Tuesday, February 28, 2017

And that's when it happened

OK, so I am usually not one to complain.  I mean I do go off on a rant now and again like everyone, but for the most part I am a glass half full person, a how can I help rather than what's in it for me type.  So just bear with me while I have a little pity party here.  Nothing terrible, nothing life altering, just a energy suck, a weariness that has gotten the better of me.  So I apologize for venting my trivialities here.  I know others have far worse health issues than my little annoyances.

So let's go back to the beginning, it's the end of September....I have had constant hip pain for about seven years.  It hurts, you learn to accept it, you do the exercises and after a while you don't notice it.   You do however feel like you look like 101 year old when you get up off the ground from weeding the flower beds.  Seems I am a candidate for a hip replacement one day.  So there's that but you suck it up buttercup and move on.   But put me in a plane for five hours where I don't move (fear of flying 101 - never leave your seat) and the hip is aggravated, add walking my buns off for four days and back in a plane for five hours and now you have totally seized hip.  OK a little more pain than usual as a result of an arthritic flare  for about the next six weeks.  This leads to an issue climbing stairs which leads to throwing my knee out because the act of climbing the steps or stairs is excruciating and I  end up limping up which messes up the knee.

Somewhere along this time I get a sinus infection.  The sinus infections takes at least four weeks to have the last remnants leave.  If you are counting, we are now into December with something somewhere in my body out of whack or hurting.   The annoying clearing the throat and the need to carry Fisherman's Friends cough drops everywhere finally goes away but not before I sneezed one day and I don't know how to explain other than it felt like a charlie  horse in my neck.   Quite painful and interferes with sleep and I am now moving like Frankenstein for about a week.  Just as this subsided,  I got tendinitis in my elbow.   Another ten days of something that I felt incapacitated me.  Really?   Is there a gremlin of malfeasance circulating through my system taking up residence here and there to cause these issues?   Bring on the ocular migraines.  Emergency visit to eye doctor because I am seeing flashing lights in my field of visit.   Who knew you could get migraines in your eyes and not have any pain. Where do they come from...  they are stress induced.   By now, the hip is it's normal pain, the Achilles issue has returned from last year, the knee still hurts and I have convinced myself that it is just going to hurt until the end of time.

Bring on a sciatica flare up.  Since I have the hip/knee issue I laid off doing my back stretches.   I finally am able to start the exercises again without  resembling a beetle stuck on its back when I try to get up.   Apparently somewhere in my pea brain I do not know I am 60 and I think I can do the exercises with such vigor I develop muscle spams in my back.   So, the sciatic is better, the hip is normal, the elbow is better, the neck is good, but the muscle spasms in my lower back have me in excruciating pain when I change positions.  I thought I felt like Frankenstein before, next to this, that was child's play.  I did discover that standing in the shower for a long time helped  and otherwise    left with tenderness.

So imagine my delight when I visit the doctor this week for a Rx renewal on my maintenance medication and the doctor says anything else we need to discuss while you are here.   Oh, yeah, I have an annoying rash on my side.  I think I got an infected spider bite.  It took her about a three second look and a quick retreat back to her laptop.....oh you have shingles!  Get the heck out of town.  So over the last five months I have taken more Advil, Tylenol, Aleve or whatever than in the last five years.  I have been to the doctors more times than in the three years prior.  And worse, I can't remember a day that something has not hurt, flashed or itched since Labor Day.

All the  twinges, flare-ups, pulls, infections, and spasms take a back seat to shingles.   Whatever this gremlin is that seems to want to be in residence, he is now erupting out of my body in the wonderful form of shingles.  Oh lord love a duck.......four to six weeks of this and I am locking the door and throwing away the key on ailments.  I will have a party as this bad juju monster decides to leave my body via the mini volcano like eruptions from my mid section.

