Jun 22, 2017


Hey, kids!  Does this look at all familiar to any of you?

It is a needlepoint canvas on Penelope canvas and appears to be printed very very well.  I thought I might play with it a bit, but wondered if anybody out there has ever worked one of these and has any super duper secret tips to share?

I've got DMC perle 5 in the called for colors, but am open to suggestions if something else works better.



A bit of a clumsy start, but a Happy Dance at the finish!

A Litte Stitch
Lizzie Kate
28ct linen from stash (I swapped out the provided piece)
threads as charted...DMC and WDW

Jun 21, 2017


Much like the swallows to Capistrano, the stitchy bug has returned to the spinster.

Dinner with my guild sisters and the trip to House of Stitches was filled with love, laughter, and (I'm mortified to confess) no less than four ugly cries right there in front of God and everybody.

It all started when we walked in and Miss Linda and Miss Nancy and Miss Cherry handed me my kit for Red Velvet Cake and I discovered that it had been paid for by an angel.  Then, as I was checking out, I handed over what I thought was a gift certificate from another angel, but it turns out that there were TWO gift certificates in the envelope from TWO angels.

Oey...puddles and puddles of tears.  My guild sisters were kind enough to pat me gently while I wept, and I kept having to run to the bathroom to try to get it together.

I never did.  Last night after Miss Charlene dropped me off and I had crawled into the Happy Chair with the heating pad and Tylenol and my meds, I cried and cried and cried over the overwhelming love and kindness that has surrounded me these last many months.

You know that expression "The kindness of strangers?"  Well, I somehow think it should be modified to say something about the fact that once a kindness is given, the person giving it is no longer a stranger. They are now your family.

And I am blessed, gobsmacked, and humbled to count as my family the most lovely, kind, generous, decent, and wonderful people on this crazy planet of ours.  Thank you, dear friends.  As long as I live, I will never figure out how I got so incredibly lucky to count myself part of this community.

Many of you have commented on my sister's absence from my life, but rather than mourn it, I think I'm going to start saying a silent prayer of gratitude that she was the one that taught me to stitch.  I do miss her terribly, but her gift to me was opening this door to all of you, so for that I am very very thankful.

So on to the goodies.  It's 10:30 in the morning here in Hoosierville, and I have read the paper, had my coffee, and taken my meds.  Know what I'm going to do today?

I'm going to stitch.

Right there in the Happy Chair with my jammies on and Stewey in his little box on the back of the couch for company.

Here's the haul from last night:

This is the linen and threads for Red Velvet Cake.  Now I just need to find the chart!

I think this is what I'm going to play with today as a reminder to do just that:

And once I get my groove back, I thought this might be wonderful.  The threads are Weeks Dye Werks Julian and the linen is Picture Thus Plus Fog.

So that's the Futzingday report, my dearies.  Now it's time...to...stitch!

Jun 20, 2017


The driving distance from the door of CS2 to the Emergency Room entrance of St. Joe Hospital is six minutes.

Ask me how I know this.

Go ahead.


When last we left our tale of woe, I had called my family doctor with a simple "Hey, doc!  I didn't go to medical school or anything, but I think I'm having another diverticulitis flare up.  Can you just call in an antiobiotic and let me get on with the unpacking of the things and the moving of the things and the dusting of the things and the organizing of the things?"

The call finally came at about 6pm, and it was not at all what I expected.

"Get to the ER and get there now."


I confess to having a moment of hesitation, but then my better angels kicked in and I realized that Dr. Niklinska has been my doctor for 20 years now, and in that time she has never once lead me astray, and besides, I am teetering on the edge of oblivion with these kidneys and should probably sit up in the buggy and pay attention.

So I called Miss Charlene to give her a heads up that I was headed that way, pulled on some clean clothes, and headed out.

(Do you know that Miss Charlene showed up in that waiting room to make sure I was OK and to keep me company?!  I swear...it's like I told Nurse Judy (who was taking care of me) "Every spinster needs a Miss Charlene".)

As predicted, Yours Truly is indeed suffering from an acute attack of diverticulitis.  Ten days of antiobiotics and lots and lots of fluids and all should be well again in that department, and as long as I don't try to sit, stand, lie down, breathe, think, or move I feel just fine.  The pain is...interesting, but the good news is that there was no sign of abscess or rupture, which means we caught it early.

My poor kidneys, though, appear to have taken a hit, and whether this is from the move, the heat we had, the progression of the disease, or the flare up is uncertain.  So I will meet with the kidney doc next Monday to see if I can continue to limp along, or if it's dialysis time.

(I'm hoping for the former, just for the record.)

I will make a quick trip to the Targets for the prescriptions and some provisions to get me through, and then it's back to the Happy Chair until Miss Charlene picks me up for our excursion to the House of Stitches.  As God is my witness, I will not move from this chair or touch one single solitary box or piece of mess today.  I have looked forward to this trip for months and am not going to miss it.

I suspect that the pace will now be much different while I recoup.  There is still an absolute ton of stuff to do here...not to mention the entire house that needs to be cleaned out over at The Forest, but...la dee da, la dee da...that will just need to wait.

All is well, dearies, all is well.  I promise that this was actually a good thing, in that it got me to a full stop and on my big fat heiney for a rest.  

