Dec 26, 2020


Happy Saturday, Dearies!

Buzzy and I are here in the d-chair doing our thing on a different day due to the holiday. It will be the same next week, which means I won't know what day it is well into the new year.

The crazy leggings were a gift from my JB. He spoiled me with several items from my amazon wish list, which delighted him and made life easy. I missed the element of surprise a bit, but was so excited to spend Christmas with him that it didn't matter one little bit.

Our day yesterday was lovely and quiet and my attempt at my first prime rib was apparently quite good despite my feeling that it was a bit too rare. My day was almost completely ruined when I scorched my stitching hand terribly by grabbing onto the thermometer (that had just come out of a 500 degree oven) like a total boofus, but I got ice and cold water on it right away and then, in a stroke of genius, slathered aloe vera all over it from the little plant on the counter.

I've never used aloe vera before and always thought it was hocus pocus, but I have to worked like a charm and I was back to stitching in no time!

The Santa canvas that I decided to play with is the Snow Globe Santa from Janet Zickler Casey, and it was an ANG project from years ago. Miss Charlene has stitched all of these, I think, and thanks to her excellent guidance I was able to take enough notes to make this one super easy. This is stitched on needlepoint canvas, and the image is drawn on. The guide tells you what to stitch where, and hopefully, the finished product will be cute enough to finish and hang next year!

About that lap's basically just that. I was looking for something light weight and portable enough to drag here to dialysis. I have a lap desk that I love and use daily, but it is super heavy and rather cumbersome to carry about. This new one is made entirely of molded plastic and the lid lifts to reveal a perfect set of compartments to hold things. If you go to amazon and search for "lap desk with storage" you'll find tons of them there.

Dearies, I am thinking about taking a little blog/social media brake for a week or two to concentrate on some stash organizing, book reading, and general contemplating. I am spending hours and hours and hours a day on this here iPad thingie, and find myself being a bit too thirsty for attention.

Besides, I have rummaged and pillaged my IU bags, and have defeated the entire purpose of getting prepared for transplant. My dreams are constantly about being un-prepared and out of sorts and out of control, so it's time to get a better grip on my horses, so to speak.

I will pop back on New Year's Eve to wish you well...because not doing so would be silly. amongst yourselves and carry on with the fun and be sure to come tell me all about it!

Love you!


Dec 25, 2020


A Christmas Eve finish while watching Clark and Co have a fun old fashioned family Christmas:

 Waking up to a white Christmas!

A thoughtful gift (even if it was on my amazon wish list):

Using the System 4 for the first time:


Dec 23, 2020


Well, we are in the d-chair wearing our silly Santa pants.

My pod mates were not at all impressed by my efforts, but I did het a chuckle out of a guy delivering office supplies.

Oh well.

Last treatment before Christmas! Since it falls on a Friday this year, our schedules have been adjusted to Saturday. The same will take place next week with the entrance of the new year.

I managed to do ALL of the laundry yesterday, including all of the towels and sheets. I use the Tide One Wash Miracle on them about once a month, and it makes a huge difference! It keeps them fresh smelling and really clean. Pricey, but worth it in my opinion.

I started a Mill Hill sleigh, but can't show you the progress at the moment. It is buried under blankets and such in my big tote bag, and Buzzy has already misbehaved enough to designate me as the naughty chair in my pod. (I hate being the naughty chair.)

Today will be quiet and restful since I got everything done yesterday. I did manage to clean the oven without catastrophe. I removed the racks and everything from the lower drawer, opened all of the windows and put the fans on blast and let 'er rip. It took about three and a half hours, and while I wouldn't say it's clean. (But if anybody knows how to get that glass window clean...I'm all ears.)

Christmas will be so very different for so many of us this year, that I hope and pray we can all embrace the change and focus on the good. My Jersey Boy and I will combine some of our family traditions for the first time, and I hope will create some new ones.

Wherever you are...whatever you do...I hope the next few days and weeks are peaceful and happy and healthy and wonderful for you. I can't wait to see all the things, and look at all of the food, and admire all of the stitching!

