Dec 31, 2017



I'm fine, but Buzzy has been a screaming mimi and had to be put in time out with a big fat Valium.  We arrived at the dialysis center at 7:15 his morning and he was either grumpy from the cold and being woken up at the crack of dawn, or he's still sore and puffy from surgery.

Either way it made for a stupidly dramatic morning again.

Damn Buzzy.

I swear, all this fuss is Stewey Little coming back to haunt me for being such a bad Mo-ther.  Given the similarities in personalities between the two, I won't be at all surprised if we get home and Buzzy decides to pee on the ottoman.

A new stitchy start last night!  I decided to play along with all of you stitching Forest Snowfall by Little House Needleworks.  I think I'm supposed to hashtag or something, but this is me we're talking about, Kids, and I haven't a clue.

Not much progress, but progress nonetheless:

So that's the report for now.  I'll leave you with a little glimpse of my view today.  Only three more hours to go!

Dec 30, 2017


These are fuzzy socks from the JoAnns.  I think they were about three bucks for a pack of two pair, and all I know is that they are changing my life.  They are warm and fuzzy and stupid stupid soft, and the designs are whimsical and making me happy.

I am determined to stitch today, but I need to get my wits about me.  Last night's dialysis session was rather drama-filled because I clotted and then decided to lose my blood pressure.  Let me tell you, kids, if you ever want to see a trauma team in action, let your blood pressure drop to 60/40.  I've never had that experience before, and I'm not sure I ever want to have it again, but the team was well-prepared and I lived to tell the tale.  Just a little worse for wear today about the head and arm, but nothing a Tylenol and a few ice packs won't remedy, I'm sure.

Today is bitterly cold and snowy outside, so the Jersey Boy and I are hunkered down with sports on the TeeVee and a pot roast for dinner.  I had hoped to be with my stitchy sisters today, but alas, methinks it will be the Happy Chair and the big girl sleigh bed until tomorrow morning when I venture out into the tundra for the next adventure.

Thank you, as always, for your notes and love and support and encouragement.  Please forgive my negligence in responding to you properly....I am fretting over the lapse of etiquette but know that you will all understand.

I hope that your very own Saturday is warm and safe and dry, Dearies.  Let's see what fun we can get into and then come tell each other all about it!

Dec 29, 2017


Today's post is brought to you from the cozy confines of the big girl sleigh bed at CS2.  Buzzy and I had surgery this morning and are now home recovering for a bit before heading to dialysis later this afternoon.  Turns out he had a bit of a blockage that was causing a fuss, as well as a few errant branches, so some angioplasty, a stent, and a couple of coils laters and we're all set.

(Who knew the little guy was so into accessories?!)

Rich is clattering away at the dining room table on his laptop contraption and I have decided to just be a patient today.  No need to solve world peace or recreate the wheel. Just snoozing, happy thoughts, and spaghetti for a late lunch before heading out into the tundra again.

I'm not crazy about the third shift time slot, but as time goes on and space opens up I should be anle to go on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the morning so that I can enjoy my afternoons and evenings with my Jersey Boy.  It's all about routine, kids.  It's all about routine.

My stitching routine has gotten so out of kilter it's not even funny, but I am trying to breathe and reboot and remember that this is just a temporary diversion...not the end of a career.  I have a head like a rock, so the realization that I cannot stitch during my Jiffy Lubes is troublesome, but I need to just chill out and let it come.  Maybe eventually I will get to the point where a lap stand will work.  Now, though, I need to enjoy playing on the ipad thingie and just keep the damn arm still.

So that's it for a blistery Friday, my Dearies.  All is well...all is well.

Please continue to tell me all about your little corners of the world.  I hope that your needles are flying, your hearts are full, and that the weekend is exactly everything you want it to be!

Dec 28, 2017


Jersey Boy is home safe and sound and I am in the Happy Chair with a new project.  This is Forest Snowfall from Country Cottage Needleworks and I am hoping to start it soon.

Buzzy is still very unhappy and will see the doctors tomorrow morning at 7:25.  Then, if all is well dialysis will take place again in the afternoon.

That's the report for the day, Dearies.  I hope that your corner of the world is warm and safe and dry and completely swell.  Come tell me all about it!

