Monday, April 27, 2009

And I even showered for this.....

I had to go to our bank today, dragging along Sara, as I needed money for the now famous freight elevator. Sara got gussied up in her best outfit, put on make-up, and I myself, well I managed a shower but decided the sight of me with make-up dripping down my face in this 85 degree heat wasn't going to be pretty. I armed myself with the necessary documents, bitching the entire way since I was having to go to a branch with people I had never dealt with, and frankly that's just wrong. I'm used to my branch and my people at my branch, and frankly they are use to my strange behavior (they never see me..they just deal with Sara). So I'm bitching the entire time, much to Sara's embarrassment...if I heard, "Mom, be quiet they can hear you"once I heard it 20 times. Finally the woman we were meeting strolled out of her office, and my God, she was in the tackiest white, yes white before Memorial weekend...that's just wrong...and the tackiest blouse...well it was just too distracting I couldn't concentrate. So I handed over the documents and waited only to have her say, "now, I see you asked for $50,000" to which I replied, "no, but I wouldn't be opposed to it." So then she says, "well, why don't we ask for as much as we can get and if you don't need it you don't have to use it and it won't cost you anything." I looked at Sara like, "what the hell is she talking about," but answered, "Sure whatever." And that folks was the end of the meeting...and I showered for this. We were back in the shop before it opened, O.K. we were about 5 minutes late but that was because I asked Sara to pick something up at my house and remembered after we got inside I had it in my tote in the car (I think I'm getting senile more so every day.) So off we went to work and I went into the shop before I remembered my sewing tote was still in the car. But isn't that why we have children...I just looked at Mary and pitifully said, "Oh Crap..I left my sewing in the car." She was so thrilled to be leaving she offered to get it for me....yes, this is why we have wait on us in our old age. I tried to work in the office, but it must be 100 friggin degrees in there, so I came into the air-conditioned shop (wasn't it just 5 days ago we had heat on in here?) I should have stayed in the office and put up with the heat because they must have let the bus from the crazy house off in front because we dealt with several of them. But the one that angered me the most had to be the stocking lady. First she grabbed 2 Just Nan leaflets and yammered on about doing them as one piece but they were different sizes and so I took them from her and explained nicely exactly how that could be done without looking like they came from 2 different books. I thought I was done and went to sit down (after all I had been on my feet for about 2 minutes). Next thing I knew she had put those leaflets back (and I'm sure not on the correct rack) and now she had Shepherd's Bush stockings in her hand. I'm O.K. with this so far, and I was alright with the discussion of her not wanting to purchase the charms which we have attached to the stockings (we are more than willing to take the charms off and just sell the patterns). However, I became astonished when she pointed out that she liked part of the one leaflet but wanted the trains off the second leaflet and then, here it comes..."would I mind copying the trains for her so she didn't have to purchase them and the $4.00 book." It took me a couple of minutes to shut my mouth which was just hanging open in disbelief, before I said, "No I will not...that's copyright infringement and that's illegal." And she said, "Oh, so you can't do that." What part of copyright infringement do you not understand? Honestly do people think these designers make a living .... it certainly can't happen if we are just copying charts for people. Needless to say I was done right there. During this Sara got my order for lunch and I said to her, "You better bring me a cookie or something because I'm going to need some form of satisfaction when this woman is gone." By the way, I got a cookie, one didn't even know you could buy one she not seen me...One cookie doesn't fill a cavity, but I ate it and was grateful for it. But one cookie...I think it should be passed into law that there can be no less than 3 cookies sold at a time...let's all contact our congressmen...folks because this is an injustice if eveer there was one. We can call it "The Cookie Legislation" and I'll be happy to have my name attached to it..."Sally's Cookie Legislation." Now that's a law that I can get my name behind....unlike some of the stupid crap the governement has passed. Well let's not go there or I could be here all day bitching about it. The weather is way too hot for me, although I'm sure in the freezing temperatures of winter I swore I'd never complain when it got hot...O.K., so this isn't a complaint, it's an observation. It was hot, hot, hot and I'm way too fat, fat, fat for these temps so the 60 that's it's going to sounds fine to me. They are still talking thunderstorm possibilities for the weekend, however that's bound to change somewhat before the weekend (would you love to be paid to be a weatherman...never matters if you are right or wrong you still get paid?) so let's all keep our fingers crossed for that, because in 2 days, yes, it's finally down to 2 days our first stitchers arrive and we are ready, waiting and excited. Of course the real work starts for us...Sara is already preparing her checklist on the reception and I'm already working on the lasagna...O.K., I'll be working all day Tuesday on it, but it's in my thoughts now. Oh, my...I'd better go shopping or I won't have my part done. So I'll end here with if you are coming to Ocean City, pack shorts and pants, sweatshirts and t-shirts because we just aren't sure of the weather and remember your umbrellas. And whatever else happens, please drive carefully as we want everyone to arrive safely. For those who aren't coming...I'll keep you posted on who is naughty and who behaves themselves. Have a great day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh, My God...tonight's Survivor was the best...