This afternoon I return to the pharmacy to get my prescriptions and that's when it happened.  I came unhinged.   The doctor had said good thing we caught this early, another couple of days and it would have been a lot worse.   Her words resonate in my brain as I go for the second time to pick up my prescription which equates to another "couple of days".   The salesgirl (I could think of a better name for her) is sniffing and coughing and going in the back to blow her nose.   Her lips are chapped and her nose is sore from blowing it and she is moving at the speed of a snail that is when she is not chit chatting with the other girl behind the counter.   I am the only customer but this is really taking forever.  I guess I was not masking my feelings for it didn't take her long to read the look on my face and she chortled, "don't you hate it when you have a little tickle? Guess I need a lifesaver." What the Sam Hill?   She is Typhoid Mary.  I am standing here waiting on a prescription that has  been delayed two days with my compromised immune system and she is coughing and sneezing and wiping her nose AND handling my prescriptions.   And what about other people that come in that are in far more serious shape them me and cannot afford to get sick?  I remained calm, had my little voice inside me saying "Lysol wipes on everything when you get home" but inside I want to scream.  Needless to say, I got in the car and had some very colorful language between me and the dashboard on the way home as I ranted about the salesgirl.   I think I may have even invented some new curse words.

Home now, first dose in, snuggled with a blankie, the remote and some stitching.  And Mr. W. told me I didn't have to worry about making dinner.   Wow, what more could a gal want?

Don't feel sorry, it is what is it.  I am not going to die or be forever impaired.  I am just venting from my weariness of wanting feel better and the total lack of patience I have for nincompoops!   I guess the salesgirl can't afford to take a sick day.  See my situation could be worse........When did I change my mantra from everyone brings something different to the table to if you can't keep up with me get out of my way!  .....this too shall pass.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

2 today

Poor Mr. Daffodil is confused.   Hope we don't get a
March blizzard and freeze the little guy!
2 posts that it.

Wow, working outside in a t-shirt in February!  Unheard of but welcomed all the same.   I got home from setting up the Heart Ball Auction  (no, I don't attend; I would much rather be at home in my pj's stitching while my co-workers are dealing with bodyshapers and pantyhose and pinching high heels.  Mr. W. wouldn't go either and then you have to answer all those questions of why he won't come....) but I digress.....

I came home and went outside and did some yard work.  Crazy talk I know.   It felt so good to get out there and dig and scratch and rake to work off the stress.   I never realize what pressure the auction is until my part is done.   The items are unpacked and in place, their  easels with numbers and descriptions are by their sides, the room is dressed, the boxes are stowed and the rest is not my responsibility.

I let my mind go blank scratching in the garden.  No worries, no stress, nothing to think about anything but the next weed to pull.  And I love the 'tired' you get from yard work and then you look back and think ah....I see progress.

Started on the raised bed vegetable garden.   Don't mind my crazy path of clearing the chickweed.   There was a squirrel in the nearby tree that was not happy I was working there......so I moved on.

This spring I will remove more ivy (yes, MORE).  This time across the back property line.    I am just clearing up the edges to make a nice straight property line across the back for me.....

Signs of spring - my wheelbarrow full of garden waste.

Yuck, I need to put lattice or something around the nasty trash cans in the background.  And maybe a paver area around the fire pit.  
 My tulips are coming up too!
And new growth on the hydrangea...
I'd be out there still but a thunderstorm has blown in.  Yes, a thunderstorm in February. My mind is going in two directions with this weather......worries me if we got socked with the real winter weather, it will be brutal after this week of record breaking warmth.....or.....early spring and long hot summer...........hmm, the pool is scheduled for it's makeover in April........it will be what it is......time to wash up, make dinner, and stitch a bit on Corsica River!

My Week in Stitches

A quick update on my stitching progress.   Stealing minutes here and there to get a few stitches in.   Extra hours at work continue but I do see light at the end of this tunnel and IT IS NOT the oncoming training.

Uncle Sam is zooming along.    He is stitched to about his knees.   The rest of his pants should go quickly, then add his shoes.   The pattern is marked to stitch them in dark navy but I may change them to a brown.   I'll have to pull some colors and think about it.

I started my SAL Corsica River.   This is a Queenstown Sampler by Barbara Hutson - and how cool that she has joined our FB SAL page!  She has already shared info and detailed photos.