Dec 27, 2017



My first dialysis session was a piece of cake...low and slow and about two and a half hours.  I chattered like a circus monkey but got the lay of the land a bit and came home with two small booboos.

The second session was going just fine until I bent my arm (to see if I could stitch), infiltrated, and all hell broke loose.  Three techs and what felt like minor surgery later and I came home with instructions to ice the arm, six booboos and enough tape to circle the globe.

Today?  I thought I was doing fine, but after an hour the nurse pulled the plug.  Literally.  

So I'm home with Buzzy under an ice pack and an appointment at 8am Friday morning to have him checked at the access center and then we'll try again with the dialysis on Friday afternoon.

Greusome, I tell ya.  Just freakin greusome.  Between the eyeball and a now very swollen and black and blue arm, I look like a character in a Stephen King novel.

Dialysis. Sucks.


Buzzy and I got in a bar fight.  He's hooked up to the Jiffy Lube at the moment and I am getting ready to close my eyes for round three.  We're a bit worse for wear kids, but my Jersey Boy will be home at eight tomorrow morning,'s all good.

No stitching to report.  I just haven't felt well enough to do so.  I am determined to get into that cube room studio and get a basket together, so stay tuned!  I am thinking that I might join in the Frosty Forest very first!  

OK, time to close my eyes and go to my happy place for a bit...back to Chez Spinster with snow softly falling down, the fireplace warm and toasty, Stewey on the ottoman, Jersey Boy in the kitchen making waffles, and all of you hanging out laughing and stitching.

Happy Futzingday!  Do something fun and come tell me all about it!

Dec 24, 2017


Dear Friends,

What a year it's been.  For some, full of heartache and tears.  For others, happiness and laughter.  My own year has been full of blessings and love.  Today is Christmas Eve, but my gifts came all year long from a community of like-minded souls determined to make this a better place by just being kind.

My Christmas wish is that you will all know the peace and love that you so generously gave me, and that your heart is filled with profound joy.

With much much love,
The Spinster Stitcher

Dec 23, 2017


About the time I went for my first dialysis treatment and used a picture of a pregnant woman wearing a Wonder Woman top for inspiration and when I got there and got in my chair a pregnant woman with a Wonder Woman top was my tech.

I swear, you can't make this stuff up.

Dearies, I am in the Happy Chair today with Christmas movies and my stitching.  I feel a bit like I've been in a car crash, but I suppose that's to be expected for a bit.  I'm going to finish my damn good and get on with it.

Love and thanks to all...hope your Saturday is swell!

Dec 22, 2017



This woman is pregnant.

She is running in a race.

She won the race.

While pregnant.

And while wearing a Wonder Woman sports bra and flowers in her hair.

Really, Alysia?  Really?  You manage to do that and still look completely fabulous, and I can't get it together enough to GO SIT IN A FREAKIN CHAIR.  Girlfriend, you just gave me the kick in the heiney I needed to pull up my socks, quit my fretting, and get the heck on with it.  This sitting around catastrophizing is just for the damn birds.  So, I'm a kidney patient.  So, I have to start dialysis.  I'm fifty-one years old and have been through far worse and done it all with far less.


Thank you, dear friends, for cooing gently and stroking my fevered brow while patting my back and propping me up.  I confess that the feeling if sinking into that particular warm blanket has been lovely, but...

I.  Got.  This.

Now let's get on with our Fabulous Fridays and see what trouble we can get into.  Rumor has it that I am going to spend this Christmas holiday planning my stitchy rotation for next year.  Visions of Miras and Red Velvet Cake are dancing in my head!  Maybe a new journal or WIP tracker too.  And threads!  And LJP's!  And lots and lots of laughs and love with all of you and my stitchy guild sisters!

Woo to the Hoo, people!  Woo to the Hoo!

Dec 21, 2017


Tomorrow I will start dialysis.

As much as I would love to tell you that I am calm, prepared, and light hearted...the truth is that I'm terrified.

I'm not afraid of the pain or the inconvenience or the side effects or the risks or the...I don't even know. I'm terrified of the fact that this is just not the path I wanted to take.

But, if nothing else, I am learning that sometimes the unexpected is actually...wonderful.  And that the unexpected takes us places and gives us things that we didn't even know we needed.

So I need you to bear with me for a minute, Dearies.  I might not be here as often as I would like the next few days.  I need to get my head around this and fall into a routine before I will be able to regale you with Tales From the Dialysis Unit.