Merry Christmas and a very HappyNew Year, my very dear and very much loved little family! God bless and keep you and may all of your Christmas dreams and wishes come true!

Dec 22, 2020


Oh, Dearies, he was just so much fun! I completed the cross stitching lickety split and then those beads went on faster than that!

He is a Mill Hill kit and part of a series of five. Kris Kringle was the first, St Nick is the second. All are bald Santas on one piece of perforated paper with their hats on a second. When finished, the hat is tacked with a few stitches to the head. 

Laundry today, and I am hoping to start another Mill Hill...but another sleigh this time. I am just really enjoying the instant gratification of these fast little finishes!

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

Dec 21, 2020


There are a total of six in this series, and I am determined to stitch every one of them! I did almost finish stitching his hat last night, but alas, I forgot to take a photo and I am in the d-chair and it is home on the ottoman.

Only four sleeps until Christmas, and I am really looking froward to a Christmas Eve trip to the Grotto (if weather and crowds permit) and a try at making my very first standing rib roast/prime rib. My Ina recipe seems simple enough, but it tells me to pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees and to be sure the oven is clean before doing so.  I am ashamed to admit that the oven is decidedly NOT clean, so I am going to give it a go tomorrow. It is a self-cleaning Bosch gas range, and I am going to use the self-cleaning feature for the first time.

Any tips?

My January basket is assembled. I have a painted canvas, some cross stitch, and a Mill Hill kit planned. I will share all once properly assembled, but part of that assembly will involve making a Vonna project envelope for the canvas.

Pray for me.

That's pretty much it for me today, Dearies! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to the week ahead. They say we'll be able to see the Christmas Star tonight in the southwest sky about an hour after sunset. My Jersey Boy does not seem too interested in standing in the cold, but I think I'll give it a go,

Happy Monday! Only four more sleeps!

Dec 19, 2020


(At least not until next year.)

This year I printed four recipes from the internets...all decidedly different than my dear departed mother's recipe that calls for "a dozen egg yolks, a pound of butter, a box of Swan's Down cake flour, orange juice, sugar and vanilla or whiskey and get the dough so it isn't sticky".

The other recipes made sense and called for only one or two eggs and three cups of flour and there wasn't mention of whiskey anywhere in sight.

(I'm absolutely positive the whiskey is for drinking.)

I. Cannot. Make. These. @&%!&% Cookies.

(Their real name is: koulourakia, and they are a Greek butter cookie shaped into twists and usually made and consumed at Easter. We always had them at Christmas.)

(I call them the @*$#%! Greek cookies.)

My sister and I had a long conversation and I started it by saying "Do you think Mom wrote that recipe for those @&-+! Greek cookies wrong and then intentionally left it to see which one of us would be stupid enough to try to make them every year thirty four years?"

At which point my sister said "Did you ever see Mom actually MAKE the &#@=! Greek cookies?"

I had to admit....I never did. I saw her make sour cream coffee cakes and wrap them like festive wreaths and give them to anybody who came within a mile of our house, but the $*-;-! Greek cookies? 


They just seemed to magically appear every year right around Christmas time and I would see her in her velour robe with her morning damn good and a couple of @4*%! Greek cookies.

And to further the mystery is a photograph of Mom and Aunt JoAnn sitting in velour robes at Christmas time with their heads tilted towards each other laughing. We always thought it was because Aunt JoAnn has a hole in her sock, but the more I think about it, I think they're cutting up over the fact that the third sister, Aunt Mary, made the &#@4%! Greek cookies each year and sent them to them, and there had to be ONE of us kids who would be dumb enough to try to make them every year.

(For the record, my cousin Brian makes them and they are...perfect.)

(And no, I have NOT asked him for his recipe thankyouverymuch. My recipe is written in my mother's beautiful handwriting, and hauling it out and destroying a perfectly nice kitchen is all part of the Festive Fun here at Spinster's House of Batshit Christmas Crazy.)

At least somebody appreciates the effort:

Dec 18, 2020


 Needlepoint by Mindy
H-12 Christmas Heart
13ct mono canvas - stitch painted
Threads: Vineyard Silk, Pepper Pot Silk, Silk Lame' Braid


I am officially banned from purchasing anything further on: the amazons, the Targets, the WalMarts, the Cliniques, the needlepoint.coms, the Hallmarks....

