Friday, June 29, 2012

It is Friday! - M.Wigham update, hockey and the Farmer's Market

It is always nice when Friday rolls around here during the summer, for that means no hockey tonight and through the weekend. I know that my boys would protest to something like that, but for of the main chaufer drivers I am estatic as the arrival of Friday & the weekend!

However, I can't complain too much about this week. For our carpooling routine has been very kind to us. DH and I have taken turns driving the group of boys down and back from the rink for the day camp and the other families we carpool with have been doing the evening camp. If I go down to the rink during the day, I use that time to enjoy a good work out in the fitness room down there while still having time to get in some stitching!

I have made some progress on Mary Wigham this week and here is a status photo of the Gold motif I finished...and the start to the motif I am stitching in Oatmeal:

Mary Wigham
Gold Leaf Motif
(and above...the motif I am stitching in Oatmeal)
The section I have been stitching lately is section 6...however I skipped the middle section, which is section 5. Why? because that is the section where Mary Wigham's name is and because the graph sizes aren't quite the same size, so they don't match up very well when you cut/tape them together. In fact I noticed that section 5, 7, 8, 9 tend to be slightly smaller graph sizes and don't easily match up; thus, it can't be easily taped together to create one big master graph to stitch from. So I will definitely need to find the patience to continue stitching M.Wigham because I would love to finish this BAP before the end of the year!

Ok, enough rambling about M.Wigham...and on to another topic...

Farmer's Markets! Since moving to California almost 9 years ago, one of my favorite things that occur here are the Farmer's Markets. Last summer, a small local farmer's market started at a park that is 1.5 miles from us. It occurs every Thursday evening and since I haven't had to drive down to the rink in the evenings I have been visiting the local market and picking up some of the fresh produce that is coming in from the local farms right now. This time of the year is the "pit-fruit" or "stone-fruit" season. Which means that there is a wonderful selection of nectarines, plums, apricots and all the hybrids.

My Pit-Fruit selection from Thursday's Farmer's Market trip
The hybrids or cross-breeds (?) are very interesting and many are very good taste combinations. First up is the:
Starting with the top-right-yellow fruit = apricots...the lower-right-purple fruit = plums..
mix them together and you get the middle-left-light redish/yellowish fruit = apriums
They taste like a plum with the texture of an apricot. The skin is also slightly fuzzy like an apricot

Top = Nectarine...Bottom = Pearine
(no pears as it is not the season for them)
I haven't taken the opportunity to taste these yet; however because it was the first time I saw this hybrid, I thought I would get a few and bring home to try. I'll let you know what they are like next time.

There are other combinations, like the PLOUT which is a real sweet plum. However, there were no pluots available at the market last night.  I did get a few other items, such as:

Heirloom Tomatoes

Have you ever tried the Heirloom Tomatoes. It is interesting, to me at least, how different each one tastes. I think my favorite are the ones that have more yellow and orange. The green/red one in the upper right-hand corner is a very strange taste, but I thought I would go ahead and get one. Might be good with something we might cook up over the weekend.

Last, but definitely not least...I got some:

Blackberries and Raspberries. Oh, is heaven! When you put one of those large, lusious black berries in your mouth and those little pillows "pop" in your mouth...OMG!

Well, on that note. I wish you all a BERRY good and FRUITY weekend! Take care and remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Relaxing...Lazy...Weekend: Stitching, Grilling and Family Time!

Mary Wigham - completed motif
Thread: GAST Maple Syrup
I finished another motif on Mary Wigham last night so I thought I would post a photo of the finished motif. We have been having a very nice lazy & relaxing weekend so far.

Friday, I did go into the store and work until 2pm filling in for a couple of our employees who needed a day off - they worked through Father's Day weekend so they needed a day off. Afterward, I was free to go home where I did do a little house cleaning and laundry to get caught up on those things...something that I haven't had any time to do for a long time. With no hockey activities in the evening, I tossed some burgers and steaks on the grill and we sat down as a family for a meal. It felt so good not to have to go anywhere in the evening and to hang out at the house with my boys and DH. It has been a long time since we have had this time together.

But time with the family didn't end there. Saturday neither DH or I had to go to the stores and we didn't have any hockey! I actually slept in until 7am (that is late for me as I typically get up between 4-5am to workout) and then went out for a 6 mile jog/walk. It felt so good! Except for a trip to the hockey store to get new skates for Robert, we just hung out at the house...and had another family dinner of grilled shrimp and salmon. And today - just got up at 7am again and on the stationary bike right now - the agenda consists of more hanging out at the house and a family meal of burgers and pork chops. Tomorrow, it is back to lots of driving down to the rink and back to the store.

My older son, Robert, isn't quite fond of these lazy weekends. During the week when it is "go, go, go" he talks of doing nothing and sleeping in. While he did sleep in until 9:30am, the rest of the day we had to deal with his foul mood. He just doesn't know what to do with himself during these kind of weekends. Although once I got him out of the house to get his skates, his mood changed. Hopefully today he will find his own way to deal with our lazy day, maybe getting outside to shoot some hoops or pucks in the net.

Hey, have you all seen and read about the Lizzie Kate Mystery Sampler?

The one that is going to be released in 3 parts over the summer...the one that has a Halloween theme? Well, I signed up with my LNS for the series and purchased the kit that they are going to be putting together with fabric and the required threads. I guess the first part will be shipped out at the end of June. I can't wait to start this. Is anyone else participating in this mystery?

