Friday, December 18, 2009

Packages are sent today

Just a quick note this morning. Finished mail packages last night and to be mailed today includes Becky J.'s Giveaway box! Becky, I hope you enjoy those goodies!

I have contacted Colleen but haven't heard back yet for an address.

Other final packages sent as well and I'm sure the postman is pretty tired at this point of the year! For me, I did use online more for shopping or if I needed stitching as driving after a long day of work is stressful with our short days and getting dark earlier. My hubbie and I definitely use UPS service alot and thankful for online shopping and especially free shipping.

The weather outside is "frightful".......as they say in the carol. It's windy, windy, rainy with threats of snow today and tomorrow in higher elevations of North Ga. which includes where I live. We'll see. Mostly it's a wet blizzard right now. Definitely a bad hair day! LOL
People coming in at the office are saying it's getting extremely cold and colder. I'm wondering what the end of next week will be in Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois as we head up there in the car. So, if you live in those states, are the roads looking ok?

Back to work now.......stay warm and cozy!
Talk later,
Jennifer

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Around the Dalenberg house tonight


Finished the little ornie for Thomas. Design from the Kitty Kringle Christmas book by the Sampler Girl. Threads, DMC, natural 32 cot belfast linen. Fabric is wool from the quilt shop. I attached a jingle bell to the top and decided instead of fringing, to use my pinking shears for the outside.




This is one happy dog tonight. He has a new blanket and a new T-shirt.


It says Santas' little helper.





And finally decided on this prim candle. No wires, no electricity, all it uses 2 AA batteries and well hidden. The bottom screws off and then it softly blinks like a candle. I got the stand at the prim store after work. I like it because you can still see the stitching part while using it.


I also got several things I wanted to mail out together and at the door. This cleared alot of the kitchen island off. Now for something I started tonight called Window Scene by Brightneedle. I picked out the DMC colors and started the window sill. It makes about a 5 inch x 5 inch ornie.
I'll post more progress tomorrow.
Hope you are having a safe, happy holiday.
Jennifer

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I wish I was about 5 again

I wish I was about 5 years old again. Then, I believed in a real Santa. I didn't know any better. I just knew that that was the best time of year. We got cool things in our homemade stockings like oranges and peppermint sticks. I colored Santa Clause about 50 times before Christmas. Crayola was my best friend. I colored his face and put cotton balls for his beard. I snuggled up close to my brother with matching pajamas and got a picture in front of our wilted looking, thin tree but I didn't care at the time and I felt like that feeling would never end. It did.

Santa always left tinsel hanging off the roof and ate half my cookies I left out for him. He even would leave tinsel in the refrigerator when he got more milk to drink. He would also leave a little tinsel by my bed so that I knew he watched me to make sure I was asleep before he put my toys under the tree.
I think at 5 I finally got my Easy-bake oven I wanted but we were't allowed to turn it on because it used a light bulb but it was alot of fun pretending to cook. Now, I'm too tired to cook. Now, there are alot of things after the age of 5 that was not pleasant so I will digress at that but the age of about 5 was fun. The most stress I had was kindergarten and trying not to talk too much or play with my crayons when I wasn't supposed to be. I was nominated to dress as a snowflake in my kindergarten class and I wore a huge white showflake headdress homemade and flittererd across the stage with no cares. LOL

After days like today, I would like to be 5 again. Just a simple time when people are not quite so complicated and the strain of daily life takes it toll and swipes out any Christmas cheer.
I feel like I'm going at full speed ahead and quite frankly I'm as they say "over it" after today.
I went to bed finally around 1am this morning. Woke up to hear that it was 5am and BG had to leave work early. Didn't go back to sleep. Got stopped by a state patrol for speeding on the way to work and I was already running behind so he took his sweet time in the back, hiking up his pants and chewing me a new one for speeding. Called my hubbie and that was a mistake because he agrees with the cop that I drove too fast. And believe me, cops have an attitude always when they stop you. They think they are immortal and can talk any kind of way to you.

