Peace Be The Journey

I joined in on the World Healing Day peace meditation this morning, which I originally read about on Lunaea Weatherstone’s blog. I actually woke up at about 5 this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I got up and knitted on the sock for my sock class until 6:00 a.m. This kind of knitting is very meditative to me anyways, just knit knit knit, around and around, so I was in a nice contemplative mood at the beginning of my meditation. :o)

My peace meditations always end up focusing on my hope that one day we will learn to live in peace not just with each other, but with Mother Earth. My prayer for 2008 is that more of us will learn to live gentle on our Great Mother.

My title for this post comes from the movie Cool Runnings, about the Jamaican bobsled team, which is one of my all time favorite movies. A strange fact about me – no matter how many times I watch this movie, I always cry when they pick up their bobsled after their wreck and walk across the finish line.

Peace be your journey for 2008!

Sweeney Todd

We went to see Sweeney Todd last night, and it was an awesome movie! Definitely creepy and gory, but funny as only Johnny Depp can be in a creepy character. It was also very interesting to see him singing in a musical. :o)

Why is there always at least one of THOSE people at horror movies?? You know, THOSE people who must talk constantly through the whole movie, getting all upset when there is blood and gore? I just want to take them outside and slap them. There were two of them last night, all shocked at the amount of blood, and every time Sweeney Todd slit a throat and blood spurted, they were just horrified, screaming ewww, ewww, ewwww. Hmmmm, lets see…the story is about a serial killer who is a barber, who kills by slitting his victims throats. Then he dumps them downstairs into the meat pie shop where they are made into meat pies. And it is directed by Tim Burton, who has a wonderfully creepy mind. And it is rated R for violence and gore. Come on people, get a grip!

Anyways, if you like horror, and if you like Johnny Depp, you will LOVE this movie! What a delicious combination! :o)

Sock Class

I am so excited! I’m going to be teaching my very first knitting class next month! It is a beginner sock class, just a plain cuff down sock using Opal yarn. I will be teaching at a shop called P is for Primitive, which is where I also took the beginner rug hooking class with Rissa and Cynthia. I will be teaching over three sessions two weeks apart – the first session we will cast on (which can be intimidating sometimes when you are casting on with all those double points for the first time) and start the leg, the second session we will do the heel flap and the third session will be the toe and kitchener stitch, and we can also cast on for the second sock during that session. I am really looking forward to it.

I am knitting up a sample sock for the class out of Opal Frosch, which is the blue frog colorway. Here is my progress so far. I want to finish it this week so I can take it to the shop to hopefully help attact attention to the class. :o)

I have weenie southern dogs. Our temp dropped to 26 or so last night, and we have a beautiful hard frost on the ground. My thin blooded weenie house dogs stuck their nose outside and promptly returned to bed. I had to pick them up and tote them outside so they would reluctantly do their business. Currently, they are all back in bed under the covers with my husband. Sad, so sad.

No, what is really sad is that I have to go in to work for a few hours. That just sucks. I don’t know why they couldn’t just let us be off today. We aren’t going to do anything anyways! Of course, I could be mean and just refuse to go, after all, there isn’t much they can do to me now that I have quit. LOL I am so ready for them to start interviewing to find someone to take my place!!

Dab of winter

Well, we had a tiny dab of winter that lasted about 2 days. Monday, we actually had a frost on the ground! Today, the temp was in the lower 70’s, and it should hover about there through the weekend. I wish we got just a little bit more winter weather here in Mississippi. Sometimes I get so tired of warm, humid weather, and I long for snow, and for air so cold you can feel it in your lungs.

I did document our frost, so I could turn the A/C way down, look at the pictures, and at least pretend its winter!

And here is my poor little Flea, wondering why her grass is so crunchy and cold. It was hilarious to watch her try to hover over that cold grass and pee! Although from the look she gave me, she does NOT appreciate my humor. :o)

This and that

Most momentous thing going on in my life right now – I turned in my resignation at work last Monday. I am taking a year off from work to devote to my embroidery. I am going to work on developing designing and teaching skills, and I am going to explore the possibility of opening my own needlework shop. I am taking a couple of art classes (design and drawing) at a local community college, and I will be going to several embroidery classes throughout the year. I am very excited!

