Jan 31, 2021


The stitching is finished...now it's on to the beading!

My little makeshift desk on the kitchen table:

The monthly Colour & Cotton threads match my planner cover:

Stewey watches over me in the Happy Chair :

This little gizmo that turns on the branches without me having to get up:

 Happy Sunday, Dearies!

Jan 30, 2021


Hello, Dearies!

A winter storm is predicted for tonight, so I am hunkered down with my bed coffee and a week's worth of newspapers here in the big girl sleigh bed.

We might take a quick drive over to the Grotto this afternoon to light our candles and then my JB has requested that we contemplate a different layout for the living room. Poor dear...he really would be more comfortable sitting in a recliner to watch his sporting things on the TeeVee, but he is relegated to the sectional instead because SOMEBODY didn't plan on another human person ever stepping foot inside CS2.

My instinct is to find a lovely rocker recliner for him, but he swears he would be happy enough with the one that is currently holding bags next to the Happy Chair.

Other than that...my only plan for the weekend is to attend to mail and paperwork at the dining room table and to stitch my eyeballs out. It's only been a day or two without needle and thread in my hand, but I'm already starting to feel a bit twitchy.

(Hmmmm. Could that be a sign of addiction? Or maybe stitching is good medicine that keeps the black dog at bay?)

No matter....I just know that the longer I fall into this thing of ours, the better I feel mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Speaking of...

In the category of "I can't seem to do anything in moderation", I've decided to try to figure out how to be Catholic.  Sixteen years of Catholic school and a Great Books degree from the University of Notre Dame, and would you believe I've never read the Bible?

(Pause for guilt, shame, and recrimination to rain down upon my head.)

(Don't worry. This here blog will remain very neutral when it comes to THE BIG THREE, and I am definitely NOT a candidate for the convent just yet. I'm just going to try to figure out how to be a person, is all.)

Our provisions arrived and have been duly organized in the freezer. I'm going to try a twist on "No Peek Chicken" tomorrow. You know...the chicken and rice dish that you bake all together and it comes out delicious? Well, my JB loves pork tenderloin and got one that is pre-marinated in garlic and herbs, so I am going to try THAT on top of the rice instead.

I hope your weekend is off to a flying start and that you are going to do whatever your heart desires. If you are in the path of this storm, please stay safe!

Jan 29, 2021


Well, here we are again, Dearies...doing our thing on a very cold but sunny Friday here in Hoosierville. I've got my CVS Peanuts blanket and am seriously contemplating a little nap. I've ordered provisions for delivery, checked email, and have looked at the Instagrams, so my "chores" are complete for the day.

No stitching to report, I'm afraid. I might be getting a little bored with the Mill Hill, so it's a good time to contemplate something new from the winter basket. I'm sure something will strike my fancy.

I hope this finds you all ready for the weekend! Come tell me all about your plans for it!

Jan 28, 2021


Hi, Dearies!

I wasn't going to blogblog today...was just going to post the thingy above, but my second cup of damn good just kicked in and I am now semi-awake.

Yesterday was a complete cluster-youknowwhat. I was late to the d-chair because my car was enclosed in a cocoon of ice and crusty snow and no matter how hard I tried to clear it...it wouldn't budge. (I know, I know. Time to consider a remote car starter.) Then, I decided to pass out at the end of treatment, and finally, just for kicks, my access decided to spring forth as I was walking to the restroom and I made the hallway and path back to my chair look like a freakin crime scene.

(It's not easy being me.)

Poor Nurse Wendy just didn't know what to do with me, and had just removed all of the protective pads, etc from the chair and she had to run for gloves, which caused her to pull her back out, and then after we got the bleeding to stop the poor thing had to sit down and catch her breath.

(I hate being high-maintenance.)

So I've just hung up the phone after talking to my transplant co-ordinator at IU. I was supposed to go down there next week for a visit with Dr Goggins and the team, but I am still freaked by covid, so we moved it forward again. 

