Sep 25, 2017

AND THEN IT WAS MONDAY AGAIN

I had a very brief break in the headache cluster, but yesterday afternoon it roared back with a vengeance.  A brief nap and a cold compress on my neck, and it was down to a Category 3 storm, which allowed me to sit upright and watch a movie.

But not stitch.

I am craving an entire day in the Happy Chair with Red Velvet Cake.  I think the reason why I am not growing tired of it is the fact that I'm not getting to play with it every day and each moment that I do is very precious indeed.

Today I'm going to play Real Housewife of Hoosierville and tidy things up around here before hitting the pool and then returning in time for a pre-dinner nap. I know that this sounds like a leisurely day in theory, but I would much rather be running around Mach Five with my hair on fire being the boss of everybody.  That was so much more fun, and at least made me feel semi-productive.

God willing, this is a week without any doctor visits!  Very rare, to be sure, so methinks we will celebrate with cake.  I haven't baked in the kitchen here at CS2, so maybe I'll bust out the measuring cups and bundt pan and have some fun.  The layout and counter space here are vastly different than the house (uh, duh...this is an apartment and that was a house), but I know I can MacGiver a solution to anything that comes my way.

Finally, Stewey made an appearance in last night's dream again.  This time, he was wearing a little straw hat and wearing a lovely little seersucker suit, and we were all having a picnic.  I was passing dishes of this and that, and he and Rich were discussing the finer points of WWE (which I think has something to do with costumed characters wrestling?).  Chrissy and Bosco were romping around with a ball, and I could hear my mom and dad laughing (but I couldn't see them). All I remember is that I felt so peaceful and happy that everybody was getting along and that there was potato salad.

I love potato salad.

So that's it for today.  Just me and my domestic bliss and usual neurosis.  Monday is upon us once again, my friends!  Let's make it a good one!

Sep 24, 2017

IN WHICH GOMEZ AND MORTICIA GO TO CHURCH...

Well...

Mass was actually very beautiful, and I'm very glad that we went, but there were a few minor hiccups.

(Wait a minute.  Have we MET?!  There were a few majorly catastrophic hicups, and the shame and humiliation of them will follow me to my death.)

(Which will probably happen prematurely because I am a nutjob of epic proportions and can stress myself into a stroke with the best of them, or my poor old broken down porty body will finally once and for all say "Eh...screw it" and give up the ghost.)

Error #1: wardrobe.

Rich, of course, looked completely dashing in black slacks and a black golf shirt.  I (you guessed it) looked like a total schlumpadink in my seersucker pants and old lady big top.

Which was also black.

This in itself wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't have the movie playing in my head all the time about being so completely inept in the public, because somewhere between the opening procession of priests and the whole welcome to church thing, I thought "My God.  We look like the freaking Addams family."

Error #2: throwing away the weekly issue of "Today's Catholic" that gets stuffed in my mailbox every Tuesday without reading it.

THEY CHANGED STUFF!!  And by stuff, I mean how you're supposed to respond and pray and gesture and....

Holy crap.  51 years of saying and doing the same stuff, and they go and change it up on me.

Error #3: not getting the damn handicap tag so that I can park closer than eighteen miles away

Much like the scooter at the grocery store, I refuse to get one of those damn placards.  I keep telling myself that they are only for people that really need them, but then I try to walk more than seven feet in 90 degree heat and I want to die.

(Which would be convenient, since the Basilica is where I hope my funeral will be.)

So now we're home.  The laundry is sploshing, the footballers are footballing, and I am contemplating a nap, some pool time, and some stitching (in that order).  With any luck I'll have a full seven days before we do this all over again.

Happy Sunday, Dearies!  Hope you are doing whatever makes you happy today!


IN WHICH WE HOPE NOT TO SPONTANEOUSLY BURST INTO FLAME...

Heading to 10:00 mass at the Basilica.  

If you're my family reading this, I go to mass every single Sunday, confession twice a week, and observe every high holy day on the calendar.

But for the rest of you...pray for me.

It's been a while, and I'm concerned that I will have forgotten the secret handshake or that they've come up with some sort of new system of things that will make it blatantly obvious I haven't a clue what I'm doing.

I pray and I try to be a decent and kind a loving human being, but over the years I have fallen away from the more formal aspects of things and just hoped for the best.

But now?  Now it's time to find a decent pair of pants and some shoes and a top that won't make me sweat too much and go do my Catholic thing.

Oey.

So that's the report on a Spinster Sunday, Dearies.  Once the smells and bells have concluded we're off like a herd of turtles to watch more of the football and then home for some stitching.

Speaking of...here's the progress from yesterday:



Sep 23, 2017

INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW...

I'm reading "A Spool of Blue Thread" by Anne Tyler and we're having Italian sausage and peppers for dinner.  For the most part, I am getting back into routine today...stitching, blogging, reading, cooking, sleeping.

Tomorrow...I haven't a clue.  For the first time in a long while I'm happy to just live in the moment and not fret about the next adventure.  Will miracles never cease?


OK. TODAY'S THE DAY.

Coffee...check.
Papers...check.
Stitching...check.

I did make it to the pool late yesterday afternoon and had a delightful few hours of doing my exercises and looking at the clouds.  It was just what ths spinster needed.

Today's agenda is stitching for me, the football for Rich, and maybe something fun for dinner later for both of us.  Notre Dame comes on at 8pm, so I suppose there will be time for some floating if I'm so inclined.

Other than that...just a quiet Saturday in these here parts.  What's new with you?

Sep 22, 2017

AND THEN WE WENT TO THE LIBRARY...

OK. Last appointment for the week is finally finished.  I got a great report: weight down almost 20 pounds since my friend's arrival, blood pressure 110/64, and today the headache is only at a level 6 instead of the usual 19.

All in all I'm a happy girl.

Oh who am I kidding?  I am a deliriously happy girl.  To be at this stage of the disease and not having to go to dialysis is more priceless to me that I can tell you.  And all of the extra stuff that arrived with Rich?  Just icing on the cake it would seem.

