Jul 30, 2022

Jul 29, 2022


Today was Cottage Care day, which means spending an hour or two away from CS2 while the ladies puff and fluff and generally disinfect. The original plan was to get labwork done first at the heiney crack of dawn, and then have a nice breakfast out.

But the ladies needed to come at noon today instead, so we decided to get labwork done tomorrow morning, and go for a nice lunch instead.

So we did.

Go ahead...admonish me for taking a picture while driving. I was so completely enchanted with the gorgeous blue sky and big fat white puffy clouds that I kinda forgot I was behind the wheel until a lot of expletives and bar grabbing started happening over in the passenger seat. 

So I knocked off my foolishness and resumed TEN AND TWO and away we went:

If you're a fan of Drive-Ins, Diners, and Dives or you happen to live in the vicinity of Hoosierville, then you know that this little joint is a great place to get an authentic Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwich made by an authentic Philadelphian. Rich had been here once before and has been wanting to return, so return we did.

Needless to say, I won't be eating anything else today, since I filled up my little calorie tracking thingie with the sandwich, a few fries, and then bites of homemade peach pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

(Totally and absolutely worth it, by the way.)

Then we made a pit stop at the Targets so Rich could inquire about eye glasses and I could try to find a blue eyeliner, and then to the Martins for lottery tickets.

Rich is now on the balcony enjoying the breeze and his radio, and I'm getting ready to finally read the paper and get stitching. Not having to make or eat dinner tonight should free up some good stitchy time, so we'll see how much of a dent I can make in Baked Alaska.

Happy, happy weekend, Dearies! I hope that the next few days ate restful and fun for you! I'm going to try to behave myself, and promise to give you a full report on Monday!

Jul 28, 2022


The dining room here at CS2 drives me crazy. It has become a bit of a dumping ground, office, craft area, vanity, and nail salon, as well as a handy place to store all of the excess bottles and cans and cans and bottles of stuff that I keep buying in an effort to keep hydrated, and snacks in a basket that I keep buying in an effort to keep my Jersey Boy happy and me excessively plump.

(Pausing here so English teachers might unclench, forgive me, and get a cold compress,)

So in the midst of basking in my post laundry completion glow, I got a burr up my...saddle...and got this area cleaned up and organized once and for all. Witness the Spinster Stitcher Cockpit of Busy-ness That Looks Completely Ridiculous:

That little project got me so happy that I selected my NEXT project:
Those poor drawers have been collapsing for quite a while now, so I found really cheap underbed storage at the Targets online, and once I've filled them...under the bed this mess will go! It's mostly q-snaps and stretcher bars and linen, so it won't need to be accessed very often, which my portly unbendable self will really appreciate!

Today, I'm a bit wiped out, to be honest, and the weather seems a bit sticky out there, so I might call this a rest day and get over myself. I've got papers to read, damn good to slurp, and lots of Baked Alaska stitching to keep me busy!

Happy Thursday, Dearies! I do hope this finds you temperate, safe, dry, and happy with needles flying, pages turning, and skirts and trousers a' twirling. Come tell me all about it!

Jul 27, 2022


I am very happy to report that...I did it!
All of the laundry was sorted, sploshed, dried, folded, and then tidily put away, thankyouverymuch! I realize that it's not exactly cause for celebration, but for this portly spinster we take our little victories wherever we can find them!

I also paid careful attention to what I ate yesterday, so there was a little loss on the scale this morning. Sunday's massiveness was 123.5kg and today's was 122.1kg. For those of you keeping score at home, that's a loss of a little over three pounds.

I'll take it.

(And if you're horrified that a) I publish my weight for all to see and b) my transplant table weight was 109kg....all I have to say to that is...I'm right there with ya' sister.)

On the stitchy front, I moved the q-snaps last night, so we can catch a glimpse of Baked Alaska as it stands today:

Well, Dearies, I'm going to finish my damn good and try to head down to the pool for some exercise. It's cloudy but hot and humid here, so a nice cool dip will be a good way for me to start my day! 

What's going on in your neck of the world? Come tell me all about it!

Jul 26, 2022

Jul 25, 2022


At long last, a cool breeze has come to Hoosierville, so the windows and patio door are open, and I am feeling much better and not like a potato in the microwave wrapped in a damp paper towel.

If only it would last.