Survivor has been on for so many years now, that the first episodes are really not that interesting, however, tonight it got interesting again. Finally after listening to the idiot "Coach" proclaim himself the dragon slayer, the warrior and picking the warrior's alliance, he finally got blindsided and while he was not the target tonight, he's certainly close. He and Tyson continually talked about what wonderful players they were (and you just know that is never good), how they were controlling the game, etc., only to be blindsided at tonights council. I all but applauded and would have done the happy dance, however, I ate one piece too many of the pizza and I ended up like a beached whale on the sofa. But I was so excited I finally got up to let you know how excited I am with tonight's outcome. I say congrats to the lot that are still on the island and you can be sure I'll be watching next week. So for those arriving Thursday night remember the long as Survivor is on no one speaks in the lobby. Yes, I said it....I have to be able to hear the show. It's been a standing rule since Survivor began and while some adhere to the rule, others ignore it... I will be enforcing the rule, that's assuming I'll still be awake. That's assuming I have the goodie bags assembled...uhh, perhaps I won't be watching T.V. in the lobby, so I guess if I'm not there everyone is on their own. I've been keeping my eye on the weather and for the next week it looks like summer is on. Saturday is suppose to be in the 70's...whoppee!!!! So I'm keeping my fingers crossed for 70's next weekend, and I'm hoping that 20% chance of rain next Wednesday doesn't appear. And there's a good chance it won't since they can't seem to forecast tomorrow let alone a week from now. But anyway, since there are so many of us next weekend we need the good weather so we can sit out front on the rockers, and stitch while we watch the waves rolling in. The April Blackbird stockings arrived today and I immediately sent them out to the automatic customers, except those coming to the Spring retreat. If you want your stockings to be sent to you as opposed to putting them in the holding tank for you, just e-mail me and I'll send them along. Otherwise I'll have them in the holding tank for you. Now I have to decide to stitch the stockings or keep working on my Sail Away.....oh, never a good choice...I don't know. I'll keep you informed of course. Must run...have a great day

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Any Day Stitching is a Great Day!

Apparently the weather man hasn't gotten the memo regarding spring...summer, so Sunday the temperatures went down and the sky stayed overcast all day. Linda W. also didn't get the message that it wasn't spring weather as she showed up wearing a short sleeve blouse and swearing about how cold it was here compared to the 70 degrees she and Candi left in Chincoteague. After finding a sweatshirt for her we all sat down for our weekly Stitch 'n Bitch. Linda finishing up her Quaker Pinkeep, Candi W. working on Serenity Prayer from Erica Michaels (and she is moving along on this...I swear she's half done and she just picked the chart up on Tuesday at Stitch 'n Bitch...girl's got a goal). I continued stitching on Liberty from Little House Needleworks...apparently I'm going for the record on working on a project. In my defense...I only work on this at work...and of course with the paper avalanche on my desk I don't have a lot of time to stitch. It's now Tuesday and I'm over stressed getting things done in time for the Spring Retreat. As usual there have been a few glitches in our system. Sara is, as usual, about to kill me (I could actually use the break), since I informed her today my list of attendees has grown to around 70 stitchers. We have several new attendees, and frankly they weren't my problem. My problem becomes my inability to tell our previous attendees that if they don't sign up in time we can't add them to the list. While we have the room for everyone, as anyone who has been to one of our retreats knows, it's the lobby that won't hold 70, and even with the added room for 24 down the hallway, we still can't comfortably hold 70 people. I'm praying for sun so we can utilize the porch...but then there's the lobby...oh, my! Well, we'll all just have to have patience and sqeeze in a little. Just remember, we're taking the policy we've had for the last few saving of chairs in the lobby. If you are going for a walk, you are welcome to leave your stitching by the chair, but you can't save the chair. If we keep rotating in and out of chairs we'll all get to sit in the lobby. I'm thankful that some of the stitchers in the larger apartments hold their own little retreats in their units, or weather permitting out on their porches, so that's helpful. Oh, well, it is what it is and we'll make it work. What I'm having trouble making work also is the contents of the goodie bags. I ordered 60 of something (and even that wasn't enough but at the time it was...) and I received 5. It's up in the air what the goodie bags are going to contain at this point, but there again, we're trying to make it work. Blame it on the economy. The wholesalers don't