My only beef with myself is my lack of stitching and reading progress, so I aim to remedy that this afternoon.  I just don't know about the pool today.  The heat and I just don't get along.  At all.  So I'm wondering if I can park it in the Happy Chair with the new stack of books I brought home, lots of ice water, and a little Red Velvet Cake until Rich comes home this evening.

So that's the Friday report, Dearies.  I will leave you for now with the hopes that your own corner of the world is perfectly swell and that you are doing exactly what you want to be doing today!


FRIDAY...


One last appointment this week and then we're hurtling headlong into the weekend.  It's supposed to be hot as You Know What here in Hoosierville, so I am planning on lots of fluids and some quality Happy Manatee time in the pool.

I'm also hoping for plenty of stitching time, and I think the weekend's TeeVee football viewing will provide ample opportunity.  Between Notre Dame/Michigan State on Saturday and the Eagles on Sunday, I should get at least a stitch or two completed, no?

So we're off.  Here's hoping that your neck of the woods is swell and that your needles are flying!  Do something fun and then...you know what to do.


Sep 21, 2017

AND THEN THE VOICE SAID "MO-THER, YOU ARE NO NORA EPHRON"

I guess I need to address the proverbial elephant (or in this case, Jack Russell terrier wearing a silk smoking jacket and tapping his paw impatiently) in the room.

No less than 174 of you noticed that my blog posts containing every detail of my Spinster romance  have been removed and that I have studiously avoided the topic for a whole 48 hours now.

As much as I would love to tell you that this is the result of some catastrophic break-up and I am now awoman  scorned and looking for a bunny to boil, the truth is that Stewey (in the form of a dream/vision) is to blame.

There he was...smelling of baby shampoo and tsk-tsking over his evening sherry.  

"Mo-ther.  While I am somewhat comforted by the idea that you are not left to your own devices down there, I need to remind you that your real life is not a romantic comedy and you look nothing like Meg Ryan.  And, although I highly approve of your new addition of a mate, you...my dear...are not a character in some crazy performance.  You are a real live person who has now decided to have a full blown relationship with another real live person.  And, while I completely understand that your daily drivel is your way of engaging with the world and it literally and figuratively saved your life, you should keep at least one small detail of your new life between you and your new beaux.  I suspect that he is just too damn polite to say so, but you blathering every detail of this to the world (or the seven people who read your blog) is indeed a very serious violation of what should be private and personal between you."

With that, he whipped out a large manilla folder from his little valise and reminded me that things become a lot less fun once the lawyers get involved.  (You might remember that Stewey employed an entire team of legal professionals and public relations specialists to keep my shenanagins at bay, and this folder and its contents reminded me of that fact.)

So, dear friends.  My Jersey Boy is still here.  He has not broken my heart and continues to be my dream come true in every way.  But, if you'll allow, I'm going to get back to the business of stitching and bumble-clucking my way through my quiet little life and sharing THAT with you, while keeping "Rich and Coni Happily Ever After" to myself.

But I promise you...the very minute something catastrophic or wonderful happens you will all be the first to know.  

IN WHICH NO STITCHES ARE TAKEN. WHATSOEVER.

I didn't put needle to fabric yesterday, but I did spend a fair amount of time thinking about stitching.

Flosstube and the Facebook have become such wonderful sources of inspiration, but I am itching to browse among threads and charts and linens (oh my!) at the House of Stitches.  If it wasn't so darn hot outside, I would contemplate a quick trip over to get my fix, but alas, I need to stay put and finish out the week with more appointments.

I do, however, intend to hit JoAnn's later for some felt.  Miss Danielle showed several gorgeous pieces of it, and since I too use strips of it under my q-snap clamps, I thought I would replenish my supply.

My weekend task will be a major going through of all of my finished projects.  I have three different things I intend to do with them, but first I need to spread them out and sort.  I'm pretty sure we're gonna need a bigger boat for this task, kids, since there are three big bins of stuff to be pawed.

Isn't it funny how some folks collect photographs of their life events and some of us mark the passage of time with our projects?  I think it will be interesting to flip through each of them and remember what I was doing or where I was doing it or the time of year.  (Chances are the answers will all be the same for the first two...drinking dietCoke in the Happy Chair at CS1).

Speaking of...I was there yesterday to water the plants (that I need to move over to the apartment eventually) and  apparently decided that it had been a while since my last nervous breakdown.

Just when I think I'm good, the waterworks start all over again.  I think it has to do with seeing Stewey's spot empty in front of the window, or walking into the bedroom and finding it completely empty instead of ready for a snoozy nap.  I know I need to just let it go once and for all and be grateful that I had such a wonderful fifteen years there, but my poor tender heart keeps forgetting that and just decides to crack open every now and then.

This darn headache situation is not helping matters any, but I have finally gotten it down to a dull roar.  If things go well at my 1:00 today, I will come home, don my swimming costume, and head to the pool for a plunge.  There's something about that cool water that really does the trick, and I am definitely seeing the benefits of moving around a little more with increased flexibility.  It still takes me a minute to get moving in the morning, but I am thinking that fact is more attributable to age than it is to end stage renal failure.

On that front, many of you have asked about my exact status.  I am presently Stage Five and at 11% kidney function.  I am listed on the UNOS list for a cadaver kidney and am also hoping for a kidney from my sister or someone on a paired donor chain.  I am not yet on dialysis, and am hoping to avoid it altogether with a pre-emptive transplant, but there are a few more steps that need to be taken before that can happen.  The good news is that I have completed all of my testing and have done everything IU has required of me, so now it's just a matter of waiting.  Physically, I'm completely shot and can tell that I am failing pretty rapidly, and emotionally I'm just...terrified.  But I know that I'll muddle through, since I am made of hearty peasant stock and that's what we do.

That's it for a rambly Thursday.  I'll leave you with a repeat photo of my Little...one of my favorites from a year ago.  Seems almost impossible that it's been that long some days, and then again, I feel like it was a million years ago.

Cheerio, my dears.  Do something fun and magical and come tell me all about it!




Sep 20, 2017

Sep 19, 2017

IN WHICH OUR HEROINE PRETENDS TO BE JUNE CLEAVER...

