Misc catch-up

I sort of fell off the map for a few weeks.  Oopsie.  I’ve been trying to keep up with reading everybody’s blogs but have failed at that too for the most part.  Sorry.  ❤

L has been working a swing shift and in an effort to see him, I’ve gone completely wonky.  Turns out trying to stay awake when on those migraine meds put me right back into dopey land.  I don’t recommend it.  I had one of my famous 5 day migraines due to a storm system -before- he went on swing shift, so that accounts for the first missing week.

So to update for the missing time while I was being slightly crazy again and not curled up into bed with a never-ending migraine.  You’ll have to dig to find the tag you’re interested in.  Most have photos for easy scrolling and skipping around!  🙂

I went back to my dermatologist; there was a scheduling issue at the office and they had to change my appointment and I had to see a different doctor, which I wasn’t too happy about.  I panic enough with doctors as it is and the reason I go is a progressive thing that the new doctor had no clue what the situation was now versus where it had started.  She was nice enough, though.  She prescribed a new medication for me to try and if it doesn’t work, she wants to try to fight my insurance to try to get some sort of twice a week light therapy.  Thankfully, we have pretty good insurance but we still haven’t met our high deductible yet…somehow.  Even after the insurance knocked down the pharmacy’s price, this still makes me cringe….and note it’s for a 15 day supply.  *cries*

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It could be worse, I know, but I’m used to my medications being free or much, much cheaper.  I guess morphea isn’t life threatening (though mine is painful due to its location and how thick it is, which is why the doctors are aggressively treating it), so they don’t much care to cover the costs more than telling the pharmacy to knock the price down from 400.99 to 289.70.  Lucky me, guess that savings will cover my dermatology office visit.

As a bit of a fun twist, some of our friends actually came up to visit us.

One flew up from North Carolina, while two others drove up from Maryland and Connecticut.  It was a miserably cold, rainy weekend that we had planned several months ago.  We had hoped to go camping in the Adirondacks (before I sprained my ankle), so I guess I’m glad the weather was awful so I didn’t have to get left behind.

Instead, we went to an aquarium and then saw Beauty and the Beast (finally!!!)

Fun fact: I think the Beauty and the Beast cartoon was the first movie I ever saw in a theater.  I seem to remember my Uncle Vince taking me?  Not sure if I’m remembering that correctly or not.

We also drove down to Howe’s Caverns and did a lantern tour.

The Caverns themselves weren’t the most impressive or interesting that I’ve been to (though the winding way in and out was a ton of fun and unique) but the lantern portion of it made it well worth the trip.  I’m not sure if every group gets to walk back on their own, without the guide and armed only with their own little candles or if we were lucky because we were a small group and there were no other tours, but it was AWESOME to get to wander around alone in a dark cave.  I’d highly recommend doing a lantern tour there if it’s always like that.

The caverns before the guide turned off all the lights and left us alone:

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Since our friends have left, I’ve spent most of my time outside working in the gardens.

I feel a bit like a Disney princess out there lately.

The birds are completely unafraid and after the initial shock of having a human out there with them, they’ll happily come to within just a few feet of me.  One little chickadee in particular will even hop up to me if I’m sitting and chirp at me when I say hello.

So far this spring in our yard (that I’ve noticed at our feeders), we’ve had black-capped chickadees, blue jays, tufted titmouse, red-bellied woodpeckers, ruby-throated hummingbirds, american robins, american goldfinch, white-breasted nuthatches, dark-eyed junco, chipping sparrows, northern cardinals, common grackles, mourning doves, downy woodpeckers, rose-breasted grosbeaks, and even a pileated woodpecker that scared my husband half to death because he didn’t realize just how large they were.  If we go to the common fields we own with our hippy-dippy neighborhood, there are some nesting canada geese, a flock of turkeys, eastern bluebirds, red-winged blackbirds, and tree swallows from just a quick glance.  I saw the guy that does the egg count there at the nest boxes over the weekend, so look forward to seeing the official counts.  🙂  I’ve never been much of a birder but it’s hard not to take an interest when there is so much variety in your own backyard.

We’ve been cleaning several of our garden beds this spring — a few of which we haven’t touched since we moved here.  They were infested with saplings and (unfortunately for L) poison ivy.

