New addition to the family! My cousin had her first baby in October, and he is beautiful!
Unfortunately, I was (and still am) behind on my baby presents so I didn’t get a chance to start Felix’s present until after he was born. That being said, I got to picture him and the family while I made it! Instead of dreaming of what the little munchkin will look like or how Hillary will be as a mother, I already knew! I had a tough time picking this one out. I found this owl pattern which I liked but thought it might be small and boring. I asked my stepmom for advice since she knows Hillary’s style more and she said that Brandon (the husband and baby daddy) loved owls. Perfect! I was looking for an excuse to pick this one! So I quickly got to work.
I IMMEDIATELY fell in love with it. The colors are so bright, and you guys know how I’m a sucker for bright colors. They really pop and while I’m not a fan of owls, I started to love this piece way more than I thought.
(ew I don’t know why there’s a yellow tint to this photo)
I was amazed at how quickly I was working through it. All that’s left was the border and bark!
I finished it right before the holidays, but due to holiday spending and traveling AND moving, I decided to put it in a safe place and not worry about framing it until things calm down in January. Once I was settled in at the new place, I dug it out and washed it.
Then I realized I forgot to sign it! So I every so carefully stitched my initials trying not to touch anything, which is pretty hard - and with no hoop either because I had already ironed it flat. Alas! I have it completed (minus backstitching in the bark which I purposely left out not wanting it, including my initials), washed, and ironed. Ready to hit the frame shop!
Framing was a little tricky. With Kelly’s I immediately knew I wanted light purple. This one I had no idea. It’s a boy so obviously I wanted to avoid any pinks or purples. The thought of blue or green comes to mind but the data owl is a teal color so any blue or green would clash. Unless I used teal but that’s the biggest owl and I didn’t want that color to dominate. Orange was a contender but with the stitched orange border I didn’t think I’d like it. In the end I think it was between orange and a light green. I picked orange and stopped thinking about it.
I waited 4 weeks and completely forgot about it. She said 3 weeks and after the 4th I realized I haven’t heard from them yet. I gave the frame shop a call and she said they had my number wrong so couldn’t reach me but my work is finished and ready to pick up. Yay!
Welcome to the world Felix! You will love your parents just as much as all the rest of us! Congratulations to the Peete family and their little bundle of joy. We are all very happy for you guys!
Am I a paranoid overprotective mother? Or are animals just hard to take care of? Goomba has a new ailment: idiopathic head tremors. It started on a Sunday night, we were cuddling on the couch watching tv and all of a sudden his head started shaking. He looked like a bobble head. It was terrifying. I thought my dog was having a seizure and at 9 pm on a Sunday night I wasn’t sure what to do about it. Adam and I did some research and we decided it sounded like idiopathic head tremors.
Idiopathic head tremors are when the head shakes but there is no cause, and unfortunately no solution. The good news is while this was happening Goomba was fully alert and could follow commands. He didn’t even notice anything was happening except for the reaction he got from me. The even better news: idiopathic head tremors are benign. They are also common in Boxers. I joined a boxer forum to pose some questions and multiple people reassured me this was it.
Monday was a little scarier because he had FOUR episodes in one day. This seemed excessive While trying to remain calm thinking it was IHT, I scheduled an appointment for the vet and got video when it happened to show the doctor.
The vet appointment was pretty useless. i showed him the video, explained everything, he checked Goomba out. He thought it was focal seizures and the next step was to bring Goomba in for blood work and a biolase. I brought up IHT but he seemed to brush it off going with his focal seizures theory. He also said since Goomba hadn’t had any since Monday (it was now Saturday) the tests are likely to show up normal which doesn’t necessary mean anything. Great. Well then what’s the point??? I remained calm telling myself I still thought it was IHT.
The doctor just called telling me all tests were normal. yay!! That is excellent news. He mentioned yes it could be seizures which can be inherited (but unfortunately I know nothing about Goomba’s parents), could be calcium (test came back normal), liver disease (test came back normal), but since it hasn’t happened in over a week it’s likely an incidental event. I shouldn’t worry and no need to do anything unless they start happening again. But good job on catching it on video - that’s always helpful.
