Sunday, January 28, 2018

What I'm Up To

The answer.......not much! I've had ups and downs this month and blame it on the winter! I'm learning that I don't do well in the winter, especially when the skies are grey and gloomy.

I have been working industriously on my Eddie blanket and I'm almost there. I had to buy more yarn so the Hubs and I went to Knoxville last Sunday because the Joann's on the other side of Knoxville was the only store within a 50 mile radius that had the yarn. I had calculated that I needed 5 more balls and according to their inventory in the app, they had 5. When we got there, they actually had six but 2 of them were a different dye lot. How lucky was I to be able to get the very same dye lot on 4 balls that I bought in October from Lion Brand direct??? The fifth ball is slightly off but I believe it will work. Abby said to work it in during the rows so it won't stand out. That daughter of mine has a good head on her shoulders. Here's the last photo I took the day before we went to get more yarn:

That's a full size bed it's lying on. My adjustable bed, I might add!  I'm still in love with this bed. I have approximately 15-20 more rows and I'll be finished.

Having said that, I've not crocheted at all this week. Monday, I was totally worn out from our trip. Tuesday was laundry and termite inspection. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were just rotten days and I didn't want to crochet. Saturday was more of the same and today, I'm trying to get myself into my chair and work on it.

I've had some blood pressure issues over the last couple of weeks. I have been feeling really good. I even bought myself an inexpensive FitBit like thing called a Smart Band. I've been measuring my steps and my sleep and I've been doing well. Last week, I had a couple of days with I was lethargic and dizzy. When I checked my BP, it was 93/71 and stayed in at area for the rest of the day.  I emailed my doctor and explained what was going on and she advised me to cut my medication in half and try that for a week and let her know. That didn't go so well as my BP started climbing and got to 156/93 along with a miserable headache. I went back to the whole pill and continued to monitor and by yesterday, I was back down in normal range of 124/73. We went out to eat today and to get groceries and I started feeling dizzy, really tired and nauseated. I check when we got home and I'm back down to 90/71 with a heart rate of 97. So I've emailed the doctor again, and I'm going to call in the morning and try to get in to see her. I was hoping to avoid that because there is really a ton of Flu A and Flu B going around. I've had a flu shot but I'm not sure how good the protection is for these strains.

Hey ho, such is the life of a almost 67 year old woman with RA and other assorted problems. I have to keep my sense of humor. Otherwise, I'd curl up in the bed and never get up. And with RA, that's one thing you don't want to do, because you might not be able to get back up again when you want to.

Moving on past this dismal stuff, I have been reading and listening to books quite a bit. So far I've completed 4 books (one was a hold over from 2017, but hey, it still counts). I've decided this year to concentrate on the series I have been delving into and see if I can complete them all. I'm going to start book 5 in the Outlander Series and I've finished book 1 in the Lord John series. Book 5, "The Fiery Cross", has had mixed reviews on Audible but I'm going ahead. I've also downloaded "All These Worlds" the final book in the Bobiverse series. I think I'll listen to that one first and then start on "The Fiery Cross". (If any of you have read or listened to "The Fiery Cross", I would be very interested in your take on it.)  I'm reading "City of Endless Nights" by Preston and Child. It's the most recent in the Agent Pendergast series.

My cross stitching has been put on hold until the Eddie Blanket is finished, but I'm continued to load up on projects and my stitchy fingers are itching to get going again. I've also been looking at Lucy's, of Attic 24, new CAL called the Woodland Blanket. I love her patterns and her choice of colors is almost always right up my alley. The Eddie Blanket is being done using her Granny Stripe pattern.

Okay, I've rambled enough. Bad Grammy hasn't checked on Lilly Bug in the last week but the last time I talked to my son, he said she was doing fine and the cast didn't seem to be bothering her at all. He said she was going 90 miles a minute, as usual.

Abby got sick on Wednesday and tested positive for Flu A on Thursday. Sam started running a fever on Saturday and tested positive for Flu A. That only left James who tested positive today. Doug was taking a preventative dose of Tamiflu so hopefully, he won't end up with it. One of the few things I don't miss about being a mother is having both kids sick and then getting whatever myself.