My manfriend/new companion/Jersey Boy/heart throb is exploring the possibility of partnering with a guy here in town, so he left "for work" bright and early this morning.  He has a business in which he sells imprinted promotional products (pens, hats, mugs, t-shirts, etc) and his Atlantic City casino clients are becoming fewer and fewer.  This market, however, is ripe for the picking, so he and the other guy are going to see if there is something to be done here.

So after coffee and a quick peck goodbye, I had a simply delightful morning with the paper and a little stitching, then my dentist appointment, and now I am home contemplating a nap before dinner and guild.  Manfriend/companion/Jersey Boy/heart throb is expected back in time to have a bite to eat before sending me on my way to my stitchy sisters.

I have to tell ya...this whole surprise switcheroo in my routine is quite without angst.  I still get to have my hermit spinster/Happy Chair time, but now I have the added bonus of a real live breathing person to talk to in the evenings rather than the weepy ramblings to Stewey's little box that had become my norm.

Yesterday we even went to the Targets and the grocery store together!  Together!  And he drove and pushed the cart and carried the bags up the stairs and everything!!!

(OK, I'll be the one to say it...that last fact alone is worth having him here!)

You know me and routines, kids.  When I get out of them the world tilts crazily on its axis.  But this new routine has so far been a lovely one and I'm grateful to get to experience it.

Now where the heck did I put my pot roast, pumps, shirtwaist dress, and pearls?

THREE GUESSES...


Six month checkup and cleaning today!  My teeth are about the only thing not falling apart on me, so I suppose I should take good care of them.

(And it's a requirement of the transplant protocol!)

Here's a little update on Red Velvet Cake:
I am still loving every minute of this.  Do you remember the days when I used to flit from project to project like a three hundred pound hummingbird?  Now it's one project for months and months at a time.

Hmmmm.  Wonder what's up with that?!

Grocery guild tonight!  I am really looking forward to seeing my stitchy compatriots and catching up on all of the latest news!

Happy, happy Tuesday Dearies!


Sep 18, 2017

BY WAY OF FURTHER EXPLANATION...

Sorry to cause alarm with my earlier post, Dearies.  All is well...just having a Monday on which I am trying to be a grown-up person and attend to my adult responsibilities like laundry and homekeeping.

My brain and upbringing tell me to make the bed, tidy the apartment, take a shower and get dressed in appropriate clothing, but my headache and propensity for sloth are hollering for me to hit the Happy Chair with Outlander and some ice water and call it a day.

The headache is most likely not related to the kidneys (thank you, St. Peregrine), but rather a return of cluster migraines that I thought I had grown out of in my 30's.  So, damn, drat, and phooey on it anyway, but it looks like I am going to head to the Targets for some heavy artillery.

(I had resisted doing so because I am terrified of taking anything that will render me unconscious because I live alone.  And then, just like that, a big fat DUH hit me in the forehead when I realized that my Jersey Boy will surely have the same capability that Stewey did to dial 9-1-1 in case of emergency.)

Oey.

So that's it.  Laundry and pharmaceuticals.  Every suburban woman's nightmare.

Happy Monday to one and all.  Here hoping that you are off to a stitchy, happy, swell start to the week!

Sep 17, 2017

TWO OUTTA THREE AIN'T BAD...

My Saturday was almost as I had planned.  There was stitching and footballing, but alas, no swimming.  I returned from my outing at Miss Jane's church with that bloody headache, so opted for a nap and some quiet time with Flosstube instead of braving the heat and humidity.

I suspect that this is par for the course at this stage in the disease.  My docs are all on board and I know to get to the ER if it worsens or any other troubling symptoms arise.  I fear, however, that it might be an indication that dialysis is getting closer and closer.

My Jersey Boy took his afternoon walk yesterday and returned with a present better than dozens of long-stemmed red roses.  When he presented them to me I actually shed a tear and then clutched them to me in sheer delight.

My bagels.

I buy and eat a special New York bagel from the Martin's each day, and my friend noticed that I went without yesterday morning on my way to stitching.  So without me having to ask or bat my eyelashes or nag...he took himself over there and found the exact right thing to give to me at the exact right time.

Who needs diamonds and pearls and flowers and perfume when you can have the perfect bagel?!

Life is swell here at CS2.  We're falling into a lovely, quiet, happy routine of TeeVee and stitching, conversation and laughter, and the occasional field trip to local establishments for refreshment.  For the first time in my life I'm not wanting to have big conversations or ask the hard questions...I'm just enjoying each moment and looking forward to the next giddy adventure.

Dreams of Stewey are more vivid than ever.  Last night I thought of him in his little wiglet.  He and Bosco were on the school bus, and Stewey was wearing his wig and carrying a briefcase and a Wonder Woman lunchbox.  Bosco was all boy...jeans and a little t-shirt and a Power Ranger clutched in his little paw.  I think Stewey was trying to read the paper on his morning commute and Bosco was busying humself wondering what would be on the lunch menu.  

The soundtrack to that dream was laughter and giggles, and I awoke smiling.

So today will be more of the same.  Perhaps a little more progress on Red Velvet Cake and some football of the NFL variety.  If the weather cooperates, I might try a dip and float a little later, but for now I'm content to finish another cup of damn good and the paper.

Happy, happy Sunday, Dearies!  I hope that whatever it is you're doing is exactly what makes your heart sing today!

Sep 16, 2017

SO THIS IS WHAT EIGHT O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING LOOKS LIKE...

I'm up, showered, caffeinated, and ready to go stitch at Miss Jane's church.  We will be, alas, sans Miss Jane today, but Miss Charlene will provide adequate supervision I'm sure.

'Scuse the lighting...here is a little update on Red Velvet Cake:

Have I mentioned that this is truly a delightful stitch?  Silk through Picture This Plus fabric....sheer bliss.

I am desperately hoping for a stitchy, swimmy, footbally kind of day today.  It is supposed to be warm and sunny, so I intend to get into that pool and do the Happy Manatee thing for a bit before kick-off.  Notre Dame plays Boston College and I'm sure there are a few dozen other games that might flick across the screen at CS2.

