Sunday, October 22, 2023

Week 39-43

No excuses...Just hanging my head in shame....5 weeks since the last posting.  Sorry.

I've been stitching and stitching and stitching....October is the month that brings us Halloween and the true beginning (in my mind) of the Fall season.  I follow several flosstubers and one in particular, Stitching by the Shore - Laura - has her birthday in October.  She started a Stitch-Along (SAL) last year and it continues this year called #PumpkinBirthdaySAL....stitching anything having to do with pumpkins - pictures of pumpkins, pumkin-colored fabric or floss, you get the idea.  Here are my contributions to the SAL 

Playing With Jax using the alternative center pumpkin provided.  I think this one is lovely and it can be used far longer than up to Halloween with the alternate pumpkin center. This one was started in October and finished in October.

Fall Blessings by Lila's Studio.  This is a small stitch, only about 5 inches across and 6 inches tall.  It was a quick one and I started it and finished it this month as well.

Happy Halloween Pumpkin Party by Jardin Prive.  Started this month but I don't think it will be completed this month.  I'm further along on it than this picture shows.  It's quite lovely and a joy to stitch.

I have collected a set of charts by Heart in Hand for a couple of years now.  I want to stitch them all and finally started in on Halloween Tiny Town.  Once I completed it, I put it in the box of To-Be-Totally-Finished items and left it there.  I had cleaned out my fabric stash and decided that the higher counts just were not going to be used by these old eyes and I sent all of that fabric to a lady whose flosstube I follow.  She was so appreciative of the gift, she asked if she could finish a piece of stitching for me.  She's an amazing finisher and I did not hesitate.  Here is my Halloween Tiny Town finished by Helen D.
The basket came from Target and measures about 13 inches across....I just love how she completed the work.  Now I'm inspired to get working on one of the other ones....which one?  Who knows.

I recently took a virtual workshop in machine embroidery called Treats for my Boo.  Since covid, these kinds of classes have become quite popular. I love taking these kinds of workshops since I don't have to take down my machine, transport it to the shop, set it up and do it all backwards again when the class is over.  This event had us making a cat jar topper, a Halloween gift pocket, and a Boo Basket. Here are my projects.
I just love these.  The basket is stitched flat and then folded into itself to become a lovely holder for Halloween candy or decor. 

Enough bragging about my creations.  

I have been suffering hip pain for several years...and it continues to get worse and worse.  I finally decided to do something about it since I have trouble standing, sitting, rising, bending, or walking.  Made an appointment with the orthopedist and last week we were able to schedule a total hip replacement surgery.  On December 11th (or sooner if they get a cancellation) I am getting a new hip.  I am beyond excited! So is John.  They tell me when I wake up from surgery, the pain I've been feeling will be gone and the only discomfort is from the 4-5inch incision of the surgery. No muscles will be cut, only stretched out of the way to allow the removal of the old hip and replacement of the new one.  I will get up from bed that day, dress into my own clothes, and begin walking right away.  Next morning I will be taught the exercises I need to do at home and then released.  No need to physical therapy except the exercises and walking at home.  I can not believe how far surgical procedures have come.  They tell me that healing from hip replacement is quicker and easier than knee surgery.  I had a total knee replaced 6 years ago and, while it wasn't awful, it DID take some time to be considered healed.  And 12 weeks of PT, and lots of pain meds and crying.  I am not anticipating the same thing this time.  Will let you know how we fare once I get home....I can't wait!!!

Thanks for stopping by....Seeya soon.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Week 33-38 No Excuses!

Time sure has flown.  And we've been so stinkin' busy!  Most of August just flew by.  Making sure mom was settling in to her Assisted Living sitation, getting back into our empty nest schedules (we hadn't been out to lunch or dinner by ourselves in several years!).  A new rythym.  

