Nov 30, 2010


So here I sit waiting for the rain/snow mix...yet again. Aunt Chrissy and I think it's a vast right-wing conspiracy that these weatherpeoples here in Hoosierville start each evening's newscast with "Apocalypse! Take cover! Massive amounts of snow is headed our way!" and then we end up having to wear shorts and t-shirts to the grocery store.

Speaking of which...I am procrastinating going to said place today because I just can't bear the thought of having to strap on the big gyrl sports bra and battle the post-Thanksgiving crowds. I'm pretty sure that my baditude will catch up with me tomorrow though when I realize that I will be sans cream for the morning cup 'o joe. And that will suck. Prodigiously.

Do you think that it's possible to become so addicted to one's stitching that a few days without can send you into a tailspin? Methinks I had better get my fanny in gear and just get on with The Spinster Stitcher Basket Of Christmas Stitching Cheer, or Santa Claus is going to fling a lump of coal my way and call it a day. I can't seem to get over my "Oh, won't you look at my latest finish" happy dance and just find something that will occupy my evenings the same way Rusty did.

(Isn't that just like a man? You jump up and down for months to draw his attention, and then once you've got it, you can't be bothered to take him to the Michaels for the 60% off framing sale.)

(And if you understood THAT, I think it's time you considered some very serious therapy.)

I did start Ms. Laura J. Perin's Box of Ornaments and am enjoying it very much. I feel rather bad, though, since I called Aunt Chrissy late one night and said "Hand it over, sister" and then found myself in her driveway stealing her chart and all of the threads right out of her studio. Who does that?! I'll have a photo for you as soon as the sun decides to return to the northern hemisphere.

So Stewey and I are seriously considering a nap, and I find myself useless when it comes to resisting. He prances into the office and looks up at me with his sweet little face and then before I know it we're snuggly warm under the covers and I'm thinking that I'm a genius for using such good smelling soap on him during his last b-a-t-h. It also doesn't help matters that his fur is so darn downy soft. Damn dog.

That's the rather blah blah blah report for a rather blah blah blah Tuesday here at Lake WoeBeSpisnter. I hope that your little corner of the world is more lively and fun and that your needles are flying!

Nov 28, 2010


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's out in the back yard thrusting her fists up into the air and jumping all about while screeching "Vindication is mine! Woo Hoo!". She's also singing " the friends", but I won't even go there, since it sounds remarkably like a bag of cats being thrown into a retention pond.

(You'll be happy to know that I made sure she had on all of the various and sundry underclothes necessary for a woman of her substantial girth and age, so we don't have any wobbly bits flying about the neighborhood.)

(At least not this time.)

If you've read this here blog for any length of time, you know that I get especially critical of my silly mo-ther during the holiday times for her complete lack of skill when it comes to tarting up the house in festive finery. As a matter of fact, I think that I threatened to leave her if she didn't pull it together this year, so I was extremely pleased to see my Aunt Chrissy pull up in the driveway a few days ago to haul the old lady off to the Hobby Lobby. Thanks to the recording device I've hidden in her purse, I am able to share with you the following conversation:

MY STUPID MO-THER: Where are we going for lunch?

AUNT CHRISSY: Lunch? We're not going to lunch. I'm taking you to buy Christmas decorations.

MO-THER: I've got a whole garage full of Christmas decorations. Why can't we go to lunch?

AC: Because I can't take another year of the sighing and wringing of hands and general bitching and moaning and complaining coming from your house over the disappointment in the overall lack of cohesion when it comes to a theme. And that's just Stewey's side of the equation!

MO-THER: I have a theme. It's called "You'll Enjoy These Decorations And Will Shut Up About It, Or You Can Sleep In A Little Wooden Doghouse Out In The Back Yard". Besides, I decided that I'm just going to throw a few of those sparkly pears and a strand of pearl garland on that skinny little tree I have and call it a day.

AC: We got rid of the pears.

MO-THER: !!!!! Who did?!!! When did this happen?

AC: Remember the day when I came over and "cleaned the garage" for you? Well, Stewey put a sedative in your drink and we took the opportunity to get rid of all of your crap once and for all. Did you know that you had teddy bear decorations out there that you used in 1987?

MO-THER: I LOVED those teddy bears!

AC: Well, somebody else can love them now, because this year you're starting over and you're going to get your freakin' act together and decorate your house like a grown-up, or I'm going to put you in a home where you belong and ask them to throw away the key.

MO-THER: (Grumbling under her breath...) At least I'd get some lunch out of THAT deal.

So Aunt Chrissy and Mo-ther did the Hobby Lobby School Of Christmas Decorating crash course and came home laden with boxes and bags and parcels and whatnot and then Mom set about putting it all to good use. I grabbed a nice little Merlot and a cheese tray and headed for my fort, and at 11 o'clock last night I was summoned for the first look.

The first thing I saw was the Big 'Ol White Wall of Nothingness. Looks like we're going to use the long table for the Jim Shore Santa collection yet again this year. But just as I was getting ready to throw my hands up in disgust, I spied the somewhat funky arrangement that was now living in the French flower cone thingie that Mom thinks looks fabulous and sophisticated. (It's neither, but I've learned to pick my battles):
You can't really see it from this picture, but the centers of the flowers actually have crystals in them and the stick-things that are scattered about look like they've been dipped in crystals also. I'm not totally crazy about it, but for now, it's just going to have to do.

