Friday, November 30, 2007


Sneeze, blow, sneeze, blow, blow, blow, then blow, sneeze blow some more. I don't know what this is but all I've been doing for 2 days is blowing my nose. I don't know if it's allergies or a sinus infection or a cold but IT'S ANNOYING! My nose is sore and red and once in awhile my eye itches like crazy. I looked in the medicine cabinet and there's LOADS of stuff for heartburn, acid reflux, asprin but NO SINUS stuff. That is going on my USA shopping list. For now it will have to be chicken soup, green tea and warm compresses.

An update from the Gramma hormones from yesterday, I dug into that bottomless box and pulled out Christmas placemats, napkins, table linens, my light up santa hat,(which will go in my carry on so I can put it on before I get off the plane in New Hampshire) my HUGE present hiding bag, and a couple of assorted other Christmas decorations and they are already packed in my suitcase.

I still haven't sat down and stitched today, I went on a blog reading frenzy after those blogthings, LOL.


Ok Velda, enough! I HAD planned on stitching this afternoon BUT I sat here and clicked on all the blog things you had posted.

Yep, this is me, I LOVE London!
You Belong in London
You belong in London, but you belong in many cities... Hong Kong, San Francisco, Sidney. You fit in almost anywhere.
And London is diverse and international enough to satisfy many of your tastes. From curry to Shakespeare, London (almost) has it all!">What European City Do You Belong In?

You Are Thanksgiving
You are a bit of a homebody who enjoys being in the company of people you love.
It doesn't take a lot to make you happy. You're enjoying life as it is.
You have many blessings in your life, and you are grateful for each one.
You believe that life is about what you *do* have. You feel like you have enough of the good stuff.

What makes you celebrate: Family, friends, and the changing of the seasons.

At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The host of the party

On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Spend so much energy preparing that it's a full time job">What Holiday Are You?
Not sure about this one
You Are Eggnog
Rich, sweet, and probably a little drunk. Everyone who knows you tends to get a little fatter.">What Holiday Food Are You?
You Are 82% Addicted to the Internet
The internet is your life - seriously.
You spend so much time online, you should be a dot com millionaire!">Are You Addicted to the Internet?
Your Holiday Personality is Caring
You like to reach out to people all year long, but you're especially giving during the holidays.
Make those you love homemade presents (like cookies or scarves). Call someone who might be feeling a little down. Give to your favorite charity.">How Should You Spend the Holidays?
There were no answers to the questions that I would have chosen
You Are a Tree
You love every part of the holidays, down to the candy canes and stockings. And you're goofy enough to put a Christmas tree ornament on your tree!">What Christmas Ornament Are You?
Yep, yep, yep
You're a Total Grinch
Ouch! You make the Grinch seem like Santa Claus. Holidays definitely aren't your thing.
Just relax, and create your own tradition. Even if it's drinking spiked hot chocolate and heckling carolers.">Are You a Grinch?
Your Christmas Stocking Will Be Filled With Little Wrapped Presents
You've made Santa a very happy fellow this year.
Don't worry - what happens at the North Pole stays at the North Pole!">What Will Be In Your Christmas Stocking?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gramma instincts are kicking in

I'm sitting here almost in tears, I think the Grandma in me is starting to pop out. I went to the Betty Crocker website to browse around and on the home page there is this lady and her daughter or granddaughter and they are making a gingerbread house. My Grandma brain kicked in and now I want to make gingerbread houses, gingerbread men, Christmas cookies and do all the Chrismtasssy stuff with my grandsons that I did with my kids. I want to go upstairs into the depths of that HUGE assorted holiday box and take out Christmas stuff that I had when my kids were little and take it home with me to use with the grandsons. The sad part is I won't get to spend a whole lot of time with them since my oldest will turn 8 2 days after we get home so he will be in school and both his mom and dad work and can't just jump in the car and bring him down. He had only just turned 1 the last time we were home for Christmas and we only had 1 grandchild at the time so this year means a whole lot more. Ey yi yi, this is getting to me now.

