Dec 30, 2021


Boy...these milestones are coming fast and furious! Sometimes it feels like yesterday...other times it feels like a lifetime ago.  All I do know, is that each and every day has been a celebration of gratitude and I can't wait to see what's next!

Dec 29, 2021



Holey Schmoley, Dearies!

I made it down to Indianapolis without incident, and was checked into my usual room by late afternoon. After a little rest and a few minutes of TeeVee to decompress, I ordered dinner from the usual place, ate, and climbed in bed early to read and get a good night's sleep.

Clinic started bright and early with labwork at 7, then vitals, then a trip to the pharmacy to pick up eleven prescriptions (yikes!), breakfast, and then back to see the doctor. In between, there was a lot of waiting around, book-reading, and...waiting around.

I saw Dr Tabler...the OG of the IU Transplant Unit. I think he might have been one of the original founders of the program, and I know that he is/was the Big Cheese. He was just lovely...went through all of my results (which were good and almost exactly the same as before), took a peek at my incision, and sent me on my way without a word about my significant weight gain since surgery!

(My head was still spinning when the coordinator patted me on the head, confirmed a few details, and told me to come back in a month.)

The drive home was a decent into meteorological hell. When I came out of the hospital it was drizzling and about 46 degrees. By the time I got to the north part of the city (and my Starbucks stop) it was pouring and 42. Then, over the course of the next three hours it went from heavy rain to heavy rain with fog, to frozen fog, to sleet, and then finally to snow.

I arrived home in a blizzard and 30 degrees.

This one wore me out, so I headed to bed for a nap and stayed there until it was time to have dinner, and then after dinner I headed right back to bed and stayed there until very late this morning! I. Am. Bushed!

Today will definitely be a pj day, and tomorrow morning bright and early I will fetch my JB from the train. If I can, I'm going to attempt assembly of a winter stitchy basket today, but if I don't have the energy I'll wait until the weekend.

But....there will definitely be a long period of grateful prayer that my new kidney seems to like his new home, and despite my worry, I did't get yelled at by anybody at all.

New leaf, new routine, new schedule for the new year!

How about you?

Dec 27, 2021


As soon as I get my act together, I'm heading back to Indy for transplant clinic tomorrow. I'm dragging my feet and keep trying to find excuses not to go, but I know it's because my inner six year old knows she's going to get yelled at for gaining weight.


I will put my socks and shoes on and get down there and be a big girl and will face the consequences. The truth of the matter is that everybody keeps telling me to relax a minute, because it has only been three months since transplant and I am really doing quite well, but by now I expected to be a marathon running vegan nun living on a kale farm.


I have, however, set a plan for myself for going forward, and that means I will go back to my pre-transplant routine of two small meals a day, no junk, and adding walking on the treadmill (as long as nobody is in the gym). I'll get approval tomorrow, I hope, because this weight is NOT a welcome visitor.

We're off like a herd of fat little almost bald-headed turtles with our stitching bag and a container of pills the size of a Buick! Hopefully I remembered everything important and can manage to get down and back without any drama.

See you on the other side, Dearies!

Dec 26, 2021



I'm listening to Ina Garten on The Splendid Table on the radio this morning. Pure bliss.

Dec 24, 2021

 My wish for you this Christmas
(and always)
is that you live a life that is filled with
and happiness,
and good health,
and complete joy,
and with everyone and everything
that makes you feel complete.

Merry Christmas!

Dec 23, 2021


Hello, Dearies!

Well, as much as I would love to report that I am on TOP of my Christmas week to do list, the truth of the matter is that I managed to do absolutely nothing for the entire day yesterday! I didn't get out of the chair unless it was to use the powder room or get something else to eat.

Combos and Rice Krispy treats were the main focus, but there was also yogurt, bananas, Costco bisconies, Chinese food, and probably a ton of stuff I can't even remember. The scale definitely reflected my gluttony this morning, so today we are WATCHING IT!

(I confess, though, that it was spectacular to do absolutely nothing, and I'm thinking that I might need to schedule a day like that into every week.)

