Happy Anniversary to Us

My husband is still rather romantic. So many women complain about a lack of romance in their lives after years of marriage, even good ones. I don’t have this problem I am happy to say. In fact, I wrote this blog to boast. I will tell you how it manifests itself in my family today. This blog is dedicated to the most thoughtful man in my life. We just had a thirtieth anniversary and I received a wonderful gift. He actually picked out a beautiful needlepoint pattern from my favorite shop. All the yarns were included. How sweet is this? He had only gone to the shop with me one time prior to this surprise visit. I imagine that he asked for help but I know that many of the canvases are on display. Others are on racks or in stacks on tables here and there. I wonder how much time he spent making his selection. I can just see it now. What a guy!

You must be asking, what did I give him for an anniversary present? How did I top his? I got something he really wanted: a glass door beer fridge. It isn’t a huge unwieldly unit that professionals use but just right for his needs at 2.7 cubic feet. They call this a countertop style. He likes to show off his bottled and canned beverages to friends so they can choose what they like. What a good host! He had absolutely hinted that he required the transparent door.

These units come in larger sizes and are used in markets, delis, and restaurants for takeout drinks. You see them all the time. Some store owners like to include tempting snacks in plain sight to encourage buying. Our fridge will be just for brew. This is my husband’s favorite beverage and he likes it very cold. Now he can exactly control the temperature in seconds. The fridge is perfectly reliable. A self-closing single glass door is the primary feature of this model. It saves the hassle of warm beer because someone didn’t push it enough. There is also a built-in lock if you have wayward teenagers. Fortunately, I don’t.

The fridge was stocked immediately after he opened the imposing package I set before him. Yes, I actually wrapped it on paper and topped it with a giant bow. I was thinking of buying the contents but realized that this would be a fun chore for my husband. There are three shelves to fill up with items of your choice. He calls it his “inventory.” It is nice looking as well with a rust-proof black frame—very sleek and modern. It is definitely not an eyesore in his man cave. Of course, it is well insulated to maintain the interior temperature you want from 35 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. I noticed that it had a fan within the cabinet area to circulate air. Great engineering!

Trying to be a Good Grandmother

I try to be a good grandmother. I make needlepoint pillows for every child and bake lots of cakes and cookies. But there are other limits. My granddaughter wants a trampoline but I am afraid to get it–I don’t want her to get hurt. I wonder if a toddler can safely use a mini trampoline at home and so I look at reviews and conduct some research. The reviews are very positive and parents openly state that their kids love to jump. They find that a quality product is reliable and won’t come apart after considerable use. Kids can share trampolines with siblings and friends. Young ones are guaranteed a good time. I am pleased with what I read, but I still must decide.

I like to spoil the kids and I really want to buy the child-size trampoline. I have seen tons of kids doing it in the park and on the playground, but perhaps there is an age when a kid can start. The manufacturer has some words on the subject and the pamphlet that comes with the device designates the age of four. That seems pretty young, but then again it is a very small version. There are instructions as follows:

  • Set up the mini trampoline in an open space. Make sure there is room all around in case the child falls off. The mat is close to the ground and the rim is soft rubber so injuries from the trampoline are unlikely.
  • Stay with the child while he or she is learning to jump in the center of the mat.
  • Do not carry or hold the child while you bounce. It will push you off balance.
  • Show your child pictures illustrating how to jump up and down. If he or she is ambitious, they can tuck their knees under them. If they land on the knees, they will not get hurt. It might be a bit uncomfortable to hit the rubber rim if they fall forward. Try to keep them in an upright position.

If these instructions are not too intimidating, and they sound fine, then it seems possible that the trampoline as a toy is safe enough. I think I will go for it. The gadget comes to your home from the online supplier and there is no assembly involved. You have a choice of colors, and for a girl, I chose hot pink. For a boy, there is yellow, green, and blue. When the package arrived, I posted a photo of it on Facebook and my daughter offered to come over and help me open it. She was going to bring my granddaughter over too, which was who I really bought it for.

I wanted to enhance the surprise. Her eyes widened as we pulled out the mini trampoline. It took about two minutes to set up as I had already scouted out the perfect spot in an open space in the living room. It took about one more minute for her to decide to jump on—no fear at all. I had to drag her down with the lure of fresh-baked cookies.

Finally, Storage!

My husband is Mr. Handyman. I am lucky to have help right there in the house when I need it. I am not much at handling household problems and am grateful to have an excellent do-it-yourselfer around all the time. I get entrenched in my needlepoint projects and don’t like to take breaks and lose my momentum. It is a bit of a passion and if you were to visit my house, you would see homemade pillows strewn on the sofa and upholstered chairs. You would notice framed needlepoint flowers in a vase on the bedroom wall. Any subject is fine with me. For years I did clowns and cartoon characters for my kids to create a fun ambience for them. In the kitchen I have vegetables and fruit while in the den I do sports themes. Each family member chooses the design they favor. Perhaps they are getting their fill, but I have a lot more work to do to fulfill my needs.

I keep all my supplies in a cabinet I bought just for the purpose. I have cotton and wool yarns sorted by color. It is a veritable rainbow of hues if you open the door. Lately, however, you won’t see a thing because the door is stuck. Wood expands and contracts when the weather changes. While it may be quite normal, it is also irritating. I need to get to my supplies without yanking off the door. I don’t keep the door open through the day because the cat loves to grab his desired skein of yarn in his sharp pointy teach. It is a great game. I need the door fixed—and fast. My husband as always comes to the rescue. He has a block plane in the garage which he can use to shave the door just enough so that it closes perfectly.

Nothing beats this tool for all kinds of repair. It is convenient and easy to operate. He says its versatility makes it one of his favorite devices for all kinds of cutting and shaping tasks. It is also quite small and doesn’t take up much space. He likes to keep things in a tool pouch hanging on a peg in the garage. It’s right alongside all of the wood that he tends to buy after reading Woodwork Nation. I see that it is shaped just right to fit in one hand. If you don’t have one, take my word for it that you will find many uses for it over the years.

My husband learned how to wield all the tools of the construction trade when he was a boy watching his dad at work. He has been on call for family and friends ever since. He doesn’t mind helping others since it allows him to hone his skills. Like my cabinet door, the front door also sticks when it rains. It soaks up moisture like a sponge. You can tear your rotator cuff pulling and twisting the handle. That block plane has been our savior more than once.

Putting Down my Needles for a Day

My husband has gold fever. His favorite hobby is panning for gold. I know what it is since I did it as a child at Knott’s Berry Farm. I thought it was cool then although I am not so sure now. He wants me to give it a try. “Drop those needles,” he begged, “and come along for some outdoor fun.” Okay, I was curious and open to a new experience. I had just finished a very complex needlepoint and was happy to give my fingers a rest.

I was not surprised when he brought out a new gold panning kit for me. He still had his old one. He liked to go with his cousin from time to time on men only vacations. I was privileged to be invited at this point. “You need exposure to what I do,” he explained. “See the other side of life.”

Recreational mining gear consists of a number of items. A basic kit he says has just what you need for panning. We weren’t going to use a sluice box this time or any fancy suction dredges or drills. We would sit by a creek, dangle our toes in the cool water, relax under the sun, and find gold – we hope. We would laugh and take photos and share them on Instagram and Facebook so our friends could have a good laugh. What a strange hobby they would say.

My husband says he found the perfect pans for our adventure. It would make it easy to do if I had the proper preparation and instruction. I didn’t know there were different types. I trusted that he would give me the right ones to strike pay dirt. I was getting into the mood. I knew the kids would love it. I would tell them that pans are not just for nutty parents but that geology enthusiasts buy them. As for me, I would undertake a predetermined process to find gold. It is so easy a child can do it. Just submerge the pan, perform the panning movement, separate and retrieve the metal. But does anyone triumph with this simple method?

They used to in the old days for sure. There are riffled traps to catch the metal as the extraneous material flows away. There is some type of textured screen at the bottom of the pan used to separate sand and silt to the desirable nuggets. They are likely to be pretty small. I suppose the lightweight but tough material is necessary to pan properly. Mine is a nice green color. My husband promises that I can graduate to more advanced “technology” in a short period of time. I still don’t know what a gold sluice is.

The hunt was somewhat successful since my husband knew just where to go. If you were very patient you could glean a few flecks now and then. It was rather exciting. I imaged what it was like a century and a half ago. I will need a hat next time to dress the part.

Problem Solved!

I have been on a marathon run of needle point projects. For weeks, I have created new patterns and designs. Traditional stitches are fine to execute most of them. The results are pretty spectacular if I don’t say so myself. How did I get into this mania? I agreed to supply some homemade items for a charity sale. There will be area rugs made by hand, embroidered towels, lace doilies, one-of-a-kind ceramics, unique soaps and bath oils. Needlepoint is always a popular seller. I have tried to make as much variety as I can to suit individual tastes. If people like the old-fashioned imagery, they will find good examples. If they want some colorful abstractions, these will be on offer as well. Every palette will be available from warm to cool hues.

After taking a much-needed break from all my handiwork, I went into the kitchen to do the dishes. Being a bit tired, I loaded everything in sight into the dishwasher. I didn’t have it in me to do them all by hand. My appendages had been working long and hard already. After the dishes had gone through the wash, rinse, and dry cycles, I opened the door. Steam emerged and when it cleared, I could see white spots on my dinner dishes. Yikes! I guessed that it was time to repair or replace the appliance. That was not a positive thought. What would a new one cost me? I couldn’t continue on like this with less-than-perfect dishes. I looked into the matter and called by handyman for his advice.

Dianne, he said, “you are a lucky girl today. You don’t need to buy a new dishwasher. It is just the result of hard water.” I was thrilled. I never imagined that there was such a simple, cost-free explanation. Now, I shouldn’t say cost-free, but cost-friendly instead. I did need to install a reverse osmosis water filtration system according to my handyman. They are not prohibitive depending upon the size and placement. He suggested a whole-house model so that all the water that would be used—whether for laundry, dishwashing, or bathing—would be soft and pure. Chemicals make water hard and no one likes the idea of drinking impurities.

The suggestion offered was a good system from a reliable company. We read the descriptions on line and all the relevant testimonials. In the end, we arrived at a mid-priced system. “You will really notice a difference right away,” he said. “You will be able to tell. No more white spots marring your fine china.” It seems that the problem was solved. I couldn’t wait to tell my friends. Those with similar systems couldn’t say enough good things about them. The water systems can be installed under or over the kitchen counter, in the refrigerator, or any faucet. There are dozens of designs and some are quite cost-effective. While you can avoid telltale signs of hard water on glasses and dishes in the dishwasher, you are also doing something that is safe and environmentally friendly. Bravo!

Retirement Blues

I am sitting in a comfy chair, intent on finishing a new needlepoint pattern. If you don’t want to make mistakes, you have to concentrate. My mind, however, is wandering a bit and has set its sights on my husband’s retirement. Will he adapt to a lack of a schedule? Will he be content to watch me with my needle and yarns or will he stay glued to the TV with those blank retirement eyes people have? I don’t know why this has come up but I suppose years before the big event, you start wondering how to prepare and what your days will be like.

My husband suffered from SAD a few years ago—seasonal affective disorder. It is known in some circles as winter blues or depression, but it can happen at any time of the year. It is a real mood disorder that requires medical treatment. Now it is called seasonal pattern disorder. Some parts of the US have a high incidence such as in Alaska. SAD affects one’s ability to sleep normally. They sleep too much, have low energy, and feel depressed. It goes away when summer comes, bringing with it more daylight.

My husband talks about this condition and how difficult it was until it suddenly went away when he got an artificial light machine. It produces a simulation of bright light and is deemed by experts as “light therapy,” It was a quick and easy solution. They use these appliances in Sweden, Finland, and Norway, countries with a high incidence of depression in winter. His memory of SAD is arising now that he is contemplating retirement. I must help him dismiss his fear of its return. We will plan a lot of fun activities alone or with the family so he has something to look forward to each week. He knows how much I enjoy my needlework and hopefully he will seek his own hobby. We have plenty of room in the garage for a work bench and tools. He may elect to restore old bikes or cars. He liked model trains as a child and may want to assemble and paint them as an adult.

While SAD is a serious concern, we will do everything we can to fight it. The first thing to do is research whether he’ll get SAD again, which led me to this web site. Maybe we can buy him the Be Right Light as well. Statistics show that they really work in most cases, unless the winter depression has other roots. We will get one for our living area and the bedroom. Expense is no bother. Everyone should enjoy their retirement. After all, they are called the golden years. Some start early—in their fifties—and some wait decades later. There are so many community activities offered these days for seniors so they never are bored. Then there is the huge prospect of world travel. This could be our fate. Because of our kids, we never went to all our favorite places.

The Things We Do For Our Hobbies

My husband and I are true hobbyists. Needlepoint is my love. I can work on a pre-designed canvas or make my own creation. The art is in tweaking the suggested colors and using the right stitches. My mother taught me that the back should look as perfect as the front. She was a real pro and passed her sense of perfection along. I used to take such a long time to reach her standards, but now I am rather proficient and can go at a fairly fast past. It is not that I am in a hurry, mind you, but that I can do a project as well in a few days as in a week or more. I love to see the imagery unfold. The stitches line up like dutiful yarn soldiers at attention. This hobby definitely appeals to a perfectionist and someone who likes to work at close range. I can go for hours when I am entrenched. Everything else goes by the wayside until I am done. The whole family waits to see the final outcome. I never show them the pattern before I start. They must wait until the end.

My husband has his own interests that revolve around his work bench in the garage and his trusty welder. He likes repairing metal items and building artistic arrangements of miscellaneous pieces to make an attractive sculpture. We both have our own aesthetic sense. It was a sad day indeed when his old welder broke down and refused to offer its services. It apparently was time to buy a new one and now he can have the latest model. He asked me to help select the best on the market and here is what I found – https://www.ratemywelder.com/best-tig-welder-reviews/. TIG welding is one of many popular types of fusing metal including MIG, stick, gas metal arc, oxy acetylene, and more. Tungsten Inert Gas welding is his preferred technique although he has done most all of them. Now it is a question of replacing a faulty machine. In case you are not familiar with the skill of welding, TIG is a bit like oxy acetylene but needs considerable expertise from the operator. If you want high quality work with a superior standard of finish, you will opt for this method. There is no messy sanding or grinding.

I was lucky to find a special on a TIG welder from this Facebook page. I believe in saving money where we can. A note on the new device: it is great for executing precise, critical welds when joining mild steel, aluminum, or stainless, among other metals. I don’t want to get into too many details about how it is done. I will just say that it is a two-handed process. One hand holds the torch while the other one feeds “filler” metal. There is usually a foot pedal or alternatively a fingertip remote to control the “arc voltage.” As with other techniques, an argon shielding gas is mandatory. Needless to say, he is thrilled with his new machine.

Differences Between Cross-Stitch and Needlepoint

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I know many places—even hobby and fabric stores—use needlepoint and cross-stitch interchangeably. They are two different types of embroidery, though. They should be treated as two separate things. I know there are fellow crafters out there who prefer one over the other. Maybe they like the uniformity of cross-stitch or the creativity of needlepoint. Personally, I like to do both! It depends on my mood and the pattern that I want to do. My kids say that what this really means is that I am not picky. Maybe they are right.

Let’s talk about the differences so you can decide for yourself if one might be more to your liking:

The first difference you can see before you even start. Needlepoint and cross-stitch are typically done on two different types of material. Needlepoint uses material that has a big, open fabric that is more hole than material; usually the design will be done on something like canvas or gauze. Sometimes it can even look like stiff, holey graph paper. Cross-stitch can be done on a much tighter weave of fabric, like a regular piece of cotton.

The second difference is in the type of stitching. When you do cross-stitch, you are making a stitch and then crossing over it to form an X shape, hence the name cross-stitch. The stitches are uniform in type. Depending on the design, they could be uniform in size or have some larger than others. Needlepoint, on the other hand, requires more of a variety of stitches to complete the design. Some stitches will go vertical, some will go horizontal, some diagonal; they can even overlap or create patterns within the design. It will depend on the image, but needlepoint can be more complex visually and require more creativity to achieve the end result. Because there are so many different types of needlepoint stitching techniques, beginners may want to start with cross-stitch.The repetitive nature of the stitching can increase your skill level rapidly. However, some of the less intricate needlepoint patterns can also be great for novices!

Third is the thread. While you can cross stitch with yarn instead of thread, it is not as easy (and it will greatly depend on the material you are using to work on). Needlepoint, on the other hand, is a versatile technique that works well with thicker threads and yarn—you can just use different stitches. It really depends on the materials used, the pattern you want to make, and the desired look you want to achieve.

As you can see by my list, I am not an advocate of one over the other. I really think that it depends on your confidence, skill level, and what look you are trying to achieve. There are gorgeous patterns out there for both techniques so I don’t think one has an advantage in that regard, either. Plus, the end result for both is a beautifully handmade project. That means, at least to me, you can’t go wrong no matter what you choose!

Just Getting Started?

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If you are interested in needlepoint as a hobby, you have to be patient with yourself. If you picked up this hobby in the hopes that it was going to be relaxing, you might be in for some disappointment. At least at first.

I don’t really recommend starting with a design right away. That’s not what a lot of people want to hear because it’s easy to go out and buy a kit that looks pretty. But if you really want to do a good job with that design, it is best to familiarize yourself with what you need to do before you jump into something like a design. If you’ve never driven before, the first time you drive isn’t the time to take a race car on the Autobahn, right? So don’t do it with needlepoint, either.

To get started, visit a craft store and get some thread and canvas to practice on. There are two most common methods of needlepoint: stabbing and sewing. They are both pretty straightforward. Stabbing means you drive the needle from one side of the material to the other. Then after you pull it tight, you bring it back to the first side again. This style of needlepoint is much easier for beginners. You have more control over the tightness of the thread. Then there is the sewing method, which is faster and used often by more experienced crafters. You put the needle through the front and back at the same time and pull it through. It can be harder to get the thread as tight this way, and you have to be a little more accurate with your stitches.

Once you’ve tried them both a few times and learn what works best for you, it is time to move on to the next step. You need to practice some of the different stitches. You can find a decent list here with pictures to show you what they should look like. Familiarize yourself with a few different stitches so that when the time comes to use them in a design, you are comfortable doing it. You won’t feel so bad screwing up a stitch or two on a practice canvas as you will a beautiful (and pricey) design kit that you were planning to give to someone. Give yourself the time to become proficient at it first, and you’ll be less frustrated with yourself when you start your first project.

Once you get to the point where you feel you are competent with a variety of stitches, you are ready for the fun part! Find a kit that has an appealing design. Be sure not to get something that has too many threads or is too large—remind yourself that you are just starting and there is time to get to those other kits after you have a few small ones under your belt. I usually mark out the different color threads in the design first, but that’s because I like being organized that way. Regardless of how you determine your plan of attack, definitely study the instructions and the layout of the design. The more you understand it before you start, the better the end result.

I really hope that you have found this little intro helpful and that you are on your way to enjoying this hobby for a long time to come.

Handmade Gifts

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I love handmade gifts. My children all know this. Somehow all of my children managed not to inherit my craftiness and don’t seem to have married into it, either–I don’t think I have ever seen my daughter-in-law so much as pick up a needle and thread, or a hot glue gun for that matter. However, they do appreciate that it matters to me. Since they have started having kids of their own, they have made even more of an effort to acknowledge that about me, much to my appreciation. The grandkids are always giving me things that they have made as gifts, which I truly love. One year for mother’s day, I got tiny a tiny flowerpot from each of the grandkids that they decorated themselves. Inside each pot was a packet of flower seeds from their birth month. Another time, they made me stone pavers with their handprints. No matter how big they get, I can walk down the path to my garden and see all their tiny little handprints along the way.

I like to make homemade gifts, too. Every time one of my children got married, I presented them with a wedding quilt. They all have at least one needlepoint design from me hanging in their homes–I know that’s not for everyone, so I ask them about colors/patterns/their decorating style first. But the rule is that they have to have one somewhere. I hope that they aren’t just hanging it up when I come over but even that is kind of a sweet gesture. I’d forgive them. I would probably tell them enough with the charade, but if they don’t want to hurt my feelings, I won’t hurt theirs either. I have made receiving blankets for each of their little ones. I made each one of the granddaughters their own doll as well. Each child also has a handmade embroidered Christmas stocking from me. However, it has gotten harder to find things to make for them as they get older. Many of the things they want are electronic and that’s not something I can manage with a needle and thread. And they certainly don’t want to wear clothes that grandma knit for them anymore. They want brand name things, which are a bit out of my pension-dictated price range. I try, though. I’ll knit them a scarf or gloves—the cool ones now have removable fingertips for texting—and then give them an actual gift too.

