Aug 17, 2017


The last few days of Spinster Aqua Therapy have been interrupted by a band (hoarde?) of unruly, obnoxious, UNSUPERVISED children.

Now before we go any further, I really need to point out the fact that although I do not have children,and I somewhat identify with the Baroness in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang who was terrified of them...I would do anything in my power to help a child or protect a child or love a child in need.

But these little bas$&:ds?  These children have run amok for the last three days...screeching, running, pushing, shoving, spitting, and vandalizing everything in sight.  They are the most terrible little beasts I've ever seen.  

And there's five of them.

The two oldest kids look to be about ten...the three little ones (WHO DON'T KNOW HOW TO SWIM BY THE WAY) seem to be between three and four.

I left a nice message for the office manager...kind of a "Gee.  I know I'm new here, but it seems to me that it's dangerous for five little kids to be left alone at a swimming pool" but so far nothing has been done.  I guess they were kind of hoping that school starting would take care of the problem.

Not so much.

So today, as I was on my way home from my last appointment, I started fretting about my afternoon pool visit.  Maybe I'm crazy, but being there with these kids by myself has made me a nervous wreck, and despite the fact that the exercise I've been getting has literally changed my life...the aggravation of having to deal with getting spit on, jumped on, splashed, etc. was making me contemplate a nap instead.

But then a miracle happened.

I stopped at the Targets to pick up a prescription, and right there in front of me was the solution.


Lots and lots of sedatives.

And a bottle of gummy candy that I could slip them into and feed to the little buggers...

OH COME ON, PEOPLE!  Do you honestly think I have the ability to be that devious or criminal

No, what I bought instead was...


Lots and lots of books.

I bought a half cart full of children's books and brought them home and put them in my pool bag and then shoved myself into my old lady bathing suit and made the 104 steps to the pool.

Today there were seven UNSUPERVISED unruly obnoxious little children.  When I got there, two chairs and a trash can had been thrown into the deep end and the pool cover looked like it wanted to run screaming from the premesis.

So I walked over to one of the two older kids (who I hoped was the leader) and said "Hi.  My name is Ms. Spinster and I would like to do some exercising in the pool today.  I brought all of you some presents, so if you'll help me clean up the pool and will give me fifteen minutes of it to myself, you can have the presents and keep them.  Deal?"

This kid was no dummy...he wanted to know what the presents were before he negotiated a cease fire.

I don't know how, but I was smart enough not to cave.  "Sorry kid. You either agree to my terms or I take my presents and go home."

He stood there for a minute and finally decided to go for it, so he hollered for all of his little minions to get the crap out of the pool, he pulled the little ones away from what ever they were doing to the cover, and then pretty much demanded payment.

I broke out into a panic attack and prayed.  "Sweet mother of all that is holy, please let these kids like books and not decide to drown me in three feet of water."

Seven books.  Seven tiny little asses sitting quiety on seven chairs, and I had an entire half hour of doing my manatee prancydancing and cloud peeping in peace and quiet.  I's going to take a month of Sundays to wipe this grin off of my face.


I'm wrestling with philosophical and moral dilemmas today, so my normal morning routine of damn good coffee and the paper has been...fraught.

When did it get so darn hard to be an adult?

I'm off to appointments and then hopefully for a quick float before it gets dark.  It figures that today is a pretty day sans little ones at the pool, and I need to spend it in doctors' offices.

No stitching to report, I'm afraid.  Last night was our Elkhart EGA summer picnic dinner at a great restaurant called McCarthy's.  I had appetizer, entree, and dessert and came home a roly poly blissed out lump who sat in front of the TeeVee.

(It was heavenly, thankyouverymuch, especially since the scale this morning stayed exactly where it was before this little feast!)

We're off to the races, Dearies!  Hope your very own Thursday is swell!

Aug 16, 2017


So a funny thing happened last night at grocery guild.  My stitchy sisters and I had a lovely time of it, chatting and such, and I was just so darn happy to be there I thought they were going to have to stun gun me into behaving myself.

They paid me some lovely compliments about...something related to how I look, and I blushed furiously and said thank you and wanted to crawl under the table.  I was clean and had clothes on and had managed to run a brush through my hair, but ready for the prom?  Not so much.

And then it happened.

They complimented my stitching.  Miss Katy even used the word "workmanship", and I thought my heart would just burst itself right out of my old lady big top.

To be told that you are a good stitcher by a group of...amazingly expertly wonderfully perfect stitchers is better than being told that you look like the younger sister of Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Lauren.

