SciFi test, stitch update, etc.

So there will be no stitch update this week, since it was a busy one. Sure, I had to time stitch, but I find myself with stitching block. I think I've been working so single-mindedly on Tuscany town and have grown a little tired of it. I think I'll go back to rotation stitching instead of screaming on one. I'll do one of the long dogs this week.

Sara and myself went to Rome on Wednsday. It was a USO trip to Vatican city. I have pictures, but can't figure out how to get them off our new computer won't recognize the usb connection, so I'll have Scott check it out when he gets back from his overnight trip with the band to Bari. Anyway, we didn't see much...we saw the Sistene chapel and a small portion of the museum. The tour didn't leave much was way too rushed. The chapel was beautiful as expected....a bit marred by the 19,000 people in there (not that many at once...a bit of an exaggeration, but it seemed like it, and that's the average number of visitors per day.) We didn't have time to visit the basilica....the line to get through security was too long.

Friday night the girls and I went to the Oktoberfest on the NATO base nearby. Very much fun and beer were had by all. Predictably, the band was awful. I'm on the right.

My results on the scifi quiz. Not as big of a geek as I thought I was:

Your Score: You know Sci-Fi

Your Sci-Q is 63!

You know your Sci-Fi!

You probably like Sci-Fi in general, and own at least a few Sci-Fi movies or Sci-Fi books. You probably look forward to seeing a good Sci-Fi movie now and again. But Sci-Fi isn't your life. This is a good place to be because it also means that you probably aren't a rabid crazy fan. There are other things that hold your interest and occupy those valuable brain cells.

If you would like to expand your Sci-Fi knowledge and viewing (or revisit some classics) then consider watching the following movies.

Dark City

The Abyss

Ghost In The Shell

Blade Runner



Link: The Intergalactic Sci-Fi Movie Test written by tech_art_nature on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Photo hunt: Paper

The pickings were slim this week for the photo hunt. Thus this is my submission, a photo of myself working on the most ridiculous college project ever. To prove that I knew how to use a digital camera and scanner, I had to purchase a current newspaper, have someone take a picture of me signing it, then scan it it and email to the professor.

Stitch update

I haven't gotten a lot of stitching done this past weekend, but I've gotten plenty done during the week. Scott and I are down with the "Naples Crud" that everyone gets once a year at least. You know the crud....the coughing, head cold, sore throat, body aches thing. This should make our trip to Rome

Here's the shot:

Photo hunt: Plastic

Theme for the week is Plastic. Here's my entry. It's a photo of Sam's old bouncy house. We tossed it before we moved here since Sam is too big for it:


The temps are dropping here in Southern Italy. Highs right at 80 F, lows in the 50's. I still haven't managed to be able to do the mental F to C conversion yet. I wish the states would go to the metric system like everyone else...or at least make it mandatory for students to's difficult sometimes for an American in Europe...We should try to fit in with the world instead of making it change for us...anyway, I'm putting away my soapbox...

I love autumn. It's my favorite time of year. Every year it signals changes in my personal philosophies...especially when I was pagan. Now that I'm returning to catholicism, it's the same. My daughter wants to be catholic now. She's been going to mass with me and has made the decision on her own. I spoke to the parish priest yesterday and she'll have her first communion and be confirmed at the same time at Easter, even though she is only 9. She's so content with her decision...I'm jealous of that serenity she gets. But then she's always been my happy, content little christian, even when I was searching and confused. I guess some of us are just born knowing. I hope it stays that way for her.

Autumn also brings exhaustion to me with a return to Sara's extracurricular activities. This year it's soccer (football to my non american readers)and Brownie Scouts. I've limited her to two activities this year. She had three last year and it wiped us out..we walk everywhere and the extra excercize was a bit overkill.

Anyway, I found it interesting that the youth center held a draft for soccer...tryouts if you will. It was done strictly for placement for what they said, but it seemed odd for these kids to have to "try out." I'm told that she'll never be Pele, but she should have fun.

It's also back to walking at night for me...I've got to lose these extra 40 lbs that I'm carrying around. It's insanely difficult to do the land of wine and cheese. Especially with this event coming up...

Trying to head for rome next week as well...

How much is your blog worth?

Thanks Nutty Nature Mama for this. I'll be awaiting my check as well....

My blog is worth $1,129.08.
How much is your blog worth?

And the worst neighbor of the year award goes to...

There my keys are! Sorry about the revenge fire!

Oregon woman accused of torching neighbors’ trailer over missing keys

FLORENCE, Ore. - A woman was arrested and charged with arson and burglary after police say she set fire to the home of a neighbor she thought had stolen her keys.

