Feb 20, 2017
I'm home and back in the Happy Chair after a morning of appointments and grocery shopping. I survived both, I'm thrilled to report, so now I get to have my second cup of damn good coffee and read the paper.
(The first cup of damn good coffee is medicinal...the second is just for me!)
My show stopping fatigue is due to a loooowwwww hemoglobin number (that means anemia gone wild), but a massive dose of Aranesp today should perk me right up. Aranesp builds red blood cells and costs about a bazillion dollars a pop, so it better work!
The grocery was uneventful. I had put off going but used the very last drop of creamer in the first cup of damn good coffee (see above), and not having any for the second cup was motivation enough to get my fanny in gear. My menu this week is very simple...bagel with peanut butter for breakfast/lunch and a salad with grilled chicken for dinner. In between if I get munchy, there is cottage cheese and a lovely fruit salad with fresh strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, and oranges.
(I see the transplant surgeon on March 30, and I am absolutely positively determined to be several pounds lighter by then so that he knows I'm serious about wanting a new kidney.)
OK...enough of the stuff that makes Betty twitch...on to some stitching!
Still very much in a cross stitch mood, I decided to start something that I have had in my stash for over a year. This is "My Heart Is Filled With Wildflowers" by Carolyn Manning Designs. Miss Joy at House of Stitches cut the most beautiful piece of linen for this...it's 28ct. Sprite by Picture This Plus.
So that's pretty much where things stand today in Hoosierville. It's a beautiful day...about 65 degrees and sunny and the birds are sweetly tweeting! Hope your neck of the woods is equally as lovely today, dearies! Happy, happy Monday! Do something fabulous and come tell me all about it!
Feb 19, 2017
Feb 18, 2017
Today was Library Guild and Cheeseburger Day.
(I've decided that I am going to allow myself a cheeseburger once a month...after Library Guild. Last month's cheeseburger after guild was just what the doctor ordered, and today's didn't disappoint either!)
(We went to the Applebee's and I asked for well done and it was..crispy on the edges and delicious!)
(What can I say? I like my meat...burnt. Always have.)
(But if I am wanting to hide my hay-seedness and am in a fancy restaurant, I will order my steak medium.)
(But burgers...well done, please. Always well done.)
I actually made some good progress on Poppers:
Row one complete! (Well...almost. I still need to find some Kreinik.)
I came home, scrubbed my face, put the jams back on, and took a long lovely snoozy nap with my face in the sun. After a sip or two of my iced lemon water I'm going to get right back to a little stitching and TeeVee watching...House of Cards Season Two here I come!
Feb 17, 2017
Feb 16, 2017
I finished the motif on Winter Quakers, so methinks I might start something (or somethingS) new.
Buzzy had a good check up. Dr. Peterson must have used some Jedi mind trick on me, because the tape removal was uneventful. An ultrasound in a few weeks will ensure that he's growing big and strong!
One more appointment and then it's home for a snoozy nap. I didn't sleep well last night, so I have some catching up to do!
Feb 15, 2017
Feb 14, 2017
Feb 13, 2017
My appetite has been totally off for almost a year now. And while this has really helped with my grocery budget, it means that I just haven't had a decent meal that tasted good and/or blew my skirt up in quite some time.
(Cheeseburgers don't count. Cheeseburgers almost always blow my skirt up.)
I have been eating a bagel with crunchy peanut butter on it every day, so when I ran out of said bagels and was at the Martin's to get more, I also picked up a gorgeous piece of salmon and some shrimps.
So after my planning and laundry folding and Sunday afternoon vacuuming extravaganza, I decided to get back into the kitchen, channel my inner Ina, and make a proper dinner once and for all.
I did it! I finally managed to make sometng that turned out better than I could have imagined and tasted so good that I actually slowed down and savored every bite!
Here's how I did it...(this is actually more for me so that I can try to repeat it):
* Generously salt and pepper salmon and shrimp and set aside.
* Make sauce:
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2T coarse ground mustard
4 cloves garlic minced (I used a microplane)
2T low sodium soy sauce
1T hot sauce (I used cocktail sauce because that's what I had)
1t hot red pepper flakes
4T olive oil (maybe more to loosen mixture)
*Preheat 2-3T olive oil over med high heat in a non-stick pan and pre-heat broiler.
