Monday, June 22, 2020

Where to start? There is so much going on in our country right now. I don't know how to deal with a lot of it.

Our county in Tennessee has seen a spike in Covid 19 cases in the last week. We went from a total of around 42 or 45 cases to 117 as of this morning. As of yesterday, there were over 65 active cases and there were 7 new cases this morning. After my experience at my pulmonologist appointment, I can certainly see why. I wore my mask as the CDC recommends but others in the waiting room did not have one on. While I was waiting for the receptionist to record my new insurance coverage, I overheard a remark about how silly it was to wear "those things" and the response of "I don't wear one, they make me smother". I didn't comment or react in any way but my mind was going crazy. In my mind, I was saying, "And this is why there are so many new cases here". There was no point in saying anything because you either understand the reason for a mask or you don't and nothing I could say would change that. I might add that all the nurses and the doctor were wearing a mask. My doctor told me that he had 2 patients in ICU and one out on the floor with Covid and it was horrible the way they were suffering.

Having an immunocompromised disease, I have to be careful. If everyone one would wear a mask while they were out around crowds, maybe this could be eliminated. I haven't been out of my house except for essential appointments since March 6. I don't considered a haircut essential as can be seen by the length of my hair. I have, however, given my stylist random payments because she has to make a living. I can't penalize her because I choose to stay home.

My husband does all the grocery shopping which we are trying to hold to every 2 weeks at the moment. We did a lot of bulk shopping about a month ago and we have what we need. He also has his routine when he comes back in of cleaning up and then wiping all the surfaces he has touched with disinfectant. Only then do I help him put the groceries away. We are wiping everything from the store and repackaging what we can. I realize to a lot of you this might be overkill, but we are the only ones we can count on to take care of us.

I haven't worked at my part time job since March 6 and I really don't know if I'm going back. There is not enough room where I sit at the register to get socially distanced from the customers and then there's the cash issue. Again, I can only take care of me and I have the luxury of not having to work.

I have been stitching away these past months. I'm participating in 3 monthly SALs and one temperature chart SAL. I'm also reading like crazy. I've read 58 books so far this year toward my goal of 95. I listen to a lot of audiobooks while I do housework and stitch and I love it. I do read on my Kindle and read actual books but audiobooks are my first choice.

With the Hubs now retired, life has had some adjustments but actually things are going very smoothly and I enjoy having him home. We haven't spent this much time together since before the kids were born and actually since we were both working, this is more time together. We laugh a lot, talk a lot and just hang out. It's been very nice.

I'll close with some photos of my current SALs. As always, thank you for being my bloggy friends.

Granny Temperature SAL designed by Carolyn Manning

Witches Catalogue of Familiars by Ingleside Imaginarium

 Linen and Threads 2020 Friends and Family Mystery Sampler

Modern Folk Embroidery 2020 SAL


Monday, May 11, 2020

A lot of states are re-opening even though the COVID-19 cases continue to go up. With deaths reaching 80,000 in the US alone, this coronavirus is still being touted as fake, no worse than the flu, etc, etc, etc. One death is too many but it seems people who haven't been affected really don't care. I haven't heard the current president offer one expression of sympathy for those who have lost their lives or for the ones who have lost loved ones. At the moment, he is more concerned about his chances for reelection than what's going on with the health of the people whom he represents. His self-congratulations for a job well done grate on my nerves. He has not done a good job. If anything, he sentenced our country to the horrors of this disease by not believing it was "so bad" and not going full force to head it off. He allowed it to develop to the point that it became a catastrophe. But I am also angry at the people who have complained about being asked to stay home to help stop the spread and who have now gone back to shopping and gathering in groups without even a face mask. It seems they think that if the stores are open, the restaurants are open, then out they go and forget all about any safety procedures. 

My feelings today are bouncing from anger to depression to disgust to every other emotion in the book. I would like to go out and eat, I would like to go to the grocery store, dammit, and I don't even like doing that chore. Yes, I am tired of staying home and not being able to go about as I please BUT, I have to protect myself. I have to lean on my husband to do the necessary things because I am 69 years old and have RA and asthma and I'm at risk if I should become infected. And I have to watch his frustration and anxiety each time he leaves home, his constant cleaning and his worry about both of us.

Now because everyone is so eager to get out and about and go to Walmart, and TJ Maxx, and to restaurants, we will be having to stay home longer. If there was even a modicum of sense being used, it might not be so bad. But when I see no facemasks, no distance between, I don't feel safe. I cannot allow myself to go into that. I've moved all medical and dental appointments to June but I'm not sure I'm going to feel comfortable with them even then. 

