Saturday, February 27, 2010

Anything is possible...Perseverance

 author unknown

If there was ever a time to dare, to make a difference, to embark on something worth doing.
Not for any grand cause, necessarily...
but for something that tugs at your heart,
something that's your inspiration,
something that's your dream.
You owe it to yourself to make your days here count.
Know, though, that things worth doing seldome come easy.
There will be good days.
And there will be bad days.
There will be times when you want to turn around, pack it up and call it quits.
Those time tell you that you are pushing yourself, that you are not afraid to learn by trying.
Because with an idea,determination, and the right tools, you can do great things.
Let your instincts,
your intellect,
and your heart,
guide you.
Believe in the incredible power of the human mind.
Of doing something that makes a difference.
Of working heard.
Of laughing and hoping.
Of lazy afternoons.
Of lasting friends.
Of all the things that will cross your path this year.
The start of something new brings the hope of something great.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Finally Friday...

I don't know why, but this week seemed to go by slowing...but it is finally Friday. And on my day off, I won't get a lot of "me" time for it is a minimum day for Matthew who just finished his 2nd tri-mester of 5th grade. But before I get him around 12:40 today, DH and I will have our Friday lunch date. That has become a nice tradition for the last few months. In the past, I used my Friday day-off as a day to work in the classrooms. But now that there isn't that opportunity, DH and I decided to use Friday as a time for us. It is nice to have that time together as our lives are very busy with these two boys.

Speaking of busy, we have our normal hockey activities set for the weekend. Robert has a game on Saturday and practice Sunday morning; Matthew just a game on Sunday. The times in between, DH and I need to sit down and finish up our taxes. Not too exciting, huh? Well, it is going to be a rainy, stormy weekend here so staying home (aside from the hockey activities) is probably what we will end up doing. In addition to taxes, I would like to finish up the model I am stitching for CindyMae and then move on to some exchange stitching...and maybe take MW out of hibernation (her pleading is growing loudly).

Yesterday the boys had their physicals, something that we haven't done for a couple of years. Both are growing like weeds...Robert is now 5'3.5" (he has now surpassed me) and Matthew is 4'10" (yikes, he is not too far behind). I guess I knew that this would happen sometimes, but it seems like just the other day when they were so small that I had to lift them up to bed.

Well, I will end the posting before the tears well up in my eyes - looking back at the infant years of my boys. Hope all have a good weekend!

Live, Love, Laugh and stitch often! Lisa

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

Last week it was Wednesday's Whining...but today, some Words of Wisdom were in my inbox when I woke up this morning that made me stop a moment and think:

Be grateful simply for being alive. When you are grateful for life, pure and simple, your life becomes one you can be grateful for. That may strike you as circular or even backward logic, but your attitude really does have an effect on how things work out. When you can’t change your life any other way, you can still change your attitude. When you do, your life changes. You find more chances to love, and you will be surprised to see how much more love is returned to you.

Bernie Siegel
(visit for other thought provoking quotes and reading)

This quotation really spoke to me today - it told me to remember not to take life for granted, to be grateful the the basics, which are the most important "things" I have...Live, Love, Laughter, Health, Family and Friends. I have noticed in situations, like President's Weekend (my travel nightmare), became a fun adventure when I "lived in the now" and was grateful for being alive. And when I received this quote in my inbox today, it was a good reminder that I don't have to be facing a stressful situation just to be thankful for what I have - it is a good reminder to remember to be grateful even when everything becomes routine.

Thank you my dear blogging friends...for taking time out of your busy schedule; out of your daily life to visit and to comment (without obligation). It means a lot to me!

Have a good day and remember...Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday's Mail Mumblings

Happy Monday everyone, well at least what is left of Monday. It is actually Monday evening and I have gotten the boys is on his way to hockey practice with DH and the other is home relaxing. I am trying to get in an evening spin on my stationary bike for a bit before I sit and stitch. Today, though, the mailman was a welcome sight for he brought a couple of things...a little bit of stash.

First up is:
Little House Needleworks Monthly Samplers
"January & February" and "March & April"
Lakeside Linen 36ct Vintage Lt. Examplar (18"x27")
I decided that I wanted to do the entire series on one piece of fabric...when will I start? Who knows, but it is nice to have it in my stash...LOL!

