Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tipping...for service...what service?

I know I discussed this last summer, but I 'm really confused. Exactly when did tipping at fast food counters become the norm? I stopped by a fast food place on 17th street and after telling them what I wanted I noticed they had not a tip cup, not a tip jar, but a metal box with a friggin padlock on it. The box was about 12 inches wide so you couldn't miss it on the counter. Now if they thought that was going to intimidate me into putting money in that box they had another think coming. First of all...tipping is for service. When you are handing me my sandwich that's not service above what you would have to do to get me my sandwich, so what part of that should I be tipping for? I was the only one in the place...yes the only customer with approx. 4 employees...and did they get my sandwich correct, hell no, they left off the tomatoes which I had asked for so...should I have tipped. I wouldn't have tipped if they put the tomatoes on the sandwich, but if they don't meet the normal expectations can I start removing money from the tip jars, cups, or boxes? That's my question! You didn't give me what I ordered so now you have to give me back some of the money...that sounds reasonable. But honestly, while I tip 20% in a sit down restaurant for normal service...don't make me continually ask for utensils or water, etc., or that will go down and for really poor service well you are lucky if you get 10%. I use tipping to let them know how I think the service was. But when I'm standing at a fast food counter I can't understand why there is a tip jar at all. Now there I just don't tip! Now if you work at a fast food counter and can give me a reason to tip, please do. But it better not be because you handed me a sandwich or took an order because that's part of the job description isn't it? If it isn't the next time I go to get fast food I'll just yell out my own order and come over the counter (that's going to be a lovely sight for which I might have to put out a tip jar) and get the sandwich my self. Or even better the chef could just toss it to me. So if you see me coming...just get out of my way! The weather has improved since I arrived at work. The sun is shining, but the temps are still cooler than normal so that's O.k. with me. But business is slow so it's becoming difficult for me to stay awake...and then there's confusion of Solomon who is walking at 9 months and is in to everything. But he's so cute you just can't get mad and he just is so active he wears you out. He doesn't take a nap...O.K. does 15 minutes constitute a nap...Sara and I don't think so. We use to get 2 breaks a day from Michael, his morning nap (1-1 1/2 hrs) and his afternoon nap (approx 2 hours)...Solomon...15 minutes a day if we're lucky. It's exhausting! But we'll make it through the summer least I hope we will. Anyway, it's 4:00 and I'm going home. So long, good night and get some stitching in. I am almost finished Heart of America (Thank God!) so I'll have something to show shortly. Talk to you tomorrow.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I can tell it's summer....

Since the town isn't that busy yet, I've been closing the hotel and the shops at 4:00 p.m. In the hotel we're putting people in outside apartments so we don't have to keep the inside open. It's like having a snow day for us because we all get to go home to our own beds at night. Once the inside of the hotel is open, Sara has to stay behind the office in her little room, and while I get to go home I don't leave the hotel until around 11:00 pm. which makes for a very long day for me. So I'm enjoying the getting home at 4:00 or in the case of last night around 5:30 as I chose to paint the lobby chairs at 4:00. Anyway, I'm resting at home, stitching (yes I'm forcing myself to stitch to get back in the habit after a rest period and it's taking time to get back on track), when Sara calls me with the latest from the hotel. We had a check-in due so Sara was waiting for them to check in to go home...thought he was going to be there by 3:00 and she called me less than thrilled as it was 8:00 and he still wasn't here, but he called to say he was about 80 minutes away. But he was actually calling to see if Mary would do him a favor....and when he was told Mary was no longer on duty and had gone home the tenant was a little distressed and questioned if he could ask Vernon to do him a favor. He asked if Vernon could tape Lost for him as he wasn't going to make it here in time to watch it. Honestly people, now you know how I love my T.V., but even I wouldn't ask anyone to tape it for me. I'd be too embarrassed to admit I couldn't live without it. I mean have some pride for God's sake. I wonder if the front desk of the Marriott's or the Hiltons are asked such ridiculous things? Somehow I don't think so. And while we say we are your home away from home, we will only do so much without rebellion! Please don't ask Sara or Mary to microwave something...they go absolutely nuts when people ask them to do that. Funny how times have changed or perhaps it's whose pocket the money goes into. When I use to bitch at my mother because she let tenant's walk all over her, she use to say to me, "Wait until it's your pocket that needs the money".....I just hate it when she is right, but it does make a difference. I do things that the girls just shake their heads over....but I'm the one paying the taxes on this museum so I need it more than they do. Their time will come though...good luck with that ladies, you will be eating a lot of your words...that I can promise you! We are gearing up for the invasion of the high school seniors...they stole my cushions last year and I haven't replaced them...I hope they are aggravated by that, but I doubt it. God I dread the month of June and these kids. You have no idea unless you have been here what goes on. It's like a month long unchaperoned party of underage kids drunk 24/7 or high on drugs. And no matter how these kids behave at home, down here it's a different story....we just won't rent to them at all, but we have them swarm our porch to sit on the rockers and use language that would curl your toes so we are constantly throwing them off the porch (I don't mean literally, although I've been tempted). Oh, mercy...this is going to be a hair tugging month so I'll probably stay mad most of the month. By the way, went to the bank today...that teller is still chewing her damn gum while she's waiting on me. And...I had a woman who walked into the shop with the phone in her ear and she was asking me questions with the phone up to her ear...honestly how rude.

