Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Bit of This, A Bit of That, and 7 in 7!

First of all I want to welcome my new followers!  So glad to have you here!  A warm welcome to my returning followers as well   : )   

I thank everyone who commented on my last post concerning my husband's beyond successful weight loss.  I have started calling him Skeletor.  
I decided that my negligible weight loss ... which upon my last step onto the scale revealed I had gained 3 pounds overnight ... was "missing something" & that something was the jump start program I usually do before starting a diet.  The jump start is a very strict diet which allows me to eat only so many ounces of chicken or fish, so many ounces of certain veges & fruits, & nothing else other than water & tea.  It's not fun but it gets results & once you start losing you continue to do so when you move yourself onto the low carb/food combining program. I would start that strict diet now except for the fact that for some reason it affects your blood test results & I have 2 big testing times ahead of me, one of which is this coming Thursday & the next which will be sometime in October.  Therefore I decided over the weekend to bake a cake, open a box of meringue cookies, & eat anything else I wanted until the testing is over.  Hooray for me   : )

This past week was fraught with busyness.  I met with a prosthodontist last Tuesday to give me an opinion of my dentist's work.  It was a disappointing visit.  He barely looked in my mouth & then told me that it takes a while to get used to new dental work like bridges & crowns & that all my symptoms should be gone soon.  I should give it till the end of November.  When I told him that I have had bridges placed before & never had a time of getting used to them, he told me "Well, you're older now."  Thankfully I have an appointment with another prosthodontist in a couple weeks.

I spent Wednesday copying & arranging medical records & filling out forms to take with me to see an endocrinologist on Thursday.  The visit with the endocrinologist was like a trip to heaven!  She was wonderful!  She spent a lot of time with me, asked me lots of questions, took notes, examined me, & then listened patiently while I asked her some questions.  She never once made me feel like I was holding her back from something more important, nor did she say anything about me having to pay a $250 administrative fee or tell me that she refused to take insurance   : )   When she ordered some blood tests for me they were done right there in the office!  I didn't have to take the order & then go to my local hospital!  She even gave me free samples of a new medication to try!  She confirmed that the blood tests ordered by my current doctor do indeed show ta strong possibility of lupus & that I should definitely see a rheumatologist for further testing.  I asked her if she could refer me to someone & she said "sure" & did so right on the spot!  I would switch my care over to this doctor in a heartbeat but unfortunately she does not treat the pituitary problem that I have.  She said there are 2 doctors in Louisville who focus on this problem & after she gets my blood testing results back from her own office this week she will refer me to one of them.  She said I can then decide if I want one of those doctors to care for me or break up the care between them & her.

I was lucky with the rheumatologist in that they had just had a cancellation before I called so I was able to get an appointment this week, on Thursday!  Oh happy day   : )

Now for some fun stuff   : )   Last Sunday I decided to stitch an ornament.  I was finished with it by Monday & so I decided to start another.  I finished that one & then Tuesday started another.  I then thought to myself "I wonder if I could possibly stitch one ornament a day for 7 days?"  I decided to give it a try & I succeeded!  

Remember I mentioned last week sitting down & looking through my past JCS Ornament issues?  These 2 ornaments are from 2 of those issues   : )   (The following photos show the ornaments randomly.  They are not in the order in which they were stitched.)
Two of the ornaments below are likewise from past JCS Ornament issues.  The one in the center is a With Thy Needle & Thread design called Woodland Frosty.  It looks like a simple stitch & I guess it is but I hated every minute of it.  It is stitched using 2 threads over 1 on a loosely woven fabric called Fine Ariosa.  I love the design (it is finished in the shape of a snowman) & I am going to try stitching it again but this time with my own choice of fabric, floss strands, & thread count.
And these next 2 ornaments are from my beloved Stacy Nash   : )   They are simply called Homespun Stocking & Mitten Ornaments & if you haven't already guessed, they are finished into the shapes of stockings & mittens.  I loved stitching these, especially since Stacy blessedly did not add any French knots   : )   I will definitely stitch more of these!  The pattern called for using 28-count but I decided to try them using osnaburg & I really like the result.
After reaching my goal I promised myself that I would tackle those specialty stitches on the exchange piece I mentioned a while back.  Eyelet & Smyrna & Rhodes ... oh my! That is what I will be attempting to do today ... after I have a piece of cake   : )   Afterward I will need to make the exchange piece into something although I admit to wondering if my partner would like to receive it as part of a "Finish It Yourself" kit   : )   I don't think my usual pillow-type finish will do it justice so I'd better get out the Xanax before sitting down with this one!

Before I end this blog post I will share a few photos with you of my friend June who stopped by to visit me last week all the way from the UK!

I was quite surprised to look out the window & see her at my butterfly bush!  She didn't stay for very long.  In fact, she didn't even come inside or say hello!  She just gorged herself on nectar & then off she went, back home I'm guessing.  Even though she didn't come inside or even acknowledge my existence, it was nice spending some time with her & I hope she stops by again   : )

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Trying to lose weight can be very frustrating. I have not announced it to the world but tomorrow I will have been on a weight loss program for exactly one month.  My clothes had become a little too snug.  To put it nicely, I was getting a bit pudgy.

I began a low carb diet along with a food combining program.  This type of diet has always been very successful for me resulting in the weight dropping off almost like leaves falling off trees in the autumn.  No sugars. This means not only no cookies, candies, cakes, & pies ... it also means no regular bread, no crackers, no potatoes, no corn, no carrots, & no white rice, among other things. I can eat eggs & meats & cheeses & vegetables not mentioned above.  I can eat fruits.  I can eat whole grain Ezekiel breads. I don't mix grains with proteins & I eat fruit only an hour before or after a protein or grain meal.  I do not eat past 6 o'clock at night.  I do not eat huge portions.  I drink nothing but tea & water.        

My husband decided that he needed to lose some weight as well so he started watching his food intake in his own exasperating man way.  Instead of drinking 4 huge bottles of Pepsi each day he has been drinking only 2. He eats stuff like cheese & crackers, meatloaf sandwiches, roast beef sandwiches, mashed potatoes, fried chicken sandwiches, Frosted Flakes, pumpkin shaped cookies with orange sugar sprinkled on them, & great big fat cinnamon rolls.  He does not snack throughout the day but he often has a snack late at night ... after 11 p.m.  He doesn't exercise at all.

