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Category Archives: Cross-Stitch

Inside These Four Walls……..

empty room

well, actually, my room is not this bad…in fact, most days, I love my room…it’s painted a soft green, holds Gram’s antique furniture and my big newer bed and my crazy quilt…very cozy…but when you’ve spent five straight days in it, it does get a bit tiresome. My surgery on my hand went well, as surgeries go. My doctor fused my thumb joint and repaired my ligament on my trigger ring finger (both on my right hand). I’m expecting to return to work around Halloween….I’m on Pergocet along with some anti-nausea mediine, two extra Advils and Benadryl for the “itchies” I get from the narcotics. The Patocka Men have all been very helpful, and my mother-in-law and several friends have dropped in to help.  I’m afriad I haven’t been very entertaining! just sleeping LOTS!

I’d LOVE to be spending this time doing any kind of sewing or working on my scarves. Maybe by week’s end. Patience, I know.   Ideas are just swirling around in this foggy head!

My Hand, Day Four

Stay tuned…..


When it Rains, it Pours….


yep, this is how I’ve been feeling–just not myself. I don’t know if it’s all the rain (we’ve had six inches this month); is it that summer is over? and that it went way too fast; is it the fact that our Wendy took ill, was hospitalized and had surgery? she’s our rock — she’s not supposed to get sick! or is it my impending hand surgery next week? I just started a different job on campus–it’s going well, just very hectic. Could it be menopause? Seems I’m just angry with everyone…maybe it’s the fibromyalgia or the rheumatoid arthritis–can’t even close my hands in the morning now. Maybe it’s that Bruce has been letting the puppies sleep in our bed recently…and our bed is barely big enough for the two of us! Or, is it just this time of year–when my mom died–it was a very rainy fall day when she was buried. I always get a little weepy this time of the year.

So, what will lift my spirits? I’d like to start walking at night, just a little. I’ve been working on my scarves and practicing quite a bit with hand dyeing the silk. I don’t know what I’ll be able to do once my surgery is complete–I can take up to six weeks off from work but I really want to be back in three weeks or so. My doctor is fusing the bone joint of my right thumb; my thumb will be immobile for six weeks. No quilting or cross stitch for a while…hoping to be able to create some scarves with my left hand! please….make recommendations for any good books or movies–I expect I’ll be a might lazy the next few weeks.

All of the Patocka “men” have been very busy and I don’t see any of them much. Hard to believe that Travis will be 19 in about 5 weeks. How the time has flown…

The Month Flew By…

Well, I can hardly believe that nearly a month has gone by since I posted on this blog. Hope you’re not disappointed in me!Let’s see…what’s happened since then? Well, last weekend, we adopted two–yep, TWO–golden retriever puppies! We went for one and ended up with two (long story)…here’s a picture of Bruce at Seneca Lake on a very rare sunny day!

Bruce with (Cap’n) Morgan (left), Mia (right), and Maddie

They’ve been very good, actually…they sleep from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.  They will run to the door and scratch it to go out–and they’re only 9 weeks old.  I think that’s a good sign.  They spent some time Saturday afternoon by themselves in their crate as we attended my niece’s graduation party here in Horseheads.  My niece, Korryn, along with my brother, Ken and sister-in-law Kathy live in southern Maryland.

Korryn Paige Whited

I start my three-day work week next week…and Travis graduates from high school on Saturday (if he passes Physics!)  Brad will be heading to Florida to visit a friend who”s birthday is the same as his–they both turn 21 this Friday!  I couldn’t believe he would be going away for his 21st birthday but he told me that he hasn’t missed sharing his birthday with Justin since 8th grade….I casually reminded him that I was there at his birth and every year since!

I”m looking forward to getting back to my sewing–I have done a smidge of cross-stitch, and I’ve worked a bit on organizing my stash.  I’ll post more pictures soon.   By this time last year, we had spent a huge amount of time at Seneca Lake.  The rain just won’t go away!  I’m hoping we’ll get up there this weekend.  Bruce’s friend, John, is planning a party for Bruce this Saturday late afternoon…and, of course, Father’s Day is Sunday.   What a busy summer ahead!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hoping your day is everything you’re wishing for! We had a “Spend the Day with Someone You Love…Your Co-Workers!” party today at lunch hour–SO MANY DESSERTS! too much food, but oh so good!

I don’t expect much tonight…Travis is working, not sure what’s on Brad’s agenda, and my poor husband has a stomach flu!  As we’ve been together nearly 28 years, we don’t do a lot for Valentine’s Day anymore, just a card for each other and a nice dinner sometime other than a holiday!

It was a very weird weekend…lots of ups and downs! We’re mid-way through the phases of the moon–new moon was February 2nd and full moon is February 18th–so that wasn’t it! (I blame everything weird on the phases of the moon!)

