Friday, December 30, 2016
Posted by Shirlee at 4:12 PM
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Health issues & other issues are eating away at me, but I wanted to drop by to wish you all a very Merry Christmas & a happy & healthy new year! I keep hoping my blogging mojo will return. Perhaps in the new year.
Posted by Shirlee at 8:35 PM
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
October 9, 2016
It's been "one of those days" for more than a few days, & Blogger has been acting up on my end. Still, amidst all the frustration I did get a few projects finished! First of all I finished my Blue Christmas socks for the Hisser Sisters Christmas Socks KAL. I'm very happy with how they turned out : ) Claire is still working on her socks but hasn't far to go. She should be finished with them sometime this week.
Posted by Shirlee at 11:00 AM
September 25, 2016
I will begin by telling you about the second installment of the Hisser Sisters Christmas Socks KAL. As I noted last month, Claire & I decided that we would cast on a pair of Christmas socks on the 24th of each month before Christmas. This month I am pairing my yarn choice with a fun project bag made by Kathy Norman who has an Etsy shop called QuiltKnitCraft. Kathy is an accomplished seamstress with an eye for color & fabric choice. She is also one of the nicest sellers in the Etsy community. This New York City at Christmastime project bag caught my eye right away. John & I enjoyed our visit to NYC a couple years ago & have talked about one day returning during the holidays. The fabric print of this bag can take me there all year : )
Claire's yarn choice is the Christmas Special offered by West Yorkshire Spinners, a UK yarn company The photo below is taken from their website. The colorway on the left is Holly Berry, & the one on the right is Cherry Drop.
This past week brought us a very happy event ... the arrival of Fall! I look forward to the cooler temperatures, the crispness in the air, the beautiful colors painted on the leaves, & that certain scent that only Fall can bring. Fall is my next-to-favorite season : )
I will leave you today with a song sung by country legend Ernest Tubb. It not only ties in with my Christmas yarn choice, but this particular recording of it holds fond memories for me of Christmases when I was growing up. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do : )
Posted by Shirlee at 10:58 AM
September 18, 2016
The first official Hisser Sisters CAL ended on schedule! Claire & I put down our crochet hooks on September 7th. Here is my finished blanket, as yet unblocked ...
Fall is kinda-sorta starting to make an appearance here in northern Kentucky. You can see a wee bit of color on a few of the trees, & the temperatures are hovering in the high 70s/low 80s now. I am, as always, looking forward to when it starts to snow : )
Posted by Shirlee at 10:54 AM
August 28,, 2016
Our blankets are getting near the end! Here is mine ...
Posted by Shirlee at 10:52 AM
August 25, 2016
So it was Tuesday, late afternoon, when I glanced at the calendar hanging on the wall & noticed the date ... August 23rd. "Hmmm," I said to myself, "tomorrow is the 24th." My next thought was "Hmmm, tomorrow it will be just four months until Christmas!" And then I thought, "Hmmm! I wonder if Claire would be up to casting on a pair of socks for a Hisser Sisters Christmas Sock KAL?" I immediately sent her a message & she eagerly agreed : ) Our first Hisser Sisters Christmas Sock KAL, running simultaneously with our first blanket CAL!
We didn't have much time to get ready. I sorted my available Christmas sock yarns.
Posted by Shirlee at 10:49 AM
August 21, 2016
Once again Claire & I are on target with our first Hisser Sisters CAL ... the Cottage Ripple Blanket. I took a series of photos & picked out my favorite, but somehow I ended up permanently deleting all but this one! Do forgive me for the very poor quality.
Posted by Shirlee at 10:47 AM
August 14, 2016
Claire & I are both on target with our CAL. At the end of Week Two we now have 28 stripes (two rows equal one stripe) & our blankets are beginning to look quite lovely, if I do say so myself, with all the beautiful colors. Lucy of Attic24 does have an eye for color! I am grateful for this because I do not.
Here is my blanket progress ...
Posted by Shirlee at 10:43 AM
August 7, 2016
Both Claire & I reached our first week's CAL goal ... 14 stripes in our cottage ripple blankets! The pattern really is a delight. It's very simple & flows smoothly. Very comforting to work : )
My blanket ...
Posted by Shirlee at 10:43 AM
July 31, 2016
Today marks the start of the first Hisser Sisters CAL! How we came to be called the Hisser Sisters is a story for another time, but we are both enthusiastic knitters/crocheters. Claire is from the UK, I am from the US. We met via the We Love Lucy group on Ravelry last August. Claire was the first to welcome me there & we became fast friends : ) Today is Claire's birthday, & to commemorate the event we are starting our very first CAL! Our project is the Cottage Ripple blanket designed by Lucy of Attic24. Isn't it lovely?