I rebuilt a collapsed retaining wall over the weekend while L worked on weeding a bed of daffodils we planted last fall; it’s still hard for me to crawl around on the ground with my ankle stabilized.  We planted the daffodils pretty far apart so we could execute our plan of planting strawberries between the bulbs this spring so we could have a useful bed all through the year.  The strawberry plants, 75 of them, arrived over the weekend, so we’ve been planting like crazy.  We’re not quite done yet since the weather keeps dumping rain on us, but we’re getting close!

One of the beds, we’re completely redoing.  I started prying out the years of junk that the previous owners had left in it — broken bricks, tiles, assorted rocks — in preparation for tilling.  Poor L.  He started helping and moved a brick and freaked out.  He thought he found a nest of baby snakes.  Nope.

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I thought he was going to have a heart-attack when I rushed in and scooped the little guys up (there were three of them) to move them.  He’ll eat a berry I pick out in the forest but doesn’t trust me to know what I can and can’t pick up critter-wise…  I know the salamanders (northern redbacks as far as I can tell) would have burrowed back into the soil, but since we were getting ready to till the area, I didn’t want them to get hurt and I know of an area in the side yard where a few hang out, so I hope they’ll be okay there.  Better than chopped up by tiller blades?

Once the bed is fully prepped, I’m putting a pink lemonade blueberry bush in that garden and calling it a done deal….and then building a sloped wall behind it and grading out that part of the yard to help with some of the drainage.  We’ve also planted a dwarf plum for L.  He loves plums and has decided since I proved I can grow white peaches in a zone 5 that I can grow plums for him as well.  I need to learn a way to preserve them that he’ll eat — he doesn’t eat jams or jellies…so lots of Chinese plum sauce? 😛

I think after the flower bed rehab, I might move our raised garden and break it down to more of a square foot gardening type of thing for ease.  It’s pretty large and unwieldy right now and L is getting more into gardening, so I think he may become more invested and active if he has his own little gardens to grow his favorite vegetables versus having to put up with whatever it is I plant.  L REALLY wants to build a CNC type of robot to manage the one we have now.  I think gardening is relaxing and rewarding, so square-foot gardening may seem more manageable to him.  He’s the type of person that hates to stop in the middle of a task, so it would be smaller tasks….and less yard to mow in the part of the yard that I dislike mowing the most. 😀

…and crafting.  My favorite thing of all!

I’ve been knitting a little on my RPG scarf — there aren’t many things to keep me tied to my computer and that’s really the only place I knit, so it has been slow going.

 

I’ve started rewatching one of my favorite old animes, Bleach, while cross-stitching.  It’s weird watching it in English but I wouldn’t be able to stitch if I had to read subtitles so I’m having to adjust to the dubbed voiced actors.  I miss Renji’s Japanese voice. 😦  Bonus is that I can skip the filler arcs!  They do a decent job integrating them and I enjoyed them enough when I was back in college waiting for each one to come out weekly, but it’s nice just getting to watch main arc this time through.  I never actually finished the show because the fillers NEVER seemed to end.  It’s finally time to do so.

…which means cross-stitch progress!  I’m past 1,000 stitches now and even more since this last photo.  I’m still enjoying stitching, which is good.  Probably bad though because I don’t want to do anything else except garden…and I have sooo much I need to do!

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…and last of all, since it was Mother’s Day:

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Mom and I when I was probably about 3 or 4.  I’m still just as sour and grumpy.

…and because you can’t have a mom without a grandparents somewhere, here are my Granny Boo (Mom’s mother) and Grandmother (Dad’s mom) at my high school graduation forever ago.

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Last year, Mom asked for photographs of flowers and animals from our yard since we have so much diversity and I inherited (yay) the green thumbs (Mom did not), so I spent all of last year taking pictures and then had a book made and sent it to her.   🙂  Thankfully, Mom loved it and immediately understood all of little references that I slipped in there that L didn’t recognize.

Yard and a bit of reminiscing

I finally had to cave and get a brace for my ankle.  😦

Two weeks later and it’s still swelling and hurting, so I’m not quite sure what to do with it.  I’ve never injured my ankles before — they’re usually quite faithfully loyal — so this has been quite a pain, very literally.

L noticed that the sprained one is swelling after I’ve been moving around and he’s totally oblivious, so if he’s noticing, it’s bad.  Frustration!  Good news is the brace seems to help stabilize everything and keep the swelling down.