Bruce went to Fulton for a Vintage Snowmobile Show (The Great Whiteout) and boy! was it ever! (They display restored snowmobiles from the 60s, 70s & 80s, sort of like a classic car show).  It snowed so much that he couldn’t keep it off the sleds.  He was a bit disappointed but he came home with lots of trophies! So, all in all, not a bad day, just cold and blustery! (A little bit of UPs and DOWNs)

I went to brunch with an old friend of mine at the local Hilton (an UP for the weekend!)–just as we were sitting there finishing up, an elderly lady drove into the side of my Tahoe SUV, then drove off! Long story short, I ran through the parking lot and down the road and got her license plate number (I couldn’t catch her!). She also hit the only nearby car. The police tracked her down and got insurance information. No one was hurt, fortunately, but it was very interesting! Lost a lot of quilting time that day, dealing with the police and the insurance company.

Nevertheless, I did work the rest of the day trying to finish up my New Year’s Eve Mystery Quilt–and spent part of Sunday, too! I had to cut the borders three times because I kept cutting them incorrectly…ugh! (Definitely a DOWN for the weekend!)

I am never too sure when it’s a Mystery Quilt project what it will look like when it’s done, but I think I’m going to like this one. I used all Jo Morton fabrics: gold, red, black, sage green, navy and maroon. It’s going to be a twin-size, so maybe I’ll repaint my quilt room and keep it there; I’ll post pictures later this week.

Bruce had made plans to go snowmobiling on Sunday with some friends, riding just locally on Connecticut Hill (Again, an UP for the weekend!)  He only got about 8 miles and the sled broke, so he was home early (and again, a DOWN for the weekend!)  That was okay, he needed the rest, and he spent most of the day dozing on the couch.  It had been a long week.  That gave me some time to do laundry and work on my quilt.  I also baked cookies for home and for work and made a casserole for the boys.

I spent some time at work last week during my lunch hours cross-stitching my “Houses of Hawk Run Hollow” by Carriage House Samplings. It’s very detailed so it’s easier for me to make those little x’s in the daylight, in my nice spot at the end of the hallway. Here’s a shot of Block 1 and part of Block 2 and what it will look like when it’s completed:

Block 1 & 2, Houses of Hawk Run Hollow

Completed Houses of Hawk Run Hollow, Carriage House Samplings

Once that’s completed, I’d like to tackle “Shores of Hawk Run Hollow”.  What do you think?

Shores of Hawk Run Hollow, Carriage House Samplings

Saint Eileen?

Yes, it’s time again for me to be sainted….or so my friends say, as I’m off to Boonville Thursday night to watch my husband’s race team, Clark Motorsports Racing, compete at the Vintage Snowmobile races.

If you’re not aware, and many are not, there is a segment of our population that likes to take 30-year-old snowmobiles, fix ’em up, then race them in a circle on ice, with speeds up to 90 mph….in the cold weather, no less.  I traveled with Bruce for almost the first ten years of our marriage to the races, then gave it up when our eldest son was born. Of course, they weren’t “vintage” sleds back then, just race sleds!

So he’s rekindled his interest in all of this and has a team from the Midwest–two young guys and one, um, not-so-young guy racing for him. No, Bruce doesn’t race, just sponsors the team and oversees it, kind of like a Nascar crew chief/team owner. It’s exciting for him, and I do my best to support him. It’s what he’s always wanted–to own a famous racing team–so why not?

Usually, I stay at home and “tend the fires”, but I did go to a race in Minnesota last year–the guys were great–they set me up with a spot in the trailer, next to the heater, with a window to watch the races, and a chair for me to sit in and sew! They’re the best! That’s where I worked on my “Molly’s Meadow” hand applique! (gotta take advantage of every spare moment!)

Here I am, all bundled up, in Grey Eagle, MN (03/2010)

Think I’ll just drag along a good book this time (and maybe hide a little cross-stitch in the luggage!)

Our friend, Dave, on the right (Eagle River 2010)

Clark Motorsports Racing, 2011


I love, love, love antique samplers! or even antique-looking samplers….I have been embroidering and cross stitching since I was about nine years old. My grandmother, Irene, taught me how, and I’ve loved it ever since. I think I was born in the wrong age….maybe late 19th century would have been more my style. I love antiques as well and anything that may have a story to it–I try to imagine who might have owned the item and what it’s been through….I try to stitch my samplers on antique-dyed fabrics or I dye the fabric myself. This example is one I dyed myself….I also love any samplers that have to do with Colonial times or ships. Here’s the 1797 Ship Sampler that I’ve been working on for awhile. I usually work on two at a time–one more difficult and one that’s a little easier on the eyes and the brain! This is easy on both….

Ship Sampler Started

1797 Ship Sampler