So, there we have it. There’s no way to test for IHT, just rule everything else out. Seeing a neurologist is going to be SUPER expensive so I’m not doing that unless it’s a last resort and I know something is seriously wrong and needs attention. Everything checked out normal, so until I have proof that they are seizures, I’m calling it IHT.
There’s nothing to do with IHT. I will keep a journal of when it happens (if it happens again). It’s common in boxers, it always happens when he’s laying down sleeping/relaxing, it goes away after just a few minutes, and he is fully responsive. It fits all the symptoms of IHT. There are a few tricks people have tried to help it stop immediately: peanut butter, light corn syrup, honey. I haven’t found anything that works magically yet, but I just make sure every time he can still sit and focus on me and wait for it to pass. It’s a very unpleasant feeling, watching this happen knowing there’s nothing you can do. I just have to keep reminding myself it’s benign, he doesn’t notice it, there IS nothing I can do, just wait it out and it’ll be over soon.
Having dependents is stressful. How am I ever going to have kids?
Holy moly I never thought I was going to finish this! Adam and I started dating in December of 2010. Around June I stated to think of his birthday present (end of August) and thought it’d be cool to cross stitch him something. But not just anything, because it’s a boy and boys don’t usually care about stuff like that. So I went to his flickr account and scrolled through his “favorites”.
I found a picture of the bay bridge that I liked and turned it into a cross stitch pattern. Sure, I can finish this in two months. It’ll be tight, and I’m slightly worried, but I can do it. So I ordered the pattern, the 50 some colors, and the cloth.
Since it is dark, I thought I’d save a lot of time by stitching on black rather than the usual white. Cool! I get to do something new! I also picked a smaller stitch (18 count rather than the standard 14) so it looked tighter. Since this was strictly stitching and no spaces or backstitching I wanted the stitches to be super close to one another.
It finally arrived in the mail. OMG what have I gotten myself into? I was quickly overwhelmed. This is the pattern I was looking at.
Was it really 10 pages? Actually no, it was more but the rest were black so I trashed them. How did I not realize how big my project was? The safest way to start a project is from the center. This way your work is centered on the fabric and you don’t run out on one side. I didn’t even know where to start. I picked something as close to the center as I could and just jumped in. The beginning is always the hardest. And I quickly learned that black was SUPER hard to stitch on. I couldn’t see the holes so it was like guess and check every stitch to get the needle back to me. It was a nightmare. I forced myself to work on it any free time I had and I was quickly starting to hate it. Almost immediately I realized I wasn’t going to finish it for his August 2010 birthday and in a fit of anger stashed it in my nightstand and didn’t look at it for a couple months. Okay. Maybe I can finish it for Christmas? No. There’s no way, but I should do some sort of work on it. It was also hard the stitches being SO CLOSE. Not only that, but the colors are all so similar. I was always getting confused on what I did and what color was what simple and where my place was to go next. SOMEHOW I managed to finish the first page. Okay, I can do this. I AM doing this. Then the second.
Two pages! I was making progress and getting excited! Maybe 2012 birthday I could give it to him. I realized I had no time to think about things, just do it. It’s hard to find any methodology to which color to do next or which stitch to do next or if something is too far to use the same thread or if I forgot one do I fill it with the color I’m currently using or do the color it’s supposed to be. That’s too much, just do the first thing that comes into my head and move on. I got a third page.
Then for the fourth one I went up because I wanted to start to see something, and the page was smaller.
Okay. One side done. That’s hot tall it will be. Now just work my way across and over more. I decided to go back to the main level instead of the top to knock out some bigger pages. Sorry about the stupid coloring, not sure what I was doing.
Alright! Now the bottom was done. That’s how wide it’d be (about 12 inches). I can almost see part of the bridge. Just gotta go across the top. At this point I was proud of myself, but still waiting for it to amaze me. It was very hard for me because reflecting water in yellows and greens was weird. It wasn’t looking as good as I wanted it to. But I kept going thinking maybe once I do the bridge tops it’d look more like the photo.
