Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rejection Hurts...

...particularly when it comes at you from out of the blue and from places you least expect it. I know I can be very sensitive and emotional which maybe helps to explain the hurt, but understanding that doesn't make it less painful. Hopefully this too shall pass, but right now the wound is deep and it's barely scabbed over. I pray that eventually the wound will heal and leave only a small scar. But one thing I know is that my life has been changed because of the situation and I fear I am going to have a difficult time re-establishing trust. Right now I am just avoiding because it hurts less that way.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Obama Controversy

"In the first two weeks since the election, President-elect Barack Obama has broken with a tradition established over the past eight years through his controversial use of complete sentences, political observers say.

Millions of Americans who watched Mr. Obama's appearance on CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday witnessed the president-elect's unorthodox verbal tic, which had Mr. Obama employing grammatically correct sentences virtually every time he opened his mouth.

But Mr. Obama's decision to use complete sentences in his public pronouncements carries with it certain risks, since after the last eight years many Americans may find his odd speaking style jarring.

According to presidential historian Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota, some Americans might find it "alienating" to have a president who speaks English as if it were his first language.

"Every time Obama opens his mouth, his subjects and verbs are in agreement," says Mr. Logsdon. "If he keeps it up, he is running the risk of sounding like an elitist."

The historian said that if Mr. Obama insists on using complete sentences in his speeches, the public may find itself saying, "Okay, subject, predicate, subject predicate -- we get it, stop showing off."

The president-elect's stubborn insistence on using complete sentences has already attracted a rebuke from one of his harshest critics, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.

"Talking with complete sentences there and also too talking in a way that ordinary Americans like Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder can't really do there, I think needing to do that isn't tapping into what Americans are needing also," she said."

Andy Borowitz is a comedian and writer whose work appears in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and at his award-winning humor site, BorowitzReport.com.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Heart Keith Olbermann!

I have been very disturbed by Prop 8 in California and the fact that it strips people of rights they already had as well as denies them the vry basic human right of creating a family unit. Keith Olbermann's Special Comment last night on MSNBC brought tears to my eyes. He put it all so simply.

It makes me cry to think that there are people in this nation whose are so filled with hate (or is it fear?) that they feel the need to keep people surpressed.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I Just Don't Understand

Today should be a very happy, joyous day in this country, but the ugliness of hate continues to rear its head. Barack Obama has been elected 44th President of the United States. His election brings such hope to a country where we have even been denying we are American. I now feel I can proudly hold my head high and admit I am American. There were no boos from the crowd when he mentioned McCain in his acceptance speech, unlike all the boos in McCain's concession speech. The smiles and tears running down the faces of the people in the crowd said it all. I was so moved by emotion and hope, something that I have not experienced in the last 8 years.

But, sadly, the hate spewed by McCain and Palin throughout the campaign continues to hurt. The brother of one of my oldest and dearest friends posted the following on my Facebook page:

"you should invest in a 55 gallon barrel of vaseline. . .enjoy your delusional state of mind, while you are able to. now you'll have another new kid to chase around the block. i'm sure youre right, as your messiah has arrived. good luck, but keep the barrel nearby."

This has bothered me all day. To me it's offensive and hateful and is a continuation of all the crap thrown around by Sarah Palin and John McCain. I just want to wash my hands. Needless to say, I've removed him as a friend on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A New Day Has Begun!

Goodbye Joe the Plumber! Go home and pay your taxes.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WHAT IF.....

....Michelle and Barack Obama came out on stage at the Democratic Convention with 5 children, one a special needs infant and a pregnant teenager?

...Barack Obama graduated 894 out of a class of 899 from the Naval Academy?

...Barack Obama faced expulsion from college on more than one occasion because of insubordination and excessive demerits?

...John McCain graduated with a BA in political science specializing in internal relations, and magna cum laude from Harvard with a JD?

...Joe Biden went to 5 colleges before graduating with a BA in journalism (hoping to be a sportscaster)?

....Sarah Palin graduated with a BA in history and a BA in political science from University of Delaware and a JD from Syracuse University?

...Barack Obama crashed 3 planes because of recklessness?

...John McCain had only been married once?

...Barack Obama abandoned his first wife after she was horribly disfigured in an auto accident?

...Barack Obama met his second wife in a bar, had a long term affair with her, and took out a marriage license before his divorce was final?

...Barack Obama has been found to have exercised "poor judgment" by the Senate Ethics Committee?

...Michelle Obama had an addiction to drugs and had entered into a hush-hush plea bargain and court-imposed rehab?

...Michelle Obama stole drugs from a charity?

