Welcome to my little world! My name is Donna and I'm the mother of one very spoiled kitty named Clarice. I was a banker for over 20 years but now I'm a SAHM and loving every minute of it. I'm a super, huge Bon Jovi fan and an avid cross stitcher. I love decorating my home with flea market finds, primitive style items and vintage items. My hubby says if the last three generations threw it out as trash it'll end up in our house as a decoration.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Some funny things about me

I saw this on someones blog and thought this is different so without any further ado here's my story:

What is your full given name?
Donna Michelle Gay Harris

How was your name chosen?
For some reason my folks were convinced they were having a boy and they didn't pick out a girl's name.  "It's a girl" threw them for a real loop so I was named Donna for the Ritchie Valens song and my Great Aunt suggested Michelle for The Beatles song.  It's no wonder I have loved everything musical since birth!

What do you like to be called?
My Love because Mark still calls me that after 26 years
Little Girl because that's what my momma and daddy still call me
Sis because my little brothers still call me that
Donna Gay because my granny called me that until the day she died

What are all the nicknames you have used?
Big Mouth
Dirty Martini Queen/DMQ

How did you get those nicknames?
Big Mouth came about in JHS because my voice is loud and tends to carry.  Nothing has changed about that even as I age

Bubby is what Mark calls me because he's an only child and he said growing up he always wanted a bubby.

Dirty Martini Queen is what Dana, Kathie and I call ourselves.  We're just the life of the party, the girls that laugh the loudest, sing the most off key, dance on tables/bars, sing with the band (did I mention really off key?) and drink DMQs.  We've been best friends since 7th grade and have seen each other thru all life's ups and downs without losing ourselves.  They know my deepest darkest secrets and still love me.  They are my sisters in every possible sense except blood. 

Have you ever been called by a name that was distasteful or hurtful?
I think we all have but seriously the kids used to really give me grief over my last name even into HS.  Grow Up!!!!

If you could choose a different name, what would it be?
I actually like Donna and wouldn't change it but had I been that boy my folks were expecting I'd have changed that name a million times over....Glenn Gregory Gay.....that's just wrong!

And remind me sometime to tell you about the awesome comment my momma had upon learning I was a girl.   So now it's your turn to answer these questions about yourself either on your blog or in the comments.  I can't wait to hear what y'all have to say.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pink Hill Manor for Rachel

I just put the final stitches in PHM to honor Rachel, who is my favorite 1st niece and it was a really great stitching project.  She's a very girly girly girl so this pink one was a perfect choice to honor her.  It has my brother and SIL initials in it along with her birth year and I just realized that she's gonna be 18 this year.....where has the time gone?  It just seems like yesterday, she was telling us her name was Ray, Ray and she would constantly say "You Happy? Me Happy!"  She was a cute little girl but she's an amazing, beautiful young woman that makes me proud to be her auntie.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Damn I'm a good cook even for a dinner party of one

Great news, my eye seems to be fully recovered and I'm stitching away so all is right in my world again. I used the eye wash and after DR Momma called, I went and got some lubrication eye drops which I think did the trick. It was a rainy spring weekend so I just hung around our home. I did make a trip into Karlsruhe by city train and I went to the flea market (called Flohmarkt) over here but the rain made it just too miserable for me to hang out  for long.  I went to the one "Mexican" place we had found and after not getting my mexican fix in 9 months, the food was pretty darn good. I had a margarita and enchiladas which were tasty just not spicy. Oh well, I still had a nice meal that I didn't have to cook or clean up after.

I worked on Pink Hill Manor and just about to finish it up later this week. I'm doing it to honor my niece, Rachel Elizabeth . Her favorite color is pink so this girly pink one was a perfect choice for her.  I want to start Moonlight Visitor next so I've got incentive to get PHM done. I don't allow myself any UFO/WIP because I know myself too well and if I ever set it aside, I would never pick it up again.  In my 25 plus years of stitching,  I have only 1 UFO and it is Midnight Watch that I started stitching the week that I lost my Maggie Mae kitty.  I've not worked on it since Clarice joined our family and I think it's because it's an acknowledgement of Maggie's too short life that I just don't want to face.  I used to be such a slow, slow stitcher that I only finished 1 or 2 projects a year so WIPs just didn't seem right but now that I'm a quicker stitcher not to mention my attention span is shorter, I could get in real trouble if I had too many starts and no "deadlines".

Ok now on to the reason for the title of this post......I fixed myself a great chicken sandwich for dinner.  Yummo and so, so simple.  I marinated boneless chicken breasts in balsamic salad dressing for a few hours then baked it at 350 for 30 minutes.  I bought some great hard baguettes that I sliced and toasted in the oven.  When the chicken was done I sliced it thinly and popped it back in the oven with a slice of swiss cheese just until cheese melted.  I brushed a little dressing on my toasted roll then added my sliced cheesy chicken.  It was divine and I munched happily away plus I have one more for lunch today. 