2 weeks, 2 weeks! 2 weeks from RIGHT NOW we will be in Europe waiting to make the flight connection to the USA!

2 WEEKS TODAY! I quit smoking 2 weeks ago. The last time I had a puff was ummmmm, the 18th or 19th??? I can't even remember now. Those 2 weeks actually feel more like 2 months, but I did it. I wonder if I can actually say I quit smoking yet?

General rambling

If you are easily offended by personal hygiene talk then you should close out now, this is just a warning.

So you've heard the saying smelling like a rose? Well I don't know what the difference is in the exact same product made in the USA with the product made here but last week I bought a small package of Carefree personal hygiene wipes, supposed fragrance free. Well they're not! I do like roses, but not when certain body parts smell like roses, UGH!

The SanMan message board went down yesterday and came back up this morning. The only thing was the board was dated back to October 14, before I left the states. I feel sorry for Sandy since she just cleaned up the board, had a lot of her freebies throughout the year reposted, that was a lot of work to do. Now most of the ladies on that board are more concerned about their post counts than they are about all that hard work being lost! What a lot of nerve some of those ladies have! I also don't think 1/2 of them actually READ anything, they are adding their names to contests that ended back in October.

Another smoke free day! I went outside to bring the cat in for the night and it just stunk out there, it smelled like someone was burning a truck load of cigarettes in my front yard, my nose must be extra sensitive now that I've quit.

I sat down and stitched a bit on a new piece that Is tarted yesterday. It's called An American Christmas by Lady Bug Lane designs. I've had the pattern and the silk flosses for several years now and decided to stitch it up. At least I'll get a few stitches done the last couple days of the Stitchathon at Needle Nook.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A new blog I found

I found this one, Stitching Pink, a breast cancer awareness site with patterns to cross stitch. My daughter's mother-in-law died just shortly after being diagnosed as cancer FREE, but her body just gave out. I started stitching the pattern Breast Cancer Mandela for her but unfortunately never finished it before she died. My maternal grandmother was a cancer survivor but 3 of her sisters died after waiting too long to see the dr. One of my friends on a board I visit and have met in person is also a survivor and I'm so happy she is!
Here is the site:
I also had to add this to my blog so I can go back when I get HOME and check out all the links since they are blocked by the moronic internet censors here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Stitchy finish!

I finally finished another couple of things. These are for Chrismtas, and might be made into ornaments, I can't really say. Nor can I say if these are right side up or upside down, LOLOL. It's stitched on 32 count Champagne Cocktail painted Opalescent Lugana from Enchanted Fabrics and it's stitched with Eterna Silk floss.

Today I am going to start another project called A Patriotic Christmas, it was a freebie from several years ago. It uses more Eterna Silk floss, then I hope to start on a project for my son's girlfriend for Christmas.

Another day without a cigarette, it's not getting easier either.

Monday, November 26, 2007

November 26

1 WHOLE WEEK without a puff on a cigarette and 11 days since I quit! I will honestly say, NO it's not easy but I can't slip up anymore because there are no cigarettes in the house so that is a YAY for me. I have told both my kids and they are happy for me.

I need someplace to jump up and down but at the same time say BAH HUMBUG. I am really sick and tired of reading all about every one's decorations and trees that are up. I was NEVER one to put up a tree before Dec. 20, I think that is the earliest I ever put one up. I just can't stand looking at the thing for that long. My family has always been real scrooges about decorations so I just don't bother. My DS did ask me the other day if we wanted a real tree or a fake tree for Christmas so there IS some hope. I KNOW he and his GF want to put up our tree and decorate the house and have it ready for when we come home. I think I burst his bubble by telling him to wait so I am going to call him back and tell him go for it.
Now on the other hand and THIS YEAR ONLY, I am so excited! I want to put on Christmas music, I want to put up decorations here, but I know I will only have the let down and depression of having to take them down again when I get over jet lag from the flight back on Jan 4. I suppose if I had Winter decorations I could but those up, but it's still Autumn.
I've asked both of the kids if they had any special dishes they wanted me to cook for Christmas dinner. DD told me she wants sweet potatoes, squash and pecan pie, DS doesn't care. There is only 1 MUST have for dinner and that is HAM, weather it is a spiral sliced, roast or whatever, it WILL BE PIG MEAT!

