bunch of photos to help catch up but somehow photos of the beach seemed a little silly now with the smell of woodsmoke and the chill of the coming winter in the air (thank goodness!!) as Thanksgiving approaches! I love, love, love this time of year - even when the sky is a chilly gray and it might be drizzling. Good stitching weather!

Suffice it to say my month - long "retreat" on the Cape was just what the proverbial doctor ordered and when I finally returned home the middle of October, I was well restored and sated with feelings of well-being, inner peace and calm. However, since my oldest grandchild's 9th birthday party was the day after I got home, all the inner peace and calm were short lived!! (Well, not really - but it sure was a loud and chaotic party!)'s back to the reality and stress of too much to cram into these days. And then I found myself having to deal with some nasty, volatile family issues that are tearing us all apart. Oh to be back on the peaceful beach playing with Andy, without a care in the world - except deciding what to have for dinner, - or sitting in my favorite meditation spot! Escaping there doesn't get anything resolved here though, so onward we go.

 Meanwhile, even though it is really hard, at times, to focus and stay on task much less feel creative, I'm trying to work every spare minute on designs and directions for a new teaching project. This particular class will involve constructing a sewing box with a removable tray insert, finishing it and creating the accessories to go in it. I'm hoping to have lots of opportunities to teach the class in many places across the country.

Other designs that are still works in progress as well are a wedding/house blessing sampler (which will remind you of the section I created for "A Noble Pursuit"), a companion piece to the Victorian motto I reproduced a couple of years ago, and one or two other small designs. I'm not a particularly prolific designer and it took awhile to get back to designing after being away from it for a year (again, family commitments to honor), so I don't have a vast store of new stuff to show in Nashville. But what I do have, I hope everyone likes!! I will show glimpses of these projects as they are finished, then please watch for them on my web site right before Nashville Market.

Well, in spite of all our worries, frustrations, difficulties and troubles, I feel very fortunate  to be living in this beautiful country, and for whatever that means for each of us, I hope you find lots to be grateful and thankful for.

So I wish all of you a blessed and happy time with loved ones this Thanksgiving. Be safe in your travels and eat all the turkey, stuffing and dessert you want - just this once! And for heaven's sake, don't forget the chocolate - or the wine - or both, if you prefer! :-)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Some more "Summer Fun" and then...........back to work!

Do you believe it is still so hot .........97 degrees in the shade today, again, and it's now September 2!!!! Aaarrrrrghhh! This past week, I've had the twins here for a few days before I head north to my Cape Cod. house. I thought I'd show you some of our fun in spite of the heat. Our typical day started with breakfast al fresca on the porch. I took this picture before they started to eat. They eat with their fingers and the end of the meal is not a pretty sight! After dressing for the day in bathing suits - the coolest clothing next to nothing at all - we had great fun stacking blocks with the greatest of care..........
with intense, focused concentration, sloooooowly pulling our hands away.......
and carefully added MORE!
We gently stacked the BIG blocks as high as we could reach.......
squealed "yea!" when the tower stayed up, and laughed hysterically when it fell!
Then the rock and roll music from the guitar on the chair was just too enticing (we had been listening to it play over and over and over........)so we just had to practice some movin' and groovin' and shakin' our serious and so funny!
After all that exercise, it was sprinkler and pool time. The wagon HAD to be in the pool too, even though it took up most of the room! (oops - the picture disappeared! Darn - it was cute! Sorry!)
We had lots of fun those three days and I will miss these two little ones while I'm on the Cape.
After they left for home, I FINALLY got back to my desk today and put the final "tweaks" on a new sampler design. I plan on stitching it - and finishing it (?) - this month while I'm you-know-where! At last my post has something to do with stitching! (oops again - see below!)
The heat must be affecting my nascent(sp?) posting skills bc I wasn't completely finished! Humph! Anywasy, this is where is park my self for hours on end (oooooh - no pun intended!)and try to master the art of designing. This next design will be a wedding sampler or house blessing or family record or - whatever you want it to be and I'll be releasing it at the February 2011 Needlework Market in Nashville. Perhaps if all goes well, I'll post a preview picture stay tuned! Meanwhile, I need to check the weather reports and news very often these next couple of days and hope, hope, hope that Cape Cod doesn't sustain a lot of damage from "Earl". My house is not near enough to the water to be in any danger of flood damage, but we have a lot of shallow rooted scrub pine around us. I hope they stay off the roof!!! A part of me wants to be there in the house - hurricanes are an awesome thing to witness, and if one is on high ground and safe, it is a powerful experience. I'll have to rely on the t.v. reports this time, though! Have a safe Labor Day weekend wherever you may be. Meanwhile.........."do something fun for is short, even in its longest days." Cathy