Next up:

Society Soie Surfine Series #1
Thread (left to right): Olivine, Inca Gold and Carmine Rose
Fabric: 40ct hand-dyed especially for Society Soie Surfine Series #1 Subscribers
I read about this special series that Needle in a Haystack (my local needlework shop in Alameda, Ca) was helping to organize and the only way to received these limited colors and fabrics was to subscribe. So I did. The colors are beautiful and very fine thread. What will I do with these? I don't know. When will I play with these? Again, I don't know...but now I am the proud owner of Series #1.

I am sure that I will find time to work on both things posted here. Right now though I am working on a model for CindyMae and need to start working on some exchanges, as well as bring Mary Wigham out of hibernation. So, as soon as I get off this bike, I will be able to sit and stitch.

Have a great evening and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Show-n-Tell Thursday

Well, little by little the travel fog is clearing from my head only to be replaced by cold medicine fog. Oh, well, I am hoping to make sure that I keep this an ordinary cold (consuming vitamin C and sudafed) so it doesn't become a sinus infection...but enough of this, lets get on to some fun things to show and tell about.

First up...some stitching news. CindyMae received the model of Doggone Days I stitched and sent to her...and has uploaded it to her store website: CindyMae Designs-check it out!
I am now working on another CindyMae Design - so stay tuned, she has a lot of wonderful patterns coming! And regarding "A Walk in the Park", the gift for my sister, I am just about done - just need to stitch the dog's name and the dates. As soon as I get that completed I will post a finish!

Well, now that I posted some stitching news, I thought I would (bore you) post a couple of photos regarding my sons and their hockey activities. First up, a photo of Robert and a couple of his teammates in their sweatshirts they earned when they won the Pittsburgh President's Day Championship:

Robert is the one on the left.

I also just received some photos of Matthew from his President's Day hockey weekend in Phoenix.

Matthew had a great weekend of hockey too (he and DH just didn't get to have the travel adventure Robert and I had :) ). Matthew's team was undefeated and made it to the Championship, too. Unfortunately they didn't win the Championship game. However, DH was so proud of the way that Matthew played; for he stepped up to the next level, playing very agressive. In the championship game, Matthew had a breakaway and took the puck all the way to the other end. He shot - but unfortunately the puck hit the post of the goalie net. There is nothing worse for a hockey player to hear that "ping" of the post. But with a 2nd place finish, Matthew was very happy with the way he played...and while he would have loved to bring home a 1st place medal, he was satisfied with 2nd place.

When I got home on Tuesday, I had the privillege of being home with my 2 boys for dinner (DH had a business dinner to go to). During dinner, each son took turns sharing their weekend experience - on the ice and off. It was fun to listen to their stories. I feel so blessed to have such wonderful sons!

Well, that is all the time I have for my Thursday show-n-tell. Thank you for stopping by. Until next time...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

There is no place like HOME!

There is no place like home!!!!
And ain't that the truth!
We are home, finally! Wow, what a travelling adventure or you can also call it a nightmare. Going to Pittsburgh and then coming home was a pain...but I continue looking on the bright-side of things and note that Robert's team won the championship! They played 6 great games and Robert even scored a goal (that was my Valentine's Day gift from him).  You know, ten years from now, when these 20 boys on this Bantam AAA team look back to the Pittsburgh tournament over President's Day 2010...they may remember that they won the championship - but I have a feeling that those who were on the flight with us last Thursday (Feb. 11) and those who were on the last night will probably remember:

1. Waiting to be de-iced in Dallas and sitting on the plane for 4 hours
2. Arriving in Dallas, tired & starving, but having to veg out at the baggage claim waiting for the rental car offices to open
3. The big sandwiches at Priminti Brothers
4. The wheel chair races at the Pittsburgh airport while waiting to leave
5. Arriving in Dallas, missing the connecting flight and having to go to a hotel
6. Waiting for the hotel shuttle for an hour and playing ninja
7. Sleeping in the horrible hotel, hoping that we didn't get attacked by bed bugs
8. The hustler magazine in the bathroom (I won't even try to explain that one).

