Sep 28, 2015


Have you ever Googled yourself?

(You do realize that not very long ago that would have been a most inappropriate question to ask polite society, no?  I mean, come on.  Who would have imagined that one day I would be sitting in the Happy Chair asking the stitchy world if it had ever Googled itself.)

(A filthy mind is a terrible thing to waste.)

So there I was, minding my own business, when I got the bright idea to see what would happen if I entered my name into this silly contraption.

Most of the images were benign.  A few of them were even vaguely related to me.  

But then, right there in the middle of all of the stitchy things and Stewey things and general crazy spinster related things was this:

For the record, that is not me.  While the upper half of this lovely lady does indeed resemble Yours Truly, my lower half has NEVER been that thin.  And while I totally applaud her choice of the pink tee, I don't actually own a pair of proper going out in public trousers, which these seem to be.  Add several dozen pounds to her heiney and slap a pair of eighteen year old sweatpants on her, and then I can understand the confusion.

Oh, and I think that might be a Walmart deli counter, and I have never been to a Walmart deli counter thankyouverymuch.  I buy Stewey's Virginia ham from the qualified slicing professionals at Martins Supermarkets and Martins Supermarkets only or he spits out his morning pill in the most inconvenient places (like the bath mat or in the nether regions of the dining room).

If you are, however, still interested in seeing what I really do look like from the behind, allow me to present the Official Spinster Stitcher Portrait Of Immense Accuracy and Discernment:

Stewey informs me that this will conclude my little excursion onto the information superhighway, so I will say good night and get back to my coloring book.

I hope you had a wonderful Monday and that your Tuesday is fabulous!

Sep 27, 2015


I sat at the dining room table and colored from 1:00 yesterday afternoon until 2:00 this morning.  I'd love to tell you that I managed to do the laundry, wash the dog, clean the house, and solve world peace during that time, but the truth is...I just colored and let my feeble little brain wander about.

Stewey watched the football game and put himself to bed at a reasonable hour, but awoke determined to get me into a more productive mode today.  He piled all of the laundry (perfectly sorted and prepped, thankyouverymuch) right in front of the bedroom door, so if I want to escape the confines of the sleigh bed and head for the living room, I need to either climb over it or grab a load and get it sploshing.  He also ran the dishwasher and affixed a note that says "Empty me immediately, or shame on you and your slovenly ways" , so I suppose I had better take the hint.

He's napping in the sunshine at the moment, so I could steal a few minutes to color just one more.....

Nope.  Better not.  The snit that is sure to be thrown will not be worth the ten minutes of fun.  Time to get moving!

I hope that your Sunday is as easy and fun as you want it to be!
Ciao, mee a-more-rays!

Sep 22, 2015


I decided to re-write my to do list for the week in light of yesterday's field trip to the oral surgeon.  

Normally, I sit down on Sunday evening with Erin (that would be my Erin Condren Life Planner thankyouverymuch), and I write a list of crap that needs to get done like laundry, grocery, water the plants, fret over the bills, tidy the kitchen, etc etc etc.  It's pretty much the exact same list every single week, but every now and then I add something like "take a long snoozy nap" to it so that I can have at least one small victory as I cross something off.

But inspiration struck a few moments ago as I was heading into the kitchen for some scrambled Egg Beaters. (I am determined to use this little tooth adventure and its resulting soft foods only diet as the jump start I need to lose 174 pounds in a week and a half, so wish me luck).

I'm using my dining room table as a kind of staging area for all things fuzty since it's been too hot to spend any meaningful time up in the studio.

Oh, who am I kidding.  I'm using the dining room table because I'm just too darn lazy (and rotund, I might add) to schlep up and down the stairs eleventy seven times a day to fetch water, pills, snacks, and for those ridiculously frequent potty breaks.  (Who knew that Lasix could make a person feel like the human equivalent of a water wiggle?)