My weight does not want to come off this time around.  It appears to have attached itself to my body with a death grip. However, almost every morning my husband comes out of the bathroom with this great big stupid grin on his face which, quite frankly, I want to slap off with every ounce of strength I have left in me.  Whereas he has wandered around the house & around the town for many a year wearing pants without belts with his t-shirts draped over them, he now wears his t-shirts tucked in with a belt on his pants.  Anyway, he comes out of the bathroom, big stupid grin, t-shirt tucked into his belted pants, & brightly says "Good morning!"  This is what he did again this morning & I knew immediately that he had lost more weight.  He gets on the scale every morning & almost every morning he comes out here with that big stupid grin.  

Now ... keep in mind that this morning I got on the scale & it said I had gained 3 pounds. 3 pounds since yesterday.  3 pounds in a 24-hour period.  Yesterday my entire food intake included an egg, a piece of cheese, 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread, a handful of nuts, a slice of meatloaf, & a few cups of tea/water. John ate a big plate of cheese & crackers, a big fat honkin' cinnamon roll about the size of a saucer, another big plate of cheese & crackers, & the aforementioned 2 big bottles of Pepsi.  He gets on the scale this morning & it tells him he's lost a pound.  

Over the past month this man has lost about 20 pounds.  He's looking good & has more energy, God bless him, & I'm happy for him!  I really am!  But if he doesn't stop coming out here every morning with that big stupid grin on his face I'm going to end up having to eat whatever the state determines that the warden can feed me.  

I wonder if I will be able to blog/stitch while in prison?  The Happily Incarcerated Stitcher.  It has a certain ring to it. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Poll - Please Participate - Dates & Initials On Cross Stitched Items

I'm using the photo of the magazine below as a visual aid   : )   If you look closely, on the right lower half of the cover you will see 2 ornaments.  One is a partridge with the date 2005 stitched in red.  The other is just to the left of the partridge, a little cabin which reads Christmas & then the date 2005.  
I could not find a sample of an ornament with an initial on it but of course it would look something like this (note the stitched B in the bottom right corner).
My question is ... how do you feel about ornaments that have your initial stitched on them &/or a date?  I personally don't mind them but I'm always over thinking things & I wonder if there are people who might prefer stitched items without initials or dates?  

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to sit & look through my back issues of JCS Ornaments.  I did.  I found a lot of really nice ornaments but some were dated or had an initial or both.  Of course for some reason no one provides a chart in case you want to change the initial or the date. Unless you find another alphabet/number design somewhere or come up with something on your own, your only choice is to stitch the date &/or initial or leave them off.  This is neither here nor there though I guess.  I am simply asking how do you feel about ornaments that have your initial stitched on them &/or a date?

And speaking of JCS Ornaments issues, I found quite a few ornaments that I want to make during yesterday's browsing time.  No surprise there   : )   I am missing a couple issues so went in search of them on eBay.  I have none from before 2002.  I'd like to get the 2000, 2001, & 2003 issues & I did find a 2003 & made a bid on it.  No issues currently for 2001.  However, there's a 2000 issue that someone is selling as a Buy It Now for $29.99! She has got to be kidding!  I'll wait for another one to pop up one of these days at a more reasonable price   : )

Incidentally, have you noticed my Christmas countdown thingie on my sidebar?  Isn't it exciting!  Almost less than 90 days till Christmas!!!   

I'm A Winner!!!

I just found out that I am the second place winner in a contest sponsored by Grit on her blog, Grit's Life!!!  Grit is one of those blessed individuals who I think can do any craft & do it beautifully.  She also does everything very quickly!  Could she be keeping those little elves & fairies that I always hope will visit me too busy to make the trip?  Maybe   : )  Anyway, she had a contest on her blog to win some of her bobbin lace hearts.  The first place winner would receive 3, second place 2, & third place 1.  As I said, I was second place & here are the 2 hearts I won!

The contest required entrants to guess the number of pins it took to make that heart on the left.  Since I have made bobbin lace before I had a bit of an advantage & guessed 300 pins.  I wasn't far off ... it actually took 291 pins   : )   

If you want to drool over beautiful things ... & lots of them ... you may want to pay a visit to Grit's blog.  She does beautiful quilting & cross stitch.  Absolutely gorgeous!  For all you dog lovers, Grit has 2 of the most beautiful dogs I have ever seen.  They are White Swiss Shepherds.  

As I mentioned above, bobbin lace is something I used to do.  You can see some of my work (click here) ... & 2 photos of me in action, a rarity as you all know (click here). I did all this bobbin lace work when we lived in North Dakota.  True to form, I sold everything a few years later during one of my "I can't do everything" phases & then a couple years after that scampered like crazy to replenish it all.  Some things were OOAK & therefore lost to me forever but I was able to still purchase from suppliers maybe 90% of what I had sold.  I haven't done bobbin lace for many years now & sometimes I think I should sell everything again.  However, I can't bring myself to do it. It's a truly wonderful craft with a very interesting history which feeds my history buff soul   : )   I've been selling a book on Amazon every now & then as I've decided that there is only a certain type of lace I really want to do.  Yes, there are many different types of lace associated with various countries.  I admire them all but English & Russian tape laces have always been my favorites   : )

Today is starting out great for me with a win!  I hope this day will be a winner for all of you   : )  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Stitching & Birding & Medical/Dental Stuff

I can't believe I haven't posted since Monday but this should give you a bit of an idea of what this week has been like for me.  Not that I really have much to complain about compared to some, but oy!

First off, I have yet to be able to find a prosthodontist who will give me their opinion of my bridge & whistling problems.  I contact an office, state that I need a second opinion as to why I'm having these problems, & I never get a call back.  I've tried prosthodontists in both Lexington & Louisville. I'm wondering if I'm going to have to start searching in surrounding states next! Monday is another day ... I will try again.