I am, however, happy to report that I am still right up there at the "top" of the list. What this means is that I am in the top ten or so recipients in this region. When a kidney comes in, there are tons of factors that they match up with recipients to find the perfect fit. So....it's not a linear progression for transplant. Does this make sense? I swear, it was just five minutes ago that I myself finally understood it. 

All I know is that transplant will be sooner that later. Days, weeks, or months instead of years.

You know, now that I think of it, I should probably be kinda proud of myself for not wigging out more than I do. For a control freak/anxiety junkie/planner waiting for a kidney and not knowing when it's coming should be enough to throw me over the proverbial cliff, but I am remarkably at peace over all of it.

Age? Wisdom? Industrial grade pharmaceuticals?

Well, let's not think about it too closely and just chalk it up to the bubble of love and good vibes and happiness that surrounds me because of this thing of ours. I swear, kids, we should figure out how to bottle this and sell it.

(Maybe in my next life.)

Enough babbling. Breakfast and the papers and then a video visit with Dr Melfi today. Then, after a quick walk (I hope), some stitchy time!

Happy Thursday! I hope you are warm and safe and dry and happy today. Do something fun and come tell me all about it!

Jan 27, 2021


Do you remember a time when I was semi-productive during the week and set aside Wednesday as a day to futz about? And after I futzed I called it Futzingday?

Seems like forever ago.

Buzzy and I are doing our thing...
And I am really hoping to be able to play with my stitching...

The needles are behaving so far, but that just means I have been sitting here quietly minding my p's and q's. If I start to alarm too much we might have to re-consider.

I have absolutely nothing else to report. Weight-wise I am holding steady in the 109kg range and paying attention to whatI eat. Last night we had salmon, mashed potatoes, and green beans for dinner, and I'm staying well lubricated with my lemon water and damn good.

What's new with you, Dearies?

Jan 26, 2021

Jan 25, 2021


Well, Dearies...here we are on another Monday! Buzzy and I are all hooked up and are doing our thing. I'm back in my corner chair with Ms Dana caring for me today, so I have absolutely nothing to complain about.

My JB put his foot down yesterday and decided that we were going to put shoes and socks on and go for a little drive over to the Grotto to get some fresh air and exercise. Campus was completely quiet and deserted (except for this little guy enjoying his Sunday brunch):

JB lit his candles, I said my prayers and did my thing, and then we headed home.

On the way, we stopped at the Martins to pick up our grocery order...just a few things to get us through the week (like creamer for my damn good and a loaf of lovely rye bread for sandwiches and patty melts.)

I decided to just enjoy my little kit further rather than stress over it. The addition of stretcher bars really helped with comfort, and being able to use a needleminder saved me from sticking the needle in the arm of the Happy Chair!

Snow here tonight, I think. It's funny how I don't monitor the weather daily like I used to at Chez Spinster. I can remember calling Aunt Chrissy and hollering "WE HAVE TO GO GET PROVISIONS!  A CLOUD JUST CROSSED THE SKY!" and now I'm like "EH...THAT'S WHAT DOOR DASH IS FOR".

Man o manachevits, how times have changed.

That's my report today, Dearies. I hope things in your neck of the world are wonderful and that you'll come tell me all about it!


Jan 24, 2021


I flipped two of the colors. All of the lighter blue outlining was supposed to be done in the medium blue in the lower right corner. 

Do I keep going and just adjust accordingly? Or do I order another piece of paper (which will be insignificant to my pin money account) and start over?

Thoughts, Dearies?

Sorry....forgot to show you the full piece:

Jan 23, 2021

Jan 22, 2021


I finished the snowflake and immediately picked up another Mill Hill biggie. (Sorry, but I forgot to take a photo of it).

Can I do ANYTHING in moderation?!?!

Jan 21, 2021


I actually posted the photos on my way to bed last night, so I figured I'd pop in to say hello on a sunny Thursday.


