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Happy New Year to all! Let's hope 2021 turns out way better than 2020 was.

I would never know if I ended with less stuff at the the end of the year or not. Stuff gets used up, but then new stuff comes back in. I'm sure grateful for a bountiful stash though. We're never bored that way.

Husby is working on his new project, a fall scene with a cabin. He hasn't decided on his next project yet. Plenty to choose from after our Christmas spending spree at 123 Stitch!


I decided I very much like the grid idea for some cross stitch projects, but not so much working the project by dividing it into squares. I do like making entire elements at once and ignoring the rest of the project, rather than working through doing an entire color at once spread over the whole project. So I switched to that. Coffee has 5 main elements, an awning and sign, 2 doors, a window, and sled with gifts. I finished the awning and sign last night, and will do a red door on the left next. Fun so far.
 

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I haven't thought about goals. It all depends on whether my arms get back to normal, and what happens with covid. I'm hoping by next New Year's eve, the pandemic is just a horrible fading memory, but I'm not optimistic.

In general though, I'm hoping to get our garden/greenhouse area set up, finally. Moving the lilies of the valley to terraces behind the garage cleared the space, so when spring comes we can start arranging planters to see what works. I think that's our last big outside project. Hard to believe after over 20 yrs of building this place.

I hope to get several more cross stitch projects done, including at least a couple more Christmas projects.

I want to finish my 9 patch triangle quilt top, if not the whole project.

I want to start the bear paw quilt I bought fabric for a few yrs ago, but it starts with a large printed panel and I'm not sure I could do the machine quilting on that. Maybe a few minutes at a time.

There's a long list of things I'd like to do, but will have to play it by ear.
 

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D, you could track craft spending for the yr and break it into 2 catagories, one for spending only on items needed to complete a project, the other for new projects.

I didn't stitch a thing yesterday. It was good to rest. My arms feel so much better the past few days, I'm ready to blame the Chritters project.

I think masks may be in our futures for a long time to come. Dr. William Haseltine was on TV recently discussing the possibility that we may end up having to deal with covid-19 like the flu, with new vaccines every yr, because the virus might mutate each season like flu does. He was saying how flu used to be much more deadly, but now vaccines have cut the death rate way down.The two of us have already decided to make wearing masks a seasonal thing just to ward off flus and colds. We're getting older now and since wearing a masks is no big deal, why not try to avoid the usual seasonal stuff, not just covid? Many around the world wear masks routinely and no one thinks anything about it. I'm hoping the same attitude develops here. At any rate, one thing I want to do in 2021 is make lots more masks for us, and also put up some hooks to hang them from right by the door so we don't forget them, and keep spares in the vehicles too, including camper. I hope at some point we're permanently done with covid, but I won't be surprised if it's here to stay.
 

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Post-covid, we would only wear masks in winter during the usual cold and flu season. Saw on the news tonight flu is down 98% this yr so far. Lucky, since hospitals are iverflowing with covid and don't need flu on top of it.

DLR, I tape patterns together to make things less confusing. I have enough problems counting without having to jump between pages.

D, we got what better be our last 123Stitch order today too. Husby looked out and saw the flag on the mailbox was up at 10:30 and practically broke a leg rushing to get the package. I like Toy Shoppe better in person, but I'm not impressed with the Snow Globe Ornaments pattern. I'm sure I'll figure it out.

I finished Coffee's door #1. It was fun. I'm beginning to see that Sewing Room Cat is going to take me approximately 4,287 yrs to finish though. Coffee is only a small project but it's all over stitch with lots of detail and it's kinda slow. Cat will be much worse. Still, I hope I can start Cat sometime in the next yr. Anyway, I got a small start on door #2.
Rectangle Textile Art Creative arts Font
 

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I'm okay with stitching the detail. The grid makes that sooooo much easier. Toy Shoppe, the companion piece I just got, is predominately the same turquoise as Coffee, and I really like that. The door I just finished used 5 different colors of red, so lots of thread changes.

Is using computer generated pics for cross stitch patterns a thing now, instead of having someone stitch a model so there's an actual photograph? Hate that.
 

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We're not in a rush to get a vaccine either, same reasons. Others need it worse than we do, barring an emergency.

Today I need to cook. The past week has been a total snack fest, except the cream cheese chicken. I'll be making chili for my lunches and maybe hot garlic potato soup for suppers. Then maybe I can stitch.
 

