Friday, January 31, 2014

Rain Blossoms, Part 3

I took a few months off from my stitching rotation, and then at the beginning of this month I had to study for that test (still no news on that front), but after that I was back at the stitching with a vengeance.  January's project was Rain Blossoms:

Definitely our colors:  blue, green and purple.  When I last left off, I hadn't made a whole lot of progress on this piece, but I stitched like a madwoman this month.  Check it out:

I've now completed 20,529 stitches out of 60,300, so just over 34%.  I more than doubled my previous progress--I did 11,836 stitches this month which my handy-dandy Excel spreadsheet says is the most I've done in a single month ever.  Even more impressive since there were some pretty good sections of confetti in there.  Here's a closeup:

I am very pleased with my progress this month : )  I just couldn't stop until I'd completed the entire figure under the umbrella, including shoes, but I finished that up last night so tonight I'll probably start February's project a day early.

I think once I finish one of the projects on this rotation that I won't replace it, I'll work on a three-project rotation.  It seems like such a long time to come back around to any particular project again.  Percentage-wise, Eilonwy is closest to being done, but Rain Blossoms is so much smaller than the other three that it has the fewest stitches left to go on it.  However, I think I may skip the next rotation since we'll be moving again in the middle of it.  Don't think I'll have a whole lot of time for stitching while we're in the middle of that, plus all the travel we're trying to squeeze in before we leave Europe.

That's it for me, I'm off to do some journaling on a scrapbook layout (when I finish this one I will have accomplished my 10-page goal for January) and then break out Eilonwy and watch some TV.  Have a good weekend, peeps!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I'm Alive...

...I'm just not having much fun with it today.  Somehow I twisted my back this morning before I even got out of bed so I've been hobbling around like a cripple all day.  I kinda walk like Old Biff from Back to the Future II (I just watched that movie a couple days ago!) so if someone will give me a cane, I'll start calling everyone "butthead" and saying "make like a tree...and get outta here!"

Ugh.  I hope my back feels better soon.  In the meantime, all I can say is thank goodness for Thermacare heat wraps.

So Lee's been asking why I haven't updated here in a while but I don't have any new pictures to share!  Except Christmas I guess, but they look pretty much the same as last year's except that I'm wearing a green Eskimo Joe's Christmas shirt instead of a blue one.  Haven't been on any trips yet this year, though we've got one coming up in a couple of weeks to Vienna (dancing horses!!!) and Krakow (cool underground city in a salt mine!).  And we've done some work planning what else we can fit in before we move in July, so there's that.

Anywha, it's January and a few weeks ago everyone was all about resolutions which they've probably broken by now.  It's been 9 months since I last checked in with my 2013 goals, so let's revisit those, shall we?

1.  Finish my master's degree.  Well, I took my comprehensive exam two weeks ago today and I'm just waiting to hear back on if I passed it all or not.  If I did, then I just have to throw a little bit more money at the university so they'll give me my diploma.  Yay!

2.  Work on our scrapbooks (i.e. not baby books).  My goal last year was 100 pages, and I made that goal before Karyn came down with a case of TWINS, so I did 86 pages for our personal scrapbooks in addition to 60 pages for those baby books.  So not too shabby.  My goal for this year is again 100 pages, even though we've got that move back to the States this summer.  Right now I've got 8 done, so one more layout to reach my goal of 10 for January.  I've got three more days, I can totally do that.

3.  Finish the baby books from 2012.  Duh, this one's long over.  I finished those two and then the twins' books and those two were even done in time for Karyn's baby shower, so go me.

4.  Update our personal cookbook (where I type up the recipes I use from all the various websites and cookbooks so I have them all in one place and looking pretty).  So I haven't done so hot with this one...I haven't actually printed out more recipes, though I have about 50 typed up (and more than half of those are for cookies.  What.)  I've made a little progress on it though; maybe I can type up recipes while waiting for pictures to upload onto Winkflash or something.

5.  Stamp and mail out cards.  This one I think is going okay...I've sent out some thinking of you cards lately and I even got birthday cards out to two friends ON TIME this past week, so yay me.

6.  Work out and eat better.  I've been trying to get back into my gym routine, which may derail a bit with this back spasm thing that's happening today, and I'm not sure how well I do on the eat better part.  Probably not so hot.  I think I get a D on this goal so far.

7.  Be happy.  This one's good : )

I think I'll stick with these goals.  Well, with any luck, I'll soon be able to knock off #1 and #3 is already done, so then I'll be down to five goals.  And I think all of my goals are reasonable, I just need to plan a bit to make sure I can achieve them.  I'm optimistic.  But for now, I'm going to make like a tree...and you know the rest.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rockin' New Year

Ok, I swear I'm not neglecting the old bloggypoo on purpose...I've been studying for the comprehensive exam which is looming large on the horizon--I take the test on Monday and I can't wait for Tuesday when I won't be worrying about this stupid thing anymore.  But right this second I'm stealing a few minutes to post some pics from New Year's Eve.

Usually, Lee and I don't do a whole lot for NYE...last year, he was volunteering at a call center to drive people home if they'd gotten soused and didn't have a taxi set up, and I was at home watching movies and cross stitching.  This year, I took a break from studying and we went to Kip and Carrie's house which is now in the home stretch (pardon the pun) of the massive renovation and lookin' good.  Kip and Carrie's preferred brand of entertainment is playing Rock Band, so we did.

This is why they wanted a house that didn't share a wall with anyone else--this is loud.  And fun.

Lee tried playing bass and the drums; I think he liked the bass the best.  I sang a couple times but didn't play any of the instruments and since I had the camera there are no pictures of me singing.

Karyn and Carrie singing the Cranberries' "Linger" while Karyn's hubs pulls a face.

Hey now, you're a rock star!

Apparently, when one has had a few too many beers, it helps to shut one eye when playing the drums.

Songs performed included:
"Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi
"Linger" by the Cranberries
"Somebody to Love" by Queen (Freddie Mercury is even more talented than you think, and to my surprise I found out that I tend to sing the harmony part more than the lead on this song)
"Dirty Little Secret" by the All-American Rejects

Plus some more that I can't remember.  I spent some time in the kitchen with a bunch of the other ladies while the dudes rocked out, so who knows what all they were playing.

And there's us shortly after midnight.  Man, we're good at that whole take-a-picture-of-ourselves thing.  : )

Ok, I'm off to walk some dogs who have been bugging me for the last ten minutes and then make a dessert for this thing we have to go to tonight.  And study.  Ick.

ETA:  I almost forgot to write about last night's shenanigans.  Lee got home late, around 9:30, and said that he'd found out that due to some weather conditions or Hogwarts magic or something, there was a chance we'd be able to see the northern lights from here, but the best time to see would be between midnight and 3 a.m.  Since last night was remarkably clear (we've had a lot of rain lately, but last night there wasn't a cloud in the sky) and because we're crazy, we stayed up really late and then drove out about a half mile to some farmland to see what we could see.  Lots of stars, but no northern lights, dangitall.  Sadie and Vader thought the midnight trip was fun (though we made them stay in the car); we ended up with tons of mud all over our shoes from when we got out of the car to take a look.  And I was wearing my ridiculously long pajama pants (what?  It was one in the morning, who was going to see?) so I had mud all over the bottoms of those too.  We should have taken the iPad out with us but we forgot...Lee's got this app that if you hold the iPad up to the sky, it will superimpose the drawings and names of the constellations so you know what you're looking at.  Last night would have been a great time to do that, but oh well.  So today we're tired from staying up until almost 2 a.m. and we didn't even get to see the northern lights.