Thursday, August 20, 2015

Having a Windsday on a Thursday

It is quite a blustery day out today! A bit chilly and fall-ish if you ask me! It's days like this that give me the urge to put together a fall stitching basket!

We've been super busy here in the Chicken Ottoman Empire! So busy that I've been a little scatter brained. (I've had to go to the grocery store twice already today!) I've been reluctant to pick up my stitching because it seems like every time I do I misplace my needle! I've lost two in the last few days and I hardly ever lose a needle!

Here's my meager progress on Summer...
All I have left is filling in the dark green on the left side. You would think I'd be done by now but ten stitches in and I'm thinking wait... I was supposed to be washing sheets and towels and getting rid of the stink in what will forever be known as "The Skunk Room". (By the way, thank you for the postcard from Milan, Simone. Who knew you were so involved in making sure Fashion Week goes off without a hitch.)

Busy and me just don't get along!

Folks are coming to visit this weekend and there are eight bar stools waiting to be put together and chicken curry to make so off I go!

Buzz buzz buzz...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Au Revoir, Simone!

Simone LeSkunk fell for the trail of mini marshmallows leading to the trap set for her by the Critter Gitter! She is packed up and waiting on the driveway for the limo driver to pick her up and take her to O'Hare. She has a one way ticket to Pah-wee tucked into her Vera Bradley backpack along with some reading material and a few extra marshmallows for the flight. Apparently she was here on a student visa, taking a couple of summer classes at P.U., but got mixed up with the wrong crowd and ended up in our basement as a result of a cruel sorority prank.

All I have to say is,
Au revoir, Simone! Au revoir!

Unfortunately, her legacy endures...

(I wasn't kidding about the Car Jars!)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Wow! What's That Aftershave You're Wearing?

This post comes to you from the far reaches of the Chicken Ottoman Empire. This morning we awoke bright and early to the joyful singing of the birds outside our window (aaaaahhh...) and what has to be the most horrible stench known to man (what the...??). We quickly tracked down the source and discovered it was coming from the utility room on the lower level. Something has been camped in there for a couple of days and by the smell of it I'd say it has to be a close relative of the Grinch. Evidently he's been feasting on three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwiches with a side order of pink insulation! That's the best I can do to describe it!

Stink! Stank! Stunk!

We have opened every window in the house but even with a steady breeze blowing in from the lake it hasn't helped much to dissipate the smell. The critter removal specialist can't be here until later this afternoon so I am hiding out in my stitching room, armed with Yankee Candles and Fabreeze!

In the meantime I have plenty to work on. Here is my latest progress on Summer from Prairie Schooler...
 I've been working on all the little fussy bits so it seems to be going super slooooow. Once they are all done it's mostly filling in the green grass so a Happy Dance can't be too far away!

Here's hoping your Tuesday is going better than mine! If you'd like to come visit, bring clothes pins and Car Jars!

Friday, August 07, 2015

Man vs. Squirrel 2015

Every summer I seem to be in competition with our local critters as to who is the better gardener. I think the critters would be winning this year if it wasn't for this...
The "accidental squash" has all but taken over the bluff!

(Note: Slippers are not the ideal footwear choice for climbing hills! I literally slid right out of them and ended up back at the bottom in my socks!)

The squash inspired me to plant some pumpkins. A little late but they're popping out of the ground now...
I'll be thrilled if we get a pumpkin! They are just too adorable!

Our resident squirrel Jessie (his name comes from Rick Springfield's hit... I wish that I had Jessie Squirrel!) has entered this sunflower...

And Dave the Chipmunk has planted corn...
 He lives under the steps that lead down to the lake and I see him out with his little spade and watering can from time to time. He's a real contender, this chipmunk!

We have no plans for the weekend so I'm hoping to get some stitching done, and possibly a little finishing. I've made a fresh batch of orzo salad and I'm not afraid to use it!

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Two Days Later...

... and all I've managed to stitch is a stem, some leaves, and one flower! My camera even refused to take a decent picture of this embarrassing lack of progress! If there was such thing as a stitching forecast, mine would be foggy with a 10% chance of thread blowing in from the north and converging with needle and fabric this afternoon.

Phil and I went to see Aerosmith in concert last night and I'm suffering from a bit of a Rock & Roll hangover. My ears are still ringing and I'm dead tired after getting home in the wee hours last night. Plus all that jumping up and down and clapping and woowoo'ing takes a lot out of a person my age! I was hoping to revive myself with a relaxing bubble bath this morning while I soaked off my mascara and glitter eye shadow but a rather fat ugly spider decided to join me. Picture David Lee Roth in the Jump video and you have an idea of what I looked like! I swear I heard the spider laughing as it went down the drain with my bubbles!

This afternoon is my annual boob squooshing and as a Public Service Annoucement I encourage all you gals out there to beat the rush in October and get those mammograms scheduled now!

Monday, August 03, 2015

Baking & Stitching

Friday was the big Bake Fest here in our neck of the woods, so my daughter and I were up early that morning to prepare our entries! We had bowls and utensils and ingredients spread from one end of the island to the other!

Here is my Peach Coffee Cake ready for the oven...

