Aug 17, 2017

I'M NOT A GENIUS...I JUST PLAY ONE ON TEE VEE

The last few days of Spinster Aqua Therapy have been interrupted by a band (hoarde?) of unruly, obnoxious, UNSUPERVISED children.

Now before we go any further, I really need to point out the fact that although I do not have children,and I somewhat identify with the Baroness in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang who was terrified of them...I would do anything in my power to help a child or protect a child or love a child in need.

But these little bas$&:ds?  These children have run amok for the last three days...screeching, running, pushing, shoving, spitting, and vandalizing everything in sight.  They are the most terrible little beasts I've ever seen.  

And there's five of them.

The two oldest kids look to be about ten...the three little ones (WHO DON'T KNOW HOW TO SWIM BY THE WAY) seem to be between three and four.

I left a nice message for the office manager...kind of a "Gee.  I know I'm new here, but it seems to me that it's dangerous for five little kids to be left alone at a swimming pool" but so far nothing has been done.  I guess they were kind of hoping that school starting would take care of the problem.

Not so much.

So today, as I was on my way home from my last appointment, I started fretting about my afternoon pool visit.  Maybe I'm crazy, but being there with these kids by myself has made me a nervous wreck, and despite the fact that the exercise I've been getting has literally changed my life...the aggravation of having to deal with getting spit on, jumped on, splashed, etc. was making me contemplate a nap instead.

But then a miracle happened.

I stopped at the Targets to pick up a prescription, and right there in front of me was the solution.

Sedatives.

Lots and lots of sedatives.

And a bottle of gummy candy that I could slip them into and feed to the little buggers...

OH COME ON, PEOPLE!  Do you honestly think I have the ability to be that devious or criminal or...smart?

No, what I bought instead was...

Books.

Lots and lots of books.

I bought a half cart full of children's books and brought them home and put them in my pool bag and then shoved myself into my old lady bathing suit and made the 104 steps to the pool.

Today there were seven UNSUPERVISED unruly obnoxious little children.  When I got there, two chairs and a trash can had been thrown into the deep end and the pool cover looked like it wanted to run screaming from the premesis.

So I walked over to one of the two older kids (who I hoped was the leader) and said "Hi.  My name is Ms. Spinster and I would like to do some exercising in the pool today.  I brought all of you some presents, so if you'll help me clean up the pool and will give me fifteen minutes of it to myself, you can have the presents and keep them.  Deal?"

This kid was no dummy...he wanted to know what the presents were before he negotiated a cease fire.

I don't know how, but I was smart enough not to cave.  "Sorry kid. You either agree to my terms or I take my presents and go home."

He stood there for a minute and finally decided to go for it, so he hollered for all of his little minions to get the crap out of the pool, he pulled the little ones away from what ever they were doing to the cover, and then pretty much demanded payment.

I broke out into a panic attack and prayed.  "Sweet mother of all that is holy, please let these kids like books and not decide to drown me in three feet of water."

Seven books.  Seven tiny little asses sitting quiety on seven chairs, and I had an entire half hour of doing my manatee prancydancing and cloud peeping in peace and quiet.  I swear...it's going to take a month of Sundays to wipe this grin off of my face.








THE SPINSTER STITCHER IS IN HER THINKING SPOT

I'm wrestling with philosophical and moral dilemmas today, so my normal morning routine of damn good coffee and the paper has been...fraught.

When did it get so darn hard to be an adult?

I'm off to appointments and then hopefully for a quick float before it gets dark.  It figures that today is a pretty day sans little ones at the pool, and I need to spend it in doctors' offices.

No stitching to report, I'm afraid.  Last night was our Elkhart EGA summer picnic dinner at a great restaurant called McCarthy's.  I had appetizer, entree, and dessert and came home a roly poly blissed out lump who sat in front of the TeeVee.

(It was heavenly, thankyouverymuch, especially since the scale this morning stayed exactly where it was before this little feast!)

We're off to the races, Dearies!  Hope your very own Thursday is swell!


Aug 16, 2017

VANITY, THY NAME IS...SPINSTER

So a funny thing happened last night at grocery guild.  My stitchy sisters and I had a lovely time of it, chatting and such, and I was just so darn happy to be there I thought they were going to have to stun gun me into behaving myself.

They paid me some lovely compliments about...something related to how I look, and I blushed furiously and said thank you and wanted to crawl under the table.  I was clean and had clothes on and had managed to run a brush through my hair, but ready for the prom?  Not so much.

And then it happened.

They complimented my stitching.  Miss Katy even used the word "workmanship", and I thought my heart would just burst itself right out of my old lady big top.

To be told that you are a good stitcher by a group of...amazingly expertly wonderfully perfect stitchers is better than being told that you look like the younger sister of Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Lauren.

At least in my book.

I always knew that I had a streak of vanity in here somewhere, but I always thought it would be related to my job or my house or my ability to be the most socially inept person in a room full of socially inept people...but all this time it turns out that my vanity was lurking in my stitchy bag!

I promise you that this puffed-up attitude will go away the minute I pick up my needle this afternoon and start playing with Gertie (damn compensation), but for now I'm going to sit here and bask in the glow of nice things that were said about my ability to follow a chart and put thread to fabric.  The vanity will be replaced quickly with humility, I'm sure...but for now it's just lovely to think that I might be getting something right once in a while! 

Aug 15, 2017

BEADS AND CHARMS AND MORE LADYBUGS...OH MY!





PARADISE INTERRUPTED

Before:


And...after:

Heavy. Heavy. Spinster. Sigh.

