Friday, April 6, 2012

Well blow me down!

Those are the immortal words of Popeye once again uttered when he stopped by my house yesterday & saw this.
Don't be alarmed.  Your eyes are not deceiving you.  What you see here really are 6 cross stitched pinkeeps in the throes of construction.  I don't know what came over me.  We all know how much I hate to finish cross stitch projects.  I was just talking about this the other day.  However, yesterday something came over me & I pressed & measured & cut & fused & backed & sewed & stuffed & ladder stitched my heart out & felt semi-contented doing so!  I even tried a different type of stuffing which I think is my favorite so far   : )   I don't want to spill the beans on that one yet though & no, it's not beans.  Anyway, here's what the pinkeeps look like today.
Yes, that's the back of them.  I'm sorry but I can't show you all the fronts because a few of these are earmarked for gifts.  I can show you the ones I'm keeping though.  This first one I made specifically for a contest that Isabella sponsored on her blog, The Primitive Hare.  I have raved about Isabella's Old Salem linen before.  She sponsored this contest in February (or maybe it was January) with a deadline of March 31.  You had to stitch this particular pattern (her own design) & send her a photo of the finished product.  You would then be entered into a drawing for a really nice prize.  I finished my stitching before the deadline but of course froze when it came to the final finishing so I missed out on entering the contest.  However, I now have a nice red/white pinkeep to add to my red/white pinkeep collection.  That makes 2 r/w pinkeeps I have in my collection   : )   I decided that the little bunnies are me & John & that the sentiment applies to us.  It has so far   : )
Hmmmm.  This photo looks blurry, doesn't it   : (   I am getting discouraged in my photography efforts.  Once again the photos at times turn out crystal clear but at other times they look like this   : ( 

The next pinkeep I can show you is ... no, wait a minute.  I can't show you any others   : (   So sorry.  I thought I could share one other pinkeep with you but I need to keep it under wraps until Easter Sunday.  Jo who can't think of a clever nickname at Serendipitous Stitching is conducting a special treasure hunt & I need to keep in line with the rules of the hunt   : )   What I will post, however, is this.
It doesn't look as luscious as it really is.  This is a special cake made only at Eastertime at the legendary Burke's Bakery in Danville.  It is a 3-tiered orange cake with pineapple filling between the layers & a delicious frosting sprinkled with coconut.  "Food for the angels" is a good description   : )   You can learn a wee bit about Burke's Bakery in this clip.
Since I'm rambling on here I will sort of catch you up on some things I mentioned a while back but never followed up on.  The spider bite on my wrist was not alone.  I discovered I had 4 spider bites in various places on that wrist.  Apparently Boris the Spider was a bit hungry that day.  

Sorry, I've just got to post this.
I haven't thought about Boris the Spider for years but for some reason he just came to my mind while writing this.  It was a song on a 1966 album by The Who.  That means it had been out for a few years before I ever heard it.  I was introduced to it by my then boyfriend/now husband who was born with an addiction to music.  It's a cute little tune   : )   Anyway, my 4 bites swelled & itched but nothing oozed & my hand didn't fall off so all ended well unless you consider the fact that I didn't develop any useful superpowers in which case it could've ended better   : )  

The only other thing I can think of to catch you up on is our trip to Iron Mountain.  Now you would think that I could find a photo to post for you of Iron Mountain but this is the best I can do.  
Pretty sad, isn't it.  Granted, the town isn't what you'd call "picturesque" ... there's nothing really all that special about it ... but you would think I'd be able to find a picture of the town somewhere!  This does show a bit I'm very familiar with though.  Of course as you can see Iron Mountain is the "proud hometown" of Tom Izzo & Steve Mariucci ... whoever they are.  Actually they are connected to sports in some way ... thus the basketball & football you see over their names.  I can' say for sure but I think we've lived in a couple of places that boast signs like this.  Where we live now there are signs when you enter the town letting everyone know it's the proud hometown of Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry fame which I guess will mean something to you if you are caught up in country music.  Eddie is our neighbor (3 doors down) but we've never met him although we see his tour bus drive up & down the road quite often.  One of our brushes with fame but not as close as when Leon Russell almost was our neighbor.  A story for another time.  

Now where was I?  Oh yes, Iron Mountain.  In that photo above you can see a couple houses in the background.  They are model homes.  The house on the left (the brown one) was a "dream house" of ours.  You buy your land, they build your house.  The inside is beautiful.  This sign & home building place are on the main road when you enter the town & are located just over 2 blocks from where we used to live.  We used to walk along those train tracks from time to time.  I bet I'm rambling on about stuff you couldn't care less about, right?  I'm sorry again   : )   I started to tell you about our trip to Iron Mountain.  There wasn't one.  Yes, we canceled again.  We had decided to just forget about it but then I discovered over the past 2 days that (A) there's a great pysanka store west of Chicago (these are pysanky ... plural of pysanka ... if you aren't familiar with them) ...
... & (B) there's a great Polish pottery store a little west of that!  Needless to say we are now planning a trip to Iron Mountain once again ... maybe on the 15th.  Will the third time be the charm?  We will take care of our business there, eat at Fontana's (best Italian food outside of Italy), buy me some t-shirts at Shopko (the only place that ever sold t-shirts I like ... hopefully they still sell them), maybe visit the "dream house" again, probably zip down to Escanaba to spend $20 playing the penny slot machines, & of course stop along the way there or back at these places west of Chicago.         