That darn shelf drives me nuts every year, and this year is no exception. I think that Mom is so proud of that damn Santa on a stick that she feels compelled to showcase it, but I'd rather that we just rip the whole sorry mess off the wall and be done with it:
(The pillow, though, stays. My Aunt Chrissy made that several years ago and it's one of the few holiday decorations that I actually DO like.

Remember the fireplace mantle decorations from last year? No? Well that's probably because there weren't any. This year, though, we have this:
I'm loving the sleigh on top of the cabinet thingie (thanks again, Aunt Chrissy), and the wreath is rather cool, considering the fact that my mom put it together while watching and singing along to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. (Did you ever notice how completely SHRILL the children are in that movie?) I think I'm also loving the simplicity of the mantle itself, combined with the somewhat glitziness of the garland. Methinks it's more House of Siegfried and Roy as opposed to House of Incompetent and Dimwitted, so we're good.

I am pretty sure that the tree is my most favorite part of the whole entire "Christmas with Spinster" experience we've got going on this year. It strikes the perfect balance of whimsy and charm, and has a wonderful sense of Bon Vivant that I relate to so well. Can you see the clever little top hat?
I have to say....for the first time in her pitiful little life, I think my mo-ther finally channeled her inner Las Vegas Showgirl and tarted this thing up to within an inch of its life. Perfection, if you ask me:

So I suppose that this brings me to the point where I must make a heartfelt and public apology to my mom for all of the disparaging, snotty, mean, and unforgivable things I've said about her ability to decorate the house properly these last several years. I know that she really worked very very hard and that she will be gratified to know that I, Stewey Angus Willowswamp, am very very sorry for being such a pill and that I will do my very best to enjoy each and every day of this festive holiday season once and for all.

Oh. And I'm also sorry for peeing on the drapes again this morning.

So that's it, kids. We're ready for Santa Claus here in Hoosierville, so it's all downhill from here. I hope that you enjoyed a wonderful weekend and that wherever you are is exactly where you want to be.

With love from your pal,

Nov 26, 2010


Aunt Chrissy and I have concluded the Spinster Stitcher Sisters Official Thanksgiving Extravaganza of 2010 with a few delicate burps (followed by a patting of the chest area and an "Oh, excuse me! I beg your very pardon!"), a two-litre bottle of Mylanta, and splitting barometric pressure headaches that sent us both to bed at 7:30 last night. (Note to area weathermen...when you say it's going to snow, please get on with it and stop monkeying around with the damn barometer. Some of us prefer a nice steady high pressure, thank you very much.)

We did have a lovely meal, but after all of the fuss was over and we were seated at the dining room table wondering when the crew of elves would arrive to clean up the mess, we both looked at each other and said "You know. I really don't like turkey very much at all. As a matter of fact I think I hate turkey and I would be happy to never see, smell, touch, or taste another turkey again." (I personally think it tastes like a wet dog smells, but that's just me.)

We did, however, both agree that we simply love us some stuffing, and Ina's Sagaponack Corn Pudding is one for the record books. THAT one will stay on the menu into perpetuity. The turkey though? Not so much.

I would also like to call my girl Martha and tell her that the pumpkin cream pie on a gingerbread crust was simply divine, but that she probably should have poked me with a wooden spoon and told me to cook the filling longer. It we say...rather unsettled.

(Stewey, bless his little heart, thought it was perfect and reminded me that anything with the word PUMPKIN (!) in it was just fine with him.)

So there you have it kids. A full report on the comings and goings and eatings of this particular portly stitchin' spinster and her fabulous little sister (who is not, by the way, the least bit portly and who looks smashing in her new l.l. bean fancypants jeans).

The boys somewhat behaved themselves, the fireplace lent a warm and festive atmosphere, and thanks to some Wednesday afternoon cleaning, the fridge was up to the task of housing all of the leftovers.

Next year, though, we're having ham.

Nov 22, 2010


Rusty O'Toole
Laura J. Perin Designs
18ct. mono canvas in Heritage Sandstone
threads as called for in the chart plus DMC memory wire

Well, here he is. The new man in my life. This one doesn't have a face, so he can't sit on his little perch and make smarmy comments about me and my fumble-bumbling through life. He can't, furthermore, complain about the thermostat set to "meat locker", he doesn't veto my choice of lounge wear, and he certainly can't call his Aunt Chrissy to report on the latest shenanigans involving me and whatever failed craft project is now strew about the studio floor.

In short, he's just perfect for me.

I can't tell you how much fun I had working this piece. I followed all of the instructions (which are fabulous, by the way), but ran into a big fat roadblock when it came time to make mums. Laura's look so...autumnaly festive. That's how I wanted mine to look. But after three days of futzing and frogging, I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to make mine look anything like the ones on the front of the chart. So I punted and used the DMC memory stuff and a few little extra green leaves instead.

At first I thought..."too many leaves", but then I smacked myself in the forehead and said "That's what autumn is all about, Charlie Brown. Too many leaves." So too many leaves it is.

I'm off to do some banking today in the midst of a thunderstorm. Who the heck decided that rain and wind and thunder and lightening was what Hoosierville needed on a Monday morning should be given a stern talking to. Time to go wake up Stewey and let him have the honors.

