March 21, 2023

Not Quite Done...But Getting There.

The great Christmas stocking project is almost to the finish line but hasn't quite made it there yet.


Because someone was in SUCH a hurry to start this project they neglected to read a very important part of the instructions (yes, that someone would be me) - and now I'm faced with a difficult decision - finish it as is or figure out a way to finish off the personalization bit - the whole point of this project to begin with - (hopefully without pulling out any stitches - I realize this is a pipe dream).

When I started this project (counts on fingers) seven months ago at the end of August, I naively thought I'd be done in PLENTY of time for Christmas 2022 - as we all know, that did not happen.  I also thought, at that time, that I'd make stockings for ALL of us.  HAHAHAHAHA.  No, that will not be happening.

Well, maybe...but only if I can find a kit that isn't quite as elaborate as this one was.  The Husband, half kidding, said he couldn't believe I had the patience to finish this...insinuating that I might be a tad bit impatient at times.  Well, he's not wrong there but, he neglected to remember just how stubborn I can be...which is really probably the only reason this project has gotten this far.

So here's where we are with this project - all the stitches are done.  All that's left is to figure out if I want to deal with personalization (once I realized that I'd, in all probability, never make another - I thought about just using the family name and using it as a Christmas decoration) and to actually put the stocking together.  

Knowing that if/when I personalize the darn thing I won't post it without a redaction of said name, I figured I'd share the almost done piece.

Honestly, the picture doesn't do it justice.

Despite the fact that I messed up the whole personalization of the thing, I'm pretty pleased with the results.

Even after I complained about how much I despised doing detail stitches, these weren't terribly tedious as some others I've done.

And, as you can see from the next two photos - the (tedious) detail stitches ARE pretty important to a project.

Without detail - the rabbits, the doll and the bear look
positively creepy.

With detail - although, the doll...still a bit creepy.

And with that - I'm hanging up my needle for a bit; after seven months I think I need a break.

February 18, 2023

Saturday Chatter

 Everyone settle in with your preferred beverage because this will, most likely, be a post that meanders from topic to topic - you've been warned.

Like most of you (I assume), when something new in the world of drug store mascara pops up on my radar I immediately want to try it.  A couple of weeks ago, as I was scrolling through Instagram, I saw a post about L'Oréal Telescopic Lift mascara and how much the poster loved it - so on my next trip to the drug store, I bought it.

I am here to tell you - don't waste your time or your money.  Well, I guess it's up to you but, for me, this mascara was an epic fail for a couple of reasons.  One, it seemed a bit pricey for drug store mascara; strike one.  Despite the interesting brush - which seemingly SHOULD have worked to separate the lashes (it didn't) the product was very gloppy; strike two.  Finally, whenever I buy mascara, I triple check to make sure I don't buy accidently buy waterproof - so when I went to remove it that night I was shocked to discover that even with cold cream this stuff did not want to come off my lashes; strike three.

So, for now, I'll stick with one of my three current favorites.  

And speaking of drug stores...I don't know if it's just my local CVS or if it's this way across the board.  But our CVS has to be the most boring drug store ever.  Never mind the fact, that whole shelves are just sitting empty for whatever reason.  When possible, I love to poke around in a drug store to see what they have - but ours has absolutely nothing that appeals to me.  It has the basics and that's it - which, I suppose, is good for my bank account as there are rarely any impulse purchases when I visit.  But the other day, I wandered into Walgreens when I was on that side of town and it was a delight.  And yes, impulse purchases were made.

Including a planner - as per usual, I am optimistic that THIS planner will be the one that keeps me on track and organized.  The only difference is this year, I waited until we were halfway through February before buying one (instead of ordering the wrong year AGAIN in December).  We shall see if this planner works magic (doubtful).

You can all rest easy now because The Hoarder Husband has finally gone through his closet and he now has extra hangers in his closet.  We shall all offer up a prayer of thanksgiving that it never occurred to him that he could go buy more hangers.  I was pleased - particularly since he took it upon himself after he finally realized that I meant business - until I went into his closet to put away laundry and happened to look up.  Apparently, since he didn't have hangers or space in his drawers, at some point he started squirrelling away random pieces of clothing on the upper shelves. *sigh*

I finished that challenging puzzle (featured in the link in the previous paragraph) 

but much to my dismay... I somehow lost a piece.

For anyone keeping a record (and that would be me) this is the SECOND puzzle this year where I have somehow managed to lose a piece (HOW?!  There are no pets or small children in this house to blame).  I've searched high and low - the piece(s) are no where to be found.  Very frustrating.  I'm very tempted to order another one just to see if I can somehow keep all the pieces from disappearing.