If it also results in a needle and thread getting back in my hand it will definitely have been worth it!

Jun 19, 2017


It's unpacked, but it's my worst nightmare.  Everything is hither and yon and I don't have any matchy matchy baskets or bins because I promised myself that I would wait until I was sure of what I would need.
At this point, what I think I need is a frontal lobotomy.
Or a bulldozer.
Or heavy sedatives.
OK.  Officially done for the day.  I haven't heard back from the doc yet to know if I will need to go see her, but I suspect that tomorrow will be spent at the South Bend Clinic getting poked, prodded, and CT scanned.


But on a happier note, tomorrow is our trip to the House of Stitches and I already know what my treat is going to be!  Last time we were there I saw a framed finish of Red Velvet Cake by Glendon Place and fell head over heels for it:
Miss Linda kitted it all up for me and it's been ready and waiting for me to get my head out of my heiney with this move and go over and get it.

Tomorrow's the day!!

Off to the Happy Chair...don't know if I will stitch tonight or not, but at least I can now say that the Spinster Stitcher Studio is back in business!


Remember that nasty little bout with diverticulitis I had a while ago?  Well, it appears to be back.  With a vengeance.

I thought I had just pulled a muscle, or perhaps my lady parts had decided to finally fall apart, but this morning it dawned on me that the pain is in the exact spot that I had so much trouble with in times past.

I'm blaming the salad.

So it looks like today will be spent in the Happy Chair with lots and lots of fluids and some Tylenol.  If that doesn't do the trick, I'll call my doc and see about getting some pictures and an antiobiotic on board.

Damn, drat, and phooey.

Do you think this is the universe's way of telling me that it's time to stitch again?  I haven't had needle and thread in hand for what feels like weeks now.  I suspect that me not stitching, not reading, not cooking, etc etc is what's causing this mess.

Or maybe it was just a sunflower seed.

Anywhoose...time to remedy the situation toot sweet.  I simply cannot afford to fall apart now.  There is too much to do and this whole new life to get started!  


Jun 18, 2017


I don't know what I was thinking the new studio would look like, but so far it's looking very much like a 
room of cubes and not much else.

I think I need to breathe and reboot tonight and work on it a little more tomorrow.  Maybe once things are put away I'll feel better about it.

Here's hoping.


I managed to make it to the Martin's and not much else yesterday.  I decided to grab some Gatorade and a lovely salad for dinner, so off I went.

The trip was without incident, but one of the Real Housewives of Granger stopped me in the juice aisle as I was perusing the Gatorade and said "You know they make that in a calorie free version" without even a hint of "Gee, maybe this huge enormous sweaty woman with a salad in her little cart has had a rough week moving all of her crap into an apartment and is on the verge of a mental, physical, and emotional breakdown over leaving her little dream house in The Forest and perhaps she has had an even rougher go of it medically, so maybe I should just mind my skinny business and go pay twice as much for my organic bananas and be done with it."

But the tip was actually helpful, so I just thanked her, grabbed the neon colored G2 version of what was directly in front if me and got the h-e-double-toothpicks outta there.

For the record, it was actually pretty good and seemed to do the trick.  No cramps last night, even though I felt like they could have returned at any moment.

A Saturday of doing absolutely nothing looks like it might be followed by a Sunday of exactly the same.  I am suddenly so tired I can barely move, so methinks it will be yet another lasagna day.  I might just lounge myself right into a few snoozy naps and another salad later this afternoon.

Next week is a trip to House of Stitches, so I know that a new project is on the horizon.  I honestly don't know when my last stitching session was, but I feel like a parent with a beloved child away at camp.  Oh, how I've missed her so!  I just need to get her room finished for her so that when she finally returns there will be lots and lots of play time!

Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there!  I gave mine a little wave and blew a kiss to his picture this morning on my way to fetch the paper.  Kiss your dads, husbands, brothers, sons, nephews, grandfathers and uncles today if you can and come tell me all about it!

Jun 17, 2017


Back in the year 2000 I had to do massive doses of Prednisone for a terrible Crohn's flare up.  I'm talking massive...enough to cause a 200 pound weight gain over the space of four months.

(Oh wait.  Maybe it was the side of beef that I ate every night in my frenzy to get as much protein in me as I could.)

(Seriously.  All I wanted was protein...steak, ribs, chicken...if it was meat and it was grilled it was going in my gaping maw.  I scared the bejeesus out of my poor dad when he came for a visit and witnessed me eat a rack of ribs that looked like something from the Flintstones.  No side dishes.  No salad.  Just ribs.)

It was brutal.

Along with all of the other lovely side effects (like moon face and a fuller beard...like I needed THAT little addition!) came nightly leg cramps that were so awful and severe that I thought I would die.

Guess what has decided to return to Yours Truly just to make life more interesting?

I know that they are the result of too much physical activity and dehydration and possibly my calcium and magnesium and potassium levels being off, but...really?  I have tried and tried to be so very careful, and all I have to show for it is two bad nights and some very sore muscles.


No stitching for me today.  Truth is, I don't know if I will make it out if the Happy Chair at all.  If I can, I might hit the grocery for some Gatorade later, but for now I'm contemplating going back to bed and calling it another lasagna day.