Bring on the Eggnog, fruitcake, candy canes, Christmas candy!
I have been keeping track of the flights we are taking to get HOME for Christmas. First off the flight out of HERE is a god awful, morbid flight time, leaving at 04:10AM, meaning we need to be at the airport by 1AM, UGH! It's a 5 hour flight to our European destination then a 3 hour layover. For the first time in YEARS we are flying an American air carrier, which neither one of us is happy about but we went for cheap not comfortable and friendly This flight leaves Europe anywhere between 5-20 minutes AHEAD of schedule and arrives in the US anywhere between 10 minutes to an HOUR ahead of schedule, how can this be? I've checked several flight trackers and the airline website and they all say the same thing, arrived early. Now this early arrival would be WONDERFUL for us meaning there is a 99% better chance we would make our connecting flight HOME but I have been on flights that have arrived early only to have to sit on the plane for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes while we wait on a gate to open. I wish there was some place I could e-mail to find out if these flights were indeed an hour early arriving and was the flight allowed to get to a gate and disembark early. We've never been to this airport and not exactly sure what the immigration, baggage claim and customs lines are like nor how long it takes to get from these, through security and to the departure area of the next flight. I personally am going to stick with my Here-Europe-Boston route for my summer trips.
I stitched last night again, I got one side of an ornament for an exchange done and started on the back side. It is really a quick stitch, I just can't seem to get the ambition to sit down and stitch much of anything. I have a whole pile of stuff I want to stitch but just can't, even though this is the month long Stitchathon on Needle Nook. Mainly I want to get a couple of things FINISHED before I start anything new.