(Besides, he's better at shaking his little paw at the skies while muttering "Go away, rain!" and I've got the added bonus that he will then pee on the drapes for emphasis.) Damn dog.

Nov 21, 2010


The 2010 Spinster Stitcher Outdoor Festival of Lights Extravaganza

My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's in a hot bath muttering something about weather reports and guilt. I'm not sure what happened exactly, but somehow the old lady heard "massive amounts of snow fall" and she got it in her head that this meant it was impending within the very next fifteen minutes. So she strapped on her Kmart mens' slippers that she thinks look like clogs (they don' me) and out she went.

Can you believe it? For the first time in my entire five years on this earth, my mo-ther FINALLY got her freakin' act together and did something right when it comes to the celebration of the holiday season. From what I can tell, she actually went through all of the crap in the garage and carefully selected what would adorn the outside of the house and then...get this...she planned it out on paper! No hissy fits. No staple gun mishaps. Just a calm execution of a very well thought out plan. Ahem.

Now you might be wondering how the heck she hung that wreath over the garage. Well let me tell you that it did NOT involve my Aunt Chrissy this year. (*) Mom has been feeling rather sheepish about all of the stuff that her little sister does for her (without complaint or so much as a "I'll do it when I damn well feel like it" thank you very much), so she wanted to see if she could get the decorating done without having to make the "Don't you feel guilty that you aren't over here right this very minute addressing my every whim" call that she inevitably makes each year.

The wreath is attached to the house by way of a very sophisticated system. A few years back, Mom bolted a plant hanger to the house and then wired the wreath to it. Seeing how this worked like a charm despite the natural laws of physics, this is the method that has been employed ever since. So Mom bolted the plant hanger on, dragged the wreath up the studio stairs, and then stuffed it out the window and wired it to within an inch of its very life.

The UPS guy thought it was hilarious, especially since he happened to be coming down the street just as the wreath popped out of the window. He said it looked like the scene in the Grinch when he stuffs the tree up the chimley.

I'm very very pleased with the results thus far, and I can only hope that this means we will have more than the pathetic tableau that has been before us the last few years here inside the actual homestead. If you have any doubt as to my critique of the previous decorating attempts and/or the crazy ass idea my mom has about what constitutes a proper Christmas tree, just page back through this here blog and you'll see what a mess she usually makes of things.

So we're off to the races here in Spinsters' Corners and it isn't even Thanksgiving yet. Mom is headed to the grocery tomorrow for all of the feast fixin's, so I'll be sure to give you a full report.

Oh...Rusty O'Toole is completed, but the light in here is lousy for photography, so we'll show you a pic tomorrow. But I will begrudgingly admit that he's OK for a scarecrow.

With love from your pal,


(*) Aunt Chrissy did have to come over to bolt the bottom portion of the wreath to the house, but that's just because my mom isn't allowed to get on a ladder without adult supervision.

Nov 18, 2010


Last night Aunt Chrissy and I ventured to Shipshewana, Indiana to meet the ever so fabulous Kathy Reese and her also ever so fabulous mom Jeanette. Kathy is the owner of Needle Delights in Florida, and is also the designer of such gorgeous designs as Cherry Cordial and Rainforest Crunch and Strawberry Shortcake that you've seen on this here blog. She and her mom are vacationing in the area, so they called and invited us over to meet and eat.

(If, by the way, one of your designer heroes ever calls you on the phone or sends you an email and says "Hey, we're going to be in your area and thought we'd get together for a sandwich or a pop or a cup of tea or something", I can't stress enough how important it is that you slap on your Tammy Faye Bakers and...go! Y'all know that I never leave my house and that it takes and Act of Congress for me to put my outside shoes on my portly little feet, so when I tell you that I was excited to do so for Miss Kathy and Mdme. Jeanette, I'm not kidding around.)

I drove over to Elkhart to meet up with Aunt Chrissy at her office and then the two of us headed down to the Blue Gate Restaurant with me at the wheel and Aunt Chrissy wishing she would have had an afternoon cocktail or two before climbing into Dotty VanBuskirk for the trip.

(OK. So. I don't drive all that often anymore and when I do it's with my hands tightly gripped at ten and two and my eyes darting back and forth from the rear-view to the side-view to damn straight ahead and then back again.)

(Plus, it was freakin' dark at 5:30 in the evening and I was afraid that we would hit a deer.)

We drove for about a half-hour and then came to the State Road that would take us into downtown Shipshewana. (I suppose that it would be helpful if I explained that this is the heart of Indiana Amish country and that despite the fact that I've lived in Indiana longer than any other place in my life, I had yet to see what the whole thing was all about.)

Did you know that the Amish people drive around in black buggies pulled by black horses? And did you know that they do this on the side of roads that are in the absolute freakin' middle of nowhere and that there is not one damn street light anywhere to behold? And! Did you also know that they don't just ride these buggies in the daytime, but happily clippity clop along the side of the pitch black road in their pitch black buggies being pulled by thier pitch black horses in the dead of night?

(OK. It was only 6:00, but it might as well have been 3 in the morning.)

To say that I was completely freaked out and had nightmare visions of hitting one of these buggies is an understatement. I can't believe that anybody in their right mind would EVER think that me on the road and them on the road simultaneously is a good idea.