Have a great night of stitching...check on you tomorrow hopefully, however UPS, & FED Ex have buried us under cartons.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Oh, My God...this is a beautiful day!

Happy Memorial Day, I'm not sure that's the appropriate thing to say, but we welcome Memorial Day for a few's a vacation day for everyone but us...and that's O.K. with us because as I sit here with the ocean breeze blowing on me (I have the window open), the sun shining down on us and the ocean just sparkling, well who can complain about working in that! We also celebrate the lives of our loved ones who served so bravely, but are no longer with us and for those still serving. We live in the land of the free and while I may continue to complain about the government's irresponsible use of my tax dollars, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. As I sit down tonight to eat my picnic supper...I shall thank God for having put me here in the Good Ole USA! Yesterday Renee, (she works the needlework shop) picked me up to go for a ride...on our scooters..on the boardwalk. Renee just got her scooter this year, but I inherited Dad's scooter (these are the 3 & 4 wheel kind) when he passed away. Neither of us had taken them for a spin before, but yesterday we had a parade going down the boardwalk...with Greenie, Renee's husband, following us on Renee's old 3 wheel bike. We were quite the picture with me riding front, Renee shot gun and Greenie coming up in the rear. But folks, it was the first time in years that I had been down the entire boardwalk...we take these things for granted because we're here all the time. Now while we did have to dodge the bikers and people strolling, it was a wonderful time, I didn't get tired and my feet didn't hurt so I was a happy camper. I'm telling you someone could make a fortune renting these things out on the boardwalk. We passed a lot of seniors sitting on benches that shouted, "I need to get one of those." I learned from Disney world to stop trying to walk the long distances, get the scooter and have a fun time doing it...and we did. I even got sun burned. Yes, I'm so far it doesn't take much, but anyway, now I've got color which is so odd everyone commented on it. But what the ride did was make me appreciate even more where I live. Renee has always taken the time, each day almost, to go to the beach and appreciate the ocean. I never took the time. I'd look out the door of the shop, when someone mentioned the ocean, but just took it for granted. Yesterday we stopped and stared at the ocean, the beach, the jetty at the inlet, watched the fishermen and the boaters. I live in a resort and just have never taken the time to appreciate it fully. But yesterday I took the time. I'm sure where you are there are places or things people travel to see, but you take it for granted. You need to find those places and take another look at them. But seriously, my view far exceeds many others. This ocean is a wonderous thing, as many of you already know. Anyway, this weekend has proven to be a quiet one for us...while folks are here..crowds are certainly down. I guess the gas price has seriously curtailed folks driving. I saw on T.V. about the space going-ons, and how excited they are about that and I have to wonder...we are putting million, trillions into a space program (think of the fuel to get that up) and policy makers talk about how awful the gas prices are but no one seems to be doing a darn thing about it. Why haven't they come up with an affordable fuel source? Instead of bitching about the Arab oil countries, come up with an alternative and then let them keep their own oil. We seem to worry so much about all the other countries while we are having a crisis in our own country...which I love don't get me wrong, however, I'm tired of all the money coming out of my paycheck to pay taxes which is then spent on everyone else. It's not only Federal, it's state, and local. The town is putting through a bill here to raise property tax again. For God's sake, it's going to be impossible to stay here at this rate. The country raises theirs, then the city raises theirs...we have people on fixed incomes here...what the hell are they suppose to do. Someone actually wrote in our local paper that this raise was really touch on everyone but locals because we get a homestead break...what the hell are they talking about. I do get a homestead break, but I'm still double taxed so what the hell good did it do me. And for the business...there is no homestead we're double taxes heavily. And what does it give us...I'm still trying to figure that out. Our Barney Fife police department responds to calls only if 3 other people have called on the same complaint (well, I suppose if I was held at gunpoint they wouldn't require 3 other people to call in as well...although I'm not sure of that). I try never to call them because that became more frustrating to me than the problem I was dealing with. And it takes them forever to get the information right...after asking you to repeat it numerous times. How come on T.V. they never ask the same question twice. Not only does ours ask it twice invaritable another policeman comes and asks the questions all over again. Frustrating...speaking of frustrating, as many of you know I don't sleep through the night and I have to say, I can't be the only person. However, have you noticed what is on T.V. at night. Infomercials..people nothing but infomercials. Last night I woke around 2:30 and wanted to stitch a little only to find that with the exception of Nick at Night, there wasn't anything else on but infomercials and I do have my limits so I went back to bed. I have regular cable so don't start with me about movies on those channels. I use to get HBO until I got tired of waking up to find penis' and breasts on my T.V. in the middle of the night. I often thought I'd turned on a porno channel (which I don't even get but when I'm waking up I'm disoriented) by mistake. It just became distasteful so I told them to discontinue my HBO. Now I just buy the damn movies so I can watch them whenever I feel like it, and it's a lot cheaper than paying for those channels for a year. Honestly, I hate to sound like my mother but I remember when T.V. was free...yeah, you only got 2 local channels, but it was free...and the cable came in and it went up to $9.00...then $15.00 and each time they took something I liked back and put it on premium cable so you had to pay more...and I've still got basic cable and I'm paying $46.00 for basic channels. Now you and I both know that's stealing...just down right stealing my money. You think of all the thousands of people in this town, paying cable every month there is just no way they should have to charge all this money. But, I'm not so disgusted I have the whole thing cut'm a T.V. fanatic...up to a point apparently. I was complaining to Pat W. recently and she just looked at me and said, "Well, we have the whole package and we're paying over $100." I guess my $46 is looking pretty good right now, except this friggin Comcast company down here has gone corporate which means you get no service at all. They won't give out spare cable boxes, even though they know exactly how many rooms we have and what we need the boxes for. They say, we're open 24/7 so we can handle any breakdowns....well Sara called them last night (we've had calls into them every day since we opened) at 9:00 to report a bad box, was on hold for an hour when she finally gave up and said the hell with it. Now, the box happened to be in the office, but if that was a guest room what the hell were we suppose to do? We have been fighting this for 2 years and still can't get them to confess that they are not equipped to handle 24/7 calls. What are you suppose to do with tenants? Well...let's just say the fight continues. And with that I'm going back to work. Have a great day with your families...and when you finally get rid of them...sit down, kick back and stitch.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