(You know, methinks we are all missing an enormous franchise opportunity.  Why not create a sports bar/needlework shop combo with hundreds of big screens, a bar with cold and hot bevvies, and a needlework shop stocked with every needlepoint, crewel, counted canvas, cross stitch, and embroidery supply imaginable!?  Big comfy chairs all around and good lights.  And chicken wings!  We've got to have lots and lots of chicken wings!  And our little four-legged companions could come too, and the dress code would be "eh...whatever" and it would be open 24/7 and run specials and parties and retreats and never ever never ever run out of damn good or Thread Heaven.)

(pause for reaction)

OK, maybe not.

The Spinster Stitcher Saturday of Bliss is underway, Dearies.  I do, however, want to take a minute to say a heartfelt thank you for indulging and guiding my poor tender heart through this whirlwind romance.  It is totally nuts, fraught with peril, and will probably end in utter disaster, but I promise you that if it does I will do my copius weeping behind closed doors.  I am just enjoying it moment by moment, but I promise you to try to get my head about me in a minute or two.  I suppose that I have been walking around in a daze because this really did come out of left field and is an enormously welcome distraction after the events of the last year and a half or so, but I know that I will eventually have to start acting like a grownup and be careful.  But for now, I'm slapping on the mascara and holding hands and loving the companionship and enjoying the ride.

So that's it for now.  Here's hoping that your weekend is off to a lovely, wonderful, perfectly perfect in every way kind of start.  If you do something fun...you know who to come tell about it!

Sep 15, 2017

PPPPSSSSTTTT....

Oh you bad girls, you!  Thinking that I must be up to no good with Mr. Big on a September Friday.

The truth of the matter is that he worked on his laptop contraption and I went to the beauty parlor to see if we could make me look like at least half a woman.

This meant wax.

Lots and lots of wax.

Brows.  Lip.  Chin.

My God...the inhumanity of it all!

Can I just say that this whole womanly maintenance thing is for the birds?!  For the last 51 years I have considered a good scrubbing, brushed teeth, and clean pajamas all that was required to keep me somewhat decent.  Stewey was well accostomed to no makeup, hair in a pony tail, and winter legs.

But now?

Between the proper facial moisturizing, the mascara applying, and the double-checking to see if my underclothes are on right side in....I am positively exhausted.

We're going to head out for dinner now, so I better go find some damn lipstick.

Pray for me, Spinster Nation.  Methinks we're gonna need a bigger boat!

T.G.I.F.


Sep 14, 2017

IN WHICH WE CONTINUE TO STITCH AND A NEW NEEDLE MINDER MAKES ANAPPEARANCE

A little more progress on Red Velvet Cake:

The mail brought a happy package.  I purchased a needle minder of the design from Glendon Place and it arrived!  Doesn't it look swell with the cup of coffee?  Makes me want to go out for dessert!

Another quiet day today.  It's foggy and cool and I am missing my fireplace and You Know Who toasting his little buns in front of it.  I was thinking about him this morning...wondering what his assessment of events would be.  I know that he would highly approve of Manfriend's eye for fashion and his good head of hair, but I suspect that there would be a fight over the evening's TeeVee selections.  

Stewey: I see that there is a stimulating documentary on PBS this evening about the effects of...on...vis a vis...and how it relates to... Perhaps we should have a sherry, view it, and then engage in a lively discussion afterwards.

Manfriend: We're watching NCIS.

Stewey: Very well, but before we do, I insist that you try a little of this pate' that I had my valet procure for us from the specialty market.  It's sublime.

Manfriend:  Tastes like chicken.

Stewey: Aaahhh, a discerning pallette, I see.  It is indeed chicken.  Chicken liver pate'.  Here...try it with the sherry.

Manfriend: Tastes like cough syrup.

Stewey: I'll have you know, my good man that this vintage has been in my family for generations.  You, Sir, are a Philistine.

With that, I'm pretty sure that my Little would jump up onto the ottoman, tap me on the forehead, and then give me his list of reasons why I should remain a lonely broken down old spinster rather than a giddy lovestruck portly middle aged floozy.

And then he probably would have watered Manfriend's luggage.

The truth, though, is that I think the two of them would have been just fine together.  Rich has had his share of animal companions in his life, and Stewey would have loved the company of another living person who could empathize with having to put up with me. 

Fast friends, indeed.

So that's the report for the day, Dearies.  We're hurtling headling toward the weekend.  Appointments tomorrow, and then I am hoping for a stitchy, pool, football day on Saturday!  We'll see what develops.

Do something fun and come tell me all about it!

Sep 13, 2017

A LITTLE STITCHING ON THE EVE OF FUTZINGDAY...

My photographic skills, alas, are abysmal, but I did manage to stitch a bit last night.

I also managed to watch another two episodes of Outlander, but I fell asleep midway through the second, so I'll have to re-watch it tonight.  It only took me a week, but I learned that it's OK to sit in my Happy Chair and stitch while my friend watches TeeVee.

(He requires no supervision whatsoever to do so, and probably enjoys the break from me sitting on the couch staring at him, trying to anticipate his every want, need, and desire.)

I'm not sure of the connection, exactly, but I am missing my Stewey fiercely today.  I can't seem to keep the tears at bay, so I'm running to the coffee pot every five minutes to hide the ugly cry so that my friend doesn't discover just how truly whackadoodle I am.  I keep wishing Stewey were here to provide you with witty commentary or to be the voice of reason when my head starts spinning with the events of this new life I seem to have fallen into.

Oey...it's no wonder my head hurts.  I should re-think taking that prescription, no?  Maybe it would knock me out and turn this punky little brain of mine off for a bit.

Today will be quiet, I hope.  A bit cloudy and cool for pool activities, but I'm sure that the afternoon will hold yet another adventure with my Jersey Boy.  He is adamant about getting out for a bit of fresh air in the afternoon.  Yesterday was a trip to the Targets and the Dairy Queen.  Today...who knows?

I hope this finds you all well and happy today, Dearies.  Do something...you know.


Sep 12, 2017

RELIEF...AT LAST

I decided to resort to desperate measures to get rid of this headache.  While Jersey worked on his laptop contraption, I took myself down to the pool for what I thought would be a few minutes of sun in a lounge chair.

