Sunday, October 25, 2015

My world the last 3 months ...

I could say I was busy traveling or partying like a maniac, but in fact, I have just been a lazy bum.

Well not exactly ... Really quite a bit has been going on.

BASEBALL season ended with our Redbirds finishing 2nd in their division behind Round Rock.  HOWEVER, during the last 2 months of the season, 15 of our players were called up to the majors (St. Louis Cardinals) where THEY went on to lead the team to a divisional victory winning 100 games for the regular season.  Unfortunately the Cards were knocked out in the 1st round of playoffs by the Chicago Cubs.

FOOTBALL season (NCAA) began with our University of Memphis Tigers taking the field and gave us a blow out win (63-7) on September 5th against Missouri State.  They have gone on to be undefeated this season with 55-23 against Kansas, 44-41 against Bowling Green, 53-46 against Cincinnati, 24- 17 against South Florida, 37-24 against Ole Miss (BIG RIVALRY WIN !!) and 66-42 against Tulsa.

HOCKEY: Pre-season training camp started on October 11th and the day before Christine delivered Peter to Southaven and I joined them at Memphis BarBQue for dinner.  It was SO GOOD to have our hockey son back in town for the season !!!

The season officially started October 23rd when the Kings succumbed to the Ice Gators in the home opener 2-0.   It was a hard fought battle, but it was good to see one of our boys from last season, Adam (who was in net last year for the Kings).

Last night was their first Away game of the season and they took down the new kids on the block, The Macon Mayhem 4-1 in their barn.

The gang was all here at Casa Jackson to watch the boys and it was pretty wild and crazy!! Of course the Albros were here, Reba, John and 4 of the kids...Elizabeth Ann (Sam), Gracie, Owen and Lily.  The Wynns, RJ, Anisha and Angela came bearing DESSERT !! The Lees, Frankie & Kent made it and it was SO GOOD to see Kent is now able to get around on crutches !!! There is still a halo drilled into his right leg and he isn't moving very fast, BUT AT LEAST HE IS MOVING .. and was actually able to get up the one step into the house without any help!!! Then we had some new additions to our group.  Christine and her gang, Caden, Kylee and Grayson came to cheer on her main man, Peter (who actually wasn't even in net for this game)...but that didn't matter ... it was a great watch party.  On the menu was Loaded Baked Potatoes, with just about anything you can imagine on the buffet to load them with.

And what would a hockey party be without a penalty box??

Next game ... Friday October 30th where the boys will be in Columbus taking on the Cottonmouths and the gang will all be here, sans Christine where we will be cheering the guys on to victory!!!  Tacos are on the menu and I'm sure at some point John will be back in the Penalty Box!  

ON THE STITCHIN FRONT:  The first of the year, I joined an online group called "Stitch from Stash".  (See my page by clicking on the tab up there ↑)   The point and goal of this group is to restrain from adding more stash and attempt to complete what is on hand by limiting your spending to < $25.00 per month on fabric, thread & charts...which to a cross stitcher is like being in JAIL ... 

I think I have managed to do quite well, considering when I checked I had more than 85 COMPLETELY kitted up projects and probably enough fabric, thread and other magazines, charts and books to keep me busy for more than 3 lifetimes (but that isn't the point, is it??)

So far this year I have managed to complete 12 cross stitch projects as well as 5 quilts and 2 quilted table runners while spending only $26.28 on cross stitch stash.  I also have 3 quilts pin basted, 1 of which will be machine quilted and the other 2 I'll hand quilt when it gets a little cooler (It is very snugly with a big queen size quilt in your lap).

I've been updating the SFS page, but not my "Completed Cross Stitch" page this year, so that is my goal for this rainy Sunday while watching football and drinking large amounts of coffee.

We lost our sweet Amy. 

On August 12th when I took Hershey in for her annual exam, I also took Amy to get Doc to check out a goopy eye.  Well, anytime they see their vet he does a cursory exam and discovered what he thought was a full bladder.  Thinking it was a UTI he did a test and nope ... not that ... so he asked me to leave her and let him run some more tests .... In a X-ray he saw what appeared to be a growth or tumor attached to her bladder and it was invading her urinary tract.  Two days later the lab results came back and she had a stage 3 abdominal sarcoma.  At her age and the place the tumor was it just wasn't feasible to put her through the extensive surgery with no guarantee they could even get the entire tumor.  After all she would be 15 on September 11th.  We decided to just give her as much love and hugs we could until it was time to let her go.  Usually when I head to the bedroom at night Amy tries her best to beat me into bed.  We usually spend a few minutes snuggling and then she dashes up to my pillow and settles in above my head.  Well on August 25th she refused to take her meds, which she usually loves and then began sort of stumbling around.  I took her to the bedroom and put her up on her pillow but she just began yelping... I got up and held her and rocked her all night until she quietly took her last breath in my arms at 6:30.  I am so thankful that she didn't force us to make that awful decision and did it her way.  She is up in heaven waiting for us across the Rainbow Bridge with her baby boy, Bruno ... and all the other pets I have loved and lost.

