Dec 31, 2012


Can you believe we're moments away from ushering in a new and exciting year?  From our home to yours, and on behalf of Aunt Chrissy, the Baby Bosco, and The Artist Formerly Known As Stewey, I'd like to take a minute to THANK YOU for all of the giggles and grins, love and friendship, and encouragement and inspiration this year.  My hope is that 2013 is the best year yet....filled with health, wealth, wisdom, and happiness for all of us!

Happy New Year, dear friends!

With much love from,
The Spinster Stitcher
(and her little dog too!)

Dec 29, 2012


Hey, kids.  Aunt Chrissy and I are going to be in the Cleveland area next month, and we're wondering if there are any needlework shops near The Cleveland Clinic?  I hate to impose on all of our fellow Buckeyes out there, but can you help a stitcher out?

Stewed and I are lumping it today and haven't made it out of our pajamas yet.  So much for cleaning the house and getting the laundry done.  Would it be so wrong to call this a snow day and zone out in front of the TeeVee?

I am, however, determined to get upstairs today to get something vaguely stitch related in my hands.  I feel like I haven't stitched in a year and a half.  Drat.

Stay warm and safe a dry, and we'll see you on the other side!

Dec 27, 2012


My mom can't come to the blog right now.  She's at the Barnes and Nobles looking for books that will tell her how to be "street".  She's doing this because I caught her perched in her Happy Chair this morning wearing her new headphones while trying to make some sort of crazypants hand gesture that would indicate that she's "down with the lingo that all the kids are using these days".  I swear, if she hadn't gotten rid of her Barbie stereo turntable a few years back, we'd be looking at the horrifying prospects of a dance party.

I'm blaming my Aunt Chrissy for this one, since she decided to get the old lady an iPad.  And because she's my Aunt Chrissy and doesn't know the meaning of "let's take baby steps with my idiot older sister because she's sure to make a hash of it", she went all out and got her more accessories for said iPad than came with our first automobile.

Apparently, headphones are big these days.  I can only surmise that Michael Phelps and all of the other fabulous Olympians had something to do with this, since everywhere you look there are attractive young persons walking around with cans on their heads.

In my stupid mo-ther's mind, she looks like this:  

The reality of the situation, however, is that she actually looks more like THIS:
Well, not exactly, actually.  I see that the lovely lady in the photo above had the good sense to get a manicure before heading to work in the recording studio.  MY old lady hasn't had so much as a good stiff brush anywhere near her paws in about six months.  (Oh, the shame of it all).

So that's the report from Chez Crazy Spinster today.  Mo-ther is trying to recapture her youth while simultaneously trying to figure out where the "on" button is on her iPad, and I'm looking for the sedatives so that I might finally get a little peace and quiet around here.

I do hope that your Christmas was swell and that your every wish came true!  Until we meet again, I remain your loyal and devoted friend....

With much love,

Dec 24, 2012


Wishing you love and peace and joy and happiness.
Merry Christmas, dear friends.

(and Stewey too!) 

Dec 19, 2012


Howdy ho, friends and neighbors.  Before I tell you about my latest exploits, I'd like to thank you for your comments on my last post.  I appreciate each and every one of them, and thank you for your thoughtfulness, your insight, your opinion, and your willingness to share your voice.  You've given me an awful lot to think about. Thank you.

Would it be OK if I moved on to a lighter/sillier topic?  I'm determined to solve the world's problems, but until I am able to fully function as an adult grown-ass woman who doesn't need the supervision of her little sister and a team of highly gifted professionals, I should probably just concentrate on one thing at a time.

Like learning how not to poison myself with either a) a pork chop, b) roasted vegetables, or c) a vat of Canada Dry diet tonic water with quinine.

I've been having a bit of a go with leg cramps, so I got the bright idea to have a little tonic water in the evenings.  (And no, before you ask, I did NOT get the even brighter idea to put GIN in the damn tonic water, which probably would have saved me a LOT of trouble and at least FOUR rounds of total embarrassment in the ER when the brand spanking new doctor had to do his very first heiney exam, and he was so freakin nervous he told me to turn my head to the left and cough and I said "But, Michael!  Despite all evidence to the contrary, I don't have what you're looking for down there, and I'm pretty sure that if I had a prostate, we'd be having and entirely different conversation altogether.)

But I digress......

I made a lovely dinner on Sunday evening, cleaned up the kitchen, patted Stewey on the head, and then promptly ran for the hills with what I presumed to be yet another case of food poisoning.  I seem to be getting pretty good at this, so I wasn't at all alarmed, especially when you consider that whatever the food was that was poisoning me came from my very own kitchen, and I knew that no other innocent parties had been affected.