Then, the end of August hit us with a huge sledgehammer - our bank accounts were hacked.  Not just hacked, really HACKED!  Evidently, it is fairly rare for them to be able to get into your bank account.  They normally steal your ATM card number.  They got into MY banking info and compromised not only my and John's checking and savings, but mom's checking and savings as well.  I caught it and called the bank Fraud Dept. just 2 minutes after they caught it.  Our accounts were only available to the thieves for about 9 hours (they got in around midnight) and the bank froze everything right away.  They got about $1000.00 but the bank reimbursed us immediately so we were not out any money at all. That's the upside of this whole thing.  The downside?  Well, our accounts that were hacked are frozen but can not be closed entirely till our direct deposits (retirement and social security) are changed over to new accounts - that takes almost 2 months.  I can not get online to check our new accounts till the old accounts are closed.  So, as the bank told me, "We are your new banking assistants!"  If I need to move money around or pay our mortgage, I need to either call or go into the bank and have them do it for me.  It took us almost a week to notify all our online accounts of the new account numbers for monthly payments.  Retirement deposits will start in October and the Social Security payments will begin in November. In the meantime, banking is a weekly chore! Sigh!!!  I must say, the bank has been amazing.  Sadly, they have one of the largest Fraud Departments in the banking industry. Gladly, they are very good at their job.  We are very fortunate that the only thing we lost was time - time used to change all our accounts. We didn't lose any money.  I thank goodness for John....he was my touchstone in all this. He kept me off the ledge several times.  I just got so mad!!  And, the sad thing is, there was absolutely nothing that we did that allowed them to get was all the luck of the draw for them.  If they would use their incredible knowledge for good, they would be Gazillionaires and work only as hard as they do to steal from folks.  But I guess the intrigue is part of the rush for them. Sigh!!

In other news, Mom is settling into her new digs really well.  I called her one day a few weeks ago and she answered with "I need to call you back, I'm at Bingo".  The next day, she told me she needed to call me back cause she was at Beach Volleyball!  They have a Wii platform at her place and she loves going and watching beach volleyball or bowling!  There is always something going on there - arts & crafts, bingo, exercises in their chairs, a lecture on history or mental health or mermaids, you name it, there is probably a program for it.  She rarely calls me crying cause she's lonely or confused.  I try to see her at least once a week but mostly twice a week.  And I call her every day.  

The weather is finally turning to crisp autumn breezes and fall-colored leaves are on the trees.  Fall is my favorite time of year.  The colors, the temperatures, just the feel of the air makes me happy.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Monday, July 31, 2023

Weeks 29, 30, 31, and maybe 32?

 So many times we try something and it goes wrong....that's the way I feel about regular blogging.  But here I am now and I suppose I should be thankful for that small accomplishment.

The weather here in southwest Missouri is mimicking the rest of the western United States. HOT and miserable!  Our temps are hovering in the near 100's with humidity in the 90% range.  Thank goodness for air conditioners that work. I can't imagine not having it.  We are heading into August and more heat....but the end is in sight. September starts our cooling down and then we get to my favorite season of all - Autumn!  

John and I celebrated 50 years of marriage on July 21st. We were so young. I was 20 and John was 21.  I recall someone asking me at our reception where I thought we'd be in 5 years and my answer was, "I have no idea...can't even think a year in the future." And look at us now....50 years! 

 We decided since we have no family or friends who live close, we would have a quiet day. We went to the movies and would have gone on to an early dinner but for me having an attack of vertigo when we came out of the hour later we were in the car and heading home. I've never been so dizzy in my life.  We spent the rest of the evening watching TV and taking it easy.  Still and all, a lovely,  celebration for 50 years of working on a marriage that was worth it to us.  I've always said that young folk just don't understand that marriage should be forever....both of the partners need to commit and work hard to make it successful.  Some marriages aren't meant to last but most can!  Ok...I am stepping down off my soapbox now.

