Nov 30, 2022


 Nothing new to report, Dearies. Just...futzing.

Nov 28, 2022

Nov 27, 2022


In Rich's family, stuffing/dressing is made of ground beef, meatball seasonings, breadcrumbs, egg, and chunks of sharp provolone. It is then cooked inside the turkey with enough left over for sandwiches, etc.

A few years ago, I concocted a dish that would incorporate all of our Thanksgiving leftovers, and today was the day that I made it:
It looks a bit like the dog's breakfast, but it's absolutely delicious, I promise. In a buttered casserole dish I layered the ground beef dressing, green bean casserole, corn pudding/casserole, cornbread stuffing, the gravy as a sauce, and then topped it all off with the leftover mashed potatoes. After a nice bake-off at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes, we had a hot and very hearty Sunday supper!

The kitchen is clean. I'm clean. The lights are twinkling away, and I'm ready to stitch. I thought I was going to start a little Shepherd's Bush Christmas piece, but I'm kinda hankering for something...bigger.

Stay tuned!

Nov 26, 2022


As much as I miss him, it's a good thing Stewey isn't here to VETO this year's effort. I tried. I really did, but this little tree just about did me in. What I thought would take ten minutes took an entire afternoon...a fact that baffles me as much as I'm sure it does you.

What Stewey would have approved of, however, is the completion of Up In The Air by Barbara Ana Designs. She is stitched on a lovely 28ct Fresco by Picture This Plus and all of the charted DMC threads.


As soon as I recover a bit, I'm going to start futzing through my stitchy stuff and gather a Christmas Basket of Fun and Frolic. If we'd get a little of the white stuff outside, it might actually start to feel more like Christmas around here!

How was your Saturday, Dearies? Come tell me all about it!

Nov 25, 2022


I woke up with the license plate of the bus that hit me clearly imprinted on my forehead. Ugh. I stumbled around for a few minutes determined to crawl right back into bed, but the prospect of a big huge steaming cup of damn good gave me a little noodge to stay awake instead.

Breakfast complete, a good tooth brushing and quick change of clothes, and within minutes I accomplished the one thing I wanted to do today...the balcony decorations.

Nothing too spectacular, but it's what I was able to do for now, so I'm happy with it. I'll try to get the little skinny tree and hall table done tomorrow, and then I can contemplate some baking. 

I'm wiped out, but going to slurp a cold brew and see if I can't finish my darling girl today so that I can fish through Christmas stitching tomorrow and the rest of the weekend without guilt.

The sun is shining, the US and England are playing football/soccer, and I'm ready to finish my Friday! Turkey sandwiches for dinner tonight, but I might opt for a little soup with spicy chicken instead. What's on your menu, Dearies? Come tell me all about it!

Nov 24, 2022



I scaled back this year.

(At least I TRIED to scale back.)

The biggest change (besides the quantity of food), was the corn pudding recipe. I normally make Ina Garten's Sagaponak Corn Pudding with heavy cream, aged cheddar, sauteed fresh corn, and baked in a water bath. But this year? Jiffy muffin mix, a couple cans of corn, some sour cream and melted butter, simply dumped in the dish and baked.

I wish I could tell you it tasted as good as Ina's, but did I mention I can't taste anything?

Can't taste anything.

On Thanksgiving.

I'm still thankful, though, that I was able to manage a feast and carve my first turkey and that my Jersey Boy enjoyed every morsel. Today is his favorite day of the year, and he got to sit in his chair and smell things cooking and watch his football and is now contentedly snoozing away after having his pumpkin pie.

Totally worth it.

I'm off to bed, Dearies. I hope your day was blessed with everything that makes you happy!

Nov 23, 2022



I promise you tomorrow that when I tuck into our Butterball and all its fixins, my prayer of thanks will be for all of the wonderful miracles of my life. I have health and happiness and love and laughter and everything I need to live a lovely and miraculous life.