I was so looking forward to stitching with Miss Jane and Co.  Hopefully, she will forgive my absence and allow me to try again next month.  Truth be told, I'm not sure if my poor hands could even hold a needle at this point.  They, too, are sore and swollen and feel like I'm wearing baseball mits.

OK, enough complaining.  Time for a second cup of damn good and then a little bootstrap tightening.  Ten minutes of feeling poorly is my maximum allowed allotment fot the day...back to glitter, sunshine, unicorns, and rainbows!

Movie night was a smashing success, but I watched Gone Girl twice instead of picking something I hadn't seen before.  I am going to try to make a concerted effort to watch new movies instead of the same old ones over and over again, but I suppose that a little familiarity is a good thing for me at the moment and I should stop shaking the tree.

Here's hoping that your weekend is off to a lovely start and that you are cramp and worry free.  Do something...blah blah blah...you know!

Jun 16, 2017


Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.

And I even took a snoozy nap!

I just never made it out of the fog today, so I stayed in jams until about an hour ago when I finally took a nice shower and put some clean clothes on to greet Miss Charlene and her husband.  My very first visitors!

Tonight will be movie night...a new tradition we're starting here at CS2.  I think it will also be pizza night in the future, but that will have to start next week since I am sans pizza and already had a salami/ham/provolone sandwich.

(Is is odd that the moment I opened the bag of ham I looked for Stewey to come around the corner looking for a taste?)

So I'm settling in and looking forward to a little stitchy time tomorrow.  Then, methinks the weekend will be devoted to playing with the studio shelving cubbie thingies.

This is still unpacking mode.  My goal here is just to get all of the boxes opened, emptied, and gotten rid of.  Then, I'll go into organizing mode and will figure out all of the drawer dividers and other thingies that will make everything nice and tidy.  Finally will be decorating mode...the hanging of the things and the placing of the things etc etc etc.

It's coming together...so far, so good.  Thank you for all of your support, encouragement and tips and helpful advice, as well as the raucous cheerleading.  I just never could have done this without you!


Hmmm.  Not quite the same view as before, but I suppose I can close my eyes and pretend that I am looking out at the trees and birds and that Stewey is snoozing in the sun.

Rough night with pain, leg cramps, and a tiny little brain on overdrive.  Time to stop and sit for a minute and catch my breath.  I knew I was pushing hard, but yesterday was just too too much.  Today will be much quieter, and then tomorrow I am going to stitch with Miss Jane and Co. at her church for a bit.

The studio is going to take a lot longer than I expected.  For one thing, I am going to have to figure out how/where to assemble those storage cubes, since I vastly miscalculated the available floor space:
Another problem for another day.

I am hoping that the heat and humidity relent sometime soon.  I am noticing a vast difference living on the second floor and can only imagine what my electric bill is going to be for all of this air conditioning!  

Here's hoping that your Friday is spectacular.  If you're stitching, please take an extra one for me...it looks like it's still going to be a little while before I'm fully back into the fold!

Jun 15, 2017

11:20 PM

Note to self...you cannot decide to put books away and start doing just that at 7PM and expect not to overdo it.

I. Am. Bushed.

Also, can anybody please explain to me how I ended up giving away a couple hundred books and I somehow don't have room for the ones that are left?  I have four full boxes left with nowhere to put them.  How the heck did that happen?

Tomorrow is bedroom day, and I fear the reality that I might have to rethink the furniture placement.  As much as I love that bed on an angle, I can't get to the clothes in the dresser!  I might have to be normal and put the bed centered on the wall like a big girl.  We'll see.

I also need to renegotiate the Happy Chair placement since having the table to my right is just not going to work...that stitchy light needs to be to my left, as does the place for my chart once I start stitching again.

OK.  Off to bed.  I am clean and shiny after a shower, and I managed to find some clean jams.


Jun 14, 2017


I had intended to start with the bedroom and work my way out, but decided to do the kitchen and bath today instead.

A perfect wall for the big ass pear...now I just need to hang it.
I am especially happy how the bottom of the pantry perfectly houses my mixer, big bowls, and misc little appliances that I don't use often.

The top shelves that are empty will hold all of my baking stuff and the other shelves will be better organized with holders for cans and boxes and such.

Dishes and casseroles fit well here.  I was a little worried about this one, since I consolidated three cabinets into one:

Coffee cups, drinking glasses, and sippy cups.  Finally!  A place for the sippy cups!

Coffee, coffee, coffee!! (And Stewey's cookie jar.)

The view from behind the sink.  

And into the bathroom.  I was so relieved to find a tall cabinet in there!

More stuff than I am happy with on the vanity, but this is a good start at least.

I'm thinking about this as decor...

So that's the progress for today.  I still need to hang a lot of command hooks and get some drawer divider/organizer thingies, but I wanted to get everything packed first and then make a thorough list before going to the Targets or the Beds, Baths, and Beyonds.

Tomorrow I am going to have a leisurely morning and then I have a doctor's appointment at 1:00.  Then I'll stop over at the house to pick up mail, empty the fridge and freezer, put the trash out, and grab a few small items that I forgot...like a bathroom trash can and my tool box!

Thank you, my dears, for all of your lovely notes and comments and prayers and support.  Writing to you so often has kept me accountable through this, and has forced me to keep my promise to look after myself.

