Annette's Acre

Stitching, knitting, reading, life…whatever catches my eye

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November 18th, 2009 by Annette

Waiting

On Monday, I sent off five packages.

One was not really a surprise itself (the extra book from my recent signing adventure) but I added more to the box.  One item matched (well, mostly) the items in the other four packages.  And the recipient of the box, is the one that started my creativity flowing with a simple comment in an email exchange….

All recipients know who they are as I requested their addresses 🙂  And they know the “theme” of the item sent (Black Dagger Brotherhood – the crackilicious series).

I am DYING for any of them to make it to their destination to see if they like it.  I kept one for myself, of course, but don’t want to show it until a couple land safely.

Thankfully, all are US addresses, so it should be just a few days……

I feel like a kid waiting on Christmas….

November 12th, 2009 by Annette

Soup to Nuts

I’m still plugging away on Halloween stitching (clickable):

I’m down to my favorite section.  The haunted house 🙂

I’m going to stick with it until I either get an overwhelming urge to stitch Christmas stuff or I finish it.  Obviously the preference is the latter 🙂  I will work in the latest Mirabilia RR installment over Thanksgiving, but that will be another incarnation of Queen Mermaid.  Also, working slowly on a baby blanket (crochet) for a dear friend that has unexpectedly fostered a new baby girl.

This past weekend, it finally got cool enough to break out the soup pot.

Yes, I think 80 degree weather is soup weather.  Can’t be too picky here in Arizona.  If you wait until it’s below 70, you may be lucky to get a two week window in January.

Family favorite is beef stew, which came out soooo yummy.  Instead of using the pre-cut stew meat, I bought a lovely marbled chuck roast and cut it into chunks (trimming it quite a bit).  Absolutely delicious!!

Another favorite for Kylie and I – Cauliflower soup.  (Mike & Zachary had meatloaf – yuck).  Rice, onion, garlic, chicken stock, parmesan and cauliflower.  Simple and very very tasty.

Other than that, I’m reading, trying to stay ahead of the DVR (though that will get easier soon, since two of the shows were cancelled this week:  Eastwick and Dollhouse 🙁 ) and counting days until vacation time at the end of the year 🙂

What about you?

November 6th, 2009 by Annette

An Evening with a Pioneer Woman

Last night I attended a book signing at a local independent bookstore: Changing Hands

It was for this:

Here’s how it went:

Several weeks ago:  Pre-order cookbook online

One week ago:  Decide to attend booksigning and pre-order second book at bookstore

Thursday: Realize I will have two copies after the signing, and check with friend to see if she would like the spare.  She does.  Whew.

Thursday 5:15ish:  Head to bookstore

–Just so you know, the policy at this store is that when you buy your book, you receive a signing group (designated by a letter of the alphabet) that will not only be used to form an orderly queue for signing, but also determine who gets to sit in the relatively small area reserved for author events.  My group was “D” so while I’d be sitting in the back, I should get a real chair to sit in.

5:30ish:  Arrive at bookstore.  Pick up book and notice a line forming to enter the event area.  Hmmm… must be the “A” people.   Clerk encourages me to “shop” the store while I wait for seating (6pm) due to the orderly group seating practice.  Realize I forgot my camera.  Will have to rely on phone pics.

5:40:  Notice there are a LOT of people in the store.  I’m browsing fiction shelves about the 15th person point in the line.

5:42: Store clerk stops nearby and calls for attention.  She drops the following lovely piece of news:

“Someone has “tweeted” that they are unhappy with our seating policy.  The author has phoned and asked us to seat folks as they arrive, rather than by signing group.  We like to make our authors happy, so we will honor her request for this event.”

5:43: Briefly entertain the thought of staying where I am and “merging” into the line at this point.  However, my conscience compels me to find the end of the line 🙁  Which unfortunately is now three times longer than when I arrived.

5:45: Overhear much grumbling.  Re: change in seating policy.  My end of the line assumes author has called out-of-the-blue.  I relate the store clerk story. They are somewhat appeased, but would love to know who complained.  To provide an “educational opportunity.”

6:05: Seating opens and line slowly moves.  There is much jockeying for position.  Needlessly, but just my opinion.

