Wow!  I am so excited to share this with y’all.  I have to weave a little story though, because, well, I just think it’s kinda funny!  I came home from work on Friday, and when I opened my mailbox, there was the “hind end” of an Amazon box smiling at me.  I thought, wow, that was fast to get  my order from Amazon Marketplace (I ordered a new trackball for my Blackberry, which I’ve worn out…).  Now, before you read much further, I have to explain something.  I have been working 10-12 hour days the past several weeks.  Last week was spent in front of a computer, on conference calls with a developer while we worked out some system enhancements for a project that had to be ready at midnight tonight.  My mind was mushy by the time Friday night rolled around and I rolled into my driveway.  So, please don’t think I’m this thick all the time! Okay, now back to the story.

I took the package into the house.  I set it on the table, took care of saying hello to my dear mother, the two dogs and the cat.  I sat down on the couch, and looked at the package.  I thought, “Well, that’s a big box for a little trackball.  But, what the heck.”  I opened it up, not really paying attention to the return address.  When I opened it, I thought “Why would my trackball be wrapped in pink tissue paper?”  Then, as I opened it, and it was obvious that there was more in there than a little ole’ trackball, a light went on in my brain.  I just got giddy folks.  That’s it, good old GIDDY.  I remembered the SBCC and the package I thought I might never get.  I thought, “Well, maybe my partner just had a rough couple of months.  Maybe s/he killed two sewing machines making my exchange piece, like I did making Judith’s… Maybe…    I opened the card, and saw “May all your birthday wishes come true!”…. Hmmm, and it was dated 11/22/09, even though I received it on the 20th.  And, suddenly, like my knee on a cold winter’s morning, it clicked.  Val must have been given the 22nd of November as my birthday, and not September.  And, sure enough, that’s what happened.  Hee, hee.  I tell ya folks, I’ll wait as long as it takes to get such a wonderful package, with such fine stitching and finishing.  So without further blabbing from me, here are the goodies that Val sent:

— A wonderful matching pincushion and floss keeper stitched from La D Da’s Tiny Sampler on 32 count platinum linen using the recommended threads, with GAST Brandy added for the flower stamens.
— LHN’s Mayflower Landing chart, with the CC floss for it (from my wish list)
— The 2009 Prairie Schooler Santa, which I hadn’t picked up yet… woo-wee… how did she know?
— A great little note cube in earthy colors which has my initial on it, which I love and which will sit on my desk at work
— Some floss bobbins, which I needed (again, HOW did she know?).
–And, some Ghirardelli’s chocolate.  Not only do I love chocolate, but Ghirardelli is one of my favs (you’ll just have to believe me on this item, because I’ve already inhaled them).

I just love them.  She picked the perfect thing to send, and in the perfect colors too. Her stitching and finishing are superb. Don’t you all wish you could see these beauties in person?  Here’s probably how the mix up happened:  I sent Edgar all of my info, EXCEPT my birthday… DUH.  Bless him, he tracked me down, and I sent it in a later e-mail, just before he probably finished up all the matching and planning for this year.  The man is busy, really.  I can tell from reading his blog.  And, what with all the exchanges going on, and my not including my b-day in my original e-mail, well, I can completely understand how things got mixed up!

When I asked Edgar if I could participate in the Stitching Blogger’s Birthday Club exchange this year,  I just really wanted to work on a project that would be for someone I didn’t know, and that might stretch my mind a bit.  I thought it would be fun to receive something too, of course, but when my birthday rolled around in September, I just didn’t think too much about not getting a package.  I just figured that whoever had my name had run into a rough patch, and if I didn’t get something by the end of the year, I would just let Edgar know.  Funny, huh?

So, THANK YOU to Val, and THANK YOU to Edgar for really making my birthday gift a surprise.  Ask my family.  It’s not easy to surprise me.  I usually guess exactly what I’m getting, when, and where.  Not this time, no sir-ee.  And, what better time to have the package arrive, when I’ve been up to my eyeballs in work and needed a pick-me-up!

And, thanks for all your comments! It’s so fun to chat with you all, in this blogging world. I wanted to respond to a few. Katrina and Siobhan, I have some R&R 18th Century Red linen, and it doesn’t look like it will have the “rub off” problem like this piece of Cranberry Bog. So, my experience was probably just a fluke with this particular piece.  Siobhan, you may find your piece doesn’t have this problem.  I love the piece anyway, so it was worth all of the hassle.  And, Ruth, yes, the look on our faces says it all.  If I’m right in my guess, the lovely crocheted hats and vests were made by my Grandmother, and while I completely appreciate the time and effort she put into them now, I wonder if, at the time, I felt a little bit like Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” when he opened the bunny suit from his aunt (one of my all-time favorite movies, I’m sure that’s because I can relate).  I’m sure that this picture must have been taken at a time when we were given these items.  I’ll have to tell y’all about my Grandmother’s “sweater of many colors” sometime… she surely was of the “waste-not-want-not” generation and I do love her for it.

Sorry this is so long!  Ta ta for now friends… and make sure to make time for creativity in your day!