In the evening I binged the final season of Sex and the City and a few holiday movies while stitching. I'm afraid that I ended up frogging all of my progress, though. For some reason, I just couldn't get the thread to behave, and I kept thinking that beads would be prettier. So out it all came, and I decided to put it in time out for a bit.

This lovely thing arrived from Russia yesterday:

I know, I fabric! But it's just so pretty that I am going to give it my very best try. And, if it proves to be too much of a struggle, I will either enlarge the fabric count or switch it to something lighter.

So today is off to a good start so far. I've talked to my JB, texted my sister, had a bit of damn good, and chatted with you, my dearies. I did get the first load of laundry sploshing, so things are definitely going in the right direction!

Happy Thursday to one and all! Do something fun and come tell me all about it!


Dec 22, 2021


Well, Dearies...there I was. A portly, terrified, very very unwell spinster...all hooked up and wondering how I was going to survive.

But survive I the grace of God and because of the angels here on earth that held my hand, adjusted the machine, patted me on the back and said "You've got this", and reminded me that someday I would write a book about it.

The angels that work in that clinic and that have worked in that clinic but have gone elsewhere are truly deserving of combat pay. I watched them work tirelessly and with love and compassion under extraordinarily awful circumstances sometimes. 

As far as I'm concerned, they should earn millions.

My sister was also a very big part of surviving those early days. I remember that when I came home from that first session, she had decorated CS2 for Christmas. I think she found every wreath, ornament, bow, light....everything I had crammed into the storage closet when I moved here...and put it in the perfect place. And she seemed to understand the exact right thing to say at the exact right moment to say it.

My poor Jersey Boy didn't know what to do with himself for four years, but since he is a worrier by nature, he watched over me and fretted and asked me how I was feeling and tended to my every need like a mother hen. He gave up a lot of fun to just sit with me on days I didn't think I could move one more inch.

And then there's Spinster Nation. How the heck did I get so lucky to be invited to the cool kids' table? You listened to me babble on, opened your hearts (and your wallets) when I needed it most, never told me to just knock it off already, and provided me with more love and encouragement and support than an entire horde (or is it flock) of spinsters could ever deserve.

Today I am grateful. I am looking around at my cozy little home, my overflowing stitchy basket, my full fridge, warm blankets, damn good cups, and.....everything else that makes up this happy little quiet life of mine, and I remember the days when I looked out the window from that dialysis chair and wished I could just do my own thing.

So today I do my own thing with impunity and a very humble and happy heart that I'm here. No worries, chores, frets, or shoulds today....just a happy heart that the next four years are going to be so very very different!

Dec 21, 2021


The Googles tells me that auld lang syne means "times long past", and I'm feeling it very deeply this week. Magoo is on his way to New Jersey to see his mom, and I was thinking about years past when Stewey and I would decorate Chez Spinster, make the damn Greek cookies, and then eat Honey Baked Ham with Bosco and Aunt Chrissy on Christmas Day in front of the fireplace while the boys went head first into their big felt Christmas bags.

Today I said farewell to one of the most important women in my very dear, very smart, very lovely Dr Barbara Niklinska. She's retiring after being my primary care physician, and I will miss her terribly. Over the last twenty-two years she has treated me and all of my issues with complete professionalism and gentleness, and had answers to every question I matter how crazy or insignificant. 

Tomorrow will mark the four year anniversary of my first dialysis treatment, and I looked back at my posts from then and saw how completely terrified I was and how completely amazing my techs and nurses were to get me through it all.

Don't get me wrong, Dearies. I'm not maudlin or sad or upset or whistful. I am, instead, amazed at how much can change in such a small space of time, and how those changes can bring you to a whole new chapter of your life that's filled with a wonderfulness of its own.

As soon as I get my provisions put away, I'm going to plant myself in front of the TeeVee with another cup of damn good, a pile of unread newspapers, and some stitching.

Tonight... Chinese food for dinner!

What's new with you?