New up and coming stitcher?

This is actually a older post that never made it but thought the news worthy so I'm resurrecting it. This was actually written around May 15th. We may have a new convert to the fold, just got a call from Becky W. to say her granddaughter has arrived. Olivia June showed up at 10:07 a.m. at 7 lbs. 9 oz., and is 20" in length, and a full head of hair. Congratulations to Becky and her daughter who did most of the work. I just went back to see if I told you about the other arrival, and while Asher may or may not stitch, Stasi B.'s daughter presented her with a darling baby boy, Asher arrived on May 13th at 1:24 p.m. weighing in at 4lbs.9oz and was 17.5". I'm still pondering 4 lbs 9 oz., and how tiny Asher must have been. I think I had baby dolls that weighed more. Baby dolls, where have they gone. I had two girls and couldn't wait to buy them dolls and neither of my girls wanted anything to do with them. Have dolls gone out of style? During lunch Vernon recounted what had taken place in the parking lot. I'm telling you some people make me wish I had a gun and a gun permit. A tenant here for one night (not an old tenant, but a new one) cleaned out his car and threw everything into the parking lot...meanwhile there is a dumpster sitting just a few feet from his darn car. He looked at Vernon and just shrugged his shoulders like "What could I do, I had to get these empty water bottles and crap out of my car." Needless to say he's been blackballed from here as we won't tolerate inconsiderate people....but we should be able to fine him $100...don't you think? Do you ever wonder if anyone get's the fine out on the highways. You've seen the signs, "$500 fine for littering"...haven't you? Are they still there. I've seen a ton of litter out there, I just can't figure out who is keeping track...or is anyone keeping track? Oh, much for that.