Amy Lynn 9.11.2000 - 8.26.2015



It is really hard to believe that Wesley is 5 months old and Nash just turned 3 months!!! They are growing so fast and I really wish they were closer because Granna is missing so much!! 

Their moms do keep me posted with pictures and I won't force you to see them all but here are a few really cuties !!!


I'm ready for work, Dad!

You want a Raspberry .... I'll show you a Raspberry!

Don't bother me now, UT is getting stomped again and Dad is pissed ! 

OK .... I added some more clothes .... Is this better ?? 

Mom and Dad have such funny faces, don't they??  !!!!! 


All saddled up and ready to ride ! 

Just like my Dad, I love my Tonka!

One month already !! 

I get so excited when Mom points that little box at me !!! 

I'm so cute ... and look how big me feet are

Trick or Treat ... and get this itchy thing off my cute face ! 

Well, I think that just about catches thing up at Casa Jackson.  The only other thing I can think of is that I thought I was going to have to have my bum left knee replaced, but after a visit to my Ortho-Doc I'm awaiting an MRI to see what is going on.  He said he thought there may be a small tear and a "simple" scope would fix me up.  I'll have more news next week hopefully.

I'll leave you now with this message: 


Till next time,


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Welcome to the world ....

Little Nash .....

Nash James .... 7/24/2015 .... 6 lbs, 10 ozs. ... 20 1/4 inches .....

.... This cutie is just about perfect !! Though he was a little stubborn! I think he was so comfy that he wrapped his long toes around his momma's ribs and refused to come out.  Poor Chelsea started labor on Tuesday night, made 2 trips to the hospital only to be sent back home.... Finally Wednesday evening around 5:00 they made their last trip and she was admitted.  Finally 16 1/2 hours later, he gave in and slipped quietly into this world !!!

He has a head full of dark (almost black) hair, his momma's nose & mouth, his daddy's quirky ears and those crooked little fingers that run in his dad's family ...

But he is perfect !!!

His other Grandma and & I are holding down the fort at the house and have been making frequent trips to the hospital for the mandatory rocking chair marathons!

When I got to Clarkesville on Wednesday, his other Grandma had this little gift for me ... what a sweet thing !! 

More news and pictures to come!!! 

Till next time,


Monday, July 20, 2015

More Tulsa news.....Week

.... So, after my yummy Whataburger meal Wednesday night, I ventured up to the "Executive" floor and the stitching lounge that The Silver Needle had for all us crafty ladies.  There were about 35 women packed into a nice size suite sitting room all arranged with their maglights and stitching projects, but there wasn't much stitching going on.... Margueritas and lots of wine were flowing.  I stayed for about an hour and drug my tired ass back down to my quiet room on the 6th floor.

Thursday morning we were back at the meeting room for another fun filled finishing session with Mona.

These tiny pieces  .....

... with more glue, cardboard, masking tape, quilt batting, rickrack, some pins & beads, ribbon stuffing, a magnet, half a styrofoam ball and a ramekin .... became ....

A Pin Cushion

This has half a styrofoam ball with the piece stretched over it and glued into the ramekin.

* Funny story:  Tulsa had a Cattle convention this same week and when Mona was in the hotel elevator going to her room Wednesday night to prepare for this class, she was telling one of the other ladies that she had to go cut some balls .... She said she thought one of the big burly cowboys in the elevator was going to pass out !

A Humbug (has a little magnet inside to grab those needles)

A Needle Book

the inside of the needle book 

A Scissors Fob
I never knew how easy it was to make so many cute, useful tools from a little glue & cardboard!! 
(takes me back to my grade school art classes)

I do have to go back to the projects we made yesterday and tell you a little story Mona told us when she was making a covered box from one of her cross stitched projects....