want to be caught with extra merchandise so they are not stocking as much....crap! Spoke with Lois from Elegant Stitch who is also having an event and she is having the same problem. But I'm working overtime on that and Wednesday I will have all confirmations for this event in the mail. This reminds me of something....where does all that mail go that never gets delivered? I got a call a couple of days ago from one of the stitchers asking about her check mailed at least a month ago yet hadn't been cashed. I searched my desk to make sure I didn't have it and I didn't. Now where is that darn check? I too have experienced this "lost mail" issue....and everything has a return address label so where is this mail? Do you suppose it is in someone's closet? I know it's not in our mailman's closet because our Mike is the best. We love Mike and he's a great mail person. So it's anyone's guess where all the mail is. I just know someday someone is going to open a closet in a house and it will be filled with mail...and my letters will be in there. Housewives update: thank God Ellen S. has keep me up to date on all the blogs regarding these idiots, but you notice Ramona has the look of a deer in headlights. I figured it out tonight as I watched her. She is always looking for the camera, getting her head shot right and continually shaking her hair...someone must of told her she looked younger doing that. Or she thinks she's a model posing, but frankly...she just looks like a deer in headlights shaking her hair. Her rehearsal for her upcoming gig on Homeshopping network was pathetic...she's not as good as she seems to think she is. Tonight's episode was taped around Halloween and all these broads were going to numerous parties. Now I like Jill the best at this point but even I had to take a moment to say, "Are you kidding me." She had outfits designed (that's what I said, designed) for she and her dog (I think it's a dog, could be a rat). They went as L Woods and Bruiser from the movie. I have to say the designer did well, even had the hat for the dog/rat. But the next night she went to the party Kelly (the assaulter) was throwing and she had on a Marie Antoinette outfit...not a good one, but an expensive one. Has she heard about the economy? The worse the economy is the more she's spending on crap! I mean her apartment renovation...don't even get me started, but it is a bit of overload. ortunately the dog/rat was a no show at the second party but poor Bobby was following along(he's long on patience, and money). Alex and Simon showed up as Sarah Palin and a moose. Now it wasn't such a bad idea, but they honestly stayed out in front of the building posing for photographers far too long. They must have set up 6 different shots. It was suppose to be a red carpet stand, pose, let the photogs get a shot and move on....apparently Alex and Simon didn't get the message. Oh, yea, Simon also paid $7,000 on a bustier for Alex for charity made out of a feed bag and the word "feed" was displayed on the very front and Alex has decided that it is perfect for the opening of the opera. People, please someone stop these people. First of all, Simon and Alex love to talk about how much they spend...I will give the Countess credit (and we know I give her credit for nothing normally) for never talking money. When her daughter asked her how much a dress was she was looking at, she looked at the tag, but never mentioned the cost (and we know if she's buying it it's expensive). I loved that the Countess' daughter who is in boarding school now, was taken to Goodwill by her friend at school and she actually purchased 2 sweaters and some scarves for $9.00. She was astounded (didn't know what goodwill was to begin with) and found she loved the experience. I give the Countess credit for not gagging as she was being told the princess was now wearing someone else's clothes that she purchased from Goodwill. Perhaps there's hope for the daughter. And Kelly...the boyfriend assaulter...well there is absolutely no hope for this one. She constantly reminds the camera that she's a model...she has failed to mention her arrest, or the fact that she got fired by Macy's where she did model. She was initially a no show at the party she was hosting however, did arrive a couple hours later...but by then the other housewives had already left. Her reasoning was she is a mother! Now she threw the hissy fit when discussing Jill's charity event when she was told her name would be listed in the credits. Oh no said she, "I never put my name on anything." And yet, as Jill pointed out, she put her name on a party that had random people...and a cash bar and nothing else as far as I could tell. And she didn't show up to welcome anyone. Yeah, she's a real ass -ett. Honestly, I don't care how pathetic my life might appear, it's still better than any of theirs. Well, it's Wednesday morning and once's raining. Have I moved to England? Rain has been here for the last 3 days...I'm about to drown. I realize the farmers need rain, but do we need 3 days of it? Well, I have to get ready for work so I'll talk to you later.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The April Stockings are on their way.

