Apr 30, 2019

Question of the day

When you can't get up from the low commodes in public restrooms, and the round tissue holder offers nothing to grab, is it OK to use the handicap stall?  
I've knocked over a tall rack of shoes while trying to fit into a pair and hopping on one foot.  I've caused a commotion in Kohls dressing room, choked by my scarf caught on my half removed jacket that restrained my arms during a hot flash.  I've exposed my big girl white panties in Macy's after a fall in a dressing room with a short door next to the Karen Scott racks.  I walked into a mannequin that JCP perched in the middle of a wide aisle.  She lost an arm.  In every case, the racket from my falls drew attention.  Well, the hundreds of flying shoes and arm did too.

Not sure I want to take the chance of a 4 roll dispenser that can't hold my weight being ripped off the stall divider sending me crashing into (or through) the stall's door with my pants down.  I think that may be what happened to the poor soul that was in this one.  So can I please use the handicap stall?
Tests are back.  The last one to come in was really bad, the others were OK.  Two were bad, one very bad, eight normal.  I guess that's better than bad news on all!!  But am I mopey?  You bet.
If you're looking for ferns, Home Depot has a sale for $10, and our Lowe's has them for $8 this week.  A little smashed, to be expected, but good sized and healthy.

Apr 28, 2019


that didn't work.  I decided to abbreviate the design as I so often do to suit my ability or taste, which would make this easier to do over one.  Finished size on 28 would be 3.25" x 4.75". But I wasn't able to get a rhythm going and couldn't keep the blurriness from causing error after error.  The magnifiers work very well but the dryness causes the blur.  Over two would be much easier for me but I am still imagining this over one and very small.  I adore the bright blue dresses and vibrant red of this sweet design and if over one never comes, I will try over two on forty.  Until that time, I need to choose another project.  The gang of four I chose are all big girls.  BIG girls.  We'll see!   


Apr 27, 2019

Another Tweet

Greetings to all this last weekend of April.  Everyone seems anxious to chose their flowers and I can't believe our greenhouses are already loaded and have been for over a week.  But I guess there are always large baskets offered for Mother's Day which is coming up soon.
I had a little setback with the progress of my eye condition.  The Xiidra is not covered so I had to switch to Restasis.  The pharmacist looked it up and saw the same thing that I did, "temporary" burning which I assume is when applied, not for five hours after.  I made another appointment and discontinued the drops before I burn the color off my eyeballs.  So I used 3.5 mags and moved my light lower, it worked for short periods at a time.  What did I stitch?  Another little bird because I just love these Tweets.  Never did care for mauvey colors so I changed to blue.
But I kept going over the video and felt I was missing something and I was.  A sampler chart.  Starting such a small was a good test so I feel I can proceed now. 
Another project I was considering is Merry Wind's Girls in Blue Dresses.  Buckeye Scarlet thread so I know those reds will be divine.

I actually measured and considered over one on 30 count.  Again, that video.  Her over one samplers were just stunning and I thought this design would not be as tedious as the constant letters of a sampler.  I was helped with tips from many of you and think I can handle it.  I won't know for sure until I start. 
Hope to choose a project within a few days but that depends on a few factors.  My first three test results from the specialist last week were not good.  The medication he has suggested causes dizziness and headaches, but we have to wait for the other reports next week.  I'm hoping they will be better than the first or I will be a mopey crabass again.  I have no patience when seeing clearly and in a good mood, let alone upset and blurry.  Best to hide the matches.
So that's it.  Sun is out today after almost 24 hours of downpours.  More days of rain in the forecast.  Spring and fall are always the seasons of mud.
Have a good weekend folks.
Thanks for visiting.