Sgt. Clint Riley of the Lane County Sheriff's Office said the 23-year-old woman later found her keys hanging from her pants pocket.

The woman was being held in the Lane County Jail in lieu of $350,000 bail

According to a police report, the woman told a deputy that after discovering her keys missing, she broke into her neighbors' trailer and began trashing the place.

After going home to fetch lighter fluid and cooking oil, she returned to the neighbors' place and tried to start a fire by spraying lighter fluid on a hot stove burner, according to the report.

When that didn't work, she allegedly placed the oil and a stuffed animal on the stove, according to the report.

She called 911 and hid in a bush across the street while deputies and firefighters responded, Riley said.

The woman's boyfriend said a friend called him at work and he rushed home to find her hiding in the bushes, barefoot and incoherent, according to the report.

The woman told her boyfriend her keys were missing, at which time he pointed to a set of keys hanging from her pants pocket and "she began to cry," Riley said.

A damage estimate was not immediately available.

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

It's been a few days and sunday stitch update

It's been a few days since last I posted. We've had a wonderful weekend. Many games of Skip Bo and 80's trivial pursuit were played. Much laugher, children and friends. And some stitching. I've managed to completely revamp my blog and my myspace pages...they're much better IMO now. I've managed also to get some stitching done. Here's my week's progress on part 3 of Tuscany town. It's almost 1 whole section of the four parts. This portion is tricky, and I believe that completing this before section 2 is advisable for those who have not started yet.

I'm still loving this design! I've yet to finish the last little part on the left, and do the special stitches. This part of the design has no beading.

Humor for today

I'm a democrat. Should I feel guilty for laughing at this?

For those in the heat

For those of you suffering in the heat in the states, I won't flaunt the fact that the thunderstorm yesterday brought in a cool front and that at 1:45 pm it is 68 degrees, but instead post this helpful daily zen:

Car Baked Cookies article

Make the heat work for you!

Tired is not EVEN the word

Sam was up at 11:30 yelling. Scott was nice enough to go deal because I was not feeling well, and just plain tired. I go back to sleep.

I was having such a nice dream, when I was awakened by the smoke detectors going off. Cassie scrapes 67% of my skin off vamoosing off of my stomach (her favorite new sleeping position at night.) I lean over to look at the clock and it's 2 AM. 2 in the FREAKING morning. NO smoke or flames anywhere to be seen, no one evacuating the building. Scott races around the apartment trying to turn off the alarms, while Sara runs in the room scared and Sammy can be heard in his room yelling "loud! Too loud!"

We were unable to turn them off, so the fire department was called and the kids taken out by my husband while I tried to grab the panicked, insane feline and stuff her into her carrier (just in case). Unfortunately I had to leave her, she just wouldn't come to me...was completely frightened, and since she's JUST getting used to us, she wouldn't come to me. I hate to think what would happen in a real fire...It's cold but I figure my children need their mother more than their cat...but that's a far more mercenary thought than I want to consider at the early stage in the Cassandra/Gina relationship.

So I leave the apartment, and I must leave the door open for the firefighters. They arrive in like 10 seconds since they department is 2 blocks away. The problem? The batteries went dead. The batteries that we just changed a month ago.

I think that there is some sort of universal law that all emergencies must take place at 2 am. Never in the day when we're rested and prepared.

We trek back into the building...glad no neighbors are there to see us in our mismatched pajamas. Front door open. Master bedroom open (where the kitty "lives"). No sign of Cassie anywhere. Scott and I put the kids to bed and examined everywhere we could think of with our trusty Mac Lite (TM)...She seemed to be gone. I tried to quell my rapidly breaking heart enough to get shoes, flashlight and keys to go look.

Scott and I took turns, for a total of 2 hours, looking through the building, basement and surrounding grounds, including the area where we found her. All we found where about 9 creepy specimens of the local feral cat society. All sitting on their haunches or circling us STARING. Eventually, we gave up. I figured that a panicked, frightened cat who doesn't want to be found won't be, and we went inside. I printed out a ream of "Lost Kitty" posters to distribute in the morning. Hey, she may be just my stray that I took in on Thursday, but she's MY stray, and I love her, goshdarnit...

We read a while then go to bed at 4 am.

4:30 am I am awakened by claws in my butt again. I've never been so happy to hurt and itch (I'm allergic to cats, go figure) in my life. I actually asked Scott if I was awake...because I was so very broken up when I fell asleep and so immediately ecstatic. She happily curled up on my stomach, resumed purring and we went to sleep.

So that was my night. I had to sit through a Compass meeting this morning, which is basically Navy Wife 101. I'm taking so that I can be a mentor...not that I don't already know this stuff. LOTS of coffee...