You heard me right...finally the April stockings have made their appearance at the distributor and they are making their way to Salty Yarns and should be in house Wednesday or Thursday. For those on the automatic...we will be shipping these out the day they arrive...I'll have the envelopes ready to go and we will invoice you for the leaflet so the wait is almost over. This also means that we will be receiving one chart a month...this project is so doable....I can't wait! I've spent the night working on my "Sail Away" from Shepherd's Bush. I love this piece, and it's moving along nicely. I've made a couple of changes (is that news?) as I didn't like the way the telescope looked and once I satin stitched that the hat looked funny so I had to satin stitch that and then the shoes looked funny, so I satin stitched those. That's really the only changes I've made on this piece. It's just too pretty. Speaking of pretty...folks, we are in the high 60's maybe even hitting 70 degrees in Ocean City, folks are on the beach, in swimwear, people walking the boardwalk...yes we are in hog heaven right now and praying to stay here for the rest of the summer. Oh, my I had almost forgotten what warm temps and the sun felt like. I hate to say it, but here it comes..."This stitchers is Paradise." Unfortunately, even in Paradise there are spots which seem like hell...namely my office. The desk is piled high, but I think there is a box under the pile making it seem worse than it actually is, but it's pretty bad. But I'm here chipping away at it slowly but surely. Got a call today from 3 of our regulars wanting to sign up for the spring retreat. We're already over 60, (so don't tell Sara) but I went ahead and signed them up, even though goodie bags are already here for I've put in a call to the goodie bag people to see about getting more....we're keeping our fingers crossed. Joanne B. was in and picking out all sorts of things...Olde Colonial boxes, Jill Rensel mats, etc., and said, "Why don't you have a lay away plan." So I said, "you want to lay away, I'll lay it away no problem," so folks we now have a lay away plan...we're getting just like the big companies. Things I hate: I got home to find that people had taken all the parking but one space at the very end of the street. I was a good sport however, didn't even curse, I'm thankful people are back in Ocean City moving around, shopping, beaching it...yes, I'm ready for the tourist season to begin again. But what I absolutely hate...yes, seeing grown up men or women wearing clothes their teenage children should be wearing (or in this case not wearing). At first I thought he was a teenager and wondered why his mother (as it was she was a girlfriend but looked older than he did) didn't make him dress properly. I realize I'm from the stone age, but honestly, a grown up man with his hat on sideways (that doesn't even look good on my day only the challenged children couldn't figure out where the brim went). I've really never seen a dumber look in my life. To add to the overall picture his pants were cropped and fell to around his calf and the waist of his pants fell around his crack (for lack of a better description)...and of course he wore a chain. Honestly, I wanted to walk up to him, slap him across the head and tell him to be a better example to his child....yes, there was a young boy, with a mohawk with them and he had to be around my Michaels age, 8. Honestly it was quite the picture. Of course it's the men in suits that have tried to take this country down financially, so perhaps I should applaud this young man for not following that trend. Can we not strike a happy medium...put the damn hat on straight, I can even tolerate it backward, but for God sakes sideways...that I can't stand. Well, I've got to end so I can go stitch...I can't's calling for me. Have a great night...keep stitching. Talk to you tomorrow.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The sun came out and my chocolate arrived...

Yes it was a good day on Thursday, except....I fell asleep before Survivor and woke up after it was over so now I've got to wait for them put it online so I can see it...crap! But the good news is....the sun came out today....and while it was a little cool...the sun came out. Alleluia...and the better news's getting warmer and this weekend is suppose to be in the 60's. Yes, summer is right around the corner. And my chocolate arrived. Oh, my God, I'm back to dipping my cookies and strawberries....ahh, all is right with the world. And more good news...the goodie bags for the retreat arrived....and I've been busy ordering stuff to go in them and that's starting to arrive...which means Spring Retreat is right around the corner....oh, we can hardly wait. Now, I promised you I'd put up pictures of Linda W.'s casket and here it is....the first picture is the top of the casket. I don't need to explain the other pictures, except I wanted to point out the front. Here she put her initials and date of birth, plus the finish date, and each of her daughters initials and their date of birth. This makes the casket even more valuable to's a true family heirloom. Linda stitched this in about a month and had it to us to display in the shop Palm Sunday. She took it to her framer to have the pieces mounted and they did a beautiful job with that. If you need framing done, try Classic Framers in Salisbury...they are very good. The casket itself was made locally and retails for approximately $180.00. The Sampler Cove chart is retired but in it's place they have a new Quaker Design that's called "Quaker Casket Again" which looks just like the original Quaker Casket! Anyway, Kudos to Linda for a gorgeous piece and it will hold so much. There is plenty of room inside these caskets to hold so many needlework smalls, or perhaps supplies, well, let's just say it will hold alot. Linda and her daughter Candi are so sweet and stitch such wonderful pieces, which they then bring in and let me use for display. So when you come in, take a look at their projects....inspirational. I spent the day in the shop and couldn't wait to get home to stitch. What am I working on...still working on the Shepherd's Bush, "Sail Away" and Little House Needleworks, "Liberty and Justice." I'm halfway done with Sail Away and 1 hour away from finishing Liberty and Justice...I'm so excited because that means I get to start a new piece, and I have plenty to choose from at home or with new pieces coming in every day in the shop...I have those to choose from. Oh, My, I'm just too busy going through stash and the shop. Have you looked at the Needlework Show on-line. It's always fun going through the show because there are a lot of companies I've never dealt with and it's interesting to see what they have. Of course, I've placed a few I'm exciting as I wait for them to arrive. Every day is like Christmas now as we head into our busy season. Very exciting for the shop. Well, I've got to end so have a great day....and I'll talk to you later.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You are not going to believe this....