So I hyperventilated my way down the road going about six miles and hour while Aunt Chrissy rolled her eyes so far back into her head I thought they would stay that way. I'm pretty sure that she told me to just calm the hell down already at least a hundred times, but I was too busy preparing my statement to the press that would explain that I didn't mean to hit the just jumped out in front of me and I thought it was a deer.

When I rule the world, there will be a big fence all the way around Amish Country. And there will be a big parking lot with an attendant who says "Hi. Thanks for coming to visit us. Please park you car over there and we'll take you wherever it is that you need to go. We would rather not have you tooling about our fair city in your death mobiles, especially after you've gotten yourself all hepped up on our delicious home made pie." (I had the chocolate cream crunch, by the way.)

So today I am determined to go through all of the Christmas decorations here at Chez Spinster to determine what will be suitable for use this year. I made the mistake of watching Martha last night and it reminded me that there was actually a time when I tarted my house up to within an inch of its life and I enjoyed it immensely. Besides...I don't think I can take another year of listening to Stewey bitch and moan and complain that he is the only little dog on the planet who has an idiot for a mo-ther and that Santa Claus will never be able to find him in such a poorly executed winter wonderland. Damn dog.

I hope that you're off to a fabulous Thursday! Woo Hoo!

Nov 16, 2010


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's in bed with what I presume to be the flu.

Now before you start to feel sorry for her and you run right over to your 'puter to type messages of sympathy and get well, may I just point out that this latest little health issue is TOTALLY her own damn fault?

Last night I was minding my very own business under my blanket when the old lady decided that I needed to have a b-a-t-h. You all know how I feel about baths by now. I am not at all convinced that they do anything to further the wonder that is me, and the fewer the better.

(Especially when one is subjected to all forms of humiliation because their stupid mo-ther insists on soaping them up with bath products that can only be found in a bordello or through late night shopping excursions on the QVC. Why she can't just pick up a bottle of dog shampoo at the damn PetSmart is simply beyond me at this point.)

So she plopped my fanny into a tepid bath of soapy Gingerbread Man water and scrubbed me to within an inch of my life. I was relatively good and only bit her a half a dozen times when she got a little too close to my personal area. She insisted that she was only trying to get all of my nooks and crannies, but unless I'm in some kind of TSA pat down, I don't think anybody needs to go south of the border. Know what I'm saying?

I ran around the house to speed dry while Mom took her own shower (using the very same bath gel, I might point out), and to express my displeasure over the events of the evening I pooed on the bath mat. This, of course, did not make for a good conclusion to the evening.

When she got out of the shower and spied my deposit, she rushed me outside so fast I didn't know what hit me, and she proceeded to stand there in the front yard in all her apres' shower glory demanding that I go potty. (And, may I also point out that her choice of outside attire was underpants and a big t-shirt. Not exactly cold weather and/or polite company gear if you ask me.)

Since I didn't have to go potty anymore (see bath mat deposit above) and since I was still a little damp from my bath, I decided to sit on the front porch and glare at her until she got the hint that I was cold and wanted to go back inside to the relative warmth of the living room. She, unfortunately, picked that moment to have a battle of wits and to show me just who's boss around here.

Fast forward to 4am, when Mommie Dearest awoke in a cold sweat with a fever and chills. She grabbed about eight more blankets, took a couple of Tylenol, and decided that she was perfectly happy to acknowledge my reign over this particular dominion once and for all.

Stupid Mommie. She could have prevented SO much grief and anguish if she'd only realized that she is totally outmatched and that acquiescence to my every whim is the only way to go.

Today will be nice and quiet around here. I'm planning on a little movie watching and might blog surf the afternoon away, provided I can get my Wi-Fi working in my fort. I've been having a little trouble with it lately, but I'm sure it's nothing that a visit to Best Buy won't fix.

Thank you for all of your lovely comments about Rusty O'Toole. Yes, it's absolutely gorgeous in person, but let's give credit where credit is due. This particular project looks the way it does because of the genius that is Ms. Laura J. Perin Her Very Self. All Mom did was follow the fabulous chart and directions.

That's the report for today. I hope that you are having a wonderful week thus far and that you'll come back to visit with me soon! After a lot of kvetching, I finally got some proper tea cookies, so if you drop by for a cup I'll have something lovely to serve you!

With much love from your pal,

Nov 14, 2010


The interior of Rusty O'Toole is completed. Now it's on to the borders! Methinks this will be a studio day today! Woo Hoo!

Nov 10, 2010


I see that Stewey has been filling y'all in on my recent tizzy fitting here at Chez Spinster. I really need to be more diligent about monitoring his computer usage. Before I know it, he's going to create a FaceBook account and then start the Twittering under the auspices of

Rusty has me futzing and futzing. I started filling in his jeans last night and ran into a quandary when I got to the bottom of them. As you can see in the completed picture, he's standing behind the pumpkins, which means the jeans kind of melt right into them. But where to end the stitches?

It only took me a few hours, but I finally smacked myself in the head and said "Dumba**! Why don't you take a single strand of floss and "sketch" in the pumpkins so that you'll know where to end the jeans!"

So that's what I did while watching Kevin Costner in "Field of Dreams". Man o' manachevitz was he dreamy in that movie...but when isn't he?