I've been here too long already but I actually thought about a couple more things I can catch you up on.  

1.  The repair shop still has our riding mower & will probably have it for quite some time yet.  That's the way they are. Our first attempt at finding someone to pay to cut our grass (5-6 acres of it) wanted us to sign a contract for the season & pay them $390 per mowing.  It was hard to keep a straight face & not laugh when they told us that.  A few days later John spied an advertisement on a bulletin board at the post office for mowing & bush hogging.  He wrote down the number & I called the other day & we now have a wonderful man who guarantees his work, we don't have to sign a contract, & we will pay him $120 each time he mows.   

2.  The power washer guy came yesterday & did an okay job.  He is usually quite good but I went outside today & noticed he missed a spot in the back.  No big deal I guess.  

3.  Now that the power washing is done I can call the exterminator to come spray & fog.  I'll set that up around the middle of the month.  

4.  The handyman came today (this one highly recommended to me by more than one person, Angie's List, & the BBB) to give us an estimate for taking care of several little jobs we have to get done around here including breaking down & carting away a dilapidated shed out back & removing upteen boxes of leftover house siding that was left in the garage by the previous owners.  His estimate was a good one & he will be coming next Thursday to take care of everything.  


I will end by saying it's a weird day.  I am actually feeling like I'm "home" today.  This has happened every great once in a while over the past year or two ... no more than I can count on one hand I'm sure.  It's kind of scary since it brings up all those "should we really sell the place" feelings.  Usually the home feeling doesn't last for more than a second or two (really) but it's been hanging around me all day today.  It must be the euphoria of all these jobs being taken care of coupled with cooler temperatures which are predicted to stay around for the next 10 days or so.  I'm sure I'll snap out of it soon & be back to my old GET ME OUTTA HERE self   : )

Once again I wish you all a very Happy Easter weekend!  


Mrs. GraceWorks said...

Wow! Look at all that finishing you accomplished! Good for you!!!! Have a blessed Easter!

marly said...

YAY!!! Things will be getting done for you soon! Sounds like you found a few guys that are reasonable and responsible. Nice fabrics on the pinkeeps.

~*Shar*~ said...

I agree wih you; I don't like "finishing" either; but you do a great job hun..I can't even figure out how to use this old sewing machine I got when my Aunt Lee passed away 3 years ago.

Hugs, Shar

TheCrankyCrow said...

You, my friend, can always bring a smile to my face. You're a riot.... I don't even know where to begin. Ok - so let's begin with "Well, Blow Me Down!" Woo Hoo!!! She does finish!!! I'm still neglectfully looking at the needlepunch I finished shortly after Valentine's Day - with the wool all selected and everything. Gee - was that 2 months ago I ran desperately to my neighbor's to get the wool backing to finish it??? Can't wait to see the finishes - face forward! Love the one I saw....That's so cool you live just 3 away from Eddie Montgomery! (Really!) I do enjoy country music - but then again, I like lots of different music genres. I want that cake. And, yippe!! Pysanky!! I actually did it for many years!! (My dyes are still settling and dying away somewhere in the basement....Never as good as those you show - but, then again, I didn't have a lathe - I did it freehand. And, hmmm...I bet if I checked, I probably have some exploded eggs somewhere in my Easter decor.... Don't ask. I want that cake. Wishing you a joyous and blessed Easter my dear, dear, friend....Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin (I want that cake....) ;o)

Michelle said...

Ow Wow SHirlee I am so proud of you. Its a lovely feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction isn't it when you complete your 'finishes'. Well done - sending you a hug. Oh my that cake looks good. I can almost taste it. Thanks for sharing all your other photos. Have a blessed Easter xx

Vickie said...

Well Shirlee I would say you were in the mood to "Get 'er done!" You have accomplished a lot around there. I also think that is what is giving you those "homey" feelings. :) Get on up to Iron Mountain already! Easter Blessings to you.

Chris said...

Ok...the one finish you showed is fabulous, but I need to see the others too.:)
I think I need a piece of that cake, yum.
I hope that you are having a wonderful weekend!
Happy Easter.

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Wonderful finishes Shirlee!!!
I knew you could do it, now you don't have to send your work out any more.
Hope you and John have a wonderful Easter!
Prim Blessings

Kaisievic said...

Love your rambling - so lovely to catch up on what you have been doing (or not as in the case of Iron Mountain). Great finish on pinkeeps - well done! How is house selling going?

hugs, Kaye xoxox

Sally said...

Looking forward to seeing all your finishes Shirlee but the one you've shown is beautiful. You did a brilliant job :)

Paula Nunes Lima said...

I must say that the picture I stopped by more is the cake!!! Any cake with coconut in it has that effect on me :-)
I'm sure the bunnies are you both and your life is really filled with love. A life together is really great with the right person, right?
You are getting things together so that is great! Less stress!!!! And finishing cross stitch works! Uau! Easter gave you a good vibe, definitely!!