More tomorrow...stay tuned!



 Living room:




I slept well last night, but my heart is heavy with the news coming from London.  My prayer is that everyone involved can find some bit of comfort and peace in the midst of such terribleness.  

I feel extra blessed that my only problem is the task of unpacking a new home and that I am not facing something far worse.  I lost a few pieces of furniture...the TeeVee armoire suffered a broken leg and had to be left behind for the dumpster, but in light of everything else, this was a very small thing.  

The movers were very good about sitting me in a chair and keeping me there.  I decided to confess my weakness right up front and apologized profusely for not being any help to them physically, but they insisted that this was not a problem and proceeded to lift and carry everything here in the middle of a heatwave and a thunderstorm with remarkably good cheer.

The making of the bed with clean fresh sheets and a new foam mattress topper was the first thing I tackled...the setting of the coffee things the second...and getting the TeeVee connected was the third.  In each adventure I said a fervent wish to the Three Above (*) that I would complete the job without difficulty, and I did.

So today begins and I am ready for it, armed with nothing but my wits and stubborn disposition.  I do solemnly promise, however, that I will not overdo and will pace my poor tired portly little self accordingly.

(*) For some, the Three Above would be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  For me last night, though, it was Father, Mother, and Stewey Little.  I asked my dad to help me assemble the electronics, my mom to help with the bed, and Stewey to supervise the setting of the coffee maker.

Now if I only would have thought to ask somebody to make sure the newspaper delivery transferred this morning, it would have been perfect....oh well, a small small hiccup in an otherwise smooth and happy move.

It occurs to me that my first official day here at CS2 is happening on a Futzingday.  What a perfect way to begin!  Here's hoping that there are lots more Futzingdays on the horizon...but with needle and thread instead of boxes and tape!

Do something Futzy and come tell me all about it!

Jun 12, 2017


My appointment went almost as planned, but I decided to start the waterworks right there in front of God and everybody as the reality of my life started to sink in.  Fortunately, the gentleman on the other side of the conference table just happened to be Miss Charlene's husband Steve.  Mr. Steve is an attorney who has bravely and very graciously taken me on as his hapless client, so my poor tender heart was in very good hands indeed.

From there I went to the bank to retrieve cash for the movers tomorrow, but I stood there for what felt like three days trying to determine what an appropriate tip amount will be.  Can anybody guide me?  It's going to be 110 degrees tomorrow, so in addition to providing these guys plenty of cold drinks and meals, I want to give them a tip that compensates them for having to haul all of my crap up the stairs in the midst of a hearwave.

I finished packing the last few boxes and took a quick look to make sure I didn't miss anything, then I stripped the bed and washed all of the sheets and blankets and such, and I lifted the mattress and boxspring  to vacuum the underside of the big girl sleigh bed.

You might remember that under the bed was one of Stewey's forts, so you can imagine the ugly cry that ensued when I found a few of his treasures hidden under there and enough white fluffy hair to construct an entirely new Stewey with a few pounds left over.

Yup. Sat right down in the middle of the floor for that one.

I was going to call it a day, but decided  to do a fast Target run and hit the grocery for a few things to stash at CS2 just to get me started...like fruit and sandwich things, and cream for my coffee.  I had the entire store to myself (which was lovely), but just as I was heading for the checkout lane the lights decided to go out.  Ka-blooey.  Why this would upset me is completely beyond reason, but...more tears all over the front of my t-shirt and old lady jean capris.


I made it through the grocery without incident and managed to get the bags upstairs in record time, and then I came home, packed the coolers, took a lovely cool shower, and hit the Happy Chair.

And that's when the big one hit.  I suddenly realized that tonight is my last night here.  I have loved this little  house with my whole heart for almost 15 years. When I first moved back to Indiana in January of 1999, I used to drive around on Saturdays looking at houses.  The minute I drove onto my street, I told myself that some day I was going to live here.  And then Dad came for a visit and I brought him over to meet the builder and we looked at different models and Dad said "CJ, I think you've found your dreamhouse".

They broke ground on May 1, 2002 and then Dad got sick and I spent most of that summer in Phoenix.  My friends drove by and took pictures for me and I sat with Dad and talked about lighting fixtures and cabinets.  They finished construction and I moved in on November 7th, and I remember sitting in this exact spot that first night planning decorations and wondering where I was going to put this or that.

Chrissy moved in a year later and stayed until she went home to be with Dad before he died, and then she came back and bought her own little dream house in the neighborhood next door.  That was probably my favorite time...me in my house and she in hers...runnings our errands and having sissy days and decorating for the holidays and raising the boys.

And then the wheels came off the bus and I got sick and lost my job, and then Chrissy went sideways and everything turned upside down.  That was in 2006.  Eleven years ago.  Eleven years of doing everything I possibly could to just keep it together until together wasn't even remotely an option anymore.  Survival became about the only thing I could think to do.

I can honestly tell you that right up until the very moment the door opened at CS2, I was determined to leave this house one way only...feet first.  I could not even fathom the possibility of living elsewhere, but what looked like complete foolishness to anybody advising me was a actually just...fear.

Tonight, though, I'm not afraid.