You are the beginning and ending of that prayer, my very special friends. Thank you for your continued love and support and constant reminder that the world is, indeed, very beautiful.

Nov 22, 2022

Nov 20, 2022




Never fear, Mo-ther of BellyBeans is ON IT. Long chats with IU and we have a plan going forward. It's likely I will ride it out nicely, but an infusion of monoclonal antibodies might be on tap for tomorrow.

In the meantime, I am prepared.

Rich is also showing positive, but with a much much much fainter line under the T, so he is probably almost through.

Happy Thanksgiving!


I thought I was climbing out of it yesterday, but today? Not so much. I am just sickety sick sick and now in possession of a big bag of provisions from the CVS to get me through...Mucinex, shower vapor thingies, cough drops, and a neti pot. I have this stuff called Alcolol that my beloved Dr Niklinska used to swear by. It's basically a mixture of oils like clove and menthol, etc that you dilute with warm water and then bathe your sinuses with. I used to use it faithfully in the shower every morning (as did Aunt Chrissy) and we managed to dodge the cold and flu for years. I got out of the habit when I moved here to CS2, so methinks it's time to start doing it again.

So I'm tucked into my chair with about three blankets and lots of tissues. In a little bit, I'll head back to bed for a nice long snoozy nap.

Last night was lovely. My Irish played their football in a blizzard, and I got to watch them from here, nice and cozy with my magic candles and crackpot Spinster fireplace and some stitching. I even made a lovely roast and veg in the crock pot, so we had a hot dinner and watched the snow fly.

 I hope your weekend is lovely, Dearies. If you were in the path of anything, I pray you are warm and safe and dry. I think I heard that Orchard Park, New York got seventy-seven inches of the white stuff! 

Do something fun and come tell me all about it. I'll be right here...blowing my nose and drinking my damn good!

Nov 19, 2022



Still down with the ughs, but I'm behaving myself nicely and pushing fluids and lots of rest. Rich is starting to feel better, so might venture out for the provisioning. I hope your day is exactly what you want it to be! Come tell me all about it!

Nov 17, 2022



Raise your hand if you thought I would escape JB's flucoldplague.


Yup. The Spinster is decidedly unwell and heading back to bed after slurping her damn good, two Vitamin waters, and a big cup of tea. I'm pretty sure it's just the usual yucks in the head and sinuses and my left ear, so Tylenol, lots of fluids, and lots of rest for Yours Truly for the next few days.

Carry on, Dearies. All will be well.

Nov 16, 2022



My poor JB is sickety sick sick with a bad cold and a bit of the flu, so we're hunkered down with provisions and lots of rest and fluids. Groceries arrived this morning, so we have good things to get us through until next week's feasting, and the snow has started to fly.

With any luck I'll be able to finish Up In The Air today, and I can start to think about Christmas stitching.

What's new with you, Dearies? Come tell me all about it!

Nov 13, 2022

Nov 11, 2022


Hello, Dearies!

I'm enjoying my first hot cup of damn good under one of my Snoopy blankets, and trying not to pay attention to all of the shoulds in my tiny little brain. I have a little less than twenty-four hours of being completely inert, and I think I'm going to enjoy them.

I completed another full season of the damn Housewives last night...this time Beverly Hills...and I'm all done now. It's back to The Crown and Downton Abbey I go. The distraction was fine for a minute, but three or four days of that really does one's brain in a bit, so it's best to indulge in very small and infrequent doses (in my humble opinion).

Laundry does need to be done, but just a few loads of odds and ends, and they can splosh while I finish reading the paper. As for all of those other projects I had hoped to complete these last two weeks....well, they'll just have to wait for a nice long snowy Saturday while JB watches his football and I'm twitching for something to do.

Happy Friday, my friends. I hope your weekend is exactly what you want it to be! Come tell me all about it!