COMPENSATING IS FOR THE BIRDS (NO PUN INTENDED)



I forgot how much fun it is to compensate a stitch around a differently colored part of the canvas.  Ugh.  But with a little deep breathing and a whole lot of patience...it's starting to get there!

I'm struggling with a major issue at the moment...one in which my heart wants to jump right in and try to fix it, while my brain is holding the leash...trying to remind me that my heart is not exactly the best decision maker lately.  So I called Miss Charlene...my voice of reason...and she very calmly and patiently talked me off the ledge.

(Every spinster should be required to have a Miss Charlene in their life...right up there with a fearless disposition, a Happy Chair, and a sherpa to help them carry things that are heavy.)

So today I think I will do a few household chores, float a bit in the pool, and then head to grocery guild in the evening.  Tomorrow night, church guild is meeting for dinner at a great restaurant in Elkhart, and then on Saturday we're stitching with Missie Jane again!  

August is quite the stitchy adventure!

The Fal Basket of Stitchy Fun has been assembled over and over again in my head.  Now I just need to head into the studio and start assembling!

Happy Tuesday!  


Aug 14, 2017

THE OFFICIAL SUMMER 2017 SPINSTER STITCHER SELFIE



Who knew that an apartment swimming pool could bring about such a wonderful change in Yours Truly?  I have taken to the water as a means of getting some much needed exercise and as a way to study the sky and clouds for hours at a time without getting a crick in my neck.

I still use my invisibility glasses and make a run for it as soon as other residents come out to play, but for the last few days it's just been me and my sunscreen...floating happily around the place thinking about the evening's stitching and what to have for dinner.

Tonight it will be salad with grilled chicken and the continuation of Miss Gertie Bluebird:
I completed the grey section at the bottom at Donaldson, but stalled a bit while waiting for a thread change.  Guess what arrived in the mailbox today!

I hope your Monday has been bright and cheerful and that your week is off to a good start!

SUNFLOWER BELLPULL FEE NEE!

All I have to do now is add the charms and beads!


Sunflower Bellpull
The Drawn Thread
32ct Lambswool linen
DMC, Needle Necessities, Weeks Dye Works

Aug 13, 2017

A WHOLE LOTTA NOPE...PART THREE

So here we are on a beautiful Sunday morning.

The damn good cups of coffee have been administered, the pills have been sorted for the week, the Vitamin water has been slurped, and the South Bend Tribune has been digested cover to cover.

But the New York Times?

Not so much.

Three weeks of missed papers...followed by three weeks of lovely conversations with my new besties in the customer service department.

But no paper.

It harkens back to my Sundays at the house...looking in vain for the Sunday Times, wandering the neighborhood wondering if a neighbor had received it instead, and then finally placing the call that inevitably ended with "Thank you for being the best part of the New York Times".

Well, I'm here to tell you, kids....if I'M the best part of the New York Times, we are in trouble with a capital T.  Right here in Hoosierville City.

So now methinks I will have my bagel, don my swimming costume, slather on some 150 proof sunscreen, and get on with it.  No sense in wasting a gorgeous sunny day running to the door every ten minutes hoping for a miracle.

Sunflower Bellpull is getting there!


Only a few more bands and this will be complete!  I am, however, thinking of playing with something new this afternoon/evening.  Something about wanting to start all of the things keeps rattling around in my brain.

So that's the Sunday report from the friendly confines of CS2, Dearies!  I hope yours is perfectly perfect in every way and that you get to do whatever it is that your heart desires!

Aug 12, 2017

SPINSTERSTILTSKIN RIDES AGAIN

Library guild was lovely, and I even managed to return and then re-borrow another bag full of books.  

My project today was Needle Delights Originals Poppers:

Only a few rows to go on this one, so I really should stop fooling around and just..."get er done"...as they say in France.

We had a wonderful lunch at the Hacienda, and I ended up with enough leftovers to feed a small village for a week.  (Or, in my case, enough for dinner and possibly lunch tomorrow.)

I was doing just fine on the ride home...singing to the radio, enjoying the pretty day, and thinking about how much I love my guild sisters...when I looked up and realized that I had driven to the old house and had pulled into the garage again before realizing that I don't live there anymore.

Dang it.

That's about the third time I've done that.  I drive right down the street and up the driveway and into the garage like I know exactly what I'm doing and then I realize that I'm a boob and now have to pull out of the garage, the driveway, and the street and actually go to the apartment.

I guess I better stop doing that before somebody new lives there.

Otherwise...awkward.

When I finally DID make it home, I contemplated pulling on the bathingsuit and going to the pool, but I hit the big girl sleigh bed instead.  I suppose it's a good thing I fell asleep inside, since after four hours (which is how long I was out) I would have been one very crispy hushpuppie indeed.

So now I'm going to have a bite, wash my face and hands, and get to it.  I started binge-watching The Newsroom again last night, so methinks I might do a little more of that and see how far I can get on that Sunflower Bellpull.

Happy Saturday!  Hope yours was equally as lovely!  WooHoo!

OFF TO LIBRARY GUILD!

I'm up, semi-caffeinated, and showered.  The only thing that I can think of that would get me out of bed at this hour just has to be stitchy related...so I'm off to Hoosier Heartland at the library.

Last night's progress on Sunflower Bellpull:
'Scuse the odd angle...I had to move the linen on the q-snaps and didn't want to take it off today for a photo.  I think I am about 70% complete with this one and should be able to finish it in the next few days if I'm diligent.

That's the report for a Saturday morning, Dearies.  I hope your weekend is swell, that your needles are flying, and that you'll do something fun and come tell me all about it!