I finally get to work. I never made up the pace all day. It's a crazy way to live. Solving problems every 15 minutes under the pressure of our changing medical atmosphere of insurance who really are the ones determining patient care regardless of what we recommend. And folks, that is a scarey thing.

By the time I got off, I had to go to the older small local mall which is pretty doggone scarey on a dark night alone and get what I could to finish Christmas shopping. It was getting crazy too. So, then I shopped more than I should have just for the sheer adrenaline of something fun to do.
I went to Bath and Body Works......mistake. Victoria's Secret. Another mistake. And while I was picking out a few items of necessity, a nice gentlemen started up a conversation to me about helping him pick out his wife's panties and that was it for me. I was out of there. Why is it that men decide to ask someone else.....it can be a total stranger.....about something so personal?
I can just see me walking over to a guy asking him if he likes briefs or boxers and I go on to tell him how I really like one over the other and what size my husband wears and such.......And by the conversation and body language and his comments, I think he finally got his wife some underwear he could have gone to Walmart to get......but that's a whole different thing.
I did pass all shoe stores. Mark this date on your calender. I resisted the temptation to get a pair or two of shoes.
But, I couldn't pass up some good deals on sweaters and scarfs. There were some really good sales on beautiful colored sweats and scarfs.

At 9pm after driving the slowest I have in years home, I'm completely and utterly exhausted only to start the rat race again tonight and tomorrow.
It's hard to shut off the medical mode and when family or friends ask me for advice and I give it to them, they just ignore it, call it crazy and pay to go see someone else. That makes me feel pretty doggone stupid. So, where does the rat race end?
Isn't there just a point where it's too much? I think it is for me. I definitely have to make some serious changes by the first of the year somewhere to keep up the pace.
I need about 3 weeks somewhere snowed in a small cabin with extra food and heat and some books and stitching projects only. No TV. No news. Nothing. Well, maybe my laptop so I could keep writing and have 1-800 numbers available in case of emergencies; otherwise, complete silence. That may sound crazy but that's how I feel tonight and sadly it's how I feel alot of nights.
I see so many people in the same boat these days. Jobs are cut, then the people left behind have to do the work of 3 people or more. It's just plain crazy now. It's a cycle. People feel stressed, get sick, feel unappreciated, get more sick, on and on and if there is one thing Obama could do for our country in the medical reform is to in some way reduce the burden of stress on the general population. Because I"m a believer that stress can do some awful things to our bodies and minds.

I want to go back to 5 years old at Christmas and stay there. At least at 5, I could sleep 10 hours with no problem and recharge.

Oh, so how was your day today? ;)

One more surprise give-a-way number2 goes to.......


Colleen won the second drawing! We had so much fun picking one name that we went for two and your's was the 2nd one. You get a small flannel bag filled with fatquarters and remnants of woolen cloth, perfect for holiday ornies, along with traditional really pepperminty candy!
I hope you are blessed and have fun with this pack.
Just notify me at jennifer.dalenberg@yahoo.com and I will need you address to mail out on Thursday.
Again, we had much fun with this and hope everyone has a merry, merry Christmas!!!!
Jennifer

The Final Christmas Give-away number 1 is..........

I waited till midnight to the final countdown. Add rumbled them all up and closed my eyes and this is the 1st name I drew. Becky J.



Congratulations, Becky J. You are the WINNER! You are a lucky woman.
I packed it away neatly and supported the items with packing paper and bubble wrap.

Email me at jennifer.dalenberg@yahoo.com of your address to mail to and hope to get it out on Thursday!


I so hope you enjoy those scissors and stash boxes, strawberry needle emerys, and the pretty wooden friendship music box, and the Sampler Girl sampler I put in there.
Merry Christmas and God Bless you and your family.
Jennifer

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thus far and still cutting.......