...Barack and Michelle Obama had 9 homes and 13 cars?

...John and Cindy McCain had 1 home and 1 car?

...Barack Obama referred to his wife as a cunt?


Saturday, October 04, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I am....

Which Twilight Character Are You?

Jasper Hale
Jasper Hale
You're Most Like:Jasper Hale
You tend to be off to the side, you are soft-spoken, But you get the job done, not to mention you never fail to cheer a Friend!

How do you compare?
Take this test! | Tests from Testriffic

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Can Sarah Palin be any less informed? I'll get back to you???

I think the McCain camp is really trying to play political games. McCain says he's suspending his campaign and wants to delay the first debate. So...they need to get 4 debates in during the next 19 days...3 presidential and 1 vice presidential. If they have to delay the first presidential debate, they will most likely have to cancel another. Now....which debate do you think they will cancel?? Obviously not a presidential debate!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mr. Risk

Does anyone find it a wee bit terrifying that the man who wants complete and total control of almost a billion dollars of our money with no oversight was known as MR RISK while he was at Goldman?? That he increased their debt ceiling from $20 million to $100 million? That he walked away in 1996 with over $50 million in salary and bonuses? And this is who we want to trust?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Can Honestly Say I'm Scared and Depressed

I find that in recent days I am always close to tears when it comes to the continual news of the economic collapse of our country and the class warfare that is going on. I used to laugh about it but I can't anymore. I'm sad and depressed, and feel totally and completely helpless. This country is being completely looted by the rich and hyper rich. There will be NOTHING left when George W. Bush and his criminal cronies leave office. And, the prospect of McCain and Palin stepping into those shoes and continuing the policies that have brought this entire country to the brink of bankruptcy terrifies me. We don't need to be concerned about foreign terrorism...we have homegrown terrorists in the shape and form of our elected government officials. We are being asked to trust those very people who have brought us to the brink of total destruction.

The Constitution has been completely gutted and We, the People, have had our rights taken from us. We are supposedly fighting a war to establish a democratic government in a country that has no desire for and/or knowledge of a democratic government, but at the same time our rights have been spat on.

My assets are diminshing in value and I am going to be asked to pay to put money in the pockets of the hyper wealthy and lobbyists. This country cannot afford to fund education and health care for everyone, but we can afford to bail out these financial institutions.

And, once this bail out is completed and we are all line up to file bankruptcy, will the Republicans turn around and spin this to say look how we saved Wall Street? When we all line up to file bankruptcy, and discover that under the Bankruptcy REFORM Act we can't get out from under our debts, who can we look to to bail us out? Isn't it ironic that Wall Street can make all kinds of bad investments, huge bonuses and gold parachutes to CEOs, and walk away scott free, but those of us funding the bail out cannot get out from under our debts.

Where is the help for all the students who are burdened with student loans? For the people living on social security disability who cannot afford to rent an apartment, buy medications, etc. For the elderly living on fixed incomes? For children whose schools are failing? Where is the help for 99.9% of all Americans?

And how can anyone in this country say they are undecided????

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thank You John McCain

This was made by a friend of Aimee's. Pass it on!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

PBS Poll

PBS has a poll on their website of whether Sarah Palin is qualified to be Vice President. What is scary is that right now "yes" is winning. I really want someone running the country who, after attending 5 different colleges, finally got a BA in journalism. Wow..that will impress world leaders, won't it?


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Is This A Nightmare?

So today Sarah Palin and John McCain were in Cedar Rapids, IA. Sarah was a little confused geographically since she thought she was in Grand Rapids. Nevertheless, she was enthusiastically telling everyone what a Palin-McCain Administration would accomplish. Did I miss something? When did she become the Presidential nominee?

If this is a nightmare, someone PLEASE wake me up!

Sarah Palin's Impressive Education

Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in journalism

Definitely the educational experience I want running my country!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Who's An Elitist?

The Republicans love to call Barack Obama an elitist. Vanity Fair has now figured out the cost of the outfits that Laura Bush and Cindy McCain wore at the Republican convention:

Laura Bush:
Oscar de la Renta suit: $2,500
Stuart Weitzman heels: $325
Pearl stud earrings: $600–$1,500
Total: Between $3,425 and $4,325

Cindy McCain:
Oscar de la Renta dress: $3,000
Chanel J12 White Ceramic Watch: $4,500
Three-carat diamond earrings: $280,000
Four-strand pearl necklace: $11,000–$25,000
Shoes, designer unknown: $600
Total: Between $299,100 and $313,100


Friday, August 22, 2008

A Week of Relaxation and Creation

Last week Deb and I attended the annual Needlework Guild of Minnesota retreat in Buffalo, MN. It's a week we always look forward to anxiously and bemoan when it's over. This year we went a day earlier so we could have time to settle in and make more than a quick trip to the local yarn shop. We again had the Garden Room as our independent study room. We weren't happy about that because we had a bad experience there our first year. But this year it was just fine; I can actually say I enjoyed it. The light during the day is wonderful because of all the skylights and glass wall overlooking the lake, but in the evening it's not so ideal. Still, we both had our Ott lights and that helped. We staked our claim to a table and remained there the entire week. I was busy working on knitting a pair of socks for Aimee as part of Ravelympics and Deb was working on one of the most gorgeous Quaker samplers I've ever seen.