Your cards and gifts and emails and comments and calls and visits and love and support are, as always, completely overwhelming.  I really don't know how I got to be so lucky to find you.  This thing of ours is, and has been, one of the greatest blessings of my life.

Take good care, do something fun, get those needles flying, and come tell me all about it.

With love,
The Spinster Stitcher

Dec 19, 2017

Still feeling poorly, but I'm here, Dearies.  Please don't fret or worry...all will be well.


Dec 17, 2017


Diverticulitis flare up started this morning.

I just can't make this stuff up.

Dec 16, 2017


Rich is at the Martins securing provisions, and I am in my Happy Chair with my second cup of damn good, the Saturday paper, and the chickens for company.

Yesterday is a bit of a blur to be honest.  I think I slept most of it, but when I was awake, we binge-watched The Marvelous Mrs. Maizel on the Amazon thingie.  

It was wonderful.

(Rich and I have a running joke about me trying to be Donna Reed...with the pearls and pumps and pot roast, and this show was set in the late 1950's New York with a funny housewife who wore pearls and pumps, but who had more moxy and spunk than fifty Donna Reeds.)

(It's created and written by the same folks that brought us Gilmore Girls, so buckle up for lots and lots of snappy dialogue.)

So today I am resting and resting and then resting some more.  Rich will watch all of the sports on the TeeVee and I will try to get a few good stitches in between naps and snoozes.  I am still enjoying the Glendon Place piece, but confess that my woozy head is proving to be a big deterrent.  

On the kidney front, my plans have changed a bit.  Plan A was to hold out for a pre-emptive transplant from my sister.  That is, unfortunately, no longer an option, so I will move on to Plan B...dialysis.  I will still hope for a living donor to come forward, but in the meantime will follow the dialysis protocol and get on with it.  The good news is that dialysis will make me feel much better and I am promised lits of time to read, stitch, blog, and contemplate.

Plan B also involves moving everything out of the house and saying good-bye to it once and for all.  I had been also holding out hope that I could return to it, but alas, the time has come to say goodbye to it as well.  I'll mourn it, I'm sure, and I know that there are going to be a lot of tearful meltdowns every time I go over there to pack up the last remnants and then eventually have an estate sale, but...onward.

Rich and I have talked a lot about what life looks like a year from now.  The happy part of the conversation is that we both see us together and happy...we just don't have too many details as to how or where that will happen.

But I am, for once, very content with that thought.  I might not know where I'll be, but I know wherever it is I will have a hand to hold.

There is another Stewey in our future...that much I know.  For now, though, I dream about my Little and laugh at his antics, and cherish the pictures of him and the love and comfort he gave me.  I think my next Baby Dear will be a girl...most definitely a little Jack Russell, and I think I'll name her Daisy.  Stewey would have liked that, I think. much navel gazing for a Saturday morning!  Wonder what's up with that?

So that's all the news from Lake SpinsterBeGone, my friends.  I hope that you are enjoying a happy, healthy, peaceful weekend and that your very own navels are where they should be.



Dec 15, 2017


I'm so sorry for my absence, Dearies.  I have received a few hundred concerned emails wanting to know my whereabouts and my whatsywhoosits, but just haven't felt well enough to post.  It would seem that I have a bit of the flu that has settled in my left side.  My ear, eye, neck, and jaw are a bit worse for wear, but I have been dispatched to the Happy Chair with fluids, Tylenol, and the care of a very nervous Jersey Boy for company.

All will be well soon, I promise.

There are plans afoot for the weekend and the next few weeks.  The weekend will involve a turkey and lots of Happy Chair time for me, and then next week Rich will head to New Jersey and I will head to the cube room studio to plan the 2018 Spinster Stitcher Year of Fun.

Details soon, I promise.

The weekend is upon us, so let's all do something fun and come tell each other all about it!

Dec 13, 2017

Dec 11, 2017


Despite feeling poorly, I managed a few minutes upright in the Happy Chair yesterday.  I got the bright idea to outline the deer so that I could do all of the filling-in while only half awake.  I don't think I've done that before, but it sure makes sense to me now.

