Friday, May 31, 2013


Greetings from Sunny Northern California. This is a view I see while walking every day - today is was really clear. I love all the "hills" (yes, we call these hills because they really are not that high above sea level). I just love living can drive one direction and be on the beach within 45-60 minutes or drive the other direction for a few hours and be in the mountain and can enjoy multitudes of vineyards, wonderful wines or enjoy fresh fruit and veggies at the local farmers markets. It is great!

The next group of flowering plants are taking over - while the flowing trees have finished and now are adorned in their greenery, the daisies, roses, iris, day lilies and so on are in full bloom. That is another thing that is nice - for when one group of plants are done flowering, there is another that starts up...HOWEVER, that just mean another set of allergies start up - so the stuffy noses, sneezing and watery eyes seems to be haunting my family again. Oh, well...sometimes with the good comes the bad.

Sitting at the hockey rink hasn't lent itself to much stitching for it has been mostly a social hour for me. Which is not a bad thing, for it is always nice to connect with my fellow hockey moms, catching up on all the gossip or helping each other deal with the growing pains of raising kids now-a-days.

Anyway, just wanted to say "hi" and wish you all a good weekend. Take care and remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

And so the week begins...with a little tell & show

Ugh it's Monday...oops, I mean Tuesday. Either way, the week has begun! I had a pretty good weekend - consisted of watching the stores while my DH and younger son, Matthew, were down in LA for a Memorial Day hockey tournament. My older son, Robert and I stayed home. Friday and Saturday I basically worked in one of our stores; Sunday, with a good staff in place, I go the day off; and Monday we closed both stores for the Memorial Day holiday.

Sunday after I got back from a 13.25 mile jog/walk, I helped Robert clean up his room. Not a very exciting thing to do...but it is something that needed done! He has been busy studying and prepping for his SATs and 3 AP subject tests for the last 2 months, during which his desk became buried in school papers, books and other unidentified objects. Now, with the test behind him and school work dwindling  it was a good time to go through the scary pile and weed out the "keep" and "trash". Three hours later and 2 full garbage bags, we found his desk and a few other things that we thought lost.

Once that major undertaking was complete, I did do a little (mind you, very little) house cleaning and then was able to settle down and take out "Sampler Months" by LHN - January and put in some "X's"...

I finished some of the snowy hills and got a start on the pair of cardinals. It is coming along...but for some reason, I really don't like stitching in white. There is just something about white...I find it harder to get the stitches to look "good", to lay "right", to measure up to my sense of "perfection". I don't know if is because of the absence of color or something. Do you have any colors that you have difficulty stitching with?

Anyway, the boys just started up a 4-day-a-week hockey clinic, so I will definitely have a lot of time to sit - so maybe I can get January finished up and move onto February.

Well, time to get a going. Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

Friday, May 24, 2013

No more babies in this household

Where did all the time go? 
My so-called "baby" turns 14 today!

14 years ago this morning - Matthew Amos Durst came into my life. With his little sheepish grin and soul piercing eyes, Matthew keeps our family hopping and laughing!

Like his older brother, Matthew seems to live in a pair of hockey skates. He took to the ice at the young age of 3, for skating lessons were part of the curriculum at the Minnesota day care he went to. With grace and a little bit of elegance (I know, that isn't too manly of a description), he looks at home on the ice.

As he continues to grow up and mature, there is a humorous side of Matthew. He can keep you in stitches - laughing until you cry!

With Matthew's good nature, he definitely surrounds himself with friends - whether it be on his hockey team or his school mates. He has a leadership sense about him and a good heart for true friendship!

I know that family is also important to Matthew. He has a good relationship with his older brother - for they definitely look out for each other!

Matthew, you are growing up to be a fine young man. Not only in size (started out as 7lb 9oz and 21.5 inches long...and 14 years later is 5'8" and 135lbs)...but I am very proud of the person you are becoming! I love you very much and hope that you have a wonderful day today! Good luck with your hockey games this weekend!

Until next time...remember, take care and

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sisters...the sisterhood.

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her mother. As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter.

'Don't forget your sisters,' she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her gass. 'They'll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them.'

Debbie, me and Jamie
'Remember that 'sisters' means ALL the women...your girlfriends you daughters, and all your other women relatives too. ' You'll need other women. Women always do.'
My sister my grandmother.
'What a funny piece of advice!' the young woman thought. Haven't I just gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make up my life worthwhile!'
But she listened to her mother. She kept contact with her sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her mother really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, sisters are the mainstays of her life.

My sisters: Debbie and mother...and me
After more than 50 years of living in this world, here is what I've learned:


Time passes.
Live happens. 
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men don't do what they're supposed to do.
Hearts break.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favors.
Careers end.

Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. 
A girl friend is never father away than needing her reach.

When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in you life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end.

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you...or come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins and extended family: all bless our life!
Left to Right: Sister Jamie, Mother, Me and Sister Debbie
The would wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would I. When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other.

Every day, we need each other still. Pass this on to all the women who help mak your life meaning full! I just did.

To all my sisters out there...remember, take care and...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Rainbow Pop

Does anyone know what the name of this flower is? For 10 years, since we have moved to California, I have always been curious about these. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday afternoon...

I just love these roses that are in full bloom. The rose bush is on my running route and I just felt the need to take a breather..."and smell the roses."


It is Sunday already, which means tomorrow is back to the grind...although in our household many times the weekend is just as busy as the Monday-Friday.