Apparently, I hadn't rambled enough!  HA! I'm going to close now and go pick up that crocheting and try to get a chunk done tonight. As always, thank you for being my bloggy friends! You mean the world to me.


Monday, January 8, 2018

Update on Lilly Bug

Our Lilly is home with pins in her elbow and a purple sparkly cast.

She also got her hair braided by the anesthesiologist while she was asleep. Her Dad said she was amazing through it all. She was calm and very tough. I've calmed down so much now that I know she's home and everything is fixed. This sweetie is the most loving, most caring little you can know. Of course, she's a bit adventurous also. She broke her elbow by, in her father's words, "Climbed on a wobbly table in her room and rode it to the floor".

I've also finished my first book for the 2018 challenge. "I Let You Go" by Clare Mackintosh. This is a library ebook. The description says,

 "On a rainy afternoon, a mother's life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street....

I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.
At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them."
This was a great book filled with unexpected twists and turns that kept me guessing about where the book as going. It was one of those that make you think you have it figured out but then you find you've been totally wrong. I really enjoyed this book.

I've started "The Midnight Line" by Lee Child. I've really enjoyed this series in the past but not so much now. I think the fact that Tom Cruise was cast in this role in the movies has put a damper on my enthusiasm. If ever there was a mistake in casting, this is it. Jack Reacher is 6 ft 5" tall with a build like an NFL lineman. In an interview, Lee Child described his face:  His face looked like it had been chipped out of rock by a sculptor who had ability but not much time. 

Tom Cruise is nothing like this. I can't seem to get past the fact that this is such a wrong casting. But anywho, the books are good and I just need to let go, I guess.

So there you go. Our Lilly Bug is home and feeling much better now and I've vented about Tom Cruise. Enough, yes????

Thank you, bloggy friends, for reading and commenting. Thank you for being my bloggy friends.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Happy New Year (7 days late)

Happy New Year, all my fine fellow bloggers. I hope the holiday season was as good for you as it was for me. I have been enjoying reading about Christmas on the blogs and thought I should get my act together and do mine.

We had a quiet day here at the Braxton household on Christmas Day. I was spoiled this year with a new quilt and blanket to fit my bed. Since I downsized from a king to a full, the blankets I had would not stay on the bed. They kept sliding off and were cumbersome to deal with. The blanket is lightweight and, layered under the quilt, it keeps me warm and toasty all night. I've needed this the last few nights as we have had temps in the teens and single digits. Thankfully, we've not had snow; just really cold temps. My body doesn't do well with these cold temps. I have had a couple of days of pain in my joints, especially my hands and feet. I also got a Chicago Cubs ornament, 2 thermal bottles so my water will be ice cold (I can't drink water otherwise) and a "learn to knit" kit from Knit Picks. Or rather I got a copy of the page which said it was out of stock. HA! I'll be getting that as soon as it is back in stock. I don't know why I wanted that but I thought it might be fun to learn and if I can do it, at least I'll be able to make dishcloths and scarfs......maybe!

We had our family Christmas on Friday, December 29. Our house was full to the brim. Both of our children were here with the grandkids, my sister, niece and nephew and my sister- and brother-in-law (husband's sister and husband). Sadly, my son-in-law was sick and stayed home and my brother-in-law had to stay home because of repairs to their water heater. BUT, we had a great time. The tree was full of presents:

the food was spread out everywhere and we had a glorious time. At least I did. I'm in heaven when all my fam is around and I got a huge dose. AND I have photos!

The oldest (Ella) and the youngest (Sam)

James, Lilly, Ella, Sam, Elijah

All the grands on the front porch swing!

Lilly and her Papaw. 

Poor Lilly. I got a text last night around midnight from my son. Lilly fell yesterday and broke her arm; specifically her elbow. He said it was dislocated and a piece broke on the end of the larger bone in her forearm. The ER sent her to Atlanta to the Children's Hospital by ambulance with her Mom. Doug called on the way and told me she will have to have surgery. As of the writing of this post, she is in surgery where they will do pins to hold the bone in place and she will have a cast. I hope she gets a purple cast; that's her favorite color. Doug said she had been amazing through everything, very calm and very tough. 