Thank you for all of your loving concern, Dearies.  I will see the doctor tomorrow afternoon for a check-in to make sure that this is just a case of the icks.  I've been behaving myself quite nicely with lots of rest and fluids and Tylenol, so never fear...I'll be back in the proverbial saddle again soon.

Happy Monday to one and all...

Dec 10, 2017

Dec 9, 2017


The late afternoon view from the big girl sleigh bed:

A big pot of chicken stew bubbling away for later:

Some fresh snow:

The Army/Navy game on the TeeVee:

A new stitchy start, because Miss Linda at the House of Stitches inspired me:

Cozy man toes:

I'm totally bummed that I missed my stitchy sisters at the Elkhart EGA luncheon today, but alas, I am just not feeling well at all.  I suspect that it is a little touch of flu and that it could be much much worse had I not gotten the flu shot in November like a good girl.

Either that or it's something exotic and I will be used as a test subject for finding a cure.

(Which I am completely fine with, by the way.)

I'm going to have a hot bath, some more water, and then snuggle in for some stitching.  I hope that your very own Saturday is...blissful...and that you will come tell me all about it!

Dec 7, 2017


When I stumbled out to the coffee machine this morning the light somehow seemed different.
I couldn't quite put my finger on it at first, but then I put my glasses on and...

Poor Rich is miserably cold and shivering under a blanket, and I'm wanting to throw the windows open and sing Oh What A Beautiful Morning.

Labwork and grocery shopping today.  I pulled a bunch of recipes out of the basket last night, told Rich to pick one, and now we have our plan for Sunday dinner...pasta with brussel sprouts and bacon.  I might also make a big pot of chicken stew to have for lunches next week.  Seems like the perfect thing to have bubbling away on a cold winter's day!

No stitching last night, Dearies.  I ended up going to bed with my book at about 8:30...just still not feeling very well.

Hope your own corner of the world is magically wonderful today!

Dec 6, 2017


Rich has gone to work, and I am left to my own devices in the Happy Chair today.  I am still decidedly unwell, but I really do think that this might be my new normal for a bit.

(At least that's what the chart in my kidney notebook says.  The only symptom I don't have at this point  is edema/swelling, so I definitely have THAT going for me!)

Today I have promised myself to deal with the enormous basket of mail that has accumulated.  I have gotten myself into a very bad habit of not looking at things as I should, and I end up finding all kinds of things in there.

(Note to self: Must get better about spending a little cockpit time.  Also need to get another Erin for the new year and use it!)

I had hoped to clean and scrub and scrub and clean the apartment to within an inch if its life today, but methinks a little more time under the Magic Blanket with the last five episodes of Outlander might be better for me.

(Can I get an "Amen" from the congregation, please?)

So that's it for today, Dearies.  A whole lotta nothin' goin' on in these here parts.  I hope you are warm and safe and dry in yours, that your needles are flying, and that you'll come tell me all about it!

Dec 5, 2017

Dec 4, 2017


Please forgive a late posting today, Dearies.  I've been a bit out of commission due to an unexpected and unwelcome visit from Mr. Crohn's.  He and I had separated quite some time ago and he was remaining at bay with clean living and a Walgreens full of meds, but these last few days?


But, before you cry for me, Argentina...behold!  Progress, joy, and fun fun fun:
I managed to complete another two sections of my Wendy Moore class yesterday and stay true to my plan to enjoy this piece each Sunday.

(Cue the gold star, please.)

In the midst of drinking lots of water and taking lots of naps, I have been thinking about several stitchy-related things.  Some involve just whether or not I want to try a rotation system next year.  Some involve whether or not you would enjoy/participate in/or be completely offended by a Spinster Stitcher marketplace.

Next year will mark the ten year anniversary of this here blog, so I am thinking about doing a few things to celebrate that.  One idea I had was to publish the blog into a book.  Another idea was to offer several different things for sale with sayings on them relative to this thing of ours and using the proceeds for a Stitcher's Fund (or maybe donating them to an animal rescue org).  The final thing on my list (which is actually the first thing I will complete, ironically) is a thank you gift.  I got the final piece of that puzzle completed today, so my hope is that those will be ready to fly by year's end.

Who says laying in the big girl sleigh bed is a waste of time?

So, stay tuned please, and if you feel any certain way about any of the above...all opinions are welcome and will be carefully considered.

(Yes...even yours, Betty.)