Robert and I took today as a "vacation" day after finally getting home. He stayed home from school to get all of his homework done and study for a couple of tests that he missed while in Pittsburgh. I got the laundry done and took a nap. Unfortunately, a cold started to brew while away, so I am hoping that it goes away quickly!

Anyway...I will leave you and thank you all for your thoughts while we were on our adventure. Now, back in town, I hope to get back to my little routine and start stitching so that I can share with you some fun things!
Take care and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!
Well getting back home is an adventure...sitting in Dallas hotel getting ready to catch the airport shuttle. Our flight out of Pittsburgh left 4 hours late due to weather related problems and we missed our connecting flight in Dallas. Looking forward to getting home later this morning.
BTW...Robert's team won the championship.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Robert's team won the championship and we are headed home toCalifornia. Hopefully the trip home will be uneventful!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Greetings from Pittsburgh - edited @ 9:27pm Eastern Time 2/14/10

Hello Blog Friends,
Well, I have recouperated from our travels - nice to have had that Friday to rest up. We did go to bed at 7am...I woke up around noon and got in some exercise while Robert (older son) slept in until about 2pm. He did eat a little breakfast, but held out for the recommended restaurant: Primanti Brothers. This is the sandwich shop which has been featured on Food Network - where they make a sandwich that includes french fries, slaw and a tomato.
Since I am not a big sandwich person, I stuck with my salad with a side of their famous slaw (delicious). However, Robert did have a cornbeef sandwich with cheese on french bread that did have the slaw, frenchfries and a tomato. It was huge!
After that we just went back to the room for a quiet evening while watching the opening ceremonies of the olympics.

Saturday, Robert had two games - both of which his team won. In between the games we had lunch at Olive Garden...a favorite during hockey tournaments because of the pasta and for dinner after the last game it was BBQ at a place called Smokin' Bones.

This morning, we had a game at 8am. This was one of the tougher ones so far which ended in a tie of 4-4. Robert got the 4th goal of the game for his team (the San Jose Jr. Sharks Bantam AAA). It was almost the game winning goal, until the other team (the Pittsburgh Predators) scored in the last 2 minutes - thus the tie. Robert had a great game and it was fun to watch. They did win the second game of the day 4-2 and are in first place as we head into the semi-finals tomorrow morning at 7am. If we win that we go to the championship at 12noon...and then we get on a 5:30pm plane and head back to California.
Well...I will not bore you any more with hockey related news. Not getting much stitching down right now, but wanted to post an update on life. Take care and remember...Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often, Lisa

Friday, February 12, 2010

Finally got to Pittsburgh at 2:30am Friday morning. Our flight out of California left on time, but we sat in our connecting Dallas flight for 4 hours. Due to snow, the outbound flights needed to be de-iced...and ww were the 16th plane in line. With only 2 icing stations we had a long wait. Finally, after the 4hrs of sitting on plane and 2.5 hrs of flying we arrived in Pittaburgh. Only to hang out to wait for the car rentals to open @ 5am. By 7am, Robert and I were in bed. Nothing going on today, as Robert's first game is tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday Whinning...

It is Wednesday and tomorrow Robert (older son) and I take off for Pittsburgh for the President's Day Hockey tournament there. My mother - from Minnesota - called last night after watching the weather and asked if they would cancel the tournament due to snow. Well, I guess that is a reasonable question...but since the majority of the teams seem to live around that state, and we are the only 'wacky' hockey team to fly across the country for games...I highly doubt that the tournament will be cancelled. The only thing that might be worrisome is that our flight from here to there stops in Dallas...and, well, I'm not sure that I really want to get stuck there. But, I will get things packed up, we will get on the plane tomorrow and go...and whatever happens we will deal with; no point in stressing over something that hasn't happened yet. But it might be a good idea to pack a clean pair of underware in our carryon...just incase :)

Not a whole lot of stitching going on here in the last 24 hours. Last night, Matthew, DH & I went to a school board meeting. Matthew's elementary school was the spot-lighted school this month and he has been involved in a new Character Development program which the school wanted to present to the board. The program is called Positive Action. It has been developed and coordinated by the teacher that Matthew had for 2nd and 3rd grade, but it is student lead. The kids develop little skits highlighting certain character September they did a skit on Positive Self-esteem...this month it was the Golden Rule. The develop the skits, practice during lunch and afterschool and then put on the skit in front of their peers during school assemblies. So, last night, Matthew & the rest of the Positive Action group, put on the Golden Rule skit in front of the school board and the community of Dublin, CA who were in attendence in the audience. They did an awesome job!

