Saturday, June 1, 2013


Wow, eight months and no updates, well we have had a crazy eight months since I last blogged with lots of changes in our little corner of the world. We celebrated our oldest son's 25th birthday back in late October. That was a bit sobering to think of him being a quarter century old. I still have visions of him as my little guy running around the house and singing songs in his high pitched voice which has long ago been traded in for a deep manly one. We decided to have a special cake made for the occasion.

A. J. did find it very humorous. Not sure what happened to the number 5 candle. He made sure to get photos of his cake with his phone and was showing them off at work. :) 

November brought huge changes for our family. My husband and son A.J. were both laid off from work so we have really had to pull together as a family and learn how to get by with less. It has been a very difficult time living on unemployment however that too has run out but thankfully Joe (due to all his serious health issues) has finally qualified for Social Security Disability. So now my husband is officially retired and we are learning how to adjust to the two of us always being at home together. This has really been huge for both of us. We are starting to get used to it though. :)  Joe had another medical emergency with congestive heart failure again back in February and was later diagnosed with stage three renal disease. He just had a  recent check up with the endocrinologist and things look good and stable right now, thankful for that. He also recently went through surgery for a ventral hernia (abdomen) and came through that just fine. This was his second hernia operation in just 4 years. 

As for me and all those issues with my knee after the fall I had in April 2011, well we finally had to get an mri and found that I have degenerative bone disease but I seem to be doing okay. Since the job loss, we also lost our insurance which is humbling so I am at the mercy of a medical clinic now for all my medical needs. Again, lots of life changes for us. I am learning to live with high blood pressure. We are having a little trouble getting mine down to a stable consistency. Mine is doing something really weird. It drops when I stand up causing dizziness and balance issues. We have no clue why it is doing this nor how to get it to stop. It does not do this every time I stand up but when it does, it almost knocks me out. I am hoping the new doctor I have can get this resolved and hopefully soon. The biggest thing for me has to be learning to avoid that salt shaker. I really miss it on my hard boiled eggs. :( The doc got me started on the "Dash" diet and I said good bye to eleven pounds so far. I am very happy about that and hope to keep those off and send more packing with them. LOL! Last night I was in the grocery store and had serious wardrobe malfunctions with my new jeans. They kept sliding down. I had to keep one hand holding on to them the whole time I was in the store. They used to fit better when I first bought them. Time to get to the sewing machine and alter stuff. 

Among our changes, my youngest son Jared started working for a grocery store near us. This is his first official employment. He seems to enjoy working and we are very proud of him. He looks so handsome in his store uniform shirt. :)

We lost a beloved family member last December just days before Christmas. Our 16 year old Siamese cat Sophie passed over the rainbow bridge. This was so hard for my family. Sophie will always have a special place in all of our hearts. 

It is weird the way the other animals have adjusted to her passing. Our youngest cat, Zelda a solid white rescue used to be very aloof but now she has become my constant companion of her own free will. Maybe she senses how grieved loosing Sophie has made me and she is trying to console me. Who knows for sure. All I can say is that she is never very far from where I am sitting and has developed a very loud purr. She is a very whimsical sort of cat, always looking for ways to grab my attention by getting into the things she knows she is not allowed to touch. She cracks me up. She and the dog get along really well together. 

I celebrated my 48th birthday in January. I am still adjusting to that number "48." I am not sure why this one is anymore different then the others. Maybe it is because I see 50 quickly approaching. I am in a few yahoo email groups and in one of them we have this cool little birthday club. Basically those that signed up for the club all send small gifts to each other on our birthdays. It was so much fun getting little goodies in the mail! These are the goodies I received on my birthday.

Now that the weather is so nice and warm outside I am challenging myself to sit outside in the fresh air and sunlight at least 15 minutes every morning and another 15 every evening. I used to live to be outdoors but over the years I have really become stuck indoors all the time. I am trying to change that and have found that I am craving those moments when I can sit outside in the peacefulness of nature. I feel healthier inside just from doing this every day. I strongly encourage everyone to do this for themselves. I have also decided to do some container gardening this year. I used to have three large garden beds in my back yard but the trees have really taken over the yard to where there just is not enough sunlight back there anymore. I hope my container veggies will do okay. The big issue right now is to keep this one very large fat squirrel out of the containers. I am slowly turning into Bill Murray from "Caddyshack" when it comes to chasing after this critter. This morning I had to re-plant a young tomato plant because the screwy squirrel had dug it up and tossed it to the side of the container. ARGH!!!!! 

I think this about catches up on all the changes over the last eight months. I did manage to work from my stash and create a few crafting projects and work some of my ongoing projects. So without further delay... on to the craft photos. :)

This is a beanie hat I designed and knitted for my son A.J.

This ornie is cross-stitched from the Just Cross stitch yearly ornament magazine. I designed and tatted the red lace used for hanging it. I also dyed the linen fabric. It is 32 count stitched 1 over 1. 

This is a cell know necklace I designed and crocheted. I have been mulling over the idea of making them to sell on 

Two more crochet cell phone pouch necklaces that I designed. 

These are two little felt Santa ornies from a kit I got from Herrschner's. Fun little projects. 

I am really pleased with the progress that I have made on this Heaven and Earth Design called Mini Fairy Book. I love the wild colors in this piece. 
The round magnet needle holder to the left was a birthday gift from my friend Kay Cahall. I love it!

Knit socks for Jared. Yup, those are his feet too. :)

Le Grand Marquoir. I love this piece! This is page one of multiple pages. I am working it on 25 count working one over one. 

 More progress on the puff stitch granny squares afghan. This is nice and thick and warm so will not be worked on again until next fall. 

And more progress on Sistine Chapel. 

I love this cute little ornie. The cross-stitch design is Tree Farm by Little House Needleworks and the lace trim is my own hand shuttle tatting. I made it for an ornament exchange. The recipient really seemed to like it. :)

And lastly, this is my most recent finish. I hand embroidered this pillowcase and shuttle tatted the lace edge trim using a pattern from one of Georgia Seitz books. I am really pleased with the way it turned out. I still need to embroider the mate to it. 

Here is a close up of the tatted lace. 

Well this does it for this update. I hope you joyed seeing all the photos of my various projects and catching up with all the recent changes in our lives. Take care my friends. :)