But puzzling will need to wait because I'm still working on that Christmas stocking.  By my best guess, there are about 1,500 stitches left - not counting all the detail stitches (I hate detail stitches - but that's what "makes" the project...) so I'm guessing we can count on this finally being done in, I don't know...April?

February 7, 2023

A Noise Downstairs: A Novel - Book Review

I picked up A Noise Downstairs: A Novel by Linwood Barclay from the library this past weekend and devoured this book.

In fact, I ended up staying up far too late last night trying to finish it.

The story revolves around a college professor, Paul Davis.  Late one evening, he notices a colleague's car driving erratically and, out of concern, follows him to see if he can offer assistance.  Instead, he stumbles into a horrifying event where he very nearly lost his own life.

After which he suffers from PTSD.  While trying to recover both mentally and physically, he becomes inspired to write about the incident; thinking that if he looked at it head on, he could begin to actually recover from the horror.

In attempt to cheer him up and support his decision his wife, Charlotte, gives him an old fashioned typewriter.

And that's when the trouble really begins...

If you are looking for a book that pulls you in from page one with suspense, a couple of twists (that I didn't see coming) and thrills; I heartily recommend that you read this one.

February 5, 2023


 Good gravy - it's been a month since I last posted?!  I guess it's a good thing this is a hobby and not a job!

What's been keeping me busy.

It all started with a puzzle received at Christmas.  This is the fourth puzzle and this one is giving me fits in that I can't seem to find all the edge pieces.  Ah well, it'll get solved eventually.


The dryer has been making a low-key odd noise for about a week or so.  I've been ignoring it - hoping it would go away.  As you may have surmised, it has not.  And today it decided to turn up the volume on the odd noise.  I have no choice now but to get someone out here to look at it.  Luckily, I can do this online - but there is the whole "We'll be there between 8 am and 5 pm" nonsense that I'll have to work into my schedule somehow.


On Friday morning, I could not get my work computer to wake up for love or money.  I tried everything I could think of - while trying to avoid calling the "global help desk."  Finally, I had to cave and call.  This is what vexes me the most about the help desk - every single time - WITHOUT FAIL - they ask me the basic questions (all of which I had already tried) and then tell me they will open a ticket and have someone local call me.  Ummm...then why do we need the global help desk?  And sure enough, once a local IT person called, she had a very easy fix - which I would have assumed the people at the help desk could have suggested first.

Honestly, what aggravates me the most is that I know for a fact that our local IT is pretty great and I also know that this department is going to be a victim of a massive downsizing in the future.  What will the global help desk do then?  


The Happy Couple are doing their level best to drive me out of my mind.  How, you ask - well, they have secured a venue for the wedding...TWO days after Thanksgiving.  I'm guessing they went with this date because that's when the venue was available.  I realize I wasn't thrilled when they announced the original date of November 18 (the weekend prior to Thanksgiving)  - but now I'd be DELIGHTED if it were the 18th.

I have not - and will not - say a word about it.  But I had hoped the loud mouth love of my life, The Husband, would.  He has not and, shockingly, has no plans to do so  (which is shocking in that, nine times out of ten, he has no problem opening his mouth and letting words fall out) Then I figured surely her mother would - as far as I know, she hasn't.  Or maybe she has and has been ignored.

I understand that The Fiancée wants a "fall" wedding (although this date is actually veering into the "winter" timeline, I think.) and Man-Child refuses to have the wedding until after the high school football season is over.  But Thanksgiving weekend?  One of the busiest travel weekends of the year?  None of it makes sense to me; at all.

I'm sure the venue they've selected is beautiful - but it's in the middle of nowhere in the mountains.  And she keeps mentioning maybe having the wedding outside.  Two days after Thanksgiving, in the mountains, on the verge of winter.  So now we are asking people to travel here - then get in a car and drive nearly two hours (or four depending on which airport they fly into) to arrive at the venue/hotel and then (maybe) subject them to the cold for the service?  

I doubt they've even given any thought to the fact that this date may actually deter people from attending.

As I've said - I am not going to say a word, it is their wedding - not ours.  That's why I am here telling you. It will all work out fine in the end, I am sure.  But TWO days after Thanksgiving?!  Have they lost their minds?

I wonder just how much it would take to convince them to elope.  But with my luck, I'd pay them off, they'd elope and then want the reception two days before Christmas.


In his own way, The Husband is also doing his level best to drive me crazy.

I made a very firm rule several years ago.  I determined that I would not buy any more hangers.  Ever.