Nov 8, 2022


So here I am again in the big girl sleigh bed, reading the papers, having my damn good, and watching the world go by in the sunshine. I was trying to figure out why this makes me so darn happy, when it kinda hit me.

When I was in Indianapolis after getting BellyBean, I spent hours and hours and hours sitting in bed with the paper or my iPad thingie or a book or nothing at all, and I looked out the window and felt the sun on my face and I was so...peaceful and happy and full of a feeling of gratitude and safety and just sheer happy bliss.

(I'm pretty sure industrial strength pharmaceuticals had a lot to do with that, but nevertheless....)

So I sit here in the big girl sleigh bed and those feelings wash over me, and I am so very glad that they're still there. I've got the laundry sploshing away in the laundry machine, I'm finishing my healthy little breakfast/lunch of a banana, blueberries, and a yogurt, and the day is unfolding in front of me.

Chicken gyros for dinner tonight, and with any luck I'll get my salad things prepared for the rest of the week. How do you store your salad stuff so that it stays fresh for several days, Dearies? I'm really trying to learn how to meal prep, but the storage of veg completely eludes me.

I'll leave you with my latest fancypants nails. These are called "Caramel Apple" and are from Lily & Fox:

Nov 7, 2022



This is the Fall equivalent of sitting by the pool, I think. It dawned on me this morning that I enjoy sitting in the big girl sleigh bed in the mornings because I can bask in the gorgeous sunlight and I can watch the world outside.

So I think this might become an everyday ritual, and not just a weekend thing.

Laundry day today, but I'm in no hurry to get moving. I'm feeling particularly lazy and indulgent, and think I might just stop to-doing for a minute and remember how hard I wished for days like this when I was sitting in the dialysis chair.

On that note, I will wish you Dearies a very happy Monday, and I hope you have your own moments of peaceful bliss anytime you want them or need them this week. What does that look like for you? Come tell me all about it!

Nov 6, 2022


OK, would appear that my humor fell completely flat. I just received about a dozen emails begging me not to drink and be reckless with my new belly bean.

For the record. I do not drink alcohol in any form whatsoever, because I was told not to do so.

My hangover is of the Spinster variety and comes from flipping back and forth between screaming housewives, the Phillies losing the World Series, and my Irish beating the #5 team in the country and then taking the field.

I think I need to learn to use my words better, and probably should have said that my Sunday morning is a bit blurry because I had so much excitement and emotional upheaval last night. Nothing more.



Nov 4, 2022


Well, good morning, Dearies!

Today, I am doing my very best to impersonate an actual live functioning adult. I have outside clothings on, my old lady sneakers are doing their thing, and I'm remembering to smile and breathe.

In that order.

I started at the lab for my twice-monthly kidney workup, and now I am sitting in the Panera trying not to look like a crackpot spinster slurping damn good and eating a sesame bagel, while furiously typing away on my iPad thingie, that I was smart enough to bring.

From here I'm heading to the car wash (if it doesn't rain), then to the Targets to get my glasses adjusted, FedEx to return a big bag of clothes from the big lady store (that were, ironically, too big), then off to the Goodwill to finally get rid of the two bags of clothes I purged from the closet.



My Cottage Care lovies are doing their thing, so when I finally return home to CS2, everything will be puffed and fluffed and sparkly clean and disinfected to within an inch of its life. It might not be Amish woman on a rant clean, but it will definitely be better than I could do in my decrepitude.

So I did a thing and started watching those Damn Housewives again. This time it's the Salt Lake City variety, and despite my very best attempts to do so, I have been unable to tear my eyes away. The good news is that I am, in fact, stitching while watching, so it's not a total and complete loss.  I tuned in because the news was sending me under the covers too much, but now that I'm knee deep into the drama....I wonder.  Is it possible that these Damn Housewives are no longer a guilty escape and actually WORSE than the news?

I did another dumb thing in addition to figuring out the Peacock app on the TeeVee.

