Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008

And good riddance!

Normally I dislike New Year's eve and see it as the end of another year that I didn't do such and such or go wherever. I have always found it to be the second most depressing day of the year.

But not this year. 2008 will go in my diary as one of , if not THE worse year of my life. It began in early January 08 with my Mom's first of four hospital stays. And she continued to get weaker as the year passed. And as her health declined my worry and fears grew. That brings us top December 6th. The day my Mom passed. I miss you so Mom.

2008 also saw three other family passings. An uncle in April, a great aunt in July and a great uncle in October. Not a good year.

The photo above sums up my sentiment for 2008. I made this for one of my sister's 50th birthday this past July.

So you see this is one year I am not at all sorry is almost over. Only five or so hours to go.


I am hoping the upcoming year will bring me healing. But most of all my wish for all my family and friends is that 2009 bring us all good health, good friends, love, laughter, peace and lots of wonderful stitching.

Happy New Year to all!

Love and stitches

New Year's Eve update

Holly and Berries
Designer: Little House Needleworks
fabric: 14 ct aida blue marble
floss as called for

The above finish is the last one my Mom saw me do. I was originally going to give it to one of my sisters for Christmas. But I just can't part with it. Not only because of my Mom but because I like it too. I am planning on finishing it as a flat fold. Maybe tomorrow. So Sharon if you see this and you like the pattern let me know and I'll stitch one for you.

I have another piece that I had hoped would be done for this posting but I still have about an hour or two left to finish it. So I'll have to wait until tomorrow to show that one off.

Now on to the non-stitchy part. CHEESECAKE!!!!! LOL A couple of people asked for my recipe. It is really simple.
Kathy's Cheesecake

Heat oven to 350 degrees

1 to 1 1/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of melted margarine
Mix together graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Then add the melted butter. Mix well.
Press mixture in the bottom of your pan. (I have used a 9" round pan in the photo.)
Bake 10 minutes.

Let it cool while you prepare the rest.

Reduce oven to 300 degrees.

2 8 ounce packages of LIGHT cream cheese
1 8 ounce package of regular cream cheese
1 cup of sugar (*you can substitute baking splenda for a sugar-free cake. I have in the past.)
2 - 3 teaspoons of grated lemon peel ( I rarely measure. LOL)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3 eggs (I only use the liquid egg substitutes. That measure would be 3/4 cup)

Beat the cream cheese until softened. Add sugar, lemon peel and vanilla and mix until fluffy. Then add the eggs. Beat until mixed well. Pour over the crumb mix.

Bake about 50 to 60 minutes or until the center is firm.

Let it cool then add topping. I use the Comstock lite Cherry pie filling the most. But I have also used the blueberry and the pineapple. Or just plain.

I usually tell people that my dessert is much healthier than most since it is low fat and when I use the splenda it is also sugar-free. :)

See. Easy. If you make please let me know how it turns out.

Until next time...............
Love and stitches

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

After Christmas update--Part two or Christmas S.E.X.

As promised here is my update part two. Lets begin with some CHRISTMAS S.E.X.

That got your attention. :) For those non-stitchers: No, I didn't get lucky. Yeah, I know, Darn it. :) Stash Enhancement eXperience. S.E.X. :)
One of my nieces gave me a very generous Christmas gift (Thank you Jenn) and another niece gave me some spending cash (Thank you Sandy). I added to that the few bucks I had set aside for a trip to the my LNS, the Lazy Daisy Stitchery. So on the day after Christmas I was able to take advantage of their day after sale. 30 percent off all patterns and precut fabrics!!! Whooooooooo Hooooooo did I have some great S.E.X. See the photo below for my haul.
Not bad, huh?

Two other gifts that I opened Christmas day were enclosed in my Christmas cards from Meari and Rene. They both sent me the prettiest handmade beaded scissor fobs. Unfortunately the photos are awful but I'll post them here anyway. As soon as I download better ones I'll change these. The blue one is from Rene and the pink and red one from Meari. I love them both. Aren't they pretty?

Now to find scissors that will go with these beautiful fobs. Thank you so very much Rene and Meari for brightening my Christmas morning.

Much of December is a blur to me. but shortly before Christmas I received two other packages in the mail. I apologize for not publicly acknowledging these before. But like I said there were too many days that blended together. :)
First up is a prize I won from a drawing that Michelle held on her blog. I do remember her email telling me I won and then promptly forgot until the package arrived. Thank you Michelle. Greek chewing gum too!!