Stuff is showing up that I have absolutely no memory of ordering, but when I check my pin money account, it's all there in black and white.

I think it's a lot like food. 

If you diet hard and fast and restrict yourself too much, eventually you binge.

Well, my little binge came in the form of tea.

I still have one more on its way...Stash Orange Spice.

The Harney's Peppermint is a favorite and very good for relieving nausea. The Harney's Holiday blend is, as my mother would say, NOT my cup of tea. As I would say...blech.

(But no offense if you happen to like this blend.)

The favorite thus far is the Twinnings Christmas Tea. Just the right balance of cinnamon and clove. 

(No orange, though.)

I'm sipping the Stash Christmas Eve tea now. It has a nice flavor, but I keep getting a hit of something a little perfume-y that makes this a second place finisher.

Before you worry that I've just jacked myself upon caffeine at 8:00 at night, let me assure you that the Twinnings has caffeine and was my late afternoon cup, and the Stash is herbal and caffeine free.

All of this has convinced me that orange, cinnamon, and clove are the magic recipe for me. Not so much with vanilla or nutmeg or cardamon or almond, etc. I think I'll just stick with those magic three ingredients and all will be well.

I'm looking forward to a nice quiet weekend. If I feel up to it I'm going to make Mom's Greek cookies...kouliarakia, but this year I'm going to use a different recipe due to a revelation I had a few days ago. (More on that later).

The iPad is going to get tucked in until Monday, Dearies, so I will wish you a happy, safe, healthy, and fun weekend and see you then!


Silly, silly Spinster. I put the wrong picture in the last post. Here's the latest...almost finished.


Dec 17, 2020


 I'm pretty sure it's a medication issue, but my dreams lately have been...troubled. They're pretty much long mini-movies in which I am angry, frustrated, looking for a bathroom, or trapped under something heavy.

And then I wake up "in a mood" and my poor Jersey Boy wants to talk about coronavirus numbers or politics or the college football poll and my head wants to explode. 

Fortunately, today I had the good sense to excuse myself to the big girl sleigh bed to breathe, read the papers, and just calm the heck down already. Dr Melfi will call me in about a half hour for our chat, and hopefully can provide some insight into what's fritzing me out.

The thing that confuses me is that I am healthy, happy, and content. I spoke to my transplant co-ordinator at IU on the phone yesterday and confirmed that I am still atop the list for a type B cadaver kidney, I am below my target weight, stitching like a Singer sewing machine (the really old fashioned kind that you powered by hand), and looking forward to Christmas like the Griswold I am.

So why would the mean, tired, petty, and stupid part of my brain decide NOW to rear her ugly little head?

Mysteries abound.

On the stitchy front, I decided that I really am, in fact, a boob. When the lovely ladies at asked me if I wanted any sparkle/bling for the Mindy Christmas Heart canvas, I said " thank you. I like matchy macthy and just want all of the same thread without any bling" and they sent Vineyard Silk.

I finished all of the colors except the white and sat down last night and realized that some of the white parts of the canvas ABSOLUTELY needed to have some bling/sparkle, so out came the thread box and  a substitution was made:

You can't see it at all in my craptastic photo, but the leaves are stitched in Sparkle Braid...a Rainbow Gallery thread with just the perfect amount of twinkle. I think I will use it for the snowflakes and polka dots, with the simple white silk for the other areas of white.

Hopefully this will be completed by the end of treatment tomorrow. I managed to stitch almost the entire time yesterday, and am committed to doing that again going forward. The secret, I think, is to pick projects that are a) needlepoint and therefore on canvas, b) about this size, which is 10 inches square, and c) don't require a chart or diagram to hold in addition to the project. 

Not having to strand threads is also very helpful.

I'm grounded from spending money on anything non-transplant related, but I am going to save my pin money to purchase a few more of these hearts. I think there are six or seven more in the series.