Dec 20, 2021

Dec 18, 2021


Heidy ho, Dearies!

We seem to be stuck in a bit of the drearies here in Hoosierville, so I'm going to take advantage of the gloom and get into comfies and stitch all day.

This is a needlepoint ornament from the Wool and Willow:

I made pretty good progress on it last night and can't wait to get back to it. Some of the threads are sparkly, so I'll get my "tart it up" on with impunity!!

What's going on in your corner of the world?

Dec 17, 2021

Dec 15, 2021


My checkup was good, despite me feeling like I've been quite lax in living my best new life. My creatinine level was 1.3, which is slightly lower than last time (we want that number to be as low low low as possible), my weight was exactly the same (dang it), my blood pressure perfect, and everything else exactly within range of being "normal".

I am actually thrilled with a good report, and trying not to be too hard on myself about the weight just yet. My doc reminded me that I am less than three months post transplant, and usually it takes a full six months to get back to feeling 100%.

(Ahhhhh, there's that patience thing again.)

An issue that does have me concerned, however, is the fact that I have lost so much hair. I used to have very full, very thick hair, but the new meds have reduced it by half and it is now super fine and very very thin. According to the pharmacist, this is indeed a real side effect of one of the immunosuppressants, but usually resolves itself after a year or so. She did tell me to expect some baldness, but that a good biotin shampoo might help.


So I am now searching the interwebs for such a shampoo, and wondering if I might be better off getting a pretty severe haircut with short short layers?

(Either way...a very small issue in exchange for a new kidney/new life!)

Today is paperwork day and laundry sploshing day, I think. It is cold and quite gloomy, so there will definitely be some stitchy time by the tree! I really do love how wonderful lights on a tree make me feel this time of year! 

Happy Futzingday, Dearies! I hope your day is filled with fun and frolic!

Dec 14, 2021


Hi, Dearies.

I certainly didn't mean to alarm you with an absence...I had a lazy Sunday and Monday and tried to stay off of the iPad thingie as much as I could. I feel sometimes like I am playing with this thing 24/7 and not getting anything else accomplished (like stitching and reading), so every now and then I leave it plugged in and get on with other things.

Nothing too new to report. In a few minutes I will see my transplant team and get the latest report. I know that one area I need to address is to be a little better about watching what I'm eating, but so far today I am on a good path...a banana, yogurt with blueberries, and a big fat navel orange for breakfast! My mom used to call them Christmas oranges, since it seems like we always enjoyed them around Christmastime. 

I'm enjoying the little Mill Hill project pictured above. I thought I would have finished it by now, but I keep getting distracted by something shiny and am constantly pulled away from it. We'll see if we can remedy that today and make some good progress on him!

Your posts of all of your ornaments and decorations are keeping me occupied, fascinated, a bit jealous, and very very glad to be in the Christmas spirit! I didn't do much in the way of tarting up CS2 this year, but I'm as excited for Christmas as a little kid. (I guess that's pretty normal for me).

Happy Tuesday to one and all! I hope the day takes you someplace wonderful! Come tell me all about it!

Dec 11, 2021



I just attached the final bead! Here is the finished coffee cup with all of its details:

Snowflake Holiday Cup
A Rachel Donley Exclusive for
Needlepoint canvas RD236
DMC floss, RG Silk Lame' Braid
Size 14 beads

Dec 9, 2021


Chello, Dearies!

Yesterday's trip to the House of Stitches was a wonderful success! I stopped for a Starbucks treat on my way over and enjoyed some Christmas music, and was greeted with hugs from Misses Cheri, Linda, and new friend Cindy. 

It. Was. Wonderful.

I think my stitchy basket is sufficiently full of new things now, so I'm going to get off this iPad thingie in the evenings and start playing with them!

Thank you for the suggestion of taking treats over to the  dialysis unit. Sadly, I am not permitted to go inside to visit with my techs, nurses, and podmates, but I think I might have come up with a few things to express my love and thanks. But plates of treats will definitely be forthcoming! (I also am very sensitive to the fact that sitting in a dialysis chair while watching a recent transplant recipient prance about would be awful, so I need to keep that front of mind.)