I did make my goal of 65 books in 2017. I barely squeaked by, reading the last book on Sunday, Dec 31. I've started my new goal for 2018. I'm trying for 70 books. That works out to 6 books a month. I might have set myself a hard goal this year. If I make it, fine; if not, that's fine also. It's just the pleasure of reading, both ebooks and regular ones and listening to audiobooks. 

I'm still working on my WIP parade. I need to get everything listed in my cross stitch journal and then photographed. I had plans to do that this week but the weather decided to get so darn cold, I just couldn't.

Anyhoo, I want to thank each of you who visits my blog. I hope 2018 is a year of happiness and joy for all of us. Thank you for being my bloggy friends.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Tis' The Season

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Kwanza, and Solstice Blessings. It's the season of love, family and friends. But truly, shouldn't this be an all year occurrence instead of just one month??

I just wanted to drop in and send my greetings to everyone. There's not been a lot of time lately for me to get to the laptop to write a post. We have been getting ready to host our family Christmas next Friday, 12/29. Celebrating after the actual day has become the norm for our family.

I'll be back with all the happenings and hopefully, photos after Christmas. I still plan to do a WIP parade and I have my 2017 Reading challenge to talk about.

So until then, I'll leave you with some of the decorations in my home. It's all about the Snowmen and Snow women.  :)

  As always, thank you for being my bloggy friends and for visiting and commenting on my blog.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

And The Christmas Season Begins

The calendar says it's December 6. My head says get a move on, decorate already. My body says I did, I hung a Christmas banner on the front door. Sometimes I think my body parts have a life of their own.

This post will be word heavy as I haven't been taking photos much lately. I've mostly just sat in my stitchy chair and worked on WIP's. I did finish this:

This is the Lizzie*Kate Christmas Mystery SAL for 2017. I like it but I don't love it like I have the previous ones. I don't know why that is. The colors are subtle and really pretty and it was an easy stitch. Maybe the recent flood of SALs I've joined and am loving have tainted me a bit.

I did get the new fabric for "The Embrace" 

and got it started again. IN THE MIDDLE, like I should have to begin with. 

This is my progress through last night:

I've gone back to stitching in hand on most things. That has always been my preferred method but I had to start using hoops a couple of years ago because of the pains in my wrists and fingers. That is all under control now and I can hold my fabric again. I think my stitches are much neater when stitching in hand so I'm pleased. Of course, I might have to start using a hoop again but that is okay too. I don't get along with Q-Snaps; it hurts my hands to hold them and I tend to use smaller hoops, usually 6" or 8", nothing larger.

Maybe I should have a WIP parade one day. I'll see how that goes!  LOL

We had our family Thanksgiving at my sister's on Saturday after Thanksgiving. It was too complicated to get everyone together on the actual day. With my family spread out and the grandkids getting older, it's getting harder to find a time when we can all be in one place. Bless my sister's heart, she usually hosts. She lives in Knoxville and so is about an hour closer for the kids. We are already trying to plan our Christmas get together and it looks like it will be January before that happens. That's okay. I enjoy having all my family together in one place and the date really doesn't matter.

My son and DIL, Doug and Trisha, went to the UT Knoxville football game but brought 2 of the grandkids, Ella and Elijah, through to stay with us while at the game. Lilly had decided to stay with Trisha's parents to get some one on one time with Poppy, her other grandfather. My daughter and SIL, Abby and Doug, were there with James and Sam. Papaw came through again with playtime. He took them outside to play jump rope and to run around. Then he disappeared, as he usually does after play and food. The grands discovered him asleep on the couch in the computer room so we let him sleep for a while.

Stacey put in a DVD for the kids because they were getting a little rambunctious and so we all watched "The Secret Life of Pets". It is such a cute movie and I think we all enjoyed it.