Rich is home from the Martin's with dinner provisions and peppermint ice cream.  He stayed here to watch over me today, bless his little heart, so now he's going to fuss over me like a mother hen to make sure I stay hydrated and well fed.  I really don't know what I'd do without him.

Happy Monday, one and all!  I hope your corner of the world is completely swell and that you'll come tell me all about it!

Dec 3, 2017


I am all over the place again.  If what I read in the paper is true, perhaps my out-of-sortsness is due to the Super Moon.  (At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)

The Bargello Cardinal is coming along nicely, but it occurred to me that I shortened his tail because I am apparently incapable of reading a chart when it's spread over more than one page.

(That's OK.  We'll just call him Stumpy and move on.)
My fingers got a little sore from pulling through canvas, so last night I decided that I wanted to do a little cross stitch.  I futzed and futzed and futzed in the cube room sudio before finally settling on Winter Quakers.


Many of you asked that I be more specific about my little self-treat from yesterday...especially the haul that I got at the Michael's.  I went there before our EGA luncheon to assemble my gift exchange gift, but I just couldn't resist the "Mad About Plaid" section for my very self too!

The little train case is red "leather" and it is just so perfectly swell I almost can't stand it.  It was also cheap, cheap, cheap with the discounts and coupons and such.  The glasses and glass case are also plaid, as are the nail files and ToDo list.
What's not to love about that?

Rich and I went to campus and attended a Latin Mass in a dorm chapel.  I had never been before, so it was...interesting.  I think I still like the Folk Choir Mass in the Basilica, but I am, if nothing else, just happy to be there.

Breakfast at our favorite place, a quick stop for the paper (which they were out of), and now we're home with laundry sploshing and a lovely day of stitching, footballing, and maybe a little cooking later on.

(More bliss.)

So that's the Sunday report, Dearies!  The sun is shinng and the birds are tweetly sweetly.  I hope it is likewise in your very own neck of the woods!

Dec 2, 2017


Today was the South Bend EGA Holiday luncheon at the Papa Vino's.

I behaved myself nicely and had soup and salad, but I may or may not have spoiled myself with a little side trip to the Erica's afterwards.

I spied the Mira Miss Christmas Eve on a fellow stitcher's Instagram page and immediately fell in love.  The Jim Shore Santa is the stitchy version of a figurine that I have, and the little dog somewhat reminds me of Stewey, and the Sue Hillis Tree chart was on clearance for $5.

(Who in their right mind can pass up a $5 chart on a beautiful December Saturday?)

So now I'm home in the Happy Chair to finish the paper, have a little snooze, and then get a little stitching in before the day is done.

Who's happier than me?

Dec 1, 2017

Nov 30, 2017


A little start on Bargello Cardinal last night:

Here's a closer view:
(Whoopsie...I just noticed that I missed a stitch in there!  See it?)

Today was a big day for me, kidney wise.  My transplant surgeon, Dr. Goggins, came up from Indianapolis for appointments in this area and he was very very happy with me.  When we met in the Spring, he gave me a long list of things that he wanted me to do before he would consider me 100% ready for transplant.

Know what?

I did every single one of them!

To be completely honest, I didn't realize that NOT doing them was an option.  I have always been kinda squirrelly that way...if you tell me I have to go stand on my head and spit wooden nickeks in order to live another day...I'm pretty likely to do it.  Most patients, however, don't think this way and he ends up getting very frustrated and short with them.

(Like the poor lady who was in the room next to me.)

But I got a gold star for the day and walked out of there feeling like a rock star.  

Now the ball in 1000% in my sister's court.  If she wants to be a living donor, then it's time for her to be tested and get on with it.  If she doesn't (which I am perfectly OK with, by the way), then she needs to say so definitively so that I can move on to dialysis and finding another donor or dialysis and waiting on the cadaver list.

Rich, God love him, has taken it upon himself to drive this bus right to its destination...whether that's down to Indy for transplant or off a cliff.  He has developed a good rapport with my sister and thinks he will be able to have the hard conversations (because God knows...I simply cannot).

In the meantime, while he's off on his white steed doing whatever it is that men on white steeds do, I am going to do more stitching, reading, cooking, sleeping, writing, and eating.  My Happy Land of Make Believe is warm and safe and dry, full of pretty things, and just too damn much fun to leave. to the big girl sleigh bed for a nap while Rich takes his afternoon walk.  Then it will be to the Martin's for salads and then home to the Notre Dame basketball game and a little more stitching.