In a few moments I need to get myself showered and dressed to head to my annual thyroid checkup. Dr Cavanaugh was my doctor in college, and has seen me through many things.....including thyroid cancer in 1990, so I'm happy to see him and catch up!

Happy Thursday to one and all! Do something fun and come tell me all about it!

Dec 8, 2021


What a lovely Tuesday I had!

I'm happy to report that all of the laundry is washed, dried, folded, AND put away, and I finished the background, the date, and the lid of the cup on my stitchy project.


Today should be equally as fun. If the weather allows, I am hoping to head over to the House of Stitches for some browsing. I have a hankering for a little cross stitch, but nothing here is blowing my skirt up, so maybe a new project will tickle my fancy?

So many of you have commented that it must feel wonderful not to have to go to dialysis...and it really does...but I do miss my friends there. The techs became my family, and I miss not catching up with them and hearing all about their lives and their babies and the good gossip they had to offer. When I think about it, they were very much a part of getting me to transplant (as were all of you), and I wish I could have spent some more time telling them just how grateful I am.

I do NOT, however, miss the pain, the stress, the discomfort, or the time-sucking aspect of dialysis. Yes, I'm still not quite used to my time being my own again, but days like yesterday will get me there eventually, I'm sure.

Happy Wednesday, Dearies! I hope you are healthy, happy, safe, and warm, and that your fingers are flying with something wonderful. Come tell me all about it!

Dec 7, 2021


I took a lovely snoozy nap yesterday afternoon and realized that it was essential to a successful nighttime stitching session. If I don't nap, my eyes just can't stay open after 8pm.

I realize that you probably can't see my progress, but I'm stitching five rows of t-shitch around the cup in a white Sparkle Braid.  Hopefully I'll finish it today and can finally move on to the cup itself.

Laundry and paperwork are on the agenda today. I'm hoping to make a good dent in all of the stuff that has piled up on the dining room table, and to get everything washed, dried, folded, and put away.

Stay tuned!

Dec 3, 2021



I'm cooling my boot heels in the waiting room of the South Bend Clinic while my JB has his eye exam. We have a morning full of adventure planned...breakfast out, lots of errands, and maybe a little grocery shop for weekend snacks.

It feels wonderful to be in proper clothings without cumbersome bandages on my frontal parts. The incision has healed to the point that I am able to go without anything covering it at all,but I am still very aware of not lifting or twisting or straining that tender skin.

If my energy level permits, I might throw a few holiday decorations around CS2. I have a pencil tree and a box of ornaments that arrived from the Targets a few days ago, and a ceramic village that I finally found at the Bed, Bath, and Freskin Beyond on clearance.

The weekend is upon us, Dearies! I hope there's fun and frolic to be had by all! Come tell me all about it!

Dec 1, 2021


My Futzingday started late, because no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't seem to drag myself from the big girl sleigh bed. I blame it on the fact that it was very very cold in the bedroom, and I was very happily snuggled under a new fuzzy blanket that arrived from the Targets yesterday afternoon.

Lots and lots of damn good while perusing the iPad thingie, and while wearing my Snoopy robe, and then it was on to some real live genuine futzing. I played in the kitchen...putting things away, emptying old containers, clearing the fridge and freezer, re-organizing the pantry, etc, and then I took a little break tor lunch (cottage cheese and half a turkey sandwich thankyouverymuch), and then I washed sippy cups, ran the dishwasher, and emptied the trash.

That, alas, is enough for me today. I'm pleased with my progress, and hope to futz a little more tomorrow. I still have that feeling of "hurry hurry hurry" because I used to have to cram everything into only a day or two each week, but I think that will pass in time.

Now, I'm ready to hit the HC and start stitching! I started a little Mill Hill kit of Santa's Coat while at clinic on Tuesday, so I might continue to play with it, or I might play with something new and keep that one in my travel bag.

Who knows? Anything can happen! It's Futzingday!