Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy New Year and Welcome to another decade!

That sounds like we've gotten so much older in the last day...another decade...Geez, somehow I don't feel that much older do you? Anyway, I trust all of you had a safe and happy New Year. I spent mine as I love to...sitting on my sofa watching T.V. and dozing off and on. This is the first year in a while where I actually woke back up in time to see the ball drop. That was a big whop! I guess it doesn't have as much umph if you are sitting on your sofa, as opposed to standing with thousands of others in the freezing cold in New York times square. But anyway, here I sit today, at home, off the sofa for once, my internet back working and I thought..."let's begin the next decade correctly and get to updating the blog and get the web site back into action. So here I am stitchers coming to you from my stitching room. I had a wonderful Christmas which started with Vernon and John removing all the excess furniture out of my guest room and my Stitching room so now I am able to once again, for the second year in a row, get my house straightened up once and for all. It was my Christmas present to me. So that began holiday season. The real kick off however, was our Stitch 'n Bitch Christmas party. We have a dinner at Fager's Island and exchanged our secret santa gifts there. I have to tell you this dinner is getting bigger and bigger and bigger and more and more fun. I am gifted so much I need a trailer to get it all home. Anyway, another exciting thing that is happening is the joy and friendship all the stitchers have...Debbie Liming and Phyllis Yurack traveled down from Pennsylvania just for this evening. They brought with them "goodie tins" for everyone which contained a Morovian candle and a cute sugar lollipop. Jackie Janovsky brought a tea light in a ceramic shell for everyone. Kay Fletcher gave a goodie bag containing a doorknob message pad (which I have needed for some time), a package of tissues, and Merry Englebreit soap. Pat Weker gave each of us our own bag of cookies (mine were gone in one night...big surprise!). And of course, Salty Yarns gave each person a goodie bag filled with a box of my peanut butter cookies, a ceramic loaf dish filled with Christmas candies, a journal, Christmas pencil and best of all...a gift certificate. While all these goodies bags were wonderful, Jennifer Humphries upped the ante by stitching each person, yes each one of us got a personalized ornament made by Jennifer. Candi Whitehead stitched several tea cups made into pin cushions with our initials stitched on linen. (Shown here...isn't it cute and she used the Eileen Bennett alphabet which is fabulous). I was bowled over by the amount of goodie bags and gifts and that 2 people actually stitched something. As if all that wasn't enough, Jennifer gave me a beautiful gift pad with my initial and beautiful pages inside, along with a Merry Englebreit address book (just wonderful). Hedy gave me a Polishware covered dish (which I'm using for double sticks of butter) which I dearly love as I have been collecting it for several years. If you haven't seen Polishware..look it up on the's beautiful and each piece is different. Love it! Kay Fletcher also gave me a Polishware serving bowl and 2 coffee them as well.. and Kay was unable to attend due to a family illness. We missed you Kay and are praying that everyone is feeling better and you will be back in the fold soon. Kay also gave me size 15 double points as I had talked about not being able to find them while I was working on my Christmas Stocking, which I'll take a picture of as it was my first stocking (oversized by stocking none the less) and I'm really proud of it. So now I can make more Christmas was fun. Beth Jernigan gave me a gorgeous bargello ball ornament. I have always loved bargello so this is hanging proudly on my tree. I now have enough ornaments to do an ornament tree so that is very special to me and I can't thank everyone who has contributed. Joyce Carter was my Secret Santa and gave me 2 Homespun Elegance ornaments which I dearly love as well. Joyce has given me so many stitched ornaments I could fill a small tree with just her presents. Thanks Joyce. Pat Weker stitched a box lid for me (one of the Salem boxes which I love) and the verse was .."With my two hands I stitch each day, unto the Lord I softly pray, guide my needle fast and strong, that I may stitch the whole day long. May every X be wrought with love with peace and patience from above." I will treasure it always. Can't think whether to fill it with smalls or use it for scissors...well, I can come up with a use later. Linda Wimbrow stitched a Quaker pin keep and scissor fob which is fabulous. The pinkeep has a mattress pin cushion which I find to be so cute and the workmanship was excellent on it. She actually stitched part of this during our Stitch 'n Bitch and I commented on it several times never realizing she was stitching it for me. I actually had the chart in my totes "todo" so this is a double whoppee because now I can take it out of the tote and consider it job done...whoppee! Candi Whitehead stitched the Shepherd's Bush Quaker Heart for me(shown at right), got the Jill Rensel Mat and then had it framed. It is unbelievable as well, and we all know Shepherd's Bush is my all time favorite company, so I was more than thrilled. And I've already hung it at home so I can look at it every day and marvel at what wonderful stitching friends I have. It also makes my sister very envious as she said, "I don't know anyone who would do this for me." So much work from the stitchers and the added expense of boxes, framing, finishing...well I don't know what I did to deserve all this but I couldn't be more thrilled. Jackie gave me a Friendship pewter angel and ...... I've got the angel hanging already and she is beautiful. Well, you know I'm already working on next year...well, not working on but certainly thinking about it. Everyone also went all out of their secret santa gifts. I think everyone was pleased with their gifts this year so stitchers job well done. I'm going to slowly try to get the pictures up so you can see what fabulous gifts I got. Tomorrow I'll post Linda Wimbrow's Needlebook and fobs...see you then.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's been a while...but life hasn't changed too much!

Yes, folks, I'm still the same idiot I was 3 months ago. My two daughter, Mary & Sara, and I decided to take a trip to the Christiana Mall in Delaware to do a little Christmas shopping. I should have known better as Renee told me what a fabulous mall this was. So we arrive to find that major parts of the mall are being renovated and therefore only part of the mall was shopable. But not one to be discouraged I said, "O.K., the good news is that next year at this time the Cheesecake Factory will be open here, now lets see what else is here today." So we managed to find some stores that filled our shopping needs and then I took a bathroom break. (this is when things start to go south). When I went into the section where the restrooms are, the doors were open to the restrooms, so without thinking, isn't that new for me, I walked into the first door without even looking. (I think you can see where this is going) Now my first clue should have been when I saw a urinal. But no, I'm thinking..."isn't that odd that they'd put a urinal in the women's bathroom, but on the other hand, isn't that nice that they put it here for little boys that couldn't go to the men's room because they are so young. I get in the stall, hang my purse on the hook provided, and proceed to do the job I was there to do. I heard someone come in go to the sinks and I could see out the crack in the door and it was a man. I thought "what the hell is he doing in a ladies bathroom and how embarrassed is he going to be when he realizes it." Then the door opens again and another set of footsteps heading to the urinal. I'm wondering what kind of woman uses a urinal when it finally dawns on me. (I think the doctor needs to prescribe something for idiot). Now I'm in a panic on how to get out of the men's room without being noticed. So the urinal man leaves and now I'm waiting for the man who's taking his time washing his hands. He must have been a doctor in a previous life because he washed those damn hands for at least 5 minutes as I sat there stewing. He finally stops and no one else came in so I grabbed my purse to make a run for it and ran into the hand washer who is now planted in the middle of the doorway stopped watching people. I decided I just had to leave so I said, excuse me to the gentlemen and just kept walking. I'm hoping he thinks he was in the ladies room. There's been a end to our "crack whore" drama. Vernon and Sara went to court on the 11th for the jury trial. According to their attorney, they were sure it was going to be thrown out of court as they didn't think she would show up. (haven't we been here before?)...and as it turned out...she didn't. There was a rumor that the DA didn't bother to notify her of a date...which begs the question, if you weren't going to go forward with this case why didn't you just cancel it altogether. What was the point of Sara and Vernon having to drive to Snow Hill, pay the attorney just to be told it was over. Honestly, it's no damn wonder the court system is such a screwed up mess.

Monday, November 16, 2009

We alive and well, and almost dry....

Wow, this past week has been different, to say the least. We had 2 days of driving rain and 3 days of gale force winds. The town flooded, Baltimore Avenue became a 2 way street as Philadelphia Ave. was flooded in spots and could not be used. St. Louis Ave. was flooded and couldn't be used, and they had to close off the streets from the bridge south due to flooding. Schools were cancelled so the children were at home and you couldn't go out. Added to the confusion I have been fighting the I was thrilled to have to stay home on the sofa. But thankfully, Saturday the sun came out and today peace and calm have been least to the weather situation. I have never seen a Northeaster' last so damn long. I thought we got off lightly though what with the gale force winds. As I was driving up to the house today I thought, "oh, my someone lost part of their gutter," which was about the only damage I saw and then realized I was the someone who lost part of the gutter. This was so banged up it wasn't even worth salvaging. Now I've got paint chipping and one gutter off...I have become "that" house on the street. But, folks will just have to wait until spring before I can afford to paint and repair, and I'm holding my breath on that now. Anyway, in my never ending medical catch up...the doctor's office called again the other night (we should just put in a direct line) to say I have a Vitamin D deficiency that is so bad they must prescribe a pill for it (I seem to be deficient in everything but fat...why don't they have a pill for that). So one more medication I have to get through and then today was my digital mammogram. That was a real treat. While the digital isn't quite as bad as the regular, you still have some tech whose moving your boob around a platform, and asking you to move a little this way and that, stand this way, raise your arm, keep the other arm under the machine, now let me clamp your breast in here and now breath naturally. Hell people you have my boob smashed under the plexiglass tray, it's awkward, I stripped from the waist up so natural is just not going to happen for me. But after putting up with that indignity for 20 minutes I was out of there , clothes on and running for the car. Tonight I get my next B12 shot and then I'm free until next Monday when I have to go in for the glorious, "pap smear." Holy crap...that's high anxiety for me. I was amuzed today to open e-mail from Jane Blocher keeping in mind I have my pap smear coming up. This is so me I can't believe it happened to anyone else, although it's given me a few ideas, perhaps if I fancy mine up the dazzle will throw Wendy off and she will see that I'm not depressed. This is what Jane sent....