Aug 10, 2017

Aug 9, 2017

IN WHICH WE HAVE A CHANGE OF PLANS AND DECIDE TO JUST REST TODAY




I had grand illusions of conquering the world today, but alas, the universe has other plans for me.  There must be an alignment of the planets or a full moon or something, because when the reality of having to hit the brakes set in, my brain was OK with it and decided to just call this a "recovery day" and get on with it.

So I am in the Happy Chair with the paper and puzzles and my second cup of damn good, and later I might contemplate a visit to the pool (or what I now like to refer to as the "Aquatic Therapy Center for Spinster Mind and Body Healing").

Visions of stitching are dancing around in my head thanks to all of the inspiration of my fellow Donaldson attendees.  So many beautiful things to contemplate!  That Autumn Basket of Stitchy Fun is starting to materialize!  And a few "problem children" WIPs might now get completed thanks to the advice and example of the gurus who offered advice and support.

A very good way to spend the Futzingday, indeed!

Sunshine and rainbows and dancing unicorns and glitter continue to keep the black dog at bay...amazing how he can slink back into a corner when the better angels of my silly little brain give him a tap on the nose and tell him to sit.

Physically, I confess that I am really struggling with these "heavy" legs and fatigue and not being able to walk from here to there without huffing and puffing, but no dialysis just yet.  My kidney team is watching me very closely, however, and promises to make the call at the exact moment it is necessary.  I, in turn, have promised to continue to try to be a good patient and do what they tell me.  I will see the transplant surgeon again on August 31, and it is my hope and prayer that we'll be one more step closer to getting it scheduled for the Fall.  So...thank you for all of those happy thoughts and prayers, Dearies.  They seem to be working very very nicely!

Onward we go!  Armed with nothing but our wits and companions and stashes.  Who knows?  We might just conquer the world after all!


Aug 8, 2017

AND THEN...IT WAS TIME TO GO HOME

I am just wrung out this morning.  The last four days have been so incredibly wonderful that I am sad to see them come to an end.

I am just so...gobsmacked...at how amazing it is to surround oneself with things and people who just make the world a better place by their mere prescence in it.  To be in the company of people who "get" you when you're not really sure you "get" yourself is an amazing thing to behold and should be mandatory for anybody in need of a little pick-me-up, or in my case, a whole-body life makeover.

Reality, as we all know, can be a harsh thing indeed, so I suppose that sitting around with a needle and thread in hand laughing and giggling and cutting up and listening and talking and learning and thinking how blessed we are to have each other is a pretty damn good way to escape.

Retreats aren't for everybody, and I know that the prospect of packing one's underpants and gathering the old stitchy bag and hitting the road isn't always possible for everybody, but if you can find a way to take five minutes....someplace...and feel happiness and peace wash over you then I saygo for it with your whole heart.

See what happens when I see this side of the morning?  Incoherent ramblimng.

On to the stitiching...

This is pretty much the sum total of what I accomplished this weekend, and I have to say...I'm tickled pink about it.  I didn't exactly expect to complete the little house last night, but the final piece of siding went in at midnight and I took it as a good sign.

Today we will have breakfast, spend another hour or two with needles in hand, and then hit the road for home.  I am pretty sure that I will make it up the stairs and into the big girl sleigh bed and not much further, but it will all have been worth it.

Thanks for coming along for the ride, dearies!  I hope your very own week is off to a swell start and that you are exactly where you want to be.

Aug 7, 2017

DAY THREE...IN WHICH GERTIE COMES OUT TO PLAY

They sent Mother Superior(*) for me this morning, because I could not get out of the little girl dorm bed and there was some degree of worry starting that I would sleep the day away.

(*) In the context of Donaldson this year, Miss Charlene becomes Mother Superior...replacing Mother Emeritus, Miss Myrtis.

(Donaldson is home to Ancilla College and is the Mothership for the Poor Handmaids flavor of nun, so my goofy titles are...fitting.)

(But the Catholic school girl in me is still giggling at the idea of being down here with all of my stitchy sisters being naughty by eating lots of "bad" snacks and stayig up past our bedtime.)

Today I decided to play with Gertie, aka Margaret Jane Gertrude Thorson...she is also called "Bluebird" and is designed by Ellen Giggenbach and is a class from the inimitable Miss Ruth Schmuff Her Very Self of Beadecked and Beadazzled fame.
Only two rows of tent completed so far because...see above, but I am enjoying this immensely.

Physically, I am a crock pot full of hot mess and am suffering with terrible leg cramps at night and the inability to walk very well during the day, but so far they haven't had to jump start me with anything more than a damn good cup of coffee each morning and iced tea in the afternoon. 

I am learning not to try to keep up with the ladies around me and have finally come to the conclusion that a back bench seat on Junior Varsity suits me just fine...these gals play Varsity ball, and they play it well!

Home tomorrow, dearies!  

Aug 6, 2017

BUTTERCUP. SUCKS.

Oh, for pity's sakes!  I have done more...nothing...in the last 24 hours than I have in a long time.  I have been chatting and eating and putzing and admiring and shuffling about in my house slippers and old lady stretch pants.

But stitching?

Not so much.

My stitchy sisters are quite happily working along all around me...needlepointing, knitting, beading, qulting, and creating.

And then there's me...just remembering to take it all in and not suck the oxygen out of the room while trying to remember that I am a big girl in public who has finally been invited to the cool kids table, so I better act like I have some sense in my head.

But I'm still loving every single minute of it!

Aug 5, 2017

SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP.

