God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Car Accident

John was involved in an automobile accident just before noon.  A woman ran a red light & slammed into the front end of our car.  The phone rang & it was the police.  They told me he had been in an accident & could I come pick him up as our car was not able to be driven.  He was having some issues & so they called the fire department & the paramedics.  He declined to go to the hospital. The car was towed ... an adjuster will look at it in the next day or two.  John has a bit of pain in his back & is shaken up but otherwise seems okay. He promised me that he will let me know if the pain gets worse.

God was watching out for him.  If he had entered into the intersection a second sooner ... or the other driver had gone through the red light a second later ... things could have been much worse.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Yes, I'm Smiling : )

An unexpected gift was waiting for me when dawn broke this morning   : )





Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Surgery & Socks & Other Stuff

Hello faithful followers & anyone passing by to check me out   : )

I had some unexpected surgery yesterday.  When John & I were in Las Vegas last February, I wore a new pair of shoes ... same brand/style/size as my previous pair ... & we did a lot of walking.  By the end of our trip, I was having a lot of pain in my left big toe.  By the time we arrived home, the toe was swollen & bruised & the nail was discolored.  I tried to get an appointment with more than one podiatrist in The Devil's Playground, but despite me describing my discomfort to their receptionists, I was told that I would have to wait weeks/months for an appointment as a new patient.  I gave up & decided things would eventually get better.  They didn't.  As the pain was increasing again, I decided last Friday that it was time to seek out another podiatrist.  I called one a few blocks away & was asked if I could come in on Monday (yesterday).  I couldn't believe the difference between a normal town & The Devil's Playground, but then again, I could. Anyway, a very nice doctor who looked like he was still in high school ordered a few x-rays to make sure there was no bone damage (there wasn't) & he then informed me that it would be best for him to perform some minor surgery to remove the nail.  I won't go into the details, but it was interesting to watch.  (He was rather surprised that I didn't want him to lay me back so that I would be unable to see what was going on, but I find medical procedures to be quite interesting.)

I think it's kind of, well, disgusting when people post photos of their swollen puss-oozing wounds, so fear not ... no photo like that is being posted here. I did, however, decide to post the following photo showing the huge bandage I had to contend with yesterday.

I got to soak the foot, remove the bandage, & redress the wound this morning.  I will have to do this for the next two weeks until I return to see Doogie Howser for a followup.

In case you're wondering, that is my crocheted blanket I let you have a peek at a while back.  I took a break from it for a while so I could search out information about hiding ends.  I am now working on the last row of the border & will be able to show it to you in full before too long   : )

I also have a new pair of socks on my needles.  It was next to impossible to take a photo that shows this yarn to its best advantage, but it is a lovely gradient grey yarn with silver metallic sparkles in it.  It is Dream in Color's Starry line with a great name for the colorway ... Grey Tabby : )  
I also knitted a little mittens ornament from some leftover sock yarn.  It was a fun pattern & I look forward to knitting more of these   : )   The mittens are about the size of half dollar.  
Can anyone believe that Thanksgiving is next week? I think this year has flown by faster than any others in my memory.  I still have to do my grocery shopping!  And before we know it, it will be Christmas!  It always sneaks up on us, doesn't it.  

That's all for today!    

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Socks

Finished a pair of socks today I started back in April.  They languished unfinished for several months.  I only had to sew up the toes, but I have a mental block about that.  They only reason they got finished today is I needed the needles for another project   : )


Sunday, October 25, 2015

All Kinds of Stuff

First, & most importantly ...

I sure am   : )

Secondly, my birthday was last Wednesday.  It started out with this.

A cup of Birthday Tea by Adagio Teas   : )   It has sprinkles in it!!!
Pretty cool, huh   : )

I had a very nice day.  John had lots of surprises planned for me.  He took me out to breakfast, & then we went to the mall where he bought me some of my favorite Teavana tea as well as a box of Godiva Open Oysters.  I know that the angels must serve Godiva Open Oysters to Jesus on special occasions in heaven   : )   There were various gifts given throughout the day, & then he took me to dinner at one of my favorite places to eat ... Big Boy!  I had the always wonderful bacon burger with onion rings.  In lieu of making myself a birthday cake, I planned instead to bring home a slice of BB's pumpkin pie as my birthday dessert, which I did.  I ate it while we watched a little something on DVD.  Within 2 hours, my perfectly lovely day turned into a nightmare.  Food poisoning!!!  I'm sure the pie was the culprit.  The remainder of my birthday until about 3 a.m. the following morning was not fun.  I'll spare you the details.  John wanted to take me to the ER.  I told him I'd be fine.  I'm still not quite back to normal today, but I'm better.  