The Mill Hill snowflake is a bit different than the last few I've enjoyed. This one is all beads...no cross stitch, and the paper is silver foil, as opposed to brown.  I actually picked this up in the d-chair yesterday, and much to my shock and awe, was able to complete quite a bit if it.

(I discovered that the secret is to prop the Tacky Bob onto my shirtfront and go from there. Let's see if I can demonstrate):

This is a Tacky Bob. It's a small plastic case (reminiscent of a CD case...remember those?) that is used for beading.

This is the Tacky Bob opened. Each side is covered with sticky tape (hence, the name). 
(Oh my goodness...please excuse my big fat hand! It is still really swollen from last week and I have not done my nails yet!)

To use, I bend it open and stick one of the sides to my shirt to secure it and then my beads are right there under my chins to grab and attach.

You can purchase these at needlework shops, and I would imagine it's a good idea to have a few of them for multiple projects. I confess that getting the beads off of the surface when I'm done with a particular color is a bit of a pain, but I found an old metal flat bookmark that does the trick quite nicely.

(But if anybody has a trick for cleaning the tacky surface, I would be much obliged. As you can see in the second photo, attaching the thing to a shirt is great for stitching, but...lint!)

My JB is actually out for a few hours doing his thing, so I am happily snuggled into the Happy Chair with my damn good, the TeeVee in the OFF position (!), and a week's worth of newspapers to plow through. I really don't know why I do that...save them up every now and then...but it gives me an excuse to stay put.

Laundry today and not much else. We're having salmon for dinner, so I will eventually wander into the kitchen and see what's what. We were supposed to have it last night, but opted for Carrabba's instead. (I had spaghetti and meatballs and a salad and bread and it was delicious and I wore my napkin around my neck like a two year old and it was wonderful.)

(109kg on the scale today, so all is well!)

(It only took me three years, but I finally switched my home scale to kg so when I weigh myself each day I can easily track progress compared to the d-chair scale. No more calculating/converting in my head, and it makes treatment day decisions about how much fluid to pull much easier!)

(Transplant goal weight is 112kg btw.)

So, Dearies. That's the report for the day. I hope your corner of the world is peaceful and calm and giving you everything you need at the moment! Mine sure is!

P.S. Betty, before you ask me what's in the WalMart boxes and how I can afford to buy anything...it's coffee and toilet paper. Both on sale and both cheaper than the Targets, thankyouverymuch.

P.P.S. For the rest of you Dearies...yup....that's exactly the kind of thing Betty writes to me about.

Jan 20, 2021


 Mill Hill
Frosty Morning
DMC floss on perforated paper
Note: I substituted JABCO birds for the one provided
Frame is also from Mill Hill and is taupe

Jan 19, 2021

Jan 18, 2021


I'm happy to report that Buzzy and I are in the d-chair doing our thing, and he behaved quite nicely during cannulation (needle insertion) and I did too. (In other words, he didn't scream too much and I didn't pass out.)

Also...I somehow managed to lose a little weight during my Time Out. I don't ever want to do that again...only receive one treatment in a week....because it's dangerous and I felt like a bus hit me, but apparently I was careful and ate and drank well.

I read that blueberries counteract cortisol, so I have been trying to eat them every day. (Cortisol is the stress hormone that turns into belly fat, so by the time this is over I am sure to resemble Violet Beauregard trying to get rid of my frontal area.)

(The cookies, by the way, are purely medicinal.)

Despite my very best efforts, I'm still not done with the Mill Hill Frosty Morning kit. I don't know why I thought it was only going to take me a day or two like the smaller ornaments do.

Silly, silly Spinster.

I will continue to plug along and hope to have it completed this week, and then it's back to the cardinals and a start on Plum Street's Hello Winter.

Thank you for not pointing out that I haven't done ANY work in the cube room studio. I thought about it this weekend but my Time Out did not allow for anything outside the warm and cozy confines of the big girl sleigh bed.

Happy Monday to one and all! It's a new week for us to get into all kinds of mischief! What will yours be? Come tell me all about it!