On Tuesday I had my appointment with my doctor who as you may recall had me get almost a page full of blood tests last month. They revealed a few puzzles.  These puzzles, along with the symptoms I've been putting up with for what seems like forever, can all be linked to one positive finding.  Lupus.  And here's where things "go Kentucky."  My doctor wants me to see a rheumatologist for further testing & diagnosing of the lupus.  She states that it is very important I see someone as soon as possible.  She also states that she can't provide me with a referral but I should be able to just call & make an appointment with someone myself.  I spent 2 days calling rheumatology offices in Lexington & Louisville.  None of them will see me without a referral.  I explained to one of them that my doctor says she cannot give referrals ... something about insurance issues (she does not accept insurance).   The receptionist I spoke with said that's silly ... insurance has nothing to do with it.  They just need her to fax them a referral form in order to see me.  I made note of this & went on with my phone calls.  I found another office & when I explained that my doctor does not give referrals the receptionist (Barb) told me they don't need a doctor to do a referral, a nurse would suffice.  This sweet person even gave me her direct line for someone at my doctor's office to call her to request the form.  Don't you just love it when someone goes out of their way like that to help you?  There's a special place prepared for that women in heaven. Anyway, I informed my doctor's office of this & you know what they said?  They told me that this receptionist was wrong, what she said wasn't true, that it has to be a doctor.  It boggles the mind, doesn't it?  Needless to say, I am not very happy with my doctor. She is supposed to be "the best."  When I told my cardiologist that I was seeing her, he talked about her as if she walked on water.  I really like her determination to find out what's causing the problems a patient is having ... not just hand them a prescription to take away the symptoms & leave it at that ... but she also totally ignores me at times when I ask her about symptoms I'm having, there's this insurance thing, & her office charges have gone through the roof recently.  Once again she doesn't accept insurance so I have to pay out of pocket & then try to get reimbursed from my insurance companies & that's a whole other trip to hell.  This year she instituted a new policy.  You have to pay an "office administrative fee" at the beginning of each year ... $250.  This fee is supposed to cover letters she may need to write, copies of records when they are requested,  & give you the privilege of her answering questions over the phone (with the nurse as the go-between).  Isn't this all normal business practices?  I had a doctor request my records a while back & was told that if any other doctors requested them I'd have to pay for them ... $1.00 per page. Anyway, on Monday I'll be calling rheumatology offices again.  I think I'll call Barb & let her know why she didn't receive a call from my doctor's office as I'm sure she was expecting it.  Sigh!

I tackled more insurance headaches.  Enough said about that.

Yesterday I woke up after sleeping 8 hours & I was totally exhausted.  I felt achy & very weak, my stomach hurt, I felt kind of barfy, & I was hot/cold.  After being up for an hour I went back to bed & slept another 4 hours. Then I got up, had 2 pieces of dry toast, & went back to bed for another 2 hours. Later on I had another 2 pieces of dry toast, a cup of tea, & went to bed at 9 p.m.  I slept 10 hours straight through to this morning.  I'm still not feeling quite up to par but definitely better than yesterday.

Throughout the week I was able to do some stitching.  I worked on HE's Merrie Birdies pattern which shocked me a bit when I started it.  I had kitted this up with the pattern & linen only, cutting the linen in a 9-1/2" square which nicely fits my Q-Snap when stitching 1 ornament.  However, I didn't realize that these bird ornaments were not the normal size.  The design area is only about 2" x 2-1/2".  I actually was able to fit 4 of them onto the piece of  linen I had prepared.  I had to stitch them without the Q-Snap or any other kind of hoop ... not something I'm comfortable with but it worked. They are not quite finished yet. There is supposed to be a wreath hanging around the cardinal's neck & some holly berries on the holly on the crows ... all made of French knots (AAAHHHHHHH!!!!!) ... but I haven't decided if I'm going to attempt these again or just use beads.  Beads would lend themselves well to these ornaments, I think, since they are not extremely prim.  As you can see, I had room for an extra birdie so I stitched the crow twice.  I really enjoyed stitching these & they worked up quite quickly!

And speaking of birdies, we put up the feeder earlier in the week.  We put it up in the fall so the birds will have something to eat during the cold months, & then when spring comes around we take it down so they will hopefully eat all the bugs in the yard instead.  The birds have been having a great time.  Not all the varieties are here yet but the mourning doves are having a field day!  One day I looked outside & was able to count 17 of them & then had to give up ... there were just too many to keep track! Yesterday John was able to count 29 before he had to stop!  They are ground feeders so they pay no attention to the feeders, but it's funny ... some of them will congregate right underneath the feeder because seeds drop onto the ground there when other birds are eating.  In fact, there are 2 birds in particular that are a hoot.  They are house finches & I don't know if they are searching for particular seeds or just helping out their mourning dove friends but they will perch on the feeder & just pick out seeds & drop them on the ground!  

The mourning doves are such sweet tempered birds.  I couldn't get a picture of all of them as I had to take these from the french doors.  All the windows have screens on them which are not good for picture taking.  Sometimes they sit on the electric wires out back & wait for us to toss out more seeds.  Here are a few of them doing just that.
And there you have it ... a recap of my week. I have not yet started the specialty stitches needed on my exchange piece.  I will attempt those when I'm feeling better.  Today I plan to start another kitted item.  When I kit things, I usually just prepare the fabric & put it & the pattern into a baggie.  The ones I have kitted in this way now are all LHN ornaments.  I think that sometime today I might also go through all my JCS Ornaments issues & see if anything calls to me.  I got the 2012 issue on Tuesday while we in Lexington for my doctor appointment & I must say that I was a bit disappointed in this year's offerings.  I don't know why exactly.  Perhaps on second inspection I will find more of interest to me   : )

I hope you all have a great weekend!  I extend a warm welcome to all my new followers & send special thanks to all my regulars   : )    

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Hidden Dangers of Cross Stitching

For the past few weeks I have been working on a proposal to give to my congressional representative which he can then present to Congress for a vote.  This proposal would address an issue that we all know is important to me.  Warning labels on cross stitch charts.

Here's my argument.  The name of the craft is cross stitching.  It lulls you in.  Cross stitching!  Whats a delightful craft this must be!  You have a little piece of fabric filled with evenly spaced holes.  You thread a needle & maneuver it through the holes to make perfect little x-shaped stitches until a lovely design appears.  You give it a try & realize that even a baboon could do it! You're hooked!

You begin accumulating cross stitch charts. You find them at shops that advertise cross stitch supplies & you find them at various craft stores.  They are always found grouped in a section that is marked or referred to as the "cross stitch section."  If you go into a store & simply ask "where are your needlework charts," the owner will respond "what kind of needlework?"  You will answer "cross stitch" & she will smile brightly, point & say "our cross stitch charts are right over there!"

You browse through the charts.  Oh look ... a chart featuring several lovely Christmas ornament designs!  And here's a chart for a pinkeep ... isn't it wonderful!  You choose your charts & gleefully carry them to the checkout counter.

When you get home, you choose one of the charts, choose your fabric, choose your threads, & anticipate the enjoyable, relaxing time ahead of you.  The photo of the stitching model looks lovely!  It & the accompanying chart may be a tad small, & your vision may not be what it should be, but that's no problem.  You have a daylight magnifying lamp.