'The Washcloth'
I was due for an appointment with the gynecologist later in the week. Early one morning, I received a call from the doctor's office to tell me that I had been rescheduled for that morning at 9:30 am. I had only just packed everyone off to work and school, and it was already around 8:45am. The trip to his office took about 35 minutes, so I didn't have any time to spare. As most women do, I like to take a little extra effort over hygiene when making such visits, but this time I wasn't going to be able to make the full effort. So, I rushed upstairs, threw off my pajamas, wet the washcloth that was sitting next to the sink, and gave myself a quick wash in that area to make sure I was at least presentable. I threw the washcloth in the clothes basket, donned some clothes, hopped in the car and raced to my appointment. I was in the waiting room for only a few minutes when I was called in. Knowing the procedure, as I'm sure you do, I undressed, hopped up on the table, looked over at the other side of the room and pretended that I was in Paris or some other place a million miles away. I was a little surprised when the doctor said, 'My, we have made an extra effort this morning, haven't we?' I didn't respond. After the appointment I heaved a sigh of relief and went home. The rest of the day was normal ... Some shopping, cleaning, cooking. After school when my 6 year old daughter was playing, she called out from the bathroom, 'Mommy, where's my washcloth?' I told her to get another one from the cupboard. She replied, 'No, I need the one that was here by the sink, it had all my glitter and sparkles saved inside it.'

So ladies, I'm off to buy my glitter and sparkles and get my game plan for next Monday's pap smear...yes Wendy will be telling me to dump the antidepressents by this time next week. Alleluia.
Have a great day folks....I have to get back to reading e-mails, sending out orders...thanks to all those still ordering despite the shipping know I only add actual shipping so bless you. So stitchers get busy we only have 38 more stitching days left before Christmas.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oh Crap....Huston we have a problem!

I had a couple of calls from customers to place orders over the phone because they couldn't do it on line. So I went on line last week to investigate and sure enough we had a problem. Realizing that the last time I had an issue with the cart was when the price of postage changed I called my web person and asked her to check it out. As would only happen to me, the person who changed the code on my postage was no longer with her and she couldn't figure out how he did it so suggested I use a monthly service which would alleviate the problems I've gone through when postage changed. That sounded like a sane idea so I contacted Doug and agreed to a monthly fee to plug in his services, which he assured me I could do myself. Of course I couldn't do it so I called my web person and told her to do it. Then when I saw she had done it on Saturday, I went in and ordered a $4 chart to test it and found a slight error since it was charging me $42.84 for shipping on $4. So I called Doug and said, I don't know what's wrong but clearly something is wrong. We realized it was the figure that in the past I put in to calculate shipping is wrong and I know have to go back through 189 pages, with 6 items per page and change all of those figures to get the correct shipping. So folks, as you know, this will take me a lot of time. But as you also know that shipping charge means nothing to me as I charge actual shipping, but in the cart is now a work in progress so I ask for your patience as I work my way through this quagmire. Life sure is fun isn't it? To add to my stress, I got a call my from doctor's office to see if I wanted to come in for the flu shot. I said, "no thanks, but thanks for calling." And then she says, "Sally, you haven't been in here for 2 years and we need you to come in." I belong to what I call a boutique group as I pay yearly to belong to their practice as my doctor opted out of the HMO thing. So I said to her, "Look I pay you yearly so I don't have to come in." But apparently that is not what I'm paying for so after insisting I come whether I want to or not I went. Of course the first thing they do is insist I get on the damn scale. Crap I can tell you I've gained...hell I gain when I breathe. But she just looked at me, sympathic but unrelenting and I climbed on board and prayed for the best. I then went to wait for Wendy, my physician's assistant who likes to tell me about gastric bypass no matter how many times I tell her "No, and stop suggesting it." So she comes in, asked how I'm doing, I'm such a wreck over the anticipation of "our talk" that I have a mental breakdown. I'm telling you, I was a red hot mess and embarrassed and unable to figure out what to do with myself. Her determination..."Sally, I think you are suffering from depression." Hell yes, thinking about our talk about gastric bypass. I kept saying, "No I'm just having a moment, but I'm fine." Of course I was just thinking, "For God's sake move this weight train along and let me out so I can get some lunch." She was so taken back by my "depression" she never mentioned the weight...hey maybe I'm onto something here. Of course she then prescribed an antidepressent which has about Sara over the edge. While I know for certain that I'm not a depressed cup is always half full trust me...I decided to go along with the program and take the meds for a month to see. Then I had to go to the hospital to have blood work. Since I hadn't eaten since the night before (who eats before they are getting on a scale, because let's face it...that little bit a weight makes up for 2 years of eating), anyway, I went right over where they did a chest x-ray (I had a cold which they probably thought was something else), and took 5 vials of blood. I usually only give 2 so I thought it was odd. Wendy called me that night to say my sugar levels were off the chart (I guess my C.A. Wells weekend eating cake and cookies wasn't out of my system yet) so I was put on medication for diabetes...I can handle that, plus I've gone back on the program so that will help. Then a couple a days ago they called again to say they got more of the tests back and my B12 was so low (I finally get a low figure and it's on something that needed to be high...damn the luck) I needed to start a series of B12 shots. Honestly, this is what I get for skipping 2 years. So now I'm running over there weekly for a B12 shot and while I'm not sure I notice any difference, perhaps I do have more pep in my step, but in any case I'm sure it can't hurt. Of course I still have to do the mammogram and the pap smear (I just love that test...I have no dignity left at all anyway). So folks, for the time I'm here, eating healthier and hoping to lose weight and get off the meds. By the way, after stewing about the weight...I'd lost 4 pounds in the last 2 years instead of gaining. So run a flag up the ole flag pole....let's hope I keep the trend going. At that rate I'll have a normal weight when I'm 200. Got to run...Mary and Brian have begun bringing my stash downstairs...haven't seen it in 5 years, I've uncovered some real treasures....and a whole lot of trash. It's funny how our tastes change.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

C.A. Wells Weekend was a blast....

Just a glimpse of our beverage table complete with
eyeball goblets and skelton glasses..we had so much fun and even had a little trick or treater, my little Solomon who came as a golfer and brought his caddie, his mother Mary. At first he was so scared of the welcome man he could barely come in the door but eventually he tried to make friends with him too.

Just a few scenes from the hotel lobby where we held our annual C.A. Wells memorial weekend. The Noel Stocking if from Blackbird's Joyeux Book and done by Phyllis Yurack. The next picture shows Kathie Renard, Kay Fletcher and Stacy Stinson stitching away. Then you see Stacy again along with Jennifer Humphries. Everyone was busy stitching, eating, comparing notes and having just the best time as we spend 2 days just having fun being around people who enjoyed the same things. Does it get any better than this...I don't think so. Sara and I want to thank everyone who participated, especially Kay Fletcher who spent days cooking to keep us fed, Sara who also spent time fixing food and Stacy Stinson who brought one of her specialities to the table...yes we were certain not to starve, that's for sure. Here we see Linda and Candi hard at work. Poor
Linda is exhausted after helping Candi finish a
a project for Christmas (and I'm using the help word loosely). Candi was working on her Shepherd's Bush project (I've turned her into a Shepherd's Bush's good to have company. Thank God Candi is a fast stitcher because she finds something new for her stash every time she comes in.
The weekend got underway early as Debbie Liming and Phyllis Yurack arrived on Wednesday. They always bring us show and tell and Debbie, especially, had been working day and night finishing up many projects she had started. Remember the Casket Etui from Blue Ribbon designs, well, Debbie is the only person I know who ever finished it and it's absolutely adorable. But on black over one...oh, my what a project...but so worth it if you have the patience and the eyes. While that was the most impressive to me she brought several other projects, a Liberty Hill project from years ago...a round box in which you find a pin cushion you's so cute... finished which ranged from adorable to fabulous. Good job Debbie! Phyllis had brought her big pile in during Jamboree so while she had several projects with her, her one exciting finish was the Halloween Box given out at Jamboree from Prairie Moon Designs...with a pumpkin that is stitched on black on the top. She did a wonderful job, and it's so cute. Best of all she finished off the inside using scrapbooking paper and it's as cute as the outside. What a wonderful idea. In the picture at left she had not finished putting the cording around the inside bottom obviously, but you get the picture. Isn't it cute? And imagine it with a set of smalls and needlework supplies inside. A wonderful sewing box for Halloween. Then she also brought in, completely finished her Catherine Jordan class piece and it is wonderful. She painted the box a dark blue which I feel really sets this piece off beautifully. The rest of the stitchers arrived early on Saturday with Linda Wimbrow, Candi Whitehead and Jennifer Humphries getting here to open the doors at 10:00 a.m. Kathie Renard and Kay Fletcher arrived with tons of food which lasted us for 2 days (you have never seen such an array). Stacy Stinson also arrived with a crock pot of beef for sandwiches and of course our Sara brought some of her we weren't going to starve..that's for sure. Greg McCord also showed up to help us celebrate the memorial to C.A. Wells. Sara had also done up the lobby in rare form. Greeting the stitchers was a special character with a special greeting and our purpose for the weekend. We have turned this memorial into quite an event. Kay Fletcher made goodie bags ....or tins I should say as each of us got a small tin holding candy and a pair of Halloween socks. Sara, Debbie, Phyllis and I made goodie bags with fun stuff inside to give to everyone, so we ended up with each of us getting 2 goodie bags...and who doesn't love a goodie bag.
Sara had so fully decorated the lobby that we had people stopping in all weekend to ask if this was a haunted house. Going up the stairs to the first floor was our "I'd turn back if I was you" along with the pumpkin man, all of which lit up. Hanging off pictures and mirrors were huge black and red spiders. We had legs hanging out of drawers and arms hanging out of things. And we had Matilda the witch sitting in the T.V. cabinet with a bowl of beads to hand out. It was a wonderful weekend and we all had a great time. But the Halloween decorations are now a thing of the past and C.A. Wells Memorial weekend has ended. Can't wait to see what next year brings. But everyone has inspired me to get busy stitching so I thank everyone for participating. Also in the mood were Pat and Renee who worked the shop. They both sported the cutest little witch hats, handed out candy goodie bags to customers and Renee particularly who covered herself with everything Halloween, from head to toe. Yes, Halloween is one occasion we all can get into to. Have a great week...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We're Back!!!!!