This weekend was hockey tryouts for the boys. Matthew's (younger son) tryouts concluded this morning and he made the Jr Sharks 14aaa team. While we weren't too stressed out about it - it is still reassuring when the list is posted and you see your child's name on it! And...I have volunteered to be his hockey team's team manager. I figure I have been a hockey team manager for over 7 years now...what is another year? 

Robert's (older son) tryouts finish up tomorrow evening. Although the coach called out a few of the kids after the 1st night of tryouts, which Robert was included in, to let them know they were all going to "be signed" (meaning that they made the team) that alleviated any stress we felt for Robert and his tryouts. 

Even though tryouts is early and they really don't start up practices or team events until the end of July/beginning of August, it is nice to have this all over with and things determined for next year. Then, when August does roll around, we only have to deal with all the school stuff.

A little guy I saw while out on my run yesterday. 
Well, I think it is time for my Sunday afternoon nap!

Until next time...remember,

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often 
(which I am hoping to do later after my nap).

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

In recovery and catching up mode

The Mother's Day holiday is finally over. All the planning, staffing and prepping my DH and I do for our 2 Edible Arrangement stores paid off. Both stores did well...and we both are exhausted. I worked primarily up in our Brentwood, CA store which is about 35 miles from our house. Last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I commuted up there and back home so that I could be here to pick up the boys from well as help out in our other store in the evening. However, Saturday night - the night before Mother's Day - it becomes "crunch" time. It is the night that you want to make sure that all the arrangements and chocolate dipped fruit boxes are made so that you can get the deliveries out in the truck and the pick ups ready for the customers pick-up. So, on Saturday, after we finished everything at 12-midnight, I just stayed at a hotel near the store.

This was much better than last year! Last year, we didn't finish up until 1:30-2 in the morning and I just slept on the front lobby cabinet. This year I got to sleep in a bed and take a shower before coming in! Definitely an improvement!

Anyway...the last major holiday is over. We get a little bump in business for Father's Day and then we go into summer mode.

And by the way...Happy Belated Mother's Day to you!

Today is the last big test for my older son, Robert. For the last 3 weeks he has been in study mode. Between the SATs and 3-AP exams, the poor kid has been going-going-studying-studying. But after today, it is all done. He still has school, for our school here doesn't get out until June 14...and he still has finals. But all the big tests this year will be complete.  I know that he will be relieved when it is all over. 


Well, it is nice that Robert's tests will be over and Mother's Day is over...for hockey tryouts start is not one thing it is another :)

So on those you can imagine, I haven't been able to pick up a needle for awhile. I am hoping that with all the hockey coming up due to tryouts, I will be sitting in the rink and will need to put something in my idle hands.

Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The New, Improved Smile

Yesterday was a big day for Matthew, my younger son. It was the day he got his braces off, something he has had for 2.5 years.

Here is the "mouth" before all the metal was put in. You gotta love all those spaces and overlapping teeth...
The mouth before all the metal.

With Metal
Without Metal
Nice and straight...definitely worth the investment :)

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

Thursday, May 2, 2013

And we are back in business...

You know that saying - "when it rains, it pours"? Well, it seems that just about everything that seems difficult to live without went on the fritz this week.

Broken thing #1:
Over the weekend, the freezer read 10-degrees and the refrigerator read 40-degrees. It seems that our refrigerator-freezer gets "sick" this time of the year...the time when the spring sun starts to come through our kitchen window and warms the heck out of this room. Typically we try to live with it, doing all sorts of things to drive the temperature down - like moving it out from the wall and putting a fan behind it. However, because life is going to get crazy-busy next week, I decided to schedule an appointment with the Sears repairperson immediately. Our appointment was Tuesday afternoon. The guy came, diagnosed the problem and fixed it. Now our 10 year old GE frig/freezer is "well" and temps are back in the normal area (freezer is at 0-degrees and refrigerator is at 37-degrees).

Broken thing #2:
Monday afternoon, after my DH napping time, we found out that the internet wasn't working. With Comcast on the phone, neither DH or Comcast could figure out what the problem was. Finally, it was just time to schedule an appointment with Comcast to get the Internet working again. An appointment was set for Wednesday morning. is amazing how dependent we have become on the internet and wireless. The boys couldn't log into their school websites to get their homework - thus, they had to rely on writing down their assignments or calling a friend to get it. The boys couldn't play their internet games while eating breakfast or vegging out after their homework was done. DH and I couldn't log into the stores remotely. We couldn't use our wireless printer. All internet-related entertainment was halted Monday & Tuesday evening. We had to rely on getting our entertainment from the TV alone; nevertheless, it did allow us to actually talk to each other without internet interruptions.

Well, long story-short...we are back in business. Internet is back up and running...and with a new router, we now have wireless too.

However, without wireless...and with time on my hands to wait for all the repair people that were scheduled to visit, I did get some "X's" put in to LHN "Monthly Sampler - January"
"Monthly Sampler" - January by LHN
Got the border for January basically complete and started the tree. I do need to stitch the green "X's" between each of the diamonds in order to "officially" call the border done. However, I really wanted to get to some of the larger areas to stitch.

I will have time today to put in some "X's" as I sit at the Ortho. Matthew (younger son) is getting his braces off this afternoon. Pretty exciting. Although there might be a little sibling envy to deal with tonight; for Robert (older son) got his braces on a year before Matthew and still has them on. Hopefully Robert will be done soon.

Well, that is about all here for now. Thank you for visiting. Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!