Oct 30, 2016


So I went face first into binge-watching Gilmore Girls yesterday, and I made it through the first five episodes.  I can't believe it took me this long to get on board.  I'm in!

Coffee and witty banter tor everybody!

Oct 28, 2016


Scene One: A living room somewhere in the Midwestern U.S.  A portly spinster sits quietly in her Happy Chair, perusing the Pinterest.  In another room, a little dog rests in his little night-night bed...having tucked himself to bed early.

Suddenly, the little dog appears in the doorway.  The Spinster screams in terror.  The little dog grimaces as blood and gore drip from his muzzle, his arms, his torso, his good leg, his bad leg....from everywhere.  

At first, the Spinster thinks she has been transported to the set of a Steven King movie.  Once she stops screaming and regains her senses, she realizes that the little dog's bad leg has opened and she immediately goes into triage mode.

Four bitten fingers, a bottle of sterile saline, six rolls of toilet paper, and four hours later, the Spinster and the little dog collapse into exhausted heaps.  The blood and gore have been staunched for now, but the trauma of the Spinster's feeble attempt at combat nursing armed with nothing but toilet papaer and scotch tape will last forever.  She is spent, but very happy that she did not follow her instinct, which was to dial 911, fake a heart attack, and then ask the paramedics to help her restrain, clean, and bandage the little dog's leg before transporting her to the hospital.


Scene Two:  A Ford Escape makes its way slowly to the PetSmart in the early morning light.  A portly spinster grimly grips the steering wheel while praying silently for guidance.  And a latte.

She returns to the filthy, yet deeply loved little house with:

Scene Three:  The portly spinster sits in her Happy Chair sipping her third cup of coffee.  Moments ago, she calmly and expertly cleaned and dressed the little dog's leg while he quietly looked out the window with his muzzle on, thus safely preventing further unpleasantness.  The spinster is absolutely thrilled that she is now capable of dealing with this situation and will hot have to rely on ingenuity, toilet paper, and Scotch tape to McGiver her way into the What Not To Do Veterinary Hall of Fame.

Her fingers, sadly, are going to take a little longer to heal.

The End.

Oct 27, 2016


When I decide to break out of a rut I do so.  

With gusto.

Yesterday, I told you about the menu that Yours Truly has been enjoying (i.e., stuck on) for the last little bit.  Today, though, I am happy to report that my food selections were a little more....varied.

I woke up late for a doctor's appointment, so instead of my bagel and peanut butter, I grabbed a Honeycrisp apple the size of my head and munched it on the way.


When I got home, I couldn't resist firing up the old toaster, so bagel with crunchy peanut butter it was.

(I know, I know....but this was a considerably better option than hitting the McDonald's drive through for sausage biscuits and a Hi C).

(I love High C.  I order it with my sausage biscuits because it has vitamins in it and I figure that the benefits of them completely balances the salt, fat, cholesteral, etc. of the sausage biscuits.)

Then I got lost on the Pinterest this afternoon and decided to channel my inner Ina and spend some time in the kitchen.  So I putzed and futzed and chopped and diced and stirred and seasoned and sat down in the Happy Chair with an enormous bowl of shrimp and mushroom fettucine.

Holey schmoley...it was, quite possibly, the best meal I have ever made.

It's easy peasey...sautee mushrooms, onion, garlic, and all of the spices in butter until nicely browned.  Deglaze with a little white wine.  Add parmesean cheese, cream, and the shrimp to heat through, and then dump the cooked pasta in and mix it all up.

Now, you'd think that would have been enough decadence for one day, but this is me we're talking about.

Moments ago, I made snickerdoodles and then decided to break out the tub of cream cheese frosting and make snickerdoodle/cream cheese frosting sandwiches.

Stewey watched all of the proceedings with both amusement and horror.  He had a sensible dinner of Purina Little Bites, some turkey bacon, and an impertinent little merlot.

They REALLY should make pills for this.

Tomorrow is going to be stitching and nothing but stitching...so help me!


Confirmation that sometimes all you need is the view of something you love to make the world a better place...

Oct 25, 2016


I am in a very strange eating pattern.  I read somewhere that changes in appetite are normal with kidney patients, but this is a little nuts.

Every morning I eat an everything bagel with crunchy peanut butter on it.  I'm not sure when this started, but it is the only thing that really hits the spot once the newspaper has been read, the coffee has been slurped, and the Jumble and Sudoku have been solved.

Unless I'm out with my stitchy peeps, I don't really eat lunch, but at about 3 o'clock I find myself going face first into a little bowl of dip that I make with cream cheese, dried beef, green onions, and cheddar cheese.  I put little globs of it on Snyder's sourdough pretzels.