Yes we returned from our Moss Creek Retreat rested and ready for our C.A. Wells Memorial Weekend Retreat. I'm telling you though, 3 retreats in one month is about to do me in. Anyway, I have to tell you about our week away. We left early Wednesday morning (Oct. 21) and got through Virginia without a cap coming off (last year I was testing the sugar free caramels and my cap came off), or Sara being pulled over (she was speeding through and of course, got caught) we thought we were sailing under a bright sky. However, after talking to Vernon to make sure he met Michael at the bus, Sara was informed that Michael was a bit upset so Vernon thought he'd take him to the new boat (Vernon purchased a new boat with more speed a few weeks ago) and let him play around. Before leaving he tossed Michael's school bookbag on the ground in front of the elevator to their apartment (it's an outside elevator)...what an idiot! Anyway, when they returned from the boat, the bookbag was missing....Gee what a surprise. So of course, Michael was hysterical since it contained his special lunch box, his homework, 3 library books, and the list goes on. Sara, of course, was cursing like a sailor and calling Vernon various names we don't need to repeat here and I was the calm in the storm..."Sara, everything can be replaced...let it go..and please don't let it ruin our week in Hilton Head." While she agreed to it, all this did was make her determined not to return home until Wednesday instead of Monday like last year. Of course, I'm all for that (forgetting I was suppose to work on Wednesday...but that was a small technicality). Anyway, we arrived at the Marriott and settled in. It's just gorgeous on Hilton Head...they really planned their communities and the spread of malls etc. well, covering everything in trees and plants. You see little of the commercial aspect of a resort town because it is behind the greenery and that makes it all the more beautiful. Anyway, arriving a day early gave us shopping opportunities...which we all know we took advantage of, saving our big money for the trunk shows at the retreat however. Now, on Thursday when Sara called to make sure Vernon met Michael he told her that Michael's bookbag had been returned to the school, along with everything that was inside. No one knows where it came from, just that it appeared in the office. So we have no idea what went on, just that we had an angel on our shoulder and he looked after our Michael for us. So no harm no foul. We stayed on anyway after the retreat just to have a day to relax from the hubbub of the retreat, which was wonderful yet again this year. We had Jackie Duplessis first and her project was a darling sailboat etui. Since the teachers asked that we not put the items on the web I won't show it but when I get it completed I'll have it in the shop...hell, if I ever get it done I'll encase it in glass and put spotlights surrounding it so you won't be able to miss it. Anyway, it was really a lecture class as she was teaching how to put this together using a sewing machine. However, this could just as easily be done by hand...I probably should not have said easily, just that this could be done by hand. In fact when she is here with us next Jamboree her project will be finished by hand. I also requested that the project not be sea related since it's been asked that not everything revolve around the sea and beach here. (I listen...I sometimes ignore, but I listen and try to bend to your will stitchers). Next we had Marcy Pumphret and the scrimshaw class. I didn't look forward to this class because I just knew I'd have to be able to draw. And while that might be correct, the piece you do is so small and it really doesn't require much drawing, so once again I was amazed to find that I was able to do it. Jackie's sailboat had a little scrim with an anchor on it hanging off the back, so of course I felt I needed that on mine and drew it. Sara did a little sailboat and used a lot more imagination that I did. But hey, it's not important who did what, just the fact that we did it. The girl sitting next to Sara did a basket of fruit and did a beautiful job, I might add, obviously an artist. It was really intimidating to Sara, I on the other hand didn't give a crap. I love my little anchor and will be trying this again, in my own house taking the time I think it requires, also where I can copy someone elses ideas (naturally we purchased the ivory keys so we could do it at home). And the third class was Rae Iverson's and it was fabulous. A fish etui...unbelievable...simply unbelievable. I can't wait to stitch it (I plan to start right after Christmas). Anyway, we had a marvelous time and Rae and Ron are wonderful hosts. And this year, you could hear a pin drop in our classrooms. I spoke about a group last year who talked during many of the classes so I wanted everyone to know that isn't the norm. And of course we had a ball at the trunk shows. Money just flew out of our wallets...and we didn't even care. This year we had a couple of our stitchers at this retreat...Bernadette Mathews and Beverly Ludy attended and I believe I saw Bernadette carrying the goodie bag from Jamboree into the Halloween banquette. Glad it got some use. Bernadette is use to stitching pictures so I'm sure a weekend of "smalls" was an interesting turn of events for her. Sara noticed her Jane Timmer piece during the Sunday brunch on display with the other items people brought in for show and tell. Good for you Bernadette. I hope they loved the weekend as much as Sara and I did. I had a couple of stitchers remind me to ask questions first regarding lobster for dinner, but I have to tell you...I ordered the lobster dinner from a restaurant with the "market price" where price usually is and after ordering it the waiter bent down and sort of whispered in my ear, "the price of the lobster will be $62.00 tonight" and stitchers, that's the way the waiter in Nashville should have informed me of the $272 price last year. While I will pay $62.00 I swear I will never pay $272 again. I might be over the Nashville fiasco by now except Peggy and Pat from Fern Ridge brought me a precious lobster pin at Jamboree with a little price sticker hanging from it that said, $272, so I can now never forget what I paid for that dinner. Anyway, lovely time was had by all and we almost got home without incident. As we were driving home, Sara used my credit card for gas and handed the card back to me. Of course by the time we hit Ocean City, and Sara was filling up for the final time, I couldn't find the credit card. I really was certain that she had returned it, but I just couldn't come up with the card so thought perhaps it had dropped outside. I was in quite a state and swearing I was canceling the card the minute I got in the house. So, when I arrived home I first went to the bathroom and while in there moved in a way that allowed me to feel something hard in my bra and low and behold there was the missing credit card. Of course, then I remembered I put it in there because bending over to get my wallet while in the car was just too difficult and I needed to know it was safe....once in my bra vault believe me it's safe. Anyway, credit card mystery solved...trip completed...time to get back on track.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm rested and ready....