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Summer "Camp" with my grand kids...........

Every year for quite awhile now, I set aside a week in the summer when the four older grand kids come for what is now known as "Camp Nana." I figure out a fun theme and come up with an agenda for the week. All six days! Sunday - we started off with an annual favorite - fishing! And this year, everyone caught something............... the first little perch... the smallest ... a tiny but prickly sun fish, I think! and then the biggest! Check it out - the worm (snake?) was SO large, the fish couldn't quite get it in it's mouth. near and yet so far!!!! Devin promptly named him "Derick"! Derick the fish????? How in the world does the mind of a four-year-old work?
.......and for this little guy - catching the biggest fish (Derick)was great but he wasn't particularly crazy about handling the worms (snakes)!
Then home to a birthday party for all................they can't always go to each other's parties, so we catch up with everyone with a cake and some small gifts at camp.
After some free time and unpacking, the first night of camp starts with a great dinner of corn on the cob and salmon.....
and ends with a rousing toast of "cheers!" to this year's camp theme....Science (very loosely applied!)
We jumped right into it with surgical caps, booties and gloves and goggles...but first had to "experiment" to see how big we could blow up the gloves! Megan was the winner.......and all the others were a close second.
Then we all got down to "serious" business (all but one, that is - she had to keep trying to better her "record ") of discovering acids and bases and what colors they are in solutions and which foods are acids or a base.
We built volcanoes and later that night, made them "erupt" when we mixed vinegar and baking soda. So much for chemistry..............
Then it was on to the animals and wild life at the Washington D.C. zoo on the HOTEST day you can imagine - 100+ degrees and lots and lots of walking. Thank goodness for cooling misting stations throughout the various areas. And they ran to every one of them!
My eight-year-old grandson gets the credit for all the animal photos. Cudos to my budding photo-journalist, Collin! These were some of his favorites - out of 133 photos!!!!!
Throw in really, really long escalators and a speedy subway ride and all in all it was a pretty exciting day. That was Tuesday.
On Wednesday, we headed to the Whitaker Science Center in Harrisburg and spent a fabulous day amonst all kinds of hands-on discovery areas - everything from learning about the power of brain waves and the concentration it took to move the metal ball in the tube using only your brain waves (it was truly amazing!!!).................
to "killing the germs" in a race against the clock.........................................
to getting a good work-out climbing the rock wall...................
to learning about magnetic force fields by "sticking" metal washers to each other to make them bridge across a space.
Another fabulous day came to a close with everyone saying it was the best yet! Ahhh but there is more to come!
Mother Nature stepped up and treated us to a torrential downpour that flooded the streets for about 30 minutes creating an impromptu raging river for sticks, cups, leaves and whatever they could find to race. Do you remember how wonderful it was to dance in the rain?
We ended this year's camp with a trip to a fish hatchery, poked around wading in the stream looking for crayfish and whatever, fed the hundreds of ducks that came racing to us looking for bread (we were prepared, thank goodness!),
had a celebratory lunch at McDonald's, and then finished up the day going to the movies to see "Cats and Dogs - the Revenge of Kitty Galore"! Lots of fun! The last night we always have a camp fire, s'mores and rewards. This year, once again, my husband won -by popular vote - the "Camp Troublemaker" award. The kids think it's hilarious and all week they work hard to set him up to be sure he'll be the one to get it! I, on the other hand, couldn't have camp without his help (he took off three days from work!) - and shenanigans! He ultimately helps to create wonderful memories they'll never forget and that money can't buy - well, sort of! I'm off to bed!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Come along with me...............