So that's my grumbly navel-gazing stitchy life report for the day, Dearies. I hope that wherever you are today is warm and safe and happy. Come tell me all a out it!

Dec 15, 2020


OK, Dearies. This is for all of you tea drinkers out there.

I have found my sweet spot when it comes to my DamnGood game...Starbucks Verona pods at home with Truvia and a light splash of creamer, and an iced triple shot with sugar free cinnamon dulce and a splash...but I am stumped when it comes to what I hope will be my afternoon tea treat.

Years ago, my sister gave me a teapot and a bag of loose tea that was delicious. It was very "spicy" with what I assume was orange peel, cinnamon, and cloves. If I drank enough of it my lips and tongue actually tingled, and I was known to pull one or two all-nighters while under its influence.

I have never been able to find that exact tea again. Recently, I bought a tin of Harney and Sons Christmas/Holiday tea and it was definitely NOT it. I think the Harney tea has vanilla and almond...two flavors that I normally love...but not in my tea apparently.

Do you have any suggestions for a black tea (with caffeine, if you please) that has that orange spicy thing going for it, but without anything else?

I have a little white tea pot that I fill with hot water while the kettle boils, and I'm adding two tea bags to it and steeping for about four minutes or so before pouring and sipping.

Anything I'm missing?

Thanks in advance. Like I said above...I'm pretty sure I go through this uncertainty every year, but since Stewey and his valet (*) have been gone I'm afraid it's gone to the hounds around here.

(No pun intended, and I'm not even sure that's a real saying).

(*) Stewey's valet was called Reginald, and a few days after Stewey's memorial services he returned to service at Sandringham to Her Majesty and Co. thanks to a provision in Little Lord FussyPants' will.



Dec 14, 2020


 He's not quite finished, but my bed time came upon me and it was time to find a pillow. I admit, my inner angels and little devils had quite an argument about being sensible, but in the end the BOSS of me prevailed and off to the big girl sleigh bed I went.

Hopefully I will have the energy to finish him this afternoon after treatment.

The snowflakes were flying a bit on my way here this morning, and I was happy that I remembered to wear a coat. I have a terrible habit of telling myself that I'm only going to be outside for a minute or two, dashing between car and door, and it's usually February before I'm properly bundled up.

Maybe I'm finally becoming a grown up?

Other than that...nothing new at all, Dearies. I did bring my Mindy needlepoint heart with me today, so if Buzzy cooperates I might get a few stitches in.

Happy Monday! Only ten sleeps until Christmas!

Dec 12, 2020


Still a bit flu-y, but I had toast and coffee for breakfast, took a nice long hot shower, and donned a pair of my IU pajamas (to see if they were comfortable).

They are.

Then I fished through my Christmas basket and deployed my new Christmas BitzyBob from That's So Kelly on the etsy to hold all of the pieces of a Mill Hill kit.

I decided on a Santa, but took a minute to realize that the Bitzy Bob is the most very perfect thing for me to keep it together:

Once I decided, I sorted the colors and clipped the chart and I was off and running!

The Army/Navy game is on the TeeVee and Magoo's dinner is almost ready (beer braised brats and zesty fries).

I'm having soup.

Happy Saturday, Dearies! Come tell me all about life in your corner of the world!

Dec 11, 2020


Dearies, the Pat Thode Santas that so many of you commented about are also available in cross stitch! I just spied this photo on the FaceBook. I think if you search for Pat Thode Heartstrings Santas you should be able to find the charts!


Home today with what I think is a little stomach bug, Dearies. According to the clinic manager, this has been making its rounds and it looks like I was next. No cause for panic...this is just me being me and catching a flu.

(I've received a lot of notes asking if I will take the covid vaccine. The answer is that I wish I could, but alas, I am on immuno-suppressants for Crohn's and therefore not eligible.)

I am heading back to the big girl sleigh bed for the day. I did spend a good amount of time there yesterday enjoying the sun streaming through the window while making my way through the paper. I also stitched a bit:

Happy Friday! Come tell me all about your corner of the world!

Dec 10, 2020


Would it be so wrong to stay here all day?

(Asking for a friend.)


