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. 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,