It's 10:30 pm and I am:
Flat out plumb tuckered right out.

I don't think I've been in bed this early since the fourth grade.  And my stitching progress is...dismal...at best.  Somebody seems to have unplugged me and then, just to see if I was paying attention, hit me with all of the stupid side effects of this thing of mine all at once.

I feel like I am encased in cement and trying to run a marathon...short of breath, schvitzing like a pudding at a picnic, and feeling like I am doing everything under water, backwards, and in high heels.  

But I am so ridiculously happy to be here that a little pain and huffing and puffing isn't going to stop me.  Tomorrow is a new day, and I am going to just let it unfold.  If I can't walk very fast it will just give me more time to look around, right?  

So...night night, dearies.  Let's see what adventures await us!



IN MY HAPPY PLACE...DAY ONE

My morning started with various and sundry doctors and medical professionals giving me the green light to get in my little car and come to Donaldson.   A quick trip through the Starbucks for sustenance, and it was off to...Nirvanna!

I confess to feeling a bit punk when I first arrived, but I suspect that it was more of the stress of "moving in" and getting re-aquainted with my stitchy sisters that did it.  (Remember me?  I'm the one that breaks out into a panic attack flop sweat every time she goes out in public.)

So far I've managed to eat lunch, unpack my underpants, and play with my stitchy bag.  Not a bad way to spend a Saturday, if you ask me.



I spent three weeks writing a stitching plan on what to play with when and then got here and threw it out the window.  So far, the only thing that's gotten any attention is:

More later, dearies!  I hope you are as blissfully happy as I am at this moment...surrounded by lovely people and lovely things and doing whatever makes your heart sing!

Aug 4, 2017

I MAY BE FALLING APART, BUT AT LEAST MY NAILS WILL LOOK NICE WHILE I'M DOING IT...



The calm before the packing storm.  I just finished all of my appointments, chores, errands, and to dos in preparation for the weekend.  Now I'm off to the cube room studio to gather provisions for Donaldson!

Happy, happy Friday Dearies!

Aug 3, 2017

SQUINTY ONE-EYED APPOINTMENT STITCHING...

Little more progress on Sunflower Bellpull yesterday and today so far:

APPARENTLY THE UNIVERSE THINKS I HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR...

In exactly 41 hours, 12 minutes, and 9 seconds from now I will be in my little tin can Ford headed down to Donaldson for the Sit 'n Stitch retreat.  I didn't get to go last year because Stewey was sick, so I have really been looking forward to it this time.

Guess who decided to suddenly develop some eye issues last night?

My right eye has been a little screwy for a while now...kind of blurry and looking a little red at times, but last night it actually started to hurt.  Kind of like a headache behind my eyeball.  

So I trotted myself into Dr. Rhodes today for a look-see (no pun intended) and he agreed that things don't look very happy.  Two eye drop prescriptions and a promise to return on Saturday morning on my way out of town later, and we're back in the Happy Chair wondering if it's too late to trade me in for a newer model.

All I can think is...seriously?  Blurry eyes?  Right before a four day stitching retreat?

Nevertheless...I am persisting.  I picked up the eyedrop prescriptions and some provisions at the Target and tomorrow I will pack my projects and underpants into a bag before hitting the big girl sleigh bed.  

All will be well, dearies.  All will be well.  

So what's new and exciting in your neck of the woods?


Aug 2, 2017

SPINSTER STITCHER SASSYPANTS

I'm stitching Summer at Cherry Hill on 28ct Wren from Picture This Plus.  When I started the border alphabet, I grabbed two strands of thread and decided that I like the coverage a lot, so I figured I would do all of the letters two over two:


But then I started looking at the picture and realized that there are an awful lot of big full-coverage areas, and I would imagine that the amount of thread needed will far exceed my supply and that of Miss Linda at the House of Stitches.

And then I had a great idea!  Why not stitch the letters and some moteefs in two strands and then do all of the solid background areas in one strand?!  This would make the moteefs stand out and look dimensional, the backgrounds receed, and I might not have to raid a small country for more threads!

So that's what I'm going to do.  For now, however, I am fishing through stash and WiPs to get my basket together for the upcoming retreat.  I have an idea in my head of what I want to play with, but that seems to be changing as the minutes tick by.  The good news is that I am driving, so theoretically I could put my entire stash in my trunk and just work out of it as need be, but then there is the prospect of having to carry it all back upstairs next week when the retreat is over.

Another Futzingday has commenced, dearies!  Do something fun and come tell me all about it!

Aug 1, 2017

LEARNING TO LIVE A NEW NORMAL...FOR NOW

I've been having a lot of fun talking about my transition to the new role of A Gentlewoman of Leisure, but the truth of the matter is...this is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

For most of my life I've run around with my hair on fire...doing this and that...running hither and yon...and fretting, worrying, and stressing myself into regular tizzie fits.  It might have looked like I was remarkably calm and in control, but I promise you that under the surface of the water my fat little legs were kicking as fast as they possibly could.

I also used to pride myself on the fact that, despite my girth, I was physically a very strong person and had pretty good stamnia for an old broad.  I was able to manage myself and my household without too much drama, and there were times when I would have considered myself moderately physically active.

But now?

The physical toll that this kidney disease has taken is...terrifying.  I am on my knees every night thanking God that I feel as good as I do, since I know that there are sooooo many people with soooo many more terrible ailments than mine, but the loss of my physical well-being is not exactly going down like a spoonful of sugar lately.

(Of course, that last statement was meant to be metaphorical, since I do not currently possess the capability of SEEING my knees...let alone getting on them, but I think you get the point.)