And then I got totally jiggy with it and plunged right on in to the ice cold freezing water and did my exercises.

As soon as the sensation of a heart attack subsided from the shock of it, the cold was actually exactly what I needed.  I got out of the water invigorated and sans headache.

My kidney doc is on board and immediately called in a script for something industrial strength in case I need it, but for now methinks I can get back to the business of driving poor Rich up a tree with my incessant need/want/desire to cater to his every whim.

I'm starting to understand why Stewey was so keen to head to his little fort under the big girl sleigh bed every now and then.  All this time I thought it was his headquarters for plotting world domination, and it turns out it was the only place he could go to hear himself think!

Oey...once again, it's not easy being me.

But it sure is getting to be a lot more interesting!

HEADACHE, HEADACHE GO AWAY. COME AGAIN NO OTHER DAY.

Damn, drat, and phooey.

I've had a blinding headache since last Wednesday.

It is most likely the result of medication changes, the kidneys, weather, and possibly allergies, but I would be very happy to have this in the rear view so that I could get on with the business of being the Spinster Stitcher.

I missed my Church Guild gathering last night, and I haven't had a needle in hand since I don't know when.  My skin is almost starting to crawl because of it!

The good news is that my friend/Jersey Boy/new companion/Mr. Big is very happy to entertain himself with various and sundry things, and does not make me feel at all bad for needing to nap or check out for a bit.  (He probably appreciates the peace and quiet.)

(What can I say?  Slap some pumps and a string of pearls on me and it's all Ozzie and Harriet over here all the time.  I am wanting to fetch coffee and fold underpants and make pot roast and vacuum the rug, and he pretty much thinks I'm nuts.)

So that's the report for today here in the Land of Spinster Bliss, my Dearies.  Do something fun today and come tell me all about it!

Sep 11, 2017

MONDAY MONDAY

We managed to have a very pleasant afternoon at the sports bar.  This particular one was a joint from my distant youth called Coach's that had the Eagle's game, a decent menu, and (as it turned out) a lovely bartender named Russ who immediately took pity on me and carried on a delightful conversation.

My friend was able to watch the game, and I was able to practice my being out in public skills without too much angst.  I only had to go to the Ladies twice to splash a little cold water on my wrists and do a little deep breathing, so we're calling this a win.

I would love to tell you that I made further progress on RVC, but alas, I did not.  The events of the last week combined with my kidney issues have left me with a splintering headache that made it problematic.  No matter how hard I tried, the light and concentrating just hurt my eyes.

Today, though, I am determined.

Now on to more interesting matters...my gentleman caller.

I thought about teasing you with a multiple choice game or a week long reveal of facts about him, but that seemed somehow...odd.  Even for me.  So instead, I will tell you that he is someone I've known for a long time.  We met in January of 1991 at an industry trade show in Dallas, Texas when he hosted a dinner for the company I was working for. (The name of the restaurant was Joey Tomatoes of Atlantic City and he wore a black shirt and sport coat, which was very exotic to this Indiana girl.) 

(I had penne with a spicy marinara sauce and a Long Island Iced Tea.)

I don't think we said more than a few words to each other that evening, but later that year when I was in Phoenix recovering from thyroid cancer, I would hear my dad on the phone each morning saying "Hi, Rich.  Yes, she is still recovering well and had her last treatment, etc etc."  When I asked my dad who it was that he was talking to, he would say "Your friend Rich from New Jersey".

The truth is that I thought it was a college friend named Rich, since he was the only person I could think of that I knew/had met from there.

But it turned out to be this Rich.

My Rich.

From New Jersey.i

Once I regained my voice and had returned to South Bend, he and I would talk on the phone for hours at a time.  And then I packed up my little Pontiac Sunbird and I moved to New Jersey to work for and with him for almost 13 years.

We started as business acquaintences and became friends, and now...

My friend is tall, of Italian decent, from Atlantic City, New Jersey, and is eleven years older than I am.  He is the smartest, funniest, kindest, and most interesting person I've ever met, and I'm fairly certain that I knew he was the love of my life the moment I met him.  He is a Libra, a good cook, loves to read, and knows more about sports than anybody I've ever met.  He is equally as happy in a ballroom as he is a bowling alley, and has probably attended as many museum events as he has rock concerts.  He still calls this thing of ours "knitting", but...baby steps on that one.  

He is pathologically shy in public, but with his friends can be the life of the party.  He is loyal and generous and decent and the thing that tells me he truly was sent from beyond at the exact moment I needed him is that my dad adored him.

There are other eerie facts that, over the years, convinced me that he was it:
His initials are the exact reverse of my own.
He has a brother five years younger...I have a sister five years younger.
He lost his dad when he was 21...I lost my mom when I was 21.
His dad's nickname was Jiggs.  My mom's nickname was Sig.

I think there are about a hundred other things that I could tell you, but it occurs to me that I have (yet again) gone completely 'round the bend and you probably feel like you're getting ready to watch a car/train collision or a soap opera wedding.  Maybe we/I should pace ourselves on this one, no?

So, my Dearies, that's the report on a Monday from the blissfully giddy confines of CS2 on a September Monday.  I hope that your own heart is full of love and that whatever it is you're doing makes you ridiculously happy.



Sep 10, 2017

TWILIGHT ZONE

It's 12:15 on a Sunday afternoon. I have my shoes on and am going out to lunch and to watch the Eagles game at a sports bar.

WHO IS THIS PERSON?!?!

My friend has promised to supervise me adequately and to escort me home immediately forthwith should the phenomenon of being out in public prove too much for me.  I, in return, have silently vowed to just breathe and not be...ME...for the next few hours and keep my nervous curcus monkey chattering to a minimum.

Pray for me, Dearies.  

P.S. Do you think it would be awkward to take my stitching, Ott light, lap stand, and Happy Chair along?

JUST A LITTLE BIT...

I replaced the center medallion of Red Velvet Cake and re-started a bit if the next moteef:

Watching the storm coverage and sending prayers for everybody in its path here in the US.  If you are warm and safe and dry today, I hope you stay that way!