I lost my broadband connection a couple of days ago, which makes things incredibly hard for me since I do a lot of stuff at home for the shop, ordering, picking up orders, answering e-mails...well, you get my drift. Anyway, today I came home and called Comcast, my broadband supplier...went through the whole gammet of "if you are a customer press 1, if you have a problem press 2" needless to say it took me a couple of tries since I kept pressing the wrong buttons (I am too old for technology) but I finally got the message I was looking for "if you would like to speak to a rep press 1" and I was pressing 1 like my life depended upon it. Hector answered, and I lost a little hope thinking I might be talking to Mexico, but Hector turned out to be English speaking and a gentlemen and my savior. I explained that I lost the connection, turned off the box and turned it back on and still nothing...he took more information so I thought a repairman was in my future. I looked around the house, which was cleaned a month ago for the repairman from Comcast (I'm starting to think my Mother is orchestrating this from heaven as a means to keep my house picked up and clean) and thought.."well I've got to do some picking up before I allow anyone in..." and then Hector asked if I was in front of my computer so I went back to my needlework/computer room and sat down..he said turn on the computer and try to bring up the internet and low and behold he was able to reconnect it from his desk. I love Hector. And, this is what you are not going to believe.....Hector then asked how long the connection had been down and I said 2 days (could have been 3 but I thought what the hell)...and it comes...Hector then said, "If you will just hold on for a minute, I'll credit your account for the 2 days you were unable to get on the internet." I was floored since I lost it before and no one said that to me. I'm asking for Hector from now on....It may be pouring rain outside, but I'm having the best day. And that is amazing since I just got back from putting my taxes in the mail....oh, my, that feeling that I'm just throwing money down a rat me a somewhat sinking feeling, however, I am glad it's over and done with. This time of year gives me a ulcer. Stitch 'n Bitch...we had the usual suspects at Stitch 'n Bitch this time. Kay F. brought the goodies and she went way beyond the call of duty. Oh, boy, I'm telling you it's worth coming to Stitch 'n Bitch just to eat, which is basically what I do, and I have to tell you I do it well. I did have 3 new pieces to show and tell. The first one I actually finished in time for the May 2008...but it sat in a closet for almost a year because I was too lazy to take it to the framer. It's the Little House Needleworks "Heart of America" with the frame from Crescent Colours. I just loved this piece and love it even today. There was a quirk which I found of the rectangular areas was suppose to have your date of finish in it, but then they also had one that was suppose to show your date of starting it. Well I started and finished in one month so I thought 2 of the same date didn't make sense to I ended up using something different in that square, block whatever. But I am thrilled to have it framed and hanging now. The second piece was also finished in 2008, sometime in December and since it's a Shepherd's Bush you know I loved it. It was such a pleasure to work on, and the different stitches were so much fun. It was kitted with vintage fabric, which is not a big favorite of mine...I'm just not a splotchy person, however, I was too lazy to cut new fabric so I just went with it. But part of the splotch looks like a line which just looks like I didn't clean it and it was dirty. When I put it down for the framer she actually said, "Would you like to take this home and try to get this out?" So while I still don't like that specific part, I loved the process. And I also like the overall piece. It's called "Emmanuel". Now, I am also a "hater" of the lettering that Shepherd's Bush has been using for the last several years, primitive looking to me. When I first started doing Shepherd's Bush they had the most elegant lettering, just beautiful and I love all my old Shepherd's Bush pieces because of it. Then several years ago they switched to a very primitive lettering which frankly sometimes is very difficult to read. I just think it detracts from the lovely pieces and so I've always regraphed the words using different lettering. I found an alphabet by Merry Cox that I've been using recently and that's what is shown on this one. The framer used a beautiful frame which had a burgundy tint that is just gorgeous on this piece. My final piece is a Country Cottage Collection piece that came out in Nashville 2009 (I catching up)...called "She Sells Seashells", isn't it just cute, cute, cute? I had it framed in the Crescent Frame which I thinks just fits it perfectly. Then, Candi W. brought her Milady's Needle "Acorn Box & Scissor Fob (which she finished at Stitch 'n Bitch so she could teach us what she learned in the Jane Timmer Class). She did such a wonderful job with it. It's stitched over 2 on 40 count. Candi does such beautiful stitching and she's only really been into it for about a year. She's even turned a room in her house into a stitching room which you can see if you go on her blog. She is so cute when she talks stitching because she's so enthusiastic. In the beginning she only worked on one project at a time...then it was two at a time. She now says she will only work on 3 at a time, but last night she bought another chart and fabric and said she just has to start this one too, making it 4....there isn't a stitcher alive who can't relate to that. Attached to her scissor fob are the little gem scissors from Kelmscott which are the perfect size for the little acorn box, don't you think? Tomorrow I'm going to post the pictures of Linda W.'s