At least in my book.

I always knew that I had a streak of vanity in here somewhere, but I always thought it would be related to my job or my house or my ability to be the most socially inept person in a room full of socially inept people...but all this time it turns out that my vanity was lurking in my stitchy bag!

I promise you that this puffed-up attitude will go away the minute I pick up my needle this afternoon and start playing with Gertie (damn compensation), but for now I'm going to sit here and bask in the glow of nice things that were said about my ability to follow a chart and put thread to fabric.  The vanity will be replaced quickly with humility, I'm sure...but for now it's just lovely to think that I might be getting something right once in a while! 

Aug 15, 2017





Heavy. Heavy. Spinster. Sigh.


I forgot how much fun it is to compensate a stitch around a differently colored part of the canvas.  Ugh.  But with a little deep breathing and a whole lot of's starting to get there!

I'm struggling with a major issue at the in which my heart wants to jump right in and try to fix it, while my brain is holding the leash...trying to remind me that my heart is not exactly the best decision maker lately.  So I called Miss voice of reason...and she very calmly and patiently talked me off the ledge.

(Every spinster should be required to have a Miss Charlene in their life...right up there with a fearless disposition, a Happy Chair, and a sherpa to help them carry things that are heavy.)

So today I think I will do a few household chores, float a bit in the pool, and then head to grocery guild in the evening.  Tomorrow night, church guild is meeting for dinner at a great restaurant in Elkhart, and then on Saturday we're stitching with Missie Jane again!  

August is quite the stitchy adventure!

The Fal Basket of Stitchy Fun has been assembled over and over again in my head.  Now I just need to head into the studio and start assembling!

Happy Tuesday!  

Aug 14, 2017


Who knew that an apartment swimming pool could bring about such a wonderful change in Yours Truly?  I have taken to the water as a means of getting some much needed exercise and as a way to study the sky and clouds for hours at a time without getting a crick in my neck.

I still use my invisibility glasses and make a run for it as soon as other residents come out to play, but for the last few days it's just been me and my sunscreen...floating happily around the place thinking about the evening's stitching and what to have for dinner.

Tonight it will be salad with grilled chicken and the continuation of Miss Gertie Bluebird:
I completed the grey section at the bottom at Donaldson, but stalled a bit while waiting for a thread change.  Guess what arrived in the mailbox today!

I hope your Monday has been bright and cheerful and that your week is off to a good start!


All I have to do now is add the charms and beads!

Sunflower Bellpull
The Drawn Thread
32ct Lambswool linen
DMC, Needle Necessities, Weeks Dye Works

Aug 13, 2017


So here we are on a beautiful Sunday morning.

The damn good cups of coffee have been administered, the pills have been sorted for the week, the Vitamin water has been slurped, and the South Bend Tribune has been digested cover to cover.

But the New York Times?

Not so much.

Three weeks of missed papers...followed by three weeks of lovely conversations with my new besties in the customer service department.

But no paper.

It harkens back to my Sundays at the house...looking in vain for the Sunday Times, wandering the neighborhood wondering if a neighbor had received it instead, and then finally placing the call that inevitably ended with "Thank you for being the best part of the New York Times".

Well, I'm here to tell you, kids....if I'M the best part of the New York Times, we are in trouble with a capital T.  Right here in Hoosierville City.

So now methinks I will have my bagel, don my swimming costume, slather on some 150 proof sunscreen, and get on with it.  No sense in wasting a gorgeous sunny day running to the door every ten minutes hoping for a miracle.

Sunflower Bellpull is getting there!

Only a few more bands and this will be complete!  I am, however, thinking of playing with something new this afternoon/evening.  Something about wanting to start all of the things keeps rattling around in my brain.

So that's the Sunday report from the friendly confines of CS2, Dearies!  I hope yours is perfectly perfect in every way and that you get to do whatever it is that your heart desires!

Aug 12, 2017


Library guild was lovely, and I even managed to return and then re-borrow another bag full of books.  

My project today was Needle Delights Originals Poppers:

Only a few rows to go on this one, so I really should stop fooling around and just..."get er done" they say in France.

We had a wonderful lunch at the Hacienda, and I ended up with enough leftovers to feed a small village for a week.  (Or, in my case, enough for dinner and possibly lunch tomorrow.)

I was doing just fine on the ride home...singing to the radio, enjoying the pretty day, and thinking about how much I love my guild sisters...when I looked up and realized that I had driven to the old house and had pulled into the garage again before realizing that I don't live there anymore.

