Jul 28, 2014

Changing directions

Good morning.  It's raining.  And chilly.  Except for very few warm days, this summer has been more like spring.  We may reach a record low tonight in the 40's.  Sweatshirts in July!
I adjusted Eszter's sampler and then decided to do the floral.  I may end up burning it if the finishing frustrates me and I would much rather set flame to a floral than a sampler.   The linen -what a bitch.  Very little of the design was completed and I had to remove it THREE times.  I really wish all my old pieces were clearly marked for count and color but they aren't.  The warp and weft on this large piece are two very different thicknesses in some spots and that's screwing with my eyes.  But the big pain is the count.  I need 30 or 32 for the design to fit properly and this looked like 32 so I tested on the edge.
Sixteen stitches for 32 count and it was 15 to the inch.  Good.  For the test, I didn't pay attention to the linen direction but when I cut the piece and started stitching, I did.  The selvage on the left.  Why was it looking short?  This is why.
Stitching the proper way was 17 stitches to the inch, not what I had planned or expected.  Big difference between 34? and 30 count when a certain size is needed.  The test area did not have any thick threads pushing the count so I thought it would be more accurate.  After realizing the problem, I went to an area of even threads and tested in my stitching direction, still 17.  I'm not starting over....or am I?  I could add stitches to the stems to extend the design and since this is a prototype for a finish, I think that's what I will do.  It shouldn't look out of proportion but I won't know for sure until I remove all the flowers and start the stems again.  Might be quicker to start over?  Either way, I'm not having fun.
Thank you for the well wishes on my fat knees.  The left is improving, the right much better.  Today I put on my waist high 40 compression stocking because my leg, ankle and foot were swelling terribly.  I had to put a piece of muslin beneath the brace so the velcro doesn't snag the stocking.  Never had knee problems so this all of a sudden gotcha buckling is a real shock. 
The sun was shining yesterday between the rain and I got a snap of the Squeak and Budman.  I'm getting to the point where I can stroke his back so by fall, I will probably be able to grab him.  Much prefer having him enter the carrier for food than trying to get him into it.  Either way, snip snip Squeaker.  Look at that belly on Bud.  When I see Missy, Nit, or Squeak coming, I put food out for them and Bud always intervenes and takes it, so I have to have a little dish for him.  I think I will try to get him into the house when they are eating but he's pretty strong and ornery too.
My sister stopped over and looked at my cupboards.  She looked puzzled and I knew what was coming next.  "Did you sand them and not paint the final coat?  Are these done?  You're not leaving them like this are you?".  Yes O Smart Ass I am.  "I can see why you didn't want to buy new cupboards.  You would have ruined them to look like this?"  This is the same person that asked why I would deliberately stain my stitching and not clean those gourds.  But I thanked her for this...

She follows many Weight Watcher recipes.  Her treat is one slice of bread (torn), 1/2 cup fat free milk, 1 egg, and 1 Tbsp sugar.  She uses that little Stone Wave cooker (she loves it) and in 4 minutes it's done.  I used 8 slices, 2 1/2 cups fat free milk, 5 eggs, 5 Tbsp sugar, 2 drops of vanilla, light sprinkling of cinnamon and one tiny shake of nutmeg in the milk.  Since I make several dishes that need only a hint of pure vanilla, I use an eyedropper.  375 for a half hour in a 7x12 dish.  Fabulous.  See those little sesame seeds?  The bread we use is this..
Wal-mat carries it and yes it is airy and light as all light breads are, but it's good.  And for PB&J and especially the bread pudding, very good.  So if you're a bread lover like me (I don't like the sour wheats) and crave the pudding, using this and fat free milk is a blessing when watching calories.  I used to make one with brioche and a quart of cream, but no more.  Don't even have the recipe any longer. 
Have a great start to your week.
Thanks for visiting.