For the past 2 hours we have written out the names and cut into pieces. Body Guard is helping. We are both enjoying this! A few are added at the last minute and that's completely fine.
We have a big pile of names here. Can't wait till midnight to see which one is drawn!
Keep the names coming!!!
Jennifer

The village party is at our house this weekend!

I'm truly a procrastinator and oh, so not proud of that. I mailed out Christmas cards to our little community out here and planned it for this weekend. I usually do this as a drop-in sometime on Christmas Eve, knowing that alot of folks have family dinners and may not be able to attend but the idea began many years ago that our house would be open for cider and cookies then especially for folks who do not have family. I've been looking at all the good recipes on some of the blogs and can't make up my mind to what else I will cook Saturday.


This year, it's a weekend event and I'm feeling better now but have put off doing that cleaning house stuff until the last few days......as usual. I have alot, I mean alot, to clean up between now and then. Our little community has several folks who are elderly or don't have family local so I just like to mingle and chat and stay in touch. I can't imagine being completely alone on Christmas Eve.


Last year, I went to one of the local old country stores and got some special cidar mix. It's a concentrated little bottle of stuff mixed with apple juice that makes a big pot of cider. I then take some cheesecloth and put in several sticks of cinnamon, orange slices, ginger and wrap it up and let it simmer all afternoon on the stove. It definitely makes the house smell warm and inviting! I found out some people really like it or they really don't, so I have alternative drinks handy. And for those brave folks who want to spike up their cider, I will have some on the side bar. Usually, that's not very many people, but.......just in case.

I have a few more things to do before Christmas too so the rush is fixing to be on! It will be work, clean, work, clean, shop, wrap, and start to pack for our trip.

Packing for a trip is a whole different posting. I usually take the whole house somewhere! LOL It's another habit I'm not too proud of, but since we are driving this time, I can take more!! More books, more stitching projects, more pillows for the backseat, and maybe do a little after Christmas shopping while in Chicago too. Hubbie takes one bag, small and organized. Mine is loaded, unorganized and alot. He's always good about accepting my traveling habits so I can't complain there at all. I remember when we first got married and moved here, he was in awe of how many purses and shoes a woman can have! :0
He told me that first year after being a bachelor for sooooo long and now married, he was going to write a book one day and name it.........Gentleman, Start Your Engines......which would definitely describe the oddities of the female species living habits!

Tonight, I am writing all the names down on pieces of paper for the give-a-way. And this will take me awhile. I will be checking my list, cutting up the pieces and drawing a name at midnight tonight. I may mix them up really good and let Miss Abbie find a name!
So, if you haven't entered, please hurry over and add your name in. I will be checking and adding until midnight.

Some time tomorrow night I will announce the winner! Good luck!

Sweet things come in small packages

They always say good things come in small packages! And here are a few to share.
A small ornie that is awaiting a star charm in the mail to attach to the top of the tree. I finished it this morning. This is another design by The Sampler Girl in the Kitty Kringle Christmas Book. I loved it when I saw it because it reminds me of Thomas, our cat. He is an orangey tabby cat. So, this year, I will add this ornie to the tree.

Opened my mail goodies and felt a wee bit of guilt but I ordered these 2 items for Christmas......for me. I know, I'm probably the only one out there that gets themselves Christmas presents too........ But this is the first time I have a Sajou product. From France.
The Sampler Girl's webshop has some beautiful Sajou scissors and these goodies. Don't think I can afford the scissors but I did love this thread card and the scissor pack I got from her webshop. If I could choose the scissors from Sajou, I would pick the Mother or Pearl handled ones. I have looked at those now for a year and they are absolutely beautiful but pricey pricey.
I feel like I'm stitching in luxury now. Isn't it beautiful?
I already plan to sort out my threads for my road trip next week for a Dutch sampler.
This will be perfect for it.

This is the other side of it. I just love! love it, love it!

And this is the scissor keep which has a band of linen at the top with a brillent blue material.
I will monogram a "D" here and keep my scissors in it. Which pair? Whatever pair I'm using at the time. I do love this blue.