The pizza is where the wheels are coming off the bus, because I've been making bar-be-que chicken pizza for dinner every night for about a week. I use a Stonefire pizza crust and then put chicken, red onion, and garlic on top that I've browned and carmelized and then tossed with Sweet Baby Ray's sweet and spicy sauce.  A little mozzarella...bake at 400 degrees for 13 minutes, and then stand back.

Holey Schmoley....I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

Vaceila has a partial wing.  I better get the other one on or she's just going to fly around in circles!

Stewey is hanging in there.  He had a good night sleep and is snoozing in the sun.  

Tomorrow we're going to try to get the house clean.  We got bills paid today and the dining room table cleaned off, so now it's time to move on to the rest of the house!

Happy Tuesday to you and yours...we're off like a herd of turtles!

Oct 22, 2016


We had a good night's sleep in the big girl sleigh bed...snoodled under the covers.  At various points during the night we woke up and listened to the radio, and we happened to catch Bruce Springsteen on a program talking about his new book...very interesting.

Stewey is happily camped out in his favorite spot...toasting his tiny little buns with his pumpkins not far away...

I finished my damn good cup of coffee and made it through all three puzzles:

And Vaceila is ready to receive some more of her wings:

So we're off to a good start.  I'm going to have a little breakfast and get some laundry sploshing, and then settle in to enjoy the day.  Hope you all do the same!

Oct 21, 2016


Stewey's leg worsened overnight, so we made a trip to see Dr. Niemann first thing this morning.  Unfortunately, it appears that the tumor is growing and his poor skin is starting to abscess from the pressure of it.  He's not in pain and does not seem to be too bothered by it, but I'm afraid that I will have to let him go in these next few weeks.  

My instinct was to come home, crawl in bed, and just bawl the day away, but somehow my car turned itself toward campus instead.  Before I knew it, Stewey and I were sitting at the Grotto with our faces in the sun, watching the people come and go and the flickering of the candles.  We lit one too and prayed that we would both be brave and peaceful as we touched the stone from Lourdes.  It was the most quiet hour my heart has felt since July.

I wish I could tell you that I am strong and calm and hanging in there, but I seem to be in a little bubble of shock that makes me want to freeze time and never get to the point where I have to make that decision.  Everyone tells me that I will know when it's right, but all I know right now is that I am just not ready to lose him.

So we're going to take our meds and wash our boo boos and keep them clean and hang out in the Happy Chair and eat turkey bacon.  We're watching lots of movies and reading lots of stories, and I am trying my best to remember all of the stuff I want Stewey to tell my mom and dad when he finally leaves me and goes to them.  Crazy, isn't it?  Me imagining my Stewey Little in his little smoking jacket and cravat noodging my mom for a kiss or cuddling with my dad on a football Saturday.

Oh well, whatever gets us through, I suppose.

Progress continues on Vaceila.  I'll have updates for you in the next few days.  In the meantime, do something wonderful and come tell us all about it and have a fabulous weekend!

Oct 20, 2016


Stewey is still hanging in there.  His bad leg is swollen and has a rather mean-looking sore on it, but he does not seem at all bothered by it and is still my happy little guy...playing pumpkin and doing his thing:
(The mark on his front leg isn't a boo boo...it's peanut butter that he stores there after his morning meds to snack on later.)

Vaceila is ready for her wings, and after that, her gajillion beads:
If I can manage to stay awake today I'll get to it.  Otherwise, looks like she will have to wait until after nap time to start flying!

As for me...about the only thing I can say is that it's a good thing I'm not a horse!  One more thing goes haywire, and I might be put out to pasture so to speak.  Eye yai yai...when this is all over,  I am going to emerge as a twenty-three year old petite blonde triathelete with a medical degree.  

(Too bad I can't make a living being a professional patient...I'm actually getting pretty good at it!)

I received word that Bosco is doing very well, and is absolutely loving being with my sister, so that news makes me very happy indeed that I made that hard decision.  I sure miss the stinky little guy, but knowing that he is happy and healthy makes his absence much easier.

So that's the report for a drizzly Thursday.  If all goes well, I hope to do a little stitching at the library this weekend for the Sit and Stitch.  I've never attended, so it should be really fun!  

We're off like a herd of turtles!  Come tell us what's new with you!

Oct 17, 2016


Yep....much better.  All of that crazy frogging and restitching was worth it.  Just wish I would have known that when I was in the thick of it.  I seriously considered chucking the entire thing into the bin and starting over!

That goodness the meds kicked in...


My mom was very low maintenance and quite elegant naturally.  Just a touch of foundation, a little mascara, and some lipstick, and she was good to go.

This Vaceila?

Not so much.

I finally finished her hair and makeup a few moments ago, but it was not without a lot of cursing and hair pulling (pun intended).  I don't know if my results are good, bad, or indifferent, but I am hereby declaring Vaceila's face and hair a NO MORE FUTZING zone and am moving on to her wings.