You begin to stitch.  You are happily stitching one x after another.  Then you notice something questionable about the chart.  Specks of dirt?  Sloppy work at the printing factory?  You look closer & out of the corner of your eye you see a sentence, lost in the assemblage of instructions provided below the chart, which reads something like this ... "Use 2 strands of floss for french knots." WHAT?!?!?!?  Your are supposed to be working a cross stitch design!!!  CROSS STITCH!!!  The happy moments you experienced up to that point immediately disappear & are replaced with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.

It's a cruel joke, I tell you ... a cruel joke played on unsuspecting cross stitchers everywhere!  This should not be allowed to continue & thus my proposal to my congressional representative.

Thankfully I have not quite finished writing my proposal for this weekend I discovered yet another evil deception perpetrated by one of the so-called cross stitch designers &/or their chosen publisher.  Specialty stitches. There I was, all snuggled down in my recliner for a weekend of stitching bliss.  It was, after all, IHSW!  I needed this weekend ... a weekend free from stress & anxiety.  There was a bit of a concern before the weekend began. The chart I had chosen to stitch, sure to result in a lovely project destined for an exchange partner, suggested using overdyed/variegated threads.  I'm a DMC lover & usually opt for the DMC equivalents provided for these threads, but this time I decided to toss off the shackles of routine & use the threads the designer suggested.  I stitched one stitch at a time, not my usual way of stitching & believe you me I won't be doing it again anytime soon ... if ever ... but I plodded along feeling pretty smug that I was going to all this trouble for my exchange partner, imagining the look of delight dancing in her eyes & the wide smile upon her face when she opened her parcel & saw the gorgeous piece of stitching I had made for her.

My time of serenity ended abruptly, however. There loomed before me some spaces between a few lines of the design.  They appeared, for a reason which in my opinion can only be termed blatant deception, somewhat lighter in ink color compared to the rest of the chart.  I put the chart underneath my daylight magnifying light & was gripped with terror when I saw the following:

Smyrna Stitch - Use 2 strands of floss.
Rhodes Stitch - Use 2 strands of floss.
Eyelet Stitch - Use 2 strands of floss.

A happy stitching experience gone to hell thanks to the evil trickery of the designer/publishing company.  I checked the front of the chart.  Absolutely nothing stated there indicating the inclusion of specialty stitches.  The chart cover photo showed the model far enough away that these areas just looked like a group of regular cross stitches.  The chart was purchased from an online cross stitch shop, listed underneath the tab marked Cross Stitch.  

Foul, I say!  Foul!!!  This treachery must end, & it must end now!  These smug designers &/or publishing companies cannot be allowed to continue to operate like this.  If a cross stitch designer feels the inexplicable need to include french knots or specialty stitches in her designs & still call them cross stitch designs, not making it known in big, bold letters that these knots/stitches are included in the design, then we must take it upon ourselves to demand change.  I propose that warning label stickers ... great big ones ... be immediately affixed to all so-called cross stitch charts boldly stating "WARNING!  SPECIALTY STITCHES AND/OR FRENCH KNOTS INCLUDED IN THIS DESIGN!" That's all it would take ... a simple warning label ... to end this reign of chicanery.

This is all I'm asking.

Friday, September 14, 2012

It's IHSW Time Again ... & A Blog Recommendation

Happy happy day ... the start of IHSW!!!  I have been waiting for this for a whole month ... lol!  Things have been a bit stressful around here lately so I plan to plant myself in my stitching chair & stitch myself silly this entire weekend with hopefully minimal breaks to cook, eat, & visit the bathroom.  I will be finishing an exchange piece so you won't see a photo of that for a while, but I hope to make a good start on ... & maybe even finish ... another piece or two.  I am nothing if not optimistic   : )

I really need a restful weekend not only because of my ongoing dental & insurance nightmares but yesterday I decided to dig up weeds ... again ... in the foundation beds.  I keep digging them up & spraying them with death spray but they keep returning to mock me.  Every time I do this (I spent 4 hellish sweaty hours on it yesterday) I come inside ... make that hobble inside ... feeling like a gang of thugs took me into an alley & beat me with baseball bats.  It always serves to remind me of why I want to sell this place & move somewhere else.  One of the reasons anyway ... & a darn good one says my bones!

If you have a few minutes I invite you to visit a really nice stitching blog ... In Stitches. Dawn is a very sweet lady who does marvelous stitching & has an adorable pup named Chloe   : ) 

I wish you all a very good day & all my stitching followers a very good IHSW!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Making One Stitch At A Time

This is the way I usually stitch.

Across & then back.  (This is not my photo by the way.  I lifted it from the internet but there is no indication of whose it is so my apologies to whomever that may be.)

Stitching this way has always worked well for me.  However, I'm going to be using some variegated threads & I have been informed previously that I need to use these making one stitch at a time.  I get the concept & the "why" behind this but I am a bit confused concerning big blocks of things.  You know how much I love big blocks of things. Examples:  A big side of a barn, a big expanse of lawn, or a big cookie with pink icing.  (Sorry about that cookie thing ... I've been dieting for 2 weeks & I am hallucinating cookies everywhere!)  

On these big blocks of things, do I cross stitch my way, one at a time, from left to right, & then drop down to the next row & cross stitch the opposite way, one at a time, right to to left?  Or let's assume my worst nightmare has come true & I need to have small unstitched areas or small areas stitched with a different color thread in the middle of the big block.  What then?  Stitch one section one stitch at a time, skip over & stitch another section that way, & continue to the blessed end?

This is a little sampler I'm making someone for yet another exchange & thankfully the letters are stitched with a solid color of DMC so I can get started on those right away, but I do ask your help with the big block, one stitch at a time issue.  

Thank you   : )  

Incidentally, have you noticed that my Christmas countdown thingie there on my sidebar is showing that in just a few days we are going to have LESS THAN 100 DAYS until Christmas?!?!?  Part of me is saying "Hooray!!!  How exciting!!!"  The other part of me is saying "YIKES!!!"

Prayer Report

Just a short post to once again thank everyone who has been praying for me the past couple days.  I'm sure it will not come as a surprise that these requests center around my dental issues.  The initial hurdle is behind me now but I have a few more hurdles to jump before this is all over.  If you would continue to remember me in your prayers now & then in the next week or two or three I'd really appreciate it.  Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, September 10, 2012

More Prayers Please

I thank all of you who have prayed for me today.  There's no need for you to bother to respond to this message but please, if you don't mind, I am asking for another prayer or two.  Things did not go as well as I had hoped this morning but they look promising & hopefully all will be well by tomorrow afternoon.  Thank you all so very much!

