Crucial Quotes #26

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”

– Emily Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886)

American Poet from New England 

Crucial Quotes # 9

“It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.”

Helen Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968)

Since I could never sum up the life of this intelligent and gifted woman in a simple blog post please visit her Homestead site for the details of her inspiring life.  Helen was blind, deaf and mute from the age of 18 months yet she learned to speak, read and write. She attended college and became an author.

Another of my favorite quotes from Helen is “No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”

Don’t ever think you can’t do something because of ….

There are no disabilities when it comes to the power of the mind. There is always some way. A hope. A chance. An idea. A road.

If you have never seen The Miracle Worker with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke from 1962 you should rent it!

It is a wonderful, gripping movie. It portrays Helen’s early years without glossing over the harshness of her situation. I have seen the movie many, many times, including a viewing about two months ago.

No matter how many times I have seen it;  W-A-T-E-R still makes me cry.

2010 Stitching Finishes

My meager finishes for 2010 are …..


Hope Mandala on 28ct Lavender Sparkle Cashel finished as a flat fold August 2010

Ice Queen by Raise the Roof with threads from my stash and Kreinik gold Ombre and blue/gold #4 braid stitched on 28ct Karma Sparkle Lugana by Silkweaver December 2010

Boston Bruins ornament designed by me for my Dad to celebrate the pro hockey games we have gone to together.  28ct opalescent white Lugana with DMC and Mill Hill No.8 beads.

December 2010

Run, Run Rudolph by Raise the Roof on 32ct. cream linen using Weeks Dye Works threads, Kreinik #4 braid, Mill Hill beads and Jingle Bells 🙂

Writing and holly leaf on the back were free handed. November 2010.

Renne de Noel ornie on 32ct. Mystic Glow opalescent linen by Silkweaver. October 2010.

Winter Blues by Stitchy Kitty – modified design using DMC threads and Mill Hill Beads on 14ct. pinkinsh/lavendar Aida. December 2010.

Custom designed back for my Rhode Island Stitchers group exchange.

There is another Sue Hillis Peace ornie but I have yet to take a pic of the finished design! lol

Crucial Quotes #6

              "Faith is believing in things; when common sense tells you not to."


In the holiday spirit today’s quote is from Miracle on 34th Street (1947). In the movie Doris is the no-nonsense single mother of her young daughter Suzie. Kris, an old man she employed as the Macy’s Santa Claus, is put on trial to determine if he is delusional or truly Kris Kringle.

Doris’ belief in her steady world, one without fairy tales and imagination, is shaken by the magic of the season and Kris’ devotion. She rejects her old notions and embraces the sense of hope and belief Kris showed her. She tells Suzie that it’s ok to believe in something that can’t be touched or explained; even to believe in Santa Claus.

The miracle that day was the faith to trust what your heart tells you. Doris shook off the shackles of her common sense to believe in the kindness of Kris and the love of her neighbor Fred.

Don’t ever lose your faith in yourself. Cherish it and share it with those around you.

Natalie Wood as Suzie and Maureen O’Hara as her mother Doris


Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance…

Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial.
“DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
“Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
“Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
“Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?”VIRGINIA O’HANLON.

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Thanks to for the clipping.

Where to begin?

So much has happened since my last blog that I don’t know where to start chronologically so I apologize for the rambling nature of this post.

I have a very long-haired cat with a thick, sticky undercoat. It is difficult to brush her sometimes and almost impossible to see her skin under her coat. A friend’s cat and my sister’s cats had fleas so when I happened to walk by the cat care section while shopping during lunch on Friday I grabbed some Hartz In Control Flea& Tick Drops manufactured by Hartz Mountain Corporation.

After working late on Friday and stopping at the grocery I finally arrived home and began to unload the car. I had so much to get done Friday night. The first “open to the public” meeting of the Rhode Island Stitchers group was meeting Saturday morning at a local library.