Aunt Chrissy and I are going to have a Sissy Date Night to exchange our Christmas lists. (Or should I say letters to Santa Claus.) We're both having extreme anxiety about the whole gift thing this year because neither of us really "needs" or "wants" anything that makes any freakin' sense whatsoever. So instead of writing lists to each other, we're doing them in the form of letters to Santa Claus so that we can put the stupidest stuff on there and not feel one bit goofy.

(This is where I point out that Stewey's letter to Mr. Claus was promptly posted on November 1st, as is his custom.)

New neighbors are moving in next door, so I suppose it's time to whip up a bundt and welcome them to the neighborhood. I'd rather greet them this way than have to do so at 7 in the morning when Stewey decides to go over and pee on their rosebushes and they happen to be out there getting ready to leave for work. Yesterday, I was standing in the middle of the front yard in my pajamas at 3 in the afternoon because Stewey decided that it was time to go bark at the fire hydrant, and they drove by with abject horror on their faces. Guess it's time to go convince them that I'm semi-civilized.

Nov 9, 2010


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's flown the coop, and is at an appointment with what I can only pray is a certified mental health professional who will once and for all figure out what the heck is wrong with her and prescribe the necessary medications to make her semi-normal. Either that, or I hope she's at the grocery store loading up on more dietCoke and Lay's Sweet and Tangy Carolina bar-be-que potato chips, which would be a cheaper and more effective alternative.

As you know from yesterday's post, she went off her nut over the silliest things, so I spent the day in my little fort under the bed nursing my cold and watching the Dow Jones on the financial channel. (So far my portfolio seems to be intact, but I'm not going to change my conservative stance when it comes to investing.)

At about four in the afternoon I peeked my head out to see if we were going to have our tea time, but all I could see was my idiot mo-ther slumped over in the Happy Chair muttering something about it all being "just too much". Typical. I leave her alone for ten minutes and she goes into some kind of existential tailspin that means I'm going to have to make my own damn tea and we'll be talking about "important topics" for the rest of the week.

So I gently noodged her into the bathroom and suggested that she might feel better if she did something productive. Like tweeze her eyebrows or address that unfortunate moustache situation.

Instead, she opened the linen cabinet and proceeded to strew every single bottle, tube, and container all over the floor and then she organized it into categories. Then we had the ceremonial blueprinting of exactly which shelf would be used for what, and then there was the usual basket angst over what would go where, and that was right about the time I decided to go pee on the drapes and just call it a freakin day already.

But I have to say that upon further inspection, I think the old lady actually did a nice job of putting our various parts and sundries in their place, and I think this little exercise might have actually restored a little peace and quiet to Chez Spinster.
Not bad, eh? Almost looks like a real live human being lives here rather than a fraternity of smelly drunk college boys known as Kappa Gamma Moo. And that turntable! The best $3.99 she ever spent. It holds all of the crap that she uses on a daily basis so as not to offend public sensibilities, and if there were ever a man in this house he wouldn't have to complain about her lotions and potions being all over the place.

Now this next picture totally cracks me up. On the left is the soap that Mom uses in the shower, which I'm pretty sure is intended for us menfolk. Then, on the far right is her obsessive compulsive collection of lady deoderant that she then uses after the manly soap so that she can get in touch with her feminine side before putting on her sweatpants and eighteen year old sweatshirt that I wouldn't be caught dead in to mow the lawn if mowing the lawn was something that I was expected to do around here.
You do realize that I'm going to get a big heiney smack for revealing the inside of Mom's closet, but I read somewhere that over 80% of people surveyed confessed that they always open the medicine cabinet when they are visiting someone's home, so I thought I would save you the trouble.

Progress continues on Rusty. I'm not at all jealous of him (thanks for asking). I know that as soon as he is completed he will end up in the heap 'o projects that need to be taken to the Michaels for framing, so he'll be of no consequence to me. Besides, even if Mom does finish and frame him right away (which she says she's going to do), I know who's really in charge around here and as long as I get to lounge about in my little silk smoking jacket and continue my electronic relationship with all of you, I'm perfectly satisfied.

Well, I suppose that I had better go for now. Mommie Dearest has returned and I hear the guest room closet doors being opened. Methinks this might be a good day to hide under the bed. I'm of no use whatsoever when it comes to folding linens and such, so better to be out of the way than in the midst of CrazyTowne on a Tuesday afternoon.


With love from your pal,

Nov 8, 2010


I'm not sure what it is exactly. Maybe the moon. Maybe my moon. Maybe it's just the universe conspiring against me to work that last nerve I have right up into a tizzy fit.

For some dumb ass reason, I seem to be taking everything very very personally lately.

Not just personally. But personally in a way that makes me question my very own sanity in the face of what can only be described as the most stupidest stuff on the planet for which to get one's proverbial underpants in such a wad.

It all began with my big mistake at the Targets. Aunt Chrissy and I ran over there for some provisions, like toilet paper and socks, and after I batted eyelashes at the handsome pharmacist and got my flu shot, we headed over to the electronic section to look at the TeeVees. We do that, don't you know...look at the Target TeeVees. I think it has something to do with the fact that we both presently own TeeVees that are circa 1947 and are both in desperate need of replacing. So we go to the Targets and we stand there in front of these new fangled TeeVees that they have there and we gasp and gawp and say "So THIS is what TeeVee is supposed to look like".