Have a Safe, Productive, Happy Holiday Weekend

Well, the weekend is in full bloom and the weather couldn't be more perfect, at least for me. It's cooler temps than beach goers would like and the sun is shining brightly, the ocean is sparkling and the beach is pristine (at least this a.m.). Yes, folks, I am once again living in Paradise. Now we've got a few folks I would like to see leave my Paradise, but it is the holiday weekend and that does bring a few rowdy's into town and I've just learned to deal with it. Actually, there seem to be fewer people here this, gas, etc., have all played a role I'm sure, but we party on as if everyone was back here again anyway. Perhaps "party" isn't the correct word, but let's just say, while we may miss the people we carry on as if they were here. My stitching has taken a back seat, but since I'm back in the shop at night (ugh!) at least for the weekend I'm hoping to get back on track. I got home around 9:00 last night, picked up my stitching basket and got it to the sofa, but never took the lid off until around 4:00 this morning when I took the darn lid off and actually got some stitching in. I'm hoping this is the turn around and I'm back on track since the stitching that surrounds my sofa is just mocking me. And as I worked last night I still pulled something off the new rack and took it home. Honestly there is absolutely no hope for me. I am surrounded in my living room by bags, and more bags and more bags of's all the projects I've started in the last few years which for some reason I feel I'm more likely to finish if I leave them where they can mock me. And I do pull them out periodically to stroke them and let them know I haven't completely forgotten about them, but why I don't put them where I don't have to look at them is beyond me. Starting to see some of the summer regulars. It's so nice to see them return and it's great to have stitchers in the shop. You have no idea how many non-stitchers we get in here. It's as if people walk down the boardwalk and just go in and out of every single shop without knowing what is in the shop...and yet we clearly have a sign (yes we purchased a new sign to replace the stolen one) that says we are a needlework shop. Anyway, I do spend a great deal of time explaining that we do not sell our samples but they are there to show you what you can make. And of course that is always followed by the response, "Oh, I can't do that stuff...I just don't have the time." Well clearly they do since they are walking along the boardwalk they are obviously on vacation...ergo..time people you have time if you are on vacation. But rather than explain that I just smile and get back to something else. We're training some summer crew ... of course our idea of training is throw them into a shop and pray. Well, let's just say I need to pray harder. We never let them work the needlework shop (oh, my God, no one works with my love except those who love it)...we always throw them into the gift shop (which I like but don't love) and it is a real "crapshoot" until they get use to our way of doing things. As many of you know we are also in the process of redesigning Salty Yarns. We've moved the fibers (well 99% of them) into the middle room and we're still getting use to that, and we've moved other things as well so if you come to see us please be patient as we try to figure out where we've put stuff. Renee has now said I must stop buying and she can't find anywhere else to put the stuff. So...we'll just test this statement. We have put all our Vera Bradley on sale as I had a disagreement with our new sales rep. who I have to tell you is a complete asshole (and you know if I say it the statement is correct) and after arguing with her she had my account pulled (oops...did I say the wrong thing..chances are great) and so I no longer will be a Vera Bradley store...that means, of course to me, that I must fill up the Vera space. We've already cleared out one storeroom, although Renee has already filled that up with Pine Mountain...but I'm hoping by summer's end to be rid of most of the Vera and fill up those spaces with more needlework supplies, knitting, etc. While Sara and I, as well as my old rep., felt that Vera had reached her peak, we all felt we had some life left in Vera...guess not for me! Anyway, Sara is boycotting Vera and has switched her stitching tote over to a non Vera tote. Of course with each new project tote type I get in she and I are both over there picking out ours first. You know I love project totes and while I stuffed my Veras with project, I was often seen carrying the latest stitching tote we got in the shop. None of us will miss having to straighten up the Vera sections....that was such a pain in the ass every day, which might explain Renee's glee at the mention that they were going out. I won't mess the 43 cartons at once to unpack and get into storage. Anyway, that's the latest here and I wanted to post this since I have worked on other posts and never downloaded I know you were wondering where the heck I got to. I'm alive, well, and overweight in Ocean City, and loving life one day at a time.
Have a great weekend, enjoy your family, friends, and stitching and I'll talk to you later.

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's Quiet Once Again...

"Hot Rod" weekend has come and gone and quiet is restored to Ocean City for a brief moment. And I have to add...the price of gasoline may be at a record high, but you certainly wouldn't know it by the cars that road around and around and around all weekend. I swear I heard the same horn every 15 minutes all day long. While I don't see the thrill in it, many people did. They have crowds cheering them on from the porches and when they do the car parade down the boardwalk people start picking their place to sit and watch early in the morning. I usually start watching but after about 15 minutes I can't figure out the difference between one car and another and give up and come back inside. We do love this group though. Most of them are wonderful folks just enjoying life. The cars that they have restored are beautiful, not a bit of rust, not a dent, in perfect condition...I should keep my car that well. But, while the quiet has been restored, it will end soon as high school graduating seniors start what has become known as Hell Month down here. It seems like we are the destination point for high school seniors from Virginia, Pennsylvania, and of course Maryland, when they graduate. And unlike at their homes where there is some parental guidance, for some reason parents don't mind sending their children to this drug and alcohol induced mind numbing parentless destination for a week where their usual normal teenager becomes a drunk, disrespectful of others pain in our ass. Please folks, know that the teenager you went through hell with at home during the teenage years, has not magically become an adult upon graduation. They are still the same teenager and will remain the same until they graduate from college. That is when you should give them a well earned vacation, not from high school. And if you are wondering about my two girls...neither of them were ever and I do mean ever allowed to go away with a bunch of their friends. I battled this from the time they were sophomores and their friends went to Nags Head during spring break and when they graduated they went to the Bahamas. But I would not allow Sara or Mary to go with their friends because I would not inflict the bahavior I see down here from other children, on another town. So they moped and pouted, but they did not go. Did they hold it against me...perhaps in the beginning they didn't speak to me (but I considered that a plus). But today they are perfectly well adjusted (well almost) women who could care less. We need to discipline our children and help them find their way in life as they become adults, and not let them do whatever they want just to have them as friends. If you discipline them, you make them better people and when they are adults you have plenty of time to become their friend. I tell you this from experience. Raising children today is a struggle for everyone, and I suspect anyone who says they didn't have a bit of trouble from their teenager is either not being realistic or is living in denial. Anyway, I am sure I will be ranting during the entire month...please forgive me. On a brighter note, for Sara's birthday on the 12th, I gave her a stitching retreat as one of her gifts. It's a Moss Creek retreat in October and of course, I thought I'd also join her. So we will be going to Hilton Head for a 2 days stitch-a-thon. We can't wait, and I just heard from Rae Iverson (in charge of the retreat) and she has informed me that a few of you stitchers are also going. I'd love to know who we will be seeing there so if you feel like it, please e-mail me. I know Sara and I are counting the days, and I can't wait to see the projects. And we can go into Savannah and you know who we can find there...Paula Deen. Well, that will be enough to make Sara's world complete. Speaking of projects, C.A. Wells finally got back to us...and...she is sending the projects to us that we are going to be doing in her class and as soon as I get them I'll send pictures along. We are going to do 2 half days and one full day. We've discussed what would work for us and we came up with the Sailors Valentine for the full day and the mermaid's purse and cottage access. as the half days. You can sign up for all classes or you can pick and choose which classes you would like to take. There will be no pre-stitching, as we first suspected, as C.A. doesn't like people to that's a win win I suppose. Anyway, as soon as I know more I'll let you know. We were fortunate this weekend, while Friday brought us rain in the morning, it cleared up and the afternoon was alright. Then we had sun on Saturday and Sunday (although we saw a few sprinkles it never amounted to anything), so the weekend was wonderful...the temps were not real hot so I survived nicely. This week seems to be running cooler, but the sun is out and the sea is sparkling, I do believe I'm in Paradise again. Sorry you can't be with me because we'd have a ball. I went to the bank this morning and encountered something that irrates me so I almost said something to the teller. First of all...gum chewing should not be done in public...period! Smacking of lips, blowing bubbles, chomping on gum like a cow chewing whatever should not be done in public. But when you are in the banking industry, whatever your position, it should not be done. I don't allow gum chewing in the shops because it just doesn't look nice. And if I am working and someone is chewing and cracking their gum I about have a hissy fit. It drives me to distraction, I'm telling you GET THE GUM OUT OF YOUR MOUTH! Anyway, the entire time the teller is waiting on me she's chewing gum. It isn't professional and it's not pretty to watch. So, the lesson here...if you want to be taken seriously, don't chew gum in public, and if you want to stay off my nerves, never and I do mean never, come into my shop cracking your gum. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It doesn't take much to send me over the edge but that does it quicker than just about anything with the exception of cell phones and you don't want to get me started on that. Have a great day...hope to see you soon.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Oh, My...are the June Bugs Here?

