A Fall From Grace


Here it is, the second day of Fall, and it’s already cold in the mornings here in Orlando. By “cold” I mean 68° (20° C) which, for me here in Florida, is sweater weather.  It doesn’t usually cool off until the middle of November, so this is quite a treat for us (here in Florida where 68° F is sweater weather). I hope the weather holds because it would portend an early end to hurricane season and good-bye to the mosquitoes for another year. Usually when the weather begins to cool down I switch from walking on the treadmill to walking outdoors, but this time I’m not walking for exercise at all because of the foot thing. I am, however, getting exercise and that’s the lead-in to my sort of travelogue for this week.


First of all, please remember that these places were short stops along a transatlantic cruise to Amsterdam where Bill and I were meeting up with our friends Loes and Theo. It doesn’t cost much more to cruise across the Atlantic than it does to fly; it takes about 15 days and you arrive without any jet lag. If you have the time, it’s the sensible way to go. Anyway, we were gadding about with a group of new friends. In La Coruña, Spain, we had only a few hours. We were on our way to find a place where I could say “una cerveza, por favor” (“a beer, please”) when I tripped and fell on some steps. One of the fellows with us said that he was at first concerned, but then he saw that I knew how to fall and I’d be okay. Yes, I do know how to fall. I do it a lot and I’ve found that once I start down the best thing to do is just relax and let it happen. I wasn’t hurt, but I did skin one knee. Another time we were in Montmartre, France. I had just come out of a café holding a very hot chocolate when I walked right into a pole, spilling most of the chocolate down my front. By this time our friends knew about my tripping propensity and expressed more concern about the spilled chocolate than they did about me. If anyone took any pictures they didn’t share them with me, so I don’t have a scrapbook page to share with you. So, what do these two little stores have to do with exercise?


Feeling very flabby and fluffy after lying around on the couch for four weeks, I decided to invest in a Wii, with Wii fit. If you’re not familiar with Wii, which is hard to imagine if you’ve got any kids at all in your life, it’s kind of like a wireless video game that you hook up to your television. Wii Fit comes with a balance board, and the first time you start the program and introduce yourself you stand on the balance board for testing. After I finished the balance tests, and keep in mind that I’m favoring one foot . . ., the television said to me, “You are unbalanced. Do you fall a lot?” I’m not kidding! I’ve been doing the balance exercises for at least 20 minutes every day (keep in mind that I’m favoring one foot) and every day my television tells me, “You are unbalanced. Do you fall a lot?” I don’t mind the question so much, but that “you are unbalanced” thing is starting to get to me.


Some cutting remarks: You know how when you’re wearing some store bought item with embroidery people will ask, “Did you make that?” And, of course you reply, “Didn’t it come out nice” or some such. Not lying, of course, but not admitting to store bought. Well, take a look at the back of some of those store bought embroideries.  Can you believe the sloppy trimming of the stabilizer? Yours look SO much more professional, right? On the left you’ll see the back of a store bought tee shirt (1) and the back of something I made myself (2). You’ll also see the two pairs of scissors I use for trimming stabilizer. I already had the duckbill pair (3) for trimming appliqués. They’re good for trimming stabilizer because you can get in pretty close without accidentally snipping the fabric. The smaller pair with the curved blades (4) I use for getting into tight spots. You need to be careful with them, though, as they WILL catch the fabric. As far as washing embroidered garments, I wash in warm or, preferably, cold water and line dry. In the rare instances that I need to iron something, I place the garment face down on a towel so I don’t smash the embroidery.


Responding to some comments on my last blog: Yes, Sabrina IS beautiful, isn’t she? Thanks you! But she doesn’t look like grandma. She looks like her mother, or perhaps her abuela, her maternal grandmother.


 It’s easy to have sexy toes. Get a pedicure with bright red polish. It’s one of my few and favorite indulgences.


 Susan, I know that no matter how anyone might feel about the war in Iraq, every one of us is thinking about and/or praying for all of our young men and women over there and we’re grateful for the service they’re giving to their countries. I, as well as many of us machine embroiderers, am from a military family and we understand fully the difficulties and heartaches that you are enduring. We thank you for your service, also.


 Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers about my foot. It’s coming along.


 A little reminder: If you ask a question in a comment on one of the blogs or the Welcome to AnnTheGran page, please remember to come back to see if there’s an answer there. Better yet, post your questions in the forums where someone knowledgeable will always see them and try to help you out.