On Friday afternoon I felt up to taking a little walk up & down the street.  The fall colors have been so pretty here this year ... I brought my camera along to share some of them with you.
     






They're all so pretty, aren't they?  There was a nip in the air along with the smells of autumn.  Truly beautiful!  

I've continued crocheting & have started a new blanket based on fall colors.
And I finished the ripple blanket I gave you a peek at last time   : )



It's a gift for John but he doesn't know it yet   : )

I also finished my yarn bag pieces (it was also available for peeking at in my last post) but I haven't sewn the pieces together yet.  Maybe I can share that next time   : )

I will leave you with one final photo ... a birthday gift from our poodle princess, Vickie ... a cross stitched pincushion with a pomegranate design. I've taken several photos but can't get any of them to truly show what a beautiful pincushion this is & how beautifully it has been stitched & finished.  This is the best I could do.  Thank you again Vickie!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Need Decorating Help

Okay, I need more than decorating help, but for this post it's decorating help I need   : )

I basically love this townhome we're living in.  Sadly it has a lot of issues, but it is still homey & comfortable.  I've said it before & I'll say it again ... I will be quite unhappy when it comes time for us to leave it & head off to pastures of unknown color.  One of the issues I have with this townhome are the transom windows above our front door & window.

I guess they look nice, but this side of the townhome faces a tad southwest ... so in the afternoons, direct sunlight pours through these windows as if it's pouring through a magnifying glass.  As the sun makes its way across the sky, the hot, blinding, glaring light goes from one side of this room to the other, eventually hitting John & I directly in the face as we sit in our recliners.  

What can I do to block the light coming through these transom windows?  Each of them have a sill several inches deep, so I could set something up there, but what?  Since Christmas is drawing near (71 more days until the big day!!!), I thought about maybe just getting some nice fake pine garland from Hobby Lobby to scrunch up there.  I don't know how great that would look, but it would be something.  Can anyone suggest another option?

The weather is turning much cooler now.  Temps at night are predicted to be in the 30s this weekend!!!  I am giddy with anticipation!!!  This morning I decided to open the lid on one of my favorite Christmas teas ... DAVIDsTEA's Santa's Secret.  The description reads as follows ...

Ever wonder how Santa manages to deliver all those presents in just one night?  Well, here's the hush-hush formula.  He uses a special combination of Chinese black tea, peppermint leaves & spices ... all sprinkled with real little candy canes.  It's both energizing & remarkably soothing.  All Santa needs in one cup, & his motto changes from "ho ho ho" to "go go go!"

See the little candy canes mixed in with the tea?
And it came in a nice storage tin decorated with candy canes   : )
I found some other teas that I might want to try this year.  This first one is sure pretty to look at! The name of it is Santa's Little Helper, made by Art of Tea.  

Santa's sleigh bells would not be ringing without a lift from Santa's Little Helper.  Awaken your holiday spirit with this fun & deliciously sweet infusion of rich dark tea interlaced with wintery notes of cooling mint & smooth decadent chocolate.  Steeps a wonderfully engaging cup with an expressive aroma that captivates the senses & invites you to start the day. 
Santa's Nightcap sounds good too!  It is made by Tea For All Reasons.  

A Rooibos blend that combines eggnog flavoring with cinnamon pieces & little candy sprinkles to create a yummy taste delight.  Now, won't Santa be be anxious to visit your house?

Here are a few more luscious sounding teas made by Tea For All Reasons.

Cookies for Santa

With its whimsical gingerbread men & holiday sprinkles, this is not only a delight to look at but a delight to taste!  Santa would be so pleased with this treat, especially if he is trying to cut back on the whole cookie thing.  Rich in cookie taste, our hand-blended creation is full of all the ingredients that make for an irresistible treat!
Della Robbia

Full of fruity flavoring & nuts, this super rich & spicy Christmas blend combines Chinese black tea with apple, orange, currants, cinnamon, almonds, & cloves for a spectacular taste sensation.  This may become a new holiday tradition!
Christmas Memories

A refreshing, hand-blended Rooibos tea with the addition of cinnamon, orange peel, apple bits, currants, cloves, & almond flakes.  A comforting & delicious way to remember Christmases past.
Tea For All Reason has quite a variety of Christmas teas as well as all-year-round teas.  I will definitely be ordering a few.  You can find them on Etsy by clicking here.

There are certainly more Christmas teas available on the internet.  If you know of any good ones, do comment to let me know   : )

And incidentally, what a sweet husband I have!  I told him I made a cup of Santa's Secret tea & that there are only 71 days left to Christmas, & he is now playing a Christmas CD   : )

I know my blog has been sadly lacking in stitching info these past few months.  I am still without a table upon which to clamp my magnifying light so it will be lacking in stitching info for who knows how much longer.  In the meantime I have been tackling some knitting projects, & I think I've mentioned in the recent past that I have taken up crochet.  I have surprised myself by how much I am enjoying crochet!  I am almost finished making a blanket, & my current WIP is a project bag.  I can't really show them yet as they aren't finished, but here's a glimpse of them both piled here in front of me   : )
Well, my cup of Santa's Secret is finished now, so I will head downstairs to make myself a cup of something else.  I know I have more Christmas teas in my cupboards.  "Ho-ho-ho!!!"  Or should I say "Yum-yum-yum!"   : )

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Teatime

I posted a couple days ago about discovering my Tea of the Month Collection which, for whatever reason, I thought was a Christmas collection of tea.  (You can read about it here if you missed it.)

I have been steadily working my way through the box & am having a cup of June's offering as I write this.  It occurred to me that my fellow tea lovers might be wondering what other teas were in the box & perhaps my thoughts about them as well, so here goes   : )

February - The Spice Is Right

This one held promise.  "This sweet & spicy green tea combines cinnamon, orange peel, cloves, & chili peppers for a zesty cup that warms you from the inside out."  I couldn't drink more than half a cup before pouring the rest down the sink & tossing away the little container of remaining tea. Not good at all.  

March - Hibiscus Punch

"This deep red tea is tart, fruity, & delicately spiced with the tropical flavors of hibiscus, mango, & cinnamon.  It's the ultimate iced tea."  The first few words seemed to describe me ... tart, fruity, & delicately spiced.  I didn't much care for it hot, but it was much better as it cooled. Definitely a good iced tea.  

April - Coconut Oolong

Does anything on this earth taste better than coconut???  The description says "Coconuts might be the most versatile food on the planet, but our favorite use has to be this blend.  Creamy, rich, sweet & fresh ... it's satisfying, comforting, & completely addictive."  No, it's not.  It's okay, but nothing to get excited about.  

May - Chocolate Macaroon

I almost pushed ahead the hands of time to get to this one!  Macaroons!  Chocolate!  Chocolate macaroons!  I was sure this would be the tea that the angels serve to Jesus at special times of the year.  "There's nothing quite like a classic coconut macaroon cookie ... & with black tea, toasted coconut, cacao ribs, & pecans, this rich nutty blend is just as good as the real thing."  As with the Coconut Oolong, no, it's not.  It's okay, but nothing to get excited about.

June - Hot Tropic

"Calling all beach bunnies!"  (Yeah, that's me.  Uh-huh.)  "This is a most excellent blend of tropical fruit, coconut, & spices.  It's sweet & mega creamy, just like a totally primo pina colada!  Cowabunga!" I've hopped a few bars in my past.  I remember the taste of a good pina colada.  This wasn't even close.  My thoughts?  Cowa-uh-uh!

While noodling around the internet this morning for a photo to go with this post, I found this one.
Doesn't she look comfy in her gray sweater?  She probably knit it herself.  I like to knit!  I like to wear gray sweaters!  And it must be delightfully cold outside because she's not only wearing that lovely gray sweater  ... she's wearing a beautiful green scarf which she also probably knit herself!  I like to wear green, & I'm in the process of knitting a green scarf-type thing!  And of course I LOVE cold weather!  She's drinking a nice hefty cup of tea.  I drink my tea from a nice hefty cup!  The similarities unfortunately end here.  She's a lovely woman, isn't she.  Serene, peaceful, content.

Here's me having my tea.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

What Is Truth?

This is going to be a lengthy post.  Grab yourself a cuppa & settle down in a comfy chair if you plan to read further.

Some people wouldn't recognize truth if it ran them down & then backed up over them.

On July 12, John & I went to a local furniture store & purchased a bedroom set, an end table, & a dining table & chairs.  I believe that I talked about the bedroom set in a prior post or two.  To briefly recap, we told the salesman (Brett) that we wanted solid wood furniture.  Brett said this bedroom set was solid cherry.  Based on the price of it & how beautiful it looked, we believed him.  After it was delivered, I looked up the manufacturer's website to see what their instructions were for taking care of it.  What I discovered was that the set was made in Vietnam using MDF.  MDF stands for Medium Density Fiberboard which is "an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibers, combining these fibers with wax & a resin binder, & forming panels by applying high temperature & pressure." The only parts of the furniture that were solid cherry were the drawer fronts.