I'm sad, yes, and I think it's OK to acknowledge that.  I feel very humiliated and ashamed and embarrassed that I'm leaving my house and despite my very best attempts to put a happy spin on it, this has been the single hardest thing I've done right after losing my parents and Stewey.  For it to come on the heels of such a hard year last year certainly doesn't make it any easier, but for the first time in a long long while I actually think I might survive this.

My new life begins at 8am tomorriw morning.  I know I still have a ton of hard work to do before I can officially relax into it, but this week is going to be all about new beginnings.  I am going to enjoy getting myself unpacked and organized and back into routine, and then in another week or so I will call in the cavalry and get this place cleared out and cleaned up for its next occupant.

My prayer is that this house knows how much I have loved her and that I am so very grateful for all of the happiness and comfort she brought me in addition to keeping me safe and sound.  She's a good house and I hope the next owner feels as lucky as I do to have lived here.

So much for being perfectly organized.  Today I am in full-on panic mode and am feeling the urge to grab every single thing I can and shove it in a box.  But then I remember that CS2 is just not going to accomodate that, no matter how hard I might wish.

I think I will just breathe deeply and play the "Worst Case Scenerio" game.  I've been doing that a lot lately as a means of keeping myself from running away from home.

After my appointment today, I am going to come home and pack one or two last minute items.  Everything else is going to be left alone.  Period.  Kaput.  No touch-y.

Tomorrow, the nice moving men will come gather and haul everything that is packed over to the new place and I will take a few days to put it all away.  Remember that famous map?  Well, I'm going to dust that sucker off and follow it to the shelf, letter, and drawer.

Then, when CS2 is completely free of boxes and packing paper and my underpants are in their drawer and my stitchy stash is safe and sound, I will come back here for a little bit each day to begin the clean up process.   If I come across something that I just absolutely have to have (and, more importantly, there's room for it) I'll pack it up, stick it in the car, and haul it on over.

The worst case scenerio is that I end up with a huge amount of stuff that I just can't part with, but that I don't have room for.  In that case, I will pack it up, call the nice movers back, and have them haul it to their storage facility for safekeeping until I can figure out what to do next.  (Which, for you astute readers and commenters out there is exactly what many of you suggested I do in the first damn place.)

I really don't think this is going to be necessary, however, since I'm pretty sure that once I get settled I won't even remember what's left behind.  I just need to remind myself that this is the beginning of a new life...so for pity's sakes...don't drag the old one behind!

Chaos has ensued here in Hoosierville, and I'm certain that the mess is playing havoc with me in more ways than one.  Combine that with the fact that I haven't stitched, cooked, read, or slept well since this  whole adventure began, and it's no wonder that I just want to sit in the corner and suck my thumb for a bit.

Twenty four hours.  I just need to get through the next twenty four hours and all will be well once again.

Jun 11, 2017


My Saturday was exactly what a Saturday should be for a portly spinster in need of a little fun.

I awoke at the crack of dawn to the sun shining and the birds chirping their little brains out.  

(It's a good thing Stewey wasn't here to witness/endure it.  He would have snatched off his little sleep mask and had a cross word or two with the Head Bird in Charge about caterwauling at such an indecent hour.)

Damn good coffee and the paper were dispatched with authority and then I got myself cleaned up and semi-presentable for Library Guild.  I decided to brave it and went with a leggings/tunic top ensemble that had heretofore only seen the inside of Chez Spinster, but it must have been OK because nobody called the heiney police and had me carted off to fashion jail.

(But again, thank God Stewey wasn't here to comment about a "woman of a certain age" who would most certainly look and feel better in a proper shirtwaist and sensible pumps.)

As usual, my guild ladies worked their magic on me and I felt completely renewed and relaxed for the first time in quite a while.  I didn't take one single stitch, but I sat and enjoyed their company and oohed and aahed over their gorgeous work.  Miss Myrtis made the most beautiful jewelry pieces...beaded and colorful and so pretty I couldn't stop looking at them.  Missie Jane had her puffin...a fantastic painted canvas that she is doing in vibrant colors and cool stitches.  And Miss Charlene is finishing a class piece by Kathy Reese that has blues and purples in it...can't wait to do that one!

Lunch was my monthly cheeseburger, and the darn thing was bigger than a hubcap.  I felt like I should have been on one of the Food Network shows about enormous food, but I was not daunted, I tell ya.  I jumped right into that cheeseburger and ate a whole half of it while poor Miss Julie watched in horror.

(It. Was. Delicious.)

As much as I'd love to tell you that I came home and finished my packing, I did not.  I came home, got into pajamas, and took a four hour nap with my face in the sun as it splashed across the pillows.  And when I woke up, I did absolutely nothing but drink iced lemon water and watch TeeVee.

(It, too, was delicious.)

So that means that today is going to be rather full.  I need to finish packing this house and then I want to get groceries in place over at CS2 so that I don't need to fuss with it next week.  I did, however, modify my list to include just a few essentials rather than a full stock up.  I figure that it's still going to be a few days until I'm fully functional over there, so there's no need to fill the fridge, freezer, and pantry just yet.  

We're off to the races, kids!  One last push today and it will finally be done!

I hope your weekend was everything you wanted it to be!  Come tell me all about it!

Jun 10, 2017

Jun 9, 2017


Today will go down in Spinster history as the day I channelled my inner 23-year old and accomplished what will surely result in me not being able to get out of bed tomorrow.