Gettysburg, like most of the country is locked into some exceptionally hot and dry weather. So to take my mind off of it for awhile, I thought I take a virtual trip to Cape Cod and you are invited to come along! I'd love to share with you some my favorite places and things that make it, for me, the best place in the whole world to be! This is my house where I love to hang out whenever and as often as I possibly can, no matter what time of year. It is a very tiny 2 bedroom house that my parents built in 1976 to retire to. They enjoyed many happy years there, and now it's mine to love and enjoy in the burgeoning spring and quiet, serene fall after the summer tenants have returned to their homes. Even in the blustery, gray, damp winter when it is fully dark at 4:30 in the afternoon, it is a delightful place to be, to settle down in front of a cozy fire with some stitching, soft music or a good book and a glass of wine and let the rest of the world go by. In the cool spring days of April and May, the geraniums,
the luscious lilacs,
the wild beach plum shrubs,
and the sweet pansies
are in full riot all over the Cape - in yards and along the roads, blooming their hearts out!
Now in July through the fall, the wonderful Rosa Rugosas are sending their luscious sweet rose scent into the air to mingle with the smells of salt water, pine trees, and warm sand. There's nothing else like it! Can you tell how much I love it????
As the weather warms up in May, the charter fishermen put their boats in the water at Rock Harbor and gear up for what they hope is a season of many successful fishing trips into the bay for striped bass and big blue fish, tuna and whatever else strikes their fancy - and is good to eat!
Nearby, Capt. Cass's Seafood Shanty, clad in lobster pot bouys, serves locals and tourists alike ...
.........the quintessential Cape Cod lunch - a split-top, toasted hot dog bun stuffed and overflowing with a simple lobster salad, made with just the tiniest bit of mayo to hold it all together! All this is usually accompanied by a cup or bowl of creamy clam chowder too! It doesn't get any better than this unless.................. work off that humongus lunch with a trip to the tidal flats at low tide and dig for your dinner! It's easy to gather a bucket of delicate steamers or soft shell clams to take home for supper on the deck! I like to quickly steam them with some fresh garlic, parsley and wine just until they open. Then swish them in the broth to rinse off the last bit of sand, dunk them in some hot, melted butter, add in a crisp salad, some hot, crusty Portugese bread and a chilly bottle of Chardonnay and you have an amazing, unbeatable dinner fit for a king! It's my favorite, a go-to often and unequaled by anything else! Aren't they beautiful??? Anyone hungry???
Hmmmm.....I seem to have focused on food a lot in this blog!
Moving along............
Down the road and on the way to the beach is this charming flag made entirely of clam shells! My neighbor has been setting this out along the side of the road for as many years as I have been going to the Cape and can remember - repainting them each spring and taking them inside each winter. One year, it was part of a feature article in Country Living magazine! I see this special bit of Americana and patriotism everyday, every time I walk the dog to the beach! Love it! Many an evening when it looks like or feels like there might be a beautiful sunset, people drive or walk to the end of the road and gather to toast the end of the day with a glass of wine (or whatever!) As the sun finally dips below the horizon, someone may start to sing God Bless America or clap or cheer and everyone joins in to salute the end of a great day on Cape Cod. It's amazing, powerful, restorative.
Good night, my beloved wonderful Cape. Til I see you in the fall................
I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of my special place. But there's lots more to see and enjoy, so I'll post beach pictures when I'm there in the fall. Meanwhile, next week I babysit for the twins, so the camera will be clicking for sure! Stay tuned.......
Until later,

Monday, May 17, 2010

The wedding we had been planning for and working on for sooo long went off without any glitches! Yea!!! So as soon as I get the editing done on what pictures I have, I will post a few. And as I get more and better ones, I'll add them, too.What a blast we had!!! And we are still in recovery, looking everywhere for the ol' get up and go! Check back soon........Cathy