Brett never admitted to lying or apologized for giving us incorrect information.  Instead he tried several times to tell us how wonderful this manufacturer is & how great the furniture is.  The store finally agreed to take back the bedroom set as well as the end table which also turned out to be made using MDF, & to refund our full purchase price.  

As for the dining table & chairs, Brett told us it was made of solid maple, by the Amish, & was therefore made to order.  He said we could expect delivery in 6-8 weeks, the latest delivery date being September 6.  We weren't too thrilled with this, but we really liked the set so we decided to wait.  On August 10 I wondered if it was too late to make a change in the color of stain we picked out.  After talking with the furniture rep, Brett said I had caught them "just in time."  He said the set was "almost finished, but not yet stained."  After making the color change, Brett said we did not lose our place in line & that "no production time would be lost."  Since the furniture only needed to be stained, I assumed it would be delivered in the not too distant future ... but August was almost over & I had heard nothing more about it.  I contacted Brett to ask for an update & he said there was a backlog at the factory & delivery wouldn't be until sometime in October.  I was not happy.  When I asked him how furniture that was "almost complete" on August 10 would now not be delivered until "sometime in October," he ignored the question. When I pointed out that he told me "no production time was lost," he said that he guessed making the change must have moved us back to the end of the line.  I said I wanted to cancel the order.  He said I couldn't do that because special orders cannot be canceled.  When I persisted, he said he asked the store owner & then the furniture rep who both said special orders cannot be canceled.  I was now beyond upset.  I spent hours on the internet trying to find out what, if anything, I could do.  I found a furniture manufacturer whistle blowing sort of forum, posted my dilemma, & found out that this furniture company making the table & chairs isn't even Amish!  I was given some suggestions, none of which panned out, so I ended up just having to accept the whole miserable situation & hope that (A) the furniture truly would be delivered sometime in October, & (B) that it would be nicely made.

You could have knocked me over with a feather when yesterday I received a phone call saying my table & chairs were ready & would delivery sometime today be convenient for me.  I said it would, & I then began to shift boxes around to make room for it.  The delivery guys brought it this morning, & here it is.

You are probably thinking "What an odd dining set ... 3 chairs, & that table pedestal looks suspiciously like a moving box."  Well, the delivery guys brought each piece in separately, & I looked them over closely.  One of the chairs had a large chip on the side, & the pedestal had one leg that looked like it had been painted & then someone touched their fingers to the paint in several areas before it had dried.  The delivery guys said "The store can send someone over here to repair that."  I said "I don't want to accept delivery & take the chance that it won't be repaired adequately."  They were rather miffed & called the store, then gave me the phone. The person on the other end asked me what was wrong.  I told him.  He said no problem ... that when they had ordered my set, they ordered 2 others exactly like it.  All I needed to do was come into the store & they would exchange the bad chair & the bad pedestal with ones from the other 2 sets.  I said that was acceptable.  When I asked who I was talking with, he answered "Brett." I should have known what I was in for.  

The delivery guys put the bad chair & the bad pedestal back on the truck & drove off to their next delivery.  I drove to the store to pick out replacements.  Brett took me to the back of the store where he had already had someone from the warehouse bring out another pedestal.  It looked worse than the one I had sent back, & it also seemed a tad off color.  Brett then asked for someone to bring out the other pedestal.  I reminded him that I needed a replacement chair as well.  

The second pedestal looked better, but there was an area where it looked like someone had dripped a big blob of paint on one of the legs but hadn't noticed, & the paint blob sort of ran down the leg a bit & pooled.  I pointed this out to Brett & said neither pedestal was acceptable.  He tried telling me that I ordered a "distressed" set & that this was part of the distressing.  I told him no ... the edges being sanded was distressing; fingerprints in the finish & paint blobs were not.  By this time the warehouse guy had brought out 2 chairs for me to take a look at.  They were both nice, but they also seemed to be a tad off color.    