Apr 23, 2019

The stitch itch

Haven't had it for quite some time.  I came close.  Handled the linen.  Played with thread.  Rearranged my needles.  Organized charts.  Aaaaaaalmost there.  Then I couldn't see clearly.  Light sources would make me squint or close completely.  And then ….. medication set my eyeballs on fire.  But after it stopped, they stayed open most of the day.  Similasan and Refresh Repair drops were the ones out of fifteen that soothed.  As long as the lamp is over the work and not over my shoulder, I don't squint as much.
And then there was a visit with Valerie and Kay in the barn.  https://youtu.be/Iq_fsQ6wUSc or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq_fsQ6wUSc
I am still amazed at the large projects she has stitched over one thread.  They are remarkable.  And almost all on lighter linen which I never used.  Her colonial decorating makes them all the more appealing.  And my itch became more intense.  She mentioned her Dazor lamp, the circline model that I have.  I did not know you can add another lens for additional magnification, and the arm is positioned above your work which I can handle.  I have the huge heavy base but the arm can be removed and attached to a table.  Time to get it out of the closet.
And then, yesterday, I received a package from a friend I've never met in person.  As I opened the box and saw the size of the item, it appeared to be a Cadbury or Moser Ross chocolate.  I unrolled the tissue, my jaw dropped.  I can't tell you how much gel I needed to rehydrate my mouth because it just would not shut.  I have never received a gift that was so much a part of the person that bestowed it.  The expertise, the time, the materials, the finishing, I just can't explain how it has touched me.  And of course I can't cry, I have no tears!  But I have my drops that will soothe the pain so I allowed myself the emotion, while hosing the eyeballs down with the dropper.  After the shock wore off, I washed my hands and carefully held it, felt it, and studied it.  I did that again this morning and will do it several more times today.  The stitches, the history, the maker, the gesture …..  the itch was in need of hydrocortisone. 
So today, I am yanking linen.  I don't know what it will be.  I don't care if I want to keep it for display.  I don't care if it's large or small.  I just need to do it.  In between squirting my drops and gels while dodging the light.

Apr 21, 2019


Hope your Easter was a wonderful day.

I received a few emails claiming the donut hole has closed and my insurance can not continue to penalize me.  Unfortunately, the donut hole is not gone.  By "closing" they mean it's getting smaller, not eliminated. 
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 also made some changes.  This graph shows the current donut hole and the final phase in 2020.  And it was not started with the ACA.  Can't believe everything you read online!  Hope this explains it better than I did.

I found I can go through GoodRx and get my $795 (270 pills for 90 days) generic Cevilemine not covered in my plan for less than $300.  This works for generic but brand name drugs are not discounted as deeply.  This is not a manufacturer discount and there is no denial for Medicare members, local participating pharmacies are listed.  It's worth entering your higher priced generics into their website to see if you can save. 
That's it.  I'm done.
Dinner went well.  Mark's garlic breaded chicken is everyone's favorite and he used the Chick-Fil-A secret of marinating the breasts in pickle juice making them very tender and juicy.  Some recipes don't rinse off the marinade but we do.  After pie, I had to take Carole to Urgent Care since she injured her rib area from an extended reach the day before.  She tore cartilage or pulled a muscle and after seeing the doctor, we spent an hour in the parking lot of Rite Aid waiting for the script to be filled.  It's always something.

Apr 19, 2019

To those that observe

  Happy Easter 
 Happy Passover
Thank you for the emails and checking in on me.  You've asked how I am doing, so here's a report.
My eyes are still not producing tears but not as irritated with medication. The dry mouth has progressed to my throat and I can't swallow without water, talking for any length of time is difficult and I lose my voice.  Medication does not stop progression, it only helps to alleviate symptoms.  I am ashamed to admit that this is getting to me emotionally.  I keep telling myself how lucky I am to not have something worse, but my fear that I will be the small percentage with lung involvement or cancerous lymphoma is real because of the sudden and severe onset.  Sjogren's is usually a slow progression to diagnosis and this is not making sense to any doctor.

And now for some technical crap about Medicare Part D.
The sample of Xiidra I am using for my eyes is not covered by my Medicare plan and I will have to switch to Restasis.  For those of you not on Medicare, a little preview!  Under my nephew's employer plan, my drugs would be a $10 co-pay, but being on Medicare, my co-pays for the same run from $47 to $268 each month and $140 to $780 in the hole. One is not even covered at all. The donut hole instituted with Obamacare is only applicable on Medicare, a real blow to seniors, who enter the higher cost hole when the drug expense reaches $3820, and stay there until they pay $5100 out of pocket.  The total drug price (retail cost) is counted to reach that threshold, which I did not know.  For example, my 90 day Eliquis price of $1568 and $1704 for Restasis is used toward the $3820, not just my portion of the cost.  But the $5100 threshold is based on patient cost only, not the total retail costs as it is to reach the hole.  So even though I write a check for $570, the actual cost of the drugs is well over $3820.  That cost is shown on the receipt or mailed to patients in a summary report and this is the amount needed to gauge when the hole is near.  And it ain't nothing like the one Alice fell into.