Sep 9, 2017

TALK ABOUT A DIFFERENT VIEW ON A SPINSTER STITCHER SATURDAY...

Hmmmm...some things a little different:

Some things exactly the same:

Notre Dame and Georgia about to begin...hoping everybody has a good time and stays safe!

SATURDAY SPINSTER BLISS

I'm home from library guild and ready to settle in for an afternoon of stitching and TeeVee watching.  I had originally thought that today would be an Outlander marathon day, but as it would happen I have a friend visiting, and he is partial to the football.
'


(Cue the shocked gasps of surprise and delight.)

A visitor?!  At CS2 ?!  AND IT IS OF THE MALE VARIETY!!!???

I'm not quite ready to relinquish my spinster status just yet, but after conferring with my Council of Trusted Advisors I have decided to stop spinning around like the nutball I am trying to figure this out every damn second of the live long day and just...enjoy the adventure.

The truth of the matter is that I am 51 years old and haven't one single clue how to behave in the presence of another person.  I don't know how to be normal enough to sit on a couch and watch a movie or go to dinner or a walk without agonizing over every "should" and nuance and rule and implication of every single word, gesture, or thought.

In other words...I am as hapless in relationships as I am in every other single area of my life.

My last relationship was with Stewey, and that one was pretty easy once I realized that he was the boss and I was the bossie.  Yes...I catered to his every whim and wish, but that was my job as his person and Mommie and it was the priviledge of my life to do so.

But this is a little different.

This is a grown man who seems to be relatively self sufficient thus far, and who wouldn't know a silk smoking jacket if he fell over it.  I suspect that this man just wants to spend time in my company, so rather than overthinking myself right back into sitting here staring at the walls by myself...I should just learn how to chill the heck out.

And so the adventure begins.  The good news is that my friend understands the importance of this thing thing of ours in my life, and he is keen to encourage me to stitch.  That fact alone tells me he's a keeper.

So let's hope for the best and get on with it, shall we?

Here's hoping that you're doing something with somebody you love today and that you'll come tell me all about it.  WooHoo!


Sep 8, 2017

Sep 7, 2017

BACK TO SQUARE ONE

I managed to remove all of the incorrect stitches last night while watching a documentary on The Notorious Biggie Smalls.

(Can I just state once and for all and for the record in perpetuity that I am, without doubt, the UNhipest spinster on the planet?)

There are entire worlds of culture that are completely forgeign to me because I have somehow managed to remain a Barry Manilow girl in a Tupak Shakur world.  Entire generations have passed me by without a second thought as to the signifigance of their likes and dislikes...hopes and dreams...achievements and failures.

In short...I have become one of the old man Muppets in the balcony of the theater griping about kids these days and their crazy shows.

And so we return to the land of Make Believe, or what I like to call the happy quiet life of a happy quiet spinster.

(Who still, by the way, loves her some Barry Manilow.)

I'll smoosh the linen back into place later, but here is the piece as it stands today:

Off to appointments and then the grocery today.  I didn't go yesterday because I just didn't feel up to it, but the fridge is looking rather bare so it's time to pull my socks up and go.

Happy Thursday, Dearies.  Do something fun and come tell me all about it!

Sep 6, 2017

FUTZINGDAY...IN WHICH WE GO AWRY

My day turned out to be a little unexpected yesterday, so I didn't ever make it to the Happy Chair or to the de-stitching of Red Velvet Cake.  Today, though, I am determined to do so despite not following any sort of plan that I had previously concocted whatsoever at all.

I do find it totally hilarious that the prospect of removing all of that work has not sent me round the bend in the least little bit.  A sign of maturity?  Or maybe the memory of the hours of watching hunky dunks has acted as kind of a sedative.

Hmmmmm.  I might be on to something.

But I do think I need to re-tailor my stitchy time more appropriately to watch/listen to stuff I've already seen when stitching something that requires concentration.  THAT is the sign of maturity right there, I suppose.  Not being able to multi-task like I used to!

After a good hot scrubby shower I am off to the grocery armed with nothing but my wits and a Starbucks for company!  Here's hoping that your corner of the world is equally as stimulating!

Sep 5, 2017

DON'T CRY FOR ME...SPINSTER NATION

OK. Confession time.

As you know, I started Red Velvet Cake over the weekend and (thanks to Miss Lori) discovered that I made a huge mistake and would now need to frog the entire darn tootin thing today.

But you know what?

I am not at all upset about this, because the mistake was made because I was completely distracted.

At first, I thought that my mind was pre-occupied with memories of my Little:
I have been thinking about him so much lately and wishing he were here.

Then I thought that maybe I was caught in a loop of Jeffrey Dean Morgan proportions:
"Hi, I'm Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  I don't know it yet, but some day soon I will be Mr. Spinster Stitcher."

"Oh...that Spinster Stitcher.  She just cracks me up."

But no.  

Methinks there might be another reason for my total distractedness.  The reason why I was able to stitch an entire section of a piece completely wrong, be shown the error of my ways, and then just shrug, sigh, and go to bed and sleep peacefully well.

Hello.

How the heck did I go this long without a little of THIS in my life?!

For those of you that live under the same big fat moss-covered rock that I did...my new boyfriend's name is Jamie Fraser.  He's an 18th century Scottsman who lives in the Highlands, wears a kilt, and is waiting for me.

See?  Don't his eyes positively scream "Come hither, fair Spinster.  My steed and handsomeness await ye."?

Jeffrey, of course, is completely understanding and will happily wait right here for me until I return.  He's a modern man and accepts the idea of his wife having an affair of the heart every now and then.

After all...he's had to share me with this handsome little fellow for quite a while now:

Fortunately, my heart is big enough for all three of them, and due to circumstances they are not likely to ever be in the same place at the same time.  Between 1700's Scotland, present day Hoosierville, and wherever it is that Stewey has gotten himself off to, I think I'm safe for now.

But...my needlework is not and must be attended to forthwith.  I am going to give it my undivided attention this afternoon and then we'll see about getting it re-started on the right track later this evening.

So that's it for now.  Just a hapless smitten spinster and her seam ripper today, Dearies.  Hope your corner of the world is happy and peaceful and full of all of the things that make your heart go pitty pat!