A rather perfect Thursday, indeed!

Nov 29, 2017


I'm still a bit worse for wear today...lots of bruising and swelling and pain.

(And that's just my stitching!)

Buzzy is just...forlorn.  I don't know if he's acting out, or perhaps just feeling his oats, but he's causing me to worry.  I will go back to the doc this afternoon if he doesn't calm down, but for now he's getting an ice pack and Tylenol.

The Pointsettia ornament and I are equally a mess, since I am apparently incapable of rotating a piece in my head to accomodate the chart.  The first petal surround went in well enough, but the second is
Methinks this will go into time out until Miss Charlene can whisper it and show me what I'm doing wrong.

In the meantime, I am hankering for some cross stitch, so as soon as Buzzy is done with his ice pack I might head into the cube room studio to see if I can find something fun and festive.  I would love to go over to House of Stitches, but alas, I might want to save that for when I am a bit more up to snuff.

It's a beautiful day here in, but sunny.  If I can, I am going to attempt a little walk with Rich when he comes home from work.  He has a very long stride and I usually have to huff and puff to keep up with him, but maybe I can convince him to slow it down a bit for his portly little spinster.

That's it for Futzingday, Dearies.  I'm catching up on all of the Housewives and other Bravo shows I've taped.  I also noticed that I am three weeks behind on Outlander, so I better hop to it!

Hope your day is swell and that you'll come tell me all about it!

Nov 28, 2017


Yesterday is a bit of a blur. I did a whole lot of absolutely nothing at all, but somehow managed to enjoy doing it.  I slept, I ate, and I watched a lot of Flosstube in the big girl sleigh bed.

It was wonderful.

Sunday in the Happy Chair with Wendy resulted in another area being completed:
This section called for two different shades of Pepper Pot silk, which is new to me.  Two words, if you've never used it before: Like. Bud-da..

Here's the piece as it stands now:
If my calendar is correct, we will receive the next set of notes tomorrow.  The chart, however, is really quite excellent, so if time allows (and if my head clears a bit more), I will plunge ahead.

Today's agenda is to play a Real Housewife of Granger and tidy the apartment, finish the laundry, and get myself cleaned up and dressed before Rich comes home from work.  I think we're having turkey tetrazzini (?) tonight for dinner...something completely new to me, but nonetheless a favorite of Mister Spinster.

Dreams of Stewey and my sister last night...the former very lovely and peaceful, the latter not so much. I swear it's going to take an entire team of therapists to fix what's broken there...but I am hopeful somehow.  As far as Stewey is concerned...he actually speaks to me in my dreams.  He has a British accent and we talk and talk and talk about everything and nothing.  Oh, how I miss him so.  Damn dog.

Tomorrow is budget, bill paying, and paperwork day.  I haul all of my crap out and sit at the dining room table and put things to rights once again.  It occurs to me that I should probably order my book for next year and start to fill it up...guess that means I need to do a little browsing on the Erin Condren site today!

So that's the Tuesday report, Dearies.  A little worse for wear, I think, but still here happy as a clam.  I hope that your very own Tuesday is swell and that you do something fun with someone you love.

Come tell me all about it!

Nov 27, 2017


My little guy isn't feeling very well at the moment. Turns out he had some blockages that required angioplasty to open him back up, and he didn't like that very much.  I have been sleeping the day and  anasethesia away while Rich frets and paces and worries himself into stress eating M&Ms in the living room.

All will be well, Dearies.  All will be well.  Nothing that a few Tylenol and several days in the Happy Chair can't fix.

Back to the big girl sleigh bed.  Night night.

Nov 26, 2017


OK.  We're back on track.  I hope I didn't alarm you that something had gotten between me and Rich and managed to spoil it...not at all the case.  The tears and fussiness yesterday was 100% the result of my "troubled" relationship with my sister.

I love her.  I really do.  And she is holding my life in her hands by having a potentially perfect kidney for me.  But we're two distinctly different people, and sometimes I forget that and try to go back to a time when it was The Rich Sisters instead of Crys Rich and Coni Rich, or I try to be her mother.  So today I will just try to be thankful that she is who she is and get on with it.