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For anyone wondering, and I doubt anyone is, the Great Frozen Egg experiment has come to a conclusion. I froze a couple dozen whole raw eggs individually last summer, in anticipation of being isolated all winter. Now here we are, isolated, but thanks to curbside pickup, we don't need eggs in the freezer anymore. What we found is the eggs keep okay in the freezer, but once thawed, it's difficult to break up the yolks compared to fresh eggs. They are quite tough. It's work even using a large wire whisk, by hand or on the KA mixer. However, once the eggs are finally whisked, they seem to work as well as fresh eggs in baked goods. I'm happy I tried freezing eggs. I would do it again if I felt the circumstances made it neccessary, but I would scramble them raw, then freeze in ice cube trays, then bag them. Now we know, and I think the knowledge has some value.

I think I have Husby talked into replacing the carpet on the cat tree today. I built a renewable scratching area on it when I built the tree, and it's been scratched through for the nth time. Poor kitty can't sharpen her claws on bare particle board. It would be good to get that chore done.
 

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It's been a rough week, filled with much swearing, screaming, and unhealthy comfort food.

Husby just finished his log cabin. It will look nice on the gallery next fall. Rectangle Creative arts Art Font Linens


I ripped all the floss out of the kittens and birds kit, so it's no longer a UFO. I can put off working on that till I feel like it, and I won't have to work from the middle so can start in a corner instead. I'm probably going to finish Coffee and then give Maggie a try, if my arms approve. That's the kit with the cat laying all over the sewing machine. I took out the pattern and looked it over. It might be easier and go quicker than I thought, especially with a grid. The backstitching will be epic, though.

I finally got Coffee's second door done and a good start on the window, not shown. Since the window is its own grid and mostly half stitches, I'm hoping it goes fast. Rectangle Creative arts Art Wood Font
 

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I'm having major problems with FV. Very frustrating.

My favorite Lt. Gen. Russell Honore' is taking over a big part of the investigation into the breakdown that allowed the Capitol insurrection and near-assassinations of Mike Pence and other high ranking officials. At least I can have confidence in that part of this entire debacle.

The vaccine distribution is now completely FUBAR, so I don't expect to be able to travel at all till 2022. The more people continue to ignore guidelines, the longer it's going to take to get this virus under control. This didn't have to be this bad, but here we are. Heads need to roll for how this disaster has been handled, but there are other priorities ATM.

I tried working on Sewing Cat but it's too heavy and awkward. Every stitch was torture. It's started now, but since I'm particularly upset, nervous, and grumpy, I'm refusing to classify it as a UFO, so there. I might start a small dated Christmas project for the gallery. Coffee Shoppe isn't done but it's been an annoyance lately, too.

Husby's Devil's Tower (correct name Bear Lodge) cross stitch is coming along nicely. It's a small project we bought as a souvenir in the Black Hills (correct name Paha Sapa).

Something died on the lake in front of the house. Can't tell what, but the ravens and eagles are having brunch. It's probably a deer, coyote, or wolf. :sigh:

Not much happening here. Hope all's well with you and yours.

Sincerely yours,
Debby Downer
 

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*exhale* Finally! What a great day. Many challenges ahead, but at least now we should have competent leadership. I'm still not planning on travel this yr though. It was a nice inaugural, considering circumstances, with more to come this evening. So relieved no one was hurt.

Doctors are finally starting to say people should not be going into stores, curbside pickup only. Been waiting for this, because it seems so logical. I haven't heard a lot yet, just several mentions from different people. There is heightened concern due to the covid variant and people not wearing masks or not wearing them over mouth AND nose, also because they're finally figuring out stores are the source of a large percentage of infections. Mitigation is the magic word. I'm hoping it will improve with new leadership at the top. We'll see.

Husby finished his Bear Lodge project today. I think he's starting an old mill on a stream now. I haven't been on speaking terms with Coffee Shoppe for about 3 days now. I did rip out some stitching on the little UFO, so maybe I'll get back to that.

We ordered a 5 lb bag of rye flour and got five 3 lb bags. :lol: Good thing I found 2 good bread machine pumpernickel recipes in the past 3 days, after yrs of searching. I love pumpernickel and it's over $4/small loaf so I rarely buy it.

The only useful semi-crafty thing I've done recently is repair the squeaky in Shaddy's hedgehog. Otherwise I've been obsessively doomscrolling Twitter and playing phone games to burn off anxiety. My arms are happy about both.

Hope all's well with everyone as we look forward to better days.
 

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We've been ROFL at all the Bernie memes. They're all over Twitter. There's now a bobblehead for sale featuring Bernie, his mittens and chair, and a real pair of mittens.