(Added)...I promise you that the nail polish matching the stitching is entirely coincidental, Dearies! I paint my nails a different color each month, and January just happens to be grey/blue.

Jan 17, 2021


I emerged from the big girl sleigh bed to discover that The Chicken Sisters had removed the Christmas decorations, made a lovely brisket, and re-decorated CS2 in a lovely winter theme. Lovely lights where the three little trees used to be, and snowflake string lights out on the balcony.

I am content, Dearies. 

Today, I will slurp my damn good and try to finish my Mill Hill project:

Happy, happy Sunday! Come tell me all about your corner of the world!

Jan 16, 2021


Bed coffee used to be an occasional indulgence. Now, I'm afraid, it has become a daily necessity.

I can think here. 

I can read to my heart's content here.

I can solve the world's problems here.

Plus, I can sip my damn good and look out the window and let my tiny little brain go completely quiet and just wonder about the tall skinny trees that line the street (they're Italian cypress...I looked them up), or think about dinner, or count my blessings.

My JB understands my need for quiet/me time, thank goodness, so he happily watches his Saturday shows until I get my wits about me and stumble out to the living room and he hollers "HI, CON!" with love and enthusiasm.

I used to feel guilty about bed coffee. Now I understand it's as important to me as going to the d-chair three times a week. It pulls toxins out, too, and restores a tiny bit of mental equilibrium.

I won't allow myself to stitch here, because that would be a sure way to never...ever...leave this bed, and that's just not fair or healthy for anybody. I stitch in my Happy Chair and listen to the sports on the TeeVee and engage in silly banalities with my Magoo and appreciate the change of scenery.

But for now...this is all I need.

What's your bed coffee equivalent?

THANK YOU for the book recommends, Dearies! Believe it or not, we must all think alike, because I have read many of the ones you suggested and enjoyed them very much. The others will be on order for curbside pickup at the library very soon!

Jan 15, 2021


The arm is much worse today than yesterday, so no needles or treatment for me until Monday. So that means I will behave carefully and watch fluid and food, ice and elevate, and rest and breathe for the foreseeable future. My pajamas and I are both freshly laundered and my hairs smells of some new leave-in conditioner concoction that was a free gift with a shampoo purchase a billion years ago. It smells like clean cotton. Remember when that was a thing?

My JB Magoo is pacing and chattering like a circus monkey about politics and the covid virus, which means he is worrying about me but doesn't want to say. I find it endearing and am very grateful to have him fretting over me, which makes me feel awful that I am such a freakin mess all the time.

No plans for the weekend, except to change the bed, launder the towels, take down the Christmas decorations (yes...I play on THAT team), try to sort WiPs, clean up the dining room/snack table, do a mani/pedi, and fuss about in Erin. If the weather cooperates, I'd like to try a walk or two, and if it doesn't, maybe I could find some kind of fat girl yoga video on the TeeVee. I'd also like to clean out and re-organize the fridge, freezer, and pantry, plan a menu for next week and find a few Ina recipes to make, finish the book I'm reading, start another, cure cancer, get a new kidney, and for once and for all solve world peace.

(That last bit was to see if you're still paying attention.)

Seriously...no plans but to rest and get this arm back together. I won't have the option to miss Monday, so getting the pain and swelling down is my only priority.

I hope that your weekend is peaceful and lovely, Dearies. Before I bid you adieu, I have a question for all of you readers out there. What is your favorite book about books, bookstores, or reading? I have been watching 84 Charing Cross Road on a loop, and just finished Helene Hanff's Q's Legacy, and am detecting a theme for the new year. Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore got me started, and now I'm reading Confessions of a Curious Bookseller, but after that I'm afraid it will be back to The Starless Sea.

Any suggestions?

Jan 14, 2021


Well, this goes into the category of raining and pouring, I suppose.

No stitching to report, Dearies. I was just knocked out cold for the duration yesterday, and came home with a very sore arm (probably due to an infiltration), and a good old case of the grumps.