After Monday nights horrendous storm I thought the rest of the week would be a breeze, however, last night proved me wrong. The "hot rods" are here for the weekend so I knew I'd be hearing the cars until the wee hours of the morning, but that didn't prepare me for the assault I witnessed last night right outside my house. It must have been 11:30 p.m. when I heard the raised voices and the profanity (and you know I'm familiar with many of the words), however this guy took the Lord's name in vain so many times I thought for sure he was going to be struck down. The surprising part was there were 3 guys and 4 girls (one of which was a slightly older woman who was one of their mothers) in one group and 3 guys in the second group. As they passed, of course, one of the boys in one group said something that the other group took offense to and it was game on. Frankly, my feeling is let them beat the bloody pulp out of each other and that would be 2 or more less we have to deal with tonight. But apparently, my next door neighbor feels differently and after about 15 minutes of these guys screaming and beating the crap out of one particular boy the police arrived in force. We had about 6 police vehicles and the police numbered more than that. In the melee of the fight, the biggest mouth kid swung out his arm and knocked the mother with quite a bit of force, on the ground...and she was with his group. Of course the minute the cops arrived the kids took off except for the girls and they swore they didn't know the guys, and that's when I stepped in and told what I witnessed. I mean as long as I'm up I might as point fingers. Luckily for the people involved, Barney Fife was on duty and he's the one they let take statements. Reminds me of the families that let the person who has a speech impediment make the reservations here at the hotel. Anyway, the police are still investigating (like that's going to go anywhere) and the kids took off so no one went to jail, so the only people really aggravated last night were my next door neighbor and myself. He wouldn't complain however, because he rents to June Bugs...our next problem. Anyway, hadn't checked out the "Largest Collection of Smalls" lately and if you haven't seen this website you really need to check it out. There are some really inventive pieces on it, finished in ways I would never ever think of. It is also great for inspiration....I try to check on it at least once every few days just to get me stitching faster. We received our Drawn Thread order last week, but I haven't put it on the web site yet...but that means I can stitch another part of the ABC know how much I loved this one. I'm just sorry she didn't send both pieces, VWX and YZ so I could get this piece to the framer. I was hopeful the two charts would come at the same time as she was releasing 2 at a time prior to this release. Anyway, we got Toccato #4 in...a little pricey as it comes in 3 parts and each part is $25.00, but it shows a great variety of stitches so that's a good thing. We also got in the new Heart in Hand, Kelmscott, more Gloriana threads, yes the packages are arriving daily and we're thrilled. We look forward to this time of year because we usually get orders in, fun, fun for us! Well, I'm going to go back to work and I'll talk more later. Have a great the way, after a not so nice day yesterday the sun is shining and we're in better moods down here. So come on down!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hang on to your's going to be a bumpy ride!

