Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas

As you can see from the photos above it is really beginning to look a lot like Christmas around my house.

This past weekend was insanely busy. And it was a four day weekend for me since I took my last two vacation days to get things done. I swear, one of these years I will get my act together and not leave everything for the last minute. But I am almost ready.

And taking Friday off was a good thing. I hadn't really been paying attention to the news and weather last week and it turned out that there was a major snowstorm forecast for Saturday into Sunday. So Friday I spent doing my errands and grocery shopping as well as my annual Christmas decorating at the cemetery. Not only my Moms grave but my grandparents on both sides, my late aunts and uncles and my great-grandparents. They are all buried in two side by side cemeteries. Ever since I was a little girl we have done this at Christmas time. My Dad would take his aunt and bring some of us children to help. Then when I was old enough to drive I would take my aunt and help her. Now that she has been gone these many years it is my Christmas duty. I do try to get it done earlier in the season but I am glad I did it Friday.

The view from the deck of my back yard.

The reason? By late Saturday it started snowing and it snowed and it snowed and it snowed some more. The total was something like 25 to 28 inches. An all time record snowstorm for Long Island. Of course Rory just loves playing in the snow. Coming in and immediately wanting to go back out and play some more. Which is what he did Sunday (before it stopped snowing) and most of yesterday. The funniest was watching him chase snowballs and then trying to dig them out of the snow!

I did get my tree and decorated it Saturday between letting Rory in and out. I used my dog related ornaments for my tree this year. It is kind of a "Charlie Brown" type tree but it suits me this year. As you can see the angels on my tree all have a dogs face. Especially my tree topper. Look close. It is the head of, what else? An Irish Setter!

I probably won't post again before the big day so I take this time to thank you all for your comments throughout the past year. For your support and friendship and warmth. And I hope and pray that all of you have a wonderful Christmas. One filled with love, laughter, good friends and good times. That the New Year bring us all health, happiness and lots of beautiful stitching.
That is my wish for you all.
Until next time..................

Love and stitches


and licks from Rory too.


and in the words of Tiny Tim


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Time flys

The ornament I stitched for the Sit and Stitch grab bag.
It just flys. I have no idea where the last week has gone. And I still have way too much to do. Sigh.
It has been a busy week. Last Thursday evening was the holiday gathering of the sit and stitchers at my LNS. We stitched, ate all kinds of goodies. Everyone brought a desert.

And we even had an ornament grab bag. Fun, fun, fun. It was the most stitching I have managed to do in over a week!

Then I spent a bit of time over the week and weekend putting up some Christmas decorations. Everything is up now except a tree and I am planning on doing that tomorrow. Here are a few photos of some of my Christmas collections.

This is part of my Santa collection. Not the greatest picture but you get the idea.

My Mom always had a village under the tree. Some of my best memories of Christmas are watching her put up the village and being able to play with the train set that was always there. I usually set the village up on the shelves of the entertainment unit. This way Rosie can't play with it and now with Rory I wanted to be extra cautious. It should be interesting to see how he reacts to the tree.
In a corner of the dining room on top of top of the server I brought in a small live tree and decorated this one with all stitched ornaments. It is too small for lights but looks cute and festive.

Last week I also received a fabulous package in the mail. My exchange from the LHN exchange blog. My partner was Joanie of Joanie's World blog. Oh my but she outdid herself and spoiled me rotten. She not only stitched an adorable ornament but she included some wonderful extras in the package. Best of all my very first pair of Gingher scissors! And a perfect ornament for my other tree. A dog ornament that I can put a photo of Rory in! I love everything! Thank you again Joanie.

Here is her gorgeous ornament already on the tree.

This is the one I stitched for my partner, Shay. I stitched the one in this years JCS Ornament issue.

Poor Rory was so tired following me from room to room trying to "help" that he gave up and curled up in the chair to watch.
Well, I'm off to finish making my lists and working on those three more gifts I still need to stitch up. Do the finishing on a bunch of others and wrap.
Until next time........................
Love and stitches
and licks from Rory too

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ups and downs and Rory

I have a lot to share with you all. It was a very busy weekend with a few ups and a few downs.
First the downs. Yesterday, Sunday, December 6th, marked the first anniversary of my Moms passing. Even though I tried to keep busy memories of that day last year filled my mind. I let the sadness fill me until the tears fell. And every time I did Rory was right there climbing in my lap to comfort me. Now I'm not used to that since my previous setters, both girls, were never sensitive to my sad moods. Well, Rory would climb up and sniff and then lick my face letting me know he was there to help. Once or twice that made me cry harder but eventually I just had to smile. I have said this before and I am sure I'll say this again. Thank you to my baby brother, Greg, for giving me such a wonderful gift of Rory.

Now the ups. And there are more of those.

On Saturday I received my Prairie Schooler exchange from Susan P. She stitched the PS design from the current JCS Ornament issue. It is just darling. It kind of reminds me of those snowmen we built when we were children. Thank you Susan. I can't wait to get my tree so I can hang this along with my other stitched ornaments.

Speaking of stitched ornaments. I was lucky enough to win one of Andrea, of the Craft Room blog, giveaways. I received it just before Thanksgiving and didn't get a photo of it until yesterday. It is gorgeous. I love the cording and the tassel and the delicateness. It is perfect! Thank you so very much Andrea.

Then I got word that the ornament I made for the Prairie Schooler exchange has reached its new home. Mine went all the way from New York to Suzanne in Australia. I couldn't believe it got to her so quickly. I stitched one the Santas from an older pattern. (Sorry I can't remember which one. I forgot to write it down.) I used a piece of mystery linen and DMC to stitch this piece. The finishing is one I have seen them use often in the JCS Ornament issues.

Now for the part you are waiting for.
Rory is feeling much better. The sneezing has stopped and so has the coughing. Since he is feeling better he has his energy back and all his silliness. Oh, and here is a new things he started doing last week. Between 6 and 6:30 in the morning I always let him out for his potty break before I leave for work. You know how he likes to "chase" planes? Well, since the full moon last week, the moon is still shining while the sky is getting light. I really think Rory thinks that moon is a big plane (even though it isn't moving). He runs back and forth and around the yard head up at the sky barking and growling his fool head off! At 6:30 in the morning!! Sigh. I can't wait until the new moon . I'm sure the neighbors can't wait either.

The other thing we did over the weekend was go see Santa. Rory tries so hard to be good. Really he does. And Santa kept saying he was such a handsome boy. Even if he didn't want to sit still.

Back home I found some of my Christmas decorations, including the bandannas and collars for Rory to wear. (See the photos at the beginning of this post.) So we tried some sit-stay and I think some of them came out pretty good. Rory is finally getting the hang of it.
See Mommy with the camera and freeze!

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

Love and stitches


and licks from Rory too

Easy Pot Pie

I mentioned in my last posting that I was planning on making pot pie with my Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. I did. It was oh so good. And now my freezer is stocked with plenty of pot pie dinners to thaw and heat up in the next month. I had a few people ask me for the recipe so I thought I would post it here. With photos. If you get a chance to make it let me know how it turns out. Oh, you can always make the pot pie with any left over meat and gravy. So don't wait for the holiday dinner.
Step one. Gather all your leftovers. I wanted a more veggies in mine so I added a can of corn and peas. I also made some boiled potatoes because I didn't have any leftover from Thanksgiving dinner. (My Mom would put the leftover mashed potatoes in the bottom of the pan. It is a little messy when serving but just as yummy. She would also include the leftover sweet potatoes cubed.)
Step two. Layer potatoes in the bottom of your casserole dish. Add the chopped turkey on top.
This is a great way to use the dark meat as well as the white meat.
Step three. Add your fresh or leftover vegetables.
Step four. Heat up your gravy to pour on top. Make sure your gravy is nice and hot.
Step five. Make your biscuit dough for the top.
I use the easy biscuit mix from a box of Bisquick. Follow the recipe for biscuits or dumplings. (Bisquick mix and milk) Roll out the dough to the size of your casserole dish and about half an inch thick.

Step six. Carefully place the biscuit dough on top. Set your oven at 375 degrees and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. (If your dough is thick you may need to cook a little longer)

Your pot pie is done when the top is golden brown.