About a month ago I visited the Bath, England, Jane Austen Centre that she had on her site and just got this needlebook. I was surprised by the small size but it's oh, so pretty! I think they randomly choose the pattern of flowers and the inside fabric and I couldn't have asked for anything better than tulips on the outside here!


She has them available for sale on her webshop as well. This is the felt page for my needles.

And the pretty, inside fabric.

I just like to sit and hold and stare at it. A small and tiny treasure for sure!
The is the needlebook folded out on the back. The verse is the same on all the needlebooks and is a Jane Austen quote.
The Jane Austen Centre also had this for sale and for a good price. It's sterling silver and has Peridot gems in it. The size is huge for my finger, even too big for my thumb so I've got to find a jeweler to size it down at least 2 sizes. Peridot is the birthstone for August and even with all the jewelry I have I have never gotten Peridot before. This will be special as this is Aaron's birthday month.
I couldn't get a clear up-close picture as you can see.......however,


I just spoke to Santa and I think.......I THINK! he is considering bringing me a new camera this year............Please, Santa, please!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Our Chi's and Me

Abbie looks at me sadly when I sit to stitch. She wants to play. Only once has she grabbed a skein of DMC floss and run across the room to hide it in her blanket. She picked an olive green color. This position at my stitching chair may have to do with Chex mix........I said may........hehehehehe

Ren is found turning in circles under the tree blindly. He asked Santa for Rogaine this year. The 4% men's solution.

His sweater is in the laundry and I'm going to find a Tshirt right now after looking at this.
He loves clothes! He probably feels quite naked right now.
We just got back from a Christmas dinner and there was quite a spread of food. I ate more than enough. Homecooked, down to earth, Southern style food! I made Ren a plate of leftovers and he really, really liked the dressing, mac and cheese and turkey. Note to self: do not try to wear a new brand of panty hose in control top in one size too small the day of a Christmas dinner.

Abbie wants me to hold her permanently in my left hand. She is a very curious little thing. She leans here and there looking intently on anything moving that closely resembles a tail.
A most embarrassing moment last night was that she went under the Christmas tree and .......well, got a small Teddy Bear slightly bigger than her and she decided it was her boyfriend! OMG! She is too young for this already! Bodyguard and I were in shock when she ran across the room with this bear while we were watching TV and really got up and close. Now, I'm planning a party for Sunday and I'm going to have her starting this! Oh no!



No, she will be in my hand like a little angel.........until she hits the floor and gets the teddy bear!

She really is getting alot of longer hair behind her ears. Ren is envious.......LOL
On her list this year is a pretty pink doggie bed. She will definitely be a Diva then. I'm glad I got her some doggie clothes because she is going on our trip to Chicago and this past week they had a heat wave of 34 during the day. One day last week was a high of 14 degrees I heard. Yikes!


Hey, I'm getting pretty doggone (no pun intended) good at taking these pics myself holding the camera in one hand, dog in another! :0

Christmas Parties

Just a quick thought at lunch. Today has been a great Monday so far. Back pain has improved and the day at work is steady. I'm looking forward to a Christmas dinner tonight to attend. They usually have the best desserts/cakes!

Then I have to get busy making my list and checking it twice again.
Next week is Christmas and I can't believe it! I still haven't heard from Meghan if she is coming home or not.

This past weekend, Abbie has now found her tail. She chases it madly like its one of her Chicken toys. Her Chicken toy number 1 and number 2 have tails. And, alas, she found one on her too!
She is so cute and I miss her right now.
Ren is doing well for his age right now. We give him loves and kissies too and as long as he gets some table food when we eat and alot of water, he is fine. Usually.

