The final day of January--can you believe it? And my third post of the month--even more surprising! How is everyone doing? Surviving the winter okay? I hope that those of you who were caught in that massive snowstorm on the East Coast fared well and that February will be a bit easier for all. In our area of Pennsylvania they are saying this is the coldest weather we've had in four years--subzero temperatures in the mornings and barely getting into the 20's during the day. Today we are getting up to 34°F--heat wave! But, you all know what the best thing is about our cold winter, don't you? It makes for wonderful stitching weather. Honestly, is there anything better than snuggling under a cozy, fleece blanket and stitching, stitching, stitching? I have to admit that since I've been retired and don't have to leave the house for work, the cold and snow really don't bother me (very much, anyway)!
I've finished my January ornament--can you tell which is the new building added to my little town? Why, it's the local diner on the far right of the photo--something every small town has (sometimes even more than one!). The six buildings that I've stitched so far include, the train station, the tree lot, the firehouse, the needlework shop, and Grandma's house. In my mind, I planned on stitching one each year, but with 22 in the series, and only 6 finished, I think I need to stitch more than one a year if I ever plan on finishing. You see, I'm 67 now and with 16 left to stitch, I'd be 83 years old by the time I finished the series! Um... no! Not going to happen... I can guarantee you I won't be stitching "over one" on 28 ct. black Monaco at that age!
|My Little House Needleworks "Hometown Holidays" finishes so far|
Most of you will recognize the diner as part of the Little House Needleworks "Hometown Holiday" series. I made some color changes; the main change was to the roof as I wanted it to coordinate with the gold "Woolies Flannel" fabric that I had chosen for the finish. Other changes included leaving out the front portion of snow, adding two candles in the center of the two windows, and topping the tree with a gold star. I truly love how this one turned out!
|The Hometown Diner--freshest pies around!|
Here is a close-up for you...
|Can you see the little candles I added to the windows?|
As I was stitching the diner, memories of my first real summer job came flooding back. You see, I actually worked at my small hometown diner as a waitress in the summer of 1974. I well remember the night I came home from my very first shift: I was exhausted, my feet hurt, and I smelled like grease from the kitchen odors (where I also had to wash dishes when I wasn't waiting on tables!). I remember telling my mom that I just couldn't go back... But, then the tips started pouring in and I learned to enjoy my three month summer job. The two other waitresses were fun to work with and I even developed a soft spot for the crusty, old cook who constantly had a cigarette hanging from her mouth (yes, people were allowed to smoke at work in those days!).
|This is the actual diner I worked at in my small western New York hometown in the summer of 1974|
Giveaway time... I found this very pretty small sampler (it measures just 98 X 70) and thought it would make a sweet giveaway for this time of year. I love the large thistle in the center--such pretty colors, too! This chart does have some specialty stitches in it so I would not call it a beginner design. If you would like to win this design (simply a chart torn from the March/April 1992 issue of Cross Stitch & Country Crafts magazine. I will fold and mail it to the winner in a legal-sized envelope to save on postage), please: 1) Specifically mention that you'd like to win the "Thistles and Flowers" chart in your comment below, 2) Answer the "Getting to Know You" question below, and 3) Make sure to include your email address if I don't already have it.
|I'm giving away this sweet chart called "Thistles and Flowers"|
Getting to know you... It's been a while since I've had a giveaway and asked a "Getting to Know You" question! For today's question, I'm wondering what one of your first jobs was and what you learned from it or found interesting about it? Here is my answer: Working as a waitress in my hometown diner over 40 years ago began a lifetime of jobs working
with the public.
And it taught me so much... I still remember the well-dressed older
couple who I assumed would be big tippers. Nope--they left me a quarter. And
then there were the shaggy looking younger guys who tipped big (but
that may have had more to do with my waist-length straight hair and
short white uniform than my performance as a waitress--ha ha! I mean it
was the early '70s after all!). My waitressing job taught me to be
patient and kind with those in public service as exemplified by the four
businessmen whose laps became the recipients of the four large sodas that spilled all over them when I set down
my tray too quickly! They were so kind to me as I teared up and
apologized profusely--a lesson I always remembered and carried throughout life. I think you can tell
a lot about a person's character by how they treat shopkeepers,
waitresses, grocery store workers, etc.--anyone you come in contact with on a
daily basis. Please remember to always be kind... Now, it's your turn--I'd love to hear about one of your early jobs and what you took away from it!
On Instagram, I posted my Pottery Barn cubby filled with snowmen and winter stitching for January and it was a huge hit! Unfortunately, Pottery Barn seems to have discontinued making the cubbies and I've had a lot of disappointed stitching friends who are unable to find one of their own. I suggest keeping your eye out for other cubbies like printer's trays at antique shops. Some folks told me Hobby Lobby also offers a similar smaller cubby, too. Anyway, I thought you'd like to see the snowmen display as I know all of you are not on Instagram... Do you have a favorite? I think mine are in cubbies #6, #10, and #12, but they all make me smile.
|Snowmen have taken over my Pottery Barn cubby for the month!|
|Lots of blue--my favorite color!|
Wordle... Okay, who else has become obsessed with Wordle, the online word game? My middle son told me about it earlier this year and I can't wait to play it each morning. My family often compares scores and strategies and dumb mistakes that we make in trying to guess the five letter word that is offered each day. (You have to go to the website to play--it is not an app). The idea of it, for those of you who haven't heard, is to try to guess the five-letter word within six tries. I usually manage to get the correct answer in four, but not all the time! I think what I like most about it, is it is only offered once a day and so you don't spend hours and hours playing it like some other online games. Also, there are no ads or annoying pop-ups (kind of like my blog!). Give it a try and let me know what you think. You can find the website, right here: Wordle website.
|My Wordle game from Sunday|
This funny deer made his way into our yard last week and we've seen him wandering around a few times since then. When I spotted him, I asked my husband what was on his antlers and he said it looked like moss, but as the deer got closer, I saw shredded ribbons and greenery. I think it was someone's old Christmas wreath that he had found blown off a door or been discarded for trash pick-up. Poor guy! It doesn't seem to bother him, but I hope it eventually falls off! I wonder if he is attracting any female deer with his fancy headdress?!
|What a fancy deer!|
We've been snow-covered most of January and although pretty, I am starting to tire of it! I'd say we have close to a foot on the ground right now because it's been so cold, the snow is simply not melting! Our pond at the rear of our yard has actually frozen over for the first time in years.
|My backyard and pond after a fresh January snowfall|
But no matter how cold the weather, kids seem to love playing in the snow, don't they? I found this cute photo of my oldest son recently and combined it alongside a photo of his own son (my grandson) as they enjoyed their snowy days. The little shovel my grandson is using actually belonged to my sons when they were little boys. I'm guessing the photo of my son was from 1985 or so when he was about 3 years old.
|Snowy smiles for my oldest son and his own son, Mister B|
I want to thank each of you for taking the time to visit and read my post today--and a special thank you to those of you who comment. I always love to hear from you! Hope February brings many relaxing stitching hours and much time spent with those you love most in the world. I hope to be back with a couple of Valentine finishes before too long--we'll see! Take care now, my friends. Bye for now...