OOOOOOH YEAH!!! I’m still not in love with it, but it’s looking better. I can’t believe just one more page to go!!! Then I still have to do the top layer.
Good work Elizabeth! It looks alright, except that green is hideous. I HATE it. I’m so pissed it’s there and I want to cry. This looks stupid, and it’s been SOOO HARD getting to this point. It’s past his birthday and I’m hoping to get it done before Christmas 2012. I don’t know what to do. So….I take the green out. I’m not happy at all with it there so as hard as it’s going to be I just have to get rid of it.
It was way harder than I thought. Half way through I regretted it, but I finished and was happy that it was gone.
What should we do? Replace it with blue! I was getting super antsy at this point. Blue was weird because the bottom was green, but I didn’t like green on the top so just do it. I bought two shades of blue on the way home and tested them. I liked the darker one and made an outline of the top. That way all I’d have left to do is stitch and not think of a pattern for the top. I’m not creative, and I improvised since the originally pattern had clouds and filling in with black. Since I wasn’t doing the black I didn’t want there to be big gaps of stitching. It took a couple iterations but I finally did it. Okay. I’m done! Wait, I’m done? That’s impossible I thought I was never going to finish this project. Seriously????
The blue looked a little weird, but when looked at from afar it was okay. And there was no way I was going to redo it so I just went with it. Here’s the picture with the cross stitch to see how they compare.
I know the shape is a little different, but with the left side being mostly black I thought it’d be even weirder to include it so I just cut it out. I’m not thrilled, but I’m happy. It’s hard when there’s no real pattern and I made my own. Like I said, I’m not creative and I’m also a perfectionist. There’s not way I can make it look exactly like his so I shouldn’t be upset it’s a little different. Some people said they liked it, it was like an abstract of his photo. By this point it’s been so long I’m scared he won’t even remember that photo or it won’t be one of his favorites anymore. But it’s done. I just have to wash it and take it to a frame shop.
Washing it was a little scary because the colors bled a little. I just prayed it came out okay.
After picking a frame, she gave me a timeline of 3 weeks. Perfect. I’ll pick it up the week before Christmas and give it to him before I leave.
The day it was ready I was soooo anxious. I was TERRIFIED I was going to hate it even more. I wasn’t thrilled when picking out a frame. I found one that worked but I wasn’t in love with any of them. I picked it up and looked at it in awe. I loved it. I can’t believe I finished and this was it. I DID IT! Next step: presenting it to Adam. Which I was also terrified of. I spent so much time (1.5 years) and effort into this thing. And the majority of the time I hated it myself. If he didn’t like it I would cry because I was so exhausted from it that I wanted someone to like it! I even warned him that he had to act 10 times as excited over it because he’s so bad at showing emotion with presents. His first words were, “This is my photo.” OMG! He recognizes it! Although he still didn’t act very excited, those were the best first words he could have said. I’m so thrilled he knew it was his photo. Otherwise it’s just some bridge. Lame. He said he liked it and it’s now hanging above his work station at home so he can look at it all day every day!
What I learned:
1) Never stitch on black fabric again
2) Never stitch less than 14 count again
3) Never stitch with such boring similar colors again
Dedicated to Ms. Emma.
I’ve been friends with Kelly since high school. Actually, we went to elementary school together for some years but we didn’t actually start hanging out until high school. She’s one of the few people who after graduation I remained friends with. I feel lucky that 8 years after high school we still catch up and make time to see each other when I come to town.
When she announced she was pregnant I was ecstatic! I enjoyed watching and listening to her journey of pregnancy. Kelly truly was one of the more gorgeous pregnant women I’ve ever seen. You hear people talk about this glow pregnant women have but I’ve never seen it or understood what they meant until Kelly. She definitely had “the glow”.