Oh wait...just as soon as I give her hands.

Hope your Monday has been considerably less fraught.  We're off to the kitchen to make dinner and then it's back to the Happy Chair.

Oct 16, 2016


Vaceila loves her new 'do:

And Stewey is thoroughly into his Sunday night puppy cup:

As for me, I'm just happy to have spent the day with both of them!

Oct 15, 2016


We aim to please all of our customers here at Salon Spinster.

To that end, we will be re-doing the hair of the lovely Vaceila this evening as soon as the Tylenol kicks in.

She's decided that she would prefer to be a brunette.

Stewey, though, is perfectly perfect in every way.

Just as he already is.

Oct 14, 2016


Note to self....next time read comments and emails BEFORE frogging one over one.


But!  It's done and I didn't ruin the linen so...yay, me!


Evidence of why I should not be allowed to watch the news when I stitch:
I put Vaceila's entire face on...one over one (my very first attempt at that, by the way), and when completed, decided that the color is....


Complete and total ugh.

Too red, too pink, to orangey brown.,.ugh.

So today I will take a deep breath, reboot, head up to the studio, and see if I can't find something that is better.

But the frogging of that entire section?


Oct 13, 2016


Vaceila has hair...now she just needs a face.

And hands.

Hands would be good too.

Oct 12, 2016


My BabyDear sleeping in the sun...

Some Fall decorations on the dining room table...

A happy bouquet from Miss Charlene...

Garland on the mantle...and pumpkins on the floor...

A few Fall stitchy things on the wall...

And Ina making a fresh peach cake on the TeeVee...

Oh, what joy...what bliss!  All I need to do now is finish the laundry, have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, and spend some time with Vaceila, and this will have been the perfect day!

Oct 11, 2016


I'm a proud citizen of the United States of America, I really am.  But, recent televised events have sent me to my bed...covers pulled over my head in complete and utter shame.

The nastiness, bickering, vulgarity, and constant accusations are, quite simply put, not worthy of a great nation like ours and we can do better.  We have a responsibility to our children, grandchildren, neighbors, and friends to demonstrate that we really do have more sense than God gave a turnip.


Wait a minute.

I bet you're totally confused right about now and are wondering when I decided to start talking about the p-word on this here blog.

The p-word!

But I'm not talking about politics.

I'm talking about The Real Housewives of Orange County and the fact that they went to Dublin, Ireland and acted like a bunch of idiot, loudmouthed, uncouth, vulgar, obnoxios Americans, and I'm pretty sure that they confirmed every single negative stereotype you can have about a national people.  


I'm so sorry, Dublin.  Please don't think that every single one of us over here is at all like that.  There really are those of us who would love to visit your beautiful country and to learn more about your history and culture and people.  

Unfortunately, none of them occupy makeup trailers on the set of Bravo reality shows, apparently.

As for that other thing...(the p-word)... sorry.  Can't help you there.  I've taken a vow of silence and am waiting for my meds to wear off so I can wake up with the scarecrow, tin man, and cowardly lion telling me all about that tornado that knocked me out and made that house fall on my sister...

Oct 10, 2016


Vaceila is almost starting to resemble an actual person...but, alas, without a head at the moment!

Laundry day, followed by Guild at the church tonight in Elkhart.  I'm already prancypantsing around in anticipation!

Thank you for all of your comments and emails about our new little twosome here.  We had a very lovely, quiet, peaceful night and have already settled into our new routine.

Oct 9, 2016


Friends, I've received a fair number of notes from you expressing concern for my puppy tot, Bosco and his well being.  I appreciate your concern, and want to make sure to tell you that he is going to leave Chez Spinster so that he can be with his mommie/my sister, and so that he will not have to go through the trauma of Stewey's passing.

We will miss him terribly, but he's been through an awful lot in the last few years, and he deserves much more than I can give hm right now.


Oct 8, 2016


We're counting down the hours until Bosco goes elsewhere.  I've really enjoyed having the little meatloaf here these last five months or so, but now it's time tor him to move on.

Stewey, I'm sure, will miss him, but will now enjoy my full attention.

Vaceila has some poofy sleeves now.  I almost finished filling them in as I watched the second to last episode of Outlander...saving the finale for tonight!

I finally made it to the grocery, so as soon as I hit the "Done" button here I'm going to channell my inner Ina and spend the day putzing in the kitchen...just as a spinster should on a gorgeous Fall Saturday afternoon!  If all goes according to plan, I'll get the house cleaned, the laundry done, and the Fall decorations out too!

Or, maybe I'll just take a nap with my library book and my face in the sun...

Oct 7, 2016


My mother would have been 83 today.  Not 86 as per my previous post.