So I suppose what I'm trying to say is...I'm making lemonade here, kids.  And while I am enjoying quiet days of floating in a pool or taking a nap or sitting in the Happy Chair watching the walls, I would trade them quite happily for a day in which I felt better than someone who has just been dropped on their head from a very tall building into a pile of fire ants right after running a marathon and taking an all night chemistry exam.

I don't say this to draw sympathy...that would be my worst nightmare.  I say it to tell you that sometimes it's just nice to come here to the Land of MakeBelieve and Pretty Stitchy Things and talk about the weather.  Or embroidery hoops.  Or the perfect project bag in which one stores their WIPs.  I'm sure Betty would tell me that, in addition to being mentally and emotionally unstable, I am just not living in reality, but...dear, dear sweet hateful Betty...reality just sucks the life out of me at the moment and I have finally found a way to keep it in check by ignoring it completely.

So in between going to the hospital, lab, and doctor's office for tests and appointments and...all of it, I put on my sunglasses and pretend that I'm a Real Housewife of Someplace or Other and I get on with it.  Every now and then I do something fun like float in a pool or wander the storage solutions aisle at the Targets, and other days I can't get out of bed for neither love nor money.

But I'm here.  And to paraphrase Miss Ceily Her Very Self from The Color Purple..."I may be poor.  I may be sick.  I may even be ugly.  But I'm here.  God knows I'm here!"

(Favorite scene in all of moviedom, by the way.  Right up there with Ray saying "It's the Stay-Puft marshmallow man" to explain the coming of Gozer.)

OK, end of ramble.  Sometimes I just need to remind myself that it's OK to just skip merrily through the tulpis while humming a happy tune, and that you all will indulge me as I continue to do so.  We're all in this together, kids, so we might as well have fun while we're doing it.  Right? 






Jul 31, 2017

IN WHICH A PLAN COMES TOGETHER, VERY NICELY INDEED

Apparently, we're now starting all the things.

I decided to have a stitchy Sunday yesterday, and just as I was about to pick up the Sunflower Bellpull, something started calling to me from the cube room studio.
This is Summer at Cherry Hill by Brenda Gervais.

I purchased this quite a while ago and had never stitched it because of my linen selection.  The chart calls for 40ct Sand from Picture Thus Plus.  For some reason, I must have been feeling very very brave at the time, because the piece of linen that was cut for this was 36ct.

Yikes.

Despite my very best attempts with several different magnification contraptions, I just couldn't see the holes very well.  I was just starting to fret about this when I remembered that I had purchased a fat quarter of 28ct Wren, and if I could only remember where I put it...

Viola!

The Wren is actually perfect for this, in my humble opinion, and looks even better with the threads than the Sand would have.

So I plopped myself into the Happy Chair and enjoyed my Play Time with this until it was time to hit the hay.

Nothing on the agenga today.  I might try a little spiffing and fluffing to occupy a minute or two, but methinks I might also take a book to the pool and float about a bit in the sunshine.  Tomorrow will be filled with labwork and doctor visits, so I might as well enjoy some peace and quiet.

At Cherry Hill!

Jul 30, 2017

IT'S A CONSPIRACY. I SWEAR IT TO BE TRUE.

In January of 1999 I moved back to Indiana from the Jersey Shore.  I had been living in New Jersey for about six years, and after finally moving to a lovely little condo on the beach, got homesick for...cornfields...apparently.

One of my favorite rituals of living in New Jersey, however, was the walk to the newsstand every Sunday morning for the Sunday edition of the New York Times.

A newsstand.

Right there in the little neighborhood...next to the place where you could get the good bagels and a great cup of coffee.

We don't have newsstands here in Hoosierville.  This was a sad fact that I discovered when I tried, that first Sunday, to find a place to buy the damn Sunday paper.

Over the course of the last almost twenty years I have done everything I can think of to continue my Sunday Times tradition.  At first, I started popping into Borders to see if they had a few copies for sale. Then, when Borders closed, I would drive from Walgreens to Walgreens, market to market, place to place to find that one little hidden gem that would set aside a copy for me on the promise that I would show up every Sunday morning with a shopping list and cheerful disposition.

Once a year I fell for the home delivery marketing voodoo magic, and I would buy a subscription at the low low price of a gazillion dollars a month (!), but in the eleven or so years that I tried this, I never once received the damn Sunday paper when or where it was supposed to be damn delivered.

But, because this is me we're talking about, and because I have a head like a rock and just can't seem to learn from my past cockeyed optimism...I caved and ordered a home delivery subscription once again for the new digs here at CS2 when I fell prey to an enticing ad on the Instagrams.

Wanna know what happened?

First...Exhibit A:
Current time is 1:13 pm EDT.

Exhibit B:
In case it's hard to discern...that would be the landing in front of my door.

Sans paper.

The worst part of this story is that when I called to report the missing delivery, the guy that answered (my new bestie, Tim) recognized my name and said "Oh, hi Miss Rich!  It's been a while since we've heard from you!  Did you get your paper OK this morning?  Looks like we delivered it to 1529 South Lake...oh, wait a minute.  That looks like it might be a bad address.  Did you, by any chance, move recently?"

So after living in my house for fifteen years and missing the Sunday Times delivery for almost every single one of them, it would appear that they finally got it right and started delivering there.

Except, of course, the fact that I no longer live there.

I'm going back to bed with high hopes that somebody somewhere will take pity on me, fix the address in the computer, put their shoes and socks on, and bring me a copy of the paper later this afternoon.