*Sautee salmon, flesh side down for four or five minutes until cooked about half-way through.
*Flip to skin side down and cover with sauce.
* Tilt the pan and spoon the sauce over the salmon until sauce is reduced and salmon is glazed and almost cooked through, about two minutes.
*Move salmon onto broiler pan, add shrimp to non-stick, and broil the salmon while the shrimp is cooking in the sauce...about five minutes total.
*Serve atop buttered parsley rice.
This was just so tasty! Sweet, spicy, garlicky....I imagine that this sauce would also be great on chicken or pork, or even steak! The only thing I wish I would have done differently was my brussell sprouts...I only had frozen but roasted with shallots would have been better.
Feb 12, 2017
My very dear friend Lou sent me a Valentine, and enclosed inside were Peanuts stickers! So...my Sunday afternoon planning resulted in...
Can I just tell you how incredibly happy a fews hours spent playing with paper and stickers and glue and washi tape and markers and glitter can make me?
I was so jazzed that I ended up folding two loads of laundry and running the vacuum afterwards!!
Thank you, dear Lou, for the love!
I started watching House of Cards on the Netflix yesterday, and looked up after six hours and realized that I had been stitching almost the entire time!
I thought about starting something new today, but I think I'm going to keep going with this a little longer.
Feb 11, 2017
I stitched last night, but only very briefly. It was an exercise in frustration, since I got distracted by something on the TeeVee or the FlossTube, and I found myself in the proverbial "SQUIRREL!!" stance every six minutes like some kind of demented little terrier.
(Speaking of which...I dreamed about Stewey last night for the first time since his passing. Not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but...he was there and I could almost feel his soft downy-ness and smell his baby shampoo-ness right there in the big girl sleigh bed.)
It's almost 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and so far all I've managed to do is read newspapers, an old New Yorker, and eat a little quiche.
Actually, quite blissful.
I promised myself that today I would give stitching another go, but this time I would put the iPad away to avoid distractions. Guess I better get to it.
Hope your weekend is going swimmingly and that you are doing exactly what you want to do!
Feb 10, 2017
OK, dearies...I'm sorry to have confused you and gotten things excited.
Buzzy is the name that I've given to my AV fistula. A fistula is created to allow a bigger/stronger vessel for hemo-dialysis. In my case, the incision is in the inner bend of my left elbow, and the actual fistula area is just above the bend on the inside of my arm. As the blood flows through this new pipe, you can feel a "buzzing" sensation....called the thrill.
I'm happy to show a picture...but WARNING!!! NOT SUITABLE FOR ALL VIEWERS!!
Look away, Betty! Look away!
Also..the discoloration across the scar is actually the Betadine that is still on the clear plastic tape that goes across the wound. When I came home from surgery, I thought they had actually given me a spray tan because my entire left side was dyed bright orange!
Oh, and finally...no bandages or dressings or stitches to contend with, so I was able to shower the very next day! Just can't soak in a tub until next week...counting down the days!
So that's Buzzy...here to stay and hopefully do his thing until Spare Parts and I are able to head to Indy for testing and transplant.
His name is Buzzy.
Buzzy MacBuzzerson, to be exact.
We've been together ten days now, and methinks this might be the real thing and we could be in it for the long haul, so I figured I'd introduce you.
Buzzy was born on Tuesday, January 31 in Memorial Hospital of South Bend. He weighs nothing, and is approximately nine and a half inches long. He is still a bit red in the face and a little swollen from the birthing process, but in time he will calm down and behave himself nicely.
My job as Mommie is to water him and keep him clean and to protect him from any harm that might come by way of heavy lifting, bumping, or anything tight around his little neck.
When he's old enough, Buzzy and I will take field trips together that will mean sitting in a chair quietly for a little while. We've been practicising this, and so far we are doing swell with it.
Buzzy met our family doctor today and thought she was very nice. She gave him a little check-up, felt his temperature, and told him to grow big and strong. It was a lovely visit.
Just like his Mommie. Buzzy likes to take long snoozy naps, and he especially enjoys being cuddled up in something soft and cozy...like a special blanket that his Mommie keeps in the bed that belonged to the little love of her life. Buzzy is very careful with the blanket and feels that it has protective powers.