On the reading front, I finally finished:
I picked this up on my trip to Indianapolis at the recommendation of the lovely young man at the bookstore, but I have to confess that I had to go back to the beginning and start over several times because I just couldn't follow the plot to save myself. Very twisty, indeed. It's a murder mystery and supposed to be "Agatha Christie meets Downton Abbey", but I'm still scratching my head over it.

Rich and I have had a considerable lack of doing anything other than watching TeeVee these lastvfew days...bingeing Yellowstone and The Loudest Voice, along with a few Phillies games. The first you probably all know well. The second was based on a book written about Roger Ailes, the President of Fox News.

I liked Yellowstone.

During all of this bingeing, I have been plugging along on Baked Alaska:
I'm at the stage where I know it's eventually going to end, so I'm really savoring each and every stitch. Everything about this piece tickles my fancy at the moment...especially the cool blue colors.

Speaking of cool blue, we have been venturing down to the swimming pool in the afternoons for a dip. I manage to do my old lady arm exercises and have added some other movements I learned in class, so I am at least moving things about every now and then. 

My food intake, however, has been in the "I don't want to talk about it" range for months now...bingeing and snarfing down everything I can get my hands on. Terrible cravings for crazy things (like peanut butter or cheese spread or rice cakes), and lots of eating in the evenings.

Today is a new day, though, so I am determined to remedy it by staying mindful and not stuffing anything anywhere without carefully considering it first. 

Time to get on with Monday, I suppose. I might try to venture to the gym for a walk in the treadmill. I would love to walk outside, but with this added weight, I am even less steady on my feet than before, and am positive that they would have to leave me by the side of the road until a crane was available to hoist me upright again.

Happy Monday, Dearies! I do hope you are happy and healthy and well! Come tell me all about it!

Jul 21, 2022


This is Dad. Mr. Robert P. Rich. He would have been 90 years old today. This probably explains why I have been fighting off the boo-hoos all damn day long. I miss him so much I think I think my heart will break.

This man was a hero. He was a kind and gentle soul. He lived in "houses with women" all his life.....first Grandma and Aunt Lou (because his own father died so young) and then Mom, me, and Chrissy. He used to joke that even the dog (Charlie) was "fixed". This probably explains why he was the way he was. I don't think I ever heard him raise his voice or say a bad thing about any one or any thing. He was funny and ornery and had twinkly eyes, especially when he was hiding cookies in his shirt pocket. You could talk to him for hours or just sit and watch a football game on a Saturday afternoon, and you'd come away feeling better about yourself and the world you lived in. You could depend on him for anything and knew that no matter how much you had royally screwed up, he was still your dad and he loved you.

He loved chocolate and Snyder's hard pretzels. He always smelled nice and he always combed his hair the same way. He didn't like guilt or mean people and he quietly went about making his little corner of the world a wonderful place. He never bragged or lectured. He never hit or grounded. He talked and explained and made you want to be a better person so that he would be proud of you. He hugged and patted your cheek and always let you know how special you were, even when you felt like the least special person on the planet.

Dad could do math in his head and Chrissy and I called him Rain Man because of his ability to do this. He went to Notre Dame and graduated as an engineer, but spent all of his working life as a management executive for Westinghouse. Chrissy and I never knew how "powerful" or "respected" Dad was until he died and his former collegues wrote to us. We found out that this man we loved wasn't just our hero....he had fans all over the world.

The men that came to the funeral told us that our dad was the smartest guy they ever met and the women told us that they all had secret crushes on him. Turns out that this guy we thought was a "nerd" was actually a very popular fellow and could be the life of the party.

Dad married the love of his life on May 23, 1964 and he held her in his arms the morning she died on November 12, 1987. Dad loved Mom more than anything in this world and he gave life to Father Hesburgh's words: "The greatest thing a man can do for his children is love their mother."
I think that the reason why Chrissy and I remain single is that we decided that we saw what perfect marriage was and we weren't going to settle for anything less.  

Happy birthday, Dad. We miss you.

Jul 20, 2022



Rich arrived on the Amtrak this morning, and after fetching him from the station, I am home and ready for a nice quiet (and cool) day inside. Like every where else on the planet, it's positively beastly outside, so a/c and ice water are going to be my best buddies today!

Date night tonight...we're going to see Psycho over at Notre Dame "on the big screen", which Rich has looked forward to for about a month. I think this is part of the film series that we enjoyed a few years ago, so both the lecture before and the Q&A after should be very interesting,

Well, Dearies, I hope this finds you well and happy. If you're being affected by this heat, please take care and keep yourself safe!