To nurse my injured pride and sore ankle, I decided to spend the weekend in my favorite spot: my yard.

I conned L into digging a nice big hole and planted a beautiful mountain laurel.  I forget the exact cultivar — I’ll check and update when it’s daytime — but it should bloom a beautiful dark red instead of the normal white or pink.  I’m very excited.

Not much has came up yet, as it’s still pretty chilly here — our daffodils and hyacinths are still in full bloom, with just a few tulips (the ones the deer haven’t had a field day with yet) peeking up.

Like these “Little Beauty” tulips!

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Our bird friends are also starting to show back up in force.  Notably, the goldfinches have changed colors at long last!

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We have droves of them.  Our redbud was so full of them last year that it gleamed yellow instead of the bright pink it should have.  This year looks like we’ll have a similar turn out.  🙂

The redbud is probably one of my favorite things about our yard.  It’s right outside of our bedroom window, which means the birds singing at the crack of dawn wake me up…at the crack of dawn…which can be super annoying, but it provides lots of entertainment during the day.

There’s one specific knot in the tree that attracts the attention of my current favorite avian resident, the downy woodpecker.  Every day he takes a few of the sunflower seeds from our feeder and cracks them open in the same exact spot.  Awesomely enough, a few white-breasted nuthatches have begun to do the same.   …but the downy woodpecker is still cuter if you ask me.  :3

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I didn’t actually do much yard work this weekend, just shuffled around and poked at things.

…except this guy, I didn’t poke him.  I just said hi and let him go back to being his cute little self.  🙂

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One of my proudest finds was my white peach tree not only survived (suck on that nay-sayers!) but has produced its first bud!  I’ve heard nothing but negativity from a certain southern “relation” that lives in a state known for growing peaches about how I’ll NEVER have a peach tree survive here, much less produce anything.  I just want to show this to the world and rejoice.  Seriously, I love peaches.  This was a very, very exciting discovery.  I realize one blossom will not be enough to pollinate (it is a self-pollinating variety) or yield anything, but it’s a step in the right direction!  The tree is still young but it’s trying! ❤

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The last and perhaps truly happiest discovery was, despite literally being mowed over (twice) last year, another of my trees survived.  It may be small, but it is mighty.

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Happy dance!!!

This apple tree is super special to me.  One of my cousins brought it to me as a wee little twig and I planted it soon after we moved here. Somehow is has survived through all of the abuse so it must have a good root system at least.  It’s a whopping 2 inches tall at this point after the last mowing down.  I’m surrounding it with bricks now. >_>

This tree holds the secret of my childhood.  It’s a start from my Granny Boo’s apple tree.

It has the tiniest, pinkest fleshed apples I’ve ever seen.  They’re tart and sweet and perfect.

…and cows love them.

…and I loved to jump on rotten ones.

It makes the BEST apple sauce.

My Granny Boo died in 2003, two weeks before I started college.

When I was born, Grandmother said before anybody ever came out to tell the grandparents, Granny Boo hopped up and declared “I hear my baby!”….and then Dad came out to tell everybody that I had been born.  I was the 7th of Granny Boo’s grandchildren but the first she ever asked to keep….demanded, actually.  She told Mom to go back to work and they’d take care of me.

Mom likes to tell me that she did everything in her power to be nothing like her mother, then ended up having her as a daughter.  I’ll take that as a complement.  😛

She lived in the log cabin she was born in (which was old at that point).  You’d think, just by looking at her or talking to her, that she was a backwards hill woman from the Appalachians and that’s the image she loved to trick people into believing.  Truthfully, she’d been around the world as part of the WAAC/WAC in WWII — she was recruited because she worked at the telephone company and took French in high school, then became part of the MP.  If you got her drunk, she would try to teach you jujutsu.  She was intelligent, witty, and downright hilarious…in addition to being a relatively wicked mountain woman.

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On the back of this photo, Granny Boo had written ” Apr. 16 Col Hobby  Apr. 17 President Roosevelt   I was all dressed up – ready to guard them from all danger”.

I graduated high school a year early and Granny Boo took great pride in telling everybody that she taught me everything I knew.  As it would turn out, she also graduated high school at the same age so felt the bragging rights were appropriate.