As we were leaving that general area, I spied the DVD rack of all of the latest releases, and before I knew it, the Sex and The City 2 disc was in my little shopping cart. (I also bought a new pair of spanky sweater knit slippers, but that's another post for another day.)

The first time I watched the movie (with a full bowl of popcorn and a dietCoke that I had been saving all damn day), I paused the DVD player thingie about 10 minutes in and said "Huh?". I picked up the box to read if I had mistakenly picked up some kind of wacko SATC blooper reel, or perhaps the nice people over there at the National Lampoon had decided to get a jump on the holidays and release their version early and I had picked it up by mistake.

Nope. I was watching the real live actual movie as it was shown in the theaters, and I have to tell you that after viewing it a full three times now I am miffed beyond the capacity for rational thought. Let's just say that I think that Michael Patrick King and SJP not only owe me a refund, they owe me and every other person who actually watched the freakin show on HBO from the get go and got somewhat invested in the characters a heartfelt and profound apology.

Damn! Just sitting here typing this I'm getting mad as hell again over the fact that I was not only dumb enough to buy a movie that everybody and their brother said was awful, I was colossally dumb enough to watch it a FULL THREE TIMES just to make sure that I wasn't just in a bad mood the first time and that I was giving it a fair shake.

Bad doesn't describe it, kids. They took that franchise and drive it right off the cliff. Shame shame shame on them and on me for falling for it.

(Oh, and by the way, Mr. King, if you're reading this and would like...oh, I don't know...about FIFTY different ways that movie could have been good (if not great), then come on over to Hoosierville and Aunt Chrissy and I will share with you all of the plot twists, character points, and story lines that we came up with in the fifteen minutes after we got done cussing about the two and a half hours we wasted on Saturday night watching the damn thing.)

See? All worked up again, and all over some stupid movie!

This, of course, prompted me to go off my nut over the new Toyota commercials with the cute little blonde-haired kid who bitches about the fact that he has a low "geek tolerance", or something to that effect. His basic message is that he's just too damn cool for the room and that he would rather be caught dead than be carted about in a wood paneled station wagon. Apparently only a well appointed SUV is good enough to take him to wherever it is he has to go.

We can all be very very thankful to God Himself that a) I don't work for Toyota or b) I don't own a six-year old who thinks it fully appropriate to tell the world what "works for him". If this kid were mine, the conversation would be more of a "Listen, you little #@&(@, I make the car payment around here and unless you want to hoof it to Gymboree or to your Wednesday play date, you better put your little ass in the car, buckle up, and keep the lip zipped. Got it?"

This would be accompanied by a stern look and then turnips for dinner just to hammer home the point. Stupid little prat.

My last straw was the toilet paper commercial with the cartoon bears that can't seem to keep the "pieces" from sticking to their heiney fur. Now I really have to wonder what the heck it is about this ad that sends me right into orbit, but I can tell you that I don't buy Charmin because of it, and I somehow find the whole premise of it more offensive than hard core pornography. Tiger Woods mistress wants to put her hoo-ha all over some men's magazine? Go for it. I could care the hell less. But you show me a bear with toilet tissue stuck to his butt and I'm calling for war.

Stewey is hiding under the bed and I suspect that he will be dialing up the pharmacy first thing in the morning for some heavy duty sedatives. All I know in the meantime is that he's unplugged the DVD player, I can't find the remote control to anything around here, and he's got soft music playing next to my reading chair in the bedroom in hopes that I'll calm down and just go in there and finish the novel I'm reading. (Lovely book, actually....Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo.)

So that's the early Tuesday report from Chez Spinster. Don't worry about me, Argentina. All will be well and back to normal unless Sarah Jessica Parker decides to pull up in my driveway with a Toyota loaded with Charmin. If that happens, all I can say is "Stay tuned for film at 11".


Sometimes I forget just how much I love to switch up my stitching. As y'all know, I've been on the cross stitching bus for quite some time, so picking up a counted canvas piece has been a nice change of pace. (I suppose this means I need to make a mental note to vary my projects every now and then so that I can keep myself nimble in the stitchy area, no?)

(Oh, but wait. If I have to make a mental note, then I need to delete one that's already in know, only so much space in the tiny little brain that belongs to me so that when something new comes in something old has to go out.)

(Wonder how much space I could free up if I deleted everything I know about fat grams, carbs, and calorie counts of all of the things that I stuff into my face on a daily basis?)

(I bet it's a lot...)

Sorry. For a minute there I got lost in thought and didn't realize that you were still along for the ride. Amazing how a semi-literate person can abuse those ( ) to show an off-topic thought every four and half words, don't you think?

Progress continues with Rusty. As you can see I am almost finished with his shirt and then it's on to the pants! I haven't finished his facial features yet, and I'm not really sure if I'm ever going to. Somehow having a boyfriend who can't hear me screeching, see my disheveled hot mess of a look, or smelling the Ben Gay that I use on the inside of my elbow to prevent stitching soreness is a plus.

Oh, and that not having a mouth thing so that he can't gripe about what an idiot I am or how the house is a mess or berating me for how much time and money I spend on all things stitchy related is most definitely a reason to keep him the International Man O' Mystery for just a while longer.

