Friday, December 26, 2008

the holidays

JANE IN NC - You have had The Worst Year! I cannot imagine having to deal with the surgeries and now the vision problems. Last time an ophthalmologist did a vision test on me, his Rx was waaay off the mark, too. The optometrist rechecked me and his results and lenses I actually could see out of were almost at the opposite end of the spectrum. Hang in there. One day at a time, ALL this will be behind you.

CHRISTMAS with our DS and his wife (oh, that is soooo weird to say and write that-LOL) was lovely. It's her first time with us for Xmas, so she got to experience all our traditions. The kids will probably go to her parents for Xmas next year, but I'm not even going to ponder that right now. ;-) We had a lot of fun, watching them get excited over gifts of towel bars and matching towels. No more drying bath towels over folding clothes-dryer racks! Wo0oHoooo! (lol) We spent Xmas Eve with sis #1 and her DH at my sis #2's home with her family, for dinner, prezzies, and a big round of the bowling game on the Wii (did I spell that right?) game. I won! Snoopy Dance!

If any of you remember my post re: the Marathon Washaway thread that did not washaway......I did finally have some communication with a Mr. Lee, who either owns the company or is the #1 guy for USA offices. They had me send my spool of thread to them. He said it dissolved in water just fine for him. (As if! It turns to rubber bands in mine) He said water should be a certain temp like 45°C for it to dissolve. Ummm... well... the quilt was washed in warm water. Just stay away from the stuff and TEST, TEST, TEST before proceeding with any sort of specialty thread. Especially "water soluble" ones.

Our little Shih Tzu, Alex, celebrated his 16th birthday today. He is quite blind & deaf but still enjoys his dinner and walkies. :o) I also sang "Happy Birthday" to him even though I know he can't hear me. Probably better off that way. I sing in the key of 'R'. Ack.

Happy New Year and sending hugs to all,

I'm humbled, truly

but I cannot accept the honour, Jane, however much it is bestowed upon me. I'm glad you've been getting out and about. That alone must help lift your spirits.

Now to research the refrigerator in the basement. I believe that is where the left-over turkey traveled to, with one of the 'kids' in the early forties now, cleaned up, straightened up, I sat there like a guest once the meal was on the table. Before that, Katie said: clear the decks, Mom's on the march as I rushed around the kitchen. The turkey was delicious, the beans, which daughter Karen made, were wonderful. I'm still feeling a certain 'reverberation' from that particular dish and I'm still fighting with my common sense to not go downstairs to the freezer and remove that apple and cranberry pie. I still have the: if one piece is good, two will be better half-Italian hanging around in my gene pool.



For some unknown reason the chat page isn't displaying the the new post button but finally got there from the BB page.

I have received a reprimand from a certain member of this jolly group about my absence from the board and so, Rosey, I dedicate the following to you even though we covered the ground on the phone the other day.

I've been in a cast on my right foot almost up to the knee and under very restricted weight bearing on the right foot since mid November when the very damaged (much worse than the surgeon had anticipated) was repaired via a tendon transfer which involved using tendon tissue from a nearby healthy tendon. He also reamed out a large bunch of scar tissue and recently developed arthritis as well as removed the five screws used last March to put the compound fractures together. Frankly I've been in a very self pitying funk most of this time even more so than last spring when I was in far worse shape. At least now with the light at the end of the tunnel the tunnel is shortening.

It's the dependence on others to get me where I need to go, do some of the picking up of the mess etc. and most of all, the fatigue that has plagued me. The depression has been worse this time than it was last spring. Everything including hygiene, toilet etc. takes such effort. That combined with minimal exercise for the better part of a year just wears me out. The primary doc has increased my depression med but so far not to much effect. I know that it takes a bit before kicking in.

Jean in VT. perhaps you and I should form an organization for those suffering from orthopedic train wrecks.

On the positive side I believe that the cast is coming off on the 12th unless something has gone wrong. Judging by the reduction of pain and pain meds I've been taking I anticipate that all is well. Showering is a problem as no matter what kind of plastic bag, including a cut to size 3mil heavy "contractor's bag" I use over the cast and taped with water proof tape some water always makes its way in and the forward end of the cast is pretty soft and it can take two days to dry out as the padding under the cast gets wet. Fortunately this is only on the bottom of my foot. Unfortunately, it now smells as if something crawled in there and died.