We will go to Mass and then grab a bite to eat afterwards, and Rich will watch the football and I will stitch and we can call it a good day.  I might make us a lovely dinner or I might do some laundry or I might decide to put some Christmas decorations here and idea where the afternoon will take us.

But all is well, Dearies.  All is well.  We're chalking yesterday up to an impending "special" week, anxiety about surgery, and the old feeling of helplessness that I simply cannot fix the whole entire world with a blink of an eye or a wish and a prayer. It is what it is and I am who I am, so occasionally that means a bit of an off day.

The sun is shining and the birds are tweeting sweetly as they head South. Hope things in your neck of the woods are completely swell and that you'll come tell me all about it!

Nov 25, 2017


We've had quite a morning here in Hoosierville.  As per usual, a favor for my sister turned into a major teary fiasco of epic proportions that resulted in Rich and I having some time for a "chat".

I'm the first to admit that I set myself up for failure most days because of expectations, and now that I am at end stage, I really should learn how to dial down those expectations and just do things in a simpler, more energy-saving manner rather than the full-blown bull in a china shop method that has served me so well these last 51and a half years. 

(She says, sarcastically.)

In the midst of me trying to explain the stress I was feeling over figuring out the perfect place to put the Christmas tree and whether or not I should go with the four foot, six foot, eight foot, or eleven foot versions that I have carefully stored at Chez Spinster, Rich pipes up with "I'd like to have a real tree, Con, but I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want to ruin your decorating plans."

Fast forward three hours, a turkey sandwich, more tears, and some quiet time later, and I am in the Happy Chair with my stitching while Rich works out at the working out place.

We'll decorate next weekend.

Dr. Melfi will tell me that the reason why I am feeling so out of sorts lately is that I've gotten out of my lane again.  I've allowed myself to veer over into the Land of Make Believe in which I am a 1954 housewife with perfect pearls and a pot roast, my sister is the same, and our homes and mates are perfectly appointed tableaus that could come right out of a Westinghouse appliance commercial.

But life's not like that.  And sometimes it's a mess and difficult and not at all what you would want the world to see.  It's frayed at the edges and, most likely, held together with spit and duct tape.  It's unpredictable, sometimes frustrating, but almost always interesting enough that it is worthwhile sticking around to see what comes next.

So here we are on Thanksgiving Saturday...just learning how to be...real.  Hmmmm.  Maybe I am actually learning something after all.

I hope you are doing whatever your heart desires today...whether that means shopping or decorating or  reading a book or playing with grandkids or staring at a pretty blue sky or just holding the hand or paw of someone you love.  Do something wonderful and come tell me all about it!

Nov 24, 2017


Well, today was a little different than planned.  We went to Goshen, Indiana to pick my sister's car up to take it for snow tires, and then we ate salad and I took a nap.  Now I am trying to get my wits about me so that we can join some friends for a hockey game and then shenanagins.

(I'm an observer of the shenanagins rather than a participant, but I still manage to have fun.)

Tomorrow we will return the car, and then I am determined to tart up CS2 with all things Christmas if it's the last thing I do.  I suspect thete will be lots of adjustments this year to the usual decor, since we are sans fireplace or garage door over which big wreaths are normally hung, but we'll make do.  I might also have to break out the skinny tree this year that Stewey hated so much know.  The space availability in an apartment is very very different than in a house, so methinks some creative juices will be flowing (as well as a shaky reliance on high school geometry).

Sunday will be Stitchy Day...back to the Wendy piece.  I'm anxious to see how far I can get, but promise myself not to rush through.

Monday is surgery day.  It's time for Buzzy to get checked and tended to again.  I'm dreading it, but looking forward to a few days of quiet recovery in the Happy Chair.

So that's the life of a portly spinster tonight, Dearies.  I better scootch and get my face on.  Time for hockey!


Nobody died from eating my first attempt at making a whole turkey.

Everything came out of the oven at the right time and piping hot.

My sister and I were on our best behavior and didn't ruin the day with tears and recriminations.

My Jersey Boy ended his meal with roasted chestnuts (the last package of them at the Martins and the produce guy took pity on me and found them in the back because I told him it was the only thing that the love of my life requested and if I couldn't find them it was going to completely ruin my holiday).