We were at Granny Boo’s playing cards — she had a fierce competitive spirit — the night she her aortic aneurysm ruptured.  She lost the hand of Skip Bo and we thought she was being a sore loser (an unfortunate trait I did inherit but have worked to overcome).  She had emergency surgery to repair the tear — the aneurysm was the size of a football — but they couldn’t get her off of the ventilator.

I ended up graduating college early as well, so I think that would have made Granny Boo proud.  I’ve not done much with the degree but it exists and I guess that’s what matters.

I still have a few jars of her apple sauce from our last canning season on my shelf downstairs.  The seals are good and they look as beautiful as the day they were made…but I dare not open them.

Someday, probably not for another 10 or 15 years, I hope my little apple tree will be big enough to make some apples so I can finally have some of that apple sauce again.  🙂

Amber and Granny Boo

 

 

 

Grandmother visits for Easter!

I have a little plaque hanging by our door that says:

“All our visitors bring joy,  Some by coming, Others by leaving”

This time, we had some visitors that fit into the first category.

This was the first year that L and I have celebrated Easter in a while, most holidays just slip away from us unless we’re traveling somewhere to see family…and the celebration came to us!

My Uncle and Aunt brought my Grandmother allll the way up from southwestern Virginia to visit us for the weekend!

L always says Grandmother is what all grandparents should be like and, not to be biased or anything, but she really is.  She even made us a cheeseball (one of our favorite things she makes) and brought it in the tiniest cooler I’ve ever seen.

I wish I had taken photos of their visit (they did) but I was too busy enjoying myself.  They arrived Friday night and departed Sunday afternoon, so it was just a short visit but a fun one.

Grandmother doesn’t have internet at home but as soon as she found out April the giraffe was giving birth on Saturday morning, she had my phone and my Uncle’s Kindle and was watching the live stream most of the morning.  We ended up watching the actual birth on my computer since it has a huge screen.  She then carried some sort of media around all day to check on the calf.  If they had internet or cell service in her area, I think she’d be quite the modern woman.

Grandmother enjoys a morning walk and wanted to see the neighborhood — I know I’ve mentioned on here before that we live in a bit of a unique one — so Saturday morning after everybody’s recovered from the 13+ hour journey north, we started a two mile walking tour of my neighborhood.

…and leave it to me to fall over absolutely nothing halfway through.

…at the bottom of the hill.

…and completely skin my right knee and sprain my left ankle.

I was able to finish the walk home, even though my ankle has been very unhappy with me since — it’s about three time its normal size two days later.  L says I have to baby it because we have two days worth of concerts this coming weekend and there’s no promise of seating.  Gee, thanks. 😛

It was like I was three years old again with how they all wanted to doctor me up.  There was much disappointment on my part that I’ve developed an allergy to bandage adhesive as an adult.  I loved bandaids as a kid and would often wear them for no reason.  I would also play on my Dad’s old crutches from an injury in high school — people would call Grandmother and ask what happened to me when they’d see me playing on them outside at her house.  It’s too bad I don’t have a pair of those handy now.

Saturday afternoon we went over to see Albany.  We got there right as the Trump protest for taxes was assembling in the Empire Plaza — we had no idea — and being from such a conservative (incredibly, super conservative, insanely rural, coal-country) area, I found it hilarious when Grandmother exclaimed “Oh, give me a sign!”.  They all seemed excited to see the protest since they typically only get to see things like that on the news, so we ended up watching it for a bit and they took lots of photos.  It always makes me happy to see protests too — somebody has to stand up to this nonsense we have in office right now.

They all seemed to really enjoy Albany and I always enjoy when people realize how nice (most of) New York is and that it’s not all just NYC.  It’s funny how the rest of the world really seems to form that misconception, even L had it before he first visited here for his job interview.  He didn’t even want to fly up here for it (they were paying for the flight and hotel) because it was in NY and he was just sure it was all going to be one big urban sprawl.

On the way home we hit up the chocolatier that we always get Grandmother candy from when we travel down for Christmas.  Usually we just get a pre-filled box of assorted goodies (she swears they’re all good) but this time since we had her there, we got her to pick out some stuff she wanted from behind the counter.  She filled it all with peanut and peanut butter based chocolates.  She’s obsessed with peanut butter.  I don’t think she packed any on this trip because she knew I’d have Peter Pan peanut butter waiting on her (we both packed a jar when we went to the beach together) but normally a jar of peanut butter goes on every trip with her.