So, if you'll indulge me, may I present the official Spinster Stitcher Table Of Happiness And Joy While We Await The Tooth Pain Apocalypse:

Yes, this is indeed Little Lord Fauntleroy's shampoo, towel, and bathrobe.  I figured I should probably have at least one "cleaning" chore on the list.

Finally, the latest novel that has captured my fancy.

So there you have it.  My week is now all planned out, and after I hit the tub for a scrubby bubble bath and some fresh jams, I'm going to start tackling it!   Woo Hoo!

Sep 21, 2015


I just had oral surgery, so I thought I would post before the Novocaine wears off and I am praying for an anvil to fall on my head.  I thought I was just going in to have a molar removed, but apparently my jaw bone decided to make it a more interesting endeavor.  One extraction and a bone graft later, and I am none the worse for wear, but very very curious about the origin of my new parts.  I know that it came from a cadaver, so all I can hope is that the donor was very smart, very good looking, and very happy and healthy.

So it looks like I will be propped up in the Happy Chair today with a book and stitching in hand.

And lots and lots of Tylenol.

Sep 20, 2015


You might notice that a pumpkin is never very far away from You Know Who.  Damn Dog.

We're having a very lazy Sunday morning here at Chez Spinster.  Laundry is sploshing happily about in the washing contraption, meatballs are simmering away on the stove (*) and I am just about ready to start stitching for the day.  I've been playing with Shepherd's Bush "Harvest of Plenty"' and depending on how closely I need to pay attention to today's TeeVee programming, I might just have a Happy Dance by sundown! I  think it's been months and months since I've done cross stitch, so the silk through linen thing is quite lovely, if I may say so.

(*) As for the meatballs....I made a big batch of Salisbury Steak meatballs that I saw on The Pinterest.   I haven't had Salisbury steak since elementary school, and I'm not exactly sure what compelled me to try these, but I am certain that this is quite possibly the best meal I have ever made in my whole entire life.  I will be eating these atop mashed potatoes and egg noodles, and will have to apologize to my dad in heaven for eating starch on starch.  (We always ate our egg noodles on top of our mashed potatoes, and every time we did, Dad would say "Starch on top of starch?" before digging in.  He always did so with a twinkle in his eye, so methinks he wouldn't be too terribly disappointed in me after all).

Here's the recipe: It's from (complete link below):


Pin on Pinterest223.9kShare on Facebook0Share on Google+361Share on StumbleUpon55Tweet about this on Twitter15Email this to someoneShare on Yummly
These Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes are a classic and a true comfort food. An incredibly delicious and easy dinner recipe!
These Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes are a classic and a true comfort food. An incredibly delicious and easy dinner recipe!
Nothing screams comfort food to me more than meatballs and I would go as far as considering myself a meatball expert. I really am a sucker for a good meatball and I’ve never met a meatball I didn’t like. But these salisbury steak meatballs rank up there with my favorite meatballs of all time, which of course have to be my Romanian meatballs, but I may be biased here. However these meatballs have to be the most flavorful meatballs I’ve ever had, and that gravy is to kill for!
It’s amazing what you get when you mix some ground beef with some delicious condiments. I remember when I was in college and didn’t cook much, frozen dinners were my meal of choice often. Among them was salisbury steak with mac and cheese. Yep, I used to love it. So if you’ve never had salisbury steak before, it’s just ground beef with condiments but it’s shaped to resemble a steak and it’s usually served with gravy along with mashed potatoes or noodles.
These Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes are a classic and a true comfort food. An incredibly delicious and easy dinner recipe!
But nothing beats homemade, right? The house smelled ridiculous as I was making these. I probably drove some neighbours nuts too! I got about 40 meatballs out of this recipe, which at first I thought was a lot, but then I wish I’d have doubled the recipe because they’re just too good. Oh well, I’ll just have to make them again and again.
These Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes are a classic and a true comfort food. An incredibly delicious and easy dinner recipe!
I couldn’t resist popping a couple in my mouth after they were fried. If you want to go the healthier route with this recipe, you could bake the meatballs, I bake meatballs all the time and they turn out great, but there’s something to be said about making the gravy in those brown bits left in the skillet. That’s where all the flavor is my friends.
These Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes are a classic and a true comfort food. An incredibly delicious and easy dinner recipe!
I chose to serve these meatballs with mashed potatoes because I haven’t had mashed potatoes in a while and to me nothing goes better with meatballs than mashed potatoes to soak up that incredible gravy.
These Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes are a classic and a true comfort food. An incredibly delicious and easy dinner recipe!
4.8 from 13 reviews
These Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes are a classic and a true comfort food. An incredibly delicious and easy dinner recipe!
Serves: 8
For Meatballs
  • 1½ lb lean ground beef
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs, I used Panko
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup coarse grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (for frying)
For Gravy
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • parsley for garnish
For Mashed Potatoes
  • 5 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ to ½ cup skim milk
  • ¼ cup light cream cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sep 14, 2015