That's about all the excitement around the Braxton household at the moment. I've been Christmas shopping online, I don't do stores, and I'm almost done. I only buy for the grandkids and my niece and nephew so online shopping gets done quickly. Now I just need to get Rick to place the tree so I can start decorating. I'm seeing white lights and snowmen all over the tree this year. I'm looking forward to getting it finished and see how it looks. 

On a sadder side, my Mom's youngest sister has terminal cancer. She had surgery for breast cancer when Mom was ill. She was in the hospital over Thanksgiving and she said that the cancer had traveled to her brain and there was nothing that could be done. She came home over that weekend and is now under hospice care. I went to see her this afternoon and she is feeling really tired most of the time. She said her daughter and one of her sisters wore her out giving her a bath today but that she felt much better after the bath.  She's also going to have some physical therapy so she can move from the bed to her wheelchair for a while each day. She told me lying in that bed was getting tiresome and hurting her back. Please keep her in your thoughts. She's only 7 years older than me. Her 73rd birthday was actually Monday, December 4.

I guess I'll stop here. I need to check supper to see if it's ready and do some cross stitching. I've been on the go all day and it's time to relax a bit. 

As always, thank you for visiting and being my bloggy friends.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

And the Crud Holds On

I've still got this mess but thankfully, I think I'm on the backside of it. I have coughed like crazy today but I did get out of the house for a while and I think that helped. I hadn't been anywhere in over a week, just sitting in the recliner or lying in bed and blowing my nose and coughing and etc. I told the Hubs he was lucky to be a man when I was in the middle of one of my coughing fits. He thought that was funny. I think you all get my meaning!

I didn't get to go to see the play! Bummer. My sister said it was really good, too. It started at 2:30 and she said they didn't get out until around 5:30. I'm so sad I didn't get to go. My niece starts college next year and she's such a great person to around. She's funny and sardonic, she's sweet and sassy. She's my only niece just like her brother is my only nephew and my goodness, I love those guys. My nephew is a sophomore in college at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. I think he's studying robotics. My niece is going to study forensic science at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. She's already applied and been accepted.

My Mom would be beyond proud of her progeny. We all managed to go to college. I have an Associate degree in business from our local community college, Stacey has a degree in Aerospace Engineering from UT, Knoxville. Doug (my son) has a degree in Aerospace Engineering from UT, Knoxville and a degree in Computer Science from Kennesaw State in GA. Abby (she of the abbycrafty blog) has a degree in Computer Science from Middle Tennessee University, Murfreesboro.

Well, that was a tangent!  I've found more and more often I get off on these tangents and it takes me a while to get back on target. It's pretty annoying for the Hubs, as you can imagine. hehe

I finished "Miss Julia Weathers the Storm" and oh my goodness, was it ever good! Miss Julia can get herself into some big messes and this one was no exception. If you haven't tried Ann Ross' "Miss Julia" series, do give them a try. You will definitely enjoy the process.

I'm listening to "For We Are Many: Bobiverse", the second book in the series. The first one, "We Are Bob" caught my interest. I like science fiction and futuristic books and this series takes it to another level. The author is Dennis E Taylor.


I've ordered some books from I'm really enjoying Deborah Crombie's series about DCI Duncan Kincaid and Inspector Gemma James. I got #9, #10, and #11 in the series. 

I'm expecting fabric tomorrow so I can restart "The Embrace" and maybe start "2017 Linens and Things Mystery Sampler". This sampler is almost over but as I'm usually late to the party that's okay. I'm also getting fabric to do Carolyn Manning's Scrap Happy Crazy Quilt SAL. I'm going to be doing 2 blocks. I think that's about all I can handle at this point.

I'm also going to be working, over the next few wintery months, on a blanket for a childhood friend. He saw a post on Facebook about the Virus Shawl I made and asked if I could make him a blanket for a twin size bed. I asked what colors and he said, "Orange and Brown" ! I found this yarn and he approved. 

Wish me luck!  LOL

Okay, that's it for this week. I'm going to go read for a while and then go to bed. As always, thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. 


Friday, November 10, 2017

How-deeeee! I'm just so glad to be here!