That's right folks, I've rested up after back to back retreats, and boy did we need a rest. But what fun we had. I've already talked about the Delaware Valley retreat so today it's about the Jamboree, where 55 stitchers converged for a weekend of classes, fellowship, food and laughs. The stitchers began arriving on Wednesday prior to the event with teachers arriving on Thursday to give us time to get the trunk shows in place. Roger and Ann barely got through the door when I sprang into action. I called the stitchers and told them Roger was about to unveil his hand carved pinkeeps, rulers, etc., and we needed to grab what we wanted. I was thrilled to have grabbed his mermaid ruler, mermaid pinkeep, the cutest little squirrel pinkeep, oh, my it just goes on. The stitchers, Sara and I managed to put a dent in his inventory before he had time to get a display of them up, and he had plenty. And Catherine Jordan's trunk show was extraordinary. She had her hand dyed fabrics, her mini cards, journals, paints, it was fabulous I tell you. And then we also had the Olde Colonial trunk show. It was a wonderful display of new and old. And then there was Fern Ridge. I was so use to seeing their peyote stitch needle fobs, I forgot they also did needlebooks which were done in cross stitch. I'm going to stitch the needlebooks and Sara's doing the fobs. Here again the stitchers went nuts for Fern Ridge. Pat and Peggy were so much fun you were carried away with their enthusiam. They also refused to leave anyone behind so during class they were very hands on to each and every stitcher. The same was true of Cathern Jordan who make sure each stitcher was given help. Several of the stitchers completed their peyote fob while here and Phyllis Y. finished her fob and the Catherine Jordan painting on linen project before she left (she was here until Wednesday after the retreat). This was a first for most of the stitchers. Usually stitching is done but nothing complete to take home. Perhaps that is why I was told by several stitchers that this was the best Jamboree ever! New techniques are always enjoyed whether you intend to use them again or not. Of course, Sara spent days cooking for the event, and I got my Lasagna here on time and Mary made the potato salad and pasta salad so we were right on track. As always, the stitchers surprised us with their own homemade goodies as well as wonderful items they purchased. Nelsa K. brought 5 bottles of wine which was so wonderful as we have wine at the event each night as the stitchers work on their projects (could explain why some of the stitchers spend the next morning tearing out stitches put in the night before). Pat E. brought her rice crispy cake and pumpkin bread, which was enjoyed by the other stitchers as well as by me (I am the official taster here at the hotel...explains so much doesn't it.) Cynthia Radley brought her cranberry & pumpkin breads. I just love these breads in the morning with butter on them (of course I'd want butter on them...couldn't eat them plain...oh, no, I never met a stick of butter I didn't love). Barbara C. left us a bottle of wine as she was leaving and Jodi K. brought her honeybun cake and sour cream walnut coffee cake (yummo). Kay O. brought us 3 loaves of sourdough bread. There again, I haven't met a bread I didn't enjoy and this bread was enjoyed by the family. So I thank all the stitchers who attended the event...we couldn't do it without you...thank you, thank you, thank you. I also thank those who brought the food and wine for others to enjoy, Nelsa, Pat, Cynthia, Jodi, Barbara, and Kay. Also a thank you to Cynthia R. And Crystal S. for my gift certificate to Sunset Grille, one of my favorite places to eat in Ocean City...delicious...and Ellen S. for the Jon Vodoo Doll she made me. I'm going to get a picture up as soon as Sara loans me her camera. It was too funny. She'll be taking orders I'm sure. It was gratefully accepted by us and enjoyed by all. You help make this event so successful. I did fail to hand out the evaluation sheets...sorry about that. I realize now that was a mistake as I got an e-mail from Catherine Jordan who ran into some of the stitchers at Jubilee and was told by someone that some of the stitchers didn't like her class. She was understandibly disturbed by this news and wrote me to apologize. I was floored that anyone said such a thing to her and astounded since Sara and I were told by many of the stitchers that this was the best one ever, because of the new techniques they learned. So for those who didn't enjoy the classes, we are sorry you didn't like them and I'm sorry I didn't give you evaluation forms to express yourself. I'll do better next time. I was thrilled to get the shop closed by 9:30 each night so I thought things were going smoothly. That and the weather that cooperated. While storms, rain and snow, were pounding the surrounding states, we sat dry and the sun was out for the weekend for us. We were surprised and thrilled that we missed that, although last week we made up for it with back to back Northeasters'. I'm telling you I've never seen Ocean City so bleak for so many days in a row (I'm sure that is an exaggeration, but I'm making a point). But this morning the sun came out again, the streets are dried up...I swear to God yesterday traffic was backed up so badly that Pat W. ran home to get me something and it took her 20 minutes to go to 6th street (2 blocks people) and back. And I know she didn't go anywhere else because when I went out it was still backed up from the bridge to 24th street. Apparently the bay backed up to Philadelphia Ave. in many spots and it was so bad around the bridge they had only one lane open...and the Route 90 bridge is closed so there was only one bridge open for everyone in town, and it was downtown. I felt like I was on the beltway going to D.C. But today the water has receded and the streets are dry and we are once again in control...although it is a chilly 44 least when I left home. But the weather man promises we are going back to 70 soon. About the time I leave for the Moss Creek Retreat, Wednesday or Thursday, depending on Sara. I've spent the last week getting ready to leave...paying bills, getting things straight in the office and the shops, and cleaning my house. All I can say about that is after back to back storms my front windows don't look like they've been touched by water...crap...I didn't like doing them the first time and now I have to do them again? Double Crap! But my dining room is completely done, from ceiling to floor, cleaned, dusted, mopped and every piece of polish pottery washed. I even had the fruit bowl filled, except Solomon grabs a piece each night before he goes home so now I'm down to 3 apples...but that's O.K. This morning before leaving for work I started tackling the living room. Oh, My, I'm embarrassed to say it was dusty and messy. I have put many of the stitching totes away this summer, but once again I find numerous tote bags stuffed to the gills with projects...when the hell am I ever going to have the time to finish this stuff? So tonight I move them all back to my stitching room. Although I've been working diligently on the Christmas Quaker piece, I did something I never thought I'd do. Yes, folks, I finally knit a stocking. I started a stocking to wear 2 summers's not finished and I believe I finally undid what I had stitched and wound it back into the ball again. We've been getting more and more yarns in and I saw a pattern for a Christmas stocking (sample for the store since every member in the family has a Shepherd's Bush stocking)..done in Magnum yarn which is a bulky bulky yarn. It's big and done in Green and Maroon it is perfect for Christmas. I stitched the main part with no problem sitting in the shop one day last week, however, I couldn't find Size 15 double point needles and that created a whole other boondoggle for me. But last night I knit my last stitch ( no easy chore since I didn't have #15 double points and had to use single needles and keep transferring stitches) and today it's hanging in the shop. I'm proud to have finally done a stocking and now I must rest. Of course now I feel ready to tackle even the most difficult project (isn't this where I went wrong before?) So it's hunt, hunt, hunt for a pattern I'm sure I'll regret picking. Tonight I shall start my Christmas stitching. I'd love to stitch everyone on my list a gift, but we know that is not going to happen, but I figure if I get started now perhaps I can get a few done in time. Well, I've got work to get done...bills to pay....banks to avoid...taxes to be other words I've got about 6 more hours before I can go home so I'll sign off for now and will talk to you later. Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oh, My God....the crack whore saga continues...

O.K., before I start with that let me say that last weekend we had the best time with the Ladies from the Delaware Sampler Guild. So Sara, Mary, Vernon, Brian and I want to thank all the Ladies who were here and gave us such a wonderful feeling for the weekend. There was no drama, just a whole lot of stitching and quite a bit of laughing. I won't mention names, but Theresa B. has certainly changed my view of her. She was so funny in the shop she just had me in stitches. I use to be intimidated by her because she always looked so coiffed, makeup, everything, just exquisite that I, in my tee shirt, and croc sandals was a little awed by the trouble she took everyday to look so elegant, and her work is unbelievable. She designs for herself and her guild...and her mind is a wonderous thing because her pieces are museum quality. She took the Whitman tin and designed pieces for it that you can't believe. So that too intimidated me...she's brilliant. But when she entertained me in the shop...well, she was just one of us and I had to fight hard not to pee on myself. (not sure I was successful in that but that's a whole other story). Jean M. was able to attend again this year and I spent the weekend trying to pull stuff out of her bag and out of her hands so she wouldn't be spending so much money, but she did an end run around me so I wasn't really successful with that. I was a bit under the weather and we decided the place for me to sit during the day was in the shell shop which wouldn't be as busy. But at night I was in Salty Yarns so I still got to mingle. They inspired me as they always do and I worked all weekend on the Quaker Christmas piece...Love It. Again thanks to all the ladies who made our weekend so perfect. As you know we are getting ready for our next big event, the Jamboree, which takes place this weekend. So I've been on the phones, etc., contacting vendors to get their new items here before the weekend...but we had to take a break today because it was our court date for the crack whores claim that Vernon threw her down a flight of stairs at the hotel and then threw her to the ground. First, surprisingly that bitch actually showed up for what I believe she felt would be her payday. But what disturbs me is our attorney had to get another attorney in the office to represent Vernon because she had a conflict on cases today. Fortunately, Jim is an attorney that we felt comfortable with so that wasn't a problem. But of course, we know how ridiculous this whole thing is and it really rankles me that others don't see it the same way. He said we had options..(1) we could settle it here today and move forward (2) we could ask for a jury trial (3) we could postpone. We really wanted it over with but when he indicated that if the judge believed this idiot Vernon could actually do jail time...he didn't think he'd get the 10 years possible (are you kidding me?), but he might do a week or so. I said, "Absolutely not...Vernon is not going to do time for something he didn't do." That didn't leave us with much though..postpone or jury trial, or both apparently. I don't understand how someone can make something up with no proof of anything and their word is given any credance. She told our attorney she would go away for what amounted to approximately $500. Not only is she a crack whore...she's a cheap crack whore. Anyway, I refused to pay anything especially considering the bitch bounced the check we were given in payment of her room. When our attorney brought that up to her, she said she certainly didn't bounce a check...her check was cashed and Sara ran back to the hotel to get the bounced check, which miraculously I had put in the incident file so she knew where to look. When he showed her the bounced check and mentioned that we could go after her over that her response was..."Well let them." I really believe her brain is completely fried and at that point Vernon said, "postpone and let's go to a jury trial." So folks we got nowhere today and will still be reliving this nightmare guest another month. It is no wonder the things take so long with our court have crack whores prolonging things. Anyway, our saga continues. But on a brighter note, have you seen the new Just Nan "Noella's Christmas Berry"...oh my God...this is gorgeous. This is the best enameled box she's done. Without even stitching the berry it's a gorgeous box. A must have I'm telling you. I also loved the "Christmas Cheer" ornament which is also a bird. Beautiful! And the new Quaker Diamonds from Rosewood Manor...gorgeous and the Valdani thread packs are here as well for that piece. The fall colors are magnificent. Oops..UPS has arrived with 5-70pound cartons of new knitting I have to work. Good news is more charts also arrived. Talk to you later

Friday, October 2, 2009

I know it's been a while....but...