Sorry, Siggie.  That's what I get for doing math in my head.

Good thing I have this sparkly personality to fall back on...my calculating skills sure aren't going to get me very far!


After a restless night, we awoke to a pretty Fall day, the realization that my mom would have turned 86 today, and a lovely surprise on the front porch.

(Bosco left me a surprise on the dining room floor, but much less lovely.)

One year ago today, Miss Charlene Her Very Self invited me to dinner and asked me if I might like to come back to the guilds, so today she delivered a perfect little Happy Anniversary bouquet of flowers to me.

It's an interesting history with me and Miss Charlene and the guilds.

The first time I joined, it was as one of the Rich Sisters.  My sister and I started attending guild meetings as a way to meet other stitchers in the aea and to learn new things.  I loved it, and was very happy to sit quietly and melt into the wallpaper, but then life got in the way and we stopped going.  And, as per my usual modus operandi, I completely retreated from the world in general, stayed inside my house, and just tried to get on with it.

It's no secret that I made a complete hash of it....first with working for the hyena and then by falling into the well of sister drama again, but through it all, Miss Charlene was there....reading my blog and waiting for the bat signal to appear.

She gently noodged me several times to come back to guild, and several times I said "Nope, don't wanna".  But then something magically clicked inside my brain and I heard my mom say "Coni Jo, you've been out here in this icy cold choppy dark dangerous water for a while, and now a big beautiful life boat has pulled up with these wonderful women on it and they are inviting you to get on board.  Get out of the damn water, kid, and get it that boat!"

And so I did.

I've always been a bit of a daft cow, and fully admit that it takes me a little longer to get to a proper conclusion than most other folks, but can I just tell you that one of my greatest feelings of pride is that I was finally smart enough to stop saying "No" and that I put my shoes and socks on and decided to re-engage with the world by means of these guilds?

You know me...I exaggerate for effect.  In spades.  But saying that Miss Charlene and the other passengers on board have saved my life doesn't come close to capturing how much I appreciate them.

It's been a wonderful year, despite some crazy developments with my stupid sister, my health, my Stewey little, and life in general, but I can promise you that the view from up here in the boat is better than I could ever have imagined.

Cocktails and stitching on the Lido deck for everybody!

Oct 6, 2016

Oct 5, 2016


If an apple a day keeps the doctors away, methinks I might be set for a bit.  Can you believe the size of these Honeycrisps? (My big fat meathook is in the pic just to give some size perspective.)
I got it in my head that I wanted apples and cinnamon doughnuts last week, so I went to the Fresh Thyme on the way home from the library.  Four ginormous apples, four lovely organic doughnuts, and a little jug of apple cider later and we had a feast!

If I can get my act together today, I might head back for more, as well as the ingredients to make spaghetti and meatballs.  I got it in my head that I wanted to make that for dinner, and now it's the only thing I can think of!

Major frogging on Vaceila last night.  I was off by one and a half (!) stitches on her blouse and just couldn't figure out a way to fudge it.  Oh well....second time around will just be twice as fun, right?

Happy Futzingday, all!

Oct 4, 2016


That sound you heard at 3am this morning was Yours Truly out in the driveway cackling like a crazy person.

What got me started, you ask?

Well...it occured to me that in addition to my usual chores around here, I have a new title.  It's been quite some time since I've had a business card, but I'm really thinking of hitting the internets today to order a box or two:

Spinster Stitcher
Resident nutjob, coffee slurper, and potty valet extroidaniere.

Potty valet?

Yep.  I now have a new job around here that involves scooping Stewey up into my arms and gently carrying him to a designated area on which he makes his deposits.  

He does pretty well hobbling about, but the other day he missed the step coming in the back door and smacked his little face on the cement so hard that my teeth rattled and I bawled for two hours. He was fine, but I decided that steps were no longer on his color wheel.  So now, whenever he needs to do his thing, I give him a ride.  To preserve his significant dignity, I told him that we would now refer to me as his Potty Valet and that he should feel quite special that he gets to go to and fro without having to muddy his little feet.

He seems OK with the arrangement, but insists on waking me from a dead sleep just to see if I really am at his very beck and call.

Progress continues on Vaceila:

And I finally found the perfect burnt orange nail polish for October...OPI Itsa Piazza Cake:

Hope your Tuesday is off to a roaring start!  

Oct 1, 2016


We snuggled in for a marathon session of stitching, ham and cheese panini, and Outlander last night.  I made it through the first seven episodes and finished Vaceila's cloak:

Stewey decided to camp out in his apartment for a little bit.  He and I are really enjoying the October sunshine today!

Hope your Saturday is wonderful!  As soon as I finish another load or two of laundry I am officially done for the day and back to the Happy Chair!