Please Pray

Please cover me with pray during the next hour or so.  I can't say anymore about it right now but please pray.  Thank you.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Last Week's Stitching

Amidst "...all the sham, drudgery, & broken dreams..." of last week (okay, it wasn't quite that bad) I was still able to work on some stitching projects.  I did not accomplish what I hoped to accomplish but at least I accomplished something   : )

I finished my Pine Tree Inn ornament (LHN) & am working my way along on my Sampler Santa ornament (HE).  I had made the Santa ornament before as an RAK & I knew I had to make one for myself as well   : )   After I finish Santa I have 4 more ornaments kitted up to some degree but they will have to wait on the sidelines because I have an exchange piece to stitch & I also have one exchange piece to finish into something.  The mailing date is rushing toward me so I need to get to it.  I ordered a few things for this particular exchange partner from 2 different online shops & hopefully they will get here before the mailing date.  

Some online needlework shops are horrid, aren't they?  The best shop by far, for me & I know for many others, is 123 Stitch.  I send them an order & I immediately get an email confirming that they have received it, then I get an email that it has been shipped (usually the same day I place my order), & then 2 days later it's here.  They are the nicest people to deal with & if you send them an email asking them a question, once again it's usually the same day that you will receive an answer.  Cherie & Joanne both have the patience of Job with me because ... shhhh!  Don't tell anyone!  This is not general knowledge! ... I am a bit of a perfectionist with a bit of OCD mixed in.  LOL!!!  I was recently "grilling" Cherie about those GA Simply Wool threads I mentioned a few posts back & I must've sent her 4 or 5 emails asking questions & she continued to sweetly respond in detail to every one of them.  If there was an Academy Award for online needlework shops, 123 Stitch would win it   every year   : ) 

Then there are the bad, horrid, nasty online needlework shops.  Two immediately come to mind.  One of them has GREAT prices ... the best I've seen ... but the customer service ... well, there really isn't any.  In the past I sent this one particular shop orders & never received acknowledgement of them.  Nothing. There were times when a week or two would go by & I would finally email the owner & ask for the status of my order.  Some time later ... not very quickly ... I'd get a response telling me that she was waiting for a particular item that wasn't in stock at the time of my order.  Sometimes I'd have to email her 2 or 3 times before I'd get a response & there were times when her attitude was like "you'll get your order when you get it."  She continues to have great prices but I won't ever deal with her again.  

The other shop is not as bad.  At least you receive a confirmation of your order when you submit it but it's anyone's guess when you will receive it.  I do believe the owner orders items from her suppliers after she receives orders from customers even though everything is indicated as being "in stock" on her site.  This shop has some things I don't usually see in other shops but dealing with the owner is a huge turnoff for me.  Every great once in a while she has something I need that no one else has & I will go ahead & send her an order but I don't kid myself into thinking I'll receive it anytime soon.

You have to wonder sometimes how some people stay in business.  

It's the start of a new week!  Notice how I appear upbeat when saying this   : )   John & I will be going to Louisville where he has a dental appointment.  We'll probably do a bit of shopping there as well.  I should be hearing (I hope) from that specialist in Lexington about my appointment with him regarding my bridge & my whistling.  I really should attack some of this insurance stuff that I've been ignoring the past couple weeks.  Hmmmmm ... doesn't sound like a fun week, does it?  But I'm sure I'll have some fun ... stitching if nothing else   : )   I hope you all have some fun as well   : )

Easy Access

It is with much trepidation that I make this announcement today.  I have changed over my blog settings to remove word verification.

I know this is a heated issue for many people, some of whom are very militant about it.  I have clung tightly to word verification since last January or February (whenever it was that Blogger changed the viewing of it or initiated it ... I can't remember which).  I did turn it off back then but I couldn't turn it back on fast enough because within a very short time after disabling it ... within just a few hours ... I was inundated with spam in my email inbox.  A LOT of it.  Spam that I had never received before & spam that I have not received since that day.  I turned it back on & did a blog post regarding what happened to me & I have clung to it tightly ever since.  

A while back Blogger decided to change word verification again so that the numbers or characters (sometimes both) are not only extremely blurry but sometimes squished together as well.  You all know what I'm talking about.  I usually don't have a big problem with blogs that have word verification enabled & I will continue to comment on them just as I have been doing from the start.  If it's too difficult to see the number or characters of one set, you can always use the little refresh key & get another set which is usually better. However, with this newer version of word verification I find myself sometimes having to refresh 3 or 4 or more times in order to really see the characters & numbers.  It's gotten ridiculous.

So ... everyone will now have "easy access" to make comments on my posts.  However, if my spam goes out of control like it did the last time I dropped word verification, I will turn it back on again.  

I really want to thank my followers who have continued to comment on my posts these past months despite me having word verification.  I really, really, REALLY appreciate you doing that   : )  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Life As A Dental Patient, Chapter 65

Yes, Chapter 65.

As you know, I made it clear to the receptionist that I wanted the last appointment of the day because I wanted to speak with the dentist without her having other patients at the same time.  I wanted all of her attention.  Well, I got to the office & she had 2 patients still there.  This was not surprising or upsetting to me because naturally dentists & doctors can get behind. Treatments take longer than planned which backs things up.  I calmly waited in the reception area for these 2 patients to come out but they never did.  (The double dose of Xanax I took before I left home benefited me greatly throughout my visit.)

An assistant appeared & called me back to an examining room.  I told her I did not want to go to an examining room, I would rather speak with the dentist in her office.  The assistant was very surprised by this & went to ask the dentist if this would be okay.  She then led me into the dentist's office where I waited maybe 10 minutes.  The dentist came in & sat down & asked me how things have been.  Per John's suggestion I was nice.  I began by being complimentary & kind ... telling her that I know she has worked very hard the past 8 months to get my bridge to fit correctly & I know that all the problems I've been having with it is as frustrating for her as it is for me.  I reminded her that I've had 2 other bridges placed in the past & never had any problems with either of them so I was clueless as to why I was having so many problems now.  She asked me lots of questions, which I answered clearly & calmly, & she jotted down my answers (or at least jotted things down which were hopefully my answers), & she then began to tell me that she doesn't want to mess around with this anymore ... she has worked hard & done everything she knows to do but yet I still tell her I'm having problems.  Again I was calm when I told her it's not like I enjoy coming to see her every couple weeks.  I'm not looking for problems.  I can't help it that they're there.  When I brought up the whistling issue she asked me if anyone has ever told me they've heard me whistle.  I said yes & told her again that my husband, who is hard of hearing, can hear it, & my cousin when I'm talking with him on the phone can hear it, & I can hear it all the time!  Since people are so unfriendly in these parts I sadly don't have anyone else I speak with so these were the only references I had.    