  The discounts and help offered by drug companies and others are not available to Medicare patients, another slap.  Regardless of the recent proposals to decrease drug prices, Part D plans (mandatory with Medicare), have the right to drop your drug, change the formulary list, the Tier of your drug, but you have no right to switch to a different plan within your contract year if your health and finances are impacted by those changes.  How's that for unfair?  This is how government mandated policies help seniors?  Between drug costs that are not mentioned and the increase in taxes, I wonder how the aging population will be affected by Medicare for all. 
When did we become our parents' age?

While continuing to rid myself of "things", I finally let go of the gourd I painted so long ago.

It had a split end that was perfect for rabbit ears but before I finishing painting them, my sister asked if she could show her friends that were coming over for lunch. 

When it was returned, there was a crack beneath the puppy that was also indented.  I think it was rolling on the floor of the car and her grandson must have accidentally stepped on it.  It became too unstable and fragile, and I lost interest in finishing it, certainly could not sell it as I did the others.
I am making Nona's risotto and garlic chicken, fruit salad, elderberry pie, and not much else for family dinner on Saturday.  Cold plate of sliced kielbasa, ham, cwikla, cheese, eggs, and honey oatmeal bread Easter morning, Carole is having the Sunday dinner with the wild great-grands.  I so wish I would not have seen the crates crammed with white baby lambs crying for mama while being hauled to slaughter.  I know lamb is often served at Easter but it breaks my heart.
Have a blessed holiday weekend.

Apr 4, 2019

For now

I've decided to take a break.  I can't even read your blogs.  I can't stitch.  I can't sew.  I can't drive.  I was to take Carole to Walmart today and Mark had to drive.  Once in the store, I couldn't keep my eyes open from the florescent lighting and dryness, even with continual drops.  As much as I look at this as easier to accept than other diagnoses, I am really getting down to the point of crying jags.  Haven't had those since the menowars of a few years ago.  And they hurt because not one single tear is produced.  Not one.  If the Restasis helps, and that's a big if, it will be about six months before I notice a difference.  I have no idea why it takes that long.  But right now, I am having too much difficulty with reading, even with new glasses.  My eyes have worsened this past week.  So rather than struggling to type, read, and post, I've decided not to until there is some improvement, which I was told not to expect.  But who knows? 
Thanks for being my friends and connection to the stitching world.  I sure hope to be back at some point!  Until then, take care of yourselves.  Love you all.

Apr 3, 2019

Big old girls

Two more larger samplers from years ago.

Sheepish Designs McCarthy Sampler (with glass reflections)

Simply Samplers Hannah Gibson (27 x 17 on 28 count).  Hannah doesn't really have much stitching for as large as she is, certainly doable for impatient stitchers.

Haven't started anything yet.  By the time my eyes clear enough to see, 15 minutes have passed and it's time for more drops!  I really wanted the leather board for the pony pouch but wrapping and gluing the edges is just too tedious for my vision right now.  I think machine sewing will be feasible if I have Mark measure and square the fabric so the presser foot can follow the edge.
My machine is an older model Kenmore, heavy and metal, minimal specialty stitches but still working fine.  Damn.  I should not have said that.  I've considered a new machine for a number of years but as with all my procrastinating, no action has been taken.  Brother?  Janome?   The Brother HC1850 is $200 on Amazon with 130 stitches, 8 presser feet (or foots - you decide), 25 year warranty, and excellent reviews.  Rated the best for beginners to experts.  Do you base quality on price?  Some cheaper models outperform the very expensive, but not always the case.  The closest service center is in Warren Ohio (about 40 minutes) and although they only carry Baby Lock, all models can be repaired.  Reliability is more important to me than special features I would probably never use.
Hope your week is going well..
thanks for visiting
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