I'm old and tired...end of story. But today I had a 1st, and I do mean a 1st. I was in the office ordering more stuff than we know what to do with and decided to take a break and come into the shop. I wish I had stayed in the office. Poor Connie comes to me with a green bag that had seen better days and said, "Sally, this woman is in the shop and wants to return all this..." Now, all this was every one of the 9 Berlin Woolworks charts, fabric cut and she'd sewn on it, and the Kay's Creations frame she purchased to stitch it on. She presented the letter I had sent her when she ordered it..with the date...MAY 2006...on it. I looked at Connie and of course said, "What are you kidding me...she purchased this in 2006...3 years ago..3 years, 4 months ago to be more precise." Connie said, "I know that, but I don't know what to say to her." Renee was at the cutting table mumbling, "I know what to say...say no!" You know, we have the policy, (as does most any other shop that carry charts, fibers, cut fabrics, and open kits) that those items can't be returned and yet, people invariably try to return these things. They don't see that there are people who xerox the charts, people who cut what they need from a skein of floss,cut a piece of the fabric off and then return it..all of those are the reason we don't take things back. Then of course, I start feeling guilty, even though I don't even think we carry this particular series I said, I wouldn't take back the fabric, nor would I take back the Kay's Creation stand, because both had threads still on them that she put there. But I did take back the I happy, hell I think this was even bigger hell no, but I did say no cash would be changing hands...she could have a store credit. And what do we see her looking at...Ink Circles...Honestly she'll probably bring that back in 3 years. Anyway, she's got to do a whole lot of shopping since the return was $100. Now you can see why I'm not a happy camper. On the plus side....The Delaware Sampler Guild is here and I like this group of stitchers, so it's going to be a fun weekend. Right now they are chowing down at the reception so it's pretty quiet in here. But I wanted you to know I'm still alive and kicking and I've been ranting up a storm about that jackass Jon Gosselin and the Roman Polanski rape issue..I'll try to keep it off the blog, but it might just have to be said. And then there's Survivor and Russell..another jackass who needs to keep his big mouth shut, but we all know that those who think they are in charge will be going home on that show and I won't be sorry to see him go. Let's see what have I missed...oh my God, the Housewives of Atlanta...well they are just one hot mess those girls. Anyway...I've got to run...catch you tomorrow...thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm seriously going to bitch slap someone...

They really need to get me out of here and I mean fast. First of all at this point in the summer forget about's all I can do to smile and I haven't been doing a lot of that's too much I tell you. Now I've got some non-stitcher in here who is telling me she purchased a pillow kit from here around 25 years ago...well at least we've narrowed down who hasn't helped me stay in find me someone out there who has. She then tells me how she's not crafty...Gee how could I have know that without her telling me....this woman is a loony toon...get her out of here...ooh, thanks she just left. Now I can get back to playing solitare on the computer and going through catalogs. It's the strangest thing...the more the shop slows down the more I want to shop to bring more things in. Something is wrong with my system...perhaps it's that! Sara and Vernon have taken Michael to his first semi-pro football game in Salisbury...Michael is playing (O.K. technically not semi pro, but to me he is.) Vernon brought home his uniform for the game which we found today was about 1 1/2 inches too small in the waist. I just called Sara to see what's going on and she says he somehow managed to squeeze into it and we all know he's going to end up with a stomach ache from the damn pants. This has fiasco written all over it. Ladies we all know what pants feel like when they are too tight...he's 8...he doesn't get "just muscle through it" so I'm sure he's going to have something to say about it. Plus he has to be weighed in to make sure he's not overweight. Have you ever heard of anything so silly...he's 8. Sara's afraid he won't make weight...frankly I don't give a damn. He's 8!!!! Children at that age should not be playing night games which start around 6:30 p.m. 1 hour away from their home. He's 8 and he's going to be getting home around 9..hopefully ... on a school night. Because of the weight issue Sara couldn't feed him before leaving so now he's going to be eating around 9:00 p.m. Oh yea, this is a good idea. Michael gets cranky if he isn't fed every couple of hours...doesn't matter what it is ...fruit..usually, but food must enter the chute. Now he's going to be hungry, in pants 2 sizes too small, and tired. Boy this is going to be the perfect storm. Good luck to Sara and Vernon with this one. Non-stitcher #2..."I bet you do a terrific internet business because your inventory in here is so extensive" (like one thing has anything to do with the other...HELLO... Then she ...oh, please don't say it...said, "So all these samples where do you get them." I said all the ladies here do them...and this idiot says...looking at my Sail Away by Shepherd's Bush...sitting on the counter.."do you do them on the machine." Are you kidding me people...Shepherd's Bush done on the machine...she got out of here with her life but she was lucky...I was sitting and the energy to get up would have been too great. She's lucky I was standing, because I'd have had to take her down... Now I'll wait for non-stitcher #3 because you know she's going to be here any minute. No, the nut job this time was a man who came in Salty Yarns through Sea Trader and didn't pay attention to that fact and thought we were a shop jammed with card racks so he announces to me that he doesn't have enough time to look through all the cards, turns around and walks out...for which I was grateful....and my night moves on at a snails pace and to make it worse I'm missing I'm madder than I was 5 minutes ago. Did hear from Sara, Michael did play and his team lost but he had fun, tight pants and all. Me...well it's 8:45..Survivor is almost over and I haven't seen any of it. The store is now empty so I think I'll just call it a day. I'm tired of the looky loo's who don't have the time or patience to stitch in the first place. Stitchers...I need you in here to balance this out. Have a great night and I'll talk to you later.

Jane Timmer news.....

For those intending to attend the Jane Timmer class in April in 2010 (I can't believe we have to discuss this already), I need to have your names as she has the Americana Boxes and she's putting the kits together, and since it's a pre-stitch we want them asap. To update you...Jane will be teaching "More Finer Points of Finishing". This is actually Part III of the Finer Points of Finishing. Students will continue to expant their repertoire of finishing techniques by making a set project that features hands-on techniques not previously covered in Parts I and Part II, plus expanded text covering these techniques. The project is a new set of accessories based on a design theme of quilt stars stitched on linen in primitive colors. The set includes a lined rectangular box, a small case with needle page and scissors pocket, a sandwich pinkeep, a tape measure pocket and a scissors fob. The finishing techiques covered are: Folded book finish with slipstitch join, Sandwich pinkeep, Lining a rectangular/square box, Scissors fob (laced backstitch) and Sewn pocket. In order to take this class you much have taken Part I or have Jane's permission. So please let me know if you intend to take this class so that we can get your supplies to you.

Need help!!!

We have a stitcher coming from Boyce, Virginia which is around Hagerstown, Rockville apparently, and she would like to car pool down for Jamboree. If anyone is interested, please let me know and I'll get you together. Thanks so much.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It was suppose to rain...darn it I wanted the rain

It's like waiting for a snow day. In the morning there is the promise of rain today...that means I could close tonight, but did the rain come...nooooo, of course not, it's overcast, but no rain so here I sit...having to deal with some non-stitchers. I just don't have the patience any more. If another woman asks me the price of a model, I inform her they are samples of things she can make and then she giggles and says, "oh, I don't have the time or patience for that," I swear I might just climb over this counter...O.K., reality the time I got across the counter it would be October, so now I'm wondering just how close do you have to be to zap them with a stun gun. And would I be better off dragging their ass across the boardwalk and dumping them on the beach and then claiming I have no idea how they got there, or do I just sit them in a chair in the shop and use them as a display. I'm not sure...a little more thought might be needed here. And those who can't tell their left hand from their right...honestly, think a moment lady, or is that too difficult as well. (I have to admit that when asked to raise my left hand I think a moment before raising the correct hand, after all I don't want to irrate anyone, I want to be right so I'd rather they thought I was slow, not stupid.) Anyway I was asked where a certain chart was so I told her it was to her left, so she turned right, and said "No your right" and then she held up both arms trying to get her baring, so I said, "It's right to your left, Rack 5, " and she turned around and stared at it and I could tell she didn't see it even if I did tell her the names of the other 2 companies on the rack. Just as I was about to get up and take her hand and put it on the chart, her friend came from next door, said, "I'll show her" and she found it instantly because apparently she brought her brain with her...thank God. Then I just had a man tell his wife she had 15 he was the big sport and put a quarter in the parking meter so she could have a big 15 minutes to shop. 15 minutes in a needlework store...well isn't he just precious...a real keeper. Next time he's watching football she ought to give him 15 minutes to watch and then turn off the T.V. Jackass. But at least I was spared anymore of his crap as when he told her she had until 5:10 and she asked what time it was and I said, "It's 5:10" they paid and left. It's been a long, long summer for me...I need to go home! Well, I'm bored, we haven't seen anyone, stitching or otherwise for 1/2 hour, I'm closing and going home. Whoppee....see you on my sofa....I'll be the one with my head back, my mouth open and snoring. Even in sleep I'm a lovely sight (sight being the key word here).

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's's finally here....