I've got to work on getting the house in order this week slowly but surely as I'm having a community party this weekend at our house. It just wouldn't seem like Christmas without a drop-in cidar/and cookies! I've been doing that for as long as I can remember and love it.
Well, back to work I go....
talk later.
Jennifer

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My First Candle Mat finished

I spent the day resting and completed this candle mat from Kitty Kringle Christmas Booklet by The Sampler Girl. I was lucky to have a piece of fabric that fit this just right. It's 32 count Belgian natural linen with DMC threads. I got it at Pigeon Forge back in the summer on a remnant table.
This is the first candle mat I have completed.
Here is one of my favorite angels sitting in the middle as I do not have any tiny candles right now.

She's playing Silent Night.


After I took the pics I see loose threads I need to trim. However, this is the back. I used a different wool than what was called for in the pattern. I also substituted the colors above from my stash.
I enjoyed making the hay in the manger.


I followed the directions and pressed the piece around the edges inward then secured the wool fabric with blanket stitches by hand. You can see I don't blanket stitch much! It was fun learning a new stitch though and I always wondered how to do that. I actually just looked on Google and found a tutorial on U-tube.


I"m going to find a little cinnamon candle to go right in the middle this week.

Hope your Sunday was cozy too. Hmmm.......what will be next in my stitching basket? ;)

Santa Baby

Here's Santa, Baby with his reindeer. Right now, he's out shopping and I'm wondering what in the world is he up to? Oh, Christmas secrets!
He sent me his wish list which includes tools and such. But, I haven't told him I wanted anything specific so.........I'm wondering what will he surprise me with this year? Time will tell. Remember, Santa is checking those lists and checking them twice to see whose been naughty or nice!
I wonder if I will get 2 lumps of coal this year? Hmmmmmm............

The Stockings Were Hung By the Chimney with Care....


They Won't Be Home For Christmas-
by Del "Abe" Jones


Another year, American Heroes

Are fighting in a foreign land

But hopefully, with an end in sight

To this part of life they hadn't planned.

They do their duty without question

And they all stand proud and tall

They are placed there in harm's way

As they answer, our Country's call.


They'll get by the best they can

And improvise ingenious ways

To find a way to celebrate

The meaning of the Holidays.

Peace on Earth, good will towards men

Is really, kinda hard to do

When all around, there are folks

Whose only wish, is to kill you.


There are far too many families

Who will never again know the joy

That the Christmastime can bring

And cruel, wartime can destroy.

The lucky will return back home

But lives will never be the same

Forever changed in heart and mind

By humankind's unholy game.


They won't be home for Christmas

And sadly, some will never be

But all of them will share one thing

That's the war Hero's legacy.

So as you gather 'round the tree

With your loved ones by your side

Think about those, "over there"

While you enjoy, your Yuletide.
After stitching on my candle mat this morning and taking a break reading, I stumbled upon this website that really has some good Christmas Poems, as well as other Christmas stories, puzzles, coloring pages (for young and old), etc. This poem really touched my heart this morning.
This will be the first year I can ever remember that I didn't go shopping at the last minute for stocking stuffers and I used to enjoy it so much! I had it down to a patent each year.
I started collecting little stuff between Sept and Dec. in two separate plastic bags in my closet, secretly hidden where I'm sure in recent years my kids knew where to go peek if they wanted to. And on Christmas Eve, I fretted, I mean fretted immensely, at midnight with my hubby if I had gotten them "Equal" amounts. Had I spent on them equally? I always wanted them to get the same, so I usually accumulated more than would fit in the stockings and it would overflow onto the floor by Christmas Eve night.
But I so enjoyed seeing their faces, even if for a brief minute when they pulled out their little treasures.
Of course as they got older, to me, the challenge really started at finding things that fit the stocking and also wasn't "toys", so to speak.
This year I've left the stocking hanging for the last of Christmas decorations.

Midnight Progress--Christmas

Finished Claras Christmas Dance by The Sampler Girl. The fabric below it will make a pillow.

Started a candle mat from the Kitty Kringle Christmas Booklet by the Sampler Girl using 32 ct belgian natural linen and DMC colors.
I took a very long nap this afternoon, about 6 hours after taking something for my back. Hope to get finished with both by tomorrow night.

Gadget

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