6:10: Find a marginally-acceptable leaning area against a bookshelf bordering the event area.  Crime fiction section.

6:10 – 7:00:  Lean.  Read (Kindle – Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men).  Feet and back start to complain to conscience about choice made at 5:43.

7:03:  Author enters to applause.  I realize there is a large column between author and myself.  Oh well, at least I can hear.

7:04 – 7:30:  Q & A session with author.  My favorite question:

What does your husband think about the fact that lots of women love him as much as you do?

LOL

Answer:  He’s fine with that 😉

7:35:  Clerk calls for Group “A” to line up to begin signing.  Oh, and anyone with small children.

7:36:  Realize there are a LOT of small children.

7:37:  Wander to connected bakery (Wildflower Bakery) in search of sustenance.

7:39: Realize that bakery is not the best choice for someone with a wheat allergy

7:41: Manage to procure apple juice and rice cereal treat (leftover from Halloween.  It had candy corn in it.  An unnecessary modification, but one takes what one can get)

7:42: Find small table and SIT.  Feet and back finally SHUT UP.

8:15:  Give up table.  Wander back in to store area in hopes of finding a chair tucked away in a corner.

8:25:  Find seat on the floor in fantasy/sci-fi section.

8:30:  Signing Group “B” called.   I keep reading.

8:50:  Signing Group “C” called.  Decide to return to my original leaning spot to await the “D” group.

8:52:  Ladies I was standing next to during the chat have the same idea I had.  They ask if I’ve been standing there the whole time… LOL

9:10: Group “D” called!  Make my way to the line…. on the opposite side of the event area.  Lo and behold, most of the “D”s are already there, so I’m second to last.  Oh well.

9:15:  Use phone to snap quick pick of Author.  Realize store is in a Cell Phone Dead Zone and I can’t save the picture (not enough memory).   Hope upload to Facebook will go thru eventually.

9:30: Present my books for signing 🙂  Make small Oklahoma-based small talk with Author.

Me:  I lived in Oklahoma in a previous life.  In Stillwell.

PW: Stillwater or Stillwell?

(This is ALWAYS the response, I swear.  Like I don’t know the name of the town I lived in).

Me: Stillwell.   It’s 90 miles southeast of Tulsa.

PW:  When did you leave Oklahoma?

Me: 13 years ago 🙂  I do enjoy your stories about living in small town Oklahoma.

PW:  I’m glad you can relate to them!  (scribble…scribble….)   You know, my husband would be appalled that I have no idea where Stillwell is… LOL

She was lovely and very gracious.  Even with the HUGE number of people there (and books left to sign).

As I was leaving, I heard two of the bookstore employees discussing the fact that the publicist told them to expect 20-40 people tops.  There were at least 200 there.

And as you probably guessed, the picture didn’t get uploaded.  You’ll just have to take my word for it….

November 2nd, 2009 by Annette

Twitter-pated Take II

It’s amazing who you can find on Twitter:

BobTheSkull: By the way kids, did you know that a Magic 8 Ball uses no actual magic?

annette414: @BobTheSkull Say it ain’t so, Bob! My Magic 8 Ball is eerily correct so often….

BobTheSkull: It doesn’t take magic to be right half the time. RT: @annette414: Say it ain’t so, Bob! My Magic 8 Ball is eerily correct so often….

(Yes, I know the truth of the Magic 8 Ball… LOL)

Don’t know who BobTheSkull is?  Then you need to read these.  :))

October 31st, 2009 by Annette

Just a Little Late

I realized a couple days ago that I never posted any Houston pics.

I actually took some, too.

So, without further ado….. my recent Houston trip (all pictures clickable to biggify):

Mom and I flew in late Thursday eve (the 15th) and took a short cab ride to our downtown hotel (Marriott Residence Inn).  Thankfully short, because it was late (after 10pm local time) and it was a very uncomfortable cab.

We got checked in and up to the spacious room.  We felt very safe given our view:

Friday dawned bright and early.  We had lunch downstairs before Missy Ann came by to pick us up for the Quilt Show.  1000 booths, tens of thousands of people (over the week) and hundreds of quilts on display taking up the entire downtown convention center.  It was amazing.