My plans to use this down time to do lots of embroidery and hand quilting have not come to fruition. In addition to fatigue requiring naps the idiot ophthalmologist who did the cararact surgery missed the mark by a mile when it came to prescribing new lenses. Reading is very difficult and the computer makes my eyes water. When I returned to him and pointed out that there seems to be little or no correction for the left eye; the one with some scars from the herpes infection of '94, he backed the technician who did the refraction and that was the shortest refraction I've ever had. He got defensive and said that's the best it will be, particularly with progressive lenses (which I've been wearing since they hit the market). Last week I went to see the optometrist in Wal-Mart and for $35 he put me through all the paces paying a lot of attention to the astigmatism in that eye. He fooled with it until the image from both eyes coincided via the use of a prism and that image was focused. I've had a prism in my prescription for more than 20 years but surgeon failed to notice that. Fortunately, the lab will produce the newly prescribed lenses at no charge since it was changed within ninety days of the previous one. If they work out as well as all of my previous ones from this optometrist I'll be able to read without fuzz around each letter and tearing up after just a few minutes. I haven't read a book all this time or taken a stitch.

Christmas celebration was minimal. Did go to a party at favorite neighbors on Sunday evening and had dinner at home of a very old friend (old U. MI friend) and will have dinner with another wonderful neighbor tonight who is celebrating tonight as their DD and DGKs couldn't get here until late yesterday. Of course, all these gracious hosts have to provide taxi service which the do very graciously. It will be fun to mingle with kids for a while. Oh, almost as much fun was my babysitting chore last week. The Sunday party hosts, the doggiest people I know (four Boykin spaniels) asked me to "baby sit" the dogs while they hosted the staff and their mates from the big downtown Methodist church where she works. My mood was lower than a snake's belly but when the canine whirlwind hit and the two silly youngest pups were so excited to be here I couldn't continue to feel like Scrooge and the Grinch. What wonderful creatures. The two older ones selltled down and napped

Well, my eyes are teary and itching and it's time to give the kitchen a wipe up and take a nap. Another opportunity to over eat approacheth.

I hope everyone had the best possible holiday whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah or just the return of the sun on the solstice. Many hugs to those who are in the dumps for any reason.

Jane in NC

Would someone of the Jewish persuasion please instruct me as the correct spelling of the festival of lights? The spell checks don't agree and I seek the guidence of someone who knows a lot more about such things than I.

The Day After

And all is quiet... forgot about the mouse...I have one messing about my kitchen at night. It's managed to steal the cheeze and leave the trap untipped.

My three kids and their families arrived mid-afternoon Christmas Day, along with grand-dog Oliver, a golden retreiver. Between five grandchildren (one a toddler) four dogs traipsing through the Christmas mess with stuffies in their mouths, sitting in front of the fire, eating too much good food (and rich), I will be like Anna and have to go on a detox diet for a few days. Two helpings of turkey, two helpings of pie.....and I could still get that other pie out of the freezer and bake it and eat it today. Baaaad.

Everyone has left now and the house is quiet. Always the let-down after the families leave but I have much mess and laundry to deal with so that will keep me out of trouble for the rest of the day. And one of my adult children explained to me how a portable DVD player works that a friend had loaned me months ago as she had an extra one. Anything to distract me from quilting...all these electronic devices. It's a generation of electronic equipment that engages people solely between them and it. It's scary...all this interaction that kids have with these things and not with other human beings.

My birds need their feeders refilled, then I'l start in with one room at a time, cleaning up. Glad to hear from those who don't post regularly. It's fun to read about Christmases from snowy Mill Bay...(ahem !) to Spain, to Alabama to wherever...


Everyone is back!

I thought that the board had been abandoned for the last two days. There were no posts after the cat! It's lovely to read everyone's posts, even a day (or two) late.
Anna, don't be such a stranger. It's great that they finally figured out the diet and medications for you. Although that diet doesn't sound like much fun, it's got to be better than being sick.
Jean, great news about the shoulder. Keep working on it.
Sri Lanka? Wow! What is the weather like there?
For those of you who have not seen it, HGTV did a piece on the White House Christmas Tree in the blue room. Each congressman invited an artist to make an ornament. There are almost 400 ornaments, all hand made on the tree. This site allows you to click on a state, and then a district, to view each ornament.
We had a lovely Christmas here. Dad was feeling distinctly "grinchy" until we went to church Christmas Eve. We too had a children's pageant, and it was "unrehearsed." I thought it went about as well as any rehearsed pageant I'd ever seen, which is to say it was adorable and none of the kids did anything horrible. The only problem with their church is the age of the members, so I don't know where they found all those children! Grandchildren maybe?
After having lost weight last year, I've been giving away clothes and clearing out as much stuff as I can talk DH into getting rid of, and we still have too much. That was why I had the question about the vaccuum storage bags. I'm not using them for my quilts, but they are working great for things like old jeans and flannel shirts that were kept to make a denim quilt. That stuff takes up an incredible amount of room. Maybe I can talk him into donating even more stuff in the next few months.
We're all worried about the economy, but all we can do is pray. I am making an effort to spend what I can afford, since my job is secure. Math teachers with 30 years experience generally don't have too much trouble finding jobs, even in hard times. Our internet business, however, was shaky before the economy went bust. We'll have to see what happens.
Laura in Alabama