casket. It's too gorgeous for words and there are several pictures since there are stitched pieces on 5 sides, and I'm exhausted from posting you will just have to wait until tomorrow. Chocolate report: for those of you who have followed my chocolate coating drama, it continues. I was fixing salads, etc., for the annual church card party, and while at the grocery store saw the strawberries were on sale, so I thought, I'll just dip some strawberries as an added treat. Not one lick of chocolate coating could I find. Now I know I could add parafin to chocolate chips, but people...I don't want to do that (but if forced will)...I want my coating and I want it now. I e-mailed the Eagle Brand company since their name is on it and after 2 years and 2 tries, they answered me this time and informed me that they no longer carried it for Borden I would have to contact Borden. So I got on my trusty computer, went to the Borden web site and asked where their stores were and got one who would Eagle Brand Borden Chocolate coating...oh, my God. I ordered 20 pounds of it, yes 20 pounds of chocolate coating. I had at least 10 pounds after Christmas and yet I was down to -0- after Jane Timmers weekend. You all know how I love to dip those cookies. Anyway, I'll be back in the strawberry dipping, cookie dipping business any day. Whoopee....just in time for Spring Retreat. Got to stitching is calling me. I've got 2 pieces in the works, one nearing completion and the other a week away. I'm on a roll now after being at Stitch 'n Bitch. Many of the ladies were working on their Lauren Sauer pieces, but not all and they inspire me every time to go home and stitch like a maniac...which is what I intend to do now. So have a great day, save some time for stitching...and I'll talk tomorrow and post Linda's pictures.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Update on Ruth Chris Steak House...

As usual (or at least for the past 2 years) I took the family to Ruth Chris Steak House, which as you may recall was a disaster of sorts last year. This was a totally different experience for us last night. First there were only 3 of us as Mary and her family spent Easter Sunday with Brian's family. Michael was with his father which left us with no a restaurant. Obviously we were having a different kind of dinner. But the real difference last night was the waiter who was wonderful. Anyone going to Ruth Chris's in Ocean City/Berlin ask for Scott. He was efficient, cheerful, accommodating and eager. I couldn't find one thing wrong with the dinner or the service...excellent experience. Now the people at the table beside us...what a pain in the ass for a server. First of all, Ruth Chris is not a blue jean kind of place for dinner, in my opinion. But there was Mr. Big Shot (couldn't have been over 30) sitting there in blue jeans and a shirt, no tie, no jacket (at night in a upper scale restaurant). When Scott went to him to see if he could get them anything else he was informed that they wanted their left overs packed up. Not once, but several times Scott was told that this person was very particular about the way his left overs were packed up. Scott reassured him that he would take great care with his LEFTOVERS, and would see that they were packed up properly. But that just wasn't good enough, the man then said, I don't want any of the items touching each other so everything has to be packed individually and organized. ORGANIZED, we aren't talking about a presentation people, we're talking left overs. I realize left overs are a foreign concept to me, since I never have any, well I might as well not have any as I don't like them and won't eat most of them (spaghetti and pizza are breakfast foods for me and I will eat them)...but really organized left overs....I just wanted to jump up, slap this guy in the head and tell him to get over himself. Pompous jackass. If you are that damn picky, bring your tupperware with you and pack it your own darn food up. Treating service people as if they are your personal slaves, or just too stupid to do the job correctly is ridiculous. In every industry there are people who aren't efficient, but they had Scott for a waiter and by the end of the meal it is clear he is efficient, so to insult him by instructing him on leftover etiquette is just unneccessary. Linda and Candi dropped by to stitch Sunday, and Candi is a waitress while she's getting her degree and she had to go to work Sunday night and wasn't looking forward to it as Easter Sunday in her restaurant brought out people who demanded rather than ask, harrassed rather than tipped, and generally just made her life miserable for the evening. I don't understand how it makes some people feel better about themselves to bring down others by their words and actions. I know how this feels as periodically I have someone return something in our store and instead of walking in and asking to return the item, they throw it on the counter and in a nasty tone say they are returning it ....... Perhaps because so many shops in Ocean City on the boardwalk are souvenir and don't take returns the customer is anticipating a hard time, but they don't even give us a moment. While we do have a return policy, we cannot take back leaflets, or fibers, or any opened kit, we do take everything else back if it's brought back in a timely fashion and that can be 3 months. But this isn't about us, it's about the treatment of service industry workers. If you get good service a tip is required, that's it don't fight it. It doesn't have to be 20%, although I think if you've ever had to waitress you would agree that 20% is a nice tip, but 15% is also nice. Just don't leave nothing. Even bad service to me gets a tip, not a good tip, but I give them something for effort...10%. I will admit that I've taken off for attitude, if you give me attitude I take a few points off which equates to less tip. It does