I got to spend time with this little fellow:

Nov 23, 2017

Nov 22, 2017


This Thanksgiving is very different than last.  I look back to my entry from that day, and I see that I feasted and watched movies and looked forward to Christmas and all that it would bring.

But I was, I think, still very much in the deep deep grief of losing my Little, I was missing my sister and Bosco and Mom and Dad fiercely, and I knew that the end was near for life at Chez Spinster.

If you would have told me where I would be sitting this year, I would have told you that I appreciated your optimism, but the distance between me and even mild happiness was just too great.

Boy, was I wrong.

I've always had a grateful heart, and my prayers each night always begin with a very long list of thank yous, but I had no idea that gratitude could completely overwhelm and transform a person.  Or an entire life. Or a future.

My Thanksgiving this year will still include feasting and movies and maybe even a little looking forward to Christmas, but I am most looking forward to the heartfelt thank yous that I have for these new mornings, family, and reality.

Thank you, dear friends, for making it all so.  Thank you for your love and kindness and generosity and support and encouragement and belief in me.  Thank you for giving me so much to look forward to each day, for taking my hand and leading me to the cool kids' table, and for allowing me to join you on this crazy ride.

Life is beautiful, indeed.  My prayer for you and yours tomorrow and always is that you are surrounded by everything you love, that your table is overflowing, and that your very own future is happy, healthy, bright, and peaceful.

With much love,
The Spinster Stitcher

Nov 21, 2017


Rembrandt Redux at the Snite Museum

 Rembrandt’s Religious Prints: The Feddersen Collection at the Snite Museum of Art

On view September 3–November 26, 2017

 The Jack and Alfrieda Feddersen Collection of Rembrandt prints will make an encore appearance at the Snite Museum of Art September 3 through November 25. The exhibition of the renowned artist’s prints marks the publication of the first comprehensive catalog of the entire collection and the celebration of the University of Notre Dame’s 175th anniversary.

 All 70 of Rembrandt’s etchings that comprise the Feddersen Collection will be displayed together, examining the sweep of historical, theological, and artistic impulses that informed the creation of the master’s religious and biblical prints.    

Rembrandt’s Religious Prints

Originally published by Gina Costa at sniteartmuseum.nd.eduon June 27, 2017.

The exhibit was really quite something to see, and Rich and my friend and I enjoyed it immensely.  I was astounded at the number of pieces collected, the size of each (some just larger than a postcard), and the exquisite intricacy of each.  I would have like to examine each one for hours at a time, but...

After the exhibit we had lunch at Legends on campus, which happens to be the building that was called Senior Bar or The Alumni Senior Club when I was in school.  Now I know that you're all thinking that I was quite a bon vivant in 1985, but the truth of the matter is that I didn't step foot in the place until I had been out about ten years. (What can I say?  I got that "loser" tattoo on my forehead early.)

(The blinking lights, however, were a later addition.)

I'm going to head over to the dining room table now and plot and plan and plan and plot Thanksgiving so that we can go to the grocery store tomorrow night with the rest of the world here in the USA.  Better planning, I suppose, is not on my bucket list!

Grocery guild tonight involving much merriment, I'm sure.  I'll give you a full report tomorrow!


My uggy day turned into an uggy afternoon, but somewhere around 7:30 or so it all turned around.
This is the Pointsettia Ornament from DebBee's that I had started and then un-started last week.  There were some challenges with the charting, so I pulled up my socks and got to it.  I confess to a fair amount of cursing and fretting and hair-pulling and such, but before I knew it, I had completed that last  petal and all was well.

Now it's on to the stitches surrounding the petals. 

(Cue the cursing, fretting, hair-pulling and such.)

Today we are heading to the Snite Museum of Art on campus to see an exhibit of Rembrandt etchings and then we're having lunch with an old friend.  I'm a little apprehensive about the walking aspect of the outing, but know enough to say "Need a minute, kids" before parking my fanny on a bench.

Preparations for Thanksgiving are underway.  We will be four this and my beloved and my sister and her new beau.  I am going to prep as much as I can tomorrow and then let Rich be in charge of the turkey.  I'm thinking of all the usual things...with a few changes and additions that will become the usual things in years to come, I suppose.

So that's the Tuesday report.  Hope your corner of the world is swell....