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I hope all who celebrate had a wonderful Christmas. All is finally quiet here, only because three of the kids are out and the oldest has gone home, leaving only our middle child at home, and he's the quietest of the bunch! DH and I watched a movie on TV to unwind a bit, and now I'm just hoping I can stay awake until the three come home.

We were a lot more low-key this year, both because of the economy and because no one needs a glut of gifts. That's not what Christmas is all about. We went to the candlelight service last night at church and were utterly charmed by the childrens' presentation of the nativity. I remember Rosey, I think it was, saying how she loved to watch the kids and their antics up front. Last night we had one who sang particularly loud and added his own little touches to the melodies. It was a riot, and so adorable. It was the best part of the service, in my opinion, childlike joy in its simplist form. Of course, ending the service singing "Silent Night" with the church lit only by the candles we were holding is always a favorite.

Looking ahead to the new year is a bit more challenging this year than most because of the economic uncertainty our country faces (and us being business owners that rely on retail sales for our livelihood) but I'm going to use that as an incentive to pare things down around here even more than I usually do in January. Since we bring gifts in each December, I always try to clear out a little in January, and this year in particular the things I no longer use can be put to good use by people who have less than we do. I know food shelf donations are down just when the need has risen. Consignment stores are doing a booming business, and thrift stores are always looking for donations. I really hope this arm of mine gets strong fast so I can go through this place and clear out some.

On that note, my physical therapist was really excited Wednesday how far I've come in just the week I've been out of the sling. When the sling came off, I could only raise my arm waist height; now I can raise it shoulder height, and I'm talking about raising it on its own power. That's good progress for just one week. I'm encouraged.

Goodness, I'm gabbing on. I'd better save some room for someone else! Merry Christmas, everyone, and a good night to all.

Jean in VT

Very strange...

I posted yesterday to wish one and all a very merry Christmas -- and the post has not appeared although it shows on my list of published posts. It also seems that there are others that have posted since Jill's great frozen kitty picture, but those are not showing for me either. Can anyone else see them? Is this my personal glitch or is there a problem with the system?

And if it is general, then let me repeat my wish for all of you to enjoy a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!



Well I tried to post a message for Anna in Spain but couldn't get it to work, it said errors and timed out. Will keep trying. Lavinia-TN

Posting for Anna in Spain

Hello from Spain!

Everyone has been pretty quiet on all my Yahoo! groups, but then so have I. I've been doing things here...for one, I finally went to a nutritionist and got a diet I can live with for the thyroid disease. Turns out I have been doing everything pretty much wrong...I need lots of lean protien, low fat, fresh fruit and NO soy or corn, darn little bread. 1 ounce of bread for breakfast! You know what one ounce of bread looks like? About 2 bites! LOL No tofu! No cheese! I think I'm gonna die. Or actually, live. I started the diet in mid September and so far I've lost almost 30 lbs. 3 pounds to go to my goal. He also says, that the weight I had reached before the diet is fine for my age and build. I felt like this was almost a "crash" diet as I lost so much so fast, but a lot was fluid. Apparently 15 lbs of it can be that, in Hashimotos sufferers. He put me on glucomannanan capsules for the cholesterol, which is down nearly 50 points now.

But of course for Christmas Eve and day everything is on hold. We will go to my SIL for the 24th lunch, and then I will cook on the 25th. And then do a sort of "detox" of broth and salad for 2 days!

I was also rather unwell for a bit there...manypaws mostly. I had TTOTM for 21 days straight, so they have drawn some blood for tests and I get the results tomorrow. I don't know how I feel about HRT but maybe my thyroid meds just need adjusting. I hope it's that because I have been so tired lately I can't enjoy anything. For the duration of the "indisposition" I felt like I was half asleep all the time, and was sleeping 10-12 hrs a day.

The other day our local LIDL (like Aldi) was selling Singer sewing machines and I got one! I am so sick of my tiresome Spanish treadle machine (bought new in the 80s) that I decided to take some of my hard-earned tutoring money and buy it. It's a 1120 model. I scored the English instruction book on the Internet, since what I had was in badly translated Spanish, French, German and Dutch. I am printing out the English as I type this. Does anyone have any knowledge of this model? It's pretty basic but will do for what I want. I already put elastic in some favourite jammies and it only took a minute and for the first time in my life I *didn't* get the elastic twisted! A lot of my clothes need taking up now that I've lost the weight!