The 2009 Just Cross Stitch ornaments magazine hit the shop today and what a wonderful magazine it is. While it has tons of ornaments, this year it also has a Scissors safe by Rae Iverson and a Christmas Joy Needlebook by Louise Henderson. The ornaments are the stars of this show and they are a feast for the eyes. I tried to pick my favorite and just could not. I love many of them from our favorite make sure you get your copy. Other than that it's been a wash out down here. We've had rain off and on for the last 3 days, and today it is pouring. The poor visitors who came into town last weekend have not seen the sun since they've been here. They are getting a bit grumpy from it and I'm loving it because not only have the temps gone down but....I get to go home early. Yes, two nights ago I was home by 4:30...last night by 8:30 and today I think I'm sneaking out at 4:00...whoppee! I need the break. Yesterday I worked morning in the shop along with Pat and we decided there had to be a full moon. People were nuts. One of the first women to come into the shop carrying our "green bag" which is always a bad sign, pulled an open kit out of the bag and said, "I hope you can help me. We purchased this kit in here the other night and my friend can't do it, so we want to return it." I look at the bag it came in and it's torn to hell of course, so I said, "I'm sorry, but you've torn open the bag. Once they are torn open like that we can't sell them therefore we can't take them back." To which this brain trust said,"but everything is here." "yes, I said, I'm sure it is, but that isn't the problem...the problem is that the kit is torn open, I can't sell a kit that you had to tear open." To which the Brain Trust said, "You could take it" indicating that I could take the tape and run it over the top of the kit and tape it to the other side. Can you picture it? I was by this time ready to move on, clearly she was I said again, "I'm sorry but no one is going to buy a kit that has been torn open and taped." And yet this idiot wasn't giving up..."But the yarn is all here." "Yes I said, I'm sure it is...but again, it's been torn open and can't be returned." So she goes over to the rack where she picked this up and came back and said, "There are other kits over there in zip top bags." "Yes," I said, because the manufacturers put them in them. The manufacture of this kit uses the sealed bags. And I don't have bags for these in the shop...I'm sorry, you may not return it. Why don't you find a friend who doesn't counted cross stitch and ask them to do it for you." With that she and the friend flounced out of the shop to go bother someone else. You know...the kit was a birth announcement which sold for $16.00. Now I'm not saying any of us want to lose $16.00, and you all know I will fight you to the ground for 25 cents, so I don't take this lightly. But if you purchase something, rip off the packaging, what am I suppose to do with that. Is it my responsibility to get bags and put it in a new package...and how do I know you haven't lost a part of it, or used some of the floss. People are always misplacing charts or threads from a kit and coming to me to get replacements which if I can I always try to assist with this. The return policy states that opened kits, floss, charts are not returnable. Why do some people feel it's alright for a policy to be in place but they get to ignore it? People this crap wears me out. The day ended with a woman coming in with 2 different shoes on, and a sock on one foot only. Pat and Renee studied her for some time and tried to come up with a reason why this was happening. I frankly didn't give a damn. I say let her wear whatever she wants. In the end Renee had to ask or she wouldn't be able to sleep. And there was a perfectly good reason...she had an artificial heal and ankle and had to keep the sock on because of that. The shoe on the one foot was for comfort and the other because of necessity. Mystery solved and the end of our day. Going home early was like a snow day for me. I got there and flitted from one thing to another too excited to really get anything done. I finally had to sit myself down and give me a stern lecture, at which point I did do some laundry and wash some dishes and start bringing order out of kaos...of course that lasted only about 1/2 hour and then I felt that I deserved some stitching time and finished one of the Halloween stockings. We now have 6 done (I say we because Phyllis let me use 4 of hers so we would have a decent display for Jamboree). Jamboree...oh, it's exciting. to go...time to close the shop...yippee...I get to go home I think...oh, no I don't Sara has to go to open house at school...O.K. I take back the whoppee...but I do get to go home as soon as she returns...o.k., a little whoppee. Talk to you later.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Oh, my usual the one nut in town finds us...

yWell, perhaps nut isn't the correct word, but frankly I don't give a darn (at least I cleaned that up). Anyway, I'm in the shop working my shift counting down the minutes...I'm in the back helping someone find something when I heard a shuffling noise and then someone speaking in a tongue I certainly couldn't understand, so I walk back up to the front and I knew it wasn't going to be good when I saw the abandoned walker. And I see an older (turns out he is 72) sitting on the stool behind the counter, pulled up to the counter trying to explain something to the gentlemen who had the misfortune of being in the chair on the other side of the counter just waiting for his wife. The old guy meanwhile was sitting on my almost completed project...sitting there and he was none to clean. I think he must work on cars for a living if anything because his hands and nails were filthy so I didn't give a damn if my needle stuck him in his ass, I just wanted him off my needlework. So I sit in my chair, tap him on the ass and said "Sir you need to get off my needlework." I have to say he was most apologetic (I think who knows, I couldn't understand him but he looked the part.) I could see the other man couldn't help as he couldn't understand him either, plus I knew it was going to be a long night if I didn't do something so I told him to state the problem slowly so I could help him. He drove in from Virginia to go on the beach apparently, although he sure didn't look like it...anyway, between the car and the beach he lost his keys and I'm not sure if he lost his money as well, but anyway, the police had been to him twice and I'm sure couldn't get away fast enough, but left him after calling a locksmith. But they didn't give him any info on when the locksmith or if the locksmith was coming. He had no concept of time that this happened and since it's 9 p.m. I can't believe he just went on the beach, so I'm thinking it had to take place this afternoon. Anyway, I called both locksmith and surprise surprise, answering machines. I can't believe the police left his guy here without trying to help him out, more than just calling a locksmith. I mean the guy can't speak English for God's sake. Oh my God... he just rolled back in on his walker to ask me to plug in his phone overnight so it would be charged. Honestly, now I'm the center for the homeless. I know my mother would be proud, my father would be saying "Call the police and let them do their job", but here I am with this poor man who will be sleeping in his car tonight. If we weren't packed at the hotel I know I would have given him a bed...why me God...of all the places he could have gone tonight why here? There are more than 142 blocks in Ocean City and yet they all end up on mine. I can't wait for Connie to show up tomorrow and try to deal with this. I told Sara about my exciting evening as she never came back to the shop since she was dealing with a noisy tenant (we all have our problems apparently), but after telling her she went and got his cell phone to see if we could call someone to come help him. After seeing there were over 300 contacts and all of them middle eastern we decided the hell with it since I figured they wouldn't understand a word I said. Then I stupidly said, "Perhaps it's a bomb" and Sara was off and running. She announced the cell phone would be the detonator for a bomb placed somewhere on the property. It was at that point I decided to get the hell out of Dodge and went home leaving Sara and Vernon to deal with the problem without me. I mean I've had a touch enough year with mixing it up with a bomb. Sara was a little indignant that I was leaving she and Michael in the bomb zone, but hey, I was tired and needed a nap. Sara did go out to see if he was asleep in his car, (which to me meant no bomb since he would be too close to ground zero and would take the hit as well...of course Sara pointed out suicide bombers...but really what are the changes this 72 year old man became that at this late date) and he was sleeping in the backseat so she felt better about the bomb theory. I arrived back at work this morning to take up where we left off last night and there he was sitting on the porch wondering where his cell phone was since Connie and Pat had no idea we had taken it over to the hotel. So I went out to once more deal with our little man and called the locksmith who informed me they wouldn't touch a Mercedes. So I called another locksmith who at first told me they had tried to help him last night but he refused to pay $145 for the key. So I went out and confronted the man who said, "I'll pay", so I called the locksmith back and said, bring the key he's going to pay. Of course, the person with the key was off today, so they called him and he told them that it wasn't that he wouldn't pay, the key wouldn't work because it needed a chip that had to be gotten from the dealership. So I go back out and explain that what I had told him before was not the case and there was no working key but I was going to call the mercedes dealership in Salisbury. They said they would do nothing over the phone, but bring the man in with identification and car registration, etc., etc., etc., and then they would see about getting another key. By this time I'm getting a little testy in that no one seem to be willing to help the man except my crew...and I have Vernon, Mary, Sara and myself on this, on a day when we were having a mass checkout. So I'm figuring someone will have to take this old gentlemen over to Salisbury to get the process started and go back outside to tell him and there he is with a smile and Sara looking like (holy crap...why are we dealing with this on Labor Day)...apparently he found the key in his pocket (yes, his pocket). So I tried to stay nice and smiled and said, "Well, you put that key in your ignition, start your car and get home to Washington." Bless his heart, he hugged me like I was his long lost sister (although perhaps I should say lover since that hug went on so long I thought he'd passed out.) 1/2 later Vernon went to fill the soda machines and the man was still on 8th St. The neighbors had gotten into by now and told Vernon his battery was dead. Meanwhile he had at least 4 tickets on his car and Vernon had already told the meter reader to stop ticketing his car and explained the situation so they put a note on it to tell other meter readers to leave the car alone. He had tried to get everyone that stopped and parked on 8th street to help him, and one Mexican gentlemen told him as soon as his children got done changing their clothes (in the middle of 8th street no less) he would try to help. But in the end it was Vernon and the boys from Malibu Surf Shop that pushed his car out into the street so that Vernon could get his truck in place to give him a boost. So people I'm proud to say it took all of us to accomplish it, but we have managed to get the 72 year old man who doesn't speak English off the block...I wouldn't guarantee he made it home to Virginia, but we know he made it off 8th street and that's my personal zone to take care of so now I'm free to tackle other problems. I have to say though, I am ashamed that the police force in town didn't help this gentlemen more. He had 2 business cards from the 2 officiers who apparently came to help him, but all they did was call the locksmith. I'd hate to think that if my father had been in a foreign land (O.K. so he was from Virginia but I'm telling you he barely spoke English) didn't know the language and couldn't find anyone to help him. What was the man to do? I thought that was what the police were for! We even called a policeman we knew to see if he could help and he just said, "Well there's not much we can do." Oh, yea, well for starters how about seeing if the gentlemen needs something to eat or some water. How about finding him a place to sleep, even if that means at the police station. How about giving a damn people. What if this was you? I have always tried (and failed many times) to remember that I may be the best memory someone has of Ocean City. While the people peeing in my parking lot don't see the best side of me, let's face it I didn't see the best side of them either and don't care what they remember about me. But when it's a visitor in need, well I'd like them to think of Ocean City as a kind place to be with people who give a damn. One year on the way to Hawaii, my parents stopped for a few nights in San Francisco and my father had something go terribly wrong with one of his teeth. He was in such pain the hotel called a local dentist who came in to his office on the weekend for Dad, fixed his tooth...and sit down here it comes...didn't charge him. Wished him a wonderful time in their city and a wonderful vacation! Now that goes way beyond the call of duty, but the point is after visiting Hawaii my father could only talk about how wonderful that dentist was. And how he saved their vacation. Now I may not have saved the man's vacation...but at least he knows the people at this hotel were concerned and tried to help. (Please don't let that get around, I'm not sure how nice we'll be next time.) Anyway, that's been out Labor Day....full of drama as usual...hope you had a better time. And we're dealing with rain, which brings up another point. I left my house this morning thinking...everyone will get up and get out early due to the weather....did that happen? NO...This is something I don't understand. On check out day, I always get up, get packed, check out and then stop on the way out to eat. That so doesn't happen here. They get up, get their continental breakfast, go shopping, go walk one last time on the beach and barely get back here in time to check out, then ask if they can leave their car on the lot so they can do one last walk down the boardwalk and shop. They all say the same thing..."we're trying to miss the traffic going home." Well folks you can't miss it if you all stay into the afternoon. When it's time to go home...go home I say. Don't drag it out and then tell me next year how much traffic there was so you're thinking of staying even later. They're driving me nuts folks! Yes, Nuts!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I feel almost human again...