Dang it.

That's about the third time I've done that.  I drive right down the street and up the driveway and into the garage like I know exactly what I'm doing and then I realize that I'm a boob and now have to pull out of the garage, the driveway, and the street and actually go to the apartment.

I guess I better stop doing that before somebody new lives there.


When I finally DID make it home, I contemplated pulling on the bathingsuit and going to the pool, but I hit the big girl sleigh bed instead.  I suppose it's a good thing I fell asleep inside, since after four hours (which is how long I was out) I would have been one very crispy hushpuppie indeed.

So now I'm going to have a bite, wash my face and hands, and get to it.  I started binge-watching The Newsroom again last night, so methinks I might do a little more of that and see how far I can get on that Sunflower Bellpull.

Happy Saturday!  Hope yours was equally as lovely!  WooHoo!


I'm up, semi-caffeinated, and showered.  The only thing that I can think of that would get me out of bed at this hour just has to be stitchy I'm off to Hoosier Heartland at the library.

Last night's progress on Sunflower Bellpull:
'Scuse the odd angle...I had to move the linen on the q-snaps and didn't want to take it off today for a photo.  I think I am about 70% complete with this one and should be able to finish it in the next few days if I'm diligent.

That's the report for a Saturday morning, Dearies.  I hope your weekend is swell, that your needles are flying, and that you'll do something fun and come tell me all about it!

Aug 10, 2017

Aug 9, 2017


I had grand illusions of conquering the world today, but alas, the universe has other plans for me.  There must be an alignment of the planets or a full moon or something, because when the reality of having to hit the brakes set in, my brain was OK with it and decided to just call this a "recovery day" and get on with it.

So I am in the Happy Chair with the paper and puzzles and my second cup of damn good, and later I might contemplate a visit to the pool (or what I now like to refer to as the "Aquatic Therapy Center for Spinster Mind and Body Healing").

Visions of stitching are dancing around in my head thanks to all of the inspiration of my fellow Donaldson attendees.  So many beautiful things to contemplate!  That Autumn Basket of Stitchy Fun is starting to materialize!  And a few "problem children" WIPs might now get completed thanks to the advice and example of the gurus who offered advice and support.

A very good way to spend the Futzingday, indeed!

Sunshine and rainbows and dancing unicorns and glitter continue to keep the black dog at bay...amazing how he can slink back into a corner when the better angels of my silly little brain give him a tap on the nose and tell him to sit.

Physically, I confess that I am really struggling with these "heavy" legs and fatigue and not being able to walk from here to there without huffing and puffing, but no dialysis just yet.  My kidney team is watching me very closely, however, and promises to make the call at the exact moment it is necessary.  I, in turn, have promised to continue to try to be a good patient and do what they tell me.  I will see the transplant surgeon again on August 31, and it is my hope and prayer that we'll be one more step closer to getting it scheduled for the Fall.  So...thank you for all of those happy thoughts and prayers, Dearies.  They seem to be working very very nicely!

Onward we go!  Armed with nothing but our wits and companions and stashes.  Who knows?  We might just conquer the world after all!

Aug 8, 2017


I am just wrung out this morning.  The last four days have been so incredibly wonderful that I am sad to see them come to an end.

I am just how amazing it is to surround oneself with things and people who just make the world a better place by their mere prescence in it.  To be in the company of people who "get" you when you're not really sure you "get" yourself is an amazing thing to behold and should be mandatory for anybody in need of a little pick-me-up, or in my case, a whole-body life makeover.

Reality, as we all know, can be a harsh thing indeed, so I suppose that sitting around with a needle and thread in hand laughing and giggling and cutting up and listening and talking and learning and thinking how blessed we are to have each other is a pretty damn good way to escape.

Retreats aren't for everybody, and I know that the prospect of packing one's underpants and gathering the old stitchy bag and hitting the road isn't always possible for everybody, but if you can find a way to take five minutes....someplace...and feel happiness and peace wash over you then I saygo for it with your whole heart.

See what happens when I see this side of the morning?  Incoherent ramblimng.

On to the stitiching...

This is pretty much the sum total of what I accomplished this weekend, and I have to say...I'm tickled pink about it.  I didn't exactly expect to complete the little house last night, but the final piece of siding went in at midnight and I took it as a good sign.

Today we will have breakfast, spend another hour or two with needles in hand, and then hit the road for home.  I am pretty sure that I will make it up the stairs and into the big girl sleigh bed and not much further, but it will all have been worth it.