In the meantime, there are things to stitch and library books to read and chickens to grill and swimmingsuits to ponder.  I hope that your very own Sunday is exactly what you want it to be...and that your paper was dry (and delivered) your weather is lovely, and your needles are flying!

Jul 29, 2017

SATURDAY SPINSTER BLISS...

Miss Jane and Miss Charlene supervised a visit to the House of Stitches today.  

(There may or may not have been shenanegins.)

Miss Joy, once again, was the Fabric Whisperer and selected a simply perfect piece of Heroic linen from Picture This Plus for this little beauty:
The threads are all conversions by Yours Truly from NPI silks to Weeks Dye Works overdyed cotton. (Happy to share names if anybody is interested.)

I didn't really neeeeedddd anything, but when has neeeeeedddd ever had anything to do with it anyway?  

Speaking of neeeeedddding...one of the things that I have come to realize is that there are six things that I need to do every day if I'm going to survive this world.  I need to read, write, stitch, blog, cook, sleep, and eat.

(Breathing and water drinking are optioinal.)

(Damn good coffee, however, is medicinal.)

So...I'm heading to nap time with the latest library book:

And when I get up, I will have dinner (leftover from lunch thankyouverymuch), and I'll continue stitching:

So that's the latest from this neck of the woods.  Hope your very own Saturday is also stupendously swell!  Come tell me all about it!

SATURDAY!


Jul 28, 2017

IN WHICH OUR HEROINE GETS A HAIRCUT...AND THEN GOES TO THE POOL!!!

Miss Brandi worked her magic on the unruly squirrel on top of my head, and then I got completely sassy with it and went for my very first dip in the pool.

You know what's great about a swimming pool?

When you're in it...floating about like a happy manatee, nobody can see the flop sweat you've broken out into because you're already wet!  And when your face goes beet red because you're remembering the thicket that grows on the back of your thighs that you forgot to Nair...it just looks like sunburn!

So I kept my sunglasses on and figured if nobody could see my face then they couldn't see anything else...kind of like an invisibility cloak...and I got in the water.

My God.  What bliss!

I forgot how good it feels to just move around and feel so...refreshed and relaxed all at the same time.

Methinks I have discovered a new part of my daily routine.  

Thank you for your kind words about my Sam Toft purchase.  I am thinking that this will be a good weekend to finally get these walls finished now that it's here!

Hope you are heading into a happy, blissful, stitchy, wonderful weekend!

IT TOOK ME A MINUTE...BUT I FIGURED IT OUT

When Miss Susan Anonymous started the YouCaring fund for me and then all of you so generously contributed to it, I promised myself that I would find a way to use the money meaningfully.

And so I secured my future a bit by reserving funds for CS2 and then, more importantly, the month long stay in Indy after transplant.  I was also able to finally pay off some nagging medical bills, and leave a little cushion for future bumps in the road (like trips to the emergency room for diverticulitis flare ups).

But I wanted to do two more things.

First, I wanted to come up with a way to properly thank everyone who donated.  I think I finally figured it out and will start getting that task completed this weekend.  I am so woefully behind on doing this, and for that I really do apologize, but I intend to start fixing that tardiness.  Right now.

The second thing I wanted to do was purchase something that would be a daily reminder that the world came to my rescue when I needed it the most.  I had decided that a new Happy Chair would be just the perfect thing, but then I dithered so much on style, color, etc, that I found myself saying "Oh, just put the old one in the apartment and figure it out later."  And then I started fretting over the expense of it, etc etc, and it took the fun out of it.

And then I found it.  And it arrived in the post today.  All the way from England.
This is Sam Toft's "It's All You Need".

It is a limited edition print and is signed by the artist.  It's mounted and ready for a frame, and I am going to hang it directly opposite me so that I can see it every minute of every day.  

This is the little house that love built, my dearies, and I promise you that I will never forget that.  In case I forgot to tell you...

Thank.  You.

From the very bottom of my very pitiful yet very full heart.  You saved me when I thought I wasn't worth saving.  As long as I live, I will never forget that.

Here's hoping that your weekend is full of...love...and all things stitchy and happy!

WooHoo!
Love,
Coni


Jul 26, 2017

AND THEN THE PRANCYDANCE TURNED INTO THE UGLY CRY...

I don't think the poor UPS guy had even turned off the engine on the big brown truck before I was out of the Happy Chair like a shot and waiting for him at the door in my pajamas.

What can I say?

When I'm inside the apartment, I'm going to be prepared for snoozy naps and lounging...not formal wear and a proper set of underclothes.

So...here it is!

But wait...there's a snap tray! And a needle minder!!  I only ordered the canvas and threads and stitch guide!

Oh...there's a note from Miss Ruth.   Wonder what it says...

And this, dear friends, is when the ugly cry hit.  This entire package was a gift.

From stitchy angels.

How in the world did I get so very lucky?  I am continually overwhelmed by love and kindness and generosity.

So, dear angels...thank you from the bottom of my pitiful little heart.  You have just made this the most happy day.

Indeed.

I GUESS NOW I HAVE TO FINISH IT!



I realized after I had done it that putting the date on this might not have been the brightest idea, but...who cares if it says 2017 and probably won't be done until 2140?  

What it did do, however, was get me thinking about gathering a Fall basket and getting myself back to a more "seasonal" rotation.  I have a nice long retreat at Donaldson coming up next weekend, and I'm thinking that it might be the perfect excuse to close out Summer stitching and launch myself into Fall!