Time to stop ranting and try to get myself calmed down. No more news, no more facebook, no more anything until I'm more settled.


Wednesday, May 6, 2020


I felt the urge to record my thoughts and feelings during this time and I was amazed that it's been almost a year and a half since I last posted. Much has happened; some good, some bad and there's no way I can completely recall a whole year. I regret not posting during all this time. This blog was my safe space, my record of life and my activities. I am sad about losing that year but all I can do is start again and move forward.

I have been keeping up with many of you even though I've not been active on my own. I enjoy getting the glimpse into your life that you allow me, especially during this hard time we are all enduring together.

So where to begin. Obviously, I'm still alive and kicking, well, maybe not kicking. That would imply ability to stand on one foot while the other was in the air. I'm doing good to stand on two feet without stumbling. I've noticed over the past year a more stumbly nature to my tread, especially when the ground isn't perfectly flat as most yards and fields and parks, etc are not. I use a cane in those instances. Who am I kidding? I use a cane in most instances now. But I am mobile and that's a good thing.

When COVID-19 reached the USA, I chose to stay at home beginning March 6 with only 1 trip to see my cardiologist and 1 trip to the dentist for my cleaning. Otherwise, I've moved all my appointments to June or later in the year. Unless there's an emergency, this lady is staying here. Our county in Tennessee has not been hit has hard as others but we are starting to see an uptick in positive cases. This is happening as the governor has started relaxing the closures and some places are reopening following guidelines that are, at best, suggestions, not requirements.

My husband turned 66 in September of 2019 and had no plans to retire until he was older. The coronavirus put paid to that plan. His employer did not provide cleaning supplies, guidelines for safe performance and any other safety features for the work place. He is a P&D (pickup and delivery) driver and was having a lot of trouble dealing with all the issues. Knowing that I was at home with an autoimmune disease, a pacemaker and a low level of asthma and that he was out in the public with no protection was causing so much anxiety for him, he decided to take some vacation time, starting on March 14, to see how things went and if this whole mess would clear up or how it would evolve. We discussed it a great deal and knowing he would eventually be out of vacation days before either of us felt it would be safe to return to work, he made the decision to retire. He is an active person, not a TV watcher or a reader and has to be constantly doing something. When we checked into the pension benefits and the fact that after a year, he can return to any kind of job without jeopardizing his benefits, he was satisfied.

It's been a adjustment for both of us. I'm very use to having the house to myself all day and having quietness around me. I only watch a little TV, especially now that I'm no longer using cable TV and have changed to ROKU for channels I choose to watch. He has started adjusting to sleeping a little later (which I was totally surprised about), going at his own pace whether it's working in his workshop, the garden, helping me with the housework and cooking or just getting out to ride his bike during the day when he chooses. I'm getting use to him being here all day and popping in and out. I swear, sometimes he's worse than my kids ever were for running in and out. *smile*

My biggest enjoyment now is listening to audiobooks and cross stitching. As I move through this 69th year of my life, I'm noticing more aches and pains and being still sometimes is just what I need. I do stay mobile, walking and doing what housework I can manage but there are days when being quiet and still are the best for me.

I will end here for today. For my record and hopefully for anyone still following who might like to see, below are some photos from the last year. I'll have more photos and more stories tomorrow. Stay safe, stay well, and know I care.



Thursday, December 6, 2018

October and November 2018

Hello, my bloggy friends. Time for another post and an attempt to get caught up with everything that's been happening. Hopefully, (she says with a wink), I will do better in the future.

Before I start, I want to say "Thank You" to Betsy for the beautiful Christmas card and the sweet sentiment. You are a one of a kind, sweet, caring person, Betsy, and I treasure your friendship highly.

On October 6, the Hubs and I reached 46 years of marriage. I've now officially lived with him for over 2/3 of my life. It seems like a long time but actually, time (most of it, anyway) has sped by. As he often likes to say, we were young and stupid when we got married but we've it work and we're still together and looking forward to as many years as we can have.

Our son, Doug, who lives in Georgia, was bothered by swallowing issues this summer and early fall. As a mother, I was upset and worried with all the possibilities that this might be related to. He had several tests including one where he had to swallow a camera so there could be pictures made of his esophagus to hopefully diagnose the issue. The doctor finally determined that his esophagus muscle at the entrance to his stomach was constricted and wasn't letting food go into his stomach. He was having a really hard time so the decision was made to do an outpatient procedure to either use a balloon to open the muscle or to clip it so it would loosen.