But I simply cannot have that happen.

No way.  

No how.

Tomorrow is Library Guild day, which means I get to put my shoes and socks on and see my stitchy sisters for a few hours of bliss, peace, and happiness.

(Besides...I just finished dragging three huge bins of books out to the car that I intend to donate to the library tomorrow.  And, because I am a nutball, I already called the library to confirm that they will take them and that I can borrow one of their big rolling bin thingies to get all of the books inside.)

So today I decided that it would be Target stock up day.  I have been compiling a list of all of the normal stuff I use on a monthly basis, as well as a few things that I needed to pick up for CS2...like a new vacuum cleaner. (The old one, poor thing, gave its last gasp about a week ago and I just can't see spending more to repair it than a new one costs.)  (The new one was a steal at 22 bucks, by the way!)

I double checked my list, gathered all of my coopuns and Target bags, and headed out. My plan was to get everything I needed, bring it home, sort it, pack it, and get on with my closet, bathroom, and bedroom packing.

(Now, because you are all smarter than I am, I know that you are already scratching your head and wondering why the heck I would buy all of that crap, cart it home to Chez Spinster, pack it, and then pay the nice moving men a bazillion and a half dollars to carry it up the stairs to CS2 next Tuesday.)

All I can say in reply to this is..."HAVE YOU MET ME!?!?"

In my defense...it's the stairs, kids.  It's the darn stairs.

The darn flight of stairs that has haunted my every dream since the day I first laid eyes on my new home.

I had it in my head that I was never going to be able to make it up and down those stairs easily...let alone with groceries and/or Target supplies, and I figured I would just have the movers carry every single thing I could think of, and then when it came time to actually get anything else up there in the future, I would figure it out.  (There was a plot to use the drive up grocery lane and ask the kid if he felt like going for a little ride, but that seemed remarkably like something that would land me in jail, so I vetoed that one.  Then I thought about just ordering Jimmy Johns sandwiches for the rest of my life, but I think the docs at IU might have something to say about that one.)

I filled two carts up at the Targets.  Two carts!  And as I was putting everything into the car I thought "Gee whiz!  This is going to be a lot of boxes!"  

You know that moment when the clouds part and that ray of sunshine comes through and illuminates the scene below?  Or when a cartoon character gets an idea and a lightbulb pops up over their pointy little head?


Right there in the Target parking lot.  

Epiphany City.

So I drove the half a tenth of a mile to the apartment and proceeded to carry all of the crap from the Targets right up those stairs and into CS2.

Like.  A.  Boss.

I'm not saying that it was easy or that I broke any land speed records doing it, but twelve trips up and down without a heart attack or mishap is worth celebrating....no?

I managed to put all of my purchases away in the closets and cupboards and when it was done I did a little jiggy happy dance right there in the middle of my new living room.  And then I went downstairs, got in the car to return to CS1 and called Miss Charlene to tell her what I had just done.

What can I say?  I feel like I climbed Mt. Everest and overcame a big big big obstacle.  SOMEBODY had to know about it!

I wish I could adequately explain how completely and totally relieved I am to know that I am going to be able to do this.  Why it never occurred to me to try it before today is beyond me, but at least now I know it can be done and I don't need to be afraid.

Sunday will be grocery stock up day so that next week I can get back to a healthier eating schedule.  I am still enjoying my peanut butter on a bagel in the morning, but there has been an awful lot of take out to compensate for long hard days of packing.  I promised myself that I would just eat whatever sounded good this week, but next week I want to get back to cooking!

Sorry for such a long-winded brag session, but this was such a big day that I wanted to share it.  Can you imagine how long this would have been if I would have actually accomplished something? 😬

Hope your week was swell and that you have a weekend full of everything you love!

Jun 8, 2017


Last evening, I dropped into the Happy Chair after a shower and some dinner, and I had a meltdown.


(I swear, the emotional workout I'm getting from all of this turmoil is matched only by that of the physical one that my poor body is getting from pushing all of this crap around.)

Up until yesterday, I felt like my plan was well-controlled and that every single thing had a place at CS2.  Yesterday, though, I think I was so surprised to come across all of that memorabilia that I went on a frenzy of cramming stuff into boxes and deciding I would worry about them later.

But I can't do that.

There is only so much square footage in the new place, and despite my very best efforts at culling, you can't...no matter how hard you try...put ten pounds of potatoes in a five pound bag.

Now, before you panic and think I've decided to abandon all of these treasures...breathe deeply and relax.  My dad is apparently on the case and all will be well.

I was tossing and turning and fretting and worrying how and where I was going to store all of this, when I heard my dear dad say "CJ.  Take a breath, honey.  Move all of your things according to your plan and put them away in your new little house.  You will have plenty of time to come back here and sit quiety and sort and organize all of these things, and by then you will know exactly what you'll have space for.  Wait until you're finished moving and have had a day or two to rest so that you can do this rested and clear headed.  Nothing good is ever decided when you're doing it during a time of fear, stress, and great emotion."

As usual, I immediately felt better.