Jul 26, 2014

Here's what I'm thinking

Good day to you all.   I've decided to not start Sally until all the Velcro straps and loops are no longer part of my lap.  The brace comes mid-thigh and that size of linen would certainly be catching.
 For quite some time these little coin purses have been hanging around my supplies (JoAnn's and most craft stores). The frames can be purchased separately which would probably be the proper way to go, but these are cheap, fully lined, and the wimp's method.  All I have to do is stitch a design, hand sew it to the edges of the black fabric, or use a fusible to attach a small design leaving the black as a margin, or sew the side pouches straight for a square design.  This is the 6" x 5" size and it also came in red, I'm still searching for the khaki. 
 The free sampler from Eszter at sub-rosa ( design is here) is one of my favorite smalls and I think I can adapt it to fit.  I just love her designs and she offers so many really nice free charts.  Click on FREE in the label listing and also view her designs for purchase in the left column.  There is a translation button at the top and you need to email her for information.  For some reason, my computer gives me so much trouble and her pages take forever to load, then crash, then load, and then freeze.  But I persist!
I have another older free design from Gentle Arts that would also fit nicely with just a few extra stitches added to the center stem for height.  I would of course, much prefer the sampler and I think I'll sit outside with graph paper and see what I can do.  It would work as is on a higher count linen and sewing the pouch into a square, but we'll see.  I may change my mind and start something else.  My neck is really stiff and sore so stitching may not be very comfortable right now.  I need to stop at Pat Catan's - my local craft store - to see if they can order the khaki for me.  I'm not crazy about the shiny silver metal but even the individual frames are shiny and nice.  They would be easy to spray paint but I doubt it would stay on the clasp once it is opened and closed a few times.  I'll put up with the silver because the rest is assembled, but I'll also try sanding the metal and rubbing on a little paint to dull it.
That's it.  Ready to chew a few more Advil.  They laughed at me in the hospital about not being able to swallow pills. 
Squeak is still looking better and Budman is getting way too heavy.  Like his momma.  Instead of making several trips to the freezer for the chocolate and struggling on the stairs, I brought all of them up.  Was that sheer stupidity or what?
Enjoy your weekend - stay safe.
Thanks for visiting!

Jul 25, 2014

Nothing stops the tears quicker than

making a fool of yourself, and a face plant.   Thanks to all of you that shared your heartbreaking and sometimes uplifting pet stories.  With all the water loss from tears, I expected to drop a pound or two, but those damn frozen Easter chocolates may have replaced the water loss.  It all started when I went into the woods to our private little burial ground to make sure Baby wasn't disturbed by other critters.  And also because I'm a morbid idiot that can't stop crying once I start.  St. Judes' children started it all.  Anyway, on went my ugly green mud boots to the knee to prevent poison ivy and the brier scratches.  Unfortunately, one of them got caught under a downed limb and I went flying, face plant style, into the patch of leaves and ivy.  Except for a large bruise on my shin, I was fine.  Just annoyed at the crows - I swear that caw caw changed to haw haw.  Although my face was smeared with mascara, dirt, and tears, I stupidly walked down to the road crew that was motioning for me to come talk.  They were probably saying "let's see what that wacko wild woman is doing".  I don't have to remind you of the red boot incident and others, and thought I could explain to them about the boots and the face plant, a relatively common occurrence for being in the woods.  What I forgot about and didn't explain, was the fact that when I am painting, I wear my clothes inside out to prevent paint stains.   It was a brief conversation, and on my way back into the house, I reached into my pocket for a clean tissue.  Well guess what?  My pockets weren't there.  My shorts were on inside out with large white lined pockets hanging on the outside, and care instruction tags were flapping from my top.  They love coming down my road.  It gives them something to chuckle about for quite a while.
So move on to the evening and a visit to Sears to check the range we ordered.  My husband is a slow walker and I can outdistance him by a mile in the same amount of time.  I move baby.  My Crocs stuck to the granite floor and face plant #2. 
This time, I replicated an uncoordinated SuperMan move.  Not pretty.  Both my knees hit that granite first and took all the weight with the upper body landing on my shopping bag.  I broke my new Polarized glasses, and never felt pain like that before.  Well, the colonoscopy that I insisted on having without sedation may take the #1 spot.  Three very young good looking men stood there and said "you OK lady?"  Just what you want to see while sprawled on the floor moaning.   My mid back and neck were miserable but no where near the knee pain.  My overprotective husband was scared but eventually, I got up and tried to walk.  It was no SuperMan walk.  I asked if Sears insurance would cover any medical bills or tests IF I decided I needed them.  Well, sorry, no.  Really?  If someone falls on my property I have to pay their medical bills don't I?  Ice ice ice and Advil, but this morning, my knee had three fleshy golf balls and I could put no weight on that leg at all.  ER visit confirmed - yep, that's a lot of swelling!  No breaks, but I need to see an orthopedic for possible tendon or cartilage damage.  I'm hoping the damage is minimal and will not require any surgery.  That would stop the laughing for sure.  I can't help it. I keep laughing about it every time I picture myself airborne between the stoves.  So my leg has an immobilizer brace and I have a cane, chewing Advils.  The doc said it wasn't funny.  I said "you weren't there".  I told you before that I'm weird - I doubt many people laugh about a painful injury. And it does hurt.  Going down the stairs into the basement to retrieve the remaining chocolate is no picnic but worth the suffer.  After the ER we went to McD's for coffee.  Mark opened the door for me and I dropped the cane and assumed the Superman pose.  He cracked up.  It's not that I am forgetting about Baby, but sometimes, laughter is the best medicine. 
p.s. Just got a call from Sears about an injury report so they will take care of it I'm sure.