How-deeeee! I'm just so glad to be here! (With apologies to Minnie Pearl)

In case you don't know who Minnie Pearl was, she was a country comedienne who was a regular on the Grand Ole Opry stage. She was famous for her straw hat with the tag on it.

Minnie Pearl
American comedian
Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, known professionally as her stage character Minnie Pearl, was an American country comedian who appeared at the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years and on the television show Hee Haw from 1969 to 1971. Wikipedia
BornOctober 25, 1912, Centerville, TN
DiedMarch 4, 1996, Nashville, TN
Full nameSarah Ophelia Colley Cannon
SpouseHenry Cannon (m. 1947–1996)
She was a proud Tennessean and I still miss her to this day. I look back on those simpler days and, while things were simpler, they had their challenges and struggles just like today.
I really don't know where that tangent came from. I just sat down to write a post and the first thing that popped in my mind was the How-dee line. Of course that led to an explanation of Miss Minnie and here I am now wondering what I'm going to say.

We had a quiet Halloween. No trick or treaters (we've not had any for several years now), no candy bought because of the lack of little ones, and thankfully, no tricks. I did get the Grands a treat and got them mailed off before Halloween for a change. I got pics back of happy faces so I guess I did fine. 

I've been cross stitching, as usual. I found a new pattern that I simply fell in love with. It is called "The Embrace" and I started it immediately! 

  I didn't start in the center (big mistake) since most of the things I do now I measure the framing allowance and then start in the upper left corner. I also do a lot of SALs and unless they specifically are started in the center, this is the best way to start them. So, I was merrily stitching along as you can see in my two progress photos.......

.....and today, I realized that I had measured the framing allowance WRONG! The pattern is 12"x 12" and the fabric included is 16" x 16". Great I thought, no problem with the size. Then, I apparently had a gray cell dump because I measured my piece's starting point at 3.5 inches. Yep! Instead of the 2" on all sides that was allowed, I had 3.5 inches on the top and left side. That left 1/2 inch on the right side and bottom!!!!! I was so disgusted that I folded it up and put it in time out. Which was actually silly because unless I frog all of that stitching (I ain't gonna do it), this piece is almost useless. I can salvage the lower part and the right side for smalls, I guess. We'll see.

Since The Embrace has been occupying me so fully, I haven't done much of anything else. I did do a Christmas Card stitch for a card swap but silly me didn't take a photo of it. However, my swap partner did and posted it to the group doing the swap. She liked it. When I looked at all the cards others had done, I felt out of my league but it's just made me want to do more cards and embellish them. I will be getting some doo dads and sparkly things, ribbons and washi tape, etc. This might get out of hand!!  HA!

I still haven't transferred all my files from my backup of my old laptop to the new one, so I'm not sure about my book count. I have read or listened to several more books. I listened to "Sleeping Beauties" by Stephen and Owen King. It was really, really good. I also listened to "A Town Like Alice" by Nevile Shute. As close as I can tell, to date, I've read 53 books. It's probably more but I haven't taken the time to check my Kindle or Audible Library.  That leaves 12 books before the end of the year to meet my goal. That should be doable even if it has to be audible books. They all count!

At the moment I'm reading "Miss Julia Weathers the Storm" by Ann Ross. I was lucky enough to get an autographed copy when she came to the little book shop in the next town to do a reading and Q&A. I wasn't able to attend the event but since I had pre-ordered my book, she was gracious enough to sign it and I picked it up later. This little used-book store always has something going on and there is the hope that they will have other writers and events. 

So I guess that's it for this time. I'm fighting a cold that my husband was so nice to give me earlier this week. Each day I have texted him and asked if that was the worse day (he's a day ahead of me in the course of whatever this is) and each day, he answers no. Today is day 4 for me and day 5 for him. I'm suppose to go to Knoxville on Sunday to attend a play with my sister and niece and Sunday will be day 6. He's still feeling bad but he said that today was better and that by day 6, he should be almost over it. Yay! Maybe after seeing "Oklahoma" and spending time with my peeps, I'll be better also. One can only hope.

As always, thank you for being my bloggy friend and for reading my blog.