Posted by Shirlee at 10:40 AM
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Just a popping by post to say that we are continuing to settle into what will be our home for the next, let's see, 21-1/2 months now : ) There are still lots of boxes to unpack &/or organize, & lots of things have been set aside for donations or yard sales or eBay or my Etsy shop. I am, as I have probably said before, we have been dragging some boxes around with us for years, from move to move, without really knowing what's inside. In addition to these boxes, we'll be going through all the Christmas boxes to downsize their contents. I have decided that I'm tired of having "dust catchers" sitting around the house, so I'm guessing at least 80% of my primitives are going to be sold. I'm also going to go through all my craft things ... cross stitch supplies, quilting fabrics, paints & woodworking things, you name it ... & downsize those as well. Kitchen things are likewise going to be downsized. The plan is to move to our next home taking only the things with us that we really, really like & that we will really, really use. I'm looking forward to that.
Posted by Shirlee at 10:09 AM
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
My last post was May 29th! This is hard for me to believe in one way, but not so hard in another. We've moved of course, & oh the stories I could tell ... but this is going to be a short post, so I'll just say that what appears to be a squeaky clean house at first glance may very well not be. Far from it in fact. We spent the month of June renting U-Hauls (yes, I meant that to be plural) & making trips in the SUV to cart most of our things here ourselves. I had wanted a specific moving company to move our furniture & some unwieldy boxes but the owner never got back to me in time, which is sad because they took the utmost care with our furniture when they delivered it from the store. I had a backup company I found on Angie's List that had nearly 200 glowing reviews. I had to end up hiring them instead, but I felt confident from the reviews that all would be well. It wasn't. I asked for three moving men; two showed up. Young dudes with questionable training or experience. I did not walk out to the truck with them & watch them load. I should have. I don't believe they padded anything. There was so much damage to almost all the furniture. Chips & scrapes & scratches & a literal gash down the side of my hutch. They brought in the washer & dryer sideways, then sat the on the carpeting & force-pushed them into the laundry closet leaving a bunch of black grease on the carpeting which the homeowner had cleaned themselves & I followed up with professional cleaning the week before. The young dudes had no idea where the grease came from but said not to worry about it, the company would take care of it. They brought in an end table & placed it on the living room carpeting. I asked them to place it a tad to the left. When they did, there were grease marks left by the table legs. Once again they were puzzled but said not to worry, the company would take care of it. Despite the fact that I paid for additional insurance to cover each piece of furniture separately, the company took care of nothing. I submitted detailed pictures & descriptions of all the damage. The owner called to advise me that the insurance did not cover damage to flooring. When I told him of my concern regarding our two power recliners & John's fancy-schmancy 65" nano crystal UHDTV, he stated that the insurance did not cover damage to anything mechanical or to any electronics because "who's to say if those things were working before they were moved?" He said he would pass my photos along to his repair technician who would contact me in four to six weeks to come to my home to assess the damage & make any repairs. I could not & did not want to wait that long. In addition, the owner was so cavalier about everything (he didn't even say that he spoke with the young dudes regarding the damage!) that I really didn't trust that his repair technician would be any different. It was a blessing from above when, quite by accident, a person was recommended to me as "the best furniture repair person in the state." He is indeed! An interesting & chatty man, we enjoyed visiting while he skillfully repaired all the damaged furniture & readjusted the recliners. Thankfully the TV is okay. I rehired the professional carpet cleaners to come back to get the grease out of the carpeting. They were successful. I've been scrubbing with various cleaners (none of which worked) & have now taken to sanding & resealing the bottoms of the wood furniture legs on several pieces of furniture in order to remove the grease.
And speaking of cleaning, we've been here five weeks & I've been cleaning pretty much every day. The cleaning was obviously not done by professional cleaners as I had been led to believe, but rather in a slapdash manner by the prior tenants. I still need to clean most of the light fixtures & plate covers, two ceiling fans, two sets of blinds, & all the windows. I'll get the house power washed as well.
Our landlady is a real interesting character. She's an "it happened the way I say it happened" & "your way is wrong, my way is right" type of person. I've had to bite my tongue several times when she was going through here telling me the leaking faucets really weren't leaking & the chip in the ceiling must have been made by our movers (it wasn't) & so many other things. I haven't mentioned anything to her about all the cleaning I've had to do, but if, when we leave, she says that she wants us to leave things as they were when we moved in, I will say "no you don't" & proceed to tell her all I've had to do. I probably should have taken pictures as I'm sure she won't believe me.
The bedroom furniture issue has been extremely stressful. I sent it back three times to be repaired or replaced per the manufacturer's lifetime guarantee. The last time I sent it back, trying to get them to fix the silver metal bits underneath the drawers that are quite visible when the drawers are shut, I was told this is the way this furniture is made & there is nothing wrong with it. However, I could pay them $450 & they could add lips to the bottom of the drawers to hide the metal bits, or they could color the metal bits with a black marker so they wouldn't be as visible. A friend (you know who you are!) called this the saga of Schrodinger's Defects: Simultaneously not existing while still being fixable. The manufacturer would not budge. I called a multitude of attorneys who all said there was nothing I could do (I still don't understand this). I finally told them to just send it back. I'll use it for the two years we're here, turning a blind eye to the metal bits, & sell it for whatever I can get for it before we move again.