 Until next time, take care of yourselves, and don’t forget to sometimes turn off your computer and sew something! TTFN


Comments (15) -

Well, I think you are well balanced, and what does Wii know?  

I understand about looking at the back of embroidery at the stores.  After looking at dozens, I can pretty much tell good embroidery from poor.  I want mine to be the good stuff, and those scissors, which are excellent tools, contribute to a great design.


jalcumbrack 9/26/2008 3:03:54 PM

Hi Ann,

Well, then, I must be unbalanced as well! I am always doing something to injure myself. We're alright,it's everyone else thats different! Pat's right! What the heck do the Wii folks know??

I know about the store bought embroidered stuff as well, having been a commercial sewer, it is easy to understand why they don't spend more time trimming. The key word there being trimming! We can afford to be picky at home with what we do, but when you have a certain amount you have to complete in an hour, for 8 or more hours a day, you do what you can to do this. As long as it does not interfere with the actual quality of the item, then it would be acceptable to leave the excess stabilizer on there. it will also save a heap of time.

Glad you are doing so well with the foot,I hope your "Fall" goes well for you!! (no pun intended!) I miss getting my pedicures,but it is one of the extra's that had to go!

Take care Ann, I always enjoy reading your blogs, they are always so much fun!



I understand about the Wii. I have one too... what a little knowitall...lol Especially when I step on and it says..."uhggg" Well.....

Yes, I have had people come up and ask..."did you make that" And I tell them.. "It is nice, isn't it?" That is not a lie also...

Hope your foot is getting better and better..

cme   8^)

serenemachine2 9/27/2008 11:15:33 PM

Oh, that hurts even me!!  Hope it really mends and you don't have to have to much physical therapy.

Dear Ann,......So sorry to hear about your fall.

I hope that you are feeling better and will be like new soon.


Okay, y'all, that fall in Spain and the run-in with the pole in France happened more than a year ago. I mentioned them only to illustrate that I'm prone to miss-steps and have pretty well accepted it and deal with it often. So when my Wii asked if I fall a lot I was thinking, well yeah, hello! I do fall a lot and thanks for reminding me. Your wishes for my speedy recovery are very much appreciated, though not needed today. Probably tomorrow or some day in the future I will take another fall so I'll save your good thoughts for then.

Glad to hear that you haven't had one of those falls recently! I too love the scissors you mentioned for cutting the stabilizer.  In your opinion, which is the best way to use the duckbills? Is the flat, wider side of the blade supposed to be under the stabilizer (or material) or on top?  I've done it both ways, but am not sure which is preferred.  Thank you and take care!!


cuzzins, the duckbill (or applique) scissors are meant to be used with the wide part against the fabric. That's what keeps you from nicking it.

Does the duckbill come in lefthanded?  Other scissors are adaptable, but the duckbill? Just wondering.

curious1255 9/28/2008 3:24:08 PM

hey  i didn't know your daughter lives in ky  i am from there originally  but moved to texas 24 years ago with my new hubby  . anyway what part of ky does she live

Ann, Your Wii might say you are unbalanced but that is just physically, thank goodness, not mentaly.  But if you fall again all your friends here will pick you up emotionally just not  physically.

cme-That is a good question.  Scissors are a real challenge in this case.  

If you wonder what cme is talking about, take a pair of right handed scissors and try to use them in your left hand.   Some scissors are made to be either, but most are for our right handed friends.


cme, i've been scouring the Internet and I can't find a pair of lefty duckbill scissors. I'm sure someone, somewhere carries them, but I have no idea who or where.

SudsDuds2, I think I'm probably unbalanced both physically and mentally. I'm working on the phyusical  part, but I don't think there's any help for the other.

curious1255, my daughter lives in LaGrange, about 20 miles NE of Louisville.

Sigh... Story of my life... Well I think I get a pair of the duck bill and make adjustments. I find I can do some things ambidextros, but cutting .... well if I want a straght line... that is another story.. Of course I will try on a practice project, if it turns out it will be a good project.. lol

Thanks Ann for looking, but I have not found left handed ones either.

cme   8^(

I found Left handed Duckbill scissors.. on Amazon.. here is the link for 6"


Hope this helps!!!

Becky Thill

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