May 31, 2017


You bring the lighter fluid.

I'll bring the match.

OK, so today was what you might call an exercise in...revelation.  (I was going to call it an exercise in frustration, but since I'm running around on my unicorn burping damn good coffee and glitter lately, the "f" word has been banished beyond the rainbow.)

The nice MasterCare men came and shampooed the living dickens out of the Happy Chair and the lower Stewey peenie zone of the bedroom recliner.  The poor look at the state of things had them running for the industrial strength cleaner and the rubber gloves.

We were getting along just fine until one of them said "Um, Ma'am?  Exactly how old IS this chair?" 

Cheeky little brat.

For the record, I purchased the Happy Chair on April 20, 1992 from the JC Penney Home Store in Mishawaka, Indiana, and my friend Michele's husband carried it and the matching ottoman up the stairs to my crappy little apartment without complaint.

(On May 1, 1992 I was entertaining a gentleman caller for a post-dinner cup of coffee, and he proceeded to drop an entire pot of it smack dab in the center of the less than two week old (previously white) ottoman.)

But that's a whole other story for a whole 'nuther day.

Cheeky was, however, very happy to climb atop the ladder to toss down the very very dusty books and decorations that I had been fretting about.  That task alone was worth the price of admission, I tell ya because it reminded where I had stashed the damn cheese book.

(My dad gave me a copy of Who Moved My Cheese because he thought it might be a good way for me to learn how to manage change.)

(I guess I should have read the damn thing.)

Or maybe not....because I decided to pack the office today instead of books, and right there waiting for me was a whole steaming heap of change.  

I won't have an actual office at CS2, so the plan was to take the black armoire thingie and put it in the new studio alcove.

But as I was unloading all of the crap out of the armoiore (like a destop computer powered by gerbils and a fax machine less sophisticated than two tin cans and a string) something kept bugging me about the dimensions of everything.

So I pulled out my handy dandy floor plan and fished the measuring tape out of the tool box and, wouldn't you know, there is no way in holy h-e-double-toothpicks that this will fit.  You would think this would have thrown me into some kind of existential crisis, but I kind of shrugged my shoulders and said " armoire.  I've been sitting at the dining room table anyway to pay bills and play with my planner...looks like I'll just keep doing that instead."

And then I went and grabbed a water, took a lovely shower, and decided to call it a day.

Some way some how I must have read that damn cheese book, because I seem to be rolling with it better than I ever have in my life.  I don't know if it's the prospect of living in an entirely new place or if I'm just finally exhausted...but every single thing I've had to tackle lately has left me feeling stronger and  more at peace rather than a blubbering mess of indecision.

Before  I go, though...let's talk books.

I will cull my collection some, but can guarantee that the bookshelves will move with me and will be full when unpacked.  Living with books is important to me and gives me such a good feeling that I simply cannot make that change at this time.  I haven't purchased a book in at least five years or so because I really enjoy our library system here and make good use of it, but these books are a part of my DNA...they are my art.

Do you remember when Jackie O died and John John said "My mother passed away today surrounded by her books and the people she loved"?  Well, that's what I want to be said about me.

(But hopefully sometime in the future, if you please.)

So that's the long-winded update for a busy Wednesday.  I don't know if I will have a chance to visit with you tomorrow or not...I have several appointments and then I really do have to think about getting the laundry done.

And these books packed!


I thought the hardest packing day was going to be the studio.

But I'm pretty sure it's going to be  packing.  day.

(Cue the ominous music, if you please.)

Firstly, and more importantly, though, the Happy Chair is getting a bath.  Let's face it...the poor dear is 25 years old and held together with dog pee and Febreeze.  The least I can do is spring for a visit from the MasterCare guys.

(And, if all goes according to plan, I'm going to see if I can bat my eyelashes at them to get the ladder from the garage and climb up there and hand me the stuff from that pot shelf.)

No stitching to report, my dears.  I came home from delivering Bosco to his mommie and fell into a deep and slobbery sleep with the remote in one hand and my sippy cup in the other.  Fatigue, it would seem, has decided to up its ante.

Just to see if I'm paying attention, apparently.

So that's it for now.  Hope your week is splendidly wonderful and that your needles are flying!

May 30, 2017


Today is the day for me to take a break from packing to specifically send out the first (of many) overdue thank yous.  

But first...a favor, if you please.

If you sent me something in the mail, I have your mailing address and can properly thank you.  Please bear with me while I do handwriting is just crabby enough that physically writing requires me to take some time, and despite my best efforts the going is slow.

But the YouCaring fund was all electronic, and some of you wanted to remain private.

How do I properly thank YOU? 

Over 300 people donated to that fund, and I am very determined to personally thank each and every one of you.  But how?

I thought about going over to the Grotto at Notre Dame and lighting a candle and saying a prayer for each person, but I'm worried that might be offensive to somebody, and the last thing I want to do is turn a beautiful gesture of giving into something irksome.

So here I sit in my puddle of happy tears...wanting to shout from the rooftops just how grateful I am to be part of this thing of ours and how this has very literally changed...and life.  

When Stewey died, I told Dr. Melfi that I didn't think I would survive it.

And there you were...lifting me up, dusting me off, and carrying me through the darkness with love and kindness.

When the realization came that I had lost my house after going to hell and back to save it, I told Dr. Melfi again that there was no way I would ever make it through leaving here.

And there you were again.  

Only this time you gave me something that I haven't had since my dear dad died.  You gave me safety. And a feeling of hope that everything is going to be OK and that no matter what, you've got my back and I can concentrate on getting a new kidney and starting a new life.

How the heck do I thank 300 plus people for THAT?!

You are kind enough to leave comments that tell me that you enjoy this blog and that I have said something that made your day a little brighter, etc. But writing this blog is such a small thing in comparison to what you do for me.  If it's resonated in some way...I'm very glad, but it just seems so darn...I don't know the face of such awesome generosity.

So help a spinster out here, would you please?  There's got to be a way for me to do this, but I'm completely stumped as to what that might be.

OK, back to the laundry and packing!

Do something fun and come tell me all about it!

May 29, 2017


I seem to have struck a nerve with my daily blathering about this packing and moving thing, so I thought I'd take a moment to explain what's in my tiny little brain.

(I have chicken and peppers roasting in the oven for fajitas later, so I need to distract myself a bit until they're done.)

