Time flies, whether you're having fun or not.

Time flies, doesn't it? First I had a house full of kids. Then I had a car full of kids. Then my nephew in Tallahassee had a boat full of kids. Then I had a car full of kids again. Then I had no kids. Then I got on an airplane and spent 4 days in Kentucky with my youngest grandson, 3 1/2, who said to me on Tuesday, "I had fun pwayinging wiss you graymaw!" Yes, I leaked tears all the way home. It's very quiet around here now. Very quiet. Very, very quiet. As soon as I get a chance I'll scrap up some pictures of both visits and give you the links.

The Embroidery on the left was stitched by my mother before my older brother was born. It has hung over the cribs and beds of my siblings and me, of both of my children and of all 6 of my grandchildren. In 1940 it hung over a tan crib with bunny decals. In 2008 it's hanging over a Lightning McQueen race car toddler bed. Time flies . . .

Speaking of time flying . . . In July, 1997 a motley group of machine embroiderers from all over the continent got together for a couple of days in Paducah, Kentucky. We didn't have an agenda, but we did have a terrific time. Now, 11 years later a motley group of machine embroiderers, nearly the same number, but all from Central Florida, are getting together for a luncheon in just a couple of days. We have no agenda and I know we're going to have a terrific time. There will be lots of photos, I know, and I'll get as many of them posted, or scrapped and posted, as quickly as possible. I hope the photos will encourage other local groups to get together.

And while we're on the subject, on July 20, 1943, a baby girl was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. On July 20, 2008 she'll be celebrating her "Medicare birthday." That would be me and that would be time REALLY flying! Am I retired yet? No? Thought not . . .

We WERE speaking of grandchildren, right? There are two features of Catalog XPress that have been very helpful for me and my oldest granddaughter. Sabrina was 9 or 10 when she began using my Brother PE-200 small hoop, stand alone embroidery machine. At that age Sabrina had the attention span of a gnat. I wanted her to finish any project she started, so I used the Search feature to limit her design choices. I limited the number of stitches in the designs to 900 and the colors to 4. I entered the dimensions of her hoop. Once I clicked on OK, and gave Catalog XPress a few moments to examine every design, the only designs that appeared on the pages were those with 900 or fewer stitches, 4 or fewer colors and all would fit in her small hoop. Since she never saw designs that might take more than an hour to stitch or have lots of thread changes or that were too large for her hoop there wasn't any whining or begging. She chose the design she wanted to stitch wrote it to her card and got busy. And Always completed her project.

I'd like to thank all of you who, in response to my last blog, let me know that their grandchildren live around the corner. Devil For those who commiserated with me about grandchildren scattered far away, here's something I used to do a lot and sometimes still do. The printing function of Catalog XPress has several options. In the "Print Catalog" option there's a box you can check telling the program to print only the selected designs. You can also choose how many designs in each row and each column. I select 4 designs and print that page. Then I address an envelope to myself and put a stamp on it. I put both the printed designs, a note asking the grandchild to select a design and the SASE (Stamped Self Addressed Envelope, remember?) in another envelope and send it to one of my grandchildren. In a few days I will receive the design page with one of the designs circled and, frequently, a note or a picture on the back. You have to include the SASE or you might not see the design selection until 6 months have gone by and both you and your grandchild have forgotten all about it. In these days of email, and cell phones, we grandmas with distant grandchildren don't get anything to hang on our refrigerators and this helps fill up the space. Oh, yes, remember to get right on that project and send your grandchild the finished item ASAP.

And now for something completely different. I LOVE Nutella. Not the Nutella we get over here. That Nutella is very stiff and has a strong hazelnut flavor. I imagine that's the way the Nutella people think we Americans like our Nutella. I love the Nutella in Europe. It's runny and sweet and chocolat-y. You know the little packs of cheese spread with cracker sticks we get over here? Well, in Italy they have little packs of Nutella with cookie sticks. I love Nutella so much that our Dutch friends laughed at me. A LOT! And took pictures of me holding, spreading and eating Nutella. What you see on the right is my typical Dutch breakfast, wheat bread spread with peanut butter, sprinkled with chocolate and topped with sliced banana. Gotta love the Dutch for eating chocolate for breakfast. But not, apparently with peanut butter and bananas, since they found it so amusing that Theo had to take a picture. He also felt he need to take a picture of me spreading Nutella on the left over half banana. I ran out of European Nutella a long time ago. When we were going to meet Loes and Theo in Toronto, I asked Loes to bring me some Nutella.  She was afraid she wouldn't be able to get through customs with it because it's food. (Ambrosia is more like it!) Imagine my delight when I ran into European Nutella in an Italian deli in La Grange, Kentucky last week. Of course I bought a jar. I would have bought several, but I wanted to leave some for the other Americans who are starved for European Nutella. To come home I wrapped the jar in plastic and put it in the new leather travel kit I had bought for Bill, along with a little cardinal shaped box and a package of socks. When I got home and went to unlock my suitcase I noticed that 2 of the numbers on the lock were in the correct position. Didn't think much of that. Then, when I took the travel kit out I saw that it was unzipped. Got me wondering, but still didn't think much of it. Upon opening the travel kit I found the TSA note saying that my suitcase had been inspected. Did they see the Nutella on the x-ray machine and think I was carrying plastic explosive? They didn't unzip my travel kit or my make-up bag so I'm sure it was the jar of Nutella that set off the alarm. That tickled me. Oh, for those coming to the CF luncheon on Saturday, I'm not bringing my jar of Nutella, so forget about it!