I had a late start, but knew I wanted to make something for this baby. While people bought her baby toys, I wanted to give the baby something homemade. The best part about making cross stitches for other people is that I am thinking about them the entire time. I called her “Baby Bausher” because they didn’t know the sex of the baby. It took two months to stitch and I thought of the Baushers the so much. About how this baby will grow up with such loving parents, a crazy awesome grandmother to spoil her rotten. How athletic he’d be if a boy, or she’d still be athletic if a girl. How beautiful and outgoing he/she will be and how much everyone will enjoy watching him/her grow up.
First train. Off to a good start.
Second train, I’m getting excited.
Train’s done. I’m so excited at how good it looks!
The border. At first I was excited at how colorful it was. I quickly realized it was going to be harder than I thought. With the same color over and over again it was harder to stay motivated. I even miscounted at one point and had to undo and redo part of it.
This even happened a few times.
Then I could focus on the backstitching and french knots! My french knots have gotten better and easier to make.
Finished! All that’s left is for Baby Bausher to be born so I can add the name.
I love it. The hard part is done, but what’s left is even more stressful. it’s always scary washing pieces because you never know what will happen. You put in so much time and effort, you don’t want it to get ruined now. At one point I almost spilled soda on it in a confined space on an airplane. I held my breath and washed it.
(sorry I don’t know why this won’t load horizontal, like it’s saved on my computer)
Once washed, I dried and ironed it to get it as flat and straight as possible. Next is to frame it. Since it’s so big and not a standard shape (12 x 9.5), I took it to a frame shop. I had an idea of what color I wanted (light purple) but was open to see what was available and how things looked. After seeing many frames she finally brought out a light purple one and I liked it immediately. I was extremely happy when I got it returned (the day before leaving town). I loved it instantly. It was just what I imagined.
I went home for Christmas and hand delivered it to Kelly and baby Emma.
Welcome Baby Bausher! I’m excited for you to learn what this world and life is about (although no one really learns that) and I hope you like your birthday present!
Two years ago I picked up this little guy and brought him home for the first time.
We did a lot this year. Here are some of the highlights. Goomba and me: Our second year together in pictures:
We visited the Hughes right before Christmas. Spent the weekend on the cape:
Goomba went home with me for the first time to celebrate Christmas. My mom (not being a dog person) even let him on the couch! He totally cheated Christmas morning and raced down the stairs before waiting for Rebecca and me so we could all go down together when Mom was ready. He had some special presents under the tree and got to play with all the paper of course! He also got to go with me to Mommom’s and hangout with the rest of the family where he quickly found the other dog lover:
The biggest part of the year for the both of us was his surgery. He had a luxating patella which we ended up getting surgery for. The surgery went well, it was an early stage so not too hard to fix. He started chewing his stitches so had to endure the “Cone of Shame”. He didn’t like that thing at all and near the end actually was able to move it so he started chewing it apart:
One afternoon playing outside he jumped the ditch a little too early and scraped his leg. This was soon after the surgery so I was worried that he’d re-injure himself and it’d be for nothing, and also he’d need stitches which I was still paying off the surgery! Luckily although it was deep it heeled up on it’s own. He got an afternoon of massaging:
He met more farm animals as Adam added ducks and pigs to his chickens:
He submitted himself to dogshaming:
He still liked to snuggle in his blue chair, and anywhere else. Especially right in the middle of me and Adam or all over my side of the bed:
He turned two! And got a bee sting to the mouth on the same day. I was running errands on the way home from work and could hear him trying to catch something with his mouth. He finally caught it and I had to pull the stinger out of his mouth. I quickly started freaking out and googling. He looked okay, but since it WAS the mouth and I was passing the vet on the way home I stopped in anyways and he got a shot of benadryl:
Goomba got a new cousin this year who he has yet to meet:
He attended a Hill Farmstead event and met TONS of people which wore him out:
He got to meet his grandpa and grandma who he quickly took a liking to:
Another big issue this year was his dog aggression. He seems to play with other dogs great when I board him, and also if he already knows the dog they play nicely. But when I’m walking him on a leash he gets super protective when we see other dogs. We’ve slowly been working on this and it’s gotten better, but it’s still an issue I’m trying to correct. This breaks my heart that he can’t play with other dogs because I know he’d enjoy it if he just relaxed and trusted it’d be okay. Thank you to the huge rottie at the dog park who started this.