There's an actual Monday-Friday press conference schedule now, like it should be, and the women running the comms shop will not be appearing in dresses 2 sizes too small, will actually know what they're talking about or freely admit if they don't know an answer, and will not be calling reporters particularly smart accomplished black women nasty, stupid, or ugly. Things are looking up already. Dr. Fauci will be at today's presser, where I don't expect he will be physically pushed away from the podium so a dotard with no medical or other knowledge can dispute what a lifelong infectious disease expert just said. It's going to take some heavy lifting to get this country back up out of the ditch, but at least we're started now. It's a relief to have someone at the top who will let the scientists lead and prioritize getting this godawful virus under control so we can all have a life again.
 

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Glad your arm is better, CH. Hope you're fully healed soon.

Still not stitching. I have 2 games that keep dropping infinite lives on me, Lily's Garden and Penny and Flo. My arms are happier with gaming than stitching so maybe it's best. I'm also reading a couple books, Rough Country by John Sandford and Too Much and Never Enough. The first is a police procedural and the second is terrifying. Better for my arms, too.

The support from people around the world has been overwhelming. It's brought me to tears many times, especially since 1/6. People have even had volunteer Emotional Support Canadians to help get through. LOL. It's been an eye opener how much policies in the USA have a global impact, and how worried people around the world have been about us, both as individuals and as a democracy. Someone on Twitter thanked Canadians for holding our hair while our heads were over the toilet the past few yrs. That seemed like an apt summary of what the last 4 yrs have been like.

I'm liking the new, unchained Dr. Fauci. 😄 He and the other experts and agencies will be 1000% more effective now that they're allowed to tell the truth. It's going to make a big difference that we will get more consistent info now, instead of a different message from every spokesperson. The EO to trigger the DPA should be a game changer, too, even a yr late. The first full day, and already things are looking up. I'm excited to wake up every morning now, just to see the normal, boring machinations of a functional government.

Husby started stitching his mill tonight. I think it might take him quite a while.
 

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Trying out this new software. It will take some getting used to, I see. Looks like lots of nice improvements, once I get used to the new gadgets.

I ordered a cheap pair of circular knitting needles for travel. I don't like using my Denises in the truck in case of damage or loss. Hope I like them.

Also ordered a stamped cross stitch for camping. Don't know why. We talked it over and would not be comfortable going to the Dakotas or Wyoming or anywhere west. We were last there 9/16 and things were getting bad then. It seems like now vehicles with Minnesota plates might be a target. We wouldn't dare leave our dogs alone in the truck anymore, or either of us alone. We're starting to think more about all those destinations within Minnesota we always said we'd go see "someday". Doubtful we can camp till fall anyway. Can't decide if the knitting needles and cross stitch are optimism or just wishful thinking.

I knitted almost an entire slipper in the past few days and it didn't hurt much. Progress. The slipper looks pink on my screen but it's tan. I taught myself how to do a stretchy cast off which is easy and doesn't need any extra tools, so will be great for travel. The cuff isn't rippled, it just looks that way.

58315
 

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Got the slippers done. I might be able to knit in the truck again now, if we ever get to go anywhere.

Husby just canceled his checkup at the clinic. With the new variants it seems prudent. We're just not doing any nonessential errands now. No way we will go into stores, much less clinic. There's nothing we need badly enough to risk a horrific death and endangering others. We're in the worst part of this pandemic now, according to every expert, and we haven't spent the past yr worrying, planning, and being careful, just to make a stupid mistake now.

We had to order some masks so we can double them up as recommended, and 3 more cross stitch kits fell into the cart. 😂😂😂
They're all stamped, so will be saved for camping. I can put one or two in my knitting bag that stays under my feet in the truck, so they won't take up any space.

I finally took the plunge and decided to do something with my out of control hair. Plan A was to cut it 1" long with clippers, but the clippers wouldn't cut anything. So we trashed those and moved on to Plan B since there wasn't any other option. Husby used the Crea Clip and blunt cut the back half. Then I attempted to layer cut the front. My arms are better but still not great and the cut reflects that, but it's presentable and a huge relief to not have my hair stuck to my face, in my mouth and eyes, and generally making me miserable. The mullet lives!

Still haven't done much with Coffee Shoppe, but I think I know why, so will switch tactics. I really do want to finish that before I start the next pair of procrastination slippers. My knitting needles arrive today after delays.

Snowy here, finally. We're getting the northern edge of the big storm, or maybe it's a new system. At any rate, white stuff is falling.