Yes, I realize that this sounds like a ridiculous and insane rule - but hear me out - this rule keeps my closet in order.  Generally, I have extra hangers in my closet - but if for whatever reason I don't; that means it's time to purge.  New things had come in via Christmas, and I needed to have a clear out.  Which is exactly what I did the other night when I couldn't sleep.

This rule though is a problem for The Hoarder Husband.  After I finished laundry the other afternoon, I couldn't find a hanger in his closet for a pair of his jeans (a pair of jeans that are so ratty I've forbidden him from wearing them out of the house) - so I left them on the bed.  When asked about it (while I was brushing my teeth), I reminded him of the rule and mentioned that he needed to go through the closet the next day and get rid of some things - before I could even finish the sentence he said that he had to go *insert random place here* the next day.  So I said that he could do it when he came home.  He immediately replied, "I'm not coming home." (imagine a petulant five year old saying it; because that's exactly what he sounded like) I almost choked on the toothpaste, I was laughing so hard.

I laughed again when he came home the following day and the first words out his mouth were, "I'm not really here."

I haven't yet forced him to do that clear out yet; but it IS coming.

In theory, I should just go through everything and toss/recycle - but these are not MY clothes, so this isn't a job for ME.  His thought process is this - yes, those pants don't fit but "one day" they MIGHT.  Or, "this is my FAVORITE shirt!" Never mind that it is falling apart at the seams.

Maybe we can compromise and I will lay out what I think needs to go and he can have the final say.  It might be the only way to get this task completed.  I guess it would be a good use of our time as we wait for the dryer repair person to show up...

January 5, 2023

Clothing Chatter

 This post is brought to you courtesy of Suzanne.  In her last post, she mentioned that she is on the hunt for cute tops.  In my response, I mentioned a shirt that I recently bought and love.  I feel that I fell short in my description of said shirt.  Then she wondered if I would post about cute shirt finds.

Unfortunately, I only have the one recent cute shirt find. But, luckily for you, I have plenty to say on the subject of clothing.

I am still not going anywhere I absolutely don't HAVE to - which means that the odds of me stumbling over a cute top in the wild are slim to none.  Which leaves me to online shopping.  The problem with online shopping is that unless you are VERY specific about what you are looking for, you just end up scrolling aimlessly.

I stumbled across the shirt mentioned above because of a J. Crew ad on Instagram.  I saw the shirt and scrolled on by...but I kept thinking about it.  So much so, that I eventually caved and clicked the link.  Friends, don't click the link because then forevermore you will only see multiple ads from that retailer.

But then again, that won't matter so much, because once you succumb and purchase said item you will then be BOMBARDED with emails from the retailer.  Someone needs to inform all these marketing departments that there IS such a thing as overkill.

At any rate, I have scoured J. Crew's website and it appears this particular top in no longer available which is sad because 1) you can't order it and 2) that means I have had to figure out a way to take a decent picture of it...and we are all well aware that I am not a photographer.

Wide button-collar tunic sweatshirt in
cloudspun fleece.  I swear it's
cuter in real life.

What I love about this shirt:  I'm a sucker for a detailed neck line.  I love that it doesn't have a banded or boxy hem line.  And that it doesn't look like a sweatshirt but that it is still cozy.  On me, this shirt is long enough that I could wear it with leggings and feel like everything is covered; but your mileage may vary.

Speaking of leggings - let me ask, those of you who wear leggings...where do you put your "stuff?"  Since the beginning of the pandemic I've quit carrying a handbag.  Generally, if I have to go anywhere I just grab my keys, wallet and phone.  When I'm wearing jeans, keys go into the front pocket, the phone in my back pocket and wallet in my hand.  

As I (and Suzanne) are still currently on the hunt for cute tops, I figured we'd crowd-source this mission.  So, please share your favorite places to find clothes.

I am also on the hunt for quality, long sleeve tee shirts.  Usually, I just buy them from Target but, here's the deal, the quality is terrible (I know, I know - you get what you pay for, but it's gotten ridiculously bad).  I bought one shirt this summer and, I kid you not, in under ONE hour that shirt had holes in it from rubbing against the button on my shorts.  This winter, I've found a solution of sorts - I just wear a tank under the top and, so far, that seems to help.  But that is not a long term solution, particularly since the summers here are so warm that there is no way I am going to wear two shirts then.  So that's the second issue I want to crowd-source - have you found quality tee shirts?  If so, please share.

And since we are chatting about clothing; feel free to share - what are you a sucker for when it comes to clothing?  Clean lines?  A fun neck line?