get on my nerves that the tip in a higher scale restaurant is based on the amount of the check...that server generally doesn't run anymore than the waitress or waiters in a breakfast cafe or a luncheon diner and yet because of the size of the check the upscale waiter gets a lot more in tips. If I may go back to the Nashville lobster ($272) that check came to about $450 which means that the tip should have been $90.00, with good service. First the service wasn't good, and then they had the nerve to charge $272 for a lobster? Oh, God, you know that tip came down which it shouldn't have because the waiter didn't set the price, however, the waiter did know the market price and he should have said something, and because he didn't, well, let's just say his tip reflected that. He packed up the shell of the lobster ... idiot...instead of the lobster meat which I had put on a bread and butter plate and pointed it out when I asked to have it packaged and yet it still sat on the table when he presented us with the styrofoam container with the head of the lobster. And yes, I deducted for that, but he still took home enough money that if that was his only table he still had a good night. Scott, who gave better service, packed up the leftovers for Sara and presented them in a Ruth Chris bag for ease in taking it home, and who checked back frequently to see if we needed anything still ended up with less and he got the full 20% but the check was only $300 (only, that's a hoot, $300 for dinner for 3...oh my God, it's a good thing I don't go out often). Anyway, treat your service people's not always easy dealing with the public and strive to be the one they remember for all the right reasons, not the one they remember for being an asshole. Well, having say enough I'll end with ... Have a great night, day whatever, and keep your needles moving.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Have a Happy Hopping Easter....

Easter is here and you know what that means to us....we are now open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Connie reported for work today and Renee and Pat are not far behind. And when they are due in that means we clean 24/7 trying to get the place ready for summer. Frankly I'm exhausted from doing all the crap I was suppose to be doing all winter and instead of doing the work Sara and I just piled, and piled, and piled. But today we un-piled and starting getting stuff put where it was suppose to go. Sara is now downstairs working The Shell Shop and the Bikini Shoppe so I don't get to work with her anymore...that makes me sad...I love working with Sara most of the time and trust me working together in the hotel is not the same as when we are playing in Salty Yarns. But I'll manage somehow. We got 20 cartons in Sea Trader which they piled in front of the counter and what did I do....I stared at them and then ignored them...I know Pat will be here Sunday and I want to surprise her....I know she'll be thrilled to see so much work on her first day back. Well I was so inspired by Jane Timmer's class (even though I only sat in on 1 night) that I decided to get the Little House Needleworks "Traveling Stitcher's Case" finished. I had the stitching done over a week ago, but just kept putting off attaching it to the case. In my defense, we did just receive the finished cases, part of the Spring line, last week, but you know I looked at the pieces for at least a week and wondered if I was going to do it or pass it on to Carolyn. I even lined the stitched pieces in Black Bird fabric...yes, I was on a roll. And I'm thrilled with the finish pieces. Each of the finished pieces is sewn onto the case leaving the top part open so you can use it as a pocket. The needlecase piece becomes a scissor pocket. Cute! Housewives alert: Ellen S. who keeps me updated on anything to do with the Housewives e-mailed me the latest news on the Countess....her husband e-mailed her that he was less than satisfied with the marriage and apparently found a new love overseas and would not be returning. Now, as many of you know, after 31 years my "x" told me basically the same thing...O.K., it wasn't by e-mail...he wasn't overseas, but he had found a new he said, "someone who cared about him, unlike us." Yes, the little whiner left while I was shopping the Nashville market. Frankly, he did me a favor....while I didn't realize at the time. I love being alone...I love having control of the T.V., I love not having dirty dishes in the sink, unless they were put there by me. I love not having to make meals when I don't want to. I love being able to sit up as late as I want without someone whining about how many times he heard the refrigerator open, or how many times the toilet was flushed. Yes, ladies, if that man of yours moves on I say, take a day or two to cry and swear and then relish time alone with one of the best people in the! I can guarantee you he isn't having as much fun as you are. Well, at least that's how is it in my world. Everyday isn't a bed of roses, however, when I get home after a crappy day, my home is now my oasis and I don't have to listen to anyone's crap once I'm here. After 31 years I felt liberated...once I got past the crying....I'd say about a week. And at least I wasn't on T.V. while it happened...oh, Countess, I almost feel your pain. In case you are interested, the weather here is iffy at best, cooler by the ocean, but the sun was out all day yesterday so it was lovely. Today we're suppose to have rain all day, however, right now the sun is trying to escape from the clouds so I'm hopeful that the rain won't start until later in the afternoon, to give everyone some time in the sun, to ride bikes, walk the boardwalk...whatever. I hope it's sunny where you are and your Easter weekend is getting off with a bang. A perfect weekend to get some stitching done. Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Oh Crap!!!!!