I've recently joined the Notre Dame Club of St Joe Valley (my local Alumni Association club), and in the process of re-connecting myself to my beloved Alma Mater, I downloaded a copy of my transcript. Warning: If you were an absolute mess as a student (like Yours Truly), and you managed to get that big piece of paper that says you graduated by the skin of your teeth, don't go looking for humiliation by re-living your academic past.

What in the heck was I thinking? My adult self looked at my second semester Freshman year and said "How in the h-e-double hockey sticks did you decide to take THAT schedule of classes?!"  I took seven hundred and fifty thousand credit hours, and the class list was: Biology, Economics, Calculus, Geology, Sociology, Psychology, and Gym.

Um. Spinster? You wanted to be a lawyer. You love to read and write and look at pretty things. Why in the world would you have subjected yourself to that kind of failure?

Well, fail I did. I returned home to ElPaso (where Mom and Dad were living at the time) on academic probation, completely mortified, and begging them to let me go back to Lima, marry my high school boyfriend, and raise chickens.

Fortunately for me, my Dad really was the smartest guy in the room, because he peered over the top of the newspaper and said "Do your thing, CJ. If that's what you need to do to be happy...go right ahead and let us know how it works out for you."

So I ran to the phone and called my high school boyfriend, who told me that his parents had an old trainer in a field somewhere that we could have to live in, and I said that was great, and then realized that Lima was a very long bus ride from ElPaso, so I had better get a job and make some cash for the bus ticket.

I went to work at Domino's Pizza in the telephone service center taking pizza orders. It took me about six minutes to realize that my fellow pizza order takers weren't there because they got their feelings hurt in college or because they didn't like living in a dorm.  These people were there because they had families to support, or because they didn't have the option to go to college, or because they weren't an ignorant, spoiled, clueless, stupid brat that thought "Notre Dame is just too hard".

My heiney went back to campus and planted itself in class and the library and a tiny little apartment, and it never took the experience of being there for granted ever again. (Let's not get it twisted....I was still a complete and total disaster as a student, but I tried hard and listened and really really gave it my best shot.)

Hmmmm. What is it about this Panera-sitting that sent me down THAT particular rabbit hole, I wonder?

OK, Dearies. On with the weekend. I'm going to get home, crawl back into inside clothes, get the Damn Housewives on the TeeVee, and stitch my eyeballs out. Groceries are coming at 3:00, and tonight's dinner plan is to make another lovely salad. Tomorrow I'm making a tiny little crockpot full of chili with cornbread biscuits, and on Sunday and all next week, it's going to be all about grilled chicken....grilled chicken gyros, grilled chicken salads, and grilled chicken with roasted veg.

I hope your very own weekend is exactly as you would wish it to be. I hope your heart sings and your skirt twirls all over the place. Come tell me all about it!

Nov 1, 2022



Yesterday was...interesting. I made the mistake of staying up until 3am the night before, like a little kid who is without supervision, so everything was very "blurry" all day. I went to the dermatologist for a check of a spot on my collarbone that was bothering me, and she said "Oh, that's not good" , cut it off, sent it for biopsy, and gave me a sucker for being brave.

(And she did all of this while wearing a full body, head to toe, Minnie Mouse costume.)

(It was Halloween, after all, but I bet I'm the only person in the history of the world to have had a surgical procedure performed by Minnie Mouse.)

The rest of the day was a total bust, but later that evening, I realized that the banana I ate at 10 that morning was probably not going to sustain me for the rest of the night, so I made a lovely salad.

A good first day of getting it together, I think, even if the morning appointment didn't exactly go as planned.

Today is all about quiet. My head is clanging like a bell, so I am going to read and stitch and stay off the iPad thingie and just be still for a minute. My tiny little brain is a bit overloaded with all things news and social media and whatnot, so methinks it's time to give her a rest.

Happy Tuesday, Dearies! Are you resting today, too?