I took 3 classes from Lauren Sauer (Forget-Me-Not In Stitches). This is one of my favorites. It's called Key to My Heart. The heart is stitched in wonderful silks. When it is opened, it contains an antique key. On the inside, the heart design is simply back stitched; on the back the heart design has some color; and the front is in full color. It's very easy and so very pretty.

One of the things the Guild did for a fundraiser this year is have a silent auction for 18 handmade aprons the Guild used in the past for something or other (I can't remember the original purpose of them). When the Guild moved about a year ago, they were going through all they had accumulated and ran across the box of aprons. They were going to simply throw them out until someone thought of auctioning them off. The aprons were displayed on a clothes line stretched over the stairs going from the entrance of the retreat center to the lower level. Some of those aprons went for BIG bucks! One woman also took all the aprons and photographed them individually and made them into an extremely beautiful calendar, which they also sold as a fundraiser. Of course, I had to get one!

During Show and Tell at the annual meeting, 9 Guild members brought the neighborhood round robin they had worked on for the past 2 years. They were SO beautiful! This was my favorite, done by the "infamous" Kathe Lyndsley...stitcher extraordinare.

One of the things that I love most about this retreat, besides the opportunity to do nothing but stitch, eat and sleep, is the peacefulness of the retreat itself. We saw some of the most spectacular sunsets this year. I'm already anxious for next August to roll around!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Big Read

Let’s see how many you have read from this list. This is what you do:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own Blog

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton **my all-time favorite book!**
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

Monday, July 21, 2008

What Starbucks drink are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as White Chocolate Mocha

You are mostly like this drink because this drink looks like regular coffe on the outside, just like you seem to be normal. In really, you are both really great and sweet

White Chocolate Mocha


De-Caf Latte


Espresso Shots




Can't quite see myself as White Chocolate Mocha..seeing as I don't particularly like chocolate and never drink mochas. Oh well....must be because I'm so sweet!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


What Your These Fireworks Say About You

You are focused, single minded, and intense.

You don't let others see your intensity often, and when they do, they are quite surprised.

You burn brightly, but you also burn steadily.

You have the endurance to get the one thing you desire most.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I'm A Failure...........


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Take the test!

It must have been those crooked seams in the hose....or wearing pajamas instead of a nightgown....

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Starbucks and Yarn Questionnaire

1. Full name: Neila

2. Ravelry ID: Neila (I know..original but easy to remember.)

3. Email address: bezweesh@aol.com

4. Blog address (if you have one): neilasnotes.blogspot.com

5. Handmade item you desire in the swap (bag, cup cozy, etc.): I am actually okay with any of the items. I love to be surprised.

6. Starbucks item you desire (gift card, mug, beans, etc.): I absolutely love Starbucks mugs, but anything would be wonderful.

7. Favorite Starbucks beverage/bean: I'm a nonfat no whip latte girl. I absolutely LOVE pumpkin spice lattes but they are only a fall/winter specialty drink. I also like gingerbread lattes.

8. Favorite snack food: Without a doubt, popcorn! I also like hard candies, particularly anything black currant or rhubarb. I'm not a chocolate person.

9. Favorite color(s): Blues and purples..think peacocks!

10. Favorite fragrance: Lilac and jasmine, or spicy fragrances, like clove and cinnamon. I am very into Yankee Candles and my favorite is harvest.

11. What types of things do you like to knit? Mainly socks, but I also enjoy bags and sweaters.

12. Do you spin? No

13. Do you dye your own yarn? No, but eventually would like to learn

14. Favorite yarns: I don't really have a favorite. I love them all!

15. Favorite needles: I love the Knit Pick Harmony needles, but am up to trying something new.

16. Do you have any allergies? Yes, cats and dust mainly

17. Would you be willing to prepare an angel kit if necessary? Of course

18. Do you have any special requests? No, other than lots of communication and lots of fun.

19. Do you have any pets? No

20. Is your home smoking or nonsmoking? Nonsmoking

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mosaic Meme

Go to Flickr.com and type your answers to the following questions (one at a time) into the Search Box.