The wind is blowing about 60 mph down here and we've had a rocky night. Trash is strewn all over town from trash cans blowing over, signs were flying around last night...we have one sucked into the parking area next to my place and that friggin tin sign kept being picked up and slammed against my stairs until 2:00 a.m. when my next door neighbor had finally had enough (I had enough at 11:30 pm. but refused to go out and do anything about it.) I took the family out to Ruth's Cris Steak House last night for a Mother's Day dinner and when we left the wind had really picked up. By the time I pulled into the house it was gale force winds and rain. An interesting Mother's Day dinner. We all worked all day and looked forward to going out for a nice dinner...unfortunately things didn't work out quite the way we planned. First, Solomon, my 8 month old grandson is teething (seems perpetually), and hasn't been up to he hasn't been sleeping which makes him a little cranky at times....(when he's awake). Anyway, poor little guy hadn't sleep well for nights and Sunday he wouldn't take a nap so I told Mary to take him home at 3:00 and see if he couldn't fall asleep (he didn't), however, the minute we put him in the car he fell fast asleep. So when we got to the restaurant I didn't want to wake him so Mary and I decided to take turns in the restaurant. First she stayed with Solomon and I went in and ordered the drinks, stayed for a couple of sips and then when appetizer time came I went out and she came in. Mary ate some of the appetizers then she came back out and told me to go back in, which I refused to do since I didn't really want any. So she went back in and ordered the dinners for both of us and eventually she came back out and said for me to go back in. I did. Meanwhile, Sara, Vernon, Michael and C.J. are sitting at the table watching us trade places on a rotating basis. Sara of course, asked to take a turn, but I really felt someone should enjoy the dinner in a normal fashion so I kept her out of the loop. However, before I got back out here came Mary with Solomon and the festivities began. He was a good little boy, however, service wasn't really that great this time so there were many lag times. Sara jumped in and would take Solomon for walks while the rest of us enjoyed our dinner. By the time we were to dessert we were all in cranky mode. First it appeared they only had one waitress with 2 men helping her for the entire dining room. So we had to wait for everything. We asked for Tartar sauce for Mary's crab cakes and I swear at first they didn't bring it, so we asked again and it must have taken her 15 minutes (time for the damn cakes to get cold) to bring it. If you ordered ice tea at the same time as the drink order they never brought it. One of the support staff was good and the other just kept walking away instead of helping. We sat and waited about 20 minutes to see a dessert menu, which the adults would have said the hell with but we had two young people who wanted it. So when she finally came for the dessert order I told her I wanted the dessert, to go containers for what wouldn't be eaten of the dessert and the check at the same time. I was taking no chances after all Survivor finale was at 8:00 pm. Now when she brought the desserts she forgot to bring spoons for the Creme Brulee so we ate it with a fork. Now that just isn't right, is it? We got out of the restaurant at 7:45 (we arrived at 5:30). I know many people like to linger during a meal and after, but I don't. I'm there to eat and leave. Over 2 hours for a dinner is excessive to me....makes me a nervous wreck especially when you have a baby in tow, and children who want to move around. And the check...well let's just say if fell a little under $500 but not much and for that much money for a friggin dinner, well, I think I should have been served in my own house for that. But that's just me. I'm moving on, but it will be a long time before Ruth's Cris Steak House sees me again (I didn't say never...just not too soon). I cannot believe it, but I put a note on the door of the shop saying we were closed due to the weather, but working next door and they were welcome to come into the lobby to get into the shop. And that note wasn't up there 5 minutes when someone came in. And it wasn't even for Salty Yarns (I understand our stitching emergencies and the fact we'll go through hell's fire to buy floss), the child wanted a stuffed seahorse she saw yesterday. I know I go through hoops for the grandkids, but honestly on a day like today (it's unbelieveably miserable down here), the grandkids would have to wait another day or two. I'm sorry it wasn't for the needlework shop as I'd use any excuse at this point to go over there and just stitch. When I got up this morning all I could think of is this should be a "snow day" for us. But with foreign students working, etc., we all came into work. Sara mentioned getting our stitching and making it a stitch day, but I felt too guilty with a desk full of work. And then my dentist called to cancel the friggin appointment because their electric went out. Crap....I was prepared for the friggin appointment. I did forget to go to church to count, but fortunately Bruce was sick and didn't show up either. Today is just not going according to schedule this morning. Survivor UpDate: I slept through part of the Survivor finale, but it was the end result I was interested in since I felt certain of who would be going to the finale. But I have to say, I couldn't have been more surprised as to who won. I always though Amanda would take the money...the person I least suspected won...that should tell you one thing...never go to Vegas with me!