Cut, serve and enjoy. I like to keep my top to the side. And I added some leftover stuffing and cranberry sauce to my dinner. Very filling and very good. The perfect dinner for a chilly winter's night.

Love and stitches


and licks from Rory too.

PS. A photo filled update with stitchy pics and, of course Rory is coming up next.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Neighbors and Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a delicious Thanksgiving. Enjoying family, friends and making memories to cherish tomorrow. My holiday? Mostly quiet. I had dinner with my Mom's baby brother and his family. Though I have to admit that for the most part the day was difficult. It could have been worse but Rory did help take my mind off missing Mom. But it was when I got to my Aunt and Uncle's that I really lost it. The smell. I was so missing the smell of roasting turkey and stuffing. I hadn't spent a Thanksgiving since I can remember where the cooking smells didn't fill the house. Yes, I missed Mom and was remembering our dinner last year but it was the smell that I think I missed most. So, guess what? I went out Friday and bought myself a turkey and the trimmings. And Sunday became my personal Thanksgiving dinner with Rory and Rosie begging for turkey scraps. And as you can see Rory was very interested in that smell too. I am enjoying my left overs and can't wait to make myself some turkey soup and potpie. My two favorites with leftover turkey.

Now for our "Rory story". And a tale of neighbors.
We all have them. Many of us enjoy friendships with our neighbors. Neighbors are supposed to watch out for their neighbors. Help out in times of trouble and, well, at least be polite. Well, my neighbor on one side is that and more. The sweetest couple and "Aunt" Pat is one of Rory's favorite people. But the other side??????? They are one of those kinds of neighbors. Quiet people but strange. (There is a designer who has a pattern the has these two houses side by side. The one house is pretty and the other a disaster. I really have to get that one!) 60 feet (Yes, I measured it!) of their yard borders my back yard. It is the only section of my yard that doesn't have 4-6 foot chain link fencing. This area is a flimsy chicken wire type fence. It was always sufficient for my previous dog. Besides that the whole area has bushes covering the fence.

Can you tell where this is heading? Yup, Rory has crushed and broken enough of the bushes that he has a path along side the fence. The better to run and play with the neighbors dog and to keep an eye on those pesky feral cats that the neighbor feeds and encourages to make their home there. Where? Under all the sheds the neighbors have in their yard. As well as the decking around their pool, the decking with the hot tub, the gazebo, and most of the the HUGE pile of mattresses that are partially covered with a collection of blue tarps. Yes. I said MATTRESSES. As in what you sleep on in your bed.

I hear you know saying "What?"
Well, see for yourself.
Why you ask? I am not really sure myself. I did see one of the owners trying to pole vault and using the mattresses as her landing pad. (I had to quickly run inside the house. Holding in my laughter was too hard to do!)

This pile of junk has been sitting there for at least three or four years, They just keep adding and/or changing the tarps. (The neighbors dogs also like to climb the mattress mountain and tinkle on it!) The cats like to live under it and when they pop out of hiding my Rory goes ballistic. Barking and jumping on the fencing. Yup, He found out he could push on the fence and jump the 3 foot section with ease. He did this twice and there I was spending hours on Thanksgiving morning patching some areas, adding height with some of my garden fencing and wire. Pounding additional fence posts into the ground and making this 60 foot area "Rory proof." It is holding for now but as soon as I can I will be getting some stockade privacy fencing for this area. The other bonus that will mean is not having to look at the yucky blue mountain every time I go out my kitchen door.
So what kind of neighbors are yours?

Except for Rory's cat chasing, fence jumping antics he gave me some concern over the weekend. He wasn't acting his usual self. He didn't want to eat a couple of mornings and was very quiet. Spending as much time as he could in my lap. On Saturday he started sneezing and coughing and running a fever. I ran him to the veterinarian yesterday. He has kennel cough, a doggie version of a cold. Unfortunately it can get serious and turn into pneumonia especially with puppies. He is now on two different medicines and after just one day he was a little more his old self this morning. We figured that he picked it up at the dog shows. So once he is better I am hoping my fence repair will hold. I did get some stitching done. Finished my two exchanges and got them in the mail. Finished two Christmas presents and started a couple more. No photos until they reach their new home.

So until next time.................

Love and stitches,


and licks from Rory too.