One of my besties is a tiny little itty bitty woman named Denise.  She and I went to high school together in Lima and became fast friends when she cornered me in Study Hall and figured out my life for me on a piece of notebook paper.

As long as I knew her, Denise's way of relaxing was to mentally walk room by room through her dream house...imagining its decor and furnishings.  She could tell you the exact cabinet she would put her dishes in, what her summer bedroom would look like, and exactly how many big fluffy towels would be in the bathroom.

Well...that's exactly what I have been doing with this new apartment...only my daydreaming has more to do with space and what will make it into the moving van than anything else.  I have mentally walked through every square inch of the place and have made careful notes about what is going where.  I can tell you where my big ass pear picture will hang and on what wall Mom's Jasper caninet will look best. I know where the Happy Chair is going to sit, and I think I have an idea of how to corner the big girl sleigh bed.

On Thursday, I will get the keys and do the walkthrough with the agent, and when she leaves I will pull out the painters tape and measuring thingie and block off where stuff will go.

As I pack, I only take the stuff that I absolutely have a place for.  And, since I have a fair amount of time before I have to be physically out of here, I literally leave what's not going in place.  My sister will have first dibs at anything she wants, and then I have a pretty good plan for what's left over.

It's kind of ass backwards to do it this way, I know, but I knew that I had a very limited amount of physical energy to make this move happen.  Packing is (to me, anyway) the most critical thing to get done efficiently, and so far the process has been really smooth.

Thank you for your good advice to NOT take a bunch of crap that I don't have a place for.  To that end, I went back upstairs today and re-packed four boxes...eliminating a bunch of stuff that I had been dithering about.  So now I am 100% positive that every single thing in the studio is wanted and will have an exact place to live.

This is definitely the start of a new life for me, so I suppose that it is completely appropros that I am shedding so much of the past.  Now if I could just figure out how to purge this head of mine, we'd really be onto something!

OK...time for dinner.  Bosco and I are going to take it easy tonight and enjoy each other's company before I take him home tomorrow.  Then, I had better get some laundry done or the EPA is going to launch an investigation!

Still haven't packed the office, but methinks tomorrow will be the day for that!

Hope your weekend and holiday (if you had such) was swell!  

May 28, 2017



Or maybe he was nervous?

Gee, I can't imagine why.  He was basically propelling himself around a big loop of tar in a Camaro going a bazillion miles an hour and he doesn't even have a helmet on!

And then you think about some crazy spinster standing in her living room waving a hanky at the TeeVee hollering "Yooooo hoooooo!" and you wonder if he was actually not determined or nervous at all, but rather plotting his escape from Hoosierville before something completely untortunate happened.


Well...the studio is now packed:

With some casualties.

Truth be told, I just ran out of gas and decided that enough was enough and decided to call it a wrap up there for now.  I guess the worst case scenerio is that I go back up in a few days and pack another few boxes to pick up the abandoned items, but I have to keep in mind the fact that the new studio is only an eleven foot wall instead of a full 300 square foot room.

I haven't played with beads in about ten years.  I think I'm going to get everything moved and then see if there's room for all of these containers.  Carrying these up the stairs at CS2 in Target bags would be pretty easy:

Likewise with scrapbooking stuff.  The only paper I play with is my day planner, and I've got all of that stuff downstairs to be packed tomorrow. that I'm looking at this, it might only be one or two more medium boxes.  I just don't know if it's worth hauling all of this over to the new place for it to sit on a shelf:

This is the one that is tugging at me hardest.  I have collected Martha Stewart Living Magazine since...well, since it started, I think.  I might be missing an issue or two here and there, but what to do with these?  I had originally thought I would put them across the bottom row of cubes to serve as a kind of anchor, but after looking at the enormous pile of stuff that is already planned for that tiny tiny area, I'm not sure if these would be worth the labor and agony of getting them moved.  This is definitely not something I can move myself...these suckers are HEAVY:

I think I'm just a little tired and cranky from the heat, so I am in the Happy Chair now with an iced tea and a fresh t-shirt.  My plan is to enjoy the afternoon/evening and then pack my "office" tomorrow.  Basically, that is going to mean emptying out the armoire and packing a box or two of supplies, so it should be pretty easy.  I will make a go bag with my checkbooks and important folders in it, but otherwise we're just talking about small desk-type stuff.  I think I am going to leave behind my desktop computer, fax machine, and copier and just use my iPad and wireless printer thingie (assuming I can figure out how to sinc the two).  The office served me well when I worked from home, but methinks that the stuff is far enough out of date that it might be time for a new laptop for Christmas.

Speaking of out of date...

When I emptied the underbed storage box yesterday to use for FUPPIES, I found photo albums and things I had saved from my younger days...including my college transcript!  Oh man...was I ever in over my head!  One of these days I will be brave and share it with you, but suffice it to say...I was not exactly the best student at Notre Dame.  As a matter or fact, I am pretty sure they gave me the diploma to just get me out of their hair.

And...speaking of hair:
Not only was I rocking the 80's super do...will you look at those shoulder pads!  And the purple eye shadow!

The fellow next to me is my friend Irv Sikorski.  I met Irv when I lived above him in an apartment complex just off campus.  He was a police officer for Notre Dame and would come home from his shift at 11pm and sing and play music.  I would listen to it as I drifted off to sleep and soon enough I met him and fell head over heels.  To him, I was just an annoying little sister-type who would come over after class to watch Top Gun and eat pizza.  To me...he was my dreamboat.

Ahhhh, youth.  There would be a few more dreamboats along the way (some that broke my pitifullittle  heart, some that were bullets that I'm glad to have dodged), but the shoulder pads?  That glamour just lives forever.

Here's hoping that your Sunday is lovely and peaceful.  I think Bosco and I are going to grab a little snoozy nap and then have cheeseburgers on the grill!

May 27, 2017


Well, I managed to get all threads and then the cross stitch charts and kits packed, but methinks I am going to stop for today.  It is awfully hot up in the studio and I am physically pretty spent.  So instead of pushing it, I think I will grab a shower, put on some jams, and hit the Happy Chair.

Tomorrow I will finish the studio and pack up the office armoire.  If that proves to be too much, I left Monday as a rest day, so I can do a few things then if needed.