(Infiltrations occur when the needles poke through the access wall and the surrounding tissue becomes extremely sore and swollen.)

So today I am a bit bleary eyed in the Happy Chair due to lack of sleep, and my only goal for the day is to survive it without becoming a blob of tears and pity.

I've got a big stack of newspapers and an ice pack ready to cart into the big girl sleigh bed, so all will be well, my Dears. All will be well.

Come tell me all about life in your corner of the world. Hopefully, it's simply delightful.

Added later...

I put myself into time out, finally. And before you berate me for the PopTart...they are a very rare and emergency treat for days like this and are under lock and key otherwise.

Today...we needed the big guns.

The blue thing is a polar fleece scarf that was a Christmas present from Fresenius (my d-chair company). They gave them to us last year, and everybody but me bitched about them because they wanted more, I guess.  I was actually thrilled to receive anything at all, since I figure them keeping me alive is gift enough.

But what do I know?

Anywhoose...it's holding the ice packs on Buzzy.

I just told Aunt Chrissy (via text) that I now understand how Stewey must have felt when he would put himself into time out in his little fort under the bed. When he had had enough of me, or if he was just having one of those days, he would disappear, and I would find him happily snoozing away or playing with his toys in his very own happy place.

I might just stay here all day.

Jan 13, 2021


 It's all I've got today...just a progress pic from yesterday's stitching.

Jan 12, 2021


When this is all over and done with, I think I'm going to go to medical school or nursing school or any other school where I can become properly trained to know all of the stuff I currently guess at.

Dialysis patients take something called a binder. This is a simple pill that you take with meals to help eliminate phosphorous from the body, since the machine can't do that adequately. In my case, I was taking a binder last year that disagreed with me...thus the episodes of unwell that caused me to be sick and miss treatment.

Guess what?

I think the new binder is doing the exact same thing, and especially now that we increased the dosage to TWO pills with meals.


I'll meet with the dietician tomorrow to discuss our next options, but for now, at least...I feel slightly better knowing what sent me to bed the last few days.

(At least that's my guess. For all I know, it was a bug or maybe food poisoning. Who knows?)

Enough of that.

I'm sitting upright today, which is a vast improvement. There are no to-do lists or crazy plans in my future...just lots of fluid and maybe a few scrambled eggs and dry toast. I think today was supposed to be a laundry and cube room studio sorting day, but that will just have to wait.

I tucked the cardinal canvas away for a few days to play with the Mill Hill. The larger kits do take much longer to finish (as a very astute friend pointed out in the comments in this here blog), so I am just enjoying the process and it'll get done when it gets done.

The sun is trying to peek through the dense grey clouds today, so I'm hoping for a bit of napping with my face in a splash of sunlight. Oh, how I loved that afternoon snoozy nap at Chez Spinster with my face in the sun! I'm so very thankful that my bedroom here captures the same light!

That's my report for today, Dearies. I hope you will come tell me all about the comings and goings in your part of the world!

Jan 11, 2021


Home with some kind of nasty bug, and heading right back to bed, but wanted to share a pic of yesterday's stitching...the far right cardinal needs some feet and then he is fee nee!

Jan 10, 2021


The bird buttons arrived from Just Another Button Co. I like them more than the button supplied :

Birds on the brain, I think. I played a bit and think I like the result. The bodies will be in a simple tent stitch to give the eye a quiet place to rest:

We snacked yesterday instead of eating a meal, so today will be a cooking day. Veal scallopini and mashed potatoes today, and I'll do the brisket in the crock pot tomorrow.

I'm nothing if not adaptable.

Blessings and happiness to you today, Dearies! 

Jan 9, 2021


My Friday night stitching progress.

I finished the tree on Mill Hill's Frosty Morning:

And played with the three cardinals canvas:

I have to confess, the canvas gave me a great deal of frustration, but now that I look at it in the light of day, I guess it's really not so bad. There was a point where I felt like I was completely off the reservation, and I just couldn't visualize what the stitch guide was trying to tell me to do, but for now I'm leaving well enough alone.