Make your day a special one and do something that brings you pure joy today. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Klutzy Donna Strikes Again

I'm certainly not known for my graceful ways or poise but more for my "too big of a hurry" ways that usually end up with me hurt in some way or another.  I just get caught up in what I'm doing sometimes and forget to look at the big picture.  Well I did it again......yesterday was a glorious spring day and I needed to plant my window boxes before everything wilted so I headed down to the gartenmarkt for dirt.  I lugged all 6 bags upstairs to the balconies for a major planting session.  I should probably say that I don't do outside very well because I hate getting dirty and sweaty....yuck.  Oh well, I started off with gusto and got the kitchen herb gardens ready then headed to the living room.  I squatted down outside and realize that Clarice just got sick in the living room so back inside I went.   Cleaned that mess and back outside I go....oh wait there is a better parking spot for the car opening up so quick trip down to move the car then back up.  Well now a rain shower is blowing in so might as well clean up a little and make a trip back downstairs for recycling the first load of flower containers.  Balancing way too much stuff and walking downstairs is a sure fire way for me to fall so just go slow.  Whew, made it all the way down so now to open the outside door to drop this mess off in the recycling cans.  Oh wow this is harder than I thought so maybe I should just set something down....nope, I can get it if I just use my foot to hit the door handle.  Yep, that's good so now....well crap, the lids are shut on the containers so maybe I should set this stuff down but I think I can flip the lid up if I just lean in this way.  Then WHAM, I stuck myself in the eye with a plastic garden stake.  Now my eye is watering, my hands are still full and I'm crying because it hurts really bad.  I drop everything but can't really touch my eye because my hands are filthy.  OMG, I can feel the makeup running all down my face, my eye is killing me and I need to get back upstairs so I can check things out.  I stumble back into the apartment and the phone is ringing....it's Mark and we haven't talked in a couple of days so I just grab it.  I'm crying by now and trying to juggle the phone, wash my hands and look in the bathroom mirror plus try to talk to him.  I finally got myself cleaned up and ran down to the apothecary shoppe to get some eye drops.  I ended up buying an eye rinse kit which I used several times last night before I went to sleep. I think I just scratched it but this morning it was still teary and matted so I've got to try to find an eye dr today.  I have no idea where to even start but I think I should get it looked at before the weekend.  Dang it all and worst of all is that now I can't really read, stitch or anything because my eye is watering.  This is gonna be a long, long weekend!  My nickname is Calamity Donna for a reason.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thrifty Tuesday Inspiration

As y'all know my goal is to always do something less expensive than I can buy it for at a store and to re-purpose "old junk" into my new decor.  We needed a coat rack  here in Germany (remember there are no closets) and I wanted something different....I know that's shocking to y'all.  Anyhoo, I found just what I wanted online at Anthropologie but as we know I'd never, ever pay that kind of money for it even if I could get it shipped over here.  I mean come on, who spends $200 for a coat rack?   And I can just hear Mark and Daddy now "You paid how much for that?  And you do know the hooks don't even match?"

So one day I'm looking around my favorite antik shoppe and I see this old bed railing that was turned into a coat rack....not bad and the price was FREE but not quite what I was looking for.  I brought it home and hung it but just wasn't the look I wanted.  The two end hooks were broken off and I only had one different hook so it looked odd.

Fast forward to spring and the antik shops are opening back up so I was on the hunt for mismatched hooks to replace the ones on my rack.  I think I got what I was looking for at a fraction like $200 less than the original.  I'm a happy gal right now.
What do ya think?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Why do I do this to myself?

This applies to so many aspects of my life on so many levels but I'm really gonna just focus on these two:

Why do I watch semi scary movies/tv when Mark's out of town?  I'm watching Stephen King's Bag of Bones?  Do you know this movie?  Why did I think this was a good thing for me to watch? I'm such a believer in ghosts and hauntings that I won't sleep a wink for the next few days.  I think I'll have to take a whole sleeping pill instead of a half for the next few days.  Last week when he was gone, I watched some devil possession movie with Renee Zellweger called Case 39 which scared the beejeevies out of me.

Why do I start new crime novels while he's away?  Yep, I fall asleep every night reading my kindle and I so love my crime novels that I end up staying up way to late.  I take my sleeping pill then read for hours and don't remember a word of it the next day so at breakfast I re-read the same chapters. Not to mention that I also scare myself with reading these books.