The questions are:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favourite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favourite colour?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favourite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favourite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Choose 1 image from the FIRST page of results, remember the image you choose doesn't have to be exactly what you were looking for - just the image you like best from the first page.

Copy your URLs to the Mosaic Maker here and publish your mosaic to your blog.

I tag Aimee, Jennifer and Debbie.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Coffee and Yarn....

...........what more could a girl want? I've joined another cool swap called Starbucks and Yarn

Check it out and join us if you enjoy the goodness of Starbucks and the warmth of yarn!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

And the Winner Is.........

All season long we have been spending Tuesday evenings at my brother's house watching American Idol in his "theatre room" (complete with 105" projection TV screen and incredible surround sound.) We would have dinner while AI recorded on the DVR. Then we'd settle and got comfy. It was almost like being in the theatre itself. Everyone appeared almost lifesize. We had a friendly pool going among a few people and we all had our favorites. My brother and sister-in-law bemoaned Carly Smithson's exit, and I pouted when Jason Castro went.

This week we changed the plans and had a big American Idol Winner party with most of the pool participants (except Aimee...but she was invited!) We had burgers and dogs on the grill, potato salad, baked beans, chips, and all the makings of a summer picnic. The weather was absolutely perfect and the atmosphere was electric.

Around 800, we finally settled in to watch the 2 hour finale. It was fun to see the Top 12 again and relive the season. The guest performers were great...Seal, Donna Sommer, ZZ Top, George Michael. LOVED the Guitar Hero commercials done Risky Business style...David Cook definitely won that competition!

Finally, it's the end of the show. David C and David A stood together on the stage. David C, who seemed like a big brother to David A, had his arm around David A's shoulder, almost like he had to hold onto him so neither of them fell over. They both looked so nervous, so anxious, so apprehensive. Even among our party participants you could feel the tension. The envelope was brought out and certified that the voting had been the highest in the history of the show...over 97 million votes!! (I cast 20 of those.) Ryan Seacreast opened the envelope, looked at the two Davids, and said "The Winner of American Idol Season 7 Is........"


Yes, the recording ended!! There was a moment of silence in the room and then we all, in one voice, screamed "NO!" We had no idea who won and no chance to see the final performance! Diane ran upstairs to see if the recording she was making on a TV upstairs had recorded the end only to discover that that, too, had stopped at the same point. (DAMN COMCAST!!) So, Diane then RAN to the office where she got on the internet. There was a V-E-R-Y L-O-N-G period of anticipation before she yelled "DAVID COOK!" Then there was more celebrating!

So much drama!! We have decided that Mike's tombstone is going to say "And TheWinner Is..."

Anyway, here is the finale:

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Join the Hogwarts Express!

The last Hogwarts Express leaves Platform 9-3/4 on May 14th. If you'd like to join the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap, be on board!

If you enjoy knitting socks (or would like to try knitting socks...or just collect yarn!), lots of animated conversation, making great friends (and occasionally rivals), Quidditch contests, House Quizzes and creating and exchanging sock kits, then HSKS 5 is the place to be!!

Check it out at HSKS 5

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Help Celebrate A Life

My daughter-in-law, Darcy, is a breast cancer survivor. Here, in her words, is what she is doing to celebrate life after cancer.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer almost six years ago. I was 28, married and had a 1 year old daughter. I was fortunate to have the support of my family and friends through the entire process. It seemed that there was always someone there to count on when I needed assistance. I appreciated all the things I received. Some of you sent letters with words of encouragement, watched Ellie so I could rest or go to a doctor's appointment, said prayers, facilitated a conversation about something other than cancer, offered a ride to an appointment, provided a shoulder to cry on, or a meal to give to my family. I felt so fortunate to have the support that I found within my family and circle of friends. I was lucky in that I didn't need to look outside of this network for additional help.

Today, I am doing well. I have not had any recurrences, and all my numbers have come back within a normal range. I am still having every nook and cranny scanned and checked every six months but I feel like I am going to beat this disease. I have recently been blessed to have a second daughter, and I look forward to raising both of my girls with my husband.

At this point in my recovery, I want to share my story and help support other women who are dealing with breast cancer. When I saw this ride, I felt it was a good fit for me. (Other than the fact I haven't ridden my bike since last June!) I enjoy biking and understand the hardships of meal planning during cancer treatment. Some of my friends and family sent homemade meals for us to enjoy. These meals were a gift for me in that I didn't have to worry about what we were going to eat. I knew it was going to be delicious and nutritious. It was a night I would not have to smell foods while they cooked and I could rest and not be in the kitchen.