Jul 17, 2022


Friday morning labwork, followed by a stop at Panera for a little breakfast and damn good:

Oh my goodness! I haven't been inside our Panera in a very long time! It's beautiful! The perfect place for me to enjoy killing some time.

And then...POOF...the lights went out.

No worries. I'll just sit here and finish breakfast and enjoy my book:

I ended up chatting with the manager and staff and other patrons instead, and we all commented that it was rather nice to just sit in the quiet and enjoy the company of strangers for a moment. But that didn't last very long, because the manager gently reminded her staff that they were all still on the clock and that there were plenty of things they could be doing.

So I went back to my book, the other patrons went back to their own conversations, and the staff went about getting their lists done with good cheer.

From there, it was a spontaneous trip over to the House of Stitches. Normally, it's not too bad of a drive, but torrential rain and ridiculously heavy traffic made me sit up, grip the wheel, grit my teeth, and pay attention.

I've been seeing these lovely girls all over the interwebs, and "Up In The Air" particularly struck my fancy. Miss Linda had the perfect piece of linen for her, so into the basket she went...along with a few other things to keep her company on the ride home.

After my adventures in Indianapolis seeing the exhibit, how could I resist her? Besides...I had already checked out and was almost to the door when Miss Linda showed her to me, but there was no way I could leave her behind!

(As with everything, I have to ruin it with total extremes, but can you imagine an entire wall of all of these girls hanging together?!  Oh...I swoon to think of how pretty that would be!)

Saturday was a very quiet reading, stitching, napping day, but I did manage to play with my nails:

I get a chuckle out of myself with these crazy patterns on every nail, and fondly remember the Spinster who used to be horrified if all ten fingers and all ten toes didn't perfectly match. But playing with these silly wraps is kind of my thing now, and my nails and cuticles are healthy and happy, so I'm going to continue to enjoy them until good sense tells me otherwise.

Today looks like it's going to be another quiet one as well. Cloud cover is going to prevent me from going to the pool, but I have plenty to keep me busy and out of trouble:

I hope your very own weekends have been perfectly swell, Dearies! If you are suffering through heat, please keep yourself cool and hydrated! My latest sippy cup is going to accomplish that here in Hoosierville:

I know, I know....another sippy cup. This one is a 64oz Bubba with a rubberized finish in cobalt blue. He will provide me with an entire day's iced lemon water, keep it cold for 24 hours, and also stand in as a weapon in the even that a bad guy breaks into CS2.

(I'm also getting quite a nice arm workout every time I lift him for a sip. He is definitely a BIG boy!)

(Please don't judge me. I have more issues than Readers' Digest, am supposed to drink a lot of water for my new Beanie Bean, and besides...some women collect $25,000 handbags!)

So I'm off like a very well-hydrated herd of turtles to continue my Sunday. I hope yours is wonderful and that you'll come tell me all about it!

Jul 14, 2022


The entire laundry (including sheets, towels, and blankets) is finally done, folded and put away, thankyouverymuch, and CS2 is clean for the cleaning crew tomorrow.

Pause for eye roll.

So now I'm going to don my swimming suit and head down to the pool for a bit so I can burn some calories and enjoy a good splosh.

Baked Alaska is coming along, and I just love pulling silk through the Picture This Plus linen. With effort, this beauty might be done before the snow starts to fly!
Tomorrow is labwork at 9 and then maybe a few quick errands. Nothing planned for the weekend but lots of reading, stitching, and relaxing!

What's new with you!

Jul 13, 2022


I started this beautiful Futzingday morning with an appointment with a diet doctor.  She basically told me things that could have sent a normal person into a tailspin, but because I have a head like a rock, I decided to just do what I know...eat better things, reduce portions, and move my heiney.

I suspect that this doctor was very knowledgable and well-intentioned, but has never been presented with a 56-year old post-menopausal woman who had thyroid cancer, has Crohn's, and got a new kidney, because she seemed at a loss as to how to come up with an explanation other than "This is a total crapshoot, kid, and next to impossible to pull off".

But this is me we're talking about, so I'm armed with lots of good things to eat and an appointment with the gym tomorrow morning.

Progress continues on Baked Alaska:

And my latest nail wraps make me very very cheerful, indeed:

So that's my report for the day, Dearies. Two more loads of laundry to fold and it's back to stitching! Grilled chicken and salad for dinner!

Jul 11, 2022


What are your favorite shops, Dearies? Inquiring minds would like to know! Please list shop name and city/state if you know it.