Now I'm not a scared person by nature and I'm really used to being on my own but sometimes I just really miss my guy.   I've been playing with blogger layouts today and trying to add some new graphics and tabs.  Sure hope I got things worked out because I've been playing around with it all freaking day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Only The lonely

Giving credit to Roy Orbison:

Only the lonely
(Dum dum dum, dummy doo wah)
Know the way I feel tonight
(Ooh yay, yay, yay, yeah)
Only the lonely
(Dum dum dum, dummy doo wah)
Know this feeling ain’t right
(Dum dum dum, dummy doo wah)
There goes my baby, there goes my heart

They’re gone forever, so far apart
But only the lonely know why I cry
Only the lonely

I'd have put a link to the song but I'm not exactly sure how to do that so instead you just get the lyrics.
Mark arrived back in Germany Friday morning and left again today for a month long trip back to the US.  So I'm feeling a little blue, down in the dumps, lonely, ect...  I do miss him when he's gone but I refuse to just mope around so now to make some plans of to do things while he's gone.  Of course, there will be a trip to Ikea because I can spend an entire day there just looking at stuff, I think a day train trip somewhere to see a few antik stores and who knows what else I might try to do on my own.  I know, I know....just no driving for me...lol! 

And speaking of driving, I got the estimate for fixing the gentleman's car and it was shocking!  I swear there wasn't much visible damage but it came in at over $1800US so we're feeling that dent in our pocketbooks.  I finally got a police report after 3 different visits because I had to see the actual officer that got the report.  She was so nice and it turned out that her partner is from Texas so she speaks perfect English.  I know I shouldn't expect that but it's always nice when it happens.  Anyhoo, the owners of the car decided not to press charges against me so basically she wrote up a no fault accident report which was a HUGE benefit for me.  No fines and maybe, just maybe the insurance company will pay to get our car fixed.  That would be a blessing!!!!!

Mark's job is always evolving as you well know and now there's a new twist.  He'll be working in Tennessee at the aerospace division which means he'll be making frequent trips back to the states.  They have agreed that they will give me some "extra" trips back the remainder of this year but we're just not sure how often I'll go with him.  There's no sense in my sitting in a hotel room while he's working and that's especially true if he's working crazy hours.  And I really don't want to sit at our home in Georgia just waiting on him to return on the weekends if he's able to get away.  I mean I can sit here in Germany just as well.  We'll just have to see how his schedule works out before I start tagging along with him.

Now on to my latest projects:
This is my new stitchy chair area in the living room.  I can carry the chair out to the balcony as soon as it gets warm enough to be outside for any length of time.
Here's a close up of my chair setup.  Don't 'cha just love Clarice's cat grass?

Here's my newest treasure that I acquired while Mark was gone last week.  Not wild about the basket but it's just full of these huge spun yarn balls and the winder is just perfection.  I think I'm going to paint the basket black again as soon as the weather cooperates.

Here's my pewter candle snuffer set that I got for less than $10 US and you know I can't walk away from a bargain or pewter!

And lastly, I finally got frames for some of my stitching and gave it my best effort to frame my own stuff.  Now I didn't lace it or cut the extra fabric away in case I want to go the custom framing route later.
Birds of a Feather-Alphabet Sampler framed in black and just perfect on the tub surround in the bathroom

Blackbird Designs-Bluebird's Message framed in a simple navy blue

Blackbird Designs-Swan Lake framed in a weathered country white/blue frame (my favorite)

And finally Pineberry Lane-Autumn on Pineberry Lane which is framed in a brown wood tone and hanging in our bedroom.  I'm happy with how everything came out but of course, I see all the flaws like not getting everything perfectly straight, ect.... oh well

I'm off now to fix myself some lunch and yes, it is way past lunch now in Germany.  I got distracted watching a Civil War show on the history channel and now I guess I should say I'm off to fix myself an early dinner.  Have a great week and hope that song doesn't keep running thru your head all day long.


Monday, April 1, 2013

What I do when Mark's gone

That's one of the first questions I get asked when people discover that Mark's been gone on business trips so now you all are in the know.......This is what I do....eat junk food, watch bad chick flicks or crime shows and stitch until my eyes can't take it any more.

Swan Lake by Blackbird Designs finished today 4/1/13 stitched to honor my niece, Josilyn aka Josi. She's really a great artist and one year for Christmas gave me a chalk drawing of a swan with a crystal snowflake attached so as soon as I saw this chart I knew I'd stitch it for her.  She just turned 15 last week (OMG, where has the time gone?) 
This is one of my favorite pics of my nieces and nephews so starting from the left, Kelton (16), Josi (15), Rachel (16) and finally Zared(20)  They are my pride and joy!  I love these kids and they make me a proud auntie everyday.

Ok I also finished this old chart called Alphabet Sampler by Birds of a Feather which has been in my stash for way, way too long.