Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year Ambitions

I hope that whomever stumbles across this sad excuse for a blog (I don't post often), has a prosperous, happy and healthy 2014, filled with everything they enjoy and deserve (and then some)!

Sometime in November, Diamond and I worked a spot at Holidays in the Park, for Dalmatian Rescue of Tampa Bay, and Mrs. Claus was there!  She was very sweet and delighted to let me take her picture with Diamond.  I have a picture from a few years ago with her and Diamond and she remembered us (well at least Diamond).  

We had a busy December. It seems that we were busy from October 1 - straight through to Christmas, between work and the holidays. I don't really know where the past few months went. I'm relieved they are over and am looking forward to a slower pace for a bit. I got slowed down, all the way to a stop for all of last week. Some nasty bug hit me and Bruce and we literally spent almost the whole week in our recliners, sneezing, coughing and dozing. Thankfully, whatever it was seems to have been banished by lots of vitamin C, soup, liquids, cold medicine and rest. 

On December 14, we participated in our first boat parade. When I was growing up, my Grandmother had a house on the water, on one of the inlets along the inter-coastal waterway of Madeira Beach, FL. Almost every year until I was 17 or 18 (and was working in retail), we would go to her house and watch the boat parade. I never knew how many others had the same tradition. Some people throw huge parties to coincide with the parade. It's really a big deal. So here's our boat in the parade. 

This picture was taken by a friend of ours who, unbeknownst to us, was throwing one of those parties. Apparently all of the party guests were chanting "BRUCE BRUCE BRUCE" as we went by, but because of the noise of the motor, generator and Christmas music, we didn't hear them.  It's hard to see, but I'm actually driving the boat at this point, Bruce is in the white shirt, my StepDad, (who is also a Bruce) is Santa, hidden behind him, is our friend Gary (who was grilling burgers for us at the time), seated are Bruce's mom and my mom.  We invited my grandmother to come as well, but at 97 she wasn't up to the 4 hour ride and chilly temperatures. We had a lot of fun. The picture doesn't do the lights justice. On the top of the boat is Santa in an airplane, and we had lights mounted on our outriggers that flashed in sequence, like a runway. It was pretty neat.  

The parade route started out at John's Pass, which is a big tourist attraction around here with tons of shops and a waterside boardwalk. There were literally hundreds of people on the boardwalk watching the parade. I tried to get a picture of it, but because it was so dark, you can't see anyone. We were really shocked at how many people were out on their docks, or in their yards, even in waterside parks, waiting for the parade. Here's the parade route.
It's hard to see, but the line that is thinly highlighted in yellow, is the route. We went in and out of all the inlets. Some of the larger boats, like one of the sailboats, didn't go down some of the narrower inlets. It took nearly four hours from start to finish. Thankfully the weather was just right. We also didn't know it, but along the parade route, certain houses had judges and there were little boats out in the water every so often that had judges as well. There were two size groups and we won 3rd place for small boats (24ft and under)! We won $400 and a bottle of wine and a gift certificate to a local seafood restaurant. Not bad for first timers. Bruce is already scheming up next year's theme. 

Here is Bruce (on the right), accepting his prize, being presented by the Mayor of Madeira Beach (center) and the organizer of the parade from the Madeira Beach Municipal Marina(left).
I apologize for the crappy cell phone image, but the lighting was bad and I had to take it fast. 

Christmas was good. Christmas Eve, we finished last minute shopping and wrapping. In the evening, we headed up to my StepMom's sister's house for their traditional celebrating. Here's me, receiving a gift from my Dad and StepMom.
 Yes, those are shocks for my truck, I'm kind of low maintenance (according to Bruce). And that is Bruce, photo-bombing.   I just realized that my "silly" grin looks a little demented.  Ha ha. 

I am spoiled and loved and received a lot of lovely things. I actually had forgotten that I asked my Mom for these.
I was so excited to get my needle nannies!  I've been trying for a year to win one. Now I have my own! While I was sick I finished a Black work Mermaid, but I am going to be starting a new cross stitch, and working on a couple of quilt applique projects where I can employ these little cuties. 

Speaking of little cuties, I just have to share my adorable, 97 year old, Grandma. Here is how she showed up on Christmas at my Mom's house. (I'm blaming Bruce for the fuzzy shot, because I asked him to take the picture and didn't check it to get a better one). I'm upset that I didn't get a better picture of her all dressed up.  I was calling her Cindy Lou Who all day (from the Grinch).

 I've gained enough wisdom and self knowledge to know that me making resolutions is pointless. I never stick to them. I am not above setting some goals for myself though.  This year I'm getting a little ambitious (or optimistic).  

One thing I would like to do is start posting more. I doubt it will happen, but I'm going to try. I've gotten rather lazy about it, figuring that no one reads this anyway, and so I've only been posting at the end of the month to link up with sensational Barbara over at Catpatches. She hosts the monthly NEWfo Linky party

 For January, I'm going to attempt to:

Finish the adorable "Arnie" quilt that's been sitting in Limbo in the UFO pile for I'm not really sure how long. I am afraid it may be since 2008. YIKES! So I really really need to finish it.
 I don't have all that much left to do to it.  Then there's the last 4 Hello Moon blocks, which I can do in a weekend, or a couple of week nights. My Mom asked me to make her a cover for an special pot lid for Christmas, but I didn't have the time. That should take an afternoon or a couple of weeknights to do. And then there's my dog vest for the rescue I need to finish. I'm ashamed that I started these in late September or early October and then we were so busy with work, that I completely pushed them aside. 

As for the rest of the year, here's a quick list of items I hope to get finished, in no particular order.

Holly's quilt - WIP
Scotty Quillow -WIP
Paper Piecing  monthly wall hangings (x10)
Dog quilts for Dalmatian rescue auctions (x3) - need quilting
Sheep quilt - needs quilting
Quilts for Blake, Luke, Samantha, Alaina
T-shirt quilt for Bruce
Cross stitch Mermaid
Frame finished mermaid cross stitch (x2)
Embroidery gift project (it's a secret)
Kitchen renovations

All of that, and of course, start some new things. I used to make a resolution (until I got so very wise), that I wouldn't start any new projects, until I finished the old ones.  How silly. It's impossible to not start new things, when there are so many tempting projects out there, just beckoning to be made!

If you live somewhere cold, I'm sending you warm wishes and hope that you have your very own lap warmer(s) to keep you nice and toasty this winter. 

Thanks for stopping in! ~Amy


  1. Great post! We have a boat parade here and yep, it's a big deal. We used to always go out on the water to watch it and then the fireworks that followed.
    I always promise myself I'm going to get better at blogging, but honestly, it takes so much time and I'd rather be sewing, so I stick to a few posts a month and try to never miss the FO challenge.

  2. Congrats on winning 3rd place in the boat parade! So much fun! I can't believe I've never been to it in all my years living so close to John's Pass. Maybe one year I'll be home for the Christmas holidays and make it down to see it :) PS - your grandma is adorable!