It is kind of hard to visualize but these are 36-inch scroll rods.

 And that is a 15-inch floor tile behind it........oh what have I gotten myself into here!

It actually is going nicely.   Easy for me to say since I am only halfway across row one of page one of  the pattern.    I am enjoying the fun of charting the path in and out on the blackwork.   I like the challenge.  If I keep up at this rate, I will be able to finish all of Row 1 in the 8 weeks I allowed for it.   It would be kind of a faux pas for me not to keep up since I am hosting the SAL and I created the schedule!  

I'm off to the convention center to set up the Silent Auction for the Annual AHA Gala and checking that job off as completed!  One major work project done and one to go.....then back to the normal bedlam!

Thanks for stopping by and happy stitching all.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sam is coming along

Alma Lynn designs from 1992, duplicate stitch pattern for a sweater.
I am amazed at how fast Uncle Sam is coming along.   This is a super great project for me right now.  

Still working mad, crazy hours including going into the office today.   I can get more done in four hours on a Saturday than I probably will accomplish on a full Monday and Tuesday!

I am allowing myself 15 to 20 minutes each morning before getting ready for work rather than an hour each morning.   As you can see, it is working.  I thought I was being extremely hopeful to attempt to finish by the 4th of July......as for now I am feeling like that is not unrealistic at all.

Sam is stitched on 18 count.   On a previous 18 ct. finishes I have used 3 and even 4 stands of floss.   I charged ahead here using only two strands but as fellow stitcher Pat pointed out, it gives him a more faded, weathered look and I am OK with that.   He is supposed to have a stitched flag but I will be using this flag instead....that is if I can attach it well enough to keep it sturdy and not from dipping down.    When the stitching is done, I will be finishing him to stand on an easel.  

As for me, hi ho, hi ho, it is off to work I go.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Yeah!   Good things do come to those who wait.   One orchid bloom has popped and more on the way...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Detour or Two

Here is what I have been up to stitching wise this week.   Really moving along with Uncle Sam.   Was so excited as I sipped my second cup of coffee this morning to see how far I moved along.   Well......what I thought was the beard down the right hand side, it actually the vest, and the difference between "V" and an upside "V" on the color chart is gray and red.   Thank goodness this is stitched on 18 count.   Frogging will be a piece of cake.   My plan is to get this corrected by end of day.  On a good note, the bottom of the beard is the bottom of page one of the graph so that is encouraging.

I am getting ready to start my Corsica River Challenge (See Corsica River Stitch Along on Facebook or see this post) so  today I wanted to make sure I ran a basting stitch down the left hand side to avoid that sampler spraul that can happen and to mount this on my scroll frame.   Well.....another detour.....seems I need to order longer bars or if I can't find them on Amazon (already looked at a couple of cross stitch store websites) I will be sending the hubs to Home Depot for two 5/8's by 28 inch dowels.    That should be interesting.  I recently asked him to pick up a 3 1/2 inch by 42 inch piece of glass from the local auto glass store.   While giving him the existing piece of glass from my grandfather's clock that was mysteriously broken one day and no one knew who did it (albeit 20 years ago) and I am finally replacing it.   I tell him to get the cut 1/8 inch narrower than the old piece so I can ease it back into place easier.  Mr. W. takes my direction, takes my note, walks away and comes back after much thought and says......why do I want the thickness an 1/8 inch less adding that the glass is pretty thin already.   God bless him!    You want your stereo, your tv, your computer connected, wired, or on the cloud, he's the man but not so much with carpentry.   Just get the same size dear and I will get out the glass grinder to make it fit.    Men and women really do see things differently and maybe I really am just not ready to be home with him all day, every day.

And a finished finish.  This was fun to do.    When at Salty Yarns in January, I saw the "Postcard" series from Beth at Summer House Stitch Workes and thought her finishing idea was the bomb.   I hopped on to her website for more info and sure enough she has a YouTube video to demo how to do the finish.   Aren't stitchers just the sharingest of the people?   I had fun doing this mixed media finish digging through my stash of bits and bobs that we crafters keep for that 'just in case I need it' moment.  I made a color copy of my stitched piece and cut it to size to work with until I knew everything would work.