HOLY SCOTCH TAPE MISTAKE BATMAN!

Thanks to the eagle eye of Miss Lori, all of this will be coming out tomorrow:
See the mistake?

When I made a copy of the chart I didn't eliminate the overlap. 

Damn.

Drat.

Phooey.

But...how freaking cool is it that a fellow stitcher was willing to help me save myself from disaster?

Thank you again, dear Miss Lori!

Sep 4, 2017

AND THEN...WE HAD CAKE!

Red Velvet Cake.

By Cheryl Granda of Glendon Place fame.

I'm stitching this on the called-for 28ct Opal fabric from Picture This Plus in 2/2 with Dinky Dyes silks.

I was inspired to stitch this by a piece that a fellow stitcher had finished and framed at the House of Stitches.  And then...just to make it even sweeter...when I went to collect the kit, I discovered that it had been gifted to me by another fellow stitcher!

There are several different patterns in this series, but this one struck my fancy the most.  I am, though, having so much fun stitching it that I might consider the others!

If you're celebrating such...Happy Labor Day.  I had contemplated a pool weekend, but so far I haven't made it out if the big girl sleigh bed or Happy Chair.  I seem to be perfectly happy frittering the days away with Claire and Jamie and iced tea and stitching for company!

Dale M asked about Stewey's place here at CS2.
He's on my nightstand with a pumpkin so that he can watch over me as I sleep.  I still pat his picture every night and  say the same thing I did when he was here..."Night night, my little Prince.  Mommie loves you.  You have good sweet puppy dreams and I'll see you in the morning."

Damn, I miss that little dog.

Puzzles and a second cup of coffee await.  I'm getting a late start today, but figure that's exactly what a holiday Monday is for...right?


Sep 2, 2017

POPPERS FEE NEE


Poppers
Needle Delights Originals
18ct mono canvas
Caron Watercolours, Vineyard Silks, Caron Waterlilies, Kreinik #12

I had some questions about the stitching mechanics of this piece.  This is called counted canvas work, and you begin with a blank piece of canvas and build the design based on a chart.  In this case, each little block is charted out with the stitch diagram as well as the thread that is to be used.  The directions are very clear and the individual blocks are well charted, so if you are thinking about doing this piece as a beginner you shouldn't have any problems.

One tip that I used (from Miss Joyce in Library Guild) was to copy the chart and separate the little blocks so that they could be attached to the canvas (as opposed to the whole sheet) for easier stitching:

I'm not sure what's next, but am happy to count this as another finish for the year!  

SATURDAY SPINSTER BLISS

Two more rows until a Poppers happy dance!  I'm sure that this will happen sometime this afternoon...I have plans to enjoy a quiet stitchy day today right after I accomplish a few chores.
Still enjoying Outlander.  Thanks for the book rec...I might have to jump in to reading them later this Fall.  For now, though, I am mid-way through The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy.

My kidney appointment went very well...numbers are all stable and I am holding my own it would seem.  I will continue to limp along until things become too dangerous to do so, and then I will either start dialysis or head to Indianapolis.  I've cleared all of the hurdles on my side...now we just need to get my sister through the process.  In the meantime, though, I am learning how to be a patient patient and just following orders and being very thankful I am here to complain about it all. 😬

Stewey has been in my dreams almost every night this week.  I have only had a few little meltdowns missing him, but I understand now that they will hit me in waves or at unexpected times.  I wonder what he would have thought of the new place and whether or not he would have vetoed the placement of the Happy Chair.  I think he would have been OK with the overall scheme, but know that he would probably miss watching his birds and squirrels and deer and racoons at the feeders.  I have a collection of photos of him ready to frame...maybe it's time to get that done!

Kind of rambly today, Dearies.  Sorry about that, but writing this here blog is the equivalent of a visit and cup of coffee with you, I think.  My Grandma Loukos had a lady friend (named either Pearl or Opal, I can't remember), and they would chat on the phone each day and share the news.  I can still see Grandma standing in the kitchen in her housecoat and slippers with her coffee cup and the phone to her ear chatting about this and that while the world went by.

OK...back to reality.  The families across the courtyard are getting their days started.  I can hear one mom hollering at her little ones in Mandarin and another in Spanish.  It's really funny when both families meet up in the yard below to play "baseball".  The moms try to coach and teach the little ones what to do with lots of hand gestures and yelling, and the kids all huddle together and giggle.

One last pool day tomorrow.  It's a little cool for it today, but tomorrow promises to be almost 80.  I have scoped out the fitness center here in the complex and have also looked at a beautiful place just a mile or so away that has an indoor pool for the winter.  With a doctor's rec and my insurance discount, the monthly fees will be very manageable and I will be able to continue my floating, so that is a very happy thing indeed!  I am also contemplating taking some yoga (!) classes at the place just downstairs!

I'm telling ya...by the time this thing is over you aren't going to recognize me!

September nails are ready.  This is kind of a coppery redish brown color called "Hand Fired".  

Gee, I guess that just about covers it!  I hope your own little corner of the world is peaceful and a lot more interesting!  Come tell me all about your shenanagins!

Sep 1, 2017

NEW LEAF

So here we are on September 1 already!  I know that everybody says it, but where has this year gone already?!

In an effort to get back into routine, I have decided that it's time to start taking better care of the small stuff.  Like making the bed each day.  And drinking more water.  And being better about taking care of my poor old dried out skin.

When I went to the Targets yesterday to pick up a prescription, I grabbed this:

The price was right...free after I used my $5 gift card...so you can't beat that, right?  I applied a thick layer last night before bedtime and have to say that thus far I am pretty happy with the results.  I know that it's probably not the best lotion on the planet, but...baby steps.

I started binge-watching Outlander last night in anticipation of the Season Three premiere on September 10.  I made it through the first three episodes...only twenty-six more to go!

Poppers is coming along...only three more rows and it will be finished!

So that's the Friday report from the friendly confines of the Happy Chair, my Dearies.  I have a haircut appointment at 1:15 and then it's off to the grocery for a few provisions for the long holiday weekend.  Nothing special on the menu...I still don't have an appetite to speak of, but maybe something good will strike my fancy!