Last week I got my monthly newsletter from Vee & Co. She has these cute new designs called Name Flakes, they are so pretty, I just have to order some for the girls in the family. I don't think they would get done for this Christmas but they are so nice.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My American Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Food cooked and eaten with good friends, phone calls made back home to family and leftovers still in the fridge.
I got up around 8:30AM, finished up the stuffing and put the turkey in the oven. About 11 is when I started peeling, chopping, mixing, washing and cooking everything. The turkey was done to a beautiful golden brown around 1:15 PM and we ate around 3PM. I combined 2 recipes for the green beans and it was good. Now when I sent a menu list with my DH to share with his friends, they ALL voted DOWN the cranberry with orange sauce/relish, they said do NOT add the orange. Ok so I made one pan with the orange zest/juice and one without, guess which one was gone first? The one WITH the orange was wiped clean! MEN, ARRRRGGG!!!! I cooked the sweet potatoes plain, with only butter. I did end up adding a few rare pecans and marshmallows to one end and left one end just plain.
I did post my feast day menu but we ended up with a lot more food so here is what we ate:
a meat and cheese appetizer platter
Turkey, gravy and stuffing that I cooked
Roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy that J cooked
tossed green salad and home made ranch dressing that F made
sweet potatoes, sauteed green beans with roasted red bell peppers and pecans, fresh fruit salad, home made cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, assorted pickles & olive tray, pumpkin pie that I made
chocolate pie with whipped cream that J made.
Now if you are in the US/Canada and prepare this meal every year or in another part of the world and make a similar feast for a special occasion, you probably make your list and head off to the grocery store, fill your cart, get it home and start cooking. For us here, it's not quite that simple, throughout the year we see things in the stores that know we need for these meals so we buy it then and there or we won't have it. Pumpkin pie filling disappeared sometime in June, fresh and frozen cranberries disappeared about the same time but canned stuff was still there, sweet potatoes are hit and miss, the local ones are white and cheap, the imported ones are orange, good and EXPENSIVE, didn't see any pecans, canned or bulk, butterball turkeys are around once in a while so you grab them when you find them. As usual this is an expensive meal so ever wonder how much WE pay for this meal with all the fixings? Well I made a list, converted from local currency to US$ and here is the tally: (sorry I didn't convert the metric weights to US, I've learned to adapt)
USA imported Butterball Turkey - 4.5 KG $25.30
2 fresh "Indian Pumpkins" 1.85KG - $5.25
1 300G box frozen cranberries (imported from Australia) - $5.00
imported from USA Sweet potatoes - 3.7KG - $18.56
local sweet potatoes 3/4 KG - $0.64 (that is 64 CENTS)
a 30 oz can Libby's Pumpkin Pie filling (imported from USA)- $3.60
Swanson chicken broth (for stuffing) - $1.28
10 oz jar American Garden maraschino cherries for fruit salad - $2.20
230G can pears (imported from UK) - $2.26 (no local brand)
225G can "local brand" peaches - $0.66
1/4 KG "local" red grapes - $0.86
2 Fuji Apples - $0.53
2 Royal Gala Apples - $0.70
2 golden apples - $0.52
2 green apples - $0.72
3 "local" oranges - $0.61
1/4 KG Parmesan cheese (for Parmesan/peppercorn dressing) $6.16
3/4 KG green beans - $2.30
1 jar Vlassic Baby Sweets - $3.20
1 jar Vlassic Bread & Butter Pickles- $4.80
1 small jar Vlassic Dill spears - $4.80
1/2 KG Kalmata olives from the Deli - $3.40
1/4 KG Spanish black olives $1.64
1/2 KG Turkish Green olives $2.44
2 envelopes McCormick Turkey gravy mix (imported from USA) $2.66
This list doesn't include the meat/cheese tray ingredients, onion, celery, green/red bell peppers, mushrooms, milk, butter, flour, bread, roast beef, potatoes, tossed salad ingredients, mayonnaise, sour cream, whipped cream and other "little" things. The grand total is $99.69. That is just for the ingredients that I bought and used. Does that compare with what would be spend in the USA/Canada? We don't really look at the cost of SOME items because it's for OUR traditional holiday meal that makes us feel closer to home, DH and I kind of gagged on the price of the sweet potatoes, looked at each other and said "What the hell, it's for our one special meal"
So now I can start making a list for my Christmas day dinner that I will be preparing IN THE USA for my kids & grandkids!!!!!!!

Oh, I also gave the 3 full packs of cigarettes I had left in the house to J for thanksgiving, LOL, I do not need them anymore and didn't want them around the house. So there will be no more 2 or 3 puffs on a cigarette anymore. I am excited!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

November 21

Phew, gotta take a rest from cooking. Woo hoo, it's wednesday, the weekend!

I haven't smoked since Saturday night! I'm happy. The craving is always there but I try to ignore it. I am also proud that I made it through a grocery store shopping trip without smoking when I got home. I chewed the hell out of a piece of gum so much that one side of my teeth hurt and I pulled out a filling of the other side. Even though the SCREAMING BRATS in the store I didin't smoke! YAY YAY, patting myself on the back for that one.

I'm cooking a few things today, so far I've cooked 2 home made from scratch pumpkin pies, cranberry sauce from scratch, a dozen deviled eggs, DH did the turkey injection thing so it can sit overnight, plus the kitchen is all cleaned up! Home made from scratch tastes SO much better than stuff that comes from boxes, cans and jars and this is one of the few meals that I LOVE to cook from scratch.

I put the turkey in the bathtub last night to finish thawing out and one of our cats followed me but she ran out when she heard the water running. I went back in later to flip the turkey over and she came running in, jumped up on the side of the tub and fell right in the bathtub then tried to climb up the side of the tub which made her slip back down in and get all wet. She then jumped out and shot like a flash and shook herself off. YES I know it was wrong to laugh, but it happened so fast and it was funny and NO she did NOT get hurt, just her pride was hurt and she was so upset that she got wet. She crawled under the bed where she stayed the rest of the night.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Make your own snowflakes

I got addicted to this site last year and just remembered about it again.