I worked all morning blogging and forgot to post it and guess what? It didn't save it like it usually does so when I arrived home tonight to post was missing. So now I've had to start over which explains the Crap comment! Anyway, it was a wonderful weekend with 19 stitchers taking the class and Jane Timmers is one of the best teachers we've had. First of all she is very organized. Stitchers spent Friday night organizing their
notebooks and what a valuable tool this is going to be for them. In addition to samples of boards to use in finishing boxes, etc., they have samples of every type of lining, shirtex, etc. needed and then they made cordings using different fibers all of which is stored in the notebook for reference. They also finished a pinkeep to take home which demonstrates the 3 stitches used to finish items and made cording and sewed it on the pinkeep. They also learned to make the most gorgeous tassels that I'ver ever seen. Gorgeous. Everyone had a fabulous time and loved the class so much we've contracted Jane for 2010 to teach part 2 of the finishing techniques class. Jane is shown in the picture on the right along with our Candi who enjoyed every moment, as did the 3 Kays, Kay F., Kay O., and Kay B., and Molly L, Sandy G., Joan D., Beth J., Ellen S., Lois M., Debbie L., Phyllis Y., Janie H., Linda W., Stacy S., Kathie R., Theresa W., and Mary A. Sara and I would like to thank all the stitchers who signed on for this class and a big Thank you for Jane for such a wonderful class. I am proud to say I remembered to pick her up from the airport...if you recall I forgot to pick her up in the fall and she finally called to find out where someone was...(how embarrassing) and thankfull Debbie and Phyllis ran over to the airport, smoothed the ruffled feathers and took her out to Lunch and talked her into believing I wasn't a complete idiot. So she was amazed to see me standing in the airport waiting. Sara was a little concerned since I forgot my phone on my desk and she couldn't contact me to see if I was there or not. Anyway, the weekend went smoothly, the stitchers all got along and everyone was thrilled to be taking home a finished pinkeep as well as valuable knowledge on finishing all those smalls they have stitched. Sunday night I wish I had a camera on Debbie, Phyllis and Jane as they made extra long cording...they ended up with Phyllis going up the staircase and dangling it over the railing but my Lord it took them 45 minutes of figuring, etc., but it was so gorgeous when it was done that Jane decided to do the same thing. We even got Vernon in on it as I kept suggesting we get out the power drill to twist the cord. It gave us all quite a bit of entertainment, unfortunately it gave Phyllis a massive headache. Several of the stitchers stayed over on Sunday and tried to leave Monday morning, but by the time they got up and got downstairs the weather had taken a turn for the worse. We had warm temperatures and sun all weekend, Thank God, but Monday the rains, lightning, thunder, etc., arrived. But as stitchers, they just sat down in the lobby and stitched until they could get out. I went over at one point and there were 4 of them working on their Traveling Stitchers chart, which I completed last week and had mine finished in the shop. Or, at least I had the stitching completed, I just hadn't attached it to the case. But I will have it done this week...or at least I intend to get it sewn on the case. We'll see. Starting this Friday we will be open once again everyday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Renee, Connie and Pat will rejoin me in the shops, and I might add not a minute too soon. This weekend we had our share of lookie loos and had a few clueless shoppers who I dare say didn't even realize they were in a needlework store. But to make up for it we had some old friends like Barbara C., down from the city to say hi and shop so we try to focus on the stitchers and not on the tourists who happen to fall in the door. But I have to say, calling the DMC floss string does not make me warm up to you! I'm going to post this so it doesn't get lost so have a great night and a pleasant tomorrow.