Open Arms is striving to become like the network I had, but for others who are in need. They are providing meals for breast cancer patients and their families going through treatment, as my friends and family did for me. No one can offer a 100 percent cure, but we can support those who are going through treatment. Everyone needs some support while going through this process, and Open Arms aims to provide that support.

Will You Support Me?

I am very excited to announce that I will be participating in the first annual Breast Cancer Ride. This two-day bicycle event, taking place June 21-22, 2008 will support those living with breast cancer in Minnesota.

All proceeds benefit Open Arms of Minnesota, a nonprofit organziation that for 21 years has prepared and delivered free, nutritious meals to those affected with many diseases, including those living with breast cancer, their care givers and dependent children.

Please support me with a donation by selecting the "Support Me" button right above my fundraising thermometer. Our efforts will help make a big difference!


If you can donate any amount, please go to:

Darcy's Fundraising Page

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My Fairy Name

Your fairy is called Berry Elfglitter
She is a cheerful sprite.
She lives in fruit orchards and vineyards.
She is only seen in the light of a shooting star.
She wears red, cerise and purple berry colours. She has delicate green wings like a cicada.
Get your free fairy name here!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ahhhh....Spring in MN

Spring has FINALLY come to MN!!

I can't wait for the first steaks on the grill.....

...getting the ole wave runner out on the lakes.....

...the wonderful smell of freshly cut grass!

Now, where should I hide those Easter eggs?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Eddie Izzard

YAY!!! I was able to get presale "fanclub" tickets to see Eddie Izzard when he is in Minneapolis in May! General tickets go on sale March 16. It was a frantic morning trying to get that password to be able to buy presale tickets, but I got it and managed to get tickets. My fellow Eddie freak, Maria, will be coming from Toronto to go with me. We've seen him together in Toronto and Montreal several times. This time she's coming to Minneapolis. It will be fun, fun...FUN!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Merry Cox Workshop

I have finally gotten back to working on the piece for the Merry Cox workshop next weekend. It's a lot of fun to stitch but I definitely need good light and a magnifier. It's stitched on 36 ct. and much of the work is over 1. The photos don't capture the color of the fabric at all. It's actually quite gold. My sheep kind of wandered from their original placement but it worked out okay. And I'm not sure why there is a crown floating in the air but there is.....cloud formation?

Now it's onto the pincushion! Think I can get it down by Saturday? I don't!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Where do I belong?

You Belong in 1968

You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cross Stitch Update

It's still too cold to do much besides shiver, so I keep warm by keeping that needle moving. I hate winter but this is the winter that just doesn't want to end! I've put a few more stitched in the Historic Mystery Sampler. Unfortunately you can't see the sparkly gold fibers in the girl's dress. I really like this sampler and love working with Dinky Dyes. And the Merry Cox piece is coming along nicely. I still have to figure out the personalization, but that shouldn't take long. So much of this piece is over one on 36 ct so it sometimes goes very slow.
This is the Fair and Square package I received from Marie P. Anyone who knows me knows I love me my coffee so I was quite excited to open this package and find a coffee themed square along with fibers (can we ever have too many fibers?), fabric and, COFFEE! This square is so cute and I am going to have to figure out a way to finish it appropriatedly. So many decisions!
And here is the scissor fob I received from Lily in Malaysia. Yes, she too picked up on my coffee addition. Isn't the fob cute? And she too sent a variety of coffee and tea from Malaysia. I've tried them all and loved each of them!
Now, back to adding layers before I head out the door. BRRRRRRRRRRR!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Beautiful Granddaughers

Yesterday I took my granddaughters to Mall of America and had their photos taken at Sadie's. I was blown away by the photographer and how she was able to capture the beauty of Ellie and Sophie. They are the loves of my life. Can it get any better than this?!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Where Have All The Leaders Gone?

The following is from Lee Iacocca's New Book... Maybe he should be running for president.

Remember Lee Iacocca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from it's death throes? He has a new book, and here are some excerpts.

Lee Iacocca Says:'Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course' Stay the course?

You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned'Titanic.' I'll give you a sound bite: 'Throw all the bums out!'

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore.

The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving 'pom-poms' instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of the ' America ' my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.

The Biggest 'C' is Crisis!

Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A Hell of a Mess

So here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gasprices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle classis being squeezed every which way These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you've got to ask: 'Where have all the leaders gone?' Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm.

Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when 'The Big Three' referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bonehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?

Had Enough?

Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope I believe in America. In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises: the 'Great Depression', 'World War II', the 'Korean War', the 'Kennedy Assassination', the 'Vietnam War', the 1970s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11.

If I've learned one thing, it's this: 'You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to 'Action' for people who, like me, believe in America. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the crap and go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had 'enough.

'Excerpted from 'Where Have All the Leaders Gone?'.

Copyright (c) 2007 by Lee Iacocca. All rights reserved.

Things Experienced While Flying...

There was the woman sitting behind me who would not put her purse under the seat in front of her in preparation for landing. She continued to tell the flight attendant she would do it and the flight attendant informed her that she had to see her put it under the seat. The woman wouldn’t do it and the flight attendant kept insisting that she do it while she was watching. The flight attendant said that she didn’t make the rules, but those were the rules and the rules were in place for the safety of everyone. Grudingly the woman put her purse under the seat. When we landed, she was still complaining to her husband about the flight attendant forcing her to put her purse under the seat. She was absolutely livid! She was going to stay on the plane to give the flight attendant a piece of her mind and her husband kept saying, “If it will make you feel better...” Can we say pussy whipped?? Finally she decided that she wouldn’t change the flight attendant’s mind so she might as well get off the plane. Oy......

Then there was the mid-20 something guy who sat across from me in the terminal in Phoenix. He opened his salad, poured the dressing on it, put the dressing container on the seat next to him (getting dressing all over the seat), and literally hunched over his salad. He reminded me of a caveman hunched over his meal with eyes flashing around in case someone was going to steal his food. I almost had to get up and move. This guy shoveled the salad into his mouth and ate with his mouth wide open. My 6-year-old granddaughter has better manners! He’d shovel in a forkfull, lift his head and look around with food literally falling out of his mouth. I so love “see food”!

On my flight from Burbank to Phoenix, Gene Simmons of Kiss sat 3 rows in front of me. When we got off the plane, I kind of walked behind him a ways because it was amusing to see the reactions of people. We met one girl who got on her cell phone and was telling someone, “I’m walking past Gene Simmons now!” Other people would just pause and look. He had his sunglasses on (how uber cool!) and was very SLOWLY sauntering through the terminal. He’s quite tall and very thin. He was wearing black cowboy boots with fancy silver toes and heels. I couldn’t tell if he was walking so slowly and as far to the right as he could because he was trying to be cool and say “look at me, I’m a celebrity” or for some other reason. So now I’ve been on planes with Gene Simmons, Ruth Buzzi and Eddie Izzard. Who’s next?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What's Your Aura, Man

Today Aimee, her friend Erin, and I went to the Conscious Life Expo in Los Angeles. I don't think any of us were quite sure what to expect, but that didn't stop us. Aimee and I first went to a workshop on UFO Retrievals which basically turned out to be about Roswell, NM and how our government isn't telling the public anything because they don't want to cause panic until they have all the answers. (Reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode where everyone was climbing on a spaceship to travel to the home planet of the visiting aliens when the people who were working on translating a book the aliens brought yelled, "Don't go! It's a cookbook! Don't tell the public anything until they are about to become dinner.) Kind of a boring workshop with not a lot of new information but it was interesting to see the age range of people in the workshop and the fact that there were probably more men than women who were very passionate about the subject.

The second workshop was on Reincarnation and, when the guy was speaking in terms I could understand, it was interesting. I did have to chuckle to myself at one point because he was talking about being a Conquistador and killing Incas for their gold in one of his prior lives and all I could think about was Bush killing Iraqis for their oil.....history being reincarnated, but that's a whole other story!

Then it was on to a workshop on Past Life Regression. I believe that we've all lived several lives and the lessons we learn or need to learn carry forward with us. I'm just not sure that this woman could actually determine past lives by merely looking at us. Some readings seemed plausible, some not so much. In my case, she said I'd lived in England (which I've always believed) and that I lived to be a very old woman (I've always said I would live to be 100) and that I had many children and many many grandchildren. I supposedly loved to tell my children stories and she suggested that I write the stories down and they would be published. I have been told in other astrological readings that I would be published so that didn't surprise me. And I do love telling my family the stories I am uncovering doing genealogy work. Now, telling Aimee that she lived in Jersalem at the time of Jesus and was a friend and comfort to Mary after the death of Jesus stretched the imagination.