I had my cataract surgeries last month and my followup exam last week.  I am able to drive without lenses but they gave me a prescription for distance driving to 'clarify' the far off images.  And I am able to read and cross stitch with just 'cheater' glasses.  I was able to purchase 6 pairs of 2.0 magnifiers from Amazon for 10.00.  I put one in the living room by my chair, one in the bathroom, one next to the bed, one in the kitchen, one in my purse and one in my car.  I already had a pair in the studio.  So am good for being able to see anything I need to do.  

I took a workshop on Saturday for machine embroidery.  Had already made both of the projects several months before but it was a wonderful opportunity to get together with several friends and stitch and talk.  Living so far out in the country, it's sometimes hard to have friends. But the ones I've made since moving here are wonderful and I'm blessed to have them.

I am also thankful for you, dear readers, for sticking with my less-than-prompt blogging.  You really are appreciated.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Week 27 & 28

Today we here in the United States celebrate the 4th of July, also known as Independence Day.

It's a day for celebration, fireworks, and food!  John and I have invited our neighbor over for BBQ ribs, hamburgers, potato salad, jello with shaved carrots, and triple berry cobbler.  Our neighbor is bringing fresh bread to the table.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate our country's 247th birthday.

Our kitty, Skipper, has been in the hospital for 5 days.  He was sneezing and listless on Thurday afternoon and by Saturday, he had no interest in food.  That was a big Red Flag for us.  We got him in to the vet and they asked if we could leave him so they could fit him in between other patients.  Of course, we said yes.  They called later that day and said he had a raging infection and would need to be hospitalized with an IV is Tuesday and he is still there.  They believe he will be able to come home tomorrow.  Evidently, he probably was bitten by a tick (in spite of his monthly tick meds) and that tick caused the infection.  He is one sick kitty!  Thank goodness we noticed it when we did...I don't think he would have survived over the weekend if we hadn't.  

I had my second cataract surgery last week.  Again, there was no pain at all either during or after.  I can't wear my previous glasses prescription cause my distance vision is almost perfect now.  I can watch TV or drive or walk around the house without blurred vision.  In order to read, however, I need some help.  We invested in some "cheaters" at Walmart and they are perfect for reading or stitching.  I have an appointment to have my eyes checked at the 4 week post-surgery mark...I suspect they will want to give me a reading glasses script.  Instead of that, we have talked about getting more 'cheaters' and placing them around the house whereever I might be reading....I can get 6 pairs of readers at 2.0 magnification for about $14.00....that's a whole lot less than a prescription pair of glasses.  I have not seen my face in over 50 years without glasses...not sure if I can stand that!  I'm not vain...I know what I look like...but it's a shock to look in the mirror and not see glasses framing my eyes.  

Mom is adjusting so well at her new digs...I am so proud of the progress she's made.  She goes to workshops and lectures and really seems to be settling in.  I worried about her just sitting in her apartment and hibernating since she is so afraid of people but she has made the effort and started to make some friends.  She sits with a group of ladies at meal times and seems really happy.  John and I went over there yesterday and hung all her pictures for's really starting to look like home to her. 

I have been able to stitch a bit this past weekend. I worked on and finished a design by Barbara Ana called Lemon Cat. 
This measures out at about 5" by 7"...such a fun and easy project.  I started another design of hers called Blue Dreams...will post that when I get more done. 

Well, folks, I have run out of things to say.  I will have more for you next time. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by.


Friday, June 23, 2023

Catching Up - Weeks 22-26

 Argh!  I always heard the saying about time flying by but now I understand it.  It seems I just posted the previous blog and here it is - 4 weeks later. I'm not even going to try to justify it.  

Mom has moved into an assisted living community.  It was a very difficult decision on my part - while she doesn't require a ton of help in normal day-to-day living, she is suffering from a senior dementia that John and I are no longer capable of coping with or helping her maneuver thru life.  Fortunately, I had the luxury of plenty of time to find just the perfect place for her - one that will nurture her and help her live a truly dignified and fulfilled life.  We made the final move a couple of days ago and I spent her first night with her in her new apartment.  We arranged her furniture almost exactly as her furniture was here at our house.  She has so many staff to watch out for her and encourage her to become a part of the cummunity.  Her neighbor across the hall made her acquaintance that first day and there were several ladies in the dining room who went out of their way to welcome her.  Given that she is a total introvert and terrified of strangers, this will be hard for her to transition.  But so far, she has begun to weave a new life and I couldn't be happier.  I talked to her this morning and she called me this afternoon to let me know she had gone to the Friday movies and was resting before going on to dinner.  Fingers crossed she will continue to be happy and make friends.