Friday we shopped (pictures to follow), we ate lunch (there was a huge food court at one end of the convention center.  It was amazing!) and drug ourselves out of there late in the afternoon for dinner at a local Italian/Seafood place.  Dinner was ok, but dessert was fantastic – a pecan pie that was essentially pecans barely held together with the usual pecan pie custard-y goodness.

Mom and I collapsed for the evening and stitched a bit.

Saturday, after the usual breakfast and pickup (though maneuvering into the parking garage was simpler – we know what we were doing!) we looked at all the quilts on display and did a bit more shopping.  I expected the crowds to be bigger given it was a weekend, but actually I think they were about the same.  It was just as packed with people as it was on Friday.

The standout quilts (sorry for the choppy pictures.  TONS of people)

Santa Claus has Come… with the creator:

You can see the top of the quilt here.  Absolutely stunning detail in this.

Tribute to Tolkein – took my breath away (Definitely click on this one to see the detail)!!

More pics:  Bottom Back

Isn’t it awesome that she incorporated the Ring’s engraving in the back??

So many of the quilts on display were stunning examples of art.  Even a non-quilter like me recognized the hours of work and inspiration that went in to each one.

Hmmm…. maybe I should say “casual quilter” like me, given that I have made a couple small ones and have supplies to make a few more 😉

We finished our shopping early in the afternoon and decided to head over to House of Blues for some lunch.  In this case, everything was good, burger to dessert 🙂

At this point, we headed back to the hotel and I got Missy Ann knitting 😀 We also hit the bookstore right across the street from the hotel and had a great time trading “Have you read this?” between us.  We both scribbled authors and book titles to check into.  I also picked up a couple magazines to add to my stash haul.  Lots of talking and laughing into the evening, which is the best part of any vacation that finds me with my stitching friends 😉

Sunday was very quiet.  Interestingly, downtown Houston *shuts down* on Sunday!  We had very limited options for food and chose a mexican restaurant for lunch (great corn chowder).  We eventually made it back to the airport, this time in a very nice Town Car.

It’s a darn good thing we got there early. (I tried to change to an earlier flight, but it would have cost more than the original ticket)

I’m not sure what was going on, but the TSA agent at security did not like that while my driver’s license has my full name (first/middle/last), my boarding pass only had my middle and last name (Annette is my middle name – and the one I use 99% of the time).  I’ve never had an issue with this.  Phoenix TSA didn’t even blink on Thursday.

I had to leave the security line (growing longer by the minute), go back to the Southwest counter, explain to the agent that I needed the pass changed (he was just as incredulous… “But your name is on your license”  Yes, sir, but evidently that’s not good enough.), get my new pass, go back to security (thankfully one of the other TSA agents took pity on me and let me use the “employee” line as I’d already waited once) and then get stuck behind two women that thought they could just leave their liquids in their suitcase to go thru xray.  I kid you not…. two women, both were stunned that not only did they have to remove their makeup bags (where the liquids were being carried) but that they had to remove them from the makeup bag itself. And the agent decided not to argue the one quart zipper bag at this point.  Thankfully the bottles were all the right size.

I could only ask… “Where have you been for the last few years??”

Especially when they assured the TSA agent they’d flown in the last six months without having to go thru this.

Sure…uh huh.  Do you believe that??  I don’t.  Especially with my freshly printed boarding pass with my first name on it.

Everything was smooth after that.  We arrived home safely Sunday evening.

On to…. the stash.

I laid this all out on the table, thus the overlaps between pictures.  Of course, I didn’t take one view of the entire pile (smack forehead).

“The Haunted Halloween” kit.  The “chart” was free, but you can see the bundle of fabric just to the right to make it up.   I took my sewing machine in for service last week, so I’m hoping to have it back and start this Thanksgiving week 🙂

16 fat quarters of fabric.  These were the ones that I just couldn’t leave without. 🙂  The purple-y dragonfly on the lower left is actually a half yard heavy satin-y fabric.  Perfect for a stitching bag.

Missy Ann, Mom and I all left a chunk at the Bohin booth.  Needles, scissors and a great chalk marker.

The bookstore magazines (Inspirations and Quilts & more) and the show program.