November 19

WOO HOO! I finished a project! It only took me 2 weeks to stitch a little ornament. This is for an exchange on one of my groups. It's from the 2007 JCS Ornament issue and it's stitched on 32 count Champagne Cocktail opalescent fabric from Enchanted Fabrics.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I've been doing well, only slipped twice so far since Thursday which I think is excellent! I'm taking Chantix (sorry, don't know how to just make the name the link) to help me quit as well. I don't feel that it does anything what so ever except make me feel nauseous from time to time.

Not much else happening, DH switched ISP's again and this one flat out sucks. Our ISPs here are "pay as you go" type things like your cell phone service. You buy an internet card at the store, it gives you a phone number to dial up on your computer, you type in the scratch off PIN number on the back of the card and you have 30 days of internet service by that provider. This one is almost slower than dial up and we are supposed to have "high speed".

I finally got my new stash sort of put away yesterday, at least I took it out of my suitcase. I either need to find a bigger box for the patterns or I need a new box, they all won't fit. There are SO many patterns I want to stitch but I am just stuck in a stitchy slump. I need to finish another ornament, finish my nieces wedding project that didn't get done in time for her wedding in July, start and finish a project for my son's girlfriend for Christmas. I need to stitch those first before I stitch something for me.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

November 17

I changed the back ground. I'd love to change it more but I don't know where everyone goes to get the fancy back grounds and such because they sure don't have that much of a selection here.
I stumbled a bit yesterday but I did NOT fall! I lit a cigarette, and put it out, it tasted nasty. I did that just to see if I would slip and I don't think I will. I have also gained weight and look horrible! I'm hungry a lot more often now, either that or it's because I have to take my pill with food twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. If I don't eat before I take it, I get really sick to my stomach.

I put my Thanksgiving decorations up today and I made my Thanksgiving menu the other day:
Turkey, probably cajuin spice injected
bread stuffing from scratch
sweet potatoes (Fresh, NOT canned)
mashed potatoes & gravy (cooked by J.)
fresh green beans sauted with red bell peppers
fresh fruit salad
cranberry relish (made from scratch)
chocolate cream pie
pumpkin pie
Edited to add:
shrimp cocktail for an appetizer
deviled eggs
J. is thinking of making a roast as well, I don't know why.
I might add shrimp cocktail to that menu. This and Christmas are the only meals I like to get formal for and that is because that is the way I grew up, with very formal holiday dinners.
I prefer pumpkin pie from scratch but they don't sell pumpkins here. This is also the time when I break out the eggnog to start the other holiday season off.

The past couple of days I have been sneezing like crazy and blowing my nose. It is getting really annoying, I don't know if it's the fall allergies acting up or the cat fur, the dust I've stirred up cleaning or just what.

I ordered 2 thanksgiving turkeys to be delivered to both of my kids, I hope they get there safely. I also orderd my DH's Christmas present today and my daughter's husband's presents.

Friday, November 16, 2007

36 hours

Woo Hoo, 36 hours and counting. Counting what you are wondering? Well I'm not going to say right now until I KNOW I have succeeded! I walk around the house a LOT, I sat and stitched a lot yesterday, the house stays cleaned up. I do get REALLY irritated and miserable a few times a day but I walk it off.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Great American Smokeout

The Great American Smokeout is Thursday, November 15. If you smoke, are you participating? Here's a link to more information.


Sept. 14

AAahhhhhh, it feels so good. After 3 days my house is CLEAN! All laundry is done, the bathrooms are clean, rugs washed, kitchen has been scrubbed down, floors cleaned, living room dusted, vacuumed and straightened up and a lovely smelling wax tart is burning. Too bad it won't stay this way for long.