Today was the first day in a very long time that it was just me and Mr. Wonderful in the house. I must admit, it was very strange not to have the 'noise' of another person.  We chatted over coffee and then went to run a couple of errands.  Came home to put groceries away and chatted some more.  Tonight we might even watch a movie - one that we had gotten a while ago but knew mom would not enjoy so we didn't include it in our regular Saturday Nite Movie Night.  

I saw this meme and thought my reader friends might enjoy it.

This is exactly what reading feels like to me...I can go anywhere, anytime, with anyone I choose.  

I had cataract surgery last week.  They did my worst eye - the left one - and I had my one week checkup yesterday.  Evidently, the healing is progressing apace and they are going to do the right eye next Thursday.  I have to say, the anticipation of the procedure was far worse than the procedure itself.  No pain and it took less than 15 minutes.  I am truly looking forward to next Thursday and subsequently to return of my eyesight.  Colors are by far very intense and bright.  Currently, everything is a bit blurry  because my glasses work well for my right eye but my vision in the left eye is far different than the prescription in the lenses.  I will hopefully only need reading lenses once everything is done and healed.  I've worn glasses since I was 18 years old and can not imagine seeing my face without those frames and only needing readers occasionally.  For that reason, I am probably going to get glasses (using some former frames) that have reading in the lower portion and clear glass for distance.  Then I can use regular sunglasses when out in the sun.  

With having the procedures on my eyes, I've not been able to cross stitch.  I can perhaps see well enough but I don't trust my sight enough to stitch and then find out when everything is clear that I've made mistakes and need to rip it all out and start again. For that reason, I'm sticking with sock-knitting for the next few weeks.  I've got some great stitch-alongs going and it's worrisome that I can't keep up with the clues coming out each week on them.  But it's better to be behind than to have to unstitch and restitch cause I didn't count well enough the first time.

Hey, thank you for sticking with me.  Hope to have some pictures of stitching next time.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Week 19, 20, & 21

Thanks for sticking to me, folks...I know I've not been consistent in posting and I just don't know how to change it....I really appreciate folks coming back to check on us!

I've spent the last few weeks stitching and sewing and embroidering...just keeping busy.  I've got a project in the works that is taking all my patience and making me nuts but it has to be done and I'm hoping to have it complete by the end of June - more later but I just can't talk about it right now.

I finally completed this little berry that was started late last summer.  It's the Fall Berry from Erica Michaels.  Berries are quite fun to stitch and pretty easy to finish.

I heard this poem while watching a BBC show about celebritie's grandparents who served in WWII.  For some reason, the poem resonated with me.  I'm not really a poetry kind of person - it doesn't make a lot of sense to me when I read it. But this one made me appreciate that there is never not someone who loves me....never not someone who values me. Never not someone who is glad I was put on this earth.  Pretty powerful stuff, eh?
Annual Cross Stitch Camp starts on June 1st.  I completed my camp badge for this year (bottom right corner) and put it on my camp project bag.  The first challenge is to stitch something with a bird on it.  John chose the Quilting Bird from Heart in Hands design.
And here are my fabric and floss choices.  I can't start this until June 1st and have till June 30th to complete it...not a problem.  That fabric is only 9 inches square and my stitched motif will end up being only 3.5 by 5 inches in total.

July's challenge is to stitch something that pictures something that grows (flowers, trees, etc.)  I've got a couple of ideas for that project...but no firm decisions yet. August is to pick something new to me - a fabric, a designer, a floss....that is also going to be a challenge.  And new designers for me are all huge charts that I have absolutely no chance of finishing during the month of August.  So I will keep looking and come up with something. 