Stewey woke up with a terrible cold today. He's coughing and sneezing and runny nose-ing all over the place. I was worried enough to call his v-e-t, but they assure me that it's just a little seasonal thing and that a few hours sleeping in the sunshine will do wonders for him. I added tea and toast and a fresh hanky tucked into the pocket of his little robe for good measure, so methinks he'll be up and ready for PUMPKIN (!) later this afternoon.

That's the Monday report. I hope that yours is swell and that you are doing exactly what you want to today. Woo Hoo!

Nov 5, 2010


O Birdy
35ct WDW "Straw" linen and NPI silks
Kit came complete with cording for finishing

I think I broke some kind of Spinster Stitcher land/speed record with this one. I don't think I've completed a project in six days in quite some time....but it sure felt good! Maybe there's something to be said for picking up projects that won't take a lifetime and a half to complete, no?

So then I just had to go upstairs to fish about in Ye Olde Stashe to come up with the next thing to keep me out of the refrigerator and off the streets. Meet my new boyfriend, Rusty:
Isnt' he swell? I had dreams about him last night and can hardly wait to get my mitts on him later today. I've been wanting to work on something LJPish for a while, so I think this will fit the bill quite nicely. And I'm also thinking that if I am consistent with him and work steadily along, I might finish him in time to start some Christmas stuff.

Nope. Haven't figured out what it was that fell on my head that has me working these projects one at a time. I'd love to tell you that this new development has brought some sense of order and calm to my stupid little life, but alas, I am still flitting around the place like the 300-pound hummingbird that I am. Some things, I guess, will never change.

(Wouldn't you think I'd be skinny as a freakin' rail with all of that activity? Doesn't stitching and thinking about stitching and planning stitching and writing about stitching get rid of ANY calories?)

(Oh. I guess that devil's food chocolate bundt cake with Kaluha/Butterfinger ganache didn't help matters any now, did it?)

(What can I say? You simply cannot watch the Food Network and expect to keep the KitchenAid mixer in the cabinet.)

I have to go eat cake now.

Happy weekend!

Nov 2, 2010


We've suffered a terrible tragedy here at Chez Spinster. I've been beside myself for two days now, and it is only in these last few moments that I have been able to wrap my head around it.

My coffee maker died.

Yes. You read that correctly.

My coffee maker died.

Now before you harumph your way to the delete key, may I just tell my side of the story?

Luigi was perfect for me. He was the grandson of my beloved Luigi One, whom I discovered on an airplane somewhere over Raleigh, North Carolina circa 1997. I remember it as though it were yesterday....I was daydreaming and looking at the puffy white clouds out the window when the SkyMall catalogue fell out of the seat pocket in front of me and landed open on the floor in front of me. My seatmates gawped in horror as I clutched the photo to my breast and whispered "Eureka! I have found you, my love. Now we can begin our lives together." Luigi One and I were together almost five years before I discovered his son, Luigi Two. The year was 2002, and I had just completed construction on Chez Spinster. And although I loved Luigi One, he was white and didn't blend properly with the new kitchen decor. Fortunately for us, though, Luigi Two fit perfectly.

Luigi Two lived with me for almost four years before I gifted him to Aunt Chrissy. She had just moved into her own little nest a few doors away, and the though of her waking up without the company of a Luigi was just too much for me to bear. So along came Luigi Three to live here with yours truly and her little dog too.

What can I say about Luigi that hasn't already been explained in the owner's manual? Could I wax rhapsodic over the fact that he had the capability to grind the beans fresh daily, filter the water perfectly, and then brew to my exact specifications without incident? Should I talk about how easy he was to live with...never fussy or tempermental. Wonderful to clean (only occasionally, I might add), and so so stylish on the counter as I groggily pushed his little ON button in the wee dark hours of the morning.

Luigi gave me exactly what I needed exactly when I wanted it. A cup of robust, hot, perfect coffee that only Dr. Starbucks himself was ever able to duplicate. A way to start my day that invariably meant that all would be right with the world no matter the weather, economic forecast, or social upheaval going on all around me. I had my damn good cup of coffee and I could conquer the world.

So you can only imagine how upset I've been that for two days I've not had my Luigi to take the chill off of the cold hard light of reality in the morning. It has, to put it mildly, been hell on earth.

Rest in peace, my little buddy. I will never forget you.

Once the shock of the situation had washed over me, I went out to he garage and fished through the Extra Supplies and Equipment Closet to find this...the most horrible piece of high maintenance, overpriced, wanna be crap I've ever charged to an AMEX card: Actually, I don't think I charged this. If memory serves me correctly, I was able to get this thing using points of some kind. Or perhaps it was a coupon. God forbid it was actually a gift from somebody that reads this here blog because I wouldn't want to appear ungrateful, but this machine just isn't doing it for me. True, it does have that nice stainless steel carafe that keeps the coffee hot for a few hours into the day, but why keep it hot if it isn't very damn good in the first place?

This machine insists that I measure beans. It also is very unforgiving when it comes to the strength or weakness of the end product. The worst part, though, is that it requires a complete and thorough cleaning of all of its varied and sundry parts every single time I use it. Totally a PITA, if you ask me.