Yesterday we, of course, had to have Italian.  L wanted to be a really bad influence and take Grandmother to an Irish pub — and she was willing to go — but most of those were closed on Easter.  Thank goodness.  >_>;  The Italian is better in my opinion anyway.

She asked at dinner what I called the bag she was carrying — one I made for her in very modern and trendy patterns/colors that she picked out — and I told her I’d probably call it a “clutch” if she was carrying it on its own (she was) or “wallet” if she was carrying it inside of something else…and then I call her little red leather shoulder bag a “purse” or a “bag”.  She usually calls such things a “pocketbook” but had heard somewhere that calling it a pocketbook makes you seem old, so didn’t want to use that terminology anymore.  She cracks me up.

I hope they enjoyed visiting even half as much as we did having them here. ❤

Wrong side of the bed…and a L rant.

Color me grumpy today.

Isn’t it weird how even though you can go to bed perfectly fine and happy but wake up a total bear?

I think I’m just stressed.

 

In happier news, I was brilliant and gave L a game for his birthday last week.  I want to thank my past self for that a thousand times.

As a bit of background, since we’ve been together, he’s not wanted to play any one player games.  Which was kind of cute at first…but it’s a really frustrating 10 years later.  I also like gaming and there are a lot of fantastic one-player games.  If the story is good enough…and if he quits playing bumble-bee cam to the point of making me motion sick…I don’t mind swapping out and beating a game together.  I really miss Link and Kratos. 😦

But he always, always, ALWAYS wants to be a team…and not just with games.

If I get dressed first, he finds a matching outfit to wear.  If my medicine is hitting and I zonk out, he wants to go to bed too.  If I go wash dishes or laundry, I turn around and slam into him because he’s ninjaed into the room behind me while the water was running.  He’s not actually being helpful or contributing, he’s just there because I’m there….which drives me INSANE.

It’s not even the annoyance of having somebody literally right behind you, it’s also a safety thing.

When does he always want a hug?  When I’m holding a super sharp knife chopping  food or cooking at a hot stove.  My arm is scarred from my iron because he’s jostled me into it while looking over my shoulder.  I’ve cut my finger to the bone while dicing vegetables because he’s bumped my elbow.  I’ve had burn blisters on my hands from not being able to get away from the broiler or popping pans because I couldn’t jerk my arm back because he was there blocking it.  I’ve sewed through a fingernail (thank goodness I have long nails and it wasn’t a finger!) because of he’s knocked into my chair.  I know it seems like a lot of blame and I know I’m doofy, but that’s a lot of “accidents” involving somebody else.

I’ve fallen down the stairs, had a concussion, broken my nose, had black eyes, and other weird stuff all because of bizarre “L is nearby” accidents.  It sounds crazy because it is.

Then there’s the super rare occasions that I somehow leave a room and he doesn’t notice; he actually panics and runs through the house screaming for me, like I’ve completely disappeared from the planet.

I guess it’s good that he always wants to be up my butt but there’s no alone time.  No sanity time.  No breathing space.

Back to the point!

I got him a one player game:  Berserk and the Band of the Hawk.

He’s obsessed with Berserk and loves Dynasty Warriors/Warriors Orochi play style (both great two player fighting games, so we play a lot of them)…and there’s an end eventually so I don’t have to monitor his playing.  Win/win!

Again, what does it matter?

I got to knit on Friday while we were waiting for the electrician to come by!

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It’s not a whole lot of progress (I had up to the dark band with the light squiggle all across it, above the paw prints), but it’s enough to make me happy.  I hadn’t been able to work on this RPG scarf in about a month.

I was also able to finish rewatching Claymore!  While knitting!

AND I finished our federal tax return yesterday!  We get our information really late…though early this year, usually it doesn’t show up until about the Friday before they’re actually due to be filed so this is a bit luxurious.

Normally I wouldn’t have been able to do any of those things when L is home.

This Berserk game is going to save my sanity for a little bit.  ❤

Beeeeeef!

I’m horrible with Valentine’s Day stuff.

I didn’t get L a single thing.  My “gift” is I’m about to start dinner and plan to have it ready when he gets home.

