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.

Hugs,
Sharon

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 (http://betsy-thesimplelifeofaqueen.blogspot.com/), 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.

Hugs,
Sharon





Friday, June 1, 2018

The Craziness Continues

Hello, all my bloggy friends! It's been another wild and crazy time for me. A birthday party, finally, for Sam. Everyone was well and happy and Sam enjoyed his party time very much. This little fella loves Minnie Mouse so Abby themed the party around Mickey and Minnie. He played with everyone and was just a bundle of love.


The cake was a pound cake with a Mickey Mouse shape in the center. Very good cake! I was curious as to how Abby got it inside the cake. When she explained, it made total sense. My daughter loves Pinterest and gets some really great ideas from there.

Health wise, I've been doing okay. I've been really tired and sleepy for a while but I think I've just gotten run down dealing with allergies and such. My sister and her family came to visit on Sunday, 5/20 and I was able to give Emalee her graduation card and see all of them before they left on their Paris trip. I am horribly afraid of flying so I'll never see Paris, but I can visit through their photos and through the Tour de France in July.

While they were here, I was having trouble with my jaw and left eye. I had a swollen place on my upper left gum and thought that was what was going on. Luckily, I had a dental appointment on Tuesday. But I noticed Sunday afternoon that my eyelid and mouth on the left was drooping. I can tell you that was a scare but I realized that I didn't show any signs of a stroke other than the drooping. I still thought it was the swelling on my gum and that there was probably infection there.

I saw the dentist on Tuesday and the first thing he said when he looked at me was, "Bell's Palsy". He examined the swelling on my gum and took exrays and just my luck, I have a wisdom tooth trying to push it's way in. 67 and cutting a wisdom tooth!!! Anyway, he advised me to go to my primary doctor and he even called the office and demanded that they see me right away. I have a long history with this man. I've know him since he was in high school and was dating my boss's daughter and working summers at the food distribution company where I worked.

I saw my primary about 2 hours later and she confirmed his diagnosis and put me on an antibiotic, an anti viral and a steriod for 7 days. She also said to be sure to use artificial tears often during the day because the affected eye could not blink, or close for that matter. I stood in front of the mirror on Wednesday and tried to smile, totally lopsided, raise my eyebrows, nope, blink my eye, nope. It was weird. But since I'm a lot on the crazy side, I found the humor and laughed at myself. I had a lot of trouble using my mouthwash since the left side of my mouth wouldn't co-operate and sprayed everything on the counter. I learned quickly to lean over and swish, as best I could, so any spray went directly into the sink. Drinking was an adventure. I couldn't drink out of a glass without a straw which had to be in the far right corner of my mouth or nothing happened. I could drink out of a water bottle and a soda bottle, carefully. I have given myself several baths this week.

As of today, I am pretty much back to normal or as normal as I can be. All the effects of the palsy have gone away. Luckily, it was caught quickly and treated. I've read that sometimes it can take six months for everything to get back to normal. I am very thankful to Dr. Mike for jumping on this quickly. I thought you might enjoy one of my pics during this time.



I posted this on Instagram with the title - "Aaarrgh, mateys!"

It was hard to cross stitch during this time so I did a lot of reading and listening to books. I'm now at 31 books on the year. I'm still working through Deborah Crombie's Kincaid and Jones series. I think I'm up to #12. I'm also working through Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series and have read through #4. Currently I'm reading The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe and also, The Other Widow by Susan Crawford. I can read 2 or 3 books at the same time and not get lost. My Mom use to marvel at that. She said she did well to keep up with 1 book. :)  But I've always had at least 2 books going. I use to keep one in the car when the kids were in school and involved in all different things. I almost always had to wait when I picked them up from something so I read while waiting. And I had one at home to read when things quietened down at night. I listened to The Third Gate by Lincoln Child and finished it in 4 days. It was really good.  I don't have anything audio at the moment. Everything I want at the library is on a wait list. I borrow ebooks and audios from my local library through Tennessee Reads and it has been a very welcome addition to my reading.

I'm still working on Sam's birth sampler along with a few other pieces. I've totally gone from a monogamous stitcher to doing several projects at a time. There are so many beautiful things out there to stitch and I want to do them ALL! And I'm easily sidetracked and procrastinate very often. I finished this T Rex on the sampler on Sunday.



The pattern I used didn't have teeth or the front claws so I had to do some adapting. Even though this is for Sam, James, the resident dinosaur expert, would have pointed out that I messed up!!

Well, that's about it for now. I hope everything has saved. Blogger keeps giving me a message that there was an error in saving, so fingers crossed I'm going to publish.

Thank you, as always, for reading my blog and being my friend. I love you all!

Hugs,
Sharon

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