My RA has unfortunately been very bad. My doctor had prescribed a drug which was not working in pill form so she suggested injections. This was two weeks before we moved. During those two weeks I had a lot more pain & stiffness & swelling & just chalked it up to the rigors of moving. However, things kept getting worse. I was so very tired all the time & developed bone pain. John said I could no longer blame these things on the move. I saw my vascular surgeon ... no problems there. Two weeks ago I saw my hematologist who discovered that I'm anemic. He said that all the problems I was having were most likely from the medication injections. He ordered a few more blood tests to be safe & told me to call my rheumatologist as soon as I got home to tell her my symptoms. Sadly I was only able to speak with the nurse as the rheumatologist was on vacation until August 8th. She suggested stopping the injections & she would talk with the doctor upon her return & let me know what she wanted me to do. She said I also should call with an update or two prior to the doctor's return. In the meantime the extra blood tests that the hematologist ordered came back negative so he feels the anemia & other problems are definitely being caused by the injections. I've been off them for a week now & I'm doing a little better. Don't know what they'll give me for my RA now as this makes three medications that have resulted in bad side effects.
I did get things straightened out with my insurance company ... again ... so I "only" had to do without my other medication for two weeks.
John is doing well. Not really any change in his vision though. He is seeing his eye doctor today & hopefully some sort of relief will be provided.
You may remember my Aunt Vera. I wrote about her last year asking for prayers. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 90. Unfortunately she waited too long to seek medical attention & the cancer spread to various areas of her body. She seemed to be doing better for a while, but then the chemo stopped working. She passed away on August 28th ... the day of our move. The funeral mass & burial were scheduled for July 5th. I drove to Pittsburgh to attend. She is at peace now but I will miss her so much. She was like a mother to me. I always wanted to run away & live with her. She was always fun, always joking around. She loved to cook & go to yard sales & flea markets. She loved jewelry & Christmas. When she was in her 80s, someone suggested to her that they had various events that she might enjoy at the local senior center. Her response was "What do I want to go there for? I'm not old!"
My good friend Mary passed away on May 4th, now Aunt Vera just two months later. The world just won't be the same without them.
Posted by Shirlee at 7:09 AM
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Posted by Shirlee at 10:47 AM
Friday, May 13, 2016
In my post last week ... just last week ... I told you how on May 1st we signed the lease to rent a little house 20 minutes north of here. Within a few days we rented a van, emptied our two storage units which were crammed & piled to the hilt, & took all that stuff up to the house along with about 90% of what was in my craft room & maybe 20% of other things. No furniture yet though ... the movers would be moving that. On Monday of this week I decided that I had better clean the kitchen so I could start moving my kitchen things up there. John planned to take up one load of things in the car, drop them off along with me, then head back & forth another time or two while I stayed behind to work in the kitchen.
Posted by Shirlee at 8:08 PM
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
My life, as I'm sure you know if you've read any of my recent blog posts, has been very difficult for the past couple of months. Mentally, physically, emotionally, situationally ... I have sometimes felt as if I am wearing a sign that reads "Hurt me, stress me, try to drive me crazy!" But that's life sometimes, isn't it? Times of bad, times of good. I am weathering the storm.
One of my stressors has been trying to find another place to live. I found the following image while looking for moving images & thought it kind of applied to me & John : )
Posted by Shirlee at 7:24 AM
Friday, March 18, 2016
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Posted by Shirlee at 7:05 PM
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Posted by Shirlee at 9:35 AM
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Posted by Shirlee at 9:07 AM
Sunday, January 17, 2016
First off all, I want to thank those of you who have posted comments & sent emails asking if everything is okay. I deeply appreciate your thoughtfulness & concern. I apologize if I haven't responded to you. Life has been difficult in oh so many ways. Sometimes I feel as if I am at the end of my rope.
John is doing well. We are still without our car. Thankfully we have the SUV.
Christmas came & went so quickly. The days & weeks leading up to it were extremely stressful, but the day itself was totally the opposite. Very peaceful & calm. Both John & I agreed that it was one of the best Christmases we've ever had.
I didn't do much in the way of decorating this year. Things were very simple.
This was one of the few times since I was in high school, if not the only time, that I didn't send Christmas cards. I thank those of you who sent cards to me, & gifts as well. If I failed to thank you personally, please accept my thanks here.
The new year has dawned & we are already planning our next move. Of course we have no idea where we are going. I am slowly packing things in preparation. I have been focusing on downsizing. It's a big job. We will be starting to look for another rental home in April. We don't want the nightmare we had trying to find somewhere to live after our house sold, nor do we want the stress of moving at the last minute, so we may end up double renting for a month or two to make things a bit easier on ourselves. We may end up staying in this area. Tennessee is another possibility. We are pretty much open to anything.
I am going to try to get into blogging again. I have various plans for this year, but I will be taking things one step at a time. I believe this is going to be a year of changes. I'm counting on them being good changes.
Posted by Shirlee at 9:21 AM