Thanks for coming along for the ride, dearies!  I hope your very own week is off to a swell start and that you are exactly where you want to be.

Aug 7, 2017


They sent Mother Superior(*) for me this morning, because I could not get out of the little girl dorm bed and there was some degree of worry starting that I would sleep the day away.

(*) In the context of Donaldson this year, Miss Charlene becomes Mother Superior...replacing Mother Emeritus, Miss Myrtis.

(Donaldson is home to Ancilla College and is the Mothership for the Poor Handmaids flavor of nun, so my goofy titles are...fitting.)

(But the Catholic school girl in me is still giggling at the idea of being down here with all of my stitchy sisters being naughty by eating lots of "bad" snacks and stayig up past our bedtime.)

Today I decided to play with Gertie, aka Margaret Jane Gertrude Thorson...she is also called "Bluebird" and is designed by Ellen Giggenbach and is a class from the inimitable Miss Ruth Schmuff Her Very Self of Beadecked and Beadazzled fame.
Only two rows of tent completed so far because...see above, but I am enjoying this immensely.

Physically, I am a crock pot full of hot mess and am suffering with terrible leg cramps at night and the inability to walk very well during the day, but so far they haven't had to jump start me with anything more than a damn good cup of coffee each morning and iced tea in the afternoon. 

I am learning not to try to keep up with the ladies around me and have finally come to the conclusion that a back bench seat on Junior Varsity suits me just fine...these gals play Varsity ball, and they play it well!

Home tomorrow, dearies!  

Aug 6, 2017


Oh, for pity's sakes!  I have done the last 24 hours than I have in a long time.  I have been chatting and eating and putzing and admiring and shuffling about in my house slippers and old lady stretch pants.

But stitching?

Not so much.

My stitchy sisters are quite happily working along all around me...needlepointing, knitting, beading, qulting, and creating.

And then there's me...just remembering to take it all in and not suck the oxygen out of the room while trying to remember that I am a big girl in public who has finally been invited to the cool kids table, so I better act like I have some sense in my head.

But I'm still loving every single minute of it!

Aug 5, 2017


It's 10:30 pm and I am:
Flat out plumb tuckered right out.

I don't think I've been in bed this early since the fourth grade.  And my stitching progress best.  Somebody seems to have unplugged me and then, just to see if I was paying attention, hit me with all of the stupid side effects of this thing of mine all at once.

I feel like I am encased in cement and trying to run a marathon...short of breath, schvitzing like a pudding at a picnic, and feeling like I am doing everything under water, backwards, and in high heels.  

But I am so ridiculously happy to be here that a little pain and huffing and puffing isn't going to stop me.  Tomorrow is a new day, and I am going to just let it unfold.  If I can't walk very fast it will just give me more time to look around, right?  

So...night night, dearies.  Let's see what adventures await us!


My morning started with various and sundry doctors and medical professionals giving me the green light to get in my little car and come to Donaldson.   A quick trip through the Starbucks for sustenance, and it was off to...Nirvanna!

I confess to feeling a bit punk when I first arrived, but I suspect that it was more of the stress of "moving in" and getting re-aquainted with my stitchy sisters that did it.  (Remember me?  I'm the one that breaks out into a panic attack flop sweat every time she goes out in public.)

So far I've managed to eat lunch, unpack my underpants, and play with my stitchy bag.  Not a bad way to spend a Saturday, if you ask me.

I spent three weeks writing a stitching plan on what to play with when and then got here and threw it out the window.  So far, the only thing that's gotten any attention is:

More later, dearies!  I hope you are as blissfully happy as I am at this moment...surrounded by lovely people and lovely things and doing whatever makes your heart sing!

Aug 4, 2017


The calm before the packing storm.  I just finished all of my appointments, chores, errands, and to dos in preparation for the weekend.  Now I'm off to the cube room studio to gather provisions for Donaldson!

Happy, happy Friday Dearies!

Aug 3, 2017


Little more progress on Sunflower Bellpull yesterday and today so far:


In exactly 41 hours, 12 minutes, and 9 seconds from now I will be in my little tin can Ford headed down to Donaldson for the Sit 'n Stitch retreat.  I didn't get to go last year because Stewey was sick, so I have really been looking forward to it this time.

Guess who decided to suddenly develop some eye issues last night?

My right eye has been a little screwy for a while now...kind of blurry and looking a little red at times, but last night it actually started to hurt.  Kind of like a headache behind my eyeball.  