By Monday evening things had gone from bad to worse, so Aunt Chrissy put my shoes on my and hauled my sorry self the block and a half to the hospital.  (It's gorgeous, by the way, and exactly what you'd want in a hospital if you were inclined to want those kinds of things.  Besides, it's got a Golden Corral right there in the front of it, and despite the fact that I can't get over a restaurant that would use a name that suggested a place for keeping one's cattle, I'm determined to go check out that chocolate fountain.)

Again, with the digressing.

My nurse, Alissa, had been on the job for about seventeen minutes, so she was understandably a little nervous about the enormous spinster on the gurney handing her a sheet of paper with a med list as long as a Walgreens, but she was a real trooper and told me what an impressive specimen I was.  (Or maybe I needed to give an impressive specimen?  I can't remember).  Anywhoose, all I know is that she had been an ER nurse over at the other hospital in town, and had just started her new job at the Golden Corral hospital that very same day.  Poor, poor dear.

Everything was going swell until the resident came in to introduce himself.  Aunt Chrissy and I took one look at him and immediately thought the same thing...."Gee, this guy looks exactly like our cousin Brian"...but I was also noticing that his name was Dr. Phelps.  So, in my stupid little head, I immediately said to MYself "Gee, this guy looks exactly like cousin Brian, but I'm going to call him Michael."  (You know.  Michael.  Michael Phelps.)

Poor Michael.  In addition to having to deal with the fabulous glory that is me, he had to try to figure out just what the heck he was going to do to make me feel better.

So he decided to probe me in my under carriage with a gloved finger and a charge nurse for moral support.

Did I mention that Michael was also new to the hospital and had never conducted this particular examination before?  Poor, poor dear.  I'm pretty sure that it didn't help matters any that I was trying to keep myself calm by chattering away like some kind of circus monkey, and when he corrected me by saying "Um, Miss Rich, my name's not Michael.  It's Nathan." all I could think to say was "Well, honey, as long as you're where you're at, I'm going to keep on calling you Michael.  It'll be better for both of us, I promise."

My God.

A few short hours later, and I was sent on my merry way with instructions to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, and enough pills to make whatever the heck was going on with me go away.  I'm not taking any of them, of course, since I was smart enough to call my regular doc (at the insistence of Aunt Chrissy), and he basically said (as only he can) "Well, it's either food poisoning, too much tonic water, the flu, or something exotic that will take us years to figure out.  Either way, you're going to feel like crap for a few days, so drink plenty of fluids and call me if it doesn't get any better".

(You gotta love that guy, right?)

So here I sit with my Gatorade and my Vitamin water and my diet ginger ale and my caffeine free dietCoke.  I could float a barge, but I'm determined to wash away whatever got in there that wasn't supposed to so that I can get back to the really important napping.  And stitching.

Now if only there was a way to wash away all of the shame over exposing my heiney to Michael.....

Are you all well and warm and safe and dry?  I hope that as we wind down the year you'll have a few moments of pure bliss just for your very self.  Stewey is determined to go caroling this year, so I suppose that I had better find him a traditional costume or we'll never hear the end of it.  Damn dog.

Ciao, for now boys and girls.  Thanks for indulging my need to share my every waking minute with you.  No charge for the awful visuals, by the way....

Dec 12, 2012


I've been utilizing our local libraries a lot lately, so my reading life has started to swing back into its pre-stitching groove.  Today my plan is to dive face first into Salman Rushdie's "Joseph Anton" and not come out until I've made a decent dent in it.

Of course, we all know that after about seven and a half minutes of using my tiny little itty bitty pea sized brain I will require a nap, followed by a vat of dietCoke to help get my wit about me once again.

When I was a kid I could read for hours and hours and hours on end, and I don't think there was anything that made me happier than devouring an entire novel in one sitting.  The joy!  The bliss!  The sheer sense of accomplishment of it all!  Oh, how I wish my stamina were that of the 12-year old me.

I'm still loving every moment of Laura J. Perin's Harvest Moon House, but I didn't put a single stitch into it last night.  Aunt Chrissy asked me to tag along to Bosco's annual vet visit (for moral support, of course), and then we headed to Carrabba's for a late dinner.  The plan walking in the door was to have a house salad with grilled chicken.  The result, however, involved a few gallons of Arnold Palmer, a caramelized onion/bacon flatbread appetizer, a loaf of bread, a salad, and then Pasta Weezie.  I. Ate. Every. Bite.  Delicious, yes, but I paid for it all night by having to endure the lovely waft of garlic that seemed to seep from my every pore.

The sun is shining and the Stewey is snoozing.  I'm going to do my very best today to get at least one or two Christmas things accomplished.  I am starting to think that those damn Christmas cards aren't going to jump out of their boxes and address themselves, nor are they going to drive to the post office for stamps, so it looks like I better get on the stick.  Sigh.