Tough summer down here, what with the "crack whore", Sara's "Crack Daddy", freight lift fiasco, personal elevator fiasco, and a heat index of 110 degrees. But the weather for the last few days has been delightful...O.K., the temps are down and it's been overcast for a great part of the day, but that just means we sit inside and stitch so what do we care? While I do get tired of hearing the bitching from the non-stitchers about not being able to go on the beach...well, they can go on it they just won't get a tan...I don't see the problem here. Anyway, I'm back at work after a week of resting...alright I wasn't resting but we had a mini retreat. Debbie L. & Phyllis Y. came down and we sat and stitched everyday, and then they came to work with me and we stitched while I worked. I got so much done on my ornament exchange piece I know I'll be done with it soon (you don't have to applaud me, I'll do it myself). So I'm rested and thrilled to just to be here. Now will be a true test of my endurance however, as the foreign students leave us to run the 4 stores and the hotel by ourselves (thanks alot kids...!)...but we're use to this end rush and while we bitch and complain we always get through it. I had a "Come to Jesus" meeting with the head honchos of the elevator company. That was an exercise in futility. I wrote the company a letter explaining what I thought of them (I spare you that profanity here)...and so they called and wanted a sit down with Vernon, Sara and myself. I can't tell you how unproductive that was. While P.J. was repentent...Bo who is actually the one that comes on site to check on things was one of those people who wouldn't take responsibility for anything that went wrong. I started by restating what I had already said in my letter. I thought they had nerve, were unprofessional, and were just plain "stinky" (O.K., perhaps stinky was never muttered. but it should have been. When I said what nerve they had to send me a notorized copy of the final bill asking for payment on the private elevator...Bo said, "notorized, what is that about...I didn't know they notorized the bills." More importantly I mentioned to this idiot, "You didn't finish the work!" I said, "out of the six items to be done on the contract, you had only done 2, and you never replaced the gates which was part of the contract." And now, is what that jackass said to me...hold on to your hat cause you aren't going to believe this...Bo said, "I thought we had finished it...and as far as the gates go, that company has gone out of business so we aren't able to get them." First asshole, you are the company that installed them so find them..and secondly, I noticed you didn't reduce the bill because of that or any of the other shit you didn't do. Honestly, if I had a gun, well, let's just say it wouldn't have been pretty. I finally said, "I'm done here" and left. But the saga continues. Today I got a letter stating that my July invoice (the notorized bill that said the work was completed) has not been paid. You think? Well guess what's not getting paid anytime soon. These men might think I'll give up but they so don't know me. I'll go down with the ship. Instead of seeing a light at the end of the tunnel...I'm starting to envision the bottom of the sea. We'll see who cracks first. After a summer of dealing with the likes of the "crack whore"...well these elevator people just don't stand a chance. The Labor Day weekend is upon us and while that is usually a tame time due to lack of thousands of people, this year we do have plenty of people to take up my parking...oops, I mean to occupy the rooms. It helps us that the Americana, just 2 blocks away, is still condemned because they didn't bother to give their reservations much notice so by last week when they were informed they didn't have a place to stay...well let's just say we went on the call list. So Thank you Americana, sorry you had to close, but we thank you for your tenants. The weather has warmed up for the weekend so folks, Ocean City is the place to be...warm temps, beautiful ocean and a clean beach. Does it get any better? I pray you have a safe and fun holiday weekend. While the shop is still open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:55 p.m. (I close 5 minutes early so I'm not there until 11:00 p.m.)...this might change at any minute. Usually our foreign students are gone by the 2nd week of September, but this year we have some until the end of September. Since I've always blamed their not being here for my going back to our winter schedule of 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m....I'm having mixed emotions here. I'm pooped and so ready to go home at 4:00 p.m. so I can get that nap in. I miss that 4:00 nap so I'm looking forward to it again. Well, if you are down to check on our closing time at this point. I hate hearing about people who came all the way to the shop at night only to find me gone!!!! Talk to you soon...have a great weekend.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

There's a light at the end of the tunnel..Oh, Lord, please don't let it be a train

Sara and Vernon went to Salisbury to the attorney's office for a conference call with the attorney for MOSHA this week. They explained why they felt the Easton office was incorrect and I must say, I'm thrilled to announce the attorney for MOSHA (who seems much brighter than the folks in Easton) also felt the people in the Easton office must be smoking some funny weed as they were fining me under 2 names for the same accident which he also felt was double dipping, and several of the other charges made no sense as well. We had the proof that some of what they said was just wrong, wrong, wrong. Plus we had our "guy" there to refute the fine and we had our elevator guy on tap in case we needed him. So the attorney is writing up his report to MOSHA and it seems to be in our favorite at the moment. Instead of $22,000, we're instantly down to $11,000 just cutting out the double dipping. Then he crossed off a few of the fines, reduced some of the fines and in the end Sara felt we are going to be left with approx. $5,000 in fines, which may seem steep, but when you figure we started at $22,000 it's not so bad. I realized early on that fines would be given I just wanted to keep them as low as I'm satisfied with this. Today we got the call and I can accept the fines at this point or go to court in Baltimore. They got the fines down to $4400 so I'm settling...otherwise attorney's fees, etc., well I'd end up paying in fees what I might win back in fines. I'm cutting my loses. I'm not happy since they are still saying the private elevator is commercial, but I'm finished. Call it whatever you want...I don't give a damn. To celebrate I decided I'd suffered from my foolish ebay purchase long enough and just had to take home the limited edition Needle Books from the French Needle Maid Series. They just came in today and they are so pretty. Along with those I also snagged the Sirens of the Sea silk kit and the Counting Bats silk kit for the Just Nan pieces (we don't even have this chart in yet so I'm ahead of the game)...oh, yes, my tote is having a jolly good evening. And someone called to see if I had the new Blue Ribbon designs in and I couldn't get on their web site fast enough to see what she was talking about. On their blog they have broken the piece down into smalls and the Halloween piece as well as the sampler piece are just too cute. If you have a chance go onto their site and take a look. I can't wait, unfortunately they aren't shipping these until September. Gives me something to drool over. It's still hotter than hell down here. It's like an oven if you aren't in air-conditioning. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have it...I do know I'd move! The crowds are gone from Ocean City, so while we still have plenty of people still visiting it just isn't that crowded which makes it a little nicer when you have to move around the streets. Oh, whoppee...hats and horns time people...I finished another Blackbird stocking. Yes, I'm still behind but at least I have 14 done. So tonight I start on my 15th stocking. I am never going to win the race on this project, but I'm still hoping to have 36 done by the end of the year. I'll do the Halloween stockings as well, but I'm just shooting for 36 this year. Update on the freight elevator...I could have built this thing faster. You'll going to love this...they got the lift in, finally, started it up and it ran beautifully....that is until they put luggage on it. It seems the braintrust that are putting this in ordered a motor which would hold 600 pounds. The only problem with that is the freight lift itself, which the motor has to hoist, is 600 pounds. So as long as we just want to hoist the empty lift up and down...this thing is useless. So we're waiting once again for a new motor. Honestly, I've never seen anything to beat this...ridiculous. And they still haven't finished the personal elevator repairs (although we are able to use it) and I'm still holding their notorized bill which states they finished the work on this. People this is no way to run a railroad. I firmly believe they should be fined by me and my bill reduced...but we all know this isn't going to happen. I have written them a letter though telling them what I thought of the job they were doing, or not doing according to some of us. But we move on. Mary's birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks so I thought I'd purchase a nice pair of maternity jeans for her. People...have you looked at the price of a nice pair of Jeans....$258 or in the neighborhood of that on a lot of web sites. I about died...jeans, we're not talking a cocktail dress....we're talking jeans. Well I have to say, I don't know who is wearing these jeans, and may I say you probably look lovely, but Mary won't be. I told her what I had wanted to do, the price of the jeans, and she agreed that was too much. So she went on-line and found a very nice pair reduced to $59.00 from $110. $110 for jeans, are you kidding me. I guess I've been shopping at Walmart too long. Jeans...$110...I can't go there. $59 I'm willing to go. I did compensate by ordering her a top that was $145...and I'm telling you I almost choked on that, but I bit the bullet and did it. Back in the day I made my maternity clothes...I may just be getting out the machine again...yeah, like that's going to happen. I'll just spend the money and forget it. But I think of all the projects I could buy...oh, my..wish I hadn't. I've got to end this dribble and concentrate on work. Talk to you later. Hope your summer is ending well...the heat is killing me...come on cool air. Have a great weekend.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Did you hear about the toilet paper shortage?