The Hubs and I went down to stay with the kiddos and get them off to school the next day (the day of the procedure). Doug and Trisha had to be at Emory Hospital, in Atlanta, at 6:00 AM. Atlanta traffic is bad at the best of times and horrible, horrible during rush hour. In my opinion, rush hour in Atlanta is from 5 AM to 11 PM. I've never been through the town when the traffic wasn't whizzing left and right or at a complete standstill. Anyway, they didn't have any problems and got there on time. I got the kids up at 6:30 AM and harried them into getting ready for school. The two youngest are pretty easy to wake and get dressed and downstairs, but the oldest (she turned 10 on Monday, Dec 5) doesn't like to get up and is easily distracted. I had to go back upstairs after Eli and Lilly got downstairs and started their breakfast and she wasn't dressed. I finally bugged her enough that she came downstairs dressed but only had a few minutes to get something to eat before a neighbor came to pick them up for school. And Papaw didn't help matters by sitting with her and talking to her about this and that. *Smile*

Doug came home around noon and was fine. However, the procedure didn't go exactly as planned. The balloon size they had to use was smaller than the one they wanted and didn't open things up as well as they thought it should. He got some botox in the muscle and that helped. By Tuesday, he was feeling better and was actually starting to feel food in his stomach. He had been a liquid diet for a few days but when they got to the bottom of his esophagus, he still had food packed there.  Bless his heart, he has had his share of medical issues.

We went down on Sunday with plans to stay until Thursday but by Tuesday, I was having problems getting up and down the stairs. Unlike their last house where the guest room was on the main floor, the guest room in this house is on the second floor with an attached bath. And that means up the stairs to go to bed and then back down to spend the day. I was having excruciating pain in my right lower hip and was in tears Tuesday night by bedtime. Doug and the Hubs had to help me up the stairs. We came home on Wednesday and I went to bed for 2 days. I got an appointment with my orthopedist for the next week. He did ex-rays but said my hip joint was fine. So he did an exam and hit the sore spot immediately. He said I had inflammation in my SI joint which is the joint between your pelvis and your tailbone. I got an injection and by the following Monday, I was doing great.

I have really had a hard time with the dreary cold weather. I've not wanted to leave the house or even get out of bed some days. I've tried to make sure I get up each day but some days don't see me get a shower or even change out of my nightclothes. I am trying very hard to go outside each day even if it's only walking to the mailbox.

I got in touch with a cleaning service through HomeAdvisor and started having my house cleaned once a month. I LOVE IT! I am not able to do a thorough cleaning each week and it was really starting to annoy me that there were little pockets of lint and dust bunnies and that the bathrooms weren't getting cleaned at least once a week. The girl who comes to do the cleaning is a sweetheart and she does a wonderful job. When she leaves, I just walk around and smile because everything is dusted and swept and cleaned! I am very pleased with the cleaning service and I will definitely check out HomeAdvisor for needed jobs again.

We celebrated Thanksgiving on the Saturday after. Everyone was able to come except my son, who was in London for business, and his family. So only two grandsons were here but they were so much fun. I keep a toy box of toys and try to buy some new things through the year and they dug into it as soon as they got here. Dinner was delicious: turkey, dressing, hash brown casserole, green bean casserole, corn, cranberry salad, and homemade Parkerhouse rolls. We bought a roaster oven to do the turkey and, except for burning the vegetables in the bottom of the pan, that went very well. The turkey was moist and well done. Then we sat around and talked and watched the boys play. My daughter and SIL were staying overnight and had gotten a motel room but the boys stayed with us. That's the first time any of the grandkids have stayed overnight with us without their parents around. James did great and Sam (2-1/2) was a little baffled but once he knew his brother was here also and we played some lullabies on my phone, he went right off to sleep and slept all night. He slept with me and James slept with Papaw. I told Abby he was like a agitated octopus, moving all over the place and twisting and turning. I even found him upside down under the covers once. But he was a good sleeper and all was fine. I loved it. I was one tired Mimi on Monday but a very happy one.

 I started on a new Christmas SAL in November. This is Santa's House by Tiny Modernist. It is a really fun stitch and I enjoyed working on it.

The November guardian was this adorable green elephant. I have loved each part of this SAL and with December's guardian (see below), it will be over. 