Happy Futzing Day, and Happy 12-12-12! 

Dec 10, 2012


Seeing how this is a Monday and all, I awoke at the crack of 10am with plans of laundering and cleaning and tweaking and putzing and futzing until the day was done and the house was back in its proper state of Spinster chaos.

But it's gloomy and cold and sleepy today, and I have a little fuzzy dog who insisted on crawling under the ottoman blankets and calling it a day, so plans changed quickly.

So far I've managed to read the paper, figure out the Jumble, make a hlaf-assed attempt at the New York Times Sunday crossword, and eat enough egg salad to give my statin a heart attack.  Throw in a vat of dietCoke and a few Starbucks French Roasts, and you've got yourself a good morning.

Here it is in pictures.  As always, I apologize for the craptastic photography, but reading the instruction booklet that came with the camera isn't on my color wheel today.

The lump you see under the ottoman blanket is the artist formerly known as Stewey.  The little pear picture is a Sissy Day gift from Aunt Chrissy, and I thought I would title the last picture "Raise High the Roofbeam, Spinster", but then I realized that I'm not really smart and/or well read enough to make such an obscure reference, so I just figured I'd remind you that the stitchy piece is Laura J. Perin's Harvest Moon House.

Back to the Happy Chair!  Woo Hoo!  Happy Monday, everybody!

Dec 7, 2012


I'm terribly sorry for the inconvenience, but I've had to adjust the way comments are posted to this here blog.  As you might have noticed, I've been hacked and have been getting some rather unseemly comments these last few days.  So for now, you'll have to do that darn word thingie if you want to leave a comment.

That'll teach 'em.

I hope that you're heading into the weekend armed with everything you need to make it perfectly perfect in every way.  Aunt Chrissy and I are going to the fancypants eyeglass boutique tonight and are having a Sissy Day tomorrow.  Woo hoo!

Dec 6, 2012


Somewhere in the Midwestern Unites States, a telephone rings.


GE CAPITAL BANK:  Is this Stanley Wapshot?

SPINSTER; No, I'm sorry.  There's nobody here by that name.  As I've explained to several of your colleagues that have called before you, the number you have been given for Mr. Wapshot is not correct.

GE CAPITAL BANK:  This is not Stanley Wapshot?

SPINSTER: No, I'm afraid that it isn't.

GE CAPITAL BANK:  Well then, who am I speaking to?

SPINSTER:  You first.  Who am I speaking to?

GE CAPITAL BANK:  This is Antwan.  I'm a debt collector with GE Capital Bank.

SPINSTER: Yes, well, hello Antwan.  Stanley Wapshot doesn't live here.  Stanley Wapshot has never lived here, and I don't expect that Stanley Wapshot will live here in the future.  I don't know anybody by that name and I'm not sure why you have my number affixed to his file, but I've had this particular telephone number for most of my adult life, and I can assure you that I do not now nor have I ever known anybody named Stanley Wapshot.

GE CAPITAL BANK:  So this isn't his number?

SPINSTER:  Nope.  Not his number.

GE CAPITAL BANK: Do you know how I can get a hold of him?

SPINSTER: (wondering when she started speaking Greek instead of English, and what would happen if she suddenly confessed to actually knowing Stanley Wapshot, but revealing the truth that she had bound and gagged him before stuffing him into a steamer trunk in the attic)

GE CAPITAL BANK:  Mrs. Wapshot?

SPINSTER:  You can reach Stanley Wapshot at 867-5309, Antwan.  Good luck.

GE CAPITAL BANK:  867-5309?

SPINSTER:  Yup.  Ask for Jenny.  She'll point you in the right direction.

GE CAPITAL BANK:  Thank you, Mrs. Wapshot.  Have a good day.

SPINSTER:  You too, Antwan.  And I hope that you and all of the fine folks there at GE Capital Bank have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Dec 4, 2012


The stroke of midnight found me in the Happy Chair hooting like a blow fish over the fact that I finished stitching the pumpkins on my Harvest Moon House project.  Why in the world did it take me three weeks to get this far?  Only the shadow knows.....

Harvest Moon House
Laura J. Perin Designs

I would like to take a moment to send out a big fat teary THANK YOU for all of your lovely comments about my little hovel.  The truth of the matter is that I am feeling rather sad over the state of affairs here at Chez Spinster, so your encouragement was just what I needed to get on with it.  I built the place in 2002 and had every intention of making this my little dream house.  Sadly, Dad got sick in the midst of it all, and I never really seemed to "finish" things quite the way I had hoped.  Then once he passed away, the time started to fly by and my motivation for making a cozy nest for him to visit seemed to diminish rapidly.  I celebrated 10 years of living here in November with the writing of a list of things that I would like to accomplish, but sometimes I get completely overwhelmed with the prospect of it all.  Thank God for Aunt Chrissy, or I'm pretty sure that I would have moved into my car years ago.