At this point she excused herself to attend to one of the patients I mentioned earlier.  I couldn't believe that she was juggling me between other patients when I made it clear to the receptionist that I wanted there to be no other patients but me when I met with her!  I waited a while & watched as one of the patients left.  She then came in to talk with me a bit more ... asking me more questions & then telling me that she wanted to refer me to a specialist ... a prosthodontist.  This is a person who specializes in the restoration & replacement of teeth.  A cosmetic dentist is not a prosthodontist.  A prosthodontist undergoes 3 years of additional training to become a prosthodontist.  She said that there are only 3 prosthodontists in Kentucky ... one who is getting ready to retire & 2 in Lexington.  One is on the faculty at the University of Kentucky.  She is wanting to get me in to see him.  The other is in private practice but she doesn't really like him because he is very gruff with his patients but I may end up having to see him if the faculty guy can't see me.  Anyway, I asked her what this is going to cost me.  I thought surely this was a freebie thing ... one dentist asking another to give her an opinion of her work ... but no, I have to pay for it.

She then went back to check on her remaining patient & the assistant came in & said she was taking me back to an examining room.  The dentist then came in to examine me & told me that as far as she could see there is nothing wrong with the bridge ... it is "perfect."  I had told her that I'm having some pain underneath one of the teeth of the bridge but she told me I wasn't.  Yes, that's what she told me.  Apparently I don't know when I'm having pain.  She also said she did not hear any whistling the whole time I was talking with her.  This made me wish that I had brought the letter with me that the second opinion dentist wrote where she spent a whole paragraph explaining where the whistling was coming from & what should be done about it.  I will be sure to take that with me to the prosthodontist.  At this point she was starting to leave the room saying "I need to get back to my other patient" but I stopped her & said I still had questions.  She came back & I asked her what happens after I see the prosthodontist.  Will he send me back to her for whatever needs to be done or will he do it.  She told me that's up to me & I thought to myself "You can be sure I won't be coming back here, honey."   

So there you have it.  I will be getting a call next week regarding an appointment with the prosthodontist. The receptionist tried to call him while I was in the office but got an answering machine.  It was late Friday afternoon so no surprise there.

Nothing was mentioned about taking the bridge back, putting in the plastic one, refunding my money & sending me on my way.  In retrospect I should've jumped on that offer when she made it several weeks ago but again I was so shocked by how nasty she was when she said it that I couldn't say anything, & then when she saw the look on my face she said she was just kidding.  I have done some research & you can't sue a dentist in Kentucky for faulty work until you go to another dentist & have the work redone, & then there's no guarantee that you will win a court case even if you do pursue one.  Also, the likelihood of one dentist going to court to testify against another is doubtful.  I have the option of reporting her to the state dental board but that will not get me my money back.  They will only look into my complaint, reprimand her, & that will be the end of it.

I'm sorry to have made so many posts about these dental issues.  I'm sure many of my new followers are asking themselves what were they thinking when they decided to follow me, but perhaps my experiences will help others avoid similar circumstances.  In looking back over my life at all the situations I have been involved in along these lines ... situations involving buying homes, hiring contractors of various sorts, dealings with business owners, & of course people in the medical & dental fields ... I should write a book or maybe make a film & it should be required reading/viewing prior to graduation from high school or college.  It would probably be a more welcome instructional presentation than my idea about traveling around to different schools & lecturing to girls about the importance of eating right & exercising. My thought here was to appear at assemblies where girls would file in & then I would come out onto the stage wearing a robe & holding a microphone.  At center stage I would simply drop the robe & amidst the shrieks of horror say "Make sure, girls, that you always eat right & exercise or this is what could happen to you."  Sort of a "scared straight" approach.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Life As A Dental Patient, Chapter 64 - The Quandary Continues

I really didn't want to post this on my blog. I mean honestly, I'm an adult.  I've been around the block more than a few times.  I should be able to handle difficult situations when they present themselves.  I am, however, the queen of indecision.  When I go to a store to buy something for myself such as a prim ornament or even a candle ... anything really ... woe to me if there are more than 1 of them available.  I have to stand there & compare however many items there are, sitting them down somewhere in the store, lining them up so they all face the same way, & then turning them all at different angles to see if there is maybe something I don't like about them.  Then I check the bottoms, then I check the tops, & by that time I've usually narrowed down the choices to one if I'm lucky & I can go merrily to the checkout counter.  This can sometimes present an entirely different kind of nightmare for me when the salesclerk says with a smile "Oh , we have these in the back in boxes.  Let me get you one that hasn't been on display."  The anxiety shoots through me in an instant.  What to do?  What to do? In the past I have been unable to do anything except pray that when I get home the unopened item will be just as nice, or even better, than the one I spent who knows how much time painstakingly examining & choosing. Thankfully as I have gotten older I have gotten a wee bit bolder & I will say "No, I want the one I have here."  People look at me like I'm from another planet but hey, maybe I am   : )

So ... on Tuesday I saw the second opinion dentist (Dr. B) who was very, very nice.  The office was lovely.  There were green plants here & there as well as little fountains on a table or two in the waiting area producing the sound of gently trickling water.  Very quiet & soothing music was coming from a speaker hidden out of sight.  When I sat down in the exam chair the first thing the assistant asked me was if I wanted a heated lavender aromatherapy neck wrap!  Imagine! Not only this but I was the only patient scheduled in my time slot.  Dr. B spent a surprisingly long time examining me & discussing my concerns.  To sum it up, the good news is that my current dentist (Dr. A) did not cause any permanent damage to my teeth by doing the bite adjustments, but that is really the only good news. Dr. B says she is sure that the whistling is happening because when Dr. A did the bite adjustments she did not do them evenly so one bottom tooth is a bit longer than the others & this is the source of that problem. She told me that the bridge I have temporarily cemented now (bridge #3) is very opaque & does not look like real teeth. She also said that it is made with a thick metal core covered with porcelain & this is not the best construction. Also, the bridge is not lining up correctly with the bottom bridge.  Since the bottom bridge needs to be replaced in the future, the optimum thing would've been to do both bridges at the same time to get a perfect fit. Doing one bridge first & then trying to match it up with another one later on down the line is apparently very difficult.  At the end of our visit Dr. B said "Would you like me to write a letter for you to take to your current dentist explaining my findings?"  I said I would appreciate that very much & then sat in the waiting area for a while (I forgot to mention there is a massage chair in there!) as she composed it.  It is very nice & very thorough.