He likes to eat and hates the “soooo, what do you want to eat?” debate that all couples seem to fall into.

He’s pretty decent at it though:  (Sorry, vegetarians and vegans!)

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That’s 8 pounds of beef tenderloin and a cyclamen.  They may seem like weird choices, but they’re perfect for me.

I LOOOOVE beef.  Beef > Chocolates.  Any day, any time.

The only food I may like more than beef is a good old Country Ham…but considering we just cut up one of those two nights ago, I think we’re good to go on that front. 😀

I did tell him years ago I didn’t want cut flowers for anything other than apologies — it makes me sad to see something beautiful wilt and die…and they always remind me of funerals.

I also don’t want anything that sticks around longer than a week for anything but happy occasions.

The cyclamen is perfect.  I’ve wanted one for several years now and in that shade of purple.

Other than figuring out what to cook tonight, I worked a bit on the scarf for L today and managed to finish row 30.dscn4200

 

More of everything

L unexpectedly received photos in the mail!

He, of course, had to fuss that they came after “we” had finished the family tree.  I’d love to know what work he put into it other than asking (repeatedly, even though I put the names and lineages on the backs) “Who is that, again?” after it was all up.

I, on the other hand, was quite excited.   I scanned, cleaned up, and transferred them to the wooden plaques yesterday, then removed the papers and sealed them with modge-podge today.  I hope to hang them tonight as soon as they finish drying. I love old family photos!  I think it’s fun that we both now know what his great and great-great maternal grandparents look like.  Maybe one of these days we’ll get some paternal photos and can figure out where he gets his funny looks.  ;D

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Other crafts have been progressing along at the typical snails pace that somebody with crafting ADHD has.  I wish I could focus on any one thing for longer than half an hour.  Ugh!

I finally finished row 10 of the knitted Steampunk scarf.  It has 120 stitches, is double-knit, and has a fair amount of color swaps, so I can’t really fall into a rhythm with it and bust it out.  I am enjoying it a lot, even if it’s going to take me forever. 🙂

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I’ve also made progress with hand quilting the mandala.  It’s also hard to fall into a rhythm with, as the pattern just isn’t very continuous-line friendly.  I’ve figured out a decent way to keep going without  having to start and stop as much, but it’s still a bit choppy.  I still like how it’s turning out though….and still hope that green Crayola marker will wash out when I’m done!

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I’m almost finished with another month’s worth of the Skill Builder tutorial — just one more row of strips to cut and add, then finishing the write up.  My calico was laying on my cutting mat and I just don’t have it in me to move her when she’s purring while asleep.  I’ll probably use this block set for next month, as I think a Log Cabin is a heck of a lot easier than a Maple Leaf.

L and I made some alcohol ink “art” a while back and I finally decided where to hang it.  I say “art” because really it was an excuse for me to set something on fire.  I like fire more than I should.

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The top two are mine and the bottom two are his.

I also had the most amazing impulse buy.

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That lamp is SO me.  It’s campy and kitschy in all the fun, right ways.   Those are L’s Batman vehicles, so I’m not alone in making this house as un-adult as we possibly can.  Our entry room hasn’t been refinished yet, aside from the floor, so it’s still mostly plain and boring.  A llama and Batmobiles help that a bit.

L knows I’m more than a bit eccentric — as is he — but I don’t think he realized until recently just how much I fixate on certain things.  I have, since I was really little, loved shiny things (fire falls into this category) and animals of all kinds (seriously, the only creatures I don’t like are mosquitoes and ticks).  Of course I love kittens and puppies (but not as much as kittens) and all the stereotypical megafauna used to stir up emotions and empty pockets to conservation societies…but I also have a really deep-seated obsession for a variety of other creatures, namely octopuses, llamas/alpacas, and sometimes armadillos.

One of my friends gave me the Lloyd & Lola pattern by Elizabeth Hartman to go with TeacupLion’s plushie pattern that I coveted until I snagged it on Black Friday.  They both made it onto my whiteboard before the cutoff date.  I am SO excited to start making both of those!  I did promise my friend I’d wait to do the quilt until she was ready to make hers so we could have our very own miniature quilt-along.  Still excited! 😀

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I’ve had a bit of a melancholy day.