But the best part of the day for me was when we were walking through the exhibitions and came upon a booth where you could have your aura photographed and interpreted. We each decided we wanted to see our auras. We sat in a chair and put our hands on 2 metal boxes which read the pressure points in our hands and transmitted the readings electronically a computer in the camera which read it. (Don't ask me how it works; I only sat there and smiled!) After each of us had our photos taken, the women have people all around guess what color our auras would be. Most people guessed mine would be pink. Well....here's my aura in all it's glory! Yes...to my surprise my aura is pink/lavender and blue! The reading was amazing! She told me that I "see the total picture". I know how to get what I want and don't have to push to get it. She asked if I'd had a cold recently (I had) and that she saw problems with a shoulder (I have lots of problems with my right shoulder). She said a man who has passed was protecting me. That totally made sense to me because I've always believed that my uncle Duane, who was my godfather and who was killed in the Korean War, has always been there to protect me. What blew me away was when she asked me, "Who is Roger?" I was momentarily totally speechless! Roger was my stepfather who killed himself when I was 17. I didn't want to believe he was the person protecting me and I also didn't want to pursue it. There are too many painful memories surrounding Roger. More positively, she said music makes me feel good which is so spot on. My health is good, there is no cancer, but I am a worry wart. NO DUH!! The funniest parts were (1) that I should check the wires behind the TV in my bedroom because they are frayed and need to be fixed, and (2) there is a smell in the kitchen under the sink, possibly mildew...and that is true.

Aimee's aura was a chaos of colors and Erin's was......well, we're sworn to secrecy! You'll have to check out Aimee's aura on her blog.

We did attend a couple other workshops where, during one, we learned that we are what we love and we love what we are focusing on at the time. So, since I'm focusing on this blog and telling you about my day, all I can say is that I love you all!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I Need to be Committed!

I read today that Delta Burke checked into a psychiatric ward for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and hoarding. She said in an interview that hoarding (being a pack rat) ruined her life. I do believe I may need to be committed to a psychiatric ward if hoarding is a mental illness! Have you seen my stash lately? Here I thought I was merely a collector. Who knew???

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What To Do When It's Too Cold Outdoors To Shop

It was one darn cold weekend and I just stayed indoors the whole weekend. In order to avoid eating and to keep warm, I kept the needles moving!

This spring I will be taking a couple workshops with Merry Cox offered by the Needlework Guild of Minnesota. The first is Shepherd's Retreat Sewing Case. I got the kit out and started the prework, i.e., stitching! If it is all stitched, I should be able to come home from the workship with a finished case. It's being worked on 36 ct. antique cotton R & R Reproductions Linen using Soie d'Alger Silk, Gloriana Silk, DMC and Sampler Threads. I was only able to work on it when I had great light because much of it is done one-over-one. I love how it's coming out.

When the sun went down and I had to go to artifical light, I worked on the historic mystery sample from Gift of Stitching Magazine. I'm stitching it on a Lakeside Linen using Dinky Dyes silks. This sampler is so much fun to stitch on. I hate putting it down.

Lately I have gotten into scissors and scissor fobs. Here are a couple I recently ordered from etsy. The scissors are called ice cream swirls. Aren't they pretty?

Now, if only it would get really cold with mountains of snow so I could stay home from work and just stitch!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Recipe for Me

The Recipe For Neila

3 parts Silliness
2 parts Recklessness
1 part Courage

Splash of Sensitivity

Finish off with a little umbrella and straw

Who Am I?

I am definitely suffering from split personality! I am once again part of the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap (a sock knitting swap) and am a proud member of Ravenclaw House. However, I am also Prefect of Ravenclaw House so I have two identities..Prefect in my real name and student in a name I will not mention here. I have to remember which name to use to log into this blog and the HSKS4 blog and my own character blog, as well as Ravelry and the different Hogwarts chat rooms. So far, so good. I haven't slipped up and I don't think anyone has figured out who my character is (yet!) It's only a matter of time.

I absolutely love this swap! Jenean, the creator and Headmistress of the swap, does one INCREDIBLE job. I am absolutely in awe of her. She has named me Deputy Headmistress, but I sure hope I don't have to take over her duties.

I've been having so much fun coming up with quizzes for our House and gathering prizes. So far the responses have been great. I have appointed a wonderful Head Girl to help me out...Minerva Kwikspell. I can't wait to find out her true identity at the end of the swap. For that matter, there are quite a few members of this swap I would love to get to know more after the swap is complete ~ knitters who also love Harry Potter.

The swap is a secret swap where everyone has a character name. I know who I am sending a kit to (sock yarn, needles, pattern, stitch markers and handmade bag), but I have no idea who is sending to me. I'm SO curious!!

Now, it's back to figuring out who I am!

Friday, January 11, 2008

What Kind of English Do You Speak?