1) Favorite cross stitch shop

2) Favorite needlepoint shop (painted canvas)

3) Favorite counted canvas shop (canvaswork with a chart)



Jul 10, 2022

Jul 9, 2022

Jul 8, 2022


(My actual smoothie was different than this...almond milk, lemon yogurt, frozen peaches, and frozen blueberries.)

Stitching, a smoothie, and fish tacos. Period.

And maybe some laundry.

And a splosh in the pool.

And a quick little tidy-up.

And balcony sweeping.

And a car wash.

And a few hours at the table doing paperwork and bills.



Jul 7, 2022


 I confess to not being sure what I think about the movie...the accents (or lack thereof) drove me nuts...but one thing I know for sure is that my Amish/English/Midwestern US spoiled rotten little dog would have loved it. I can imagine that he would have donned his best Gucci smoking jacket and ordered me about with demands for an Aperol spritzer, while waving a candy cigarette around in a long pearl holder.

The nails are still Lily & Fox wraps. I find that this is the best $3 manicure a girl could wish for, and the strength and health of my nail beds and cuticles has improved dramatically. Silly, I know, for me to tart them up like this, but I really do love having crazy nails as I sit here contemplating my navel. 

(Stewey would most definitely NOT approve.)

I'm off to an appointment and a few errands, and then it's home to stitch, Dearies. I've cleared my whole afternoon to do so! Onward!

Jul 6, 2022


Seventeen years ago today, Aunt Chrissy and I drove through the cornfields of Ligonier, Indiana to make him my baby. I miss him like crazy every single day, but am grateful he was here to change my life.

Mommie Dearest loves you, Stewey Angus Willowswamp. Always has. Always will.


Jul 5, 2022


Hello, Dearies.

We've just returned from some sploshing in the pool, and I am freshly showered, a teeny bit sun burnt, and contemplating what to make for dinner. I'm leaning toward sandwich wraps...roast beef for Rich and turkey or chicken and lots of veg for me, but there is always the possibility of a lovely salad.

My JB heading to New Jersey for a few weeks to visit with his mom, and I am looking forward to a productive and healthy Spinstercation. I've already managed to drop a couple of pounds since sitting up in the buggy again, so I'm hoping I can continue with daily sploshings and good clean healthy eating for the duration.

Getting myself mentally organized is going to take longer, I'm afraid. I seem to be all over the place lately, and find myself getting sucked into the news channels and iPad and internet nonsense, and before you know it, I'm hollering at nothing and getting completely fatooshed (*) over the silliest things.

So I'm going to straighten up my routines a bit and include more of what makes my head and heart happy and less of what makes me want to move to Neptune. For a person who can't get out of her own way most of the time, I sure do take on a lots of grief over trying to figure out how to be the boss of everybody else.

I'm still enjoying Baked Alaska, and I really do want to give it my full attention and then take the four pieces together to be framed. Once this is finished, it might be time to dig through that Fuppy box again and see what else might be nice to get on the wall, and have a major re-hang of the front "gallery" wall.

On the reading front, I had a delightful few weeks reading and watching all anout the making of the Oxford English Dictionary. First, I read The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams. Then I read The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester, and I finished by watching the movie based on this book, starring Mel Gibson, Sean Penn, and Natalie Dormer.

I thought all were wonderful.

I'm thinking about re-bingeing either Outlander or Yellowstone in the next week, or I might even see what docuseries are out there to lose a few days in.

So that about does it for me today. I hope your neck of the world is exactly as you would hope it to be! Come tell me all about it!

(*) fatooshed isn't a real word. Donna Moss makes it up in an episode of the West Wing when she tells Toby that she doesn't want him visiting Josh because he gets him all fatooshed.

(I love that word. Sometimes the only way to describe that feeling of being out of sorts is to say you're just plain fatooshed.)

Jul 1, 2022



My Jersey Boy took me out on a date tonight...first to the Tony Sacco's Pizza place in front of CS2 and then over to Elkhart, Indiana to The Lerner Theater to see Big Bad Voodoo Dady.



If you are unfamiliar with their music, go have a listen on the interwebs. Swing! And jazz! And blues! The kind of music that makes you want to wear stockings with seams up the back and a big floofy skirt that twirls when you dance.

They were fantastic and I'm heading into the holiday weekend with my tootsies tapping and my fingers snapping!

Happy 4th to my US family! Be safe, party well, and for goodness sakes...hydrate!