See the reindeer runner on the right?  Isn’t that the cutest thing EVER??  Another project for Thanksgiving week.  Hoping to find the felt at either Joann’s or another local fabric shop.  Garden of Eerie was my only purchase at The Silver Needle booth.  Missy Ann and I got the last two copies 🙂  You can also see the Halloween-y buttons I found at another booth at the bottom.  Have no clue what I’m going to do with them, but obviously that never stops the purchase….

Finally, the splurge.  This is the Halloween Baltimore quilt I’ve been drooling over for months.   It’s applique and just amazing.  If it hadn’t been for the model in the booth, I would not have bought it!   My plan is to visit a couple of the local quilt shops to see what I can find out about classes, etc, before I even attempt this puppy.  I have a kit for another Halloween tablerunner that has applique (as well as a few other techniques) so I’ll probably start with that one first 😉

So that was Houston.  A great time, great stash and terrific company 🙂  Next year, the show is in early November and I could easily see myself wandering the booths again 🙂

October 26th, 2009 by Annette

oops….

Kinda fell off the posting wagon, there.

I am happy to say I did *not* end up with the flu.  I did have a bit of headache and fever for a couple days, but nothing that kept me from working at home.

Then Thursday I had Jury Duty.

It was the Best Ever!!!

I didn’t have to report until 1pm and then sat and read (Lover Eternal) for a couple hours before being sent home.

That is my kind of jury duty!

Saturday was busy with errands (salon for mani/pedi, mammogram, used bookstore with Z, quick Hobby Lobby stop).  A friend of mine had a lovely baby girl show up on her doorstep (long story, but a happy ending), so I’ve started a crocheted blanket quickly.  She’s expecting her own baby girl in April, so I’ll do it all again soon!

Sunday I finished off the current Mirabilia RR Round – Queen Mermaid:

I also watched some football (go Cardinals!!) and spent a bit of time in the BDB world with Lover Awakened and Lover Revealed.

Tonight – Dancing with the Stars, Castle, more crochet, more BDB and packing up the Blog Giveaways (finally got the right sized boxes at the Post Office!!)

Whew!!

October 20th, 2009 by Annette

Quick…

Came home from work with a splitting headache and a bit of fever.  My flu-avoidance luck may have run out.

Day 2 of Missy Ann’s 13 Days of Halloween is up!  Go enter 🙂

October 19th, 2009 by Annette

Blog-versary Giveaways… We have Winners!!

I am simply amazed at the great response all of my giveaways received!  Thanks everyone that threw their name in the hats for each one.  I’ve added a bunch of new blogs to my reader 😉

Without further ado, here are the winners:

Reader’s Giveaway – (72 entries):

RC  (Rani)

Knitters Giveaway – (166 entries):

KnittingFool

Stitcher’s Giveaway – (300! entries):

Staci

Emails have been sent to all three winners.  Congratulations to all!!

——————————————————————————–

Edited to Add:  I’ve pulled a couple names for “runner up” drawing on the Reader Giveaway.  Those winners are:

DailyMel

Laura in AL

Each will receive two of the books from their list 🙂  Emails sent!

October 19th, 2009 by Annette

13 Days of Halloween

13 Days of Halloween-themed giveaways from the incomparable Missy Ann!

I’m working thru the amazing pile of entries from my blog giveaways… next post will be the winners!

October 15th, 2009 by Annette

Wednesday Checklist

  • Go to bank for vacation money – check
  • Wash a few clothes – check
  • Figure out what projects to take (L*K Halloween Flips and Shoal scarf)- check
  • Pack – check
  • Watch Glee – check
  • Watch Top Chef – check
  • Catch up Facebook games – check
  • Get Kylie to watch Farmville on Facebook while I’m gone – check
  • Decide what books to read on trip – check (Kindle – the whole Amazon catalog is available to me.  Current book: Born of Night)
  • Blog – drat…..

My streak for October blogging is broken 🙁  So sorry!

I’m taking my Kindle for reading.  I would love to take Jamie & Claire, but dragging an 800+ page hardback around in my carry-on isn’t appealing.  They’ll just have to hold until I get back.

Leaving here shortly and returning home late on Sunday, so probably no new posts until I announce the giveaway winners sometime on Monday!

Take care, all 🙂