I have been fraught with indecision since leaving Dr. B's office & this indecision has brought with it massive anxiety.  My current dentist can be nice (she did cut me a break on pricing because I don't have dental insurance) but she also has a tendency to be not nice at times.  There have been a few occasions when she has told me one thing & then during a later appointment she says or does something to contradict it.  The times when I have brought this to her attention she tries to make me feel as though I am remembering things incorrectly.  Then there was that one time she was downright nasty to me (I wrote about this in a previous blog post) & when she saw the look on my face she quickly smiled & said "I'm just kidding." Anyway, I have been really worried about how she is going to react to me coming into the office & telling her I went for a second opinion & the opinion is "there are some problems here."  However, this morning I think I have come up with the answer.  What I am thinking now is that I will keep my appointment with Dr. A tomorrow but not tell her that I've met with Dr. B.  Instead I will tell her that I'm just not feeling comfortable with how things are & "I don't know, maybe I'm just imagining things but I would like to see a few other dentists for second opinions to ease my mind before getting the bridge cemented permanently." (Needless to say I want to also remove my concern that Dr. B might not know what she is talking about.)  If I put it to her that way ... placing the doubt on myself & not on her ... perhaps she won't take offense.  If she does, I guess I will just tell her I'll take her up on her prior offer to put the plastic bridge back in & give me my money back.  Hopefully she will remember telling me this.  

Does this sound like a good plan to you?  I will, of course, be hopped up on Xanax when I go to see her.  

Life is never simple for easily influenced stitchers   : (

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

An RAK For Me : )

I was so excited when John & I stopped at the post office on the way home from our Lexington excursion yesterday & there was a package addressed to me.  I had no idea what could be in it.  I had ordered a couple things recently but it was too soon for me to receive them.  The return address belonged to Sara at Salmon Falls Primitives.  She sent me an RAK!  This is what I found inside!!!

The dish is mine but the prim candle, fixins, piece of fabric & breadboard are from Sara!  Isn't it a wonderful little gathering? Thank you again Sara ... I love it   : )

I was stitching today & as soon as I sat down in my stitching chair Sophie had to hop up & snuggle down on my lap.
She seems to be under the impression that I need comfort when I'm stitching.  Sometimes she's right but that doens't make her any less in the way.  I do keep her off me when I'm stitching for other people because I know not everyone wants stitching with cat hairs in it.  She cuddles up on the footrest during those times, close to my feet, but she makes it known that she is not happy that she can't be on my big squishy tummy   : )

I hope everyone is having a good day.  I called & rescheduled my appointment with the local dentist in order to give me time to get a new personality ... one that is at ease & in control in situations like the one I am going to be faced with when I talk with her. I asked for the appointment to be rescheduled so that it will be the last one of the day.  I told the receptionist that I need to have the dentist's full attention when I meet with her ... I don't want her running between me & other patients.  My appointment will the the last one of the day on Friday.  Why do I feel like it's an appointment for my execution?  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Gentle Arts Wool Threads ... Or Other Wool Stitching Threads ... Anyone?

Just a quickie post tonight.  I am exhausted physically and mentally.  We spent quite a day in Lexington and I can't say I'm any more decided about what to do regarding my dental treatment now than I was before I visited the dentist I saw today for a second opinion.  The good news is that my local dentist did not cause any damage to my teeth doing those "bite adjustments." However, other things were presented to me and I am totally confused.  I feel like Pooh Bear sitting here saying to myself "think, think, think."

In addition to the dental stuff, I am wondering about Gentle Arts Simply Wool threads.  Not the Simply Shaker threads, the Simply Wool ones.  I'd like to try them on a cross stitching project or two but they are rather pricey ($3.00 per skein).  I don't know if they are variegated but I'm guessing they might be.  Has anyone stitched with these before?  If so, I would love to have your thoughts on them.  Also, are there other wool threads that I can consider trying for cross stitch?  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!! And Laying Tools : )

I want to thank everyone who either emailed me or made a comment on yesterday's post regarding my selling site experience.  Not only were all of you so very kind & encouraging, but some of you shared your personal thoughts &/or experiences regarding these sites which opened my eyes to many things I had never considered!  I feel SO much better today!  The blogging community is amazing & my followers are the best : )   I don't know if everyone is aware of this but my DH & I have no friends here & no family living close by.  The closest friends & family members are 3 states away.  My only social contact is with doctors, dentists, & my blogging friends.  So ... thank you again for your kindness, insight, & encouragement!!!   

I have not made a decision yet as to what I'm going to do.  This morning I'm leaning toward Etsy.  I may also post some of my things for sale (or trade) here on my blog.  I am considering getting back into designing.  I designed patterns for a cross stitch magazine many years ago & design ideas have been overwhelming my brain since "coming home" last year   : )   I am also thinking about opening my online cross stitch/knitting supplies shop again.  I had this shop back in the late 1990s/early 2000s & enjoyed it very much.  The name of my shop was Prairie Moon Fibers.  I was so proud of that name   : )   I was living in North Dakota at the time (prairie) & thought of a wonderful (if I say so myself) logo design which I had an artist work up for me.  Fun times   : )   Of course I'm no longer living on the prairie so the shop name would have to be something different.  It will probably be Bittersweet Farm "something"   : )

In the meantime I have set aside my primitive Christmas stitching.  I don't know how long this will last but it's set aside for now   : )   Yesterday I went through my ornament charts from Little House Needleworks & Homespun Elegance, chose 6 of them I particularly liked, & then went upstairs & pulled the fabrics & got them ready for the stitching.  Last night I started LHN's Pine Tree Inn   : )
I must say that after stitching with 1 thread for the past couple months I feel as if I'm stitching with rope with the pattern calling for the use of 2 threads.  I am being as careful as I can but my stitches are not as neat as I'd like.  I usually don't have this problem & I'm wondering if I should invest in a laying tool.  It seems like an awkward piece of equipment to use.  It also appears that I would need some type of lap or floor frame in order to have both hands free ... one to manipulate the needle & the other to manipulate the laying tool.  Can anyone tell me their experiences with laying tools?  Is there a particular brand of laying tool that is better than another?