Tonight...well, it will be time to put the finishing touches on packing for the trips. I will get all the clothes around and packed after I get home from work...then after both boys' hockey practice, I will wash those stinky things so that we can pack them tomorrow. Then it is off to snowy Pittsburgh for me and Phoenix for DH.

Gotta run friends...take care!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday's Mumblings

Well, here we are back to Monday. Did you watch the Superbowl? This was the first time in a long time that I watched the majority of the game. I guess because DH and I lived in New Orleans for several years (from 1991-1995...right after we got married & out of college - a perfect time to live right near the French responsibilities and young enough to party). And because, it was on, it did provide a good background for stitching which I worked on "A Walk in the Park". Here is where I am:
I just need to stitch up the white dog bones below the words, the dog's name (Maxwell) and the dates (1995-2009). I was hoping to have it done before this coming Thursday, but it doesn't seem like that is going to happen as all of us (DH, 2 sons and I) will be departing for hockey tournament on Thursday.

As mentioned, I will be traveling with Robert (older son) to a tournament in Pittsburgh while DH and Matthew (younger son) will be going to Phoenix. Last week, when I wrote about this arrangement, I got a few questions..."How did DH get lucky?" Well, DH travelled the last 2 times with Robert (Seattle in December and Texas in January) while I got to stay home with Matthew and spend time with him. So it is time for him to go with Matthew. And, to be honest, while I would love to be the one to go to Phoenix for it is warmer there and no snow, DH and I have the same belief of the importance of spending time with each of the boys. So we take turn in our travels with each...Divide and Conquer!  

Another question I get: "When do we get time to spend with each other?" DH and I find sometime here and there...but the time we have with our boys seems so short. Especially now that Robert is 14 and Matthew is 10 - college or jr hockey isn't too far away - so the time we spend with them is priceless. And, DH & I know that our time will come again and we will start a new chapter in our lives...ooopps, sorry for getting so sappy. Maybe it is because Valentine's Day is around the corner?

Anyway...this week is going to be crazy as I will not only preparing myself for travel, but all of us and I will also need to make sure that I have all of Robert's teams information with me as I am the team manager. So, if I don't post for awhile...please forgive me as I will be running around with my head cut off. However, if I do post, I am probably letting off stress and steam, so you will have to forgive me for that too.

So...have a great week as we head into President's Day and Valentines Day weekend! Take care and remember:
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It is Thursday (my Friday)

Good day readers, it is finally Thursday - which is my Friday. Tomorrow is my day off. Well, I am going to start my post off with some stitching news first...I finished model-stitching the CindyMae design and completely finished it (as a pillow...I think that I can tell you that) and will be getting it into the mail to her today so that she can post it as the finished product when she posts the pattern for sale. I really enjoy model stitching for her, for I feel that it has developed into a wonderful friendship between Cinday and I. I will give you all a heads up when she posts the design "Doggone Days, Doggone Napping."

Now that I can check that off as a Happy Dance, I can move onto my next project:

"A Walk In The Park"
Little House Needleworks
My sister (I have 2 sisters - both younger; the one I am refering to is the one in the middle) made the tough decision of putting her dog down back in December. Max was very old (I think close to 17 years old) and just wasn't getting around very well at all. Because Max had been her friend through all her ups and downs for over a decade, it took my sister a while to come to the decision. So, when surfing, I came across this pattern and decided that it would be perfect (as Max was a black dog with black spots). I started this on Tuesday...and only got the white tree and one park bench done. When I get a alittle further, I will post a status photo.
In addition to this project, I can pick up Mary Wigham again. This is where I have left off:

and that was back in December. She has been calling out my name, but I guess I have been deaf to it. She will get to see the sunlight (hopefully, we are suppose to have more rain) this weekend.