In between making mac n cheese from scratch I had signs to print out, an easel to put together (with shitty assembly instructions I might add), my cat’s new incline scratcher to assemble and my cross stitch bags to pack!

I started with the cat scratcher, then got the mac n cheese in the oven, read the flea drop directions and applied them to Sparrow and finally, plopped down in the middle of my living room floor so I could watch the Catherine Zeta-Jones Biography and put together the easel.

Maybe 10 minutes went by when Sparrow came to lay next to me. She shook her back leg a few times as she ambled over. I didn’t pay much attention to that until I saw the right side of her face jerk up and her ears started twitching.

I reached over to pet her in my usual spot – behind her head and above her shoulders – which was the same place I had put the flea medicine. My fingertips began to BURN. While I stared at my hand I glanced at the cat who was now drooling and twitching. I grabbed the medicine box and saw that I had to bathe the animal with lots of water if there was a reaction. Twenty minutes had gone by from the initial application.

Into the tub we went. The cat who fights me constantly with bathing and grooming did nothing but stand there calmly while I scrubbed the back of her neck with Dawn dishwashing liquid and rinsed her over and over and over again with warm water.

She was still twitching and shaking and was wetting herself in the tub. At this point it was around 10pm and I had tears streaming down my face while I told my bundle of fluff and stuff that I was trying to fix it. A second bath followed that first one when I still smelled the flea oil on her neck.

At midnight I climbed into bed with a shivering, twitching, drooling kitty. Her symptoms have slowed down considerably since Friday night. The fact that she has had  dose of cornstarch in her fur to blot up the oil and two more baths after that hasn’t hurt.

I am still watching her carefully. She is not her old self and obviously doesn’t feel well. She keeps coming over wanting me to scratch the back of her head where the medicine was. If I try to pet her anywhere else she hisses like it hurts her. I can scratch the medicine stop as hard as I want and it doesn’t seem to bother her. It makes me think that area is numb and the rest of her muscles are tender to the touch.

Needless to say poor kitty cat has gotten tuna, catnip, treats and snuggles all weekend. I truly hated leaving for work this morning and leaving her unattended for the day.

*sigh* on to happier things!

The first meet-up of the Rhode Islander Stitchers, technically consisting of four facebook friends, was held August 1st at a local Panera Bread. It was the first “real life” meeting for all of us and thankfully we hit it off! Talk about being relieved! My Mom and I have been talking about finding, or starting, a cross stitch group for at least the past five years. There are knitting groups galore but they aren’t exactly warm and fuzzy with you if you don’t knit!

Thankfully I found a like minded stitching sister in Melissa who whipped up a group on facebook faster than you could say….well, whatever you want to say, but it was fast! After I realized that it would be me, my Mom, Melissa and Anne at our meet-up I knew we had to infect more people to our stitching ways.

I booked some space at the local library and hung up flyers and posted on Craigslist. This past Saturday was our first “public welcome” and I must say it was a smashing success. Everyone pitched in to make it a really fun morning. Snacks and drinks were provided and there was lots of stop in traffic.

I put a finished cross stitch piece on the previously-mentioned-pain-in-the-ass-to-put-together-easel in the hallway of the library with a note inviting people to stop in. From the looks of things we may have gone from the core group of four to maybe 13 or 14 people! whoop! I did mention to Melissa that while I enjoyed sticking our stitchy needle to infect the masses I also enjoy our small group dynamic too much to give it up. She agreed (yay!) and we made plans to have small get togethers for stitching as well as the larger groups where we could take turns teaching.

I am so thankful for this little community of stitchers. Things aren’t the easiest right now and they are my little beacon of light.  My stitchy bug has returned with a fervor and I have just started my Lizzie Kate Love Snippett and am almost done with my Hope for a Cure blackwork mandala for my Mom. I picked a medium raspberry (for breast cancer) DMC and am using a light lavendar opalescent linen.

More catching up later but at least this is a start!