He drives me crazy a lot of the time, especially as he’s growing into his adolescence phase, but I still love him with all my heart. How can you be mad at this cute face?
Here are some other random photos from this year’s events:
And one more to remind you of how small he once was:
Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. I hope everyone had a good day and something to be thankful for. This year I decided I wasn’t going to do anything. It’s unfortunate Thanksgiving and Christmas are so close together. With the dog, I’m driving home for Christmas and didn’t want to make the long drive twice, nor did I want to spend money to board him. So I decided I’d stay home and just make no big deal out of it. As the time got closer I knew my sister was going to our Dad’s and I started getting lonely so I invited them all up to New Hampshire. And they accepted!
My sister came from Seattle, and my dad and step mom came from Atlanta. It was my first Thanksgiving hosting and while I was nervous, I was also calm and just excited to all be together. I woke up and almost immediately started making homemade biscuits and gravy (Sarah Copeland recipe, I highly recommend her cookbook). I even used sausage from Adam’s pigs. It didn’t turn out exactly as planned, but I think it still turned out to be good. Dad and Debbie arrived right as it was finishing. We turned on the parade and made fun of everything until we saw Santa. Next we played a few games before I had to skedaddle into the kitchen.
We ditched the turkey and did a brisket. Adam and I smoke briskets a lot and know how to easily make one, plus it’s something we could throw in early and forget about until dinner time. With the main dish out of the way all we had to worry about was sides.
Mashed Potatoes: Nothing fancy, but my absolute favorite.
Sausage, Apple, and Walnut Stuffing: This had potential, but I was disappointed. Everyone said it was great, but I thought it was a little moist. Maybe the bread wasn’t stale enough? Too much apple cider? The veggies got too soft? I don’t know.
Salad: Boring. I don’t know why I even made one.
Bourbon Sweet Potato Wedges: What a failure. I had just assumed from the picture and name we put this on the stovetop and cooked the potatoes in a glaze and they’d be nice and soft with a thick glaze over them. Turns out you make them in the oven. The so called glaze never got hard, it looked like brown water. And even after 1.5 hours the potatoes were still hard! How could they not cook after all that time? We all took one bite and agreed not to eat them.
That was going to be it but apparently Adam and I have very different ideas of Thanksgiving classics.
Green Bean Casserole: I will admit this turned out to be pretty good. Not running like you immediately think when you hear casserole. Although I felt really guilty that Adam put my step mom in charge of this.
Mac and Cheese: I originally didn’t want this dish. I knew Debbie was bringing homemade ravioli and I’d much rather eat that than some random mac and cheese recipe. Plus Adam made mac and cheese in the crockpot a few months ago and it wasn’t the best. I will again admit I was wrong. This was a huge hit. One of my favorites I think. It was delicious, and with the leftovers I was eating it all week. We ended up skipping the ravioli and saving it for Friday to eat as a meal by itself which worked out perfectly.
Cornbread: I never was a fan of cornbread, but it was nice to have. An alternative to biscuits.
Cranberry Sauce: Which we of course forgot about.
Can’t forget about dessert! I made a pumpkin cheesecake trying to be different, and put my sister in charge of pecan pie - another dish we were going to skip but Adam requested. Which I didn’t taste but I hear came out good. Oh and Debbie brought pumpkin roll.
Too much food for 5 people? No such thing! Over all, I think it was a good meal. I didn’t miss having or eating a turkey, but I will admit that it didn’t really feel like Thanksgiving. Maybe because I’m still growing up so Thanksgiving to me is relaxing then eating a feast. This year I had to make the feast and did it differently. It wasn’t bad, but next year I think I will go for the turkey. Even if it’s just for myself.
This year I decided I was thankful for Goomba. My heart melts when I look at him. No matter what I do, what mood I’m in, what’s going on in my life, I always have someone on my side to brave the world with whose biggest concern is wanting more cuddle time. Almost time for Goombaversary II post!
Megan: I can't wait for Bruno Mars' new cd to come out.