Yesterday was my son's 26th birthday. I am so proud of him, he has come up from almost the bottom of the barrel of life and become a wonderful father and son. He has a great job he really likes and is very good at, he's off drugs and has gotten his life totaly turned around. I did get to call him since he took a personal day off work. He is excited that we are coming home for Christmas.

The contractors are starting to work on my yard at home for garage construction. I was told that equipment was dropped off the other day. I don't think it will be done by the time we get home in 29 days but hopefully it will be started.

I did get to stitch for a little while last night before Spot kitty decided he NEEDED to be held. This cat thinks he is a human baby and needs to be held like a baby when he wants to sleep and since he is my DH's baby and DH isn't home, I had to hold him. It was either pick him up and hold him or get 8 cat claws scraped down my leg. So I didn't get to stitch much.

DH is supposed to be home from his business trip today. It's also the start of the weekend here.

World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes day and the color is blue. V posted a challange on my Cross Stitch Crazy board so I am posting here. There isn't a whole lot I can do in this country since I don't see any events or lit buildings listed. Both of my Maternal Uncles died from complications caused by diabetes and both my parents have it in some form or another. I am tested yearly.
Here is a link to learn more about today:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fall color slideshow

This is the world I left behind in October

Just some pictures

I like this picture, our grandson plodding around in Grampa's boots
grampa's boots 2
on grampa's harley 1
Our older grandson on Grampa's Harley
Our kids & grandsons
My son's girlfriend stitched this for me:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Catching up

Well it's been awhile since I posted.
Time is going by fast for a change since I've been back. Mainly because I've joined 2 stitchy ornament exchanges on 2 different boards and they need to be done and ready to mail when we get HOME in December. I'm doing well on stitching them too and I'm glad. I sort of lost my stitchy uumph lately and I don't know why. I have so many patterns that I really want to stitch but just don't feel like stitching. I have managed to finish 2 projects, both were on the Blackwork SAL from Needle Nook. I finally finished June and July.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

WE'RE GOING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!! We have our tickets and my passport has gone in for an exit/re-entry visa!! Woo hoo, I'm going from 95F weather to probably 20 degree weather in a 24 hour time span, it will probably be cold, damp and snowy while we're home too. We're flying an American air carrier from Eurpoe to Washington DC, taking another American air carrier to NH, I know we'll miss that connecting flight in DC because it's just barely over 2 hour connection time. Not to mention we're flying the national flag carrier here to Rome, that will be an exciting flight, no booze served on board. But, we're getting HOME on December 13 and staying until Jan. 3!! I'm excited about that, but not the snow and cold. Christmas, well I can take or leave that.

It's still warm here during the day, like about 98F but "cools" down to about 85 in the evening.
The morons on the compound decided to rip out bushes and cut down shady trees last week. So now my privacy hedge and tall shady trees that kept the sun and heat out behind our house are gone. So now the back side of our house is open to the office parking lot, so I guess I have to find my short shorts and tank tops and walk back and forth to my laundry room wearing them and maybe someone will get the message that I want my privacy fence back. Obnixous, You bet I am, personally I don't give a shit who sees me dressed in my comfortable clothes, if they had left the bushes/trees up, they wouldn't have to look at me and get offended by my legs and arms.

My DH is off on a business trip this week. He left Saturday afternoon and hopes to be back Monday afternoon. WOO HOO, now I get to clean the house!

We had to take one of our kitties to the vet last week. She had her front claws growing into her paw pads. We DO pay attention to our pets but never noticed this. She stayed overnight and got her paws fixed, had her 1 tooth cleaned, they gave her a bath and got all her matted fur cleaned up. She looks so pretty now, she's a white cat again instead of beige-ish. Poor thing is old, deaf, only has 1 tooth in her mouth, pretty sure she has arthiritis in her hind leg, she goes to the bathroom a lot, espically in the house if you don't get up in the middle of the night and let her out.