I am trying to get our church's missionary wife (from Oz) into quilting. So far she has made a potholder, I hope she quilts it over Xmas. Instead of batting I had her line it with 2 layers of heavy wool cloth (like for a topcoat) and quilt it together, to make it more conducive to protecting her hands.

I should post a couple of my soup recipes here. I do a lot of "iron cheffing" (ie making up of recipes based on what I have on hand) and soups are lovely when it's cold and there's no heat in the house. Which it is, and we don't. I'm glad we're not getting y'all's storms, though.

Well I will be quiet for now. Take care all.
anna in spain

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A White Christmas!!!

We don't get many of those in this part of the world -- I think the last one was about 15 years ago. Of course, just to make it fair, we now have the most snow on the ground of pretty much all of the country...

I am taking a break from watching more of the lovely white s***t falling and making goodies -- cookies, shortbread and white chocolate cranberry fudge so far this afternoon -- to wish all my internet buddies the best holiday season ever. You all enrich my life in so many ways. :)

Our friend from Sri Lanka is here for the holiday, getting an introduction to some serious winter weather. He says it is beautiful, but I notice he is taking his pictures from inside the house! LOL

We are expecting some of the neighbours to stop in (if they can make it) so I should get on with my hostess duties.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each and every one of you.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

this the season

Hello ,
I have been reading of and on. Just to keep up with what you are all doing.
I love the Cat(?) pictures. Sort of looks like me when I get up in the morning to look at another storm going by. I can not remember having this much snow at this time of the year and we have another three month to go at least. Where will we put it all.
It has been a very busy couple of months but I am actually ready and all the stuff is done. Oh I could go to the store again tomorrow but I doubt I will because we are under another storm warning with lots of snow coming. What else is new, so will make do.
I would like to wish all the very best and for those who celebrate Christmas I hope it bring you all the peace and happiness that you wish for. For those who celebrate different the same wish applies according to your traditions. Hopefully we can all celebrate a Happy New year with health , fun, and many happy hours of quilting.
See you next year.

Monday, December 22, 2008


We have more snow than we have had in 30 years.

Very cold.

The storm is over & we are left with about ten inches of snow.

The big problem is all the drifting from the wind.

We are all so happy that we didn't get the expected freezing rain,

what a blessinng.

I'd like to say I used my at home time well, but I've pretty lazy.

Have made most of my candy & cookies & will decorate sugar cookies

with one of my neighbors & her little girl tomorrow.

If I don't get back here I want to wish everyone a wonderful

holiday! Stay safe!

The clematis makes my mouth water!

Here's my Beauty Berry, a little color for the long days.

Merry Christmas

It is cold here, really cold for Alabama. We haven't had weather this cold, and this early, in many years. Yeah, I know that 17* F is not that cold to some of you, but it is to us!

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Here is a summer picture to cheer up those of us buried in cold and snow.

Laura in Alabama

Merry Christmas and this & that

Good morning!
Before I forget I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas season.
Best wishes to Pamalaxx from Austrailia and Anna in Spain, and others far and wide that read this but are unable to post.
Right now I have on Josh Groban's Christmas CD that my DD gave me last night. Oh! Can he sing.
News on DH is that there isn't any. He is being a human test case. Now they are testing for Lyme's disease and a host of other thing. Maybe good health is something Santa could bring him. Hopefully these blood test will show something, and be back before Christmas day.
This morning I'm taking the 7 yr. old DGS to see Santa, and get some pictures taken. After that it's one last trip to the grocery for the OJ and lemons I forgot last week, for the spiced tea.
I'm still running, still fat as a toad. We did 7 miles this past Sat. out near the beach. It was warm, about 65, and too warm to run, but we got to go 1 mile on the beach since it was low tide, and it was worth it all.
Last week we did 9 miles downtown, it was only 36, and very cold and windy. We were all tired at 7 miles, but continued on and got a reward of seeing "Santa" on a unicycle practicing for a parade. This is my mental health break from the news and thinking about DH. It's good to be outside with others and just exercise for the pure joy of it.
Right now the weather is getting "cold" for Fla. a storm is blowing in and will drop the temp. to freezing tonight. I actually like to cooler weather but not the wind, as it whips through my sinuses.
Going to take doggy to get groomed this morning also, we have to take some pictures of her Christmas outfit. (I used to make fun of those people who dressed up their dogs, now I am one) :)
Here's a cup of tea . . . .and good health and mental health to all.
Sara in Fla.