Reality Bytes. My first choice, Stephanie, won Top Chef. My first choice, Christina, won Hell's Kitchen. In two weeks we'll find out if the gals go 3 for 3 this season during the final challenge on The Next Food Network Star. It's Lisa vs. 2 men. She's the best looking and the best cook, but not the best TV personality, so it's iffy. My fingers are crossed.

TTFN. I'll see some of you on Saturday,






Comments (11) -

jalcumbrack 7/18/2008 3:14:56 PM

Hi Ann,

I too share the discontent over not having my Grandkids right around the corner. I got to see them when I was In Michigan a few weeks ago,Wow,they look so different than when I last saw them. Tony is graduating this year,so he was the biggest surprise!Gee,what happened to that cute little kid,who was always smaller than the other kids? My Grand Daughter is taller than I ,and looks so grown up now,she is 16 going on 25 I think,and very mature for her age.It was a taste of my own reality,and that really bites,LOL.

I have never had Nutella,so I will have to see if I can find some and try it.It sure sounds good! I love hazelnuts! I love chocolate!I will have to see if I can find some some where.

I love the embroidery your Grandmother did. That is wonderful,you don't even see that whole prayer written any where any more.You have done such a great job of preserving it! Great blog Ann, brings back many of my own memories,Thanks, Also for the Information on Cat X ,that is great to know.

See you tomorrow!

Well, I have mostly fine young men (well, oldest is going to be 16) for grandchildren, so the pictures don't work much with them.  I do have a few sport designs, so I will have to try that soon.

I am sure not well traveled, and hearing about Italy made me want to hear more.  I just have to go see Mama Mia to see some of that country!

I am also jealous about tomorrow and hope to hear lots about the events of the luncheon.   I will be there in spirit!


maryhallhodge 7/19/2008 4:51:55 PM

Ann and All:

        My name is Tom and  my wife is Mary Polliard. She is an ardent Emroiderer making Burp Rags, Wash Cloths, and Recieving Blankets for every New Born that she hears of.

        We are 90 yrs old and the Prayer " Now I lay me down to sleep" is one of our earlyst memories. I wonder how old it really Is.

I have 12 grandchhildren all across the country and only 2 close to me in Florida. I also have 9 greats.  I have made it a goal to make each one an embroidered quilt to remember me by.  A big undertaking but lots of fun. Also a cherished memory.  Don't forget the labels ladies!

travelbug1237 7/20/2008 12:50:59 AM


  I hope you had a really GREAT DAY!!!


Cathy in Oregon

P.S. You and Greg sure found some WONDERFUL new bloggers to add to your site!!! They're WONDERFUL!!!


Wonder if the old poem could be ditizied so we could

embroidery it???  I have 2 grandkids who live here in

Fancy Farm (ages 10 and 13yrs old) and I have 2 in

Dallas-Fort Worth (ages 13 and 15yrs. old).  Yes, it is

difficult being away from  them--they grow up so fast.

Ann-Today is July 20, and I want to wish you a Happy Birthday!

Count the Happys, not the Birthdays!


I am glad you have kept your site going.  I know at one time in your history you thought about stopping it because of a few individuals.  Thank you for your ideas and the freebies.  Now the designs you sell.  Thank you Cathy

Hi Ann, Happy Birthday: hope you enjoy yourself. It would be nice if  the pray could be ditizied. I have a 2 year old grandchild and my daughter teaches him that prayer at night .It was taught to me when i was little, I taught it to my children and they are teaching it to their  children. I guess it's been around a long time. I enjoy  your web site. Thankyou  libby

Do you find that the wee ones grow so quick its hard to keep up. One day they are sitting on your lap being burped because only grandma has enough time & patience to sit there for as long as it takes,then they start school then high school & before you know it another 20 years has passed & your going to be a great grandmother. I do wish we could slow time down. i find all these lovely embroideries to do & time leaves me behind & they are on to the next big thing  in their beautiful lives. --Rosie

I need HELP!!!......I am very new at this embroidery stuff let alone blogging.....so as long as it's all new to me I might as well tackle them both at the same time......I bought a Singer Futura 350....I think I like it.....anyway someone told me about getting free pattrens here at Ann's.....thought I would try it.....but.....I downloaded some pattrens.....but can't get where with them....because my puter says......it doesn't know what program wrote it....I can see it says pes.......but I don't think thats what it is asking for.....so therefore I can't use any of them......please.....some smart person out there.......tell this gramdma where she went wrong.......besides that this old dog is too old to learn new tricks......I have been sewing since I was 5 years old.....but never had a fancy do-dad-machine like this.....so when you get done laughfing at me.....please help me out........Thanks so very  much for being here.....my name is Bunnny......right now I feel like it should be dumb-bunnny......waiting to hear from someone.....

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