Your comments about the state of affairs here make me think that I might be on the right track, though, and they give me the motivation to push a Swiffer around every now and then.  Thank you for that.

As for the decorations, I'm afraid that can't take any credit whatsoever for them.  My little sister took it upon herself to completely re-do Christmas around these here parts, and all I did was push the shopping cart in the Hobby Lobby.  Does she have a great eye, or what?

Oh, before I forget.....I get a lot of emails asking to explain the whole Aunt Chrissy name situation.  Aunt Chrissy is actually my sister, Crys.  She is called Aunt Chrissy because that is the name that Stewey insisted upon the moment he laid eyes on her.  I call her Aunt Chrissy, even though she is my sister because like any self-confessed Sopranos fan, I have always wanted the Rich Sister equivalent of an Uncle Junior.

How's THAT for making it even more confusing?!

Miss Marcy asked about my bookshelves.  They are from a company called "Shelf Expressions".  Here's a picture for you, Marcy ('scuse the dust):

You probably can't tell it from my craptastic photo, but the shelves are unfinished wood against an off-white wall that is bordered with white crown molding.  I promise you that there was absolutely no thought that went into this....I just happen to like being surrounded by books and this seemed like the best place to put these shelves at the time.  God willing, I'll have a proper library someday, and these shelves will end up going to a good home.

OK, time to go holler at a bill collector.  I've had a "gentleman" calling here all day looking for Stanley Wapshot.  Apparently, Stanley owes somebody a lot of money and decided to run for cover.  The only problem with Stanley's plan is that he gave them MY phone number.  The best part is when the "gentleman" calling for Stanley asks me if I'm SURE Stanley isn't here.  Um, gee.  Let me check.  There's an aggravated spinster, a handful of thirsty looking houseplants, and a little dog in a smoking jacket.  But a Stanley?  Nope.  No Stanley.  I'm pretty sure I'd know if I had a Stanley.  I'm trying to remember myself and not go nutso on this guy, but I'm pretty sure that my Jersey is going to show by the end of the day.  Stay tuned!

Dec 3, 2012


As was expected, I overdid it this weekend with the whole "Let's get this house tarted up for Christmas" idea.  It started innocently enough on Friday night when Aunt Chrissy and I did our weekly grocery shopping.

"I'm going to get the ingredients for Greek cookies", I said emphatically in the baking needs aisle.

Aunt Chrissy gave me a look that said "I don't want to hear it when you pull a muscle trying to mix the damn dough, but I sure would love a bag of them for my morning coffee/commute."

So I got the ingredients for the Greek cookies and them promptly procrastinated all weekend so that I wouldn't have to face the fact that I've been trying to make these bloody cookies for 46 years now and for 46 years I end up in a teary heap on the kitchen floor.

It's a good thing I don't drink alcohol, or we'd surely be looking a few empty wine and/or vodka bottles rolling around on the floor with me.

Today, though.  Today.  I'm determined.

So Christmas threw up all over Chez Spinster, and for the first time in a great while there wasn't too much gnashing of teeth as the last decorations were hung.  I suspect that this has something to do with the overabundance of red feathers everywhere, even though I am certain that there is absolutely no scientific evidence whatsoever that Santa Claus ever came near a batch of red feathers.

Maybe in his younger days when he performed his drag act?  Hmmmmm.  I wonder what his drag queen name would have been? 

See?  Thoughts to ponder on a Monday morning.

Here's the final result of the comings and goings of the weekend.  There was precious little stitching that took place, but God willin' and the creek don't rise I will have a threaded needle in my hand as soon as I turn off this silly machine and hit the Happy Chair.

The Official Spinster Stitcher 2012 Christmas Tree:

I'm not really sure what's going on here.....suffice it to say I think I got a little too jiggy with it:

The Official Jim Shore Santa collection as assembled by Aunt Chrissy:

The Big White Wall of Nothingness, covered with a few stitchy pieces:

Aunt Chrissy's Official 2012 Spinster Stitcher dining room table tableau. (Think I've got enough Starbucks k-cups?):
The mantle:

 And last, but certainly not least, is you-know-who.  He thinks that if he sits there and stares at his treat closet I'll cave and get him a Snausage.
Stop that snickering, please.  I only got the Snausage because he was a good boy and went into his apartment when I went to the dentist this morning. 

That's the Monday report.  I hope that you weekend was full o' fun and that you're off to a great week!

Woo Hoo!