Hope your Friday is perfectly perfect in every way!

Aug 30, 2017

JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE...



I think I need to re-name this the "squirrel" project.

Every time I sit down to play with it, I seem to get distracted by something shiny.

Today will be a quiet day.  Labwork and a few errands and then a nap.  I feel a bit punk today, but know that it is probably just a hemoglobin issue again since I am due for a big fat dose of Aranesp on Friday.  Hopefully it will kick in just in time for me to enjoy the holiday weekend.

My heart and prayers are with the folks in the flooded areas of the US, and if anybody out there knows of someone in need of shelter for a bit (and they can get to Indiana)...my house is yours. I would invite y'all to come to CS2, but it might get a little crowded in the big girl sleigh bed.

That's about it for today, Dearies.  I hope that your Wednesday is swell and that you'll do something fun.  Don't forget to come tell me all about it.


Aug 29, 2017

Aug 28, 2017

MONDAY HANGOVER

But not the kind you normally think of.  This is me, after all.  The healthiest sick person on the planet, who behaves as though she were a triathalon training nun on an organic kale farm.

Nope, my hangover is of the TeeVee variety.

I binge-watched twenty-four episodes of Billions in the last week and came to the conclusion of Season Two at about 11:00 last night.  If you've never seen or heard of it...it is a series on Showtime  that takes place in the financial/legal world, and it's like watching a big fat complicated chess match.

I don't know how to play chess, and that world is completely foreign to me, so by the time an episode is finished I have a headache from trying to keep up.

But it's riveting stuff and I can't wait to see what happens in Season Three.

And if that weren't enough for my tiny little brain to handle...I decided to watch the season finale of Game of Thrones...yet another chess match and story line that has kept me totally enthralled.

Needless to say, not much stitching was accomplished.  I think I finished about three little blocks on Poppers before I realized that my attention needed to be 100% focused on the darn TeeVee.

Today is paperwork, budget, and bill paying day.  I will sit at the kitchen table and shuffle paper around until my eyes cross and then it will be time for a nap.

Hope your Monday is swell and that your very own week has started on a good note!  Do something fun and come tell me all about it!

Aug 27, 2017

IN WHICH POPPERS COMES BACK OUT TO PLAY

It was almost 9pm before I put needle in hand last night.  I spent the better part of the day looking at my WIPs wondering what would blow my skirt up, and nothing really did.

Poppers did the trick, though, so I think I might stick with it until completed.  Only six rows to go, after all!
Poppers
Needle Delights Originals
18ct mono canvas
Watercolours, Vineyard Silk, Kreinik


P.S. WEEK FIVE...NO NEW YORK TIMES AGAIN TODAY.

Aug 26, 2017

WOULD IT BE SO WRONG?

Do you suppose I could just leave all of these out like this?

I've had a three hour nap, a turkey sandwich, and now I'm contemplating a long hot bath before getting back to stitching and Billions tonight.

SATURDAY SPINSTER BLISS

When the hankering hits to sit on the floor and play with your stitching, you just go with it.  I decided to pull my WIPs out of the studio and spread them out all over the living room floor.

Before...

After the first sort...

Counted canvas WIPs:

Painted canvas WIPs:

Cross stitch WIPs:
 


Now I'm going to go through each category and sort them accoring to season.  Or how much I have left to go.  Or which ones are calling to me or are my favorites.  Or alphabetically.

Haven't decided the final criteria just yet, but I'm sure it will come to me.

I also have a pile of new things that I would like to start...like Coffee Quaker and Red Velvet Cake.  Those, I think, will go into my "working" basket, aka The Spinster Stitcher Basket 'O Stitchy Fun.

The only downside to doing this is that I want to run out to the Targets to buy big matching baskets to put all of this in.  I am trying very hard to exercise restraint, but the idea of having all of these perfectly organized in matching baskets makes my heart go pitty pat.

OK...back to the sandbox.  

How's your Saturday so far?




Aug 25, 2017

IN WHICH OUR SOCIAL BUTTERFLY HAS A TURTLE WEEK...

Sorry for the hashed metaphors there, Dearies, but I have received so many emails expressing concern that I wanted to send you into your weekend with the reassurance that all is well.

All is well.

August was an incredibly active month for me.  Between the retreat, dinners, appointments, and my new adventures at the pool, this butterfly was social indeed.

And that, my friends, just positively exhausts me.

Now that I'm older, I realize that it's perfectly OK to be an introvert and painfully shy and a complete and total social misfit.  You might remember that there was a period of time there when I didn't leave Chez Spinster for weeks and weeks at a time and that I could go a month or longer without any human contact at all.

Bliss.

In the old days, when the world became too much with me, I would just announce a blog break and then just stop writing altogether.  Now, though, I have come to rely on a daily check in as a means to follow my progress or to record whatever shenangin has come at me most recently.

But sometimes I need to de-people.  I need to pull up my little shell and go quiet and get back into my head and just re-charge my rusty old battery.  The hyena (remember him?!) used to berate me for this and tell me that wanting to be alone was an illness and that I had to change it.   Well-meaning relatives sent me articles about agoraphobia and told me to join a dating site, and people that didn't know me at all commented that it just wasn't normal to want to stay at home on a weekend with stitching and books and Ina episodes for company.

You, dear friends, get me though.  And you know not to take it personally and that my ego is still big enough that it requires a daily dose of Spinster Nation and all of the love, joy, and happiness that brings.

I'm stitching and reading and binge-watching and cooking and floating and sleeping and re-charging.  Next week will be full again with labwork and meetings and visits with the transplant team.  The weekend, however, is still going to be quiet...sushi for dinner tonight, playtime in the studio tomorrow, and hopefully a warm and sunny pool day on Sunday.

So that's it for now.  Nothing dramatic or life-changing just yet.  Just me...being me.

I hope that your weekend is off to a swell start and that whatever it is your heart desires comes to you in spades!  Do something fun, or quiet, or people-ly, or non people-ly and come tell me all about it!

FRIDAY. FRIDAY.