Let me first say that I have a toilet paper fetish...I always have about 3 of the Sam's Club size packages at my house for fear of just that sort of event so when I went on the internet today and saw "shortage of toilet paper" I knew I was doing the right thing by hording it. Of course I then read the article and it's happening in Cuba. (O.K., it may spread to the United States in which case I'll be considered a genius for the forethought.) I love the response from Castro...he tells everyone to use 1 ply instead of 2...use less sheets...or use cigar leaves? What the just know he has plenty of tissues in his bathroom but expects the rest of Cuba to use Tobacco leaves...that should take cigars out of the marketplace. Just like a man to come up with that solution. You have to feel sorry for the Cubans..stuck with a leader who suggests wiping your ass on leaves..honestly...what will he suggest next? I'm not sure, but since Tobacco is a cancer hazard, does this mean you could get ass cancer? Wow, I need to make a run to Walmart to load up on Toilet Tissue...don't come to me when there's a shortage... Aside from that stupidity, it's too hot down here to function. Honestly, I feel naucous from the heat and I'm in air-conditioning. My body was certainly not made for 95 degrees not counting the humidity, in fact the temp. registered 110 when the humidity factor was added in. Stepping out into the hallway, which is not air-conditioned is like walking into an oven. And folks, you can stick a fork in me as I'm done! With Renee out helping to deliver her 4th grandchild, I've been working overtime....and frankly Salty Yarns is the coolest place in the building so I really don't mind. Having to put up with non-stitchers is sometimes a pain in the ass, but for the a/c I'm willing to put up with it. With the Drunk asshole gone..oh, did I tell you his parting words to Sara. The jackass had walked past her again the night before he left holding the cigarette cupped in his hand so she couldn't really see it, but she could smell it, so she was going to let him have it on the way out. He comes down the stairs the day he left, walks by her and says, "See ya Babe," which so freaked her out she wouldn't go anywhere near him. So the tenants who had asked her for a bucket of ice had to wait until he was out of the building before she would go back and get it for fear he'd touch her. It sure is fun running a small little hotel in Ocean City. We thought the Drunken Asshole's leaving would end the drama for Sara....but we were so wrong. But let me give you a little back history...because we are small, 53 units...most of which are apartments...we get a lot of family reunions. Once such group comes with over 20 people taking up several apartments. They've been coming for years. About 5 years ago added to the group was one of the sons who brought his wife and his 2 children. However, when he called for the reservation he said he wanted the small efficiency, Ocean Front, with the balcony overlooking the boardwalk for 2. Of course we were outside when he arrived and Sara had the look of a deer caught in headlights and when I asked what was wrong she said, "That man with the wife & 2 kids is suppose to be going into the efficiency for 2." So I said, "Well someone has to break it to them that they can't have that apartment because it has only 1 bed and fire regulations won't allow us to put more than 2 in it." So she goes over and he says, "Oh, the kids are staying with my father in his unit." Which we all knew was a bold faced lie, but until we saw that we couldn't refute it. However, his father decided to go back to the city early and left on Thursday. So I asked housekeeping to let me know if anyone went into that apartment...which they didn't...which meant the kids were with the parents in the efficiency. ( how comfortable could that have been. Small unit, one double bed and 2 adults and 2 kids with no room to play I might add) We let it go with a note that we were going to let them know at the end of the week that they would not be allowed to rent something that small again. So we tell them as they check out (nicely of course), and when this schmuck gets home he writes the owner, (me) a letter telling me how he should not have to pay for the week because the unit was too small for his family and the plug in air freshener (which in all honesty I didn't even know was in there...must have been put in by a former tenant as we don't put them in the units) was hot to the touch so it was a fire hazard. He said he had a miserable week (I guess so asshole with 4 people in a space for 2). He also said, if I didn't refund his money none of his other relatives would be staying here in the future. And he signed it as if it came from a law firm. First of all...the letterhead was computer generated on a home computer, and I'm pretty sure every law firm has their letter head printed professionally and second of all the guy is an idiot. So I write to each of the family members who rented at the same time as he did, telling them how sorry I was they would no longer be returning as reported by this jackass and how we appreciated their business over the years. Those letters went out and I'm telling you the minute those were opened we got calls from his relatives telling us they all wanted their units back and what an asshole this kid was. So needless to say...I got the last word (and isn't that what's most important). Anyway, Sara was out back after her Drunken "Crackhead" asshole left and she sees this guy drive in with his wife and children. She's freakin out once again and comes running in to tell me he got back in somehow. Well, he didn't get back in...he was here with members of his family who always rented. I told her there was nothing I could do about that, but found it amazing that he would actually show his face again. So Sara has spent the week kicking him off the parking lot (his car was over the allotted amount for that apartment which gave her some satisfaction) and generally keeping her eagle eye on him. She wears me out with all the tenants she keeps an eye on. As I was leaving the other night she always walks me out, and we saw 3 teenage boys hanging around the back of the "dollhouse" (we give employees houseing in this building) and they were really acting funny. When they saw we weren't going to move they dropped what they had and went in the back of the hotel. So Sara goes over and finds that what they dropped was a slingshot for water balloons and of course a supply of water balloons. We threw their stash in the dumpster and I went home. Next day, C.J., comes in and announces that water balloons are being thrown off the Condor porch. So I call that jackass and he says, "Oh, I don't know anything about that." So I said, "Go out and tell your grandsons to stop it now or I will be kicking them out." We haven't had a balloon sail past for the past 24 hours. Honestly, people is it too much to ask that you act like civilized people when you are on vacation? Do you just loose what sense you have? Honest to God...these people just wear me down. I feel like I've done nothing but fight all summer, IRS, Town, elevator people...and may I say we still don't have a working lift. They've been here working on it solid for 9 days, but still no action. Each time they come they find something else they need Vernon to do before they do what they have to do. And this weekend we slow down so the boys downstairs won't be working so hard starting this weekend anyway...naturally. I'm so over this elevator business I can't tell you how much. Today, it's now Thursday, I'm in Sea Trader and this gives me just too much to look at. The counter is right in front of the windows without any obstructions so I get to people watch. Good Lord have people decided they don't need to do a last minute check before they walk out the door. A woman just came into the shop and I swear it looks like she has a cupcake with a cherry on top sitting on top of her head. I swear it does. Now why would anyone decide that the best place to stick their "bun" was in the center of their head? That doesn't look good on anyone. I found this so distracting I could barely wait on her. I kept wanting to ask if she actually realized the hair was sitting there. Then I looked at her daughter who's hair was also pulled up, but it was sitting correctly on her head so I then refocused on the mother. Yep, she had a cupcake of hair sitting squarely on top of her head. Good Job though, it was in the center. Then I wondered why neither her husband or her daughter told her she looked stupid. I guess it was so they could look so much better...sort of takes the focus off of them. And the tatoos on women...honestly I find that so distracting as well. Big tatoos all over everywhere...I can't figure out what the point is here. An expression of what? And I have to tell you...many of them aren't good tatoos. While I am no expert on this particular thing...I can tell you whether someone has drawn well or not, and a lot of these are not. Ladies, please resist the urge...not a good look. And then I wonder...what will they look like in a beautiful gown...not a pretty look day...oh, my God...definitely not a good look. Ladies put them where they aren't visible. That's the answer..put them where I can't see them, because as we all's all about me! Kathy K. has been here all week with her children and she came over to stitch last night. I think she put in about 3 stitches and spent the rest of the time talking a customer into buying a kit. Good for you Kathy....that's just what I need...volunteers to talk people into things. But she has gotten a lot accomplished here on vacation. She finished at least 3 projects in the 5 days she's been here so far. That's a good thing. Did I tell you Renee is a grandmother again for the 4th time and it's another girl, Elizabeth. That's 4 girls for her. I have the 2 boys, with another on the way I'm sure. I'm dying for a little granddaughter, but God seems to think I need the boys. They are so different from girls...but that's O.K., I'm getting pretty good at laying down tracks for trains and cars. O.K., I'm distracted again. A woman, rather tall, incredibly skinny just walked in with her baby and mother. She has on short short shorts and yes, when she turned around there were her ass checks showing below the short. Is this necessary? Did I want to see her ass? I can tell you I did not. Oh, my God, this will be going on all day since it's an overcast day...I'm not sure I can stand head may explode. And I have a new pet peeve I should tell you about. When ever anyone asks me the price of our DMC and I say .54 , nine times out of ten they come back with ".54 " cents? Now, it's floss people, would it be $54? No, so what else is there beside cents. It can't be Euro...we're in America...It can't be what the hell else would it be? I don't know why this aggravates me so much, it just does. Perhaps it's because I've been asked it every single night all summer by at least 1 person per night. Well I'm going to post this now since I haven't posted in a while. I'll keep you posted though as the day wears on and the aggravation overtakes my calm. Have a great day and stay dry...because you know it's going to rain.