I just love the idea of taking that special time out of my day to make them something. It speaks to how much they matter to me. They can see the amount of money and effort went into their gift and it lets them know how much of my heart is tied in with them. It’s worth the cost of materials and it is certainly worth my time—especially when I see them open the box and receive their gift. Then they see how much they really mean to me, and that really makes it all worth it.

More Than Just a Hobby

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Some people have hobbies; things they enjoy doing. A reason to get up in the morning when you get to be my age is a good thing. Sometimes it is even it is something we can make money at, sometimes not. Either way, it is an enjoyable way to pass the time and something we love to do whenever we get a chance. I would say, however, that needlepoint has been something more than a hobby for me.

Needlepoint keeps me busy. I am one of those people who must be doing something just about all the time. I went straight from school to keeping houseandhaving kids. There were always groceries to be purchased, meals to be prepared, a pile of laundry to be done, a home to clean. Now that most of that is done with, my kids are always trying to get me to slow down. It seems that at “my age,” I should be relaxing. No thank you. Giving me a needlepoint project gives me something to do with my hands and focuses my energies. It keeps my mind sharp and my fingers strong.

It also gives me a creative outlet. I like to use all my leftover thread in designs of my own creation. It is actually a lot of fun and I enjoy expressing myself this way. I do also like to find kits to make. Sometimes I can be in the craft store for hours trying to decide on my next project. I will often walk out with more than one. I also love seeing the picture start to emerge as I work my way through the design.

For me, there is also a social aspect to needlepoint. I have some friends at the senior center and we all get together to work on projects. Now that my kids are all grown and have families of their own, I often find myself missing conversation and companionship. So once a week, I go down to the center. Us girls sit around and work on our crafts while we chat. I love it. I also have this blog, where I hope to talk to others who are like-minded.

Another blessing I have found is that needlepoint allows me to show my family that I care about them. Nothing says love like making a gift for someone—a labor intensive, beautiful gift. I have been making handmade gifts for family and friends since I was put on bedrest when I was pregnant with my first child. It may not be everyone’s first choice in home décor, I know. I have found that around the holidays or for the birth of babies, my gifts are always well-received. Of course, I try to find a project that will appeal to the person I want to give something to, which is time-consuming but very worth it for me. And because they love me too, if they wouldn’t necessarily choose the gift for themselves, they still appreciate the time and effort that went into creating a one of a kind gift.

So I think needlepoint deserves to be elevated above hobby status for me. Maybe it’s more like a calling.

Keeping Busy

You might think that a room full of women doing needlepoint would be a boring place to spend the day, but you obviously have never spent time with me and my friends at the senior center. Sure, we can sit quietly and stitch all day—and at our age, we’ve earned that right a dozen times over—but we can also give a gossipy group of teenage girls a run for their money. We stitch, we chat, we laugh. It is always nice to get out and be around other people. Especially talented, friendly people who share an interest with you. I love my time at the senior center.I don’t know how much longer I will be able to drive, so I try to appreciate it while I still can.

For the last couple of weeks, the girls and I have been working on a time consuming but hugely important task. We are embroidering Christmas stockings that we will be donating to the local children’s hospital. A local Girl Scout troop has raised money to fill the stockings with little toys and treats. They will be delivering them to the children at the hospital a few days before Christmas. I think they will even be singing some carols to brighten the spirit of those poor little ones and their families. I was very lucky—my three were never so severely ill that they required an extended hospital stay, and never over a holiday. I can’t imagine how those children and their families must feel. If I can give them even a moment of cheer or feeling like a normal kid for just a little while, it is totally worth it to me.

We have done other projects for the hospital, too. We framed some needlepoint projects for them to decorate the rooms with, we’ve made pillows for the therapy rooms, knit hats and booties for the babies, and even made some quilts for the parents to use when they have to stay overnight. We have also made quilts for some of the other members of the senior center for when they are going through the chemotherapy or if they are transferred to an elder-care facility. Everyone needs comfort in some form, and nothing says love like something that is handmade with care.

I may be older now, and it has been hard to keep up with all of the new fancy technology that seems to change every minute. Every time I see my granddaughter, I ask her questions about how to keep up this blog. She always sits down with me to help. My eyesight is still ok, and on the days that my hands feel OK, I can still embroider like a champ. That is something I can still do, and I will do it as long as I can. I love to be able to contribute. When my little group donates our projects somewhere, it feels really good. It reminds me that I may be old but I still have a lot of worth.