Another dream of mine is also coming to fruition next year. Not only have I enrolled as a student at Hinds Community College, I will be teaching there as well! They called me out of the blue a week ago to see if I would be interested in teaching the night Accounting II class. I have always wanted to teach college accounting classes, so now I have my chance to see if I enjoy it. I am just thrilled about this too! I told Mark, depending on how much I enjoy it, I may become vvveeerrrryyyyyyyyyyy interested in pursuing a docotorate degree, which I have made noises about off and on for several years now. :o)

I have never been so excited at the beginning of a new year in all my life! :o)

I have been making progress on To The Acorn. I finished the reversible blackwork band. And it is reversible! :o)

Here is the front

And here is the back

The next band is cut work, and I have my box basted in and I’m ready to cut threads. That is always a heart-pumping, adrenaline filled moment. :o) Although I have already learned (guess how and why!) how to rethread threads cut in error. LOL I enjoy filet work, and I’m looking forward to working on this band this weekend.

Megan, Billy and I went to see I Am Legend last night, and it was great! Very spooky and creepy, with lots of heart pounding suspense, but it made me cry at spots too. I highly recommend this movie.

Not a happy post about an abandoned dog

Friday, when Katie and I were going back to work after lunch, I saw some people abandon two small dogs. It was on a cut-through road that goes from one busy road to another. They were pulled over at this gravelly spot, and I saw two little dogs running around, then I saw the car leave. I told Katie that those people had thrown out those little dogs, and I turned around and went back, passing the bitches on the way back. Sure enough, there the little dogs were, looking confused and lost.

Katie and I stopped, and another lady who had turned around and came back pulled up too. I got one of them to come to me – a little male red pomeranian mix. I handed him to Katie and went after the other one, who was very shy and wouldn’t let me anywhere close. The little cut-through road is very busy, so I kept jumping out in the road to make people slow down and stop so he wouldn’t get hit. He looked like a little chihuahua mix, and those dogs can be so nervous. I was so afraid for him.

When it became very obvious we weren’t going to be able to catch the other little dog, the other lady said she would take the pom mix if I didn’t want him. I told her to go ahead, and she left. I just couldn’t bring myself to leave the other little dog. I called the Flowood PD, and an officer responded even before I got off the phone. But he couldn’t do anything either, we couldn’t even get close enough for him to be able to use the noose thing to catch him. So I gave up and went back to work.

Once there I called the MS Animal Rescue League, just to see if there was something they could do, but there wasn’t. I knew that in my heart. I was so upset I just cried. I couldn’t help it. Everyone at work knows I’m wacky when it comes to animals – I made our runner take a turtle that one of our trucks ran over to the vet a couple of months after I started working there. (And the turtle was fine – the vet was able to fix his shell and let him go.) I worried and worried about the dog all afternoon.

When I went home, he was still sitting there, watching the cars. I really wanted to stop and try to catch him again, but I knew that would be very dangerous for both him and me in 5:00 traffic. :o( It just broke my heart, because I know he was sitting there waiting for his owners to come back and get him. I really hate those people who did that – three young women in a silver car. I wish I had gotten their tag number, because Flowood enforces its animal cruelty laws. I worried because it gets cold at night, and I worried that another animal would come and get him, and I worried that he would get in the street and get run over. I worried and cried so much that Mark finally offered to go look for the little dog in the dark. :o( But there are no lights in that area, so I knew that was useless. I told him I was going back in the morning, and he said he would go with me and help me.

So yesterday morning I took food, water, a leash, and a blanket with me. And this story does not end happy. He didn’t make it, he had gotten hit on the road. I feel awful, like I failed him, even though I knew I did my best for him. And I really hate those horrible bitches who abandoned him. I wish I could find them and tell them what kind of people they are. There is no reason to leave a dog on the side of the road. We have an open-door shelter that will take in anything, no questions asked, no cost to the person turning the animal in.

I just don’t get people who view animals as so much trash to be disposed of at will. Animals are sentient, thinking, feeling beings just like humans. They deserve respect, and they deserve to be treated with respect. Sometimes I am really ashamed to be a part of the human race because there are just too many people who don’t give a shit about Mother Earth and our fellow creatures who inhabit her.

Yes, I am very angry. And I am grieving for that little dog, and all like him. I light a white candle for him, and I know that his spirit is in the arms of the Mother Goddess, and I take comfort in that.

Project for next year

I have signed up for Sharon B’s Take it Further Challenge for 2008. You can read about it here I am excited to be participating because I think it will help me get my creative juices flowing and start developing some design muscles. She will be posting a key concept at the beginning of the month, and the challenge is to develop the concept into a design by the end of the month, and to blog about your process. I think it will be lots of fun.

I haven’t been blogging, but I have been stitching. So some progress photos. :o)

I have been working on To The Acorn. I must get it finished this time if I want an evaluation of it, because this is my second time to sign up for the GCC. Here is my progress through 11/18, when I finished Lesson 2.

