Saturday, May 12, 2018

I am so sorry

Dear Sue (of The Cottage at the End of the Lane):

I am so sorry.

I'm sending you lots of hugs, love, and caring thoughts.

Hugs,
Sharon


Monday, April 30, 2018

Holy Handbells, Batman

The title is the first thing I thought of when I saw how long it has been since I posted. Time has just passed me by when I wasn't looking. My mind is like a sieve these days and I have a lot of trouble remembering what happened yesterday, much less what happened 3 months ago. :)

I had a birthday in February turning 67. My age really doesn't bother me most of the time but every once in a while, I think, I'm 67......when did that happen? I've finally gotten my blood pressure back under control. This necessitated a change in medication and there was a period of adjustment, but I'm finally back on track and my levels are looking good.

My RA seems to be under control except in my hands and feet, but the pain is more a dull ache and I can tolerate that. However my left shoulder, which is completely shot and is a candidate for a replacement, is starting to bother me quiet a bit. I haven't reach the point of intolerance yet but I am slowly moving toward that. Shoulder surgeries, whether rotator or replacement or whatever, are a pain in the butt. And the therapy, oh my, the therapy. I've had rotator cuff repair on both my shoulders and had both my knees replaced. The therapy for the knees is a piece of cake but the shoulder is nothing but downright pain. My orthopedist says I'll know when it's time so until then, I'm muddling though.

James turned 5 in February and this happened:


He registered for kindergarten in April and Abby sent me this photo. I looked at the year and realized that I will be 80!!!! when he graduates. I can't even fathom being that age. I just hope I'm still around to see him graduate even if it have to use one of those electric scooters!  HA!

Sam turned 2 on April 23. He is growing into a loving, very active little guy. He's jabbering constantly and I'm actually able to understand most of what he says. He eats almost everything and eats with relish. Abby says he's like a Hobbit. He has meals all day long. We were going down last Saturday, 4/28, for his party but the poor little fellow got sick on Thursday.  He tested negative for strep but his throat was sore and swollen and he didn't want to eat much. Abby postponed the party until this Saturday, May 5.  James got sick on Saturday with much the same thing. I had been joking with Abby that I was going to quit coming to James' parties in February because I have ended up sick after them for two years now. Hopefully, both boys will be 100% on Saturday and we can all have a great time.

What have I been reading?  A lot!! So far this year, I've read 24 books. That includes ones on my Kindle, library ebooks, Audible audio books and library audio books. I really enjoy listening to books while I cross stitch or crochet, especially at night. I use Overdrive to borrow books from the library and have downloaded their app, Libby, to use. I have to say, I wasn't pleased with the quality of the audio books on just the Overdrive but with Libby, they are crystal clear and I'm a happy camper.

I'm working my way through Deborah Crombie's Kincaid and James series. I'm on book 12 and I really enjoy these books. They are about a Scotland Yard Chief Inspector and his sergeant. At this point, Gemma is now a lead inspector at another station and she and Kincaid are living together with her son and his son, both from previous marriages. They aren't married but I see that happening soon. The mysteries are really well written. If you enjoy detective mysteries, I thing you would enjoy this series.

I just finished "Rocket Men" by Robert Kurson in audio book form:

Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon 

This was an excellent book. It's the story of Apollo 8 and the race to the moon with Russia. The astronauts on Apollo 8 didn't land on the moon but they did go to the moon and orbit it, gathering vital information for the the moon landing of Apollo 11 seven months later. One of the reasons I so enjoyed this book was that I was a senior in high school during this time in 1968 and 1969. A lot of the events that happened that year are still just as fresh in my mind as if they just happened. That was an amazing year. I found myself nodding my head as the reader talked about the Vietnam War, the demonstrations during the Democratic Convention, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr and Robert Kennedy. I even laughed out loud when he talked about the astronauts being invited to the White House for a formal state dinner with then President Lyndon B Johnson. The astronauts were in quarantine to avoid getting sick before or during the flight and the medical doctors had vetoed the dinner. President Johnson insisted and they were allowed to go. You need to understand that "Hong Kong" flu was very rampant in December of 1968. My mother was terribly sick at the time and Dad and I finally convinced her to go to the doctor. She told the doctor she thought she had "Hong Kong" flu and he told her she would be over it in about 7 months. She was pregnant with my sister! That still causes me to chuckle. 

I'm also reading Louise Penny's series about Inspector Gamache and the small Canadian town of Three Pines. This series is excellent and I thoroughly enjoy each book. I've read through book #3 so far.

As far as crafting, I finished Eddie's blanket and mailed it to him. He was very pleased and said he cherishes it because it's the only handmade thing he owns and because it's so very warm.



I am very pleased that he is so happy with it. 

I'm back to cross stitching now. I saw a pattern on a FlossTube video and I really, really wanted it. The Hubs and I went to Pigeon Forge for the day in early March and I was able to find it at Dixie Darlin', an LNS there. There is no longer one here in Morristown so I have to travel or order online. I do a lot of ordering online but sometimes, I just want to see and touch and ooh and aah. I finished this but still have to get it framed:

The lady who owned the LNS here in Morristown called me in mid March and asked if I would like some fabric and things left over from the shop. She said she hadn't managed to sell all the inventory she had left over after the final sale in the shop and she brought me two huge plastic totes, one filled with fabric and the other with odds and ends and a little more fabric. I've been like a kid in a candy store. I shouldn't ever have to buy fabric again unless I want a specific piece.


That's all Aida in the counts of (going left to right) 14, 16, 18 and opalescent. The pieces on the arm of the sofa are small cuts of random sizes. I use Aida exclusively. I've never tried linen but I'm happy with my Aida. I was just blown away.

This post has really gotten long. If you are still reading, thank you. I have one final photo to show you. I'm trying very hard to finish Sam's birth sampler. James was 4 when I finished his and it still isn't framed. Sam is now 2 and I would like to get it finished and both of them framed by the end of summer. I have struggled with the animals I want to put on it. I want it to be different from James' but somewhat the same. But I did finish this cute little giraffe Saturday night.


If I disappear for another 3 months, it's because I'm working hard to get this finished. I'll post photos of both of them when they are finished and framed.

Thank you, my bloggy friends, for stopping by and for commenting. I am so happy to have you in my life.

Hugs,
Sharon

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.

Hugs,
Sharon

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.

Hugs,
Sharon




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.

Hugs,
Sharon

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.

Hugs,
Sharon

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.

Hugs,
Sharon