As I was looking at the chairs, I turned at one point & there stood Brett with another man he introduced as the store owner, David.  David asked me what was wrong.  I told him about the delivery, then told him about the problems with the 2 replacement pedestals.  He looked at both of them, telling me he didn't see any problems. When I showed him, he tried to pass them off as being part of the distressing.  I told him I have a lot of distressed furniture in my home, & that sanded edges that have been stained, uneven edges, wormholes, certain gouges, etc ... yes, those are part of the distressing process ... but blobs of paint & fingerprints in the finish are not.  He then started telling me about how this furniture is hand made by the Amish (!) & that hand made things aren't perfect & that in all his life owning a furniture store he has never met anyone as picky as me.  He suggested that I choose the most acceptable of the 2 pedestals & take it home along with a replacement chair.  I told him I was a bit concerned about them being a bit different in color than what I sent back.  It turns out that I wasn't imagining this.  The two other dining sets ordered at the same time I ordered mine were not exactly the same as mine as Brett had stated. Mine was a maple set, the other two were cherry. David then said that the color was close enough & that no one would know that a maple table top was sitting on a cherry pedestal.  I told him I would know.  He then said he was giving up ... we could just part ways as friends & not let this get ugly.  He would send the delivery guys to pick up the pieces left in my home, & when I called & told Brett that they were on the truck, our money would be refunded.  I said that was acceptable to me.
  
The guys came & got the furniture.  I called Brett to tell him this & to give him our CC number for the refund.  He then told me that the store owner wanted to see the furniture first & that I should call back later this afternoon, around 4 o'clock. Now I've got a big knot in my stomach wondering what sort of wrench is going to be thrown into the works here.

Although we don't have the table & chairs we hoped to have, at least we didn't get rid of the set we've been using.
Addendum:  Our refund has been processed.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pondering

I've been pondering a lot of things lately.  Perhaps this is because every time I turn around I find another medical issue slapping me in the face ... or perhaps all the stress I've been under (which seems to be never-ending!) is getting to me ... or maybe it's because I'm nearing the age of 62 & pondering just steamrolls itself into your life at this juncture.  Then again, maybe the advent of fall just makes one ponder things.  I only know that some changes need to be made ... & while pondering about life & changes & anything else really, a cup of hot tea helps soothe the troubled soul.

BEINGS THAT CHRISTMAS EVE IS JUST 3 MONTHS AWAY FROM TODAY!!! (yes, I had to write that all in caps with exclamation points ... & you can't see it but you probably know that there's a big smile on my face as well!) ... I decided to be a little wild & crazy & break out the Christmas teas this morning.  I opened the tea cupboard where I have them stored.

I actually have 2 cupboards full of teas!
I put on my kettle.  I used to have a pretty red Le Creuset tea kettle that looked like this.
Two of them actually.  The first one was destroyed when, while I became occupied elsewhere while waiting for it to boil, all the water boiled out but the kettle remained on high heat. The same thing sort of happened with the replacement kettle just a few days after it was purchased.  With that kettle, I put it on the stove & turned on the high heat but forgot to put water in it   : (   I had gone out on the porch to talk with John for few minutes, then went inside & was greeted with ... well, you can imagine.  John & I decided it was maybe best for me not to have any more of these pretty kettles, so now I've got this Hamilton Beach electric one.
It boils water quickly & then shuts itself off.  And if you forget to put water in it in the first place (yes, it's happened) it just gets a little warm & then shuts itself off.  

After putting on the kettle, I set out my tea cup (a mug really).  
Then I chose a box of what I thought was assorted Christmas teas, but surprise!  It was actually a Tea of the Month Collection!  
I put it away after we opened gifts last Christmas thinking it was a Christmas assortment! I'm going to have a lot of catching up to do before I can get to the real Christmas teas, but for today I chose the September offering ... Cinnaberry.  You might not be able to read the description below, so here's what it says.

"Blueberry & cinnamon is a classic combo for a reason - the blend of sweet, juicy berries & warm spice is cozy, comforting, & just plain nostalgic.  It's like a hug in a cup."

I don't particularly like fruity teas, but I do like hugs.  This tea sounded good to me.


As it was brewing in my mug, it smelled quite good.
Did you happen to notice my teaspoon?  Here's a closer look.
Yes, I have a set of snowmen flatware.  
I've had it for about 20 years & have used it every day.  I do love snowmen   : )

The tea finished brewing & I took a sip.  Would it taste as good as it smelled?  (Please ignore the lack of makeup & the gnarled twisted hand ... this is my first selfie.)
Yes!  It's a good tea!  I give it my thumb's up! 
Hmmmm ... perhaps I need to ponder how to make better use of my time other than taking photos of myself making tea   : )