Dec 9, 2020


 So there I was, minding my business and happily stitching along, when I heard THE VOICE.

THE VOICE said "What are you doing to that canvas! You can't stitch that beautiful canvas all tent stitch! You need compound stitches and beads and embellishments and exotic fibers known only to six people on the planet! You need to do things with your needle that nobody has ever thought of! You need glitz! You need glamour! You need sparkle and dazzle and pain in your head because your tiny little brain is trying to think in six dimensions from seven different angles! You need to make this canvas POP with complicated  plans that will require a slide rule and an expert to interpret! STOP RUINING THIS WITH TENT STITCH!!"

That stupid voice was what stopped me from enjoying needlepoint. I have all of these beautiful canvases and a room full of thread, but I stopped thinking about stitching them for fear that I would "ruin" them.

Fortunately, my better senses prevailed last night and I told THE VOICE to be quiet and I got on with it. tiny little brain reminded me that Aunt Chrissy and I visited Wool and Willow, a needlepoint shop in the Cleveland area, and the ladies gathered around the table stitching were mostly stitching their canvases in tent (or basketweave) stitch.

And you know what?

They. Were. Gorgeous.

I'm going to be stitching this canvas in tent stitch, Dearies. I need a little tent stitch in my life right now. I need the quiet rhythm of just hearing the canvas say "Here, Spinster. Just poke your needle here up and down diagonally according to the handy color guide we've painted for you and breathe easily and relax and let all of the stress and tension flow out of your body. Re-boot and suck in the calm, and know that when this piece is finished you will treasure it for years and years to come."

Happy Wednesday, Dearies! What's on your agenda for the day.

Dec 8, 2020


Well, hello there on a cold a dreary Tuesday, Dearies!

I, for one, am having a perfectly wonderful day so far. I slept in late and then had my damn good with the morning paper, got the laundry and dishes sploshing, and started playing with my Christmas stitching basket:

 Lots of Mill Hill kits, lots of cross stitch, and lots of needlepoint. Just how I like it!

I decided to stitch a needlepoint canvas next:

But then the mail came:
So now I am settled into the Happy Chair with The Crown ready to go (I'm re-watching it from the beginning so can listen and not have to worry about having my glasses off to stitch), and soon I will have an afternoon cup of tea...a ritual that I have recently re-started and am enjoying. 

What's new in your neck of the woods? Come tell me all about it!

Dec 7, 2020


I came home from the d-chair with my Starbucks treat, changed my clothes, had my snack, and opened the mail.  At the bottom of the pile of bills and junk and whatnot was a package from 123stitch.

I tore it open like a rabid honey badger.

This is what it looked like at 4:00:

This is what it looks like at 11:00:

Three episodes of The Crown, the evening news, the Pine Barrens episode of The Sopranos, and then the Talking Sopranos podcast and I have a second finish for Spinstertide 2020!

The chart is "Snow Love" from Country Cottage Needleworks. Stitched on 32ct Petit Point fabric with the called-for threads. There is a little heart button, but I stitched the heart between the snowpeoples instead.

What a perfect Monday evening!

Dec 6, 2020


When I started this little Mill Hill kit I thought to myself that I would be able to knock it out in a single day. so much.

It took me a minute, but I finally figured some things out. First, was putting all of my stuff on my lap desk instead of trying to balance it all on the Happy Chair arms.

Then I had to try to figure out how to see the chart and hold the paper in my hand at the same time. Normally I use a needleminder/magnet and put it right on the linen, but the size of these ornaments doesn't allow for that. little clippy thingies to the rescue!

And finally...the last little bead was attached and then the little star:

So now I can go put my head on my pillow dreaming of Christmas sleighs. 

It's been a wonderfully lovely weekend, Dearies. I walked, rested, had lots of bed coffee, cooked, ate well and smartly, and enjoyed some time with my JB. I also discovered that I have been cooking pot roast wrong all this time. Today I seared the roast first and then cooked it in a 325 degree oven in my cast iron Dutch oven without the lid on for an hour and then let it rest.

It was perfection!

The new week is upon us! Here's hoping that it's a good one for all of us!