And Sarah's Peach Bourbon Cupcakes all ready to go...

As you can see from the photo below, I brought home the first place ribbon in my category! Woohoo!

Sarah took home a fancy medal for her efforts and we're both planning to participate again! We're going for the Grand Prize next year, so look out Coloma!

In between all the baking and award ceremonies I was able to sneak in a few stitches on my Prairie Schooler Summer. It's coming along splendidly! You can almost feel the heat from Mr. Sun!

Tonight's dinner is simmering in the crock pot, the laundry is sploshing around in the washer, and now seems like the perfect time to settle into my stitching chair!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Number Nine

We're nine years old today!

Seems like only yesterday I started this here blog! Thank you to everyone who pops in to visit my little world! I plan to keep posting so pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable! There's tea and coke in the fridge and a brand new bag of pretzel crisps ready to be passed around, and God willing and the creek don't rise, plenty more stitching to come!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Well, I'll Be!

Just when I'm complaining I don't have a green thumb, this happens...
Who would have guessed I could actually grow something this pretty?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Just Peachy

My daughter and I have decided to enter the baking contest at our local Peach Festival next week. We have been busy baking and tasting and perfecting our recipes.

I'm keeping it simple with a Peach Coffee Cake...

Sarah has knocked herself out and came up with these Bourbon Peach Cupcakes for her entry...

Wish us luck!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A New Summer Start

I guess we knew this would happen! With all those Prairie Schooler charts spread out on the Chicken Ottoman, I couldn't resist starting something new! This is Summer from Prairie Seasons. I'm stitching it on a rather starchy piece of 28-count Lambswool linen but it's coming along nicely despite the stiffness of the fabric.

Jacob from Hawk Run Hollow and Spot the Cat have formed a picket line outside the door to my stitching room. I've been told they have a press conference scheduled for this afternoon and will be voicing their grievances to the public over the lack of progress on their particular projects. I, being of a stubborn nature, refuse to be bullied by a cat and a miller and will continue working on the PS piece for as long as I please!

Stay tuned to your local broadcast!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


My venture into gardening this year has not gone well. I had some lettuce and basil early in the season and a bunch of jalapenos are needing to be picked, but the rest of my plants failed to produce much of anything at all. I promise I watered and fertilized and babied the heck out of them. I just don't seem to have the proverbial green thumb.

So yesterday I'm out on our deck, tending to what's left of the near leafless stems and sticks I refer to as my garden, when I happened to look out at our bluff and see something growing that resembles a squash plant. You see, I've gotten in the habit of tossing my failures over the railing, down to the ground below in the hopes that Mother Nature might take pity and breathe life back into something I've all but killed. Up until now she hasn't.

So I ran down with my camera this morning to get a better look and this is what I found...

I have two rather healthy looking squash plants growing from what was last year's Thanksgiving centerpiece!


It's true... I threw at least a dozen small gourds over the rail. And maybe a peach pit or two. And the strawberries that no one ate.

Now before you start worrying that I've gone completely mental, throwing trash out in the yard, I must explain that the bluff is a very steep hill that leads down to the lake and we let grow wild. I figure anything with seeds has the potential to germinate and produce something the critters might like nibbling on. So you see, it's all for the greater good!

Of course, picture a 54-year-old woman out on a steep hill at the crack of dawn trying to take pictures of plants and you have another kind of crazy altogether!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Taking Inventory

With the news of Prairie Schooler's retirement, I had to pull out all my charts and take a quick inventory. I have a feeling I'm going to hop online and go a little crazy pants with the ole credit card here in the next few minutes!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Blame it on the Sun

Not much progress to share on Spot the Cat. It was too nice a day to stay inside so out I went to laze around on the chaise and watch the boats go by on the lake. A certain ballsy squirrel came by to do a little harvesting while I was out. It was hard to understand him with his mouth stuffed full of my strawberries but he seemed to be professing his innocence in the whole candle-eating caper. Apparently he's a Vegan. What I need to be looking for is a chipmunk with a pica disorder.

Today is cloudy and the plan is to finish the border on Spot. Mostly so I don't have to count how many stitches long his legs should be and where the tree needs to end. So when I discover a "counting error" we'll all know why!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What's On...

The ottoman?
I've been working on Spot the Cat from La-D-Da this week. It is going super slow but I am determined to stick with it until it's finished! He's sooo cute!

The ironing board?
I started a tiered skirt over the weekend. I've used this pattern before so you would think the second time would be a breeze, but nope! Pattern instructions always seem to be written in a foreign language to me!

The table on our deck?
 I haven't a clue what ate my votives! We have squirrels and chipmunks helping themselves to my strawberries but I didn't think they'd eat wax! One candle is missing entirely! Did they need a little mood lighting for their nest?

The lunch menu?

No surprise here! Orzo salad and andouille!

This afternoon's agenda?
A bright sunny day calls for some relaxin' on the deck!

The TV?
Phil gave me a set of Bob Ross DVD's for my last birthday! Am I the only one who finds his voice incredibly soothing? I practically slip into a coma! Happy little trees! Happy little clouds!

And speaking of my sweetheart?
He's always on my mind!