Jul 23, 2014


Thank you to everyone that offered to help with expenses and for your support and advice.  I am so touched by your caring and compassion. The Humane Society called this afternoon and set us up with another vet that would see him tomorrow to assess the baby, and do whatever would be best for him.  He purred and climbed my t-shirt, touching my face with those little paws, and took a little baby food from my finger.  He wanted to be in the house and held, unlike our other ferals, which had me puzzled.  I think he was part of a litter from a pet, not a stray, and they dumped the kittens when they thought they could survive on their own.  As with all idiots, they were wrong.  This evening, around 9 pm, he passed.  The baby is gone. 
And I will be too for a while.
Thank you all again so very much.
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A baby on my doorstep

Hi.  Not a good day.  I've been seeing the St. Jude commercials which tear my heart out and have been boo-hooing a lot lately.  Well I'm really bawling now.  I came home this morning and went to the back to feed the deer before entering the house.  I looked at my patio door, and there was Budman lying on one side of the door, Nitzy on the other, and I kept looking and looking at what was between them.  Was there a fight that left a pile of hair?  No.  It was this.
A kitten that hasn't been weaned, is sneezing, coughing, and has eyes filled with pus, and a body filled with fleas.  Not good.  He is crying constantly, trying to curl up (or nurse) from the two boys and I am afraid they will hurt him.  So far they are hissing and swatting.  I called the shelter, they won't take him because he has a respiratory illness, and is not weaned. I have never once had an agency or even our shelter, take a stray, injured, or sick animal for me.  I called three other agencies and for one reason or another, will not take him.  I called the vet for euthanizing and they won't do it without an "exam" of $50 first and then the injection is $150.  Another will not treat unweaned kittens.  I know agencies are full, lack help, and certainly lack funds to help everyone, but I get so disgusted. 
 I don't know how much longer he will last, but we'll do everything we can to keep him comfortable.  I gave him baby food mixed with water but he didn't know what to do, he drank a little Catsip, but he kept choking or coughing.  We will do what we can for him and end his suffering if need be.  Yes I am an animal lover, but over the years I've had to accept that I can't save them all.  As selfish as it may be, I do not want to take in such a baby and try to treat him (if I can even find a vet that would) only to lose him anyway.  Nor do I want another cat with neighbors threatening to poison.  I hope his litter mates are not suffering.  He is so tiny.  But I am glad he ended up here so he won't be alone.

Jul 22, 2014

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