Well, time to sign off. Hope you are having a good weekend. I appreciate you stopping by and love the comments. Thank You! Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

And now we resume our normally scheduled program...

Yesterday at 3pm, me and my fellow 11 jurors, handed the judge our verdict...
Guilty of 1st degree murder.
It took us approximately 5 hours of deliberation to come up with the verdict.  Using evidence we received over a period of 8 day and the laws of the case as received from the judge, that was the decision all 12 of us came up with.

After the verdict was read in the courtroom, which seemed to contain more people in the audience than it did during the preceedings, several of the defendant's friends/family members ran out screaming. Many stayed seated in side crying and bawling.

Over the period of 3 weeks, court was in session for 9 days. During those 9 days:
  • June 4 & 5 - Jury Selection. I was selected at the end of the second day. It was nerve wracking to sit in the audience with a pool of jurors that started out with 120 people. Between excusals and those who didn't meet the criteria of the lawyers, the pool shrunk. At that time, the only thought I had in my mind was - "Don't pick me!" However, I had the feeling ever since I stepped into the court room that I was going to be apart of this experience
  • June 6 - Opening Arguements
  • June 7, 11, 12, 13 - Testimony. Expert witnesses spoke about guns, bullets, the autopsy findings. Witnesses from the neighborhood unwillinging shared a little, but not much, insight on the young man on trial and the victim of the shooting. We listened to video statements of the defendant describing the crime...a video that took over 3 hours. We listened to phone conversations between the defendant and family.
  • June 18 - Closing Arguements and the reading of the law that pertained to this case.
  • June 19 - Deliberation and the verdict
The was very interesting, educational and in someways well as overwhelming, emotional and draining. For 7 days (post jury selection) I felt like I "lived" with 11-14 other people. During all but the last day, there were 15 of us - 12 jurors and 3 alternates - the alternates were excused from the deliberations. During the trial, we would file in to the courtroom together and file out together. We would meet up in our special Jury Deliberation room daily - when we arrived, for our morning break, lunch break and afternoon break. We had our own private bathroom, refrigerator and coffee pot. We got to know each other during this period.

Prior to the offical deliberation that took place yesterday, we were not able to discuss the case. We took an oath of silence that not only included all our friends and family members, but also the fellow jurors . Once the case was ours to discuss yesterday, it was like a dam opened up. We all needed to talk, to talk to eachother. Not only because it was our job to discuss at that time, but keeping all the information and feelings to oneself for that period of time is difficult, so once we were given the "GO" to discuss, everyone was happy and ready to talk, discuss and share.

As much as I didn't want to be selected; as much as I dreaded the challenge of organizing carpools for the boys - leaning on friends and neighbors to get them to the hockey rink; as much challenge this caused for DH and I with regards to staffing/managing our two was a wonderful experience. However, I thought I would have felt more of a YAHOO! when I was done with jury duty once the verdict was read but I feel more a sense of loss, of "coming down". Between the bond created with my fellow jurors and the reaction in the court when the verdict was read, I just feel like something is now missing. I am sure it was take a couple of days to get over...

In the meantime, it is time to jump back into the routine of my household. To take more of a role in the carpooling of my boys and the neighbors and the friends down to the rink for the hockey camps we are involve in. It is time to enter back into our stores and work with our wonderful employee by cutting fruit, dipping strawberries & bananas in chocolate and creating the beautiful fruit arrangements we make.

And it is time to continue putting more stitches into my Mary Wigham sampler which hasn't seen daylight since August 2010. Last week, Mary came out of the closet and joined me in the jury room where I added a few more motifs. Here is a status photo of it (sorry for all the wrinkles):

Well, I can't get this photo to behave itself and turn...but with the help of the round hoop marks, the place where I have stitched it more evident. In the photo, it is near the bottom. Anyway, sorry about that...just wanted to get a status photo posted and really don't have the patience this morning to deal with figuring things out.

Well, I have kept you long enough. Thank you for visiting and thank you all for the very nice comments on my Family Sampler finish from the last post.

Take care and remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often

Monday, June 11, 2012

It is done - time for a Happy Dance!

Family Sampler is DONE!
Started January 1, 2011 and completed June 6, 2012!
Time to dance a Happy Dance for sure!

I have ironed it and have hung it in the closet (so it doesn't wrinkle) until I find time and a source to frame it. I have a couple of ideas of where to put it after it is framed. I am so excited to have this done...even though I didn't quite make my deadline of April 7, 2011 which was my 20th anniversary. However, better late than never...right?

It took me awhile to share this finish with all of you because I am serving on a jury for a case that it estimated to last 3-4 weeks. I know that jury duty is a privilege or honor or required civil duty or something like that, but why is it me that always has to g?. My DH gets these notices every year as well, but he seems get off with out even having to go in. I have served on a civil trial 14 years ago, almost got picked for a child molestation case 5 years ago and here I am today sitting in the juror box for a murder case. Well, it is definitely interesting, but it does cause a lot of challenges when getting things organized for my sons' hockey activities as well as stress for our business. But we are taking one day at a time in planning and utilizing some wonderful hockey families to carpool the boys to and from the rink. Hopefully it doesn't last too long!

Nevertheless, jury duty equals a lot of time for stitching and I have brought out my Mary Wigham! I will make sure to post a status photo for you all soon. It feels good to bring this project back out from the UFO pile. I love working 1-over-1 every once in a while.

Well, just wanted to share my good news with everyone!
Hope you are doing well!

Until next time, remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!