And among the Christmas cards and condolence cards I also received the sweetest condolence note and a special RAK (random act of kindness) from another stitching friend, Dani. Thank you Dani.

To those who have left comments--Thank you so very much. I treasure each and every one.

To those who commented on my cheesecake. Yes, it is baked. I'll post the recipe on tomorrows post.

Until then

Love and stitches


Monday, December 29, 2008

After Christmas update

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. I have to be honest and say that mine was okay. Different. Quiet. I had my moments. But then I do everyday. But I am doing alright and trying to keep myself busy. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I spent Christmas Eve cleaning house, wrapping gifts, finishing and framing a small piece that I stitched for my Aunt and Uncle. Since I was going to Christmas dinner at their house I HAD and wanted to make sure I got them a gift. It also dawned on me that I have never stitched anything for them. How that happened I have no idea. Especially since I am sure my siblings can attest to the fact that they have ALL gotten numerous stitched gifts from me over the years. The pattern is a freebie from The Sampler Girl called an Irish Home Blessing.

Since I still had time before going to 8 PM Mass I spent some of it making cheesecake to take to my Aunt and Uncles for dessert. Cheesecake with cherry topping. I love my cheesecake and it is really simple to make. Doesn't look yummy?

Christmas morning was quiet. Rosie provided the entertainment in opening her gifts. She was persistent in getting all the toys out of her stocking. Of course a little catnip helped. :)

Well that's all for tonight. Blogger and my computer aren't behaving and this post is long enough. Plus it is time to go stitch. I am working on a very special project. I hope to have photos of it soon.

Tomorrow I'll continue with another finish and some Christmas S.E.X.

Until then........
Love and stitches

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all

My Christmas wish for you all:

May Santa fill your stockings with peace, love and laughter.

Love and stitches

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Spirit

Mine is sorely lacking.

Christmas has always been my favorite of all holidays. And not just because of the presents. But let's be truthful. They are nice.

I love to give presents. I love everything about shopping for that special something that someone will treasure. Or stitching something that I hope and think they will love. Over the years I know I have succeeded in getting someone something that they will love and use and those memories I hold in my heart.

But shopping, wrapping, hunting for that perfect gift is not in me this year. I have gone through some of the motions. The wrapping and sending part and even a little shopping. But it just isn't the same this year and my heart isn't in it.

I also went out and bought a tree. Now not just any old tree. I decided that if I were going to put up a tree this year I wanted something I could plant in the spring. In honor of my Mom. Well, I found not one but two!

I had gone to the nursery to pick up cut greens to decorate the family graves and saw two trees. When I went to ask about the price I told them why I wanted the little trees. They aren't big. Maybe two to three feet tall. The saleswoman said "Ten Dollars" and I said "Sold."

Here they are decorated.
This one has the few stitched ornaments I have. I have joined the 2009 Ornament Challenge and hope that by this time next year I'll have enough to fill at least a tree this size.
The second tree sits on the floor in front of the other. This one has a few of my favorite ornaments on it. And if you look closely you can see Rosie, my Mom's kitty, checking things.
Here is a better photo of her inspecting the Nativity set to make sure I set it up properly.

Until next time...........

Love and stitches


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One more for today

That's right. I don't post for a little bit and then you get three in one day! :)

Actually my posts may be a bit sporadic as the days go by. I have a lot of adjusting to do and some days may be hard. After taking care of my Mom for so long I find myself bewildered with all the free time. I know it will get easier as time goes on. But in the meantime bear with me.

That brings me to the slight change in my blog title. Rather than start another blog I thought I'd just use this one for the occasional non stitching comments. Like now.

This entry is really a tribute to my Mom. One of the most caring and loving people I'll ever know. I have been my Mom's caregiver for a number of years. And as the years passed the care on my side became more as my Moms health went downhill. I have been trying to find the right words for a week now but nothing sounds right.

There is a pillow sitting on her bed that says “Mother – Daughter, Friends of the Heart”. That pretty much sums up our relationship. Our tastes in books, music, TV were so much alike. I miss her so much. And I know I always will.

I also wanted the thank my online friends for their heartfelt sympathies, prayers and support. You all have no idea how much those have meant to me. You all have helped me get through some very dark days. I have saved every email, every post here and every card as it arrives. I love you all. And thank you from the bottom of my heart.

My Mother, my friend, my hero.
I love you Mom.
I know time will help heal the sorrow and pain but until then……………

Love, stitches and tears

A finish

This is the ornament I stitched and finished for my 12 Days of Christmas partner. Since this should have been opened last Friday, the 12th, I guess it's safe to post my finish. I love the way this one turned out.

12 Days of Christmas wrap-up

I apologize for taking so long to post my thank you and the photos of the rest of this exchange. To say the last week or so has been awful is an understatement. But better late than never.

On day 6 I received a hand towel and a crocheted pot holder. At least I think that's what it is.

Day 7 was an oven mitt.

The photo above is for day 9. A notebook/journal.

The gift for day 10 was a package of aida 14 count fabric, 2 skeins of DMC and the prettiest, softest silk floss.

On day 11 I received a fleece throw in a soft flannel drawstring bag .

On day 12 my partner was revealed. Georgena. Below is the lovely stitched piece that she sent me. Thank you Georgena.

Until next time........

Love and stitches


Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Mom

This is the hardest thing I have ever had to write.

Saturday evening at 6PM my Mom passed away. She had been ill for quite some time and now she is at peace. My Mom, my best friend. I am so lost.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Post 18--TGIF

It's Friday. I actually made it through the week. And a pretty stressful one. But I made in one piece. :)

The update on my Mom is a good one. I only hope and pray that the trend continues. I got home last evening after learning from her aide that she still wouldn't stand and support her own weight. Which made it awful hard for the aide to transfer my Mom from her recliner to the commode and back. Well, I get home and fix a little dinner than go wake Mom and tell her she really needs to concentrate on standing so we can move to her wheelchair and go into the kitchen. I put her arms around my neck and up we go! SHE STOOD!!! Woo Hoo!! After the last three days of trying to lift and move what amounted to 130 lbs of dead weight it was so wonderful to have my Mom back again. You just can't imagine the relief. And to make things even better she ate some dinner with very little swallowing trouble.

I am not sure what prompted the previous few days of rapid decline with Mom but I am just so thrilled and relieved that she has bounced back part way.

Then this morning I got a lovely phone call from a very dear friend that has done wonders for listing my spirits even more. After being out of work for a while now and getting more and more depressed she just called to say she got a job!!! Way to go girlfriend!! I am soooooooo happy for you. That is such fabulous news! A very special early Christmas gift for you.

Now on to stitching news. I almost finished one of the pieces I mentioned in an earlier posting. I have about an hour left so I know today will end with a finish. Another Wooo Hoooooo. With luck I'll be able to post that tomorrow.

And finally below is my gift for day 5 of the 12 Days of Christmas exchange on ILCS yahoo group. A jigsaw puzzle.

Until next time.........

Love and stitches


PS. I forgot to mention the photo at the top of my blog is from last Christmas. My Mom's kitty, Rosie, checking out her stocking of gifts from "Santa".

Thursday, December 4, 2008

4th day exchange gift--Post 17

Day 4 of the 12 Days Of Christmas exchange is a jazz cd of Christmas music. I am not a fan of jazz music but I'll give it a listen this weekend.

Something has to start bringing me the Christmas spirit. I hope. I just can't get motivated for Christmas this year. :( With everything going on with my Mom and the complete lack of funds I am finding it so hard to get into the Christmas cheer. Christmas has always been a favorite of mine and I love to give gifts. And I usually overdo in that department. For the last two days a song that I love keeps running through my head. The first verse kind of sums up my mood.

"Where Are You Christmas"
Where are you Christmas Why can't I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter You used to bring me
Why can't I hear music play

Faith Hill sings a version of this that I love. But the words are so true for me. Especially this year.

My Mom's illness and slow decline is just zapping the Christmas cheer from me. I try to stay upbeat for her sake. It's not easy.

Over this past week I have been noticing some changes going on with her. And yesterday some had seemed to worsen so I called in the hospice nurse to evaluate her. Her prognosis wasn't good. Mom is having difficulty swallowing and a couple of other issues going on. I only hope and pray that I can keep her home with me where she is comfortable and her kitty can spend time on her lap. I'm not sure how much longer I can but I will try.
Remember that to-do list in posting 15? Guess what? I only only managed to get ONE item accomplished! That's right--ONE! Staying close to my Mom and waiting for the nurse as well as the nurses 2 hour visit and phone calls to some of my siblings left me little time to get much done outside. Oh well, maybe Saturday. Yeah, yeah I know--wishful thinking. LOL

Oh I heard they are predicting snow for Sunday. Maybe it will be just enough to cover up all the unraked leaves. Hey, I can hope can't I?

Until next time.
Love and stitches

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Post 16 or exchange day three

Well, I haven't yet started my to do list. Too chilly to rake leaves, I haven't finished my pot of coffee, I just HAVE to post my day three exchange photo,........

I know, procrastination is my middle name. LOL
The gift for day three in our 12 days of Christmas exchange is a photo mouse pad with a calendar. It is pretty neat.
I wonder what my secret Santa has in my day four package?
I guess I better go get something done today. :) Stitching sounds good to me.
Until next time.........
Love and stitches

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Post 15--a rememberance, an update and exchange day 2

December 2, 2002. That is the date my Dad passed away. Dad, you are forever in my heart. Though there were times that our relationship was strained I always remained your "little girl". I miss you and remember the good times often. The long Sunday rides to find just the right spot for sleigh riding, the summer Sundays at the ocean, the family packed into the station wagon trying to stay awake for the second feature at the drive-in movies, me bringing the nieghborhood children to stand in front of the television to see the baby white mice while you were trying to watch the football game, holiday dinners, thoserare times we were all together and many more memories. Love you Dad.

"On the second day of Christmas my exchange partner gave to meeeeeeeeeee........."

A package of tissues and three pencils.

I wonder what day three will bring?

I managed to get a bit of stitching done last night. My Mom was a bit better when I got home and slept better too. Thank goodness. I really needed the sleep.

I am hoping to get a finish in tomorrow, Wednesday, since I have to stay home. My Mom's aide can't make it.

My list of to do for tomorrow:
1. get the front yard raked and leaves bagged so I can start putting out some Christmas decorations.
2. bring my house Christmas decorations up from the basement. (that's four 40 gallon bins worth)
3. Decorate the house or at least get it started
4. finish stitching one of my current WIPs (a gift for one of my sisters)
5. run to the grocery store for a few things I didn't get Saturday.
6. Make a turkey pot pie with the rest of the leftovers
7. start my Christmas cards
8. I am sure there is something else but I haven't had enough coffee to think yet. LOL

Well, I'll be happy if I get just part of that list done. :)

Wish me luck. :)

Until next time,
Love and stitches

Monday, December 1, 2008

Posting 14--Exchange day 1

I think I'm suffering from PHSD. (That's post holiday stress disorder.) LOL I'm at work but can't get motivated. Oh well, I guess I'll check out blogs for a bit and update mine.
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Mine was mixed. Thanksgiving was quiet and Mom enjoyed her dinner. Oh so did I. BUT there is just too much darn work involved for such a tasty meal. All that time I could have been stitching instead of cooking and cleaning up!!
Friday and Saturday were laundry and errands. You know the usual weekend stuff. And Sunday was to be the day for ME. Yeah, right. My Mom had other ideas. :( A rather rough day. Something was bothering her but she never did tell me what it was. :( I guess she just didn't want me to sit and relax. :)
On the stitching front I don't have any finishes from this past week but have three that are very close. Oh wait, I did have one finish but I can't show it yet. It's for an exchange that starts today. I do have one finish from October that I'll update now. Just to include a stitchy photo in today's posting. :) I am sure my secret stitcher received it, at least I hope she has, even if she hasn't posted. I hope she liked it. I sent this to my secret stitcher in the last SS round on ILCS. It was sent to her in late October. I think it turned out cute.
I also spent part of this last weekend kitting up and starting some new projects. I have five more things I'd like to get done for Christmas gifts. Nothing like waiting for the last minute. LOL I managed to get to the sale at Joann's fabrics and found some great fabrics to use for the flat folds I have in mind. If I actually get the stitching done that is. :) Wish me luck. :)
Today begins the 12 days of Christmas exchange. We are supposed to open one gift each say until the 12th and that one will reveal who are partner is. Above is a photo of my 12 wrapped gifts. I just love presents and surprises so I couldn't wait to start opening. I opened day one before I got Mom up this morning. And here is what I got:
Since I am diabetic I'll give the lollipop to one of my nephews.

Now to see what day two brings. :)
Well, I am off to check out a few more blogs.
Until next time
Love and stitches