All in all, life with Buzzy is starting well. We're going to read the paper and then have a little rest this afternoon. We're a bit worn out from our shower and field trip to the doctor today, so looks like a nice sleep will be a perfect thing to have.
Night night, Buzzy. Welcome to the family! Let's have some fun together and go on adventures...but first let's get a little stitching done!
Feb 9, 2017
I learned that I can take a shower and wash my hair.
I can blow dry said hair and get dressed, as long as I use my right arm and wear slip on shoes.
I can stop for gas and get a little car wash, but I have to close my eyes and think happy thoughts in the car wash or I will have a full-on Tony Soprano panic attack.
I can drive to the grocery, get a little cart, and pick up a few items, but I have to remember that it is not a race and the grocery is the approximate size of Delaware.
I can load said groceries into the car, drive them home, unload them, and put them away.
I can make hot dogs and tater tots for dinner and enjoy them like any self-respecting twelve year old can.
I can light the fire, change back into jams, hit the Happy Chair, and watch bad TeeVee while drooling into the magic blanket.
And, most importantly, I learned....
I CANNOT DO ALL OF THESE THINGS ON THE SAME DAY!
Too, too much. Once again, I overdid it and must now pay the consequesces. Silly, silly spinster. You just haven't learned how to pace yourself.
I'm in the Happy Chair with my coffee and newspaper and methinks I will stay here for the duration!
Hope your Thursday is...educational.
Feb 8, 2017
I need to go to the grocery, but that means getting out of the Happy Chair, out of pajamas, and out of the house and into the publics, and I am feeling particularly hermetic spinster today.
I don't really neeeed groceries, per se...I just force myself to go every now and then as a means to get a little fresh air and exercise and as a way to force myself not to cloister.
But would it be so wrong to just stay here under the magic blanket?
Feb 7, 2017
Enough bitching, moaning, complaining, weeping, kvetching, kvelling, worrying, fretting, and hand wringing.
Even I can't stand it anymore.
So...I had surgery, Millions and millions of people have surgery every single day and don't feel the need to share every ache, pain, or discomfort they are experiencing the moment they are experiencing it.
Yes, this was a pretty big surgery, and yes...I now understand that I need to give myself time to recover from it. A week is probably not enough time in my case, given all of the other crap I've got going on, so here's a newsflash for my tiny little brain: it's going to take what it's going to take and I am just going to have to be patient!
Back to our regularly scheduled programming now.
If I can, I think I'm going to try to stitch a little this afternoon. I'm still really feeling the Winter Quakers and want to get that big motif completed before putting it away for a bit. I'm thinking of picking up something red/pink/purple-ish...maybe a new start or an old Valentine WIP? Who knows what might strike my fancy...or not.
That's it for now, my dears. We're huffing and puffing and pajama shuffling...onward!
* Grocery guild = the evening meeting of South Bend EGA (we meet in the cafe of a grocery store)
* Library guild = the meeting of Hoosier Heartland ANG (we meet in a library)
* Church guild = the meeting of Elkhart EGA (we meet in a church)
Feb 6, 2017
I binge-watched Mary Tyler Moore all day yesterday and managed to catch the halftime show of the SuperBowl, but that's about it. Pain and discomfort are worse now than they were right after surgery, so I am doing nothing but sleeping to try to avoid it.
Tonight is Grocery Guild, and I am determined to get some shoes on and go, even if it's only for a minute or two. We are turning in our pilot projects, and despite the fact that mine is incomplete, I at least want to submit my notes.
Thank you for your lovely encouragements lately. I'm not going to lie...this week has been really rough, but your kindness has really gotten me through!
(But I still want my Mommie).
Ciao for now! Hope your week is off to a rip roarin' start!
Feb 5, 2017
All week long I've been telling anybody who asks (and even those who didn't ask) that the recovery from my surgery has gone really well and that I haven't even needed any Tylenol. As a matter of fact, I think that my exact words were something along the lines of "I do better with pain than I do with pain meds" and I crowed about the fact that I'm such a good patient...blah blah blah.
Well, last night and today the universe is smiting me.