One of my Dad’s lifelong friends sent me a message on Facebook to share a joke he thought Dad would have liked; he’s right, Dad would have loved it.  It was a Chuck Norris joke and Dad loved ALL of those.

“The Boogie Man looks under his bed at night, to make sure Chuck Norris isn’t there.”

It’s a bit of a coincidence actually, as my Mom also sent me a Chuck Norris joke/meme the day before.  Guess it’s on all of our minds for some reason?

Normally I’m the type that doesn’t get down in the dumps about missing people and choose to remember the good times and laugh instead…so I’m not sure why I’m so “bleh” today.

Dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor when I was an infant/toddler and managed to fight it until I was 21.

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Either way, I felt it appropriate to finally sew something with a shirt I have of his — yes it’s on the whiteboard!  It finally had reached the point that neither my husband nor I could get much use out of it, even doing yardwork, as it is so thread-bare.

Originally I thought about making a teddy bear out of it.  I love stuffed animals and where I grew up, the county mascot was a bear…but the pattern I liked was small and this is a really large print, so I didn’t really end up liking the combination.  In the end, I opted to go with a pillow for my loveseat.

I fused the holes closed with a bit of Pellon so they wouldn’t get worse and just sewed up the edges.  Couldn’t have been easier.  Plus, now I have a pillow I can use when I want to crash on a couch!

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Refresh tracking…

No matter how many times I’ve stalked KnitPicks and refreshed FedEx’s tracking page, my  yarn still isn’t here.   Does it matter that I only ordered it Friday evening and it shipped on Monday…and that I’m a cheapskate so didn’t pay the expedited shipping so that’s way faster than I should have expected?  Nope!  I apparently like to torture myself by watching it sloooowly move across the country while I sit here and click my empty needles together like it’ll actually improve anything.

I made binding for the Delectable Mountain quilt today and got it attached to the back.  I don’t know what it is but I always have a massive brain fart when it comes to joining the tails at the end and somehow mess it up.  One day, I’ll learn?  Tomorrow I get to snuggle up under it and hand-sew the front down and call it a done deal.

Logan keeps commenting that he’s jealous I get to stay at home and sleep all day.

Sure, I slept late today but that’s really unusual.  I had a super weird night of dreams about trying to go to sleep so woke up in full zombie mode.  Solution was to go back to sleep.

My husband also commented this past weekend that our bedroom hasn’t been mopped…since 2014.

Man, I wish that were the case.  He should have said that HE hasn’t mopped it since 2014.  We live with 3 cats and 2 dogs — one of which is a German “Shedder” mix.  We have tumbleweeds of fur if I don’t sweep every day.

I mean, just look at this dirty, nasty rug (and my sidekick being very undignified, but I like that it shows her extra toes <3).  I vacuumed it two days ago.   To be fair, the animals also all congregate right there since it’s next to my computer, but still…it’s gross already.  People with pet allergies would die upon entry into our home.

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If the bedroom hadn’t been mopped since 2014, we’d be knee deep in fur right now.  Ugh.

I’ve been whiling away my night time (sewing takes brain power, so no sewing after dinner for me) working on a crochet project I started years ago.  I honestly couldn’t even remember which design it was so just browsed back through the ones I have and picked on that was closest in number to the motifs required (Smaug — it’s going to be a dragon, yay!) and am running with it.  I do wish my decision making self a few years ago had picked something other than crochet thread though.  I need to make 128 total pieces before crocheting them together.  I may go insane, or cross-eyed…perhaps both…or maybe I already am.

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Weekly recap

I was bad.  So bad but in such a good way.  Ravelry will be the death of me.

I found an X-Wing Starfighter cuddle blanket.  I know I’m going to end up making it for L at some point — he needs a good blanket since I’m making a Spock quilt for me and my chair.  I’m thinking Bernat Blanket yarn will be the winner for that one; something super soft and snuggly.

I also stumbled upon a Role-Playing MKAL and bought it.  There wasn’t even a thought to it, I just thought it was a fantastically awesome idea and knew I’d enjoy the pattern (over and over and over).  L saw it and wants one as well, so I know “scarves” will be the next item I get to add to my Whiteboard of Doom/Torture/Agony.  I even ordered yarn for it in the colors L wanted (green and gray), as well as a good lilac contrast from some blackberry yarn in my stash that I’ll use for mine. 🙂

Knowing the next item I want to add is really a lot of motivation when it comes to finishing things on my board!  I fixed a curtain for our entry room and then finished repairing, making, labeling, and hanging every bit of my insane family tree.  I love it!