Me: OMG ME TOO
Megan: I love him.
Me: I FUCKING LOVE HIM.
Megan: Like, he is so hot.
Me: I daydream about being his girlfriend.
Megan: I don't understand why people hate him. I think he's great.
Warning: Although I will be showing no photos, Kendra Harvey should stop reading this now as it’s all about animals and food.
I had a very unexpected reaction to the whole pig slaughtering weekend. Earlier in the year Adam bought two pigs. They where adorable and I loved them. He fed them all summer and I tried to stay away not to get attached. Then came slaughter weekend. Originally I had said I’d just stay at home that weekend and not be around it. I didn’t want to be a part of the slaughter, and afterwards they’d be hanging right outside his door. With Goomba that just seemed too hard so if I couldn’t hang out with him anyways I’ll just stay home. Then there was potential to have a big tasting the night before and you guys know I don’t like to miss anything. So turns out I was going to be at Adam’s for the weekend after-all.
Adam got out of bed and started preparations on Saturday at 7:30 am. I did my own morning routine and assumed I wouldn’t see him for the day. I made a delicious breakfast, washed all Adam’s dishes, did some Jillian circuits, showered, watched a few movies. It was great. I went out 2 or 3 times because I couldn’t let Goomba out on his own so since he had to go to the bathroom and was staring at them all day we went over to say hi. I made sure not to see anything too bad so by the time I saw the pigs they had no heads, no skin, front legs gone. Adam and group were working on the insides and doing whatever it was. I don’t know because I don’t care and didn’t want to. They finished right when it started getting dark and Adam was hanging the pigs in his porch so no wild animals got them. There were 4 pig halves hanging right outside the doors. Gross. I made him turn off the lights. Goomba was terrified. Kept barking and would not go outside because he was scared to walk by them.
Sunday was interesting. Sunday was the butchering and freezing. All his helpers were home as he could do the rest on his own. First we watched a video on how to cut the pieces. As watching the video I kept saying “ew”, until they put a piece on the oven and started cooking it and I said “that’s looks good”. Then I felt horrible. I didn’t like thinking about the pigs and how they were in the backyard alive all summer and now large pieces of meat hanging, but when it’s a smaller piece being cooked that’s when it’s okay?
When does it stop being an animal, and start being food?
I didn’t watch any part of the butchering, because the pigs were still big and I didn’t really know what I was doing. So Adam cut them up and I was in charge of vacuum sealing. I would not help Adam carry the pig from hanging to the table, but once it was small I had no problem picking it up and putting it into a bag. I came to the conclusion that if it looks anything like an animal, I don’t like it. I don’t want to be reminded that I’m eating an animal. But when it’s smaller pieces that you can’t really tell, that’s okay. Does this seem logical?
I was scared to tell my best friend that my boyfriend was getting pigs because she’s a huge vegetarian, but I was surprised when she actually respected him for it. Which I can understand. Although she doesn’t support eating meat, she thinks that everyone should know the process. If I eat meat, then I should be able to watch an animal be killed. It’s not fair for me to seem “I’m so sweet I love animals I hate murder” but then eat a hamburger for dinner.
I’m scared to eat the meat for several reasons. One being I don’t like pork or ham anyways so I don’t really care to eat pig. Another being no fault of Adam’s, but he’s not a professional so I’m scared of any processing done wrong or bugs getting on the meat or whatever else happened. And the last being I’m a huge hypochondriac, so just THINKING about this thing in my mouth at one time being outside in the mud with course hair and a cute (kind of) head, will make me dislike whatever I’m eating. My mind is easily swayed to things like that and I will feel weird eating it and therefore think it tastes bad. We had some of his sausage in a quiche and I could barely finish it because I was weirded out. However, on my way home today I bought sausage from the store to cook with some ravioli in one of my favorite meals.
It was an interesting weekend for me. Looking inward at our food and what it goes through and how it makes me feel. Do I want to do it again? No. Am I going to stop eating meat? No. Does that make me a bad person if I realize how horrible it is, but by eating meat I still support it?