Sometimes, instead of making the box hinged like I did, they are just completely sewn closed for a decorative little cube.  When doing this, it is advised to "stuff" the box with something (fiberfill or as Mona says, "all those left over WalMart plastic bags") ... Well, one day as she was stuffing one with those WalMart bags her son, who was around 13 at the time said..."Mom, you know we are altering history.  Some day in the far off future, archaeologists in some dig are going to unearth those boxes and when they open them are going to exclaim how people used to bury the "God WalMart" in pretty little fabric covered boxes with fancy intricate stitched lids"  

The retreat "officially" began Thursday evening with wonderfully crafted Margueritas, Pina Coladas, and capacious amounts of wine, followed by a wonderful dinner of grilled marinated Chicken Kabobs, Spanish Tomato rice, Quinoa Salad, Tzatsiki Greek sauce and a Greek Salad with Orange scented Shortcake with fresh Strawberries & whipped cream for dessert! (to say we ate good all week is a BIG understatement).  The group (164 ladies) were then introduced to the two designers that were being featured, Lori Markovic from La D Da and Cynthia Zittel from The Drawn Thread.  It was very interesting hearing these two ladies relate how they became designers and started their own business....

Friday morning when we got to the retreat room the tables were set with delicious little mini bundt cakes and there were coolers with bottles of juice, soda and bottled water.  Also on the table were little "goodie" bags.

An exclusive chart by Amy Bruecken, wooden scissors tag, two packets of Limited Edition hand dyed threads by The Gentle Arts, a Vera Bradley notepad and ....
This cute little glass vial by The Purple Thread Designs with a project inside ! (it holds your needles)

At 9:00, Lori Markovic, owner & designer of La D Da passed out our projects for the day.

Tall House Needle Book

The kit included the chart with BEAUTIFUL  Needlepoint Inc. silk threads, yummy Weeks Dye Works  linen and even a needle plus the fabric, batting, cardboard, ribbon and wool felt to construct the needle book.  

We spent the morning stitching and chatting until noon when the food table opened up with huge wooden trays of cheeses, fresh gourmet fruits and berries with crustinis.  The main course had Chicken Broccoli Fussili with garlic basil cream sauce & fresh grated parmesan, Italian mixed greens salad with home made dressing and Lindy's husband, Craig smoked a pile of delish Lemon Pepper chicken legs !!! We all needed to roll out our nap mats after such a wonderful lunch !!! 

After lunch there was more stitching and visiting going on. Some of the ladies ventured around the corner to The Silver Needle and there was quite a bit of retail therapy going on.  I was quite good (based on the fact that I have 80+ kitted up projects at home) and only spent around $50.00 for a small qSnap frame and some threads I needed to complete one of those said 80+ projects! 

That evening we were on our own for dinner so I walked across the street from the hotel to Chipolte's  and took this back to my room!

Grilled chicken salad with cilantro rice, black beans, Pico, Corn Salsa, sour cream & Guac with fresh baked chips on the side!

As I was scarfing down this delight, I happened to flip the napkin over and this gave me a good chuckle.....

After dinner, I ventured back upstairs and spent the a couple of hours visiting and stitching with about 15 other ladies.  Everyone was quite sober on Friday night .....

Saturday morning when the retreat room opened there were more Bundt-tinnies on the tables with juices, soda and water along with another goodie bag.

This one had Vera Bradley zebra print binder clips, a Vera Bradley note cube, a little spiral note pad, a hand crafted needle case by Off The Grid Designes and a CD with a collection of little house designs from 40+ designers ! 

Cynthia Zittel, owner and designer of The Drawn Thread presented her exclusive project.

Inside the package was a chart titled "Pulling Strings" and can be made either into a pocket and scissor tag 

or a Sampler

The kit included the charts along with pages of diagrams on HOW to do all those intricate "pulled thread" motifs,  Legacy Linen, Au Ver A Soie silk threads, Mill Hill petite beads and luscious Dupioni Silk lining. 

Another morning of stitching, chatting, shopping and of course exchanging Facebook id's, emails and phone numbers was followed by a lunch of wonderful deli meats, cheeses and veggies for the fresh baked wheat,  rye, and multi grain breads and crescent rolls along with huge fresh fruit bowls and Artichoke pasta salad, mini spinach/mozzarella quiche and ice cream for dessert.  (did I tell you we ate very well ?????)

I don't remember if I mentioned earlier, but the charitable foundation the retreat was sponsoring this year was St Jude Children's Research Hospital and as a fund raising event, the ladies were encouraged to stitch or create a pin cushion and bring it to the retreat.  We turned them in along with a $5.00 donation when we registered and the shop matched all funds to go to the hospital. 

I made this little pin cushion out of fabric selvedges and stuffed it with crushed walnut shells.

All the pin cushions were displayed during the week and on Saturday afternoon they were wrapped up in pretty tissue paper. 

If your name tag had a little crystal heart on it like this one:

..... you got to pick one from the tub.  (we all wondered all week why some were "special" enough to have a crystal heart on our name tag! )

The lady that got mine is from Canada and said this was her big trip of the year and loved the patriotic prints of the fabric I chose as it will remind her of her US visit !! 

I got this darling "log cabin" pieced biscornu from Carol Crites from Texas!

How appropriate !!! It will go into my box of quilting gadgets! 

They also had a darling Halloween stitchers kit that included several stitched items that were made by one of the ladies and donated to the shop to raffle off during the event.  They sold raffle tickets for $1.00 each or 20 for $15.00.  I purchased my $15.00 worth but of course, I DIDN'T WIN !!! But between the raffle AND the pin cushion exchange, the shop raised over $5,000.00 to send back with Libby to St Jude !!! I think it was a successful fund raiser.

The retreat ended at 4:00 Saturday and after lots of good byes and see you next year we all headed in different directions .... Texas, Florida, New Mexico, Arkansas, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee ... ladies from all over the US and even a rather large group from Canada.  

Since I had reservations through Saturday night I headed downstairs and spent some quality time in the Jacuzzi and had Egg Roll Express for dinner (wish we had one of these nifty little drive-up Chinese take-outs here in Memphis !!!)

At 9:30 I passed out from exhaustion and woke at 3:30.... got up, showered and loaded the car.  I was on the road by 4:30 heading east and home by 11:30 .... 

I had a really REALLY great time and am already scheming on how to save my nickles and dimes for next year but THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME !!!

NOW .... 

.... as Chelsea is at the 40 week mark of her pregnancy today and Granna is back in Tennessee, it's time to evict Nash!

Oh and one more cute picture .....

Wesley is 2 months old !!!!!

Time to get back to reality, go run some errands and get food so my pups can eat tonight .....

Till next time ....


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tonight is my last ....

.... night in Tulsa...

It has been a really fun, busy week and I have met some really nice (and some not so nice) ladies that have the same passion for needlecraft as I do.  I have lots of pictures to share so I will break things up into multiple posts.  I'm pretty tired and plan to get on the road real early tomorrow heading back home (unless I get that text from my son that Chelsea is in labor and it is "eviction" day for Nash !! then I will take a detour to Ft. Campbell).

One thing I have discovered this week is that when you get a bunch of females together you will suddenly be transported back to high school and the "clicks" ... You remember those ... The ones that if spoken to look at you like you have turned green or have a third eye ... There were those ... then there were groups that invited you into conversations with a welcoming smile ...

I did meet several very nice ladies, Brenda, Camille & Gayle from Texas and Debbie who lives here in the Tulsa area.  The ladies from the shop The Silver Needle were lovely and even Lindy's husband was great and such a trooper when it came to the food ... (he did some pretty amazing smoked chicken legs on Friday !!!)

On Wednesday, Mona held finishing classes to teach how to make all those little stitched items into useful "tools" and decorations.  When I received my registration packet there were 7 little charts included that were to be stitched in preparation of finishing.

This little piece titled "Four Fat Friends"  .... designed by Cynthia Zittel of The Drawn Thread

Became a wedge....with a little glue, cardboard, masking tape, fabric scraps, quilt batting, cording and a pretty bow made of wired ribbon.....

Then this "Tiny Sampler" designed by Lori Markovic of La D Da ......

.... A little more glue, cardboard, masking tape, fabric scraps, quilt batting, cording and a pretty bow made of wired ribbon along with a square of brown felt became this cute little box.....

I still have to glue the cording around the top .... 
Wednesday's last finishing project was a little fall banner using this design titled "The Pumpkin Keeper" also by Cynthia from The Drawn Thread

Using the same crafting supplies and substituting a raffia ribbon bow and orange silk leaf and some beads this cute little banner was made.

The day ended around 4 and I headed to The Doubletree to check in and grab some dinner.  I decided that since I was really BAD and had Arby's for lunch I would be good and find a Wendy's and get a salad ... so I opened up my handy dandy YELP app on my phone and struck out to get said salad .... After a 5 mile drive I turned the corner to the street said Wendy's was on, there stood an EMPTY building.  Although YELP said they were "open now" the only thing there was the building.... so what is a girl to do ?????

..... and it was truly much tastier than a salad anyway !!! 

As I said up front, its been a busy week & I'm tired so I'm gonna stop for now and catch you all when I get home....

Till next time, 

7.18 2015