It has been raining since Friday.  I am not complaining ... we need the rain & of course it adds to the fall feeling I was talking about yesterday.  By the way, thanks to those of you who have commented on my new blog decor   : )   The farmhouse scene is a painting by Mary Charles.  I had never heard of her before I went searching for autumn scenes yesterday.  She has created some lovely folk art paintings!  I went with the one I chose because it matched nicely with the background template I am using from Twin Creek Primitives.  It shows a lovely autumn day.  However, autumn to me is more like this.
Dark, gray, cloudy skies, colored leaves, shadows.  I can almost smell the scent of the leaves in the air!  This reminds me of the falls I knew growing up in western Pennsylvania with the exception of that bit of sunshine peeking out in the foreground   : )

No big plans for today.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with a dentist in Lexington to get a second opinion about the work my local dentist has been doing on my teeth & bridges since January.  Yep, it's not over yet, folks!  Wednesday it's another trip to the hospital for my never-ending blood tests. Thursday I have an appointment with my local dentist to supposedly have this my 3rd bridge cemented in permanently.  This visit, however, hinges on what the second opinion dentist will tell me tomorrow.  So ... busy week!

I wish you all a very happy Labor Day!  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Where Did the Primitive Reindeer Go?

No, this isn't a riddle ... it's a real question that I forgot to ask in my earlier post   : )   The other day someone posted a photo of a few primitive cross stitch items featuring reindeer.  I seem to remember one of the items being a ditty bag.  I have searched every blog I follow ... even the non-stitching ones ... trying to find the photo but I don't see it anywhere!  I'm guessing there was a mention of the pattern in the blog post & I would really like to add it to my stash.  Does anyone remember seeing this photo & who posted it?   

Fall (aka Autumn) & the Other Kind of Fall (the One That Pride Goeth Before)

Good Sunday morning to all of you & a special welcome to my new followers!  I'm glad to welcome all of you this wonderful fall day!  I know, I know ... it's not fall yet. However, it kind of feels like fall here on the farm.  The temp today is going to be 80 degrees which is not really a fall-like temperature but at least it's cooler than it has been for a while.  To add to the thrill of it all the weatherman is predicting 100% chance of showers & thunderstorms throughout the day!  I'm not a big rain fanatic but this prediction brings with it gray, dark, overcast skies (which add to the illusion that fall is actually here) & it may actually turn out to be a little cooler than 80 degrees because of the dampness!  You may have noticed that I've even changed my blog decor to fit the season   : )   So, happy happy day!!!  So I wish you all a Happy Fall!

It even smells like fall because I'm wearing this!
Opium is my favorite fall/winter fragrance. It always makes me think of cold & snow.  I don't know why but it does   : )

This has been a good week & also a bad week.  First the good.  TA-DA!!!
I completed stitching 5 ... count 'em ... 5 stitching projects this week!  The one done on evenweave which you can see a bit of peeking out in back (the white stuff) is an exchange gift so I can't show it to you yet. However, the other 4 show you that I have continued to work on Country Rustic Primitives designs with visions of people flocking to my Bittersweet Farm Primitives handmades shop to buy them   : )   

Now for the bad news.  A couple weeks ago I contacted all the primitive selling sites that I know of (7 or 8 of them) to ask about selling my handmades.  Most ignored me.  However, there was one site that asked me to send a few photos of my work to be juried by their panel of, well, jurors.  I sent a dozen photos of my primitive cross stitched items as well as my primitive painted items.  Now ... those of you who know me well know that I am anally perfectionistic.  I won't even allow a small knot to be on the back of a cross stitched pinkeep where no one will see it unless they take it apart!  Good heavens, no! If I discover something like that I have to frog my work back to that point to fix it & then continue on my way.  Anyway, I sent my photos & waited.  I felt I had a pretty good chance of being accepted because I checked out all the sellers on this site & at that time no one was offering primitive cross stitched items, nor were they selling painted items similar to mine.  So much for optimism. Yesterday I received an email from the site basically saying "thanks, but no thanks." Actually, that would've been a kinder response than the one I was given.  The response I did receive explained that they have "strict guidelines" & told me my work was neither interesting, varied, nor original. In other words, it wasn't good enough.  I'm taking a look at the site again as I write this. I see items which are based on or made exactly from the patterns of others.  Are these items "original?"  I think not.  There are lots of paper mache dolls & clowns in several of the shops which certainly makes me wonder about the intended meaning of the word "varied" in my response.  There are many shops featuring dolls, pumpkins, & other such items made of fabric.  There are a couple shops offering painted items but not in the same primitive style as mine.  One person has some primitive cross stitched items in her shop at this time but she uses Aida to stitch them!  AIDA!  REALLY!  AIDA! Where's the barf bag?!?!?  Incidentally, she does not indicate they are stitched on Aida. I only know this because I really liked one of her pinkeeps several months ago & bought it. You can imagine my horror when I received it & found that it was stitched on Aida.  I wonder how many other customers were likewise disappointed when they received their pinkeeps?

(Special Note to Aida Lovers:  I do not mean to offend your choice of stitching fabric.  It's just that I personally don't care for Aida although I do use it on occasion ... but not for primitive projects!)

Do I sound bitter?  I hope not.  At first I was extremely hurt & highly offended to the point of sobbing uncontrollably.  I envisioned myself giving up on my plans & not selling anything anywhere.  All the primitives & craft supplies I no longer want ... to the dump with them!  The stitched items?  Santa would find good homes for them.  I had a few hours before bed last night to calm down.  This morning I don't know which path I'm going to take.  Truly, the dump/Santa thing sounds like a good idea.  One of my dear friends is always so concerned about my stress level, God bless her.  When I told her of this experience she said she gave me credit for even thinking about selling things, saying that she would not have the patience to take photos, write descriptions, package the items & mail them.  She said she would just donate them to a shelter or some such place just to get them out of the house.  She's got a point there.  I do wish I had waited a bit before dishing out money for custom made logos for my shops but sometimes you have to pay a price in order to learn a lesson    : (   I'm not real keen on throwing out a few hundred dollars' worth of primitive items & crafting supplies either ... Lord knows I could use the money ... but my friend is right.  I don't need the stress.  Would I pay a couple hundred dollars to someone to take away my stress? I surely would so perhaps therein lies the answer.

Needless to say, right now I have no idea what I'm doing but if any of you have read this far I give you my heartfelt thanks   : )   My posts do tend to get a bit lengthy at times.  However, I haven't posted anything since last Tuesday so perhaps my wordiness today can be excused   : )