Today is a prancydancing day.  I signed up for Miss Ruth's next Mystery Class (which is a fabulous blue bird!) and the UPS thingie tells me that it will be here today!  I keep running to the front door every time I hear a noise, thinking it's my delivery!  Oh, I just can't wait.

(Prancypants dance.  Prancypants dance.  Prancypants dance!)

Today is printer set up day.  My old one didn't survive the move, so I grabbed one at the Targets that is supposed to be very easy to use and will print from my iPad thingie.  Fingers crossed!

Futzingday is upon us, dearies!  Let's all do something fun and then tell each other about it!

Jul 25, 2017

AAAAHHHH, YOUTH.

I was fishing through my stash for something to play with last night, when I came upon the Sunflower Bellpull from The Drawn Thread:

I had started this piece quite some time ago...I'm sure if I looked back hard enough I could figure out the exact date, but considering the hash I had made of it, the date is best left forgotten.

That entire bottom area north of the border stitch was...screwey.  I don't know what chart I was looking at, but I had too many leaves, leaves in the wrong places, and leaves stitched in the wrong color.

So this leads me to presume that this was started when I was a newbie and still learning how to count.

Quiet couple of days...met with the kidney doc yesterday and she concurrs with family doc that surgery on the gut needs to be done asap.  They are in disagreement about which surgical team to go with, but if Buzzy's guy is willing...we're going with him.

Nothing much else to report.  I am going to behave myself and lay low today.  

What's new in your neck of the woods?

Jul 24, 2017

CONTEMPLATING...


Stargazer by Mirabilia...it would be my first.

Jul 22, 2017

SATURDAY NIGHT FEE NEE



Jardin de Bobines
Jardin Prive'/Nathalie Cichon
28ct Fresco by Picture Thus Plus
DMC floss as charted, with a few substitutions

This was an absolute joy to stitch from start to finish.  The chart itself is really quite perfect in its size, clarity, and printing, and the design is a lot of fun with the whimsy and bright colors.  This is a new designer to Yours Truly, but I look forward to doing more of her pieces!

Lovely, quiet, peaceful day.  I did manage to clean up my entranceway a bit and stow extra boxes, etc in the closet.  Now it is ready for the hanging of lots and lots of stitchy things to really make it feel like home!  I also wrote a wish list for each room, as well as a project list that I hope to get back to as soon as I can.

Many of you asked me about my list of things I'd like to do after transplant.  One of the stitchy things I'd like to do is finally host that retreat I've been talking about.  Another dream is to take an across country train trip in a private compartment and stop at the Shepherd's Bush shop on the way to an Aristea retreat at Liguna Nigel.  And finally, the big dream is to go on one of the trips to Great Britain with Miss Elizabeth from Needlepoint Now.

Wonder if I could do all of those things next year?

I haven't made it down to the pool yet.  The truth of the matter is that I am feeling quite shy about being in a bathingsuit, so I am thinking that a morning dip one day this week might avoid the crowds.

Tomorrow promises to be another hot and steamy day, so my plan is to repeat today.  I might even start something new from one of the bins in the cube room, or I might dig into the WIP basket and do a little organizing.  I had an idea to put them in order according to how much is left to finish and then try to knock a few out, but I'm kind of enjoying just playing with whatever strikes my fancy, too.  

OK, off to bed.  The restaurant downstairs is hosting an Italian fretival this weekend, so the music and shenanegans might continue on a little bit longer, but I've got Flosstube to keep me from hollering at them to turn that racket off like a grumpy old lady.

More tomorrow.  Hope your Saturday was swell!

SATURDAY SPINSTER BLISS



I was going to do laundry and clean the apartment today.

Naaaahhhhh.....I think I'll just stay right here, drinking my damn good, doing the puzzles, finishing my stitchy piece, and then taking a nap.

I swear, as soon as I get that new kidney and get some energy back I'm gonna' be dangerous!  I have already started a list of things to think about doing when that time comes.  Something to look forward to!

Here's hoping your very own weekend is off to a blissful start!

Jul 21, 2017

FRIDAY BLATHERING, PART DEAUX

VISITING CS1: As mentioned previously on this here blog, I have been studiously avoiding going back to the house because it was resulting in meltdowns and me bawling my eyes out while pitifully pleading to nobody in particular "I just want to come home".  So today I decided to do something different.  Instead of waiting until I was getting ready to leave Chez Spinster, I walked right in, sat right down, and said "OK, Tubbykins.  If you're going to have a meltdown, do it now and get it over with.  We've got stuff to do and places to be and a nap to take."

Guess what happened then?

Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.

I tried.  I really did, but the tears just wouldn't come.  Instead, I watered the plants, grabbed a few small items, and pulled the door shut behind me.

Wonder if this means I'm turning the proverbial corner?

HAULING CRAP UP THE STAIRS:  I really need to stop complaining about it.  I rented the damn apartment with the stairs right there in front of God and everybody, so it's not like I didn't know this would be an issue.  I took this apartment because the price was right, quite frankly, and my inability to navigate those stairs is not going to last forever.  So today I went on the Amazons like you all told me to and I ordered a stair climbing cart.  Problem solved.  I will use it as long as I need to and when I feel better I'll put it in the closet or donate it.

JOANNS:  I had to stop at the JoAnns for a replacement bulb for my stitchy light, and lo and behold, they had them on sale!  I was so excited...I thought my Bargain Betty dance was going to scare the bejeebus out of everybody in the place.  I didn't really do too much looking about...today's heat and humidity already have me plum tuckered out, so I was good and got out of there for a whopping five bucks!  

OK...now it really is time for that nap.  I'll blather more later!