A new project bag, my first with a vinyl front. I love the dancing fox.

The final installment of Guardians of Notre Dame and with that, the SAL is over. I'm really sad to see this one end. I can honestly say I have enjoyed every stitch and I look forward to getting it framed so I can enjoy seeing it on my wall.

The finished product. LOVE! I jumped ahead into December because I am so proud of this and wanted to show all of you my finished piece. My goodness, this was fun.

Through the end of  November, I have read a total of 81 books getting 20 read in October and November. I have well passed my original goal of 65 books and just might hit 90....or not. Things get busy in December and I don't have as much time to read but maybe 85?? Should I aim for 100 next year or is that stretching too far? I guess it will depend on how my health is and how much traveling I might get to do. Since this post is long already, I won't list all the books I read but did want to tell you about one of them. "The Professor and the Madman" by Simon Winchester is about the compiling of the New Oxford Dictionary and the most prolific contributor to that dictionary. When the decision was made to do a dictionary to include all the know words, and their definitions, of the English language, invitations were published to anyone to contribute. The Professor in the story was the man who worked tirelessly to get as much done as possible in the time frame given. The Madman was an American Army officer who suffered what today is known as PTSD and who killed a man he thought was following him to do him harm. He ended up in a hospital for the criminally insane. His contributions were concise, clear and prolific. It was a really good book and I enjoyed learning about the process to create this monster of a dictionary and the friendship that developed between the two men. I highly recommend it. Betsy, I think your Mr. would enjoy it.

So there we are caught up through November. I send each of you my most heartfelt greetings for the season and my thankfulness for you. Words are hard pressed to tell you how much you all mean to me.


Saturday, November 17, 2018

September 2018

September is starting to become a blur so I might not have much to write. My short term memory isn't as good as it once was but then it never was great. I'll just jump in and see what happens.

This was a finish the first of September. I have a young friend who makes me smile and who has some serious medical issues. It was a very scary time for his family and for those of us who feel like he is family, especially my son. He was my son's best friend in high school and his best man at his wedding. Somehow he has acquired the nickname, "Frog", and I thought this would make him smile. I plan on making it into a small pillow hopefully soon. I'm trying to ignore Mr. Procrastination's tiny whispers of doing it another day. *sigh*

The October Guardian. I can't tell you how much I am enjoying this stitch. I am completely caught up and there's only 1 more for December. This I am definitely getting framed.

I won this in an auction for a stitchy friend's Alzheimer's Fund. It's a clear front vinyl tote and a floss roll. There are 40 individual pockets which hold floss bobbins or skeins all in one place. I'm currently using it on a SAL and it makes it so easy to find the next color. I love it.

The final motif in my youngest grandson's birth sampler. I now need to chart the border and get it finished and framed along with Jellybean's.

This man! He turned 65 in September! We've been together for 47 years and married for 46. I don't know where I would be without him by my side. He does so much for me and is always there when I need him.

The newest SAL I'm participating in. I'm getting in deep in this stitching thing. I don't know how many WIPs I have at the moment but I do know it's way more than I should have.

While I was working in my craft room, I came across this piece. I think I've had it for about 4 years and never started it. It is a full coverage piece and will take a while to do so I've not yet started. Well, I've put in a few stitches but nothing much.

The Quilt Sampler by Carolyn Manning Designs. I have worked quite a bit on this one and I really enjoy the big blocks of color. It's almost mindless stitching and sometimes, that's just what I need.

Even though the last game of the month was a great win, my dear Cubbies didn't make it to the World Series. But that's okay, I still love them and love watching them play. 

As of the end of September, I had read or listened to 62 books. Those books were:  "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by J K Rowland; "The Dry" and "Force of Nature" by Jane Harper; "The Devil in the White City" by Erik Lawson; "I'll Take You There" by Wally Lamb; "Secrets in Death" by J D Robb; "Sleeping Like a Baby" by Charlaine Harris;
"The People vs. Alex Cross" by James Patterson; and "Wicked Appetite" and "Wicked Business" by Janet Evanovich.

That's pretty much the extent of September. Nothing else came to mind while I was writing so I'll just stop here. I'll try to get October up soon and then my plans are to try to write once a month with the happenings. I have been looking back at my past blog posts and I'm happy that I wrote them. They serve as a great diary even if I did miss big chunks of time. 

Thank you for reading my little blog and being my bloggy friend.