So I'm going to move the memorabilia back into the guest room closet today and then will look forward to coming over in a few weeks and just sitting down and carefully going through it all.  I might even grab a couple pretty storage boxes from the Michael's to put the dearest keepsakes in.  I bought one for Stewey a few months ago, and I have really enjoyed putting little things in it here and there that I want to keep in remembrance of him.

So that solved the memorabilia problem.  

The walls, however, and all of the crap that I had hanging on them, are a different matter entirely:

Dad had nothing to say on this subject other than "You're on your own, kid" so I suppose I am left with the same dilemma.  I do not have a big white wall of nothingness at CS2, and I'm not sure yet if there's a place for a seasonal "gallery" in which I can swap out pieces according to the time of the year, but I think I might follow the same plan as before.

The stuff in the cardboard box is all stitching that I might like to hang now, and the big tub is more of an "archive".  There is a large storage closet out on the balcony that is finished, so I might stash this tub in it along with the Christmas decorations and drag it out every now and then to refresh a few pieces.

(This one is all Mom, since one of the running jokes in our house when I was a kid was my dad teasing my mom about putting holes in the wall, and my mom telling him to nevermind.  He felt that the way to hang a picture involved careful measurements and levels and all sorts of tools, and she just kind of closed one eye, got a general sense of where she wanted something, and pounded the nail right in.)

I don't even want to think about the poor soul that has to repair all of my nail "incidents" in this here house!

(For the record...I will be using Command picture hanging strips at CS2 to avoid this situation.)

So that's what's in my muddled head today.  I am going to finish coffee and the paper and get back to it.  Today is knick knack and Christmas decoration day, so I can't wait to see what tonight's meltdown will be about!

We're off like a herd of turtles!  Hope your day and night are meltdown free and that you'll come tell me all about it!


Jun 7, 2017


Oey.  Today I started in the guest room closet with "memorabilia".  I figured there might be a box or two of school things or maybe a few pictures here and there, but I hit the mother lode instead

After Dad died, we had a rather protracted battle with his wife over "stuff".  It was silly, really.  What she wanted was money, and what we wanted was our mom's wedding dress and our baby pictures.  (Why these things were so valuable to her escapes me, but I suppose they made for very good hostages, since we paid a hefty ransom for them.)

I moved everything from Phoenix to Hoosierville when Chrissy bought her house, and when she subsequently lost/left that house and then lost/left everything in the house in a storage warehouse I assumed that all of the stuff was lost with it.

The guest room here has always been just that here in CS1...a place for overnight guests.  I used the closet for extra linens and things and thought that the left side was pretty empty except for one or two things of Mom's and Dad's.

Boy, am I happy I was wrong.

Stuffed in that closet from floor to ceiling was Mom's wedding dress, our baby pictures, stuff of Dad's, and more crap than I even knew we had saved!  Here I had mourned the loss of all of these memories, and they were right under my nose the whole time!

(I am assuming, by the way, that my stupid sister moved all of this crap in here in the dead of night, since I haven't one clue as to how it all got here.)

Here's a pic of the thing that sent me straight into the ugly cry:

And on the back:
It says..."1966 - Awaiting baby (Connie Jo)" in my mom's handwriting.

And how about this:
This must be one of the last pieces Mom stitched.  See how she started at the bottom and worked up a column using the sewing method?
I wish you could see her stitches on this.  Talk about perfect tension!

I think I am going to send this for finishing after I get settled...maybe as an enormous pillow for a new Happy Chair?

OK, break time is over.  I still have Christmas decorations, knick knacks, and everything on the walls yet to do today!  Yikes!

Hope you're doing something fun and that you'll come tell me all about it!

Jun 6, 2017


I managed to screw up my resolve and get the boxes packed...linen, hall closet, and books in the bedroom.  By my count, I think my library consists of approximately 1,500 books.  That includes stitchy books and cookbooks too, but...eye yai yai I have a lot of books!

(And this is somebody that hasn't purchased a book in at least five years or so!)

After a good scrubby shower and some clean clothes (leggings and a tunic top), I went to see Miss Brandi for the taming of the shrew.  I hadn't expected to have my brows done in addition to a haircut, but it would appear that when I booked the appointment oh so long ago I was feeling sassy.  

(I feel like I lost about seven pounds!)

(Note to self...if you can no longer see out of your eyeballs without pinning both your bangs and your brows off to the side, it's time to think about a little spa day action.)

After I was all spiffy, I stopped by CS2 to make sure it was actually still there and not some crazypants dream that I cooked up in my demented little brain.  Can I just tell you that the moment I opened the door I felt so stupidly happy, and as I wandered from room to room (all four of them) I said "I can't believe I get to live here!" over and over again.  

It's just such a light-filled happy place that makes me feel so very peaceful inside.  I don't know if I understand "energy" type stuff, and I've never been very good at sorting truth from hocus pocus, but there is a good vibe to this new space.  I know that it only had one tenant before me and that he was a single guy that worked for one of the developers, but methinks he left behind a lot of good juju for me to enjoy.  

It just feels like home.

So tonight I will enjoy my new haircut and will drink lots of water and then tomorrow I'm going to have a big day...garage, Christmas decorations, knick knacks, artwork/walls, and what I'm calling "memorabilia".  This is all of the crap that sits at the top of the guest room closet that I haven't looked at in years...stuff from my school days, stuff of Mom's, stuff of Dad's, and all of Stewey's baby clothes.  I think I might just carefully put all of this into a few big boxes and put them in the back of the new closet and sort through it later...like maybe this winter on a cozy Sunday.  I just don't think I have it in me to do it right now.