That'll teach me to get cocky. You would think that I would know by now o stay shy and humble and cautious, but noooooo. I got all puffed up with pride that I'm such a freaking trooper, and now I'm a sniveling, pathetic mess.
Silly, silly spinster.
So today I'm going to take some Tylenol and sit in the Happy Chair and boo hoo for a bit, and then we'll get back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Hope your Sunday is less...painful, and that your needles are flying!
Feb 4, 2017
I ended up washing my very oen hair yesterday! I got in the shower to get all spiffed up for the salon, and before you know it, I was washing my very own hair.
So I called the salon and they laughed and told me to come see them when I felt better, because they are lovely people and are probably used to dealing with lunatic spinsters like me.
After a seven hour nap I decided to try stitching. It was slow going, and my fingers felt very fumbly, but I took it easy and just enjoyed having needle and thread in hand again.
A little more progress on Winter Quakers by Rosewood Manor:
After coffee and the paper, I might head up to the studio to see what kind of trouble I can get into. I'm ready for some February hearts!
Hope your Saturday is swell!
Feb 3, 2017
Oey, with the...wait a minute...I said that already.
Today I am going to go to the beauty parlor to get my hair washed. I am able to shower OK, but getting that arm up to shampoo is just impossible. So I figured I would channel my inner 1950's housewife and go get my hair done, maybe have a light lunch, and then do a little grocery shopping...all while wearing pumps and pearls.
Oh, who am I kidding?
I will be lucky to find a pair if sweatpants that don't have too many holes in them for polite society and a pair of shoes that I can just slip on instead of tie. No lunch...I'm just not hungry for anything, and methinks the grocery shopping can wait until next week. (I don't really need anything and the prospect of fainting in the canned pea aisle isn't exactly blowing up my skirt at the moment.)
So it will be sweats, hair, and home and we'll save the Girl About Town episode for another day.
Still no stitching, and I have spent most of my time sleeping and snoring away under the magic blanket. I'm just not quite...me...yet, so I suppose I should just be a patient patient and stop kvetching about it. Surgery is hard enough if you're young and healthy...throw age and kidney disease in there and it's no wonder I'm still on the mat!
Here's hoping your weekend is off to a fabulous start! Do something fun and come tell us all about it!
Feb 2, 2017
Feb 1, 2017
Oey, with the boo boo already.
It would seem that Day Two is a little worse than the Day Of. Could it be that I no longer have powerful sedatives coursing through my veins and am now having to face the world as...me?
Nothing to complain about, though. I am showered, caffeinated, and in the Happy Chair writing to my peeps with Stewey supervising from his little box on his perch. What's not to love about all of that?
Thank you for your well wishes and happy thoughts. This is quite an adventure, folks, and knowing that I am not having to take it alone makes all the difference in the world.
Now, I will leave you with the best advice I can think of at the moment....
If you ever have to have your arm cut open and your pipes re-routed, make sure to get yourself a Miss Charlene. She will get up at 3 o'clock in the morning, drive you to the hospital in an ice storm, and then make sure you return home happy and healthy with nary a complaint. I. Can't. Even.
So that's it for today. No stitching, I'm afraid...I can't quite bend my arm enough just yet with the soreness and swelling, but I might try to break out the lap stand this afternoon. The good news is that I did confirm that my access point will be in my upper arm for dialysis, so I should be able to figure that out when the time comes. Thank you, Dr. Peterson for that one!
Time for puzzles and then a nap. That shower just about wore me out, but it sure was nice to get into fresh jams!
Jan 31, 2017
Jan 30, 2017
It only took me ten plus years to figure it out...
The reason why I love stitching so much is that it is the one thing in my silly little life that I can control.
Cheers, kids! By this time tomorrow, God willing, I will be back in the Happy Chair with my stitching in hand, a booboo bandage on my arm, and some really good meds to help me think nothing but calm, happy thoughts!
Jan 29, 2017
Hollering like a crazy lunatic in the Hobby Lobby yesterday.
Guess what I found?!
I was in the stamping aisle and turned around, and right there they were...my jars...my beloved, beloved perfect ort storage jars!
They had two packs of two, so I scooped them up and hugged them as though they were my long lost best friends or Stewey Angus Willowswamp His Very Little Self.
A tiny tear came out of my eye.
I swear it to be true.
