Crash and Burn


We should take a last look at the cross stitch I FINALLY finished yesterday (after spending “4 years” working on it).

All I had left to do, was the actual sewing the stocking together. . .(easy-peasy. . .)

And I totally ruined it.

The cross-stitch part, never even got to the sewing.  At this point, the picture is the only thing worth saving.


Jay was my knight in shining armor.  He was immediately at my side trying to salvage it.  He even got on the internet trying to search for a possible solution.  Then, when it was determined that all hope was lost, he took me to JoAnn Fabrics so I could buy some new aida cloth. . .I think I have all the floss I will need.

En route to the store the man had me in gales of laughter (not so difficult to do when I’m emotional to begin with).  He was trying to imagine how I would write this in my blog and kept trying to come up with scenarios. . .Had this happened to him, I’m sure my truthful account of the matter would have been quite humorous, as the man reacts to things in such ways that you can’t help but to be funny when writing about it.

Sadly, I can not write about the expression that must have been on my face; which may have been comical had you been able to get past the tears.


Some song was playing on the radio on the way home.  One of those “perfect timing” songs.  If Jay were here at the moment he would be able to tell me title and artist, but he had to go take care of some clean-up stuff from yesterday.

It’s a male artist and part of the lyrics say, “so, you’ve had a bad day”.  Oh wait, I’m somewhat computer savvy still. . .

Okay, it’s “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter.

But, now we are back home and I needed something a bit more.  You know, to remind me it’s just a piece of fabric with little x’s on it. . .

So, I watched this:

Thankfully, I have 345 days to finish the stocking in time for Christmas this year.


Now, I simply cannot end my day on such a note.

And let’s face it, you don’t wanna either!

In the Carrie Underwood song, there’s the bit about the driver slipping on black ice. . .

(insert foggy “memory” wave here)

Now, there are two facts that you absolutely must know first.

#1:  Jay is from a northern MN town.

#2:  I despise being cold.

I had just gotten out of the service (Army 4 years); Jay had just re-enlisted, but was already talking about when he would get out 4 years hence.  One of the things that he kept going on about was where he wanted to reside after he got out, and he kept bringing up MN!

Now, let me first say, I’d already been there during the summer months.  In fact, I still had recurrent nightmares about the mosquitoes which were the size of small aircraft, and attacked in squadron-like formations.

Being the couple we are, I’m the one who plans the trips and vacations that we do, and he’s the one who goes along with it.

So, I determined that going to MN in JANUARY would be a great idea.

Ahhh, don’t you criticize my brilliance just yet, ye of little faith!

January of 1994 found us driving along in our fairly new-to-us (old, Toyota Cresida wagon, which I did not like and hadn’t been part of the decision making process) in Wisconsin.

We had been taking turns driving, and at this point, I was the driver, with Drew dreamily dozing in the backseat, and Tyler cradled within me.  😉

I’m telling you, there were cars dotting the snowy landscape left and right!  The roads were quite clear, so it was quite a topic  of conversation amongst Jay and myself. . .

Until I hit a patch of “black ice”.

Do you know, I’d never heard tale of “black ice” before?  I’m from WV, so it’s not as if I was new to snow or ice. . .just that I had never had the “opportunity” to not see it before.

Truly, for the first couple of seconds/minutes/lifetimes all I recall was Jay shouting at me to stop overcorrecting.  All, I was thinking to myself was “I’m just trying to hold on for dear life but this darn wheel keeps spinning”.

But then, we went off the road onto the shoulder

and down an embankment

toward a fence.

Now, that was really cool!  I mean in hindsight.  We were going fast enough, the snow deep enough, that it was flying over our windshield with such force that we literally could not see out the front window.

But Jay could see out of his side window, and he was hollering for me to turn the wheel so we would miss the fast approaching fence.

First he tells me to hold it steady. . .then he’s all on my case about cranking it. . .

We nicked the fence post, and busted the right turn signal.

And Drew slept through the entire thing!

He woke up for the police officer and the tow-truck driver though.  (A nice semi-driver, following behind us, had been kind enough to call it in.)

The officer had to file a report as we had hit a state fence post, thankfully, no damage was caused.  He gave Drew one of those plastic police badges.  I think Drew still has it. . .

The tow-truck driver had to wench us out of the ditch; however, our car started right up and we were able to leave, with Jay driving.

We were in MN for over 2 weeks.

We had to call back to the unit and ask for an extension on Jay’s leave.

It never got ABOVE 15 below.  Twice, at night, the temps were 78 BELOW (with windchill) and that caused our ignition computer in the car to freeze.  (Because our car didn’t have that neat-o plug doomahicky that cars up there have to keep from freezing their innards out.)  We had to wait for a part to be special ordered, delivered, and installed before we could leave.

I went outside a grand total of 3 times.  Once upon arrival.  Once, I was conned into taking a walk in a snowsuit (I looked like Ralphie’s poor little brother on A Christmas Story; or possibly, the Michelin Man), and the final time to get back in the car to come home.

Do you know, I have never once heard Jay utter that he wanted to move back to MN?  Now you are impressed by the genius of my design, aren’t you?

Oh, and the car, that was traded in on a new VW (awesome cars with FANTASTIC heaters) very shortly upon our return home.


It seems that I have a cross-stitch stocking that I must start anew, calling to me.

I think it’s saying, “This is what happens when you don’t take your Christmas tree down before the New Year!”


7 comments on “Crash and Burn

  1. Susan says:

    So sorry about your stocking!! It looks incredibly detailed and I’m sure it’ll be beautiful when you do get it done. I’m impressed you’re wiling to start anew. I can’t get motivation for anything that complex anymore. Sticking to small patterns for now. That’s about all I can keep focused for. Best of luck with the new stocking!!

  2. Sunshine says:

    You know, I am SO LMBO over here! About the MN story, not the stocking. About the stocking, I am truly sorry for you. But my take on it is a bit different. It was saying, that’s what you get for not listening to your friend who told you to take a break from it! 😛

  3. D says:

    I am SO sorry about the cross-stitch – it looked absolutely beautiful. I don’t really know anything about cross-stitching and I am left wondering what went wrong with it in the sewing phase. What happened?

  4. Anne M. says:

    I am so sorry! I didn’t read this one first (going back to front), I feel so bad about my previous comment! But you did do a VERY good job on it =) I bet this one will be even better!

    I’m currently finishing a crocheted blanket that has taken me 5 years to do – I’ve got my fingers crossed that these disasters don’t happen in 3’s! Knowing my luck I’d have something happen to it right at the end ~UGH~

  5. corefoundations says:


    Please don’t feel bad about your previous comment! It’s nice to know others felt it was a beautiful work too.

    Best of luck on your blanket!


  6. Susan says:

    That is just beautiful!! How devastating that it got ruined. I’m so sorry!

    I ruined a piece once so I know how it feels.

    If you don’t mind, can you tell me about the pattern? I have three patterns picked out for my future grandkids (far future I’m sure), and I’m always looking for more. This one is by far the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.


  7. corefoundations says:


    It’s from the Dimensions Gold Collection: “Winters Twilight Stocking DM8666”.

    It is a terribly nice design. . .and my other 3 boys are actually upset with me as they say his is (was) the nicest. What can I say, as each one got better. . .

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