New camera zooming on in the bird bath even shows the  glue gun 'hairs'.    Yes, a new camera.     Mine has been givens me fits and starts the last month.   It finally evolved to taking a photo and then it would shut off.    Mr. W. bought me a new battery and a new charger.      (again, his speciality, anything to do with  electronics).   Neither helped.   He made an appointment at Best Buy only to find out it was $130.00 to send it to Canon and that was only to be told what is wrong and IF is could be fixed which would cost additional.   Home he came with the updated version of the same camera.   
Don't you just hate that  this is  such
a throw away society?   It is easier and sometimes the only option to replace an item rather than fix it.    I have a clock in my bathroom that was on the wall in the bathroom of my childhood home.   This little plastic clock has to be 45 to 50 years old.   And I can't even remember when the batteries were last changed and it is still ticking.  What will millennials do if they ever need to repair something?  

 But enough of my carrying on.  I am leaving you with this sweet finish that I am proud of.
Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Stitching all.   Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Two Weeks to go.....

Just two weeks and the Corsica River SAL Challenge will start.   Hop on over to the FB page at  https://www.facebook.com/groups/131778023996184/  to get on board.  Go to the "files" tab to check out the premiss, the pattern, the stitching schedule and  see who's onboard already!

See my earlier post from this past fall about the SAL.   I have updated the rules to include the Facebook Option - Option, not necessary.   I just need to know your preference.

Here are the names of those who have signed up via the Facebook Group -

Pat L., Elmer, NJ
Stacy S., Newark, DE
Evalina, British Columbia, This and That blog (EvalinaMarie@blogspot.com)
Laura K., VA
Ann S.,  DE
Barbara S., New Zealand
Lynn M., Lancaster, PA - not sure if Lynn is along for the ride or is watching the ride
Christine K.
Dianne M.
Dorothy H.
Jo B., New Guinea
Kris A.
Kristina H.
Melissa B., Atlanta, GA
Sandra B.
Sarah M., Seattle, WA
Sharon F., Buffalo, NY 
Sue W. Buffalo, NY

 Ack!   I can't believe I am taking this on....the SAL AND the CHALLENGE of this piece!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Happy Weekend Everyone

I know I sure am glad for the weekend and lingering over the second cup of coffee in my pj's rather than racing out the door in the early morning cold.

I do have a finished to share and a hot mess of tidbits I need to complete the finish.  This was such a  sweet project and what I needed when time is limited.   So nice to have quick finish for that quick gratification.
The Drawn Thread - Love Birds
I have a neat idea on how to finish this and jumped right online to Amazon and ordered what I needed.   
I sorted through all the bits and pieces of paraphernalia that a crafter saves and started pulling items I need for this mixed media finish.  I feel sure by next weekend I  will have a finish to share.

I managed a teeny tiny bit of stitching on my take along piece.  Just need to remind myself, slow and steady wins the race.   I am close to halfway and feeling good about my progress.

A couple of posts back I mentioned I was planning on doing ten stitches a day on a project.   Well that method doesn't work for me.  For me it is more work to count and stop at 10.   I have had success in the past with 'loading' three needle's worth of floss and working until they are empty.   For me that is a win-win.   I can make progress without dedicating a lot of time and while not taking time from other projects.   Wandering down that merry trail of a stitching method, I am making progress on my Thursday night girls SAL.  Several of us in the group have gravitated to like projects in the past and completed them as SAL between us.   We did enough Santa's so it was time for something different.  We did know we wanted to do a stand up finish.

We decided on a patriotic stitch.   We finally found a pattern we all like, Alma Lynn Designs from 1992!  The pattern is a duplicate stitch for a sweater but it is just as easily stitched on 18 count.   For me, Sam's hat is coming along.   I am not sure if the others have started.    I'd love to have this done by 4th of July....maybe not 2017.

Thanks for stopping by.   Happy week and happy stitching everyone!