After a few more errands, I came home, got my wits about me, and hit my freshly cleaned off cockpit:
And I stayed there, playing with my planner until the wee hours of the morning.
Here's a few shots of January:
And then, because I was having so much fun, I went ahead and jumped right into February:
And because you know me so well...here's a look at the inside cover:
I swear, playing with this stupid book brought me more peace and happiness than I have felt in quite a while. I mean, come on. What's not to love about scissors and glue and stickers and stamps...all while getting yourself organized for the week?
Speaking of which...Tuesday is the big day. Surgery on my left arm to get it ready for dialysis. I don't know why I'm so darn crazy nervous...back in 1991 they practically cut my head off at Mayo and I didn't give it a second thought! This is supposed to be a relatively simple surgery, but I am fretting it like nobody's business!
Sheesh...why can't I just enjoy stitching and planning as my hobbies instead of going for 1st Place Champion Fretter all the time?
So that's the report for a snowy Sunday, my dears. As soon as I finish the papers and another damn good cup of coffee, I'm going to see what I can do about getting myself presentable for the hospital.
Now, where did I put that weed whacker?
Jan 28, 2017
Yesterday was errand day. I hit the library, the Targets, the grocery, and the pizza joint and then I hit the Happy Chair and passed out for three hours under the magic blanket. I did manage to get my wits about me eventually, but that nap was enough to keep me wide awake until 4am again.
This time I watched the YouTube and obsessed over all things planning and stamping. I got hooked on an Erin Condren planner about three years ago, so now I am wanting to up my game a bit and really go to town decorating it. When I started I was crazy for the washi and stickers...now i'm thinking that I'd like to give stamps a try.
But damn, this means that I might have to go to the Michael's with a coupon, and we all know how dangerous that can be!
But first...a damn good cup of coffee and then the paper and puzzles, and we'll see if I can't talk some sense into myself.
Hope your Saturday is wonderful!
Jan 27, 2017
I'm a Great Books major who has never read Breakfast of Champions.
OK, in my defense, there were very few novels on our reading lists...I seem to remember a tortured Spring Break with War and Peace...so my lack of Vonnegut really shouldn't be too embarrasing...
But I live in Indiana for cryin' out loud!
(Kurt Vonnegut is from Indiana).
Anywhoose...I finished my big stack of library books a day early and needed something to read last night before bed. (You will be happy to know that I did a bunch of stuff to change my sleep luck...took a hot lavender bath, drank some sleepy tea, changed the sheets, and hit the hay at midnight instead of 3am...and it worked!)
I have stacks and stacks of books all over the house...some read, some unread....so I just grabbed what I thought would be a quick and easy read.
O.M.G. Hilarious and charming and witty and...damn! Why couldn't I have read him years ago? I know he's not on everybody's list of favorites, but methinks I have a new John Irving in my life.
So that's the report for the day. Still here...breathing in and out and just trying to stay out of trouble. Today will be errands (library, Target, grocery) followed by some more Vonnegut. I am going to try to get a little stitchy time in the Happy Chair...hope you get to do the same!
Jan 26, 2017
I'm wide awake at night and sleeping all day and I can't seem to get out of my own way lately. Today was supposed to be laundry and housecleaning, but so far all I've managed to do is stare at the Christmas tree in some strange hope that it will spontaneously undecorate itself and jump into its storage bin.
A peanut butter bagel, a hot bath, some serious coffee slurping, and a little stitching...and all will be good as new, I'm sure.
Besides...it's like we used to tell Dad when he got frustrated over his low energy...it's not like I have to go fly a plane full of puppies through a hailstorm. Humanity will do just fine without me supervising it for a day.
Hope your week has been considerably more productive than mine!
Jan 25, 2017
Jan 24, 2017
diced seeded tomato
Miracle Whip (just a tiny tiny titch)
Amounts? Who the heck knows? Every time I make it the amounts are different. The only thing that's consistent is that I make a big bowl of it and then proceed to eat the entire big bowl of it every single time. Oey.
Ellie and George Siefred were friends of my Dad's from his bachelor days in Lima, Ohio before he met my mom. We visited with them at their home in Toledo a few years before Dad died and Ellie showed me how to make both guacamole and brisket...two of my very favorite things on the planet!