My Mo-ther can't come to the blog right now.  She's in the Happy Chair, rocking herself back and forth, tears streaming down her face, and all of your lovely words washing over her like the healing waters of Lourdes.

We both cannot begin to tell you how much we love and appreciate you, and despite the fact that the old lady is about as active as a tree stump lately, we do promise to try to keep in better touch.

Our days are very routine here at Chez Spinster.  We awake (slowly), and after ablutions and constitutionals (Mo-ther the former, moi the latter), the paper is read, coffee is consumed, and the Jumble, Suduko, and crossword are dispatched in good order.  I then fetch the Erin Condren Life Planner and we select at least one thing from the long list of to dos that we carefully negotiate each Sunday evening.  (On good days, Mo-ther gets jiggy with it and does two or three things, but I prefer that she pace herself, or there's hell to pay the next day).  Then, if there are no appointments to attend, once something useful is accomplished, it's time for a snoozy nap with our faces in the sun. (Mo-ther's first, my fourth or fifth of the day, since I find it helpful to lounge quietly when the old lady attends to her chores.)

Upon rising from the snoozy nap, we have cheese and crackers and a dietCoke.  Once the weather turns, this will switch to tea and a lovely cookie.  I am particularly happy about that, since I do think that afternoon tea is much more civilized than afternoon aspertaime.

Our evenings are quiet.  I supervise and Mo-ther stitches in the Happy Chair.  The only downside to this is that it takes a fair amount of arm twisting to convince my mom that PBS and all of the excellent programming contained therein is much more suitable than the c-r-a-p she usually watches, but we seem to have reached a compromise of 60/40.  Currently we're at 60-Caitlyn Jenner and 40-Arthur and George, but I'm hopeful that this will swing more in my favor as the season wears on.

When the old lady starts to droop, I noodge her back to the big girl sleigh bed and tuck a novel into her hand.  Fortunately in this area we are in agreement, and most of what she reads is quite good.  She finished "The Little Paris Bookshop" and "All The Light We Cannot See" most recently, and is now plowing through "Sophie and The Sybil".  When she remembers, she does update her Goodreads page, and we make quite a ceremony of adding the latest title to Bob.

(I'm afraid to confess that Bob is a name shamelessly stolen from the editor of the New York Times Book Review, Pamela Paul.  Bob is the "book of books" that Mo-ther has recorded since/about 1991.  And, just like Ms. Paul's version, Bob is a cloth-bound journal with just the title and author listed as a book is finished.)

(And may I point out that we learned this proper name for Mo-ther's book journal after watching an interview on CSPAN?  Mo-ther was knee deep in all things Kardashian, and I managed to get that half hour of CSPAN in there only after her meds had kicked in.)

That's about it, my dear friends.  We hope that your needles are flying, your chairs are happy, and that you know how much we adore you.  Until we meet again, I remain your faithful and devoted pal...


Sep 12, 2015


Stewey and I awoke to a crisp, breezy, sunny day.  It truly feels like I can come out of my little hovel now.  Thank you, dear friends, for all of your concern regarding my absence.  This was a lousy summer for Yours Truly, and although I have been decidedly unwell, methinks I will be on the mend soon.