Dec 5, 2020


It takes so very little to make me stupidly happy.


Dec 4, 2020


Jimminy Crickets, Dearies...when it rains it pours.

I had a hard crash and what felt like a seizure at the end of my treatment today. One minute I was sleeping and the next I heard my podmate, Miss Pat screaming at the top of her lungs that if somebody didn't come help me immediately she was going to get out of her chair and do it herself.

(The language was CONSIDERABLY more colorful, and from what I'm told, the Good Reverend seated next to her almost had a seizure of his own.)

Apparently, my request to pull 3kg was entirely too aggressive, so I went down fast and hard. Blood pressure plummeted and had I eaten anything, I would have upchucked all over my big girl dialysis tunic, God, and everybody else. Instead, I had wracking dry heaves that rattled the windows.

(How very unladylike.)

Oh, and I sprang forth like a Water Wiggle with the head and face sweat and looked like I had just stepped out of the shower. There was literally a puddle under my chair. A freaking puddle.

I'm positive that in the midst of passing out and dry heaving I also decided to have a panic attack since I heard myself saying "Oh dear, I think I'm dying."

Something about this must have been hilarious, since the nurse started laughing so hard so snorted, which made me start to laugh and snort, so by the time I had gotten one little wit about me I sounded (and looked) like a barnyard gone awry.

I am now home safe and sound...Starbucks administered and cheese and crackers snacked with some pickled cauliflower (one of my very favorite things on the planet). My Jersey Boy is happily on the balcony enjoying a cigar, and I have The Crown on the TeeVee and my Mill Hill sleigh ready to go.

TGIF, indeed! I have two days of Happy Chairing, stitching, and relaxation ahead of me to look forward to. How about you?


The Jeff and Kristine Kuroski Affair has raised it's ugly head again, and Yours Truly finds herself in the midst of a FaceBook war.

I've never been in a FaceBook war before, but since I have absolutely nothing else to do at the moment (she says sarcastically), I suppose I'll strap on my magic bracelets, cape, and tiara (invisible plane sold separately) and get to it.

It's simple really: My crap was held hostage in a warehouse, stolen by the daughter of the owner of the warehouse, and sold in a garage sale as a fundraiser for her fake charity/ministry. 


Last night she went on the evening news begging for money for women who suffered at the hands of abusers while simultaneously abusing a woman who was the victim of an abuser (namely, her very own father). She was, unfortunately, surprised that I have a comment about that and am not afraid to make it.

I have an incredibly happy, peaceful, simple, charmed, blessed life and I fully intend to keep it that way. My Jersey Boy is and always has been the love of my life, and what little energy I have will now be directed into building a good life with him rather than swatting at idiots.

Happy Friday, Dearies! Buzzy and I are doing our thing and I am hoping for a long walk in the sunshine after dinner. 

I'm still stitching the Mill Hill sleigh, but made very little progress because of the situation above, but that will change tonight, I promise. I've said my peace and ranted my rant, so we're back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Dec 3, 2020


I had a particularly rough treatment yesterday, so came home and donned pajamas and watched The Crown:

Did my nails in a nice Christmas red (Rouge Red Vinylux from CND):

And had tea:

So no stitching to report, I'm afraid, but I'll remedy that today once chores are completed. But first, there's lots of Damn Good to be slurped and the paper to be read and Instagrams to be enjoyed.

What's new and exciting in your corner of the world?


Dec 2, 2020


Oh my goodness, I would never have imagined so many requests for a vegetable soup recipe! The original recipe is in the Curves diet book. This is an adaptation created by my sister:

Heat olive oil in a large pot.

Add chopped carrots, celery, onion, minced garlic, shredded cabbage, and sliced mushrooms and stir to coat. While softening, add a bit of Lawry's seasoning salt and three packets of no-sodium chicken bullion. (The brand I have is Herb Ox).

Add a large can of seasoned diced tomatoes, frozen peas, frozen corn, and enough no-sodium chicken broth or water to make soup consistency.

Truthfully, could make this any way you want to. I try to keep it as low in salt as I can, and will vary the amount of various veggies depending upon what sounds good at the moment.