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I felt like I was going insane last week; I lost some gel medium, a huge tub of modgepodge, a doll needle, and somehow TEN POUNDS of polyfill.  What the hell?!

Good news is I’ve since found it all…but not until after I had to bite the bullet and buy more of that stupidly expensive gel.  It’s 20 bucks for a small little bit of it.  Thankfully Michaels had a 50% off sale on it and I had a 20% off coupon that also stacked…still hurt though…especially finding it where the cats had so generously moved it.  It was behind a 3-drawer storage tote, under my crafting table, behind a curtain.  I would’ve never found it (or been able to get to it) had I not had to pull all of my drawers out last night.  Ugh!

Cats wouldn’t be cats if they didn’t knock things off of tables though, right?

The upside of spending a week feeling like you’re going insane is that we had a beautiful ice storm and a good bit of snow during it.  I love winter weather!

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Our winter has been sadly lacking.  Even with a bit of snow still on the ground, my big dog has brought in two ticks in the past three days.  I love living here but the ticks are out of control and terrifying since such a high percentage of them carry Lyme — both of my dogs have had it in the past so will always test positive for it.  None of the flea and tick medications have worked to keep the nasty things off of them.  😦  The little one still shows occasional symptoms of it but the vet said the treatment is so harsh that unless she has prolonged symptoms (more than three days) it’s easier on her to let her just fight it out; poor thing.

Speaking of the little one, she’s not spoiled.  At all.  She refused to get out of our human bed the other day until she had her pajamas.  She will seriously fight you for them if you try to take them off of her.  I personally think it’s hilarious.

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….and lastly, our teddy bear cat has been making himself too at home in my crafting room as of late.  I normally keep the room closed, but the calico long ago figured out how to get into just about any room of the house (including the basement, even when the doors are locked and latched), so I’m sure she’s ultimately behind his sudden presence and the new layer of cat fur coating everything.

The quilt I’m finishing is not mine but thankfully Mom is a cat lover and found his antics adorable.  That quilt, by the way, is GORGEOUS!  I can’t wait to finish it so I can share a photo before sending it back to its rightful owner.

2016 Summary (with photos!)

Many months ago, this blog was “accessed” without my permission and I never bothered to reset the password and unfreeze it.  I’ve had a lot going on (excuses, excuses) but thought I should resurrect it now to keep myself on task. 🙂

So what happened during the missing portion of 2016?

L and I attended a whopping 48 concerts, a Renaissance and a Maker Faire, and multiple talks, museums, and “Broadway” shows.  My little Prius is a trooper and has handled the insane number of miles placed on it this year like a champ.

The photo is grainy and rough, but I do believe Gentle Storm (let’s face it, I love pretty much anything Arjen Lucassen is involved with) took the honor of my favorite show for the year.  Blind Guardian and Sabaton were definitely close runners up, though!

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I finally received a diagnosis for my eyes!  I have optic nerve drusen, as confirmed by an ultrasound (see below).  The good news is the ophthalmologist thinks I was born with them and, while I may lose some peripheral vision, they shouldn’t cause too many issues in the long run.  I have appointments every six months to monitor the drusen and my vision.

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The ophthalmologist referred me to a migraine specialist at a headache center to try to get those under control — fingers crossed that his approach is making a difference!  Also, in December, I found out I have a “rare” condition called morphea.  I’ll save everybody from photos of it, but I am on a treatment that seems to be helping.  I actually have an appointment with my dermatologist tomorrow to find out the results of the ANA.  Autoimmune disorders run in my family, so I’m not looking forward to this appointment at all.  😦

…and the best for last, crafting updates!

I ended up gifting the table runner set – included place mats and napkins – to my Grandmother.  Mom ended up with a lunchbox, a crocheted sweater, and the curved log cabin quilt (that she has to share with her husband!).  I also made a shawl for both Mom and Grandmother at different points, finished a quilt for L’s parents, and crocheted a Star Trek “engineer” hat for one of his manager type people who did him a favor.

I have a few more projects and toppers that are in various stages of never being finished, but I figure the finished stuff is enough for anyone.