Night, night, dear friends!

Added after dinner and a shower...

Bosco has decided to make sure I stay in the Happy Chair:

Good thing I got my stitching ready before I sat down!
(The licorice is medicinal, by the way).)

Sippy cup full of iced lemon water...I think I drank about six gallons today!

Who doesn't love a little batshit crazy Glen Close in Fatal Attraction?


I've been at it most of the day, but moving at a nice leisurely pace and taking lots and lots of breaks.  I just put sausage, peppers, and onions in to roast for sandwiches later so thought I'd take a little longer break and check in.

Here's the progress so far:

FUPPIES (those are the projects that are finished in terms of the stitching, but they haven't been framed or made into pillows, etc yet): All gathered together and stacked/rolled neatly in an underbed storage box. (It's the long one on the bottom) (And yes, the box is full!)
BLANK CANVAS: in the top drawer on the right above.

LINEN: in the bottom drawer on the right.

WIPS: all packed except Poppers and a cross stich piece to keep me sane the next two weeks. (And no, I did not count them.  I swear.  I did not.) (The smaller WIPS are in the box on the left in the picture above...the larger ones are in this larger box:)
PAINTED CANVASES: are rolled and in the corners of the box above, along with a few long rolls of blank canvas and linen that wouldn't fit in the drawers.

TOOLS FOR HOLDING CANVAS/LINEN: Drawers with stretcher bars, q-snaps, scroll rods, hoops, tacks, tape, etc. packed (I had this set of drawers and used to keep linen in it, but this is perfect for this stuff!) (The top drawer has tacks, felt strips, tape, hoops, and q-snap covers.)

COUNTED CANVAS CHARTS: packed.  These are all in binders, and wouldn't you know that I found five matching EMPTY binders in the closet!  Note to self...time to fill them up!

THREADS: Vineyard Silk, Crescent Colors, and DMC all packed.  

Thread drawers with all other threads (I have 10 of the little three drawer suckers!) will be stacked and shrink wrapped.

I think I'm about halfway through.  Yet to pack are cross stitch charts and kits, crewel stuff, felting stuff, beads, small tools (like scissors, needles, glasses), large tools like floor and lap stands, lamps, bags/baskets, jewelry making supplies, scrapbooking supplies, coloring supplies, fabric, and yarn/knitting stuff.

If I had to guess, I would imagine that about 1/3 of the total studio contents will be left over after I move.  There's the Island of Misfit Toys (a huge bin of projects or kits or charts that I totally abandoned) and two closets full of odds and ends.  Considering the fact that I haven't looked at any of that stuff for 10 plus years...methinks I won't miss it at all!

So that's the report, dearies.  I have to say...this was the room that had me the most concerned, but so far it has gone very very smoothly.  The good news is that I don't have to physically carry anything downstairs...the moving guys will take care of that for me in the 12th.  And, once it gets to my new place I think I've packed it in such a way that getting it re-organized will be a breeze!

Speaking of organization in the new place...the storage cubes arrived!  I am so happy that I ordered them from Target online...shipping was free and I never would have been able to get the boxes in my car...let alone the house!  I am debating whether or not I will assemble them here and have the guys carry them over already done or if I'll wait and do it at CS2.  We'll see how much time and energy I have left!

These will take up one entire wall of the new studio/office and will contain my entire stash.  All together I will have 41 blocks to fill...each measuring 13 inches square.  I know I can buy bins and dividers and other accessories for them, but I want to wait until I get everything in to figure out what I'm going to need.

The only thing that has me stumped is where to hang my painted canvases.  In this studio, I had them on skirt hangers on a tension rod in a cabinet opening.  I suppose I could do the same thing again...maybe in the hall closet? 

Something to ponder...

Hope your Saturday is swell!  Bosco and I are going to have a little dinner and get that studio finished!
Thanks for indulging really helped to step back and see how it's going so far!


May 26, 2017


Well, well, well.

It only took three or four years of spinster voodoo, but my beloved Jeffrey Dean Morgan is going to be in Hoosierville this weekend to drive the pace car for the Indy 500.

(Do you suppose I should get out my bonnet and hanky and head down to the race so that I can bat my eyelashes at him and holler "YOOOOHOOOO, Darling Dear!  Come give us a kiss!" over the roar of the engines?)

(As our Queen Leader Stitcherista would say "That's a whole lotta NOPE on that one!")

Wow.  What a day I had yesterday!  I met with the pulminologist in the morning and scheduled the sleep study for the end of June.  Thank you for all of your encouragement about a possible cpap.  I will stop my whining about it now, especially since I'm not even sure I need one yet.  Besides...if they tell me that it is necessary and that it will help me get a new kidney and feel better, I'll wear the damn thing 24/7 and just bedazzle the heck out of it.

From there I headed down to the Hinterlands to pick up Bosco for the weekend.  It is amazing to me how we can be apart and yet resume our cuddles right where we left off:
We're going to hang out together until Tuesday, and then he'll go back to his Mommie so that I can get ready for the big move to CS2.0.

Then, after we got home, I got the call that my new glasses were ready to be picked up!  So I hightailed it over to the WalMarts and did the Happy Dance right there in front of God and everybody in the vision center because they are just so darn swell I can't stand it!
They are navy blue tortoise shell, which you can't see at all in the craptastic photo, but they are also progressive's the best part...I CAN TOTALLY STITCH WITH THEM

They weigh practically nothing at all, too, and were right in my budget range which is c.h.e.a.p.  No more fancypants eyeglass boutique for this girl on a budget!

So I sat in the Happy Chair and did another row of Poppers:

And then it was time for Bosco and I to brush our teeth and wash our faces and go to bed, so we did just that.  We had a good sleep, even though he insisted on tooting and snoring his way right through the night.

Today will be a visit with the kidney doc and the box delivery from the moving company, and then tomorrow I'm packing the studio.  Sunday will be the packing of the "office" armoire, and then I'm going to take a rest on Monday and put something on the grill for a little Memorial Day cookout.

And then next week it's off to the races!

Which brings us full cirlce, I suppose.  I haven't watched the Indy 500 since I was a little girl in Lima, but methinks I might just make a special exception this year.

I just hope I can find my bonnet and hanky.

May 25, 2017


I have an appointment with a pulminologist/sleep doctor this morning, and the thought of having to have another sleep study and then go on a c-pap machine kept me tossing and turning all night.


It's not easy being me.

May 24, 2017


Here's the new readers I got in 3.0 magnification.  Wow...what a difference they make!
I also got readers with clear glass at the top and the magnification at the bottom to stick in my purse for the grocery store.  If I have my contacts in I can't see anything up close, so I was popping my readers on and off as I needed to read labels, etc.  Now I can just stick these bifocals on and see both near and far without making myself seasick in the canned peas aisle!

(I got both pair at and was really thrilled with both the price and the service, by the way.)

Here's a little more progress on Poppers.  I'm going to grab a little snoozy nap and get back to it this evening:

Moving day is officially set for June 12 and the boxes will be delivered on Friday!  Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment at 10am, and then I'm going to pick up Bosco for the long weekend, so nothing move-related until Saturday!  

Let the adventure begin!

May 23, 2017


In my former life, I was the Operations Manager for a company that imported pens.  My three bosses were a gentleman that used to run a railroad, a guy who put the capital A in Type A personality, and a craps player. Each had distinctly different management styles, but each taught me a lot about running the day to day operations of a company.

It's been many many years since I had to plan and organize and execute anything, but this move forced me to dust off my thinking cap and come up with a way that I can downsize a two bedroom, two bathroom, studio, and office house to a one bedroom apartment without bloodshed or the commission of a felony.

Here's where it gets really wierd.

I don't think I've had this much fun since I tried to convince Stewey that we were going to rent a motor home and drive across the country in it!

I have a daily to do list that is quite elegant, if I do say so myself.  It takes into account my physical limitations, the expected day of the actual move, and the most practical way to completely upend and change my life with minimal distraction.

It helps that I have a lot of time to clear out the house, so I don't have to even think about the nightmare of stuffing all of my crap into trashbags and hauling it out of here in a mad rush,  

I promise you, dearies...I am going to be OK.  Many of you have written lovely notes and comments that you are worried about the toll this is going to take, but I can honestly tell you that I am feeling nothing but happiness and excitement over the prospect of a new life.  I admit that I did mourn (and I mourned HARD) for the loss of the house, but I'm at peace now.  This was a wondeful, lovely, happy, safe, perfect place for me and Stewey to lay our heads, but now it's time for it to shelter someone new.

So please please please don't fret, my pretties.  All will be well.  My little boxes will be packed and labeled and moved with the accuracy of a Swiss watch and Chez Spinster v2.0 will be a lovely, happy, perfect place for me to continue the adventure.

Off to the lab and library and then home to do laundry!  Hope your Tuesday is wonderfully swell!

May 22, 2017


Lovely, quiet weekend here at Chez Spinster.  I did a quick run for provisions yesterday afternoon and came home to make spaghetti and meatballs. (For some very strange reason that is the only thing that sounded good to me so I decided to go for it.)

They were delicious.

I stitched a little, but quit a bit early due to technical difficulties.  I think my right contact lens is a little too strong, since I am a bit blurry and lopsided ever since my eye exam.  No worries, though.  Dr. Rhodes will fix me up this week when I go to pick up my glasses.

Here's the little bit of progress I made on Poppers.  This is the absolutely perfect thing for me to be stitching at the moment...very fun and bright and cheery, and each little square is a "finish" that compells me forward to the next!

Laundry and patio chair painting today.  I was going to get labwork done but decided to combine it with labs I have to get done for IU tomorrow to avoid so many sticks!  Having blood drawn doesn't bother me in the least bit (thank goodness), but if I can save my veins a little with one visit instead of two it's a win!

Happy Monday, kids.  Hope your week is off to a very swell beginning!

May 21, 2017


I had such a lovely day yesterday that I decided to extend the fun a little and keep enjoying Poppers:
No real progress, I'm afraid.  The two blocks that I completed at the stitch-in were in the wrong place, so they came out and I never made it back to forward momentum.

Today, though, I think I will get back to it after a little breakfast/lunch.  The sun is shining and Stewey is on his perch supervising, so a stitchy Sunday 'twil be!

Tomorrow begins the daily task countdown to moving day.  My only jobs tomorrow are labwork and painting the patio chairs, so methinks I have a good shot at getting a positive start under my belt!

The rest of the week, though, is a total crap shoot.

Here's hoping that your Sunday is everything you hope it will be!  Do something fun and come tell me all about it!

May 20, 2017


I went stitching this morning with Misses Jane and Charlene and then ran a quick errand to the Targets, and came home for what I thought was going to be a short snoozy nap in the big girl sleigh bed.

Five hours later, and I am sitting here wondering if I was really that tired, or if it was the cool rainy day that did it to me.

I had the funniest dream, it I was mom to two children.  One was a teenaged boy who really wanted to move his bedroom to the basement, and the other was a little blonde girl named Gert.  And I wanted to buy them a hampster or gerbil, but I had to know if they both wanted a hampster or gerbil, and more importantly, whether or not they would be able to pick up the hampster or gerbil since I. could. not.

No way, no how.  I wasn't going to be able to pick up a hampster or a gerbil and this was going to be an issue for sure if the little fellow ever escaped his cage and needed to be put back into it forthwith.

And just as my teenage son was giving me a hard time for not being able to pick up a hampster or a gerbil, the door opened and my husband (their father) walked in and said "Son, why are you giving your mom a hard time about not being able to pick up a hampster or a gerbil?" and I woke up.


Do you suppose it's time we upped my meds?

May 19, 2017


This post will firmly cement my place in the Procrastinators Hall of Fame.

As I was making my rounds before bed last night, it occured to me that all of this rushing around and fussing about to leave here is productive, yes, but surely headed for a meltdown of epic proportions.  And I remembered the wonderful advice I got when Stewey was newly present with him and enjoy every moment.

Today I am going to sit in every room in my house and  I'm going to look at the light and look at the little views and look at the dust bunnies running around having picnics...and just enjoy Chez Spinster a little bit longer before it's filled with moving men and chaos.

There are at least a thousand and one things I SHOULD be doing, but today I'm just going to take a break and live in my little house and drink my damn good cup of coffee and stitch my stitching and read a book and take a nap and cook a meal and smell the proverbial roses.

Tomorrow, I'll go stitch with Miss Jane at her church and then I'll come home and get back to work.  Today, though...I'm going to play!

May 18, 2017


Today was my annual eye exam visit with Dr. Rhodes.

I love Dr. Rhodes, I really do.  He's the one that told me there's no such thing as "ruining" your eyes from doing too much needlework or spending too much time with your nose in a book.  

Yes, there is such a thing as eye strain, but if you practice a 20-20-20 routine you will avoid this.  Every 20 minutes that you're doing something intense with your eyes (whether it's using a 'puter or stitching your eyeballs out) you should lift your head up and look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Cool, huh?

So we exchanged our usual pleasantries and I updated him on my health and Stewey (he actually got a bit teary, bless his heart) and then he proceeded to check out my vision (or lack thereof).

Wow.  It's h-e-double-toothpicks getting old!  My poor prescription has changed considerably and I am even more near sighted than I was before.  But, thanks to the nice people right there in the WalMart Vision Center, I am all fixed up with new contacts and glasses that should be here in a week.

Now all I need to do is update my stitchy glasses.  I use 1.5 or 2.0 magnifiers over my contacts to stitch, but Dr. Rhodes suggested that I bump that to a 3.0.  Looks like a trip to the Michaels clearance bin might be on the horizon!

Who knows?  Maybe now I will be able to stitch on 32 or 36 count linen without wanting to chuck it into the bin every five and a half minutes!

So that's the report for the day, dearies.  Nothing but organizing and sorting and purging and packing on the agenda for tomorrow, so methinks I will enjoy some stitchy time in the Happy Chair tonight!

Hope your Thursday was swell!

May 17, 2017


Well, my to do list just got kicked into high gear by SOMEBODY near and dear to our hearts who just visited me in a dream.  I was all set to head up to the studio for some sorting/purging/packing, but decided to take a snoozy nap instead.

What can I say?

Sloth is a hard habit to break.

Anywhoose...there I was, snoring away in the big girl sleigh bed, when I saw Stewey prancing toward me across a field of daisies wearing his little smoking jacket.  At first, I was so overjoyed to see him that I fell to my knees, broke into the ugly cry, and reached out to touch his furry little self and clutch him to my heaving bosom.

And then I saw it

His little clipboard.

"Mo-ther.  You have indulged yourself in a lot of silly nonsense since my departure...not the least of which is a complete break down of any sort of homekeeping management organization that I worked so hard to put in place.  The kitchen is untidy, the gardens are untended, and the list of items that you should be completing grows and grows while you futz about without any regard whatsoever for proper time management.  YOU ARE MOVING SOON, MO-THER, AND DESPITE YOUR RECENT HISTORY OF MIRACLES DROPPING OUT OF THE SKY, NOBODY...AND I MEAN NOBODY...IS GOING TO COME PUT YOUR BIG GIRL OLD LADY UNDERCLOTHES IN A BOX AND TAPE IT SHUT."

I confess to gawping like a fish at him, because I expected that he would collapse into my arms smelling of baby shampoo and weeping copious tears over how much he misses me, but alas, it was not so.

"I've taken the liberty of drafting a comprehensive plan for you, Mo-ther.  As you will see, it provides for a smooth and orderly transition to our new home and should result in very little last minute angst and hand-wringing fretting on your part, despite your Olympic medal winning status in both of those categories.  It will, however, require you to actually DO SOMETHING besides sitting in our Happy Chair looking at pretty pictures on the Pinterest, so put on a support bra and some shoes, and hop to it!"

With that, he handed me a little book that looked remarkably like Erin, my day planner.  In it were post it notes indicating the task for each week.  This week and next are devoted to purging and donating, the week after is packing, and then the actual moving will take place the week of June 5.

Hmmmmm.  All this time I thought "I'm not moving until June for Pete's sakes!  I've got plenty of time yet to consider how I'm going to cram 10 pounds of crap in a 5 poind bag" but it would seem that (as usual) Stewey knows best and I better get a move on.

Pun intended.

I didn't have time to ask him anything else or to thank him for sending you all to look after me, but I suspect that he will show up again as soon as I accompllish something worthy of a reward.  Stay tuned for further updates.  I have two appointments tomorrow afternoon, but promise to be good and get at least one drawer or closet sorted/purged before calling it quits!

Now, though, I'm off to the kitchen to make a baked potato with broccoli and a nice little salad.  I resisted temptation last night at Grocery Guild and didn't partake in the birthday treats for Miss Charlene, and methinks it paid off!  If my crappy scale is correct, I am down another two pounds for the week which means I am still on track!

Happy Wednesday evening, kids!  See you tomorrow!


Miss Joyce from my Library Guild taught me a neat trick a while back and I've been using it while stitching Poppers.  Since the design is a bunch of little squares, I made a working copy of the chart and then cut the diagrams out individually, and then I have them to attach to the canvas with a maget for super easy viewing while stitching.

But what to do with the pile of little squares?

Well, as luck would have it, about a billion and a half years ago Aunt Chrissy and I were fishing around the Michaels dollar bins and we found these little cardboard boxes with our initials on them.

For a dollar!

And you'll never guess what fits in this little cardboard box with my initial on it as though the stitchy organizing gods themselves made it for that very purpose:

Man 'o manachevitz...I love it when a plan comes together!

One more row completed last night after Grocery Guild.  Every time I think I have a favorite block/color, the next one comes along and makes me twirll right around in the Happy Chair!

Futzingday has begun, dearies!  I'm off to the dining room table to do bills and paperwork, and then it's up to start sorting the studio!  I suspect there's going to be a lot more petting of threads than anything else, but that is exactly what Futzingdays are for...right?

May 16, 2017


That sound you hear coming from the hinterlands of Hoosierville is the Earth shaking due to the happy dancing of one very porty, yet loveable spinster.

As of noon today I have been officially presented to the entire transplant team at Indiana University and have been given the go-ahead to be listed on UNOS for a kidney.

Final approval from my insurance and a few more pounds and it will be even more official/official!

Long, long, long road ahead, but we just stepped into technicolor, kids!

As I just told Miss Elizabeth (of Needlepoint Now fame) is indeed very beautiful and I'm just so happy to be living it!


And all of this comes on Miss Charlene's birthday today!  She is the one turning Fabulously Amazing at Any Age Because She's Wonder Woman And The Rest Of Us Are Just Trying To Keep Up, and I'm the one getting gifts!  