Listening to covid briefing. It's such a relief to finally be getting complete, reliable info from the federal government. Such a huge, important change instead of the nonstop ignorant BS we've gotten since covid began. I hope they can get vaccine distribution unsnarled and ramped up so we all can start seeing the end of this second national nightmare. The potential of adding the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is very exciting news. I hope that works out. Still has to get EUA from FDA. 🤞🤞🤞
 

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I concluded I might as well do something with my hair because Husby would be the one suffering most because he'd have to look at it all the time, while I only have to see it in the mirror. But it doesn't actually look too bad. Not like a pro cut, but okay for 2 people who don't know what they're doing. I don't expect to be able to get a real haircut till at least fall, and there's no way I could live with it that long. I reached the point I didn't care what it looked like. Hope you can deal with yours somehow. Maybe electric clippers?

We won't shop anywhere without curbside pickup. Husby went to get a truckload of deer corn, which loads from a garage outside the hardware store. Guy showed up to load with no mask. Husby asked him to put one on. Guy said he couldn't, but did go get someone else. Husby had to be in the truck box loading, so sometimes too close for guidelines, hence need for masks on both of them even outside. Noncompliant stores don't get our business. Obviously, grocery stores are one of the worst places to go when everyone else in town goes there, too. Been saying that from jump.

I should be doing something useful but probably won't.
 

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I had been thinking I wanted to grow my hair long again, but being forced into it has killed off that notion. Way too much work and way too anoying. I just wish I could figure out how to do a good job cutting it myself.

The circles quilt will be gorgeous, CH. Love the fabric especially the black and sunflowers.

I remember the bugs, D. Now I'll be crawly all night. 🤣 Congrats on getting the fabric you really wanted.

The latest round of Amazon therapy is due tomorrow. Wonder why the last stuff took forever. Ine kit is backordered till next month.

I finished the one pair of slippers and made another slipper plus about 4 rows on the second one. I like the new needles, so that's nice. Now my arms aren't any worse but my thumb hurts. I can't win. So will try to put the slippers away and work on Coffee Shoppe or find some other way to procrastinate and avoid Coffee Shoppe which is stupid. If I picked it up again, I'm sure I'd enjoy it.

I made a second loaf of pumpernickel bread and the new recipe was not a fluke. I printed a copy and added it to my BREADS binder so I don't have to search my cookbooks in the future. So happy to have found a great recipe and never have to buy pumpernickel again. We had pastrami, Swiss, and kraut on it last week and it was so delicious. It can't get much easier than putting ingredients in the machine a pressing a couple buttons.

Still nothing happening here, luckily.
 

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I highly recommend King Arthur Baking's website. I've gotten so many great recipes from that and the 1,000 pages of their cookbooks.

Mom gave back the bread machine I loaned her yrs ago. I got it NIB and never used it because I have another one. We've been using the 'new' one and really like it. It makes smaller loaves but has 3 crust settings. I never made bread in the old one, just dough, because the crust always turns out like armor plating, no fun to eat. The new one is perfect. Very glad I bought it and didn't get rid of it when I was purging stuff. I paid $5 for it and the first 2 loaves, the pumpernickel, would have cost $4 each, so even with cost of ingredients, we're in the black. I'm experimenting with new recipes now. The new machine's smaller loaves are a nice size for us.

We're supposed to get bitterly cold temps this weekend, 50-60 below wind chill, highs around zero. Oh, yea. 🤨🥶🙄 Thanks, Canada. Good week to be home, I guess. I'm back to yelling "shut up!" at the TV weather people.
 

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Still not doing anything of note.

Wish my crystal ball would get out of the repair shop. There are things I'd like to know.

Here's a pertinent message from Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré. It's sure a relief to have competent, experienced, patriotic people back in charge of all aspects of our government. I'll never take good government for granted again.
 

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I know you've posted those before, Martha, but they're still beautiful.

CH, our furnace tech told us not changing filters monthly is one of the most common reasons for service calls.

Our high today was 11 below F. It's supposed to stay frigid till at least Tuesday. Storm spent part of the day outside laying in the sun. Go figure. Doofus. He lays out there till he's a pupsicle, then comes in and complains to us that Shadow is laying on the pad in front of the fireplace and we should move her.

Finished slipper #5 today. Don't know why I'm obsessed, maybe because it's mindless yet useful. I keep telling myself I'll just start one because it's hard to cast on and knit the first couple rows in the truck, but then I just keep going. Oh, well, if that's my worst problem, I'm golden.

I did a few stitches on Coffee Shoppe but couldn't get into it.
 
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