So I trotted myself into Dr. Rhodes today for a look-see (no pun intended) and he agreed that things don't look very happy.  Two eye drop prescriptions and a promise to return on Saturday morning on my way out of town later, and we're back in the Happy Chair wondering if it's too late to trade me in for a newer model.

All I can think is...seriously?  Blurry eyes?  Right before a four day stitching retreat?

Nevertheless...I am persisting.  I picked up the eyedrop prescriptions and some provisions at the Target and tomorrow I will pack my projects and underpants into a bag before hitting the big girl sleigh bed.  

All will be well, dearies.  All will be well.  

So what's new and exciting in your neck of the woods?

Aug 2, 2017


I'm stitching Summer at Cherry Hill on 28ct Wren from Picture This Plus.  When I started the border alphabet, I grabbed two strands of thread and decided that I like the coverage a lot, so I figured I would do all of the letters two over two:

But then I started looking at the picture and realized that there are an awful lot of big full-coverage areas, and I would imagine that the amount of thread needed will far exceed my supply and that of Miss Linda at the House of Stitches.

And then I had a great idea!  Why not stitch the letters and some moteefs in two strands and then do all of the solid background areas in one strand?!  This would make the moteefs stand out and look dimensional, the backgrounds receed, and I might not have to raid a small country for more threads!

So that's what I'm going to do.  For now, however, I am fishing through stash and WiPs to get my basket together for the upcoming retreat.  I have an idea in my head of what I want to play with, but that seems to be changing as the minutes tick by.  The good news is that I am driving, so theoretically I could put my entire stash in my trunk and just work out of it as need be, but then there is the prospect of having to carry it all back upstairs next week when the retreat is over.

Another Futzingday has commenced, dearies!  Do something fun and come tell me all about it!

Aug 1, 2017


I've been having a lot of fun talking about my transition to the new role of A Gentlewoman of Leisure, but the truth of the matter is...this is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

For most of my life I've run around with my hair on fire...doing this and that...running hither and yon...and fretting, worrying, and stressing myself into regular tizzie fits.  It might have looked like I was remarkably calm and in control, but I promise you that under the surface of the water my fat little legs were kicking as fast as they possibly could.

I also used to pride myself on the fact that, despite my girth, I was physically a very strong person and had pretty good stamnia for an old broad.  I was able to manage myself and my household without too much drama, and there were times when I would have considered myself moderately physically active.

But now?

The physical toll that this kidney disease has taken is...terrifying.  I am on my knees every night thanking God that I feel as good as I do, since I know that there are sooooo many people with soooo many more terrible ailments than mine, but the loss of my physical well-being is not exactly going down like a spoonful of sugar lately.

(Of course, that last statement was meant to be metaphorical, since I do not currently possess the capability of SEEING my knees...let alone getting on them, but I think you get the point.)

So I suppose what I'm trying to say is...I'm making lemonade here, kids.  And while I am enjoying quiet days of floating in a pool or taking a nap or sitting in the Happy Chair watching the walls, I would trade them quite happily for a day in which I felt better than someone who has just been dropped on their head from a very tall building into a pile of fire ants right after running a marathon and taking an all night chemistry exam.

I don't say this to draw sympathy...that would be my worst nightmare.  I say it to tell you that sometimes it's just nice to come here to the Land of MakeBelieve and Pretty Stitchy Things and talk about the weather.  Or embroidery hoops.  Or the perfect project bag in which one stores their WIPs.  I'm sure Betty would tell me that, in addition to being mentally and emotionally unstable, I am just not living in reality, but...dear, dear sweet hateful Betty...reality just sucks the life out of me at the moment and I have finally found a way to keep it in check by ignoring it completely.

So in between going to the hospital, lab, and doctor's office for tests and appointments and...all of it, I put on my sunglasses and pretend that I'm a Real Housewife of Someplace or Other and I get on with it.  Every now and then I do something fun like float in a pool or wander the storage solutions aisle at the Targets, and other days I can't get out of bed for neither love nor money.

But I'm here.  And to paraphrase Miss Ceily Her Very Self from The Color Purple..."I may be poor.  I may be sick.  I may even be ugly.  But I'm here.  God knows I'm here!"

(Favorite scene in all of moviedom, by the way.  Right up there with Ray saying "It's the Stay-Puft marshmallow man" to explain the coming of Gozer.)

OK, end of ramble.  Sometimes I just need to remind myself that it's OK to just skip merrily through the tulpis while humming a happy tune, and that you all will indulge me as I continue to do so.  We're all in this together, kids, so we might as well have fun while we're doing it.  Right?