Thank you...yet again...for indulging me with all of this rambling about the move.  I think that this here blog has been my way of keeping myself organized, but more importantly, it's been a wonderful way for me to "process" everything.

(There's another one of those hocus pocus words that I'm never quite sure of.  Geeze Louise, I'm getting hippy dippy in my old age!  I ferl like Tony Soprano when he's complaining to Dr. Melfi about everybody getting in touch with their feelings and he wants to know what ever happened to Gary Cooper?  A strong, silent type who just got things done without having to talk about it!)

OK...now I'm going to go watch Sopranos.

Happy Tuesday.  I think today marks nine years of me writing this drivel, so I suppose I should take another minute to thank you for the adventure. Oh, what a ride it's been!  I can't wait to see what happens next!


Oey...I am moving very very slow this morning.  It's as though my top half/brain is going 75 miles an hour and my lower half/body is sitting in the garage looking for the start button on the engine.

I had a good sleep and both cups of damn good coffee, so I suppose that this sluggishness is residual and likely to last a while considering the curcumstances.

Do you suppose it's too late to call the whole thing off and just go back to bed?

If I was a marathon runner (stop that snickering, if you please) I think this is what is called "hitting the wall".  Given my propensity for sloth and Pringles, my only exposure to marathons is hearing about them, but I know things, and this feels like a wall.

Today I need to pack two lousy boxes...one for the linen closet and one for the hall closet, so I suppose I should just get to it and stop my complainng.  I already know exactly what's going in each box, so there really is no excuse for dreading it so much, right?

But I am a bit tired.  And sore.  And inexplicably out of sorts today.

I know that a large part of it is the fact that I am stumbling around chaos at the moment and that things are out of their normal places,  but I would bet that the anxiety is ramping up in the "I hate change" area of my brain also.  I do hate change.  I really do.  I like my ruts and routines and habits and at the moment they are swirling around in this big huge messy snowglobe called life.

OK...navel gazing over.  Time to pull on the ponytail and get on with it.

Hope your Tuesday is swell and that your own snowglobe is peaceful and pretty today!

Jun 5, 2017


"It's really quite easy", I said.

"You just follow a map of what is going where and put it in a box."

Holey.  Schmoley.

By the time I closed that last box I was crying pituful salty tears all over the front of my t-shirt.  I don't know if it's physical, mental, or emotional, but it would seem that I decided to pick this afternoon to have my nervous breakdown.

Talk about dropping my basket!

So I did what any self-respecting 51 year old portly spinster would do.  I sat right down in the middle of the kitchen floor and had a good cry about it while silumtaneously watching the Kardashians on the little kitchen teevee.

All done now.  Just a momentary lapse of sanity that I like to think of as a "spiritual colonic".

I think it started when I went out to get the mail and stopped to chat with the weed lady.  The weed lady is one if the members of the landscaping crew that show up to do all of the lawn mowing and leaf blowing and weed pulling, etc.  This particular lady and I bonded the year I brought Stewey home as a wee baby and she would sit a play with him while I pulled the weeds for her.

(She's 79 years old for crying out loud.  The very least I could do was let her hide out on my back patio for a little bit playing with what was arguably the cutest puppy ever known to man.)

I hadn't seen the weed lady in quite some time, and it turns out that she hadn't been here since last Spring because her daughter broke her back and the weed lady had to care tor her.

Yup...you guessed it.

She didn't know that my Stewey had died.

So needless to say, spending 45 minutes standing in the driveway holding a sobbing weed lady in 85 degree heat in my pajamas was not exactly conducive to running today's schefule with the precision of a Swiss watch.  We ran that train right off the rails, kids!

But it's done, and now I can go take a nice long shower or soak in the tub and I can focus on doing a little laundry and calling it a day.

Tomorrow is linen closet and hall closet day, so methinks I should be able handle that without too much drama....unless I just jinxed myself again!

Hope your Monday was/is swell!


You are all so lovely and kind to think that I am toiling away here in Hoosierville...a big ball of efficiency and organization and energy.

The truth of the matter is that the way I'm doing this is really quite simple.  Remember the day I spent at CS2 sitting on the floor staring at empty walls and spaces?  Well, what I was really doing was making a map.

And now all I have to do is follow that map and put whatever is going in closet A or cupboard B or in space C in a box and then label it accordingly.  

So this and the subsequent unpacking are the easy part.

The part that has me a little worried and dread-filled is the clearing out of the current Chez Spinster.  For that, though, I promise to call in the cavalry.  I think that between my sister, friends, an estate sale, and St. Vincent's they should be able to clear this place out in no time.  

Emotionally, I confess that I do not expect to be able to be here during the process, but that's OK, right?  Once I've pulled out of the driveway for the last time and said my goodbyes I figure it will be OK to let somebody else bury the body.

(Metaphorically speaking, of course!)

So today the map is leading me through the kitchen:

I don't think I'll have too many hiccups here...just lots and lots of paper and bubble wrap!

Hope your week has started out to be swell and that whatever you're doing today is exactly where you want to be!