Saturday, June 30, 2007

On Medical Leave

I'm turning off all my Yahoo lists mail tomorrow evening, as I have a very busy July ahead. I've got my brother and his family coming July 12th and staying about a week. Then on July 20, I'm scheduled for pre-op for eye surgery, scheduled for July 27th. I just had a little nothing-of-a-procedure done, and I am enjoying some relief from long-suffered dry eye due to Sjogren's Syndrome, secondary to lupus. This wonderful young man, to whom I'm convinced God directed me plugged my tear ducts with permanent silicone plugs, and though it isn't perfection, it's cut down on my need for the 25-30 apps of expensive artificial tears a day and ointment at night. It has cut everything by more than half, and I'm much more comfortable. I tried Restasis several times, but it burned so badly, I was worse than before.

As an indirect result of my eye problems over the last 20 years, my eyelids have gradually drooped (ptosis) to the point where it's cutting off nearly 50% of my vision. I recently went through some nerve wracking testing to prove to the insurance company that this is corrective, not cosmetic surgery. I'm getting very anxious about this, as I must be awake for the surgeon to direct me on eye movements as he cuts away a good chunk of skin on each eye and adjusting muscles. I'm hoping it's in order to sedate because I'm very sensitive and prone to panic attacks during such procedures. They're going to have to bring on the valium unless they wanna see a wild and crazy blind woman with her big butt (hope I don't have to wear one of those gowns---they're humiliating, and I need a plus size) exposed, running out of the OR. Not a pretty sight!

At any rate, Monday, I'm throwing myself into cleaning this pit top to bottom before my brother comes. His wife is a Martha Stewart wannabe, and since I've been so sick, (also just diagnosed with diabetes, or did I already post that?), depressed, and lethargic, only the necessities have been done around here. Neither DH nor I are allergic, or the dust and cat hair would have killed us both. However, I may kill myself cleaning it. I've already written a plan of attack for each day. I think I'd rather just go ahead and die on day 1.

There will be 2-3 days after surgery that the swelling could be so bad that I won't be able to see much, and I'll be sporting shiners for at least a couple of weeks. I just hope that after a couple of days, I can stitch and/or read. TV doesn't sound like much of an option. I can no longer use my stitching stand (for over a year now because my lids have dropped that much), so I can at least look down to stitch in my lap. I'm hoping that I'll be back in fine form by the middle of August, and with just the two of us, my house will still look decent if I have to stay in while recuperating. I'll burn my candles with the tables waxed and shiny. Even if I can't see 'em, I'll smell 'em. My mom & dad plan to help me while DH is gone away with his job (just 3 days a week), and I have many other family members in town, plus my two best friends in my neighborhood who are always there for me.

I actually have been stitching, so tomorrow, I'll post my WIPs here. If I get any time at all next month, or if I'm able in early August, I'll try to post any progress, but the fine tuning of my blog is going to have to wait. I still haven't found my error in HTML in the blog I was working from. I miss it. I don't like the new Blogger widget restrictions. I'm a whisper away from ditching Blogger and switching to Wordpress.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, my dear friends!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Temporary Blog Now Open

I just switched my template to this standard Blogger one so I could back into the blogging. I need to get around to visiting my friends who blog and comment, but I'm still tearing away at my other one. I guess this will do for now ;-)

I thought I was so smart making up my blog as I went along, using HTML, and all I did was create a nightmare. I don't give up easily. I won't be satisfied till I'm satisfied.

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

When you start a new work do you look for something small, do you look for another huge project or do you consider your UFOs? Submitted by Kathryn.

If I'm being really good, I consider a UFO. If I'm feeling carefree and don't really care, I consider a small project. If I'm throwing caution to the wind and feeling masochistic, I consider a BAP.

Monday, June 18, 2007

You Gotta Wanna Read...

a blog awfully bad to read one like this. I don't know what the hell happened, but I was just adding things, and the posts broke off and fell down. Reminds me of what happened to me on my bike yesterday. I'm all boogered up today and sore as the dickens. I guess my blog was having sympathy pains. I've worked on it till I'm about to bawl, so it's time to quit.

I've Been Sick....

which is why I had abandoned my blog and everything else. But things are starting to come together now, and I'm ready to get back to normal (for me, that is). I won't bore you with the details, except to say that the future is looking better.

I took scans and pix of things I've done a bit of during my illness, but I've spent so much time answering the SBQs since mid April and trying to catch up somewhat with emails, I'm not quite ready to show my wares.

Since Yahoo Albums is closing, I'm also working on a site on Multiply, which seems to be a neat place to have, and I'm not yet even completely finished with the new look of my blog. Lots to be done, but it's nice to feel up to the challenge for a change. I want to get around to see what you've all been up to yourself. Looking forward to it!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Catching Up With SBQs From Way Back

Are you on "The Wagon?" If so, how long have you been on and how"serious" are you about it? If not, have you considered it? Submitted by Danielle for April 19.

Not even a thought of it and never have had. I felt a little selfish when everyone was doing the 10-50 project challenge, but I talked myself out of it quickly. I have enough stress in my life not to enjoy new stash.

How many WIPs do you have? How many UFOs do you have? When does a WIP become a UFO? Submitted by Kathryn for May 2.

At the moment, I have 4 WIPs. I would have to count my UFOs, but I would say in the neighborhood of 25ish. A WIP becomes a UFO when you pretend you never started it.

How do you choose a project for an exchange? Do you pick solely on what you know of the taste of the recipient or are there other reasons you pick the piece you do? Submitted by Ish for May 10.

I usually try to consider the recipient's likes; also time constraints, as I'm a slow stitcher. If I choose a small design, I try to make up for it with XS gadgets I know any stitcher would enjoy having.

If you could only stitch one more piece what would it be and why? Submitted by Jules for May 16.

I would stitch Chatelaine's "Convent Herbal Garden," which has been languishing in its kitted bag, beautifully hand-wrapped, looking like eye candy, by European XS, for several years. The reason I would choose this one is because I paid too #### much money for it to just sit there.

How many needles do you use during a project? Have you ever loaded up a needle for every color? Do you use a new needle for every project or recycle your favorite needle? Submitted by Kathryn for May 30.

I usually use just one needle per project because, for the most part, I do simple projects with not many colors; however, I do have several of those Lo-Ran thread organizers loaded with threaded needles for complicated designs with tons of color changes. I believe they've been hexed, though, because none of those projects have ever been finished. I know stitchers throw away their needles after finishing a project, but the only time I throw one away is if it's done for. I've always been frugal about little things (stash is a big thing though---forget the frugality), like when I worked for a bank and we had to wear pantyhose. If I got a run in one leg, I'd cut off that leg, and drag out one that had a run in the other leg and wear two panty parts. It gives a little extra stomach support too.

What has been your most challenging project and why? Submitted by Ish for June 6.

Paula Vaughans's "A Little Girl's Fancy." I was down to the last hours and had entered it in the National Counted Cross Stitch Show at Rockome Gardens. I had won a 2nd place ribbon and prizes the year before, and I knew that my PV piece was not up to standard. It made me a nervous wreck trying to finish in time, and I wasn't happy with the results. I didn't place that year, although it hangs in my guest room and gets tons of compliments. Non-stitchers don't know if stitches are twisted. That is a "good thing," as Martha would say.

Finally---the last one: How do you store your WIPs and other projects that you have kitted up? Submitted by Jennifer for June 14.

I keep each one in those mesh zipper bags. I have several of each size made, and I love their strength.