Luigi didn't need anything other than a little pat on the head each morning. I could load him up with beans once or twice a week and he would know exactly how many to grind for whatever size pot I made. He also gave me the options of strength and temperature of my coffee, and he never failed me when it came to his little brew basket staying perfectly in place for the duration of the brew cycle. A gentle swish of the pot after dinner, some fresh water in the reservoir, and I was all set for the next day.

I am going to try to tough it out a few more days with the new thing, whom I've dubbed Miss Nibs because of her fussiness, but methinks I will be hitting the Capresso web site sooner rather than later. I just don't think I can take too many more days of bad coffee.

(Funny thing, that. I am the most laid back person on the planet and am usually very easy to get along with. But if there's one thing that just peeves me to no end, it's a bad cup of coffee. If I am traveling or out at a restaurant and order my morning joe and it sucks, it just ruins my whole entire life right there on the spot. I'm a simple girl. Just give me a damn good cup of coffee and life can be quite swell.)

Progress continues on O Birdy despite the tragedy. At the rate I'm going, I might even see another Happy Dance before the weekend!

I hope that wherever you are is exactly where you want to be and that your cup runneth over with damn good coffee today.

I'm off to vote!

Nov 1, 2010


Aunt Chrissy gave me an early Christmas present Friday night....La-D-Da's O Birdy kit. Isn't it swell? The kit comes with the chart, linen, and silk. The linen is quite plush...35ct. "Straw" from Weeks Dye Works, and the silks are all NPI and like butt-a. As you can see from my progress, this one stitches up very fast. Woo Hoo!

I'm a little concerned about some notes that I discovered moments ago. Apparently, Stewey has been reading the comments on this here blog, and the YouTube video that y'all suggested has him tizzy-fitting all over the place today. (Here's the link: Methinks he is preparing a statement to be read on the SWC(*) once it gets up and running:

Ahem. On behalf of my little twerp cousin Bosco and lazy Shorty Jack Russell terriers everywhere, may I just say a big fat $*&@% YOU to that little suck-up who insists on making the rest of us look like the spoiled, lazy, rotten, drape-watering ingrates that we are?

All I can say, pal, is that you had better sleep with one eye open (which I'm sure you've learned how to do perfectly, given your propensity for showing off with all of this cute crap.)

Pups like me and Bosco had it pretty good until you went viral with all of your "look at me open the dishwasher and load my bowl and then close the dishwasher and then take my Mommie's socks off and put them in the washer and then wash the windows and clean the counter tops off and then"....I can't go on, or I'll surely upchuck on the rug.

For the record...when my stupid mo-ther took me to my first v-e-t visit, the trainer there said "Oh, Miss Rich. You should enroll Stewey in clicker training. He will amaze you with what he'll be able to accomplish and learn and you will enjoy him so much more when he is well-behaved and can do tricks like a trained little circus monkey." And my stupid mo-ther, who had just invested 600 bucks in onesies from the Target baby collection and who had NO plans whatsoever of training me like the dog I am, said "Oh, no thank you, Miss Nekka. I intend to love and protect and cuddle and baby-talk my perfect little bundle of joy right into adulthood, and I'm sure that he will naturally learn how to do everything he needs to by observing me and by feeling loved and cared for."

So the fact that you can run a house, drive a car, and cure cancer is of no small matter to those of us who probably could have done the same damn thing given a smarter person, and I, for one, think it's shameful that you would feel compelled to show off.

So let's face facts, my furry little friend, and call it what it is, shall we? While you're doing housework and fetching the paper and pretending to drink cups and cups of coffee, I am lounging in the sun and having my every need met by a neurotic spinster who would rather chew off her own arm than inconvenience me in any way shape or form. While you're making a bed, I'm sending my idiot mom off to Bed Bath and Freakin Beyond for higher thread count sheets. While you're turning on the coffee pot, I'm barking instructions at my very own in-house barista who not only steams my morning milk, but who warms the cup for my breakfast cappuccino. While you're washing the windows, I'm writing a fascinating tell-all that will be in bookstores as soon as my agent gets off her a-- and gets me a seven figure advance. You do laundry? Well, I make laundry. And as for the whole "look at me, I take my mommy's socks off her feet", well I suggest you come over and get a look at the hooves on this old hag and then see why I book the pedicures around here.

If you know what's good for you, you'll knock it the hell off already and go pee on something or make a nice poop where you're not supposed to. OK? You're a dog. Now act like it.

The note went on and on, but this is a family show and I'm afraid that I would be censored to within an inch of my life if I shared anything further with you. Besides, I'm also afraid that you will discover that my sweet little pup actually has a very dark side and that you will lose whatever affection you might have for him...all because he's feeling vulnerable and ashamed that he's been discovered and exposed as a dictatorial little snot.

I will say that the fleeting thought ran through my mind that it it probably isn't too late for Stewey and that I could make an appointment with a trainer and....well, I got about that far before I had to go fetch his blanket and slippers from the dryer and get the step stool out to take down the drapes.

I hope you're off to a good week and a fabulous November! Woo Hoo!

*The SWC is the Stewey Willowswamp Channel. Once he got wind of the fact that Oprah was launching her very own TeeVee channel in 2011, he decided that he needed one of his very own. After a few high-level negotiations and a some dollars from his college fund as the initial investment, he hopes to begin programming next spring.