Happy Birthday, Miss Charlene!  See you tonight at Grocery Guild!


Friends, many of you have asked about how one becomes a living donor.  Here are some resources that the nice people at IU Health provided for us to pass along:

Donate Life America:

Transplant Experience:

IU Health: 800-382-4602 or  or http://iuhealthlearning.ord/video/transplant


Not one single thing got purged, packed, or organized yesterday, but I'm still standing.  My coordinator from IU called and asked if I could get to the lab for a test that they forgot last week, so after a shower and shoes, I was on my way.

Then, it was such a pretty day that I decided to get a little fresh air, so I drove a bit and walked a bit and came home for a long nap with my face in the sun.

I did, however, manage to stitch a little last night on Poppers:

The colors of this are so bright and cheery, and the little happy dances after each block are a great source of a little extra exercise, win win all around!  I've now completed 10 rows out of 24 total, so...almost halfway there!

Grocery Guild tonight and then appointments the rest of the week, so I really should get something accomplished.  I want to get all of my clothes and shoes over to St. Margaret's House (a women's day shelter) and books to Better World Books before the week gets much older!  

Here's hoping that your Tuesday is wonderfully swell!  WooHoo!

May 15, 2017


What a lovely weekend was had by all here in Hoosierville!  Lots of sunshine, sweetly tweeting little birds, good healthy food to eat, and rest.  Lots and lots of rest.

I can feel myself physically declining, but I am learning to adjust.  The old days of going like a bull in the proverbial china shop are on pause at the moment, but being careful and measured is a good exercise in moderation for me.

Today I will start the sorting, purging, and packing process here at Chez Spinster to get ready for the move to the Little Home That Love Built.  I spent some time with paper and pencil mapping it all out, so methinks it will be smooth sailing.  I understand there was a whole trend about minimalism and letting clutter go, so as usual, it looks like I am a bit behind the times but following the herd nonetheless.

You will be happy to note that the first thing I got organized was my stitchy stuff.  I decided to go with the cube system from the Targets, and wouldn't you know...they're on sale this week!  My studio here has everything built in, and I didn't thing the next occupant would appreciate me taking lock, stock, and barrel with me, so I needed another solution for housing all the goodies.  I'll be sure to take lots of craptastic pictures once it's done so you can see that I had a Target gift card and wasn't afraid to use it!  (Actually, it's about seven Target gift cards...Bargain Betty here always buys her laundry soap, etc when they have the deal with gift cards, and I save them up and use them for something bigger than a roll of paper towels).

That's just good Target shopping right there, kids.

Yes it is.

I had a long chat with my sister yesterday afternoon.  Things are still very...different than they were a few years ago, but I am learning to accept the change.  I spent 50 years on the planet thinking that she and I are two halves of the same whole.  The realization that this is not so was like a thunderbolt, but I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that we are not at all alike...we are vastly different in many many ways, but that's OK.  I don't need to be her boss, her Mommie, her parole officer, or her psychiatrist.  I just need to be her sister and let her do her thing.

Oh...and there is that whole kidney thing too.

That, however, is not something I can control at the moment.  If she is able, the nice people at IU will see to it that it happens.  I just need to stay in my lane, mind my own damn p's and q's, drink my lemon water, and get on with it.

My goodness!  So much navel gazing for a Monday!  Well, this little tangent will conclude this portion of the program, I promise.  My head positively hurts from so much thinking, so as of right this moment I am going to get back to Bear of Very Little Brain status and stop with the thinking.

Me and the thinking?  Not such a good combination.

So it's off to the lab for a test that they weren't able to complete last week, and then it's home to a little sorting of the things, lots of laundry, and hopefully even more lots of stitching in the Happy Chair.

I hope your Monday is everything you want it to be!  Do something fun and come tell me all about it!

May 14, 2017

May 12, 2017


For a brief time (about a year, to be exact) May 13 was a very sad day for me.

And then it wasn't.

On May 13, 2004 my dear dad took his last breath and passed away.  He went quickly and peacefully, and at the last moment raised his arm up as if someone were reaching for him.  I like to think that it might have been his own father who had died when he was a little boy and whom he said was the first person he hoped to see on the other side.

That first year after Dad's death was a bit of a blur, to be honest.  I remember Chrissy living here with me and our friend Kavanaugh coming for chicken and vegetable dinners a few times, and the two of them ribbing me about whatever silly shenanigans I had been up to.

Sometime during this year I got the bright idea to get a dog, and I decided to get a Jack Russell Terrier from Ireland.  I had always loved Eddie on Frasier, and the idea of paying thousands of dollars for a special Irish Jack Russell terrier, its travel to the US, and all of the expenses for its special companion person to travel with and then stay and acclimate said Irish Jack Russell made perfect sense to me.

What can I say? 

I never really was the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

Fortunately, both Kavanaugh and my sister put the kabosh on that.  I think their exact words were "Are you out of your bleepity bleeping mind?!?!", and I started to look elsewhere.

I found a breeder of Jack Russell terriers right here in Hoosierville.  And not just any old Jack Russell terriers...these were Shorty Jacks.  Also known as Puddin' Jacks.  And the website for this breeder...whimsically called Willowswamp Farm, told the story of a man named Rex who had fallen in love with Shorty Jacks when he was five or six years old, and how his farm was full of the most loveable, nicely tempered, well behaved little dogs ever put on the planet.

So I sent Rex an email, and his response changed my life forever.
Stewey was born on May 13, year to the day of Dad's Mrs. Arrowhead "Headley" Willowswamp and Mr. Angus Willowswamp.  He was the smallest of three boys, and although purely bred, was not breedable or showable because of a distinctive overbite.  His small size and "special feature" meant that he was also discounted to fifty bucks, and if I was interested I could pick him up in July.

On July 6, Chrissy and I drove my little blue car through the cornfields of Ligonier, Indiana (literally...right through the cornfields...because I missed a turn and thought the tractor path was the only way to get to Willowswamp) and I met the love of my life.  I picked him up, said "I'm your Mommie", kissed his little nose, smelled his perfect puppy breath, and was a complete and total goner.
He was quirky, to be sure, and often funny, exasperating, and sometimes misunderstood.  But the eleven years, four months, and eight days that I spent with him were a grand adventure that changed me forever.  I can honestly say that I never imagined myself capable of such a deep and unconditional love, nor did I ever think myself worthy of receiving it in return.
The only explanation I've been able to come up with is that my mom and dad sent Stewey to me specifically on May 13 so that I would have something happy to think about this day rather than something sad.  At first I thought it was all Dad's doing (because of the date), but the more I think about it, the more I see Mom's hand in it.  She knew that Dad was my hero and that I needed somebody to look out for me once he was gone.  And, in perfect Mom-like fashion, she found the perfect little creature to do just that and give us all a few laughs at the same time.

Life without Stewey is different, but for the first time in a very long while I feel like I'm going to be OK.  My heart still physically hurts from missing him so, but I'm convinced that he was here for a reason and my memories of him will sustain me through even the darkest days.  The outpouring of love that I've been blessed with is all him...I know it to be true...and I am sure that if he were here he would be as humbled and profoundly grateful for it as I am.

Happy Birthday, Stewey Little.  I couldn't have loved you more if I had given birth to you myself.  Thank you for being my BabyDear, and rest easy that your Mommie is going to be OK thanks to this family you sent here to look out for me.

P.S.  I know that last picture isn't one of your favorites because it is from your "chubby period", but it's the only one I have of you with one of your Aunt Chrissy birthday daisies.


OK, I've procrastinated long enough.  It's time for me to put my shoes and socks on and go to the grocery.  I am pretty sure that it's going to kill me physically, but I really really really need the fresh air and exercise and the pickings are a bit slim around here for meals.

What I want are PopTarts and Swedish Fish and bar-b-que potato chips.

And dietCoke.

(By the it just me, or does anybody else go into a tizzy every time a dietCoke commercial comes on?!  Good grief, Charlie Brown!  I knew I liked the stuff and missed it now that I can't have it, but I actually shed a tear over it last night!)

(A tear!)

(Over dietCoke!)

(I swear it to be true.  Really.  I do.)

What I'll get, though, will be fruits and veggies, sprouted grain bread, and salmon.  And sparkle water that is good for me but tastes of nothing at all.


Don't cry for me Argentina.  Eating healthy and having the means to do so are an enormous blessing for which I am incredibly thankful.  There will be plenty of time for PopTarts someday, I imagine, but right now I've got a number to reach for the transplant surgeon and I'm going to do it.  As of today I am 130 pounds down from my highest weight ever, 60 pounds down in the last year, 20 pounds away from where he wants me and 100 pounds away from where I want to be.

Piece 'o cake.

(Dang it.)

(Now I want cake.)

OK.  Enough.  Onward!


Needle Delights Originals
8+ rows completed of 24!

May 11, 2017


Who knew that polka dots on toes could be so popular?!

You, too can have polka dots on your toes.  It's a very very complicated procedure, but if you're willing to brave it, the end result is worth it, I promise.

Step 1: Go find a bobby pin. (I think these are also called hair pins.  You know...the things that you use to hold errant bangs out of the way or, if you're like me, the things that your mom used to put all over your head at night with little pin curls tucked into.)

Step 2: Open/straighten the pin.

Step 3: Dip it in the polish color that you want for the polka dots. (I put a blob or two onto a flat piece of plastic to make it easier.)

Step 4: Make polka dots on your toes.

Yup.  You got it.  Do it yourself fabulousness right there, kids.  I do my nails myself because a) I enjoy doing it and b) it's a test to see if I can still actually reach my toes, but any qualified toenail professional can bling you right up.

I always like the idea of something crazy/whimsical/fancy on my toes since I am the only one that sees them and think of them as the equivalent if a racy pair of red underpants under a  conservative and sensible black suit.  Crazy, I know, but it's about as wild as this old gal is able to get.  Visions of a motorcycle, a Stewey tattoo, and a boyfriend named Jeffrey Dean will just have to wait until I'm a little older.  For now, I've got other stuff for my polka dots to be doing.

OK, heading back to the big girl sleigh bed now.  I got up to get a damn good cup of coffee and check emails, but methinks I need to go finish sleeping.

Happy Thursday, dearies!  Do something fabulous and come tell me all about it!

May 10, 2017


Stewey and I made it home safe and sound from Indianapolis a few minutes ago, and the first thing I did was hit the Happy Chair for another good cry.

(What the heck is it with me and the waterworks lately?!)

These were tears of joy and gratitude that we got there and back and that I managed to get through today's appointments with no damage other than a headache from trying to think too hard and from cramming too much new stuff into this tiny brain of mine.

Kids, this whole organ transplant thing is pretty overwhelming to be sure.  And I suppose that it doesn't help matters that I already don't feel particularly well to begin with and my travel companion was absolutely no help whatsoever with navigating.

(He was, though, very quiet and comforting on the drive home as I blathered on and on about all of the stuff I learned today, so I suppose I shouldn't complain too much.)

(He also didn't require any potty breaks and the drapes in the hotel remained unwatered.  Thankyouverymuch.)

So tonight is going to be all about....nothing at all.  I need to turn off my brain for a bit and just let things process.  I have done absolutely everything I can and just need to stay the course for now, so we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming very very soon.

But before I go, I need to tell you that your happy thoughts and prayers and love and support are nothing short of miraculous.  Any time I feel myself starting to crumble, I close my eyes and feel you there holding me up in every way imaginable.  A thousand million thank yous to the moon and back, dear friends.

To the moon and back.

May 9, 2017


Stewey and I made it to Indianapolis.


I took several wrong turns and ended up pulling over on the side of the road to have a good cry about it.  I had called the hotel to see if they could guide me in, and a good place to start was telling them where I was sitting at the moment having my little teary snit.

So I looked up and saw the street name and started bawling all over again.

I was sitting on Myrtis Street.

That name is significant, because Miss Myrtis is the Grande Dame of all things stitchy in these here parts, and she has been a beacon of love and encouragement for me ever since I met her in Guild. It was as though Miss Myrtis Her Very Self were sending me a little noodge to suck it up, dry my tears, and get on with it, so I did.

A few minutes later I pulled into the hotel parking lot and got checked in, and now I am patiently waiting for a little dinner to arrive before getting into my pajamas and stitchy bag.

Tomorrow will be a full day of appointments and classes and such, and then I'll drive the three hours home to Chez Spinster.  I'm hoping that tomorrow will be a little less...fraught...than today has been.  I really need to clam down and just take things one step at a time, or I'm never going to make it to that transplant! 

I suppose that the overall moral to this story is that I am as hapless and hopeless in Indianapolis as I am in Mishawaka and that the next time I decide to do this I better have adult supervision

Either that, or it was a good exercise in regaining a little hutzpah and independence and I will learn how to be a semi-adult person in this big bad world and not get so bent out of shape by the unexpected detour evey now and then.

If only...

May 8, 2017


My spinster guilt will not allow me to perpetuate the illusion that I live in a scene from the Pottery Barn catalogue, especially since you are all so lovely to comment about how clean and tidy Chez Spinster looks.

Hopefully the following evidence to the contrary will make you feel like Martha Stewart.

Sippy cups taking a bath in the sink:

A dining room table being used as a desk.  (The Swedish fish in the bottom of the frame?  Those?  Um...they're medicinal):

This one has my dear departed mom (and Stewey I'm sure) cringing their perfectly pressed blouses into a knot up there in heaven.  The sheets, I'll have you know, are indeed clean and fresh, as are the blankets...not a whiff of Bosco to be found.  (And yes, to answer your second horrified question (with the Swedish fish being the first) that blue thing is Stewey's blanket and yes, I do sleep with it.  I am a fifty-one year old woman who falls asleep clutching a Target baby blanket that her little dog used to lay on.)  (Don't judge me, please.  I'm grieving.  It's a process.)

I had a photo of all of the laundry on the closet floor that is sorted and waiting for its sploshing, but I just couldn't do it.  There's something about my big girl underpants strewn about that was just too racy for this here blog.  

Besides.  This post was supposed to make you feel better about your own homekeeping skills...not cause you to run from the room gouging your eyeballs out!

Finally...yup, you guessed it.  All of this is a completely shameless attempt to distract you from the sad reality of my lack of anything stitching to show.  I haven't had a needle in my hand in a week!  I swear, though, that at 2:30 this afternoon that will change, since I am getting my car serviced and won't have anything else to do BUT stitch!

So, happy happy day to you, dearies!  Do something fun and wonderful that blows your skirt right up and come tell me all about it!

May 6, 2017


...and tries to eat the entire menu.

I drove Bosco "home" to his Mommie yesterday afternoon, and was surprised at my emotional parting from the little guy.  We had long talks and cuddles, and after a twelve hour sleep Friday night (with him snoring and tooting his little heart out), I figured the hand off would be easier than it was.

As we sped along the highway, I started singing to him as loudly as I could..."My favorite nephew has a name and Bosco is his name-o!  B-O-S-C-O!  B-O-S-C-O!  B-O-S-C-O! and Bosco is his name-o!

And then I had to stop singing and call my sister and ask her to be a real live GPS because SOMEBODY forgot the directions on the kitchen table.

(For the record, it was Bosco.)

(He drinks Fireball whiskey and forgets things.)

But I digress...

On the drive home I bawled my eyes out and decided that I would stop for a bite to eat because...brace yourselves...I FORGOT TO EAT ANYTHING ALL DAY!


To eat!


I have forgotten my keys, my phone number, my middle name, where I put my outside shoes, and what I was supposed to have been doing the four years I was in college at Notre Dame.

But forget to eat?

That's just crazy talk right there.

So I sat down at The Outback and I ordered iced tea and caught sight of chicken wings on the appetizer menu.

And I ordered them.

And a salad with French dressing.

And a steak.

And smashed potatoes.

And grilled shrimp.

And mushrooms.

I really have to give the server credit, since she did not bat one eyelash at the enormous woman wedged in the booth ordering enough food for the restaurant, the people in the comic book shop next to the restaurant, or the ones in the Lowe's across the street.  She just brought it all efficiently and didn't so much as flinch when I ordered the salted caramel cheesecake for dessert.

Needless to say, I spent the grocery budget on dinner, but the happy news is that I have enough leftovers to carry me through next week and I didn't need to push a car through the Martin's to achieve that!

Life will now return to normal-ish with Stewey and I in the Happy Chair sans Bosco.  No more midnight potty trips outside, and I might just be able to sleep on more than four inches of the big girl sleigh bed.  Knowing that he will be able to see his person (and vice versa) is worth the little twinge of sadness.

And if that doesn't work there's cheesecake!


I was sitting in Planet Hollywood on the Atlantic City Boardwalk having lunch many many years ago. A couple at a table across the restaurant kept staring and gesturing at me, and I realized that there was a big mural of celebrities behind me on the wall.  Thinking that they wanted me to move so they could get a picture of it (because the husband/man kept holding up a camera), I ducked down out of the way so he could get a clearer shot.

The movie Sister Act was playing on the TeeVees all around the restaurant as I was making my way to the exit after lunch, and as I passed by the couple at the table, the husband/man said "Excuse me, I'm so sorry to bother you, but is that you?" and he pointed to the TeeVee screens where the nuns were singing and cavorting about.  "Could we have your autograph?"

I smiled (very sweetly, I might add) and said "Why, yes of course, it would be my pleasure" and I took the pad of paper that the wife/woman handed to me and I wrote :

With love and best wishes,
Whoopie Goldberg

Apparently, despite the image that I have of myself of being the youngest sister of Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Lauren, I am a dead ringer for Sister Mary Patrick her very self.  And, more unfortunately, I do not at all resemble the real life actress Kathy Najimy (who is just so perfectly lovely)...I look like that character in all her glory.

But I did love the idea that the new Chez Spinster might be a convent, and it gives me the perfect idea for our retirement home/island/resort/casino complex: St. Penelope's Home for Wayward Stitchers.

The sun is shining, the birds are tweeting sweetly, and Bosco and I are headed to Goshen right after we hit that Starbucks drive thru and the McDonalds for a Happy Meal!  Then it's back to the Happy Chair for laundry and newspaper reading and that order, because I have done NOTHING it seems for the better part of a week except walk into walls and dream about a new place to put my underpants.

Hope your Saturday is swell and everything you want it be!

May 5, 2017


Exhibit A

Exhibit B

AAAACCCCKKKK!!  I meant the resemblance between me and Sister Mary Patrick.

Not the resemblance between me and Bosco.