Today will be nothing but stitching and reading and resting and cooking for my Jersey Boy. A new recipe always makes me sit up in the buggy a bit and sharpen my skills!

Happy Saturday, Dearies!

Jan 8, 2021


Well, Dearies...here we are again at the d-center doing our thing. Buzzy was a real pill and a screaming meemee, so three different techs had to try poking me today. As for me, I just closed my eyes, controlled my breathing, and sang the Sesame Street theme song in my head as loud as I could.

(Seriously...that is the method I've come up with for not screaming, crying, and passing out from the trauma of it all.)

(When this is all over, Dr Melfi and I are going to have to talk about getting that out of my brain so that every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning I don't spontaneously burst into song.)

I've been thinking a lot about life post d-chair lately, and I have promised myself that there will be at least three things for sure: good healthy habits that will honor the gift of the kidney, something to do with books, and lots and lots of stitchy travel to classes, retreats, and seminars.Maybe I could combine two and assemble a book and then travel to shops to sell it?

Dreams for another day, I think.

(But hopefully a day soon!)

I stitched a fair bit last evening after a rather productive day. I did all of the laundry, cleaned up the dining room table that has become both my desk as well as snack storage, and made a good dinner for my Jersey Boy. He requested pork cutlet Parmesan, so that is what he had, along with a side of leftover tortellini. (I had a ham sandwich on whole grain bread.)

This weekend, if all goes according to plan, I will be cooking veal scallopini and a brisket, but that will depend on the availability of both at the Martin's. I have been ordering groceries on Thursday evenings for Friday deliveries rather than having JB do the shopping, and this has worked out well. And...since I am really sticking to my goal of not shopping/cooking/eating for the entire United States Armed Forces, I've been able to shop every other week instead of every other day.

(What can I say? We have food issues at CS2. Clearly. We do.)

(But we are aware, and we are fixing them).

I'll leave you with last night's progress on Frosty Morning:

I think I will play with the cardinal canvas this weekend. I seem to enjoy it when I have an entire day to fall into it. 

Before I do that, though, I have promised myself that there will be a good amount of sorting in the cube room studio tomorrow morning. I have broken my stash down into categories, and tomorrow I'm starting with WiPs that I want to play with this year, and to jettison those that I don't. I want to get them into project bags according to season so that when it comes times to switch out, all I have to do is grab and go.

Next weekend, I'm hoping to sort through my finished stitching and determine what I want to keep, what I want to frame/finish, and what I want to get rid of. That last bit has me a bit stumped, since I can't imagine anybody wanting a piece of stitching that isn't framed/finished. Hmm....will have to give that one a good think.

Happy, happy Friday to one and all! I hope that your neighborhood is quiet, safe, happy, and healthy today and that you are doing whatever makes your heart sing and your skirt twirl. Come tell me all about it!

Jan 7, 2021


 Frosty Morning
Mill Hill Buttons and Beads kit

Jan 6, 2021


Good morning, Dearies! They had an early chair time today and asked if I would like to take it, and the prospect of finishing before noon and having the rest of the day to stitch got my heiney up and at 'em. 

Unfortunately, my machine just isn't cooperating, so I've been sitting here for quite some time waiting for it to behave and calm down so I can get hooked up to it.


(Do you think all of these problems are a sign that it's time for my d-chair days to come to an end?)

Despite being a little woozy and out of sorts I did accomplish a bit of stitching last night:

The chart calls for two cardinals to be stitched and one button, but I'm going off-script and am going to attach three buttons instead. I think a couple of males and a female will look nice, and I can pretend that the males...Emilio and Charlie...are both vying for the attention of the lovely Lady Constance.

(Now she's naming bird buttons.)


So Happy Futzingday to one and all! Looks like the machine is finally ready for me, so off we go!