Friday, May 9, 2008


The day started with dark, dreary, rainy weather however, it's almost 10:00 a.m. and the rain has stopped so now we are just dark and dreary. Makes it hard to get motivated. We have decided to start lunching at work instead of going out to lunch so today starts my turn in the kitchen (since it's my idea) and I've already been to the grocery store to get the ingredients for a Rachael Ray lunch...I'll let you know how it turns out...wish me luck. I'm not sure what this says about my day, however, once getting the groceries back to the hotel and looking down I noticed I had my t-shirt on inside out. Why didn't I notice that at home...and thank God I wore a jacket to the grocery store. Now...on to the important stuff...did you see Survivor last night? You know, I find it hard to believe that anyone could be as stupid as Erik, but then perhaps stupidity isn't the problem..but being terribly naive is his curse. Honestly, could you believe he gave the immunity idol to another player...what the heck was that about? I'm telling you this years show was the most boring up until about a month ago and then it's just been one thing after the other and this show is suddenly interesting again. And last night...well what a hoot! I'm trying to update the web site so if you are seeing charts, etc., that you've already seen it's because I'm a tad behind on getting the "stuff" in there. Please bear with me...I'll also be adding new "stuff" as it comes into the shop. Lunch report...made two different Rachael Ray sandwiches...her grilled cheese and a Rachael which is a reuben. First she uses swiss cheese on the grilled cheese with tomato and spring onions. While they didn't mind the Swiss cheese, it was rather bland. However, the Rachael's were a huge success. I added Thousand Island dressing to this one since my mother always did and Rachael apparently only uses sweet pepper relish. Using both sweet pepper relish and the thousand island dressing was yummo. And Mary cleaned up the mess I made so it was a win for me! Now it's Saturday and while it hasn't rained it sure has looked like it wanted to for the entire day and it's cooled down. I'm thrilled this didn't take place during the event last weekend and only makes me more aware that God did smile down on us during the event. We've had so little action down here I hardly have anything to bitch about except (and you knew it was coming)...the high school kids aren't even out of school yet so we can't quite figure out what happened (except we've noticed many college age kids down here so that might explain it)..We opened the front door of the hotel and found that some sweet mother's darling had pulled the plants up out of our huge round planters on each side of the front door and threw the plants in the middle of the walkway of the porch. So they didn't take them so they could have a pretty plant in their apartment, they just did it for the hell of it. Assholes, I'm telling you that is what we deal with before families come into town. These kids are going to be the death of me. First they stole Salty Yarns sign and now this. Nothing is sacred to them. Well, I've never replaced the cushions on my wicker furniture on my front porch (of course my porch looks like crap..but what can I do?), so they can't steal the cushions this year. I'm not going to replace anything until I can screen in my entire porch...hopefully soon!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Finally finished....

Sara, Mary, Vernon and I are finally rested...2 days after the event ended and I'm finally able to function for more than a minute. So now I'm ready for action and will begin stitching up a storm once again. Yesterday Jackie J. came into the shop with one of my "unfinished" pieces ...and she presented me with the finished piece. She did such a magnificent job, which comes as no surprise to anyone who knows Jackie J. But I was thrilled. I finished this last August and it's been lost, and found, lost and found, etc....if you get my drift. I finally unearthed it before the last Stitch 'n Bitch and Jackie said, "Give that to me" and she took it home with her that night. I love the verse, "Needles & Pins, Needles & Pins, When a Girl marries her trouble begins." So true, isn't it? The design comes from Gloria Moore of Milady's Needle. It's an easy stitch with no specialty stitches and on the back you can see the pocket with a special little envelope with the design printed on it and a needle inside. Thanks Jackie as always you did a fabulous job. I'm starting to get quite a collection of accessory pieces. Whoppee! Weather Report: perfect! Oh, my God, it's in the 70's here and my office is like an oven...but that's O.K., it beats the cold we were having. Got to run...check with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Thank you stitchers!