I have no pictures of this next tidbit for you...I was too busy helping John herd cows.  Last week John was in the kitchen preparing dinner and I heard him say, "Oh, No!" I asked him what was wrong and he said, "the cows are all out!"  I jumped up and looked out the window of the studio and, yes, all 4 of them were outside the gate and happily munching on grass between the barn and the house.  Not anyone who knows me will be amazed at what happened next!  I jumped up and ran out the front door with only my slippers on my feet...I managed to get down to near where the cows were while John was in the barn getting a bucket of grain to entice them back into the field.  Mama Belle and her daughter Babette are pure chowhounds and as soon as they saw John with a bucket, they knew exactly what that meant and began to follow him back into the Onyx just followed her Mama Babette without really understanding what was going on.  That left 6 month old Cinder still munching grass with no interest in that feed bucket - she is still nursing and only now learning about grazing on grass...that green grass was mighty tasty to our girl!  Cinder may be only 6 mnoths old, but she must weigh close to 600 pounds and is quite large when standing near her.  There was no way I would be able to get close enough and just grab her ear and lead her back into the field like an obstreporous toddler.  She shied away every time I got anywhere near her.  I remembered one time hearing John telling someone that the best way to 'herd' cows was to 'get big' - so I raised my arms up high and got as big as I could, walking slowly toward her. John, meanwhile has come out of the field - having put the loose ones into the corral and shut that gate so they couldn't follow him out again.  Cinder took one look at me and ran into an area past the gate opening but not into the field.  John moved the gate to the other side of the field so it looked like a wall opened up and began moving toward her while I moved toward her from the other side...she finally spied that opening and ran into the field to get away from us two arm-waving humans...I ran over and shut that darned gate!  John let the other cows out of the corral and I came back into the house and had a good panic attack.  I am not a country girl....cows and gates and chickens and stuff like that just isn't in my make-up.  But I helped John get those big (they are BIG up close!) cows back into the field and then I yelled at him cause he went into the field earlier and forgot to lock the gate!  The more I thought about it, the more proud I was of myself.  But, I do NOT want to have to do that again, thank you very much!

We are leaving a week from tomorrow for a quick trip to Utah for our granddaughter's high school graduation.  My brother is flying out here from Arizona to take care of the cows, chickens, dogs, cat and Mom!  He offered and we took him up on it. I don't think he really understands what he's getting into.  Fortunately, we are only gone for 5 days so he won't be on his own for long.

Thanks for stopping by! More next time.


Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Week 17 & 18

 I suppose once every 2 weeks is much better than every so often!  I can live with the guilt of not getting to the blog every week if that's what I need to do.  

Have been working on a Stitch-Along (SAL) for a couple of months.  This is the British Isles Adventure SAL from Caterpillar Cross Stitch.  Each month, on the 26th, we get some more motifs to add.  This last week we got part 4 - off to Ireland we go.  I've changed a couple of motifs and added some of my own.  Above the rugby ball I've put a Yellow Submarine to represent Liverpool's most famous export - the Beatles.  To the right of the London bus and below Buckingham Palace, I've stitched the White Cliffs of Dover.  Obviously they don't show on this picture.  You can look for them the next time I post a picture of this one. 

A quick stitch...and it made me smile when it was done!

My first sampler....Red Cardinals from Owl Forest Embroidery.  This fit quite nicely in an 8x10 frame.  I think the next one I will do from this designer is her 100 Owls chart...

A tiny Lily of the Valley Easter Egg from a Ukrainian designer...I may finish this as a card, or maybe just scrapbook it.  A fun and quick stitch.

Weather here is slowly getting to normal temperatures for the season. We have clear skies, and temperatures in the 70 to 75 degree range. No rain predicted till later this week and even then it isn't expected to amount to much.

Thank you for stopping by.