So that is the stitching wise? Well, the boys have had their normal practices this week and are scheduled to play some games over the weekend. Next week, President's Weekend, is the time when Robert (older son) and I will be departing for a tournament in Pittsburgh, while DH and Matthew (younger son) will be heading toward warmer climate in Phoenix. But that is still a week don't need to stress about that travel yet.

Until next time, remember:
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday's mumblings...

I am up and going on this still dark morning of Monday, February 1. Hard to believe that January is already over - it feels like the month was just a dream. Like I went to bed on December 31 and woke up on February 1...I remember bits and pieces of the January dream, yet I cannot put my finger on everything that I accomplished or did. I guess that is why I blog, so that I have the ability to look back and remember all the things I did and that I shared with you.

I had a nice weekend - and I hope that you did too. Robert (older son) didn't officially have any hockey practices this weekend because the majority of his teammates were at the second round of the Select Camp Tryouts, which unfortunately when he participated in the first round (back in mid-December) he was just getting over bronchitis and didn't perform up to his potential; therefore just earning an alternate spot (which he wasn't needed). However, Matthew (younger son) had hockey practice on Saturday - which Robert (older son) was allowed to skate at; so DH and I had fun watching the Brothers skate together. Matthew's current coach was Robert's coach back when Robert was a 2nd year Squirt (the age division containing 9 and 10 year olds), so Matthew's coach loves to have some of his past players come out and skate with him.

After practice was over, we all went out to dinner at Scott's Seafood restaurant at Jack London Square in Oakland. It has been a very long time since we enjoyed a nice sit down restaurant dinner as a family. We do periodically go out to dinner as a family, but to the local sushi restaurant or the salad bar place (either Fresh Choice or Sweet Tomatoes) - so going out to a nice restaurant was a treat. I enjoyed a mixed grill fish entree which consisted of a few prawns, salmon and mahi-mahi. The restaurant did a great job of grilling it without any butter or oils; even the server came over to let me know that the potatoes on the side were cooked in butter and asked how I wanted to deal with that. He suggested dry baked potatoe, but since I allowed myself to enjoy the plentiful sour dough bread I asked about just giving me a helping of the steamed veggies, which they did without any butter too. I know what works and what doesn't work with my aging body and it is nice to come to a restaurant which will work with you and even assist in the matter. They even accomodated Matthew (younger son) with a plate of noodles (without oil & butter) and the marinara sauce on the side.

After dinner, we walked over to the Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop so the boys could get their milk shakes. DH decided to try their new hot chocolate shakes. Hot Chocolate shakes...not a good idea, so save your calories dear readers. They take milk, warm it up, put in chocolate syrup and then the ice cream of your choice, a little whip cream and a cherry. Well, there is something about warm milk and ice cream...let's just say that by the time the lady handed DH the cup, no ice cream could be found and the taste wasn't very good. Maybe it was because of the strawberry ice cream DH requested, I don't know. Me? Well, like I said I enjoyed the plentiful bread that was brought to the table during ice cream was not for me.

Sunday, Matthew (younger son) had a hockey game in the late afternoon, so I decided to get out the crock pot and make some swedish meatballs for lunch...great pre-game meal: protein from the meatballs and carbs from the noodles. This is a really simple recipe...just get a package of meatballs (not the italian kind, just a basic meatball - I get the cocktail meatballs from Trader Joe's) tossed in a crock pot with some beef or chicken gravy, wortersire sauce and chicken broth. Let that cook on high for at least 5 hours. Then I take out the meatballs, stir in some sour cream and then put the meat balls back in. (if interested in a more detailed receipe, please leave a comment and I can get you the specifics).  Since each kid likes the meatballs with a different noodle, we needed to go out and get some egg we decided to take a family walk to the grocery store. It is about 2.5 miles round trip - nice to get out in the sunshine.

Anyway...the boys enjoyed their lunch and the rest of the quiet afternoon. We left for the game around 3pm - which Matthew's team won.

I did get some stitching in over the weekend and about ready to put the finishing touches on the CindyMae design I have been model stitching. Hoping to have that complete by this week.

Thank you for visiting...hope I didn't bore you too much! Have a great week and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa