Monday, May 2, 2016

Time keeps on slippin', slippin;.......

That old song keeps going around in my head today. I didn't realize it had been 2 months since I last posted. I have been guilty of getting caught up in the day to day stuff on Facebook and losing track of time. I decided that I would take a break and see if I could retrain myself to not spend hours and hours on there. AND, it is better. I rarely go on now except to check on updates for CAL's or to see if any family has posted some news. I've even stopped playing games on FB. I do have some games on my tablet that I play but I've found I can leave them alone for days and not care. Hey, maybe I'm growing up.......Nah, just changing things.

One of the things keeping me away from my blog has been working on items for my grandkids and for the new little one we were expecting in April. I made 4 Chocolate Easter Bunnies for the grands for Easter this year. I haven't made stuffed toys before so this was a new experience for me. I only had to order the yarn and buy the ribbon for their necks. I had everything else here. I probably should have stuffed them more but I will know next time.



They turned out really cute and I was pleased with them. The grandkids liked them, too.

I also finished the baby blanket for Lollypop. I loved working on this blanket. The pattern is Baskets of Rainbows Blanket by Felted Button. She designs wonderful blankets that look intricate and hard but are very easy to do. As this blanket grew, I loved seeing all the colors come together. The border is my own adaptation.





I finished just in time as our little Lollypop arrived on Saturday, April 23. I was privileged and blessed to be present at his birth and I have never been more amazed at anything. Although I have given birth twice, I have never seen the actual process and I wasn't sure I wanted to. But I am thrilled that I was there and saw my newest grandson enter this world. I even go to cut the cord!

So without further delay, allow me to introduce my fifth grandchild, Samuel Kenneth. He was born at 2:26 AM, April 23, 2016 weight 9 lbs, 10 oz and 20-1/4 inches long.


I have needed a week to recover from all the excitement. And I am having some major Baby Sam withdrawals. I need to get better and get back out there to see him. James is warming up to his baby brother and has even hugged and kissed him a couple of times. He told one of the nurses in the hospital, when she asked what he thought, "He's nice."

So there are are, fellow bloggers. I hope this post gets me back in the mojo to blog more regularly. I have been keeping up with you and commenting some. I hope you are still there waiting for me. I miss doing these posts and hearing your comments. Time to get that straightened out!

Hugs to all of you,
Sharon

Thursday, March 3, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge

I'm at it again. I completed the 2015 Reading Challenge ahead of the game. I read 53 books against a challenge of 50. This year I have upped that challenge to 60 books. So far this year, I've read 11 books which Goodreads says is 1 book ahead of schedule.

I hope this year to keep you guys more informed on what I'm reading and how I feel about those books. So, without further ado, here is the list of books I've read so far:

"A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" by George R. R. Martin
  
This book was listed as a prequel to the Game of Thrones series. It was interesting but not a really good book. The story line jumped around a bit and I had trouble keeping track of who was who. It's the story of a hedge knight (one who sells his services to anyone needing a knight) and brings in some of the families from Game of Thrones. As I said, it was okay but not one I would recommend.

"The Forgotten Garden" by Kate Morton

Another wonderful book by a now favorite author. I love the way she weaves her stories and this one is by far, my favorite. It's the story of a little girl who is put on a ship in England headed for Australia. She arrives all alone and is taken in by the harbor master and his family. Her granddaughter inherits her home and a suitcase which was the only possession she arrived in Australia with. The granddaughter begins a journey to find out who her grandmother really was and finds much more. It is beautifully written and will tug at your heart. I truly did not want it to end.

"The Talisman (#1) by Stephen King

To be perfectly honest, this book wasn't started this year. I think I started it over a year ago and just finished it. It had its moments and I did enjoy parts of it but again, unless you are a huge Stephen King fan, I don't think I would recommend it.

"The Secret Keeper" by Kate Morton

This story took me by surprise. It starts in the middle past, then moves forward to the now, and then back again to the far past. Even though it jumped around, I had no problem following the story line and was very surprised at the ending. It is set in England and tells the story of a mother's past and her deep, dark secret. One daughter, a famous actress, starts researching and finds another side of her mother. Very, very good.

"Killing Jesus" by Bill O'Reilly

This wasn't on my to read list but I was intrigued by the synopsis on Goodreads. I must say, Mr. O'Reilly did a great deal of research and uses many sources, including the Bible. The book details the events that lead up to the murder of Jesus and all the changes that occur that made it necessary. While I have a firm belief in God, I have no trouble reading books like this. I feel that we should be open to all information and to read and discern for ourselves what of that information to keep and what to toss away.

"Death Comes to Pemberly" by P. D. James

"A rare meeting of literary genius: P. D. James, long among the most admired mystery writers of our time, draws the characters of Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice into a tale of murder and emotional mayhem.   It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.   Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.   Inspired by a lifelong passion for Austen, P. D. James masterfully re-creates the world of Pride and Prejudice, electrifying it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted crime story, as only she can write it."  (Goodreads)  I thought this gave a much better description than I could. P. D. James died in 2014 at the age of 94 and she wrote right up to the end. I have enjoyed many of her books.

That's the first six I read this year. I was afraid if I did all 11, this post would get too long. As you can see, my reading is all over the place. I'm enjoying one right now that is set in Cambodia. I do need to say that all the books I've read so far this year, with the exception of 2 or 3, have been borrowed from my local library through their e book program. When they become available, if I have them on hold, I get an email and download from Amazon. It's a great program, free books and I don't have to get out in the cold, snow, rain or hot weather to go get them. Great solution!!!

That's all for now. I've made great progress on the Easter surprise and as soon as they are finished and mailed off to the kiddos, I will swamp you with photos. *smile*

Hugs, everyone
Sharon

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hello......It's me.....

Okay, I admit it, I love Adele! And her latest just seemed to fit.

How is everybody?? I sort of lost January and almost February but I'm here, alive and kicking. January was a really blah month and it passed by without me really noticing it. I'm not a happy camper when it's cold, wet, snowy, sleety and January and February have been all that and more.So I'll just skip on by January and move on to February, if you don't mind.

February has been a really full month both in celebrations and in medical issues, not me, thank goodness. My sister started the month having gall bladder surgery after having been sick for 2 months, She is doing much, much better although a little slow recuperating, February 4th saw us in Atlanta at Emory Hospital with my son having more surgery. This time, he was having plugs removed that had migrated from his leaky mitral valve in an earlier surgery. Luckily, they traveled south and ended up in his femoral artery in his groin area and in one of the iliac arteries in his stomach. The surgeon was able to remove both through a catherization procedure so he didn't have to have an incision in his stomach. He is recuperating very well and is back at home with his family and back at work.

The 13th of February was a big day for me. I turned 65!!! I'm officially a member of the old folks' club but I don't intend to act my age for a single moment. We have a slew of birthdays in February. Jellybean turn 3 (!) on February 9, Elijah (GA grandson) turned 4 on February 10, my daughter got a year older on the 12th, and then me. There's an uncle and a couple of cousins who also have birthdays in February.  And a big shout out to Gracie Saylor who also had a birthday in February.

I've been doing some crocheting but haven't been hugely productive. I'm trying to remedy that.

I made a baby blanket for a cousin who is expecting her first baby, a little girl, in March.  I used "Call the Midwife" pattern and fell in love with it. I also made a tiny hat.






I also made a pair of fingerless mitts for our postal carrier. She goes above and beyond lots of times for me and I just had to do something for her. She is the sweetest gal and she was so happy with the mitts.



Here is a teaser of the baby blanket I'm making for Lollypop. I can't show you everything because I'm not letting Abby see it until it's finished. I'm hoping that is soon. Boy, that's going to be a lot of ends to weave in.



And I have to show you my sweet, sweet hare who traveled all the way from France to come live with me. Meet Miss Rosehip. Stephanie at Millefeuilles made her especially for me. I adore her. She shares my office/craft room with me and keeps watch over all the yarn and cross stitch projects. 



I'm also working on a surprise for the grandkids for Easter but again, since Abby reads my blog, I can't show it to you yet. I'm enjoying it a great deal, I can tell you that. I'm famous for planning these things and then not quite getting them done for the specific time I want them. Keep your fingers crossed that this time I am able to do a better job.

I will close now. It's so good to be on here and talking to all of you. Stay warm or cool, whichever applies and have a wonderful weekend.

Hugs to you all,
Sharon

Friday, December 11, 2015

Ah, Life

Life has a way to going in its own direction, doesn't it? I had plans, after I got better from all the stuff I went through in October, to become a regular poster again and to regale all of you with my exploits in crochet, cross stitch and whatever else I might get into.

However, life decided my plans were a bunch of hooey and just did its own thing. Since my last post was almost 2 months ago, it would appear that I am not a regular poster and I really don't have much to regale you with. I am fine other than being tired a lot and having back problems, but nothing really drastic has happened. (Have I just jinxed myself???)

We have been to see the grand-kids (both in GA and in TN) over the past 2 weekends and Grammy/Mimi is just now recovering. I would visit them every weekend, if I could, and spend the next week in bed. But again, that's not how life works.

Since Christmas is exactly 2 weeks from today, I have made a decision. I am going to be absent until the New Year. I don't make resolutions but in the coming year, I hope to set aside a specific time each week to write and share my world. I am also going to start a new baby blanket for Lollypop! Our family is going to be blessed with a new baby in April. Jellybean is getting a new brother or sister. Just like with Jellybean, my daughter and SIL don't want to know the gender before the baby gets here. I'm pulling for a girl; a red haired, blue eyed little Mini Me of her Mom. But of course, I'll be happy with a another boy. Grandchildren are so special and I love being called Grammy/Mimi.

So there you are. I'll be back after the first of the year. Wow, 2016! I'll try very hard to pack Procrastination's bags and send him on a long, long, long trip. I'll try hard to accept life and her funny quirks and make peace with what she brings me.

To all of my bloggy friends, here, there and everywhere -  I wish you the most Joyous of Holiday Seasons. Whatever you celebrate, I hope it is a joyous time filled with laughter, love, family and kindness.

Hugs to each and every one,
Sharon

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Good, The Bad........

but hopefully, nothing ugly!  Hello blogland! I have been missing for a while, I know. It's been a rough couple of months with a couple of wonderful things to make them easier to deal with.

First, I had to have some dental work in September. I had a tooth that had some root decay and so my dentist scheduled a root canal. However, when he got in there, the root was too far gone and I had to have it extracted. Ouch! Then he told me I had to wait until January before I could have a replacement!!! Thank goodness it was a molar and can't be seen.

After recovering from that and seeing doctors for routine checkups, I caught a bug and got really sick. I had all the things that go with a bad bug and it put me to bed. I lost my appetite because, basically, I couldn't keep anything down. Then, as usually happens when I get attacked by a virus, I went into an RA flare. Unfortunately, this one didn't respond to my normal round of steroids and I just kept getting weaker and sicker. After about 3 weeks of not eating and not getting any better, I decided that I might ought to go see a doctor, in October.

The Hubs took off work to take me as I was so weak, I didn't think I could drive.When we got there, I had lost 18# and my BP was 90/64. Guess that's why I didn't have the energy to stand or even sit up. I ended up lying with my head on the foot rest of the exam table on a pillow. Blood work was done and questions were asked. Blood work showed my inflammation rate was through the roof along with my WBC. I was given the option of getting fluids in the office and going home, or going to the hospital. Hubs and I talked it over and got the doctor's opinion, and so I checked into the hospital for a couple of days. Since Hubs had to go back to work the next day, he didn't want me at home alone in case I fell or needed some help.

I have to say, as much as I dislike being in the hospital, the nurses and doctor were wonderful. I immediately got started on fluid since I was dehydrated and after seeing the hospitalist, a mega dose of steroids. I also ran another fever while there. When I was admitted, I was freezing and ended up with 3 blankets on me. Sometime in the night, I started throwing off blankets and getting my legs out. The nurse told me later that I had a fever when I checked in and it broke during the night. WHEE! That same night, I had a little bit of an adventure. The Hubs had brought down my CPAP machine and after the CNA got my vitals for the night, I put it on and got ready to sleep. I pushed the button to turn it on and nothing happened. So I sat up and tried to see what was going on but couldn't figure it out. So I pushed the button for the nurse and nothing happened. Oh gee, I was without communication and without power to my CPAP. So I sat on the side of the bed, tethered to the IV pole, trying to figure out how I was going to get the nurses' attention. So, being the country girl that I am, I called "YOO HOO". Nothing. So I tried again and my nurse opened the door and asked if I needed something. Somehow, the machine had gotten unplugged and the cord for the nurse button had been loosened from the wall. We had a good laugh and I finally got some sleep.

So the final diagnosis was a severe out of control flare that just took over and messed up my body. After a bag of antibiotics to kick any little bugs that might be still wandering around, 2 bags of mega steriods to kick the inflammation and 2 bags of fluids (which caused many trips to the bathroom HA), I was declared okay to come home with an appointment scheduled to see my primary. I stayed weak for the next several days and when I saw the doctor, my BP was still very low. So she came up with a plan of checking my BP every day and stopping my BP meds until the top number went above 120. I am happy to say that everything is back to normal now, or as normal as it can be with me! :)

So that's the bad. Now for the good.

While I was feeling so bad and before I finally went to the doctor, the Hubs brought in the mail one day and there was a card from my daughter. When I opened it, I squealed!




I'm going to be a Mimi again!!!!!!!!! Lollypop will be here in April 2016 and I am thrilled. This makes 5 grandchildren. I am so blessed!!!!  I hope you can see Jellybean's shirt. It says "Only Child" with a slash through it and then "Big Brother" below.  Sorry for the flash on the announcement.

I also got a package all the way from France after I came home from the hospital. I have long admired and wanted a hare from Millefeuilles  I have hoarded money from last Christmas and decided now was the time. If you follow Stephanie's blog, you know that she has had some problems this summer and I didn't feel the time was right to ask for one. However, she posted on Facebook that she was back working on her hares so I emailed her and described the hare that I would like. Sweet Stephanie got to work and made me one.  Meet Miss Rosehip:




I cried when I opened her. She is so beautiful and is everything I could have imagined. So now I am the proud and honored owner of a one of a kind Millefeuilles hare and I will treasure her. Thank you, Stephanie, so much for Miss Rosehip and for sending her when I needed her most.

So now I am caught up once more. Hopefully, but no promises, I won't be so slow in posting going forward. But then you know me, "The Queen of Procrastination".

Oh, and a big thank you to everyone who sent postcards for my granddaughter. She is thrilled and so am I.

Thanks for stopping by. You make me happy!

Hugs,
Sharon

Monday, August 10, 2015

Well, hello there

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth and no, I haven't stopped blogging, although it would appear that way. I certainly hope you guys haven't given up on me.  I've just been 1) lazy, 2) dealing with flares, 3) having weekend visitors, and 4) lazy. I have lots of stuff to tell you so I hope this post doesn't go on forever.

July was a MONTH! I have several crochet projects ongoing and one I'm absolutely panting to start. I also have a couple of cross stitch projects I'm working on and one I am eager to start.

My train of thought keeps getting interrupted because my husband is fixing himself something to eat and talking to the dog which cracks me up. Now, back to my post.

I think I've told you about my Cubs Season 2015 blanket. It's coming right along and I am having the best time working on it. I don't get to see all the games since WGN no longer broadcasts them. I have to wait for the MLB network or ESPN to show them and they are few and far between. I do have a scoreboard app on my tablet to keep up with games and they are doing great this year.



They have won the last 10 of 11 games. So proud of my Cubbies. It's a great season so far.

I'm also making a baby blanket for a second cousin. She has been married for 19 years and trying to have a baby for 18. She found out last month that she is pregnant. I am keeping my fingers crossed for her while working on this blanket. I love making baby blankets. I'm going to make a little hat to go with it if I don't run out of yarn.  I hope you can see the pattern. It's a little hard to make out in the photos.





I've also been slowly trudging through a CAL that started in January. I'm slow and I have to make allowances for my hands. I don't always get to crochet when I want to but I have found that if I take it slow and don't overdo it, I can get some rows done every day. I definitely am going to finish this CAL. I am learning to read charts on this one and I am really enjoying it even though I messed up the last round and need to frog some of the squares. These photos show just a small number of squares.






I've also bought my yarn to do a Sophie's Universe CAL which is actually over but I've bookmarked the pattern http://www.lookatwhatimade.net/crafts/yarn/crochet/sophies-universe-cal-2015/sophies-universe-cal-2015-information/. I absolutely feel in love with the photos of this one on Facebook and I honestly can't wait to start it. I have always been a one at a time project maker which has kept me from doing much but I'm finding that having several projects going at the same time is fun. However, Sophie's Universe is BIG and detailed and beautiful and I want to dedicate myself to it properly. We'll see how long I hold out. :)

I have been doing counted cross stitch projects. I finished this one, the Lizzie*Kate Mystery for last fall and I love it. I need to press it and get it framed along with another one I did last year. Here they are. I love doing Lizzie*Kate cross stitch. She has the cutest ideas.




Now I'm working on Elijah's birth sampler. I am little behind on it as he was born in 2012!!! But his Mom (my DIL) told me not to worry; it was more for her than him anyway. This is what I've gotten so far. I designed this one myself and it's sort of bits and pieces being pulled together. There really isn't a graph. This is the first thing I've ever really designed and I guess I've been slow to work on it because I wasn't sure of myself. It's turning out well so far. There will be a row of seashells around it as a border.



I'm also finishing up a Halloween cross stitch from last year. Whew, I went from single minded projects to full blown out of mind crafting!!!




I am designing Jellybean's birth sampler but I've not got it all together yet. I have a picture of it in my head and I won't be able to show any of it on here since Abby reads my blog. I want it to be a surprise. She knows some of the elements but I've made a few changes since I told her and I think it will be much better. So no photos until it is completed and given to her.

We had a visit from Sweet Baby James and his Mama and Dada a couple of weekends ago. Whew, that kid is a bundle of energy. He is so funny and is totally a two year old. I know I shouldn't laugh but Mimi's get the privilege sometimes. When they were trying to get him to do something, he would throw himself in the floor with his arms stretch over his head and say, "I lay down!" To me that was hilarious but then I'm not having to deal with it on a daily basis. I think he's wearing his Mama out. She's counting the days until Mother's Day Out starts up again.  :)

He's gotten very independent as two year olds do. We have a planter on the front porch that looks like a bicycle and he pulled it out and climbed on. It's only got 2 small little braces at the bottom to keep it upright so I was holding the handle bars so it wouldn't tip over. He pushed my hand away and said, "No, Mimi. I ride myself!" I ended up having to put my foot against the one of the wheels so it wouldn't tip. He did a great job balancing himself on it. I adore this little man!!!

I've been on a shopping spree for the grands also. I sent the DIL in GA money to buy them clothes with but Eli sort of got gypped. So Grammy got on her favorite shopping device and ordered bow ties and shoes for him. Then I ordered PJ's for James. I've also been doing some shopping for me as in new crochet hooks, a set of afghan crochet hooks, a couple of books, yarn. Oh my, I really don't want to see the credit card bill this month.  :)

So there you have it; all caught up with the month of July. I've also been reading quite a bit and listening to audio books. I like the audio books when I'm working. They are also great to crochet and stitch to especially since there's not much on TV that interests me at the moment. I hope to be back soon with a Book Challenge Update.

Until then, hugs to all my great bloggy pals. Thank you for all your comfort and support this past year. The future is looking bright and I hope to post more often. No promises because, you know, the reasons listed in the first paragraph. I have been trying to keep up with all of you and comment when I can. I adore my bloggy friends.

Hugs,
Sharon

Sunday, June 28, 2015

One Year

Friday marked one year since my Mom passed away. The week was harder than I truly expected. I had already planned on taking the day for reflection and time for me. But the loss is just as sharp as if it was happening now.

My Mom was an amazing woman. She was so outgoing and had such a zest for life. She was always ready to go on an adventure and never met anyone she couldn't talk to. Her smile was so open and friendly, people just naturally gravitated to her. She looked for the humor in all things.

She had a hard time when she had to move from the home she had known for over 30 years and never quite reconciled to living with my aunt. I am still going thru boxes from her room. She didn't get rid of much. It was as if, by having everything around her, she still had some independence. I think that's what upset her the most, not having that freedom to do as she pleased. While she was not a prisoner, she seemed to feel that living in someone else's home made her less in some way.

Watching her give up her independence a little at a time as she got sicker and weaker hurt so much. I was guilty of trying to do too much many times until I realized that I was denying her the right to make her own decisions. I wanted to take away that necessity of thinking and planning and all that goes with a serious illness so she could concentrate on getting better. I overstepped my bounds often, I think. It was done with love and I think she knew that but having been so independent, especially since my Father's death, she was unused to not having control.

Mom was a caregiver. She was the oldest of 10 children and she was expected to take care of the younger ones when my grandparents were busy with the farm or gone to the store. At 10 years old, she was taking care of babies. The last 2 were born after she married, but by then, she had me to take care of.

As she got older, she became the one who stepped in when someone was sick. She and her sisters took care of Grandpa and Granny as they aged. She was there when my aunt passed away from cancer, helping her brother and nephews. She was there when my uncle passed away from cancer, helping her sister, niece and nephew. She visited my uncle in the nursing home weekly and took water, tissues, etc. She also bought clothes and did laundry when he needed it. He is having trouble with his memory now and occasionally will ask my aunt Katheryn how Mrs. Broyles is doing. He always called Mom, Mrs. Broyles. My aunt will remind him that she passed away and he will say something like yes, I remember.

I was prepared for a really bad day on Friday since the 2 weeks before had been rough. I found myself reliving the journey from news of the tumor to the final hours daily. However, by Friday, I felt a peace and a calmness I wasn't expecting. I had good memories rolling around in my head and my heart was full of love. I think this is Mom's legacy to me; to allow the pain to run its course and then to be filled with love.

Mom, I miss you every day.