WooHoo!

THE KELLY BUNDY METHOD

My brain operates on the Kelly Bundy method.  For everything new that goes in, something old has to come out.  If I'm not careful, all of this new stuff rattling around in here is going to cause me to forget my middle name and Social Security number, and nobody needs to do that more than once in their lifetime.

LAP STAND: Thank you for all the links and suggestions.  The best advice, though, was to slow my roll, since I don't know the actual logistics of dialysis yet, and whether or not I will be able to even stitch at all.  In the meantime, I have several things I can do to help Buzzy not get so sore...namely move him around a bit every now and then instead of keeping him bent up for hours at a stretch.

SEWING MACHINE:  Problem solved.  I grabbed my sisters's machine from the house and hauled it over here to CS2 and used it like a boss.  But when the time comes for my sister to ask for it back, I have several great options at the ready.

GUILT, SHAME, AND BITCHING ABOUT HOW MUCH STUFF WE'VE GOT:  Kids, can we put a moratorium on apologizing for our stuff?  I have been watching Flosstube like a crazy person and am continually amazed at the lovliness of each and every single stitcher I've ever met.  Take it from somebody who knows this first hand:  Stitchers are the nicest, most generous, least selfish, smartest, funniest, warmest, kindest people on the planet.  But we seem to be the guiltiest too, since every introduction of one's latest haul or parade of WIPs or showing of stash is precluded with a "I really shouldn't have" or "I'll never get this finished in three lifetimes" or...insert sense of guilt and shame here.  You know what?  Every single one of those purchases or acquisitions should be viewed in a positive light.  If we stop buying, shops close, designers retire, and the world tilts off its axis.  There is no such thing as having too much stash...you are simply enriching your passion and your time with something you love and that will keep you out of trouble, the depths of idleness, and pessimism.  I personally think that having several hundred things going is a sign of good luck...you need to stick around long enough to make a dent in it all while simultaneously increasing your luck by building the pile higher and higher.  Unless you and your children are starving in the street because you spent the rent money on Dinky Dyes...go for it, buy all the things, and come show them to me every chance you get.

(That entire diatribe could have been put thusly...life's too short.)

SUNSCREEN:  My old lady bathingsuit arrived from the big old lady store, so I decided that I might try a dip in the pool this weekend.  But I also figured that I might want to get some sunscreen (which is something I have never once purchased in my life), since I haven't been in the sun in about 15 years and really don't need to do anything silly like get a massive sunburn on top of everything else.  When did sunscreen get so darn complicated?!  I stood in that aisle for a good half hour trying to figure out what to get, and ended up with a 45 lotion and a 70 spray.  Good grief, Charlie Brown!  It will probably take me longer to wedge myself into the old lady bathingsuit and get the bloody sunscreen on than it will to determine that it's too hot outside and come back in, so wish me luck!

DR. MELFI SPEAKS:  I saw Dr. Melfi yesterday and confessed that I told all of you that I see her.  And she said something pretty brilliant in my opinion.  She said that the stigma of seeking help with one's mental heath is baffling to her, because she sees people who are working hard to be the best version of themselves...not people who are crazy or weak or lazy or stupid or whiny.  After all...we maintain our cars, our furnaces, our teeth, and our pedicures.  Why wouldn't we maintain our ability to navigate the world?  

(You just have to love that about her, don't you?)

WEEKEND PLANS:  I am going to try to finish Bobbin Garden and then play with whatever else strikes my fancy.  I might sit on the floor in the cube room and re-organize a few bins, or I might just pull out a WIP or two and see if I can gett jiggy with something fun.  I also want to get my groove back on with an "on deck" basket for Fall, but that might end up with an obsessive planning session or (Heaven forbid) the implementation of a rotation!  Yikes!  But first, I need to go water plants at CS1 and then think about a nap.  I didn't sleep at all last night for some reason, so my heiney is dragging.

That's the report from the steamy confines of CS2 today.  I hope you have started your weekend with a cold beverage and a hot project in hand!  Don't forget to show me all your stuff and to enjoy every bit of it!

Jul 20, 2017

TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY

I've been accused of being an enabler.

(Cue the footage of me clutching my pearls, gasping in horror, fanning myself with my program, and then giggling hysterically.)

Now it's your turn to get me down the stitchy garden path.

For several months now I have contemplated a lap stand.  My poor left arm just ain't what it used to be, and as I get closer and closer to the day when I am going to be in the dialysis chair for hours at a time, I think it's probably wise to narrow down my decision.

But what kind do I get?

My first criteria is that I have to be able to get to the back of my work quickly and easily and possibly with one hand. (My left arm will be immobile, full of needles, and hooked up to a machine.)  Ideally that means something that just holds my piece without clamps, screws, bolts, or fairy wings.

I also have the unfortunate issue of not really having a "lap" per se, and the propensity for getting a little seasick if my project isn't steady when I work on it, i.e., not loosey goosey and flopping all over the place.  This makes me think I might want a "sit on" frame, but...see question above.

Finally...the damn thing needs to be portable enough that I won't require a sherpa to get it in and out if a car, up and down stairs, or in and out of a stylishly made tote bag (that is the next thing I will have to purchase for these adventures).  I'll be toting this thing four days a week, kids.  Probably don't want one that weighs as much as me.  Or a small country.  Whichever is heavier.

So talk amongst yourselves, please, and get back to me.  If you have a magic bullet and wouldn't mind sharing a picture or where you purchased said bullet, my pitiful little heart would be most grateful and forever in your debt.  More than I am already.

THURSDAY