What can I say?  I'm just too damn ornery to be sick.

The good news is that Stewey has found a new calling as a home health care aide.  He has become very adept at pulse monitoring (he stands on top of me while I'm sleeping and measures my breaths in and out on his little stopwatch), bathing (he has an afternoon snack on the bath mat while I soak in the tub), and medication dispensing (he stuffs all of my daily pills into a sesame bagel, but insists on a small piece of Virginia ham sliced to within one millimeter of paper thin as reward for not killing me by means of overdose.)

What's wrong with me, you ask?  Well. I suppose that I had hoped to remain an international woman of mystery, but the truth of the matter is that I am a kidney patient.  I have stage four FSGS, which means that I am one bad lab result away from starting dialysis.  I've had kidney disease for about thirteen years now, and have managed pretty well, but age is catching up with me and things are progressing pretty quickly.  I spent the last eight months on a drug called Acthar to see if we could slow things down a bit, but it doesn't appear to have worked, and I got the lovely parting gift of 30 pounds and the lovely side effects of powerful steroids.

I am also a thyroid cancer survivor and a Crohn's patient, so when I tell you that I've got more pills in me than a Walgreens, I'm not exaggerating by very much.  Needless to say, I am the poster child for autoimmune disorders.  

Which leads me to the conclusion that my parents were brother and sister, or I was hatched in some kind of toxic waste disposal facility.  

Or even more tragically, both of those things are true and I will never be Grand Marshall of the I Love Lima, Ohio celebratory parade.

So there you have it.  The deep dark secret that I have been holding close to my ample, yet saggy bosom for quite some time.  I am terrible at sharing these types of things, mind you, since I hold firmly to the belief that if I close my eyes tight enough and put my hands to my ears while chanting la la la la la, all will be rainbows and unicorns again soon.  I also seem to have some strange patholical need to remain positive and very vague, and not share every single detail of every single moment of my life despite this age of The Facebook posting and The Twittering and whatnot.

But for those of you who DO share all of the intimate details of your lives on The Facebook and The Twitter please don't stop!  I scour those things like some kind of crazypants stalker and can't get enough of the vicarious living, traveling, eating, stitching, parenting, organizing, dating, homekeeping, and whatnoting contained therein.

I have friends who have had the misfortune of knowing me my entire life who will tell you that I remain an enigma and that they couldn't tell you anything about what goes on in this head of mine, so please don't feel bad that all this time you thought I was a normal person....that's all part of the circus, my dears, and life behind the curtain is going to stay just that.

Unless, of course, Stewey finally publishes his expose' on life with spinster, and then I imagine that I will have to confess that I am just a hot mess of fear, loneliness, sadness, and frustration like the rest of the planet.

It's definitely not easy being me, but I'm happy to report that things in the reading, sleeping, and needlework departments are going swimmingly.  I have been devouring good novels at the rate of two or three a week (Holy Schmoley am I thankful that we have such an amazing library system here in Hoosierville!), and if all goes according to plan, I'll spend tomorrow up in the studio assembling The Spinster Stitcher Basket Of Autumnal Needlework fun.

I've been happily stitching away in the evenings, and have managed a finish and some good progress on pieces that have languished in the WIP bin for far too long.  Here are a few craptastic photos of the  progress:
The top piece is by Laura J. Perin Her Very Self and the bottom two are from Miss Threedles.

I do hope that you will forgive such a personal post, and I hope that this wasn't overstepping the bounds of our lovely little world.  I'm sure that Betty will send me an angry email about my crappy writing and the fact that I felt compelled to write about something other than stitching, but that's just the risk I will have to take.

I really do thank you for your notes and calls and "Where are you, dear Spinster Stitcher"s.  They have been so lovely and are just what the doctor (or in my case, entire team of doctors) have ordered!

Happy Fall, y'all!

With much love from The Spinster Stitcher and Her Little Dog, too!