Friday, November 2, 2018

5 Months!

What do I say? 5 months and no posts. 5 months of living life and not touching my blog.

Thanks to a gentle push from Betsy (, I'm trying to get back into blogging and will try to catch up the last 5 months.

Where to start? I guess it's best to start in June when I last posted. (If I can remember, HA!)

My summer was fairly quiet. Just the day in-day out happenings in a retired home. My health has been slightly good this summer. Other than a constant pain in my low back, I have not had any problems. I've thankful for my relative good health, even though I'm dealing with RA on a daily basis. I'm currently in remission with my RA, but occasionally, there is pain in my toes and other joints. I'm still dealing with my left shoulder pain. My orthopedist is still letting me wait until I'm ready before pursuing a surgical option. 

August was hot, hot, hot here. I wasn't able to open my windows at all. The heat was miserable and as much as I like fresh air, I just couldn't breathe or function without the air conditioning. We started looking for some kind of overhead protection for our patio about this time. We've lived in this house for 42 years and have never had a roof or shade umbrella on the patio. The back of our house faces southeast and afternoons are nice but even then, with no shade, it's uncomfortable on a concrete patio. There are no trees close to the house because our septic tank and field line are in the back yard and the roots of any trees planted when the house was built (42 years ago) have interfered with them and caused some issues. So no trees close to the house in back.

We decided to purchase a screened in square gazebo and found a good deal on a nice sturdy one at Big Lots. It has zippered screens on all 4 sides with zippered curtains also. The canopy is high and it is a wonderful place to sit and cross stitch or crochet.

Notice all those trees on the neighbor's property. They are no longer there!

There was a "sort of" mobile home park next door to his property and he ended up buying it and started clearing away all the scrub trees and really large trees between. As of today, all the homes are empty except the one at the bottom and he has sold all of them to another fellow who owns a park.
Soon, very soon, they all will be gone and the area will be reclaimed as yard. He spent the whole summer grading, burning, taking down trees and fences and generally, cleaning it all up. The fence you can see in the photo is now gone and for the first time in over 30 years, there is nothing separating his property from ours. Thank goodness, he and his family are wonderful neighbors,

I have been doing a lot of cross stitching and reading this year. I'll post some of my cross stitch photos here through August. If I don't stop with August, this post will be uncomfortably long.

This was a cute little chart included with a project bag order. Sadly it's not finished as I have become easily distracted by "all the things" !

This is August Guardian in the "Guardians of Notre Dame" SAL by Ingleside Imaginarium. I have loved every stitch of this one and I'm working on November now. I can't wait to finish it and have it framed. I'll show you the finished project when it's fully finished.

This little cutie is a Halloween SAL from Tiny Modernist. It is a house with a scene in each room. It's not finished yet either but I continue working on it a little bit as I think about it. There is another SAL for Christmas by the same designer and Oh my, it is adorable. But I'll show you that later.

A start on Farmer's Daughter by Carolyn Manning Designs. It's a very adorable quilt design and I love it, but again, easily distracted by all the things!

This is a SAL (stitch a long) from 2017 by Linens and Threads. It is a type of band sampler and was released one band per month in 2017. There's also one for 2018 which I have started yet. These samplers are free on their web site.

Sadly, my beloved Cubs were not able to make it past the playoffs this year but I'm still a very devoted fan and can't wait for Spring Training in February. My summer was full of baseball and cycling and I was a very happy camper.

On the reading front, I have had a very good year. Being retired has opened me up for a lot of reading and my choice in genres is all over the place. As of today, I have read 74 books this year. I read in both Kindle and paperback versions with the occasional hardback thrown in. I also listen to a huge amount of audiobooks as it is relaxing to sit in the evening and stitch and listen to a book. I'm not much of a TV watcher nowadays but with a ROKU stick, I can pretty much watch on my own schedule when I feel like turning on the set.

The books that were finished in August were: "Last Scene Alive", "Poppy done to Death", and "All the Little Liars" by Charliane Harris; "Tricky Twenty-Two" by Janet Evanovich; "The Long Walk" by Stephen King; "Sometimes I Lie" by Alice Feeney; and "The Brutal Telling" by Louise Penny. All of these were paperbacks with the occasional Kindle and audiobook from the library. I use Tennessee Reads on Overdrive to get books from our library and I love it.

I think that about wraps up June - August. And now I have a reason to come back and post at least 2 more to cover September and October. :)

Thank you for reading my little blog and for being my bloggy friend.