Your Linguistic Profile:

65% General American English

20% Upper Midwestern

5% Midwestern

5% Yankee

0% Dixie

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

First and Last Finishes

Each year my group of stitching friends exchanges a Christmas ornament. For the last several years I've drawn the name of my friend Claudia. I know she likes things she can keep out all winter, rather than just an ornament that will hang on the tree for a short period of time. This year I attempted a flatfold for her and really like how it turned out. I stitched the Little House Needleworks design from the 2007 JSC Christmas ornament issue. Excuse the poor photo! My first finish for 2008 is a Mosey 'n' Me freebie on opalescent fabric. I notice that the Christmas tree charm, which is supposed to be in Santa's hand, is attempting to fly away! Again...excuse the photo!
My first start for 2008 is the historic mystery sampler from The Gift of Stitching magazine. I'm using the suggested Dinky Dyes silks and am loving them! I've never used Dinky Dyes before and I'm impressed. Just holding them is like what I think it would be like to hold a cloud ~ SO soft and fluffy. That brown blob will be a stag eventually!
On Sunday my stitching group had our annual holiday get together. We always wait until January after the craziness of the holiday season. We had such a great day -- too much eating, lots of talking and some stitching! I was introduced to French Vanilla Kahlua. I can see a new addiction in my future!!

Front from left: Claudia and Debbie
Rear: Helene, Teresa, Neila, Char

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Our holidays were wonderful! Aimee arrived Thursday morning and Erik came that evening. We spent time doing that last minute shopping for all those people who had nothing on their shopping lists! Actually we did quite good coming up with the "perfect" gifts. Saturday afternoon Aimee and I went to Ellie's theatre production of "The Best Christmas Pageant". We previously went on opening night (the day after Thanksgiving and the day her sister was born!) so it was fun to see it a second time. I was so blown away by the caliber of this community theatre production. It was GREAT and, of course, Ellie was the cutest baby angel on that stage! That evening Erik, Aimee and I went to see Sweeney Todd. Not sure I liked the movie, but I did like the performances of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

Sunday Aimee babysat for Sophie in the afternoon. It snowed mountains during the day and the roads were horrible. I had tickets for Vikings/Redskins game that night and I wasn't going to waste them. Erik and I left VERY early and made our way downtown to the Metrodome. It was tough walking from the parking lot to the Dome because a lot of the sidewalks hadn't been cleaned yet and there was ice under all the snow. By the time we got to the Dome, I was actually winded and my thighs were aching. They had swept the snow off the ramps around the Dome, but there was still ice. We saw a guy laying on the ramp before us and security came rushing over. The guy had slipped on the ice and hit his head. We walked slowly and tenderly around the man and the security guard and I proceeded to slip on the ice myself. Fortunately I fell on my side and didn't get hurt. Erik helped me up and then he almost fell. That concerned me because he had knee surgery a year ago and I didn't want him screwing up the knee again. We continued walking to our gate holding onto the chain link fence. When I got to the gate I told security that they needed to get something on that ice or people were going to get seriously injured. I could just see all the drunks trying to walk on that. Unfortunately my Vikings lost...boo hoo.

Christmas Eve we packed up the cars with all the gifts for Tony, Darcy, Ellie and Sophie and headed to their house. They usually come here on Christmas Eve, but this year we decided to go there so they didn't have to take Sophie out. It was great! I brought the traditional meal of lasagne with me. After we ate it was on to gift opening. Ellie and Sophie made out like bandits! Since Aimee works on the Disney Shopping and Disney Store websites, she was able to gets lots and lots of items at their sample sale so Ellie truly had a High School Musical Christmas. I think she got EVERY HSM musical item on the site!

We gave Ellie the High School Musical video game. At first she didn't understand what it was, but when she saw the microphone and realize she could sing all the songs karaokee style, she was all over it! She's such a competitor....only A+ was good enough! One of the best performances was when she and her Auntie Aimee shared the microphone!

Then it was on to some Wii!! Ellie played a wicked game of tennis and almost beat everyone bowling. Boxing kind of did her in, but she had fun!

I had to get a family photo! Tony, Darcy, Ellie and Sophie on Christmas Eve.

Yesterday was Chuck's birthday and today is Darcy's birthday. We celebrated last night by going to Famous Dave's for their fabulous feast. I got to spend lots of time cuddling Sophie. I can't believe how big she is getting and how she is filling out. She's 6 weeks old already!
We also went to the Science Museum of Minnesota after dinner last night to see the Pompeii exhibit. I have always been very interested in Pompeii and seeing the exhibit was fantastic. They have 3 of the original body casts which were very moving. I so enjoyed seeing the foods, paintings, mosiacs, etc. It must have been a marvelous city before it was destroyed.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008