The next band is a reversible blackwork band. I hope to have that finished this weekend.

I have also been working on a needlepoint christmas ornament. It is an EGA petite project that we did through MS NeedleArts. I will finish it before year end. I’m not sure what I will do with it, since the whole chrismas tree thing is really just a pain in my butt, but maybe I will give it to my daughter Megan for her tree. She’s young and still enjoys putting up a tree. :o)

MS NeedleArts Meeting – our outreach project

We had our MS NeedleArts meeting yesterday. It was a great meeting. We are stitching the Kissing Pillows project for the Yellow Rose Chapter in Texas, and we invited everyone to come stitch with us. We had several people show up, which was great!

The Kissing Pillow is a small cross stitch motif pillow that is given to the child of a soldier being deployed overseas. The soldier kisses the pillow and then gives it to his or her child to keep until they get back. I think it is a lovely outreach project. My father went to Viet Nam when I was about 9, and I remember what a very scary time that was. So I like to think I am reaching out to children like me, to give them a little bit of comfort during such a frightening time.

I have four motifs done:

I finished one yesterday, and we had two other ladies finish one at the meeting. There were three or four other ladies that took theirs home to finish. And everyone took a couple of extra kits. We also had a young girl show up right before our meeting ended. I took a few minutes to show her how to do them, and she took hers home with her. I wish she had come earlier so I could have had more time to teach her. Rissa has nine or so finished, and Cass has five. I volunteered to stitch them into pillows. So I will need to get started on that. :o)

That Needlin’ Town – Chicago – Seminar 2007

We got back from Chicago last Saturday night. I had such a wonderful time!! It has taken me all week to recover. LOL The Marriot was very nice, and the area we were in – the Magnificent Mile – was absolutely beautiful. It is the nicest downtown area I have ever been in. We were on the 38th floor, and had a very nice view of downtown. However, I wouldn’t want to live in Chicago. Way too many people for me! And it was never quiet, even though we were on the 38th floor. I think Jackson is as big a place as I ever want to live in.

The seminar was wonderful, and I loved all three of my classes. Here we go with pictures. :o)

My Sunday class was The Flower Show, ribbon and brazilian embroidery, with Jane Ellen Balzuweit. She was such a sweet teacher.

First is the picture from the instructions:

And my piece:

My Monday/Tuesday class was Down the Garden Path, a counted work sampler, with Barbara Rakosnik. Another great teacher – so sweet and very funny.

The picture from the instructions:

And mine:

My Thursday/Friday class was Say It With Flowers, surface embroidery on a canvas, with Marnie Ritter. This one was lots of fun. First we painted our canvas with flower petals and leaves, which was very cool. And the piece uses beads and ribbon, which are always fun to work with. And Marnie Ritter was a hoot.

The picture:

And mine:

Mark and I went exploring on Wednesday. We went to Millenium Park and the Navy Pier, and then took a boat cruise up the Chicago River to look at all the architecture. I also wanted to visit the Science & Industry Museum and the Field Museum, but I just didn’t have time.

Here are a few of my Chicago pictures from Wednesday:

The Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan

From Millineum Park

Mark inside the metal sculpture thing in Millineum Park

Pretty rock garden on the street

Wading pool at Millineum Park

We had a great time. I am now looking forward to Louisville!

Mystery Stole #3 – Finished!

I finished my mystery stole today! It is my first lace shawl/stole project that I have actually finished, and I am quite in love with it. :o) It is not perfect, but I don’t care. I didn’t look for my mistakes, and I can’t tell they are there anyways. I’m very happy with it! It is now blocking.

Here is a closeup of the lace. It represents the swans of Swan Lake.

And here is a closeup of the swan wing. I love it! It turned out very light and feathery looking.

And to go along with my stole, I got this beautiful swan pin.

I am very excited about wearing it to the banquets! :o)

On the personal front, I’m happier with my hair. It has finally relaxed a little. Although I am still very angry at the stylist. He never called me back, but he certainly cashed my check.

I have had a bout with my heart these past couple of weeks. I’ve been having chest pains, trouble breathing, and irregular heart beats. I decided that before I go across country from my heart doctor I should probably have it checked out, so I saw him yesterday. He put me through all kinds of torture, including a stress test which I hate with a passion because it feels like they are trying to kill me. The results are my valve problem hasn’t changed, and my arteries aren’t clogged. His diagnosis – stress and anxiety, which are exacerbating my irregular heart beats. I am very relieved at that. The stress and anxiety I can fix. A heart attack I can’t.

Woo hoo! Chicaco here we come! Just 2 more days. :o)