Rain finally, weekend stich update, and subscribers oh my!

After months of drought (none since late April) we have rain! A real, bonafide thunderstorm this morning. I'm defenitely a water element person, and have missed it. Maybe it's not so good for Sara to walk to school in, but she's actually happy about it.

This was taken at sunrise this morning. The mountains are almost totally obscured except on the left where you see the flash of red in a valley.

This weekend I finished what I could of part 2 of Tuscany Town. I'm still waiting for the 2 petite braid metallics to come in the mail from the states. It usually takes a month to 6 weeks for my orders to come in...It would be faster to fly there and get it, really. Onwards to Part 3!

Finally, I can't believe that I actually have subscribers! I'm flattered and excited! I feel like a "real" blogger now...

Double take of the day?

New Art Passion

I've never been an enthusiastic appreciator of art. I feel that I must make that clear from the start. Looking for things to put on my walls hasn't been top priority. My walls are usually populated by Scott's wolf fascination and my completed cross stitches (precious few at that.)

Today I stumbled upon a cross stitch website, Cross Stitch Collectibles, that sells cross stitch patterns made from pieces of museum art. I browsed and found the Pre-Raphaelite collection. Shock, amazment and obsession ensued.

I don't wish to cross stitch these patterns...they're far too detailed for me. I want the prints. I've narrowed down to these, all of which are by John William Waterhouse. I've not looked at other artists yet.

"The Crystal Ball"

"Miranda, The Tempest"

"The Lady of Shallot" This one touches me. The story is that Elaine of Astolat, was a maiden who was in love with Sir Lancelot. She died of grief when he didn't return her love. The look on her face in this piece breaks my heart.

I'm a sucker for spurned women. Here is "Fair Rosamund", which depicts Rosamund Clifford (c. 1150 – c. 1176), often called "The Fair Rosamund" or the "Rose of the World", who was famed for her beauty and was a mistress of King Henry II of England, famous in English folklore. (Thanks wikipedia!)

Finally, I submit this piece, entitled "Marianna in the South". This doesn't seem to be one of Waterhouse's more popular pieces, as evident by the notable LACK of prints or posters available. If anyone can find one that isn't $115.00 unframed, please, point me to it! Based on a Tennyson Poem, as are many of Waterhouse's works.

Back from overnight camping.

Cabin at Carney park

So my daughter wanted to go camping for her birthday. About the closest that we can get is camping at the local military recreational facility. Spent most of yesterday packing...because I don't do things small. The kids need food, toys, extra clothing. Sara absolutely couldn't leave the house without her gameboy and soccer ball. Yes, we were going to ROUGH IT already.

We arrive at the campground. There's a HUGE party of young twenty-somethings in all of the cabins surrounding ours. Loud music. Lots of beer. My first thought: Oh great, no sleep tonight. Second thought: When did I turn into the person who doesn't like loud parties. Ten years ago this would have totally been my thing. Now I view these social arenas with something approaching dread. The sad part: They all stopped to look at us. You could almost see the "old people with kids" alert go out. The music was turned down at least.

Unfortunately it was turned back up at 1 am. But I digress. As we arrive it starts to rain. This is a momentous occasion for Naples, Italy, since it hasn't rained since MAY. (That's my estimate, others put it at April) So this is a good thing for the city. It does pose a few problems for us. You see, there isn't much room in our 1 room cabin for four people, two of which are energetic children. The next problem was that I neglected, in my apparently not so thorough planning, to pack any games or cards. So we were faced with hours with absolutely nothing to do. Back into the car we went.

Two hours later, and a gas tank lesser, we return with games, cards, more snacks, etc. The rain immediately stops. Thanks. We cooked out and played games. Went to bed at 11 not to fall asleep until 2. (Thanks neighbors!)

Sam's up at 5 am. My first waking thought is "3 hours sleep can't be good." I momentarily wonder if I can send my 2 year old over to the now quiet party people's cabins.

We slog around the area on a hike. We slog to the playground. We hungrily inhale oh-so-very-Irish corned beef hash breakfasts at the Irish Pub of the Italian recreational facility build for americans and brits to use. We dip our toes in the icy water of the pool (it was chilly all night) then decide at noon to go home.

We seem to not be having luck with vacations of late. Our trip to Rome last month was a bust. (The hotel was substandard, and in a city/country famous for it's food there were literally NO restaraunts within a 5 mile radius. ) I'm really beginning to suspect that the Italian tourism board is in league with our local Morale Welfare and Recreation tourist office. And yet again, all I have as far as pictures is this guy that woke me up at 5 am. Can you see why I couldn't be mad?