As I sit here in the office after everyone's gone home, I can't help but think about my many blessings, especially after the wonderful weekend we had. The sun was shining everyday, the air was warm most of the time and when it was cooler you just needed a sweatshirt. We had 63 stitchers here this weekend for the retreat and we had no drama at all during the entire weekend. The stitchers welcomed the "newbees" with open arms inviting the new attendees to go to dinner, etc. No one was left out and that's the way it should be. I'm so proud of the women that come to this event. They are funny, fun to be around, they do not create drama, and they love stitching. They are grateful for everything that is done and treat Sara, Mary, Vernon and I as if we were family. I love you all and thank you for your many kindnesses. To begin with, I want to thank the Delaware Guild ladies, Stacy S., Sandy J., Gail M., and Darlene N. who arrived and volunteered to work and the proceeded to put the goodie bags together....thanks girls you are the best! They were so quick and they had it done correctly in less than a hour. Everyone thanks you for that..usually I forget something and the stitchers have to remind me. I also want to thank Jodi King who always brings us goodies from her kitchen. This year we were the lucky recipients of her potato chip cookies and her honey bun coffee cake. Not only do we enjoy her treats, but we share them with the everyone enjoyed your treats Jodi..thanks! Then Sheila F. & Trudy E. arrived with a arms loaded down. First they made ort boxes, complete with a Salty Yarns label, pictures and all. Then they purchased Hershey Bars and rewrapped them with a Salty Yarns label and we put them in the ort boxes for the stitchers to enjoy. Can you believe all this? I don't ask, they just do these things out of the kindness of their hearts. I can't believe I am this lucky to have so many people willing to go out of their way for us, cooking, bringing gifts, packing's a wealth of friendship...I must be doing something right. Anyway, Thanks Sheila and did a lot of work at home, and then here and we appreciate it. The end result was wonderful and all the stitchers loved their ort boxes as well as the candy. Then as if that wasn't enough, Sheila and Trudy also brought me my own Stitchopoly which my grandson had a fit for so I played it with him and while he didn't understand the significance of the cards etc., I did. If you haven't seen this game, take a look at's a hoot! So thank you again Sheila and Trudy for the game...I love it and we'll be playing it regularly I assure you. Then Linda W. came on Friday and said she had something for me. I had no idea what she was talking about and I couldn't believe it when she handed me the quaker ruler by M Designs...already stitched on 40 ct. no less. Linda stitched a ruler last year and of course I wanted one so I kept talking about doing the Quaker Ruler (I'm all about the Quaker as you know), but each time she asked if I had done it I was ashamed to say, "it's in my bag, but I haven't been able to stitch it yet." I'm so thrilled that she did it for me and can't believe she did it for me. So Linda, thank you so very know I love it. I've put it in the showcase so if you get into the shop stop by and take a look at it. Then Mary P. came in and said she had something for me (can you believe this?) and she brought me a gorgeous handmade quilt. There you see Mary on the left and I'm the one not looking at the camera, and that is my gorgeous quilt. I am thrilled and amazed and it's in my favorite colors. Thanks Mary, I will enjoy it and remember you everytime I cover up with it, and cherish it always. But I wasn't the only one receiving gifts, as Kay S. brought my Michael the cutest quilt for a boy. It's made from used blue jeans and she has used fabrics with all his favorite things, Nascar, McDonalds, fishing, the Ravens, etc., and there are buttons attached to each block. Some of the jean pockets are also on some of the blocks. It's so cute and he loves it. We're hanging it in his room. Thanks Kay, this will be a quilt we cherish forever and hand down to Michael's child. Now I also have to thank Stasi B. and Mary P. for cutting fabric during the weekend. I'm a little embarrassed that people actually paid to come to the event and then had to help me in the shop, but I was overwhelmed to say the least. Stasi had offered ahead of time, and I had said I would appreciate the help, but then I drafted her two days in a row. Mary P. actually came in to get fabric cut and I was too busy and alone in the shop (it was nighttime) so I said, "Mary, you use to work a shop so cut the fabric yourself." And she not only did her fabric, but she went on to cut for others. I really couldn't have managed this without Stasi and Mary so thanks a bunch ladies...I really appreciated it. And finally, a big thank you to all the stitchers who participated in the weekend. You were wonderful, you give me hope for the future, and you were so much fun to be with. Group hug ladies, we need a group hug! Can't wait until next year. For those who missed it, these events are wonderful. We had a homemade lasagna dinner on Friday (we did run a little short on bread .. oh my! and garden salad), but we had plenty of wine so perhaps no one noticed. The party was fun and a great time to meet and greet everyone. And then the shopping, stitching, stitchopoly playing began. And the show and tell...oh, my, some really fabulous projects were brought in and displayed for everyone to ohhh and ahhh over. There is a lot of talent out there and a lot was here this weekend. It was inspirational. Sara also arranged for a masseuse to be here to give shoulder rubs and arm and hand massages. I snuck in between stitchers and it almost put me to sleep...and we've decided to bring her back for Jamboree. She charges $1.00/minute (at least this time she did) so it was affordable. Next time I might just strip down and let her do full body (we better plan on a half day for that....) Anyway, some stitchers arrived on Thursday and left Sunday while others stayed until Monday. But it was wonderful having them here period and we wish we could have nothing but stitchers. We love you ladies. I do have to apologize to Joyce C. who just showed up for Stitch 'n Bitch tonight (oops...apparently I got confused and put it on the wrong night)...Joyce I'm so sorry. Can I still use the Senior moment or am I wearing that out? Anyway, I'm going home now so I don't miss Dancing with the to you tomorrow...have a great night of stitching.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Yippee...our retreat has begun...

I know it's not officially begun, but the ladies started arriving at lunch time. Debbie L., Jayne D., and Sherry P. arrived and the show and tell began. Jayne brought out her christmas stockings done over one that have to be seen to be believed. She stitched the Better Homes & Gardens stocking which are filled with unbelievable detail...over one people...over one. I just drool over these and I'm trying to figure out a way to get one from her....I think I deserve it don't you? I keep thinking I could stitch one, but oh, my God the's a killer. Sherry brought down a couple of the Prairie Schooler seasonal pieces which are so attractive and she framed them beautifully and then she also had several unframed pieces she's trying to find frames for...all I can say is these ladies have been busy. Debbie was in the shop for hours trying to pick out fibers so I haven't actually seen her show and tell yet. Sara is busy in the kitchen where she will be for hours to come...Mary is stuck with Solomon so she's unable to do a whole lot, but she tried. Me, well I actually cleaned up (yes, I said cleaned something I usually try to avoid) the inner office. I've been throwing out and taking my own stuff home so it will be presentable. My desk, which looked so nice for a few days, is back to crap on it, but I'm going to work on it now that I'm here at the hotel so much. The weather looks promising for the weekend...keep your fingers crossed. Vernon fought with Comcast all day and while all issues weren't resolved, we think everyone will have cable so we'll fight Comcast tomorrow.