Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Where does the time go?

I feel like it was just yesterday that I blogged and yet it's been almost a month ago. I don't know this for a certainty, but I really feel like as you get older time speeds up. The weeks are over before they begin, the month's are over in the blink of an eye, and yet.....sometimes my days just drag on. The last couple of days I've had an ache in my back, and in my leg that gives me no rest. In fact I've slept sitting up in a chair for several nights...not exactly restful. So my mood isn't the best as this has affected my stitching time. Two weekends ago I had a snow day....yes we had snow here. Not a lot but a couple of inches and enough for me to declare a snow day from work. Sara called me at 7:30 a.m. to say Michael would not be in church....which turned out fine since I was still asleep and therefore wouldn't make it to church on time.... (if Michael goes to church I take him out for breakfast....I'll use any incentive I can to get that child in the church.) I spent the day stitching and knitting. It was the best day ever. I hadn't had a day off from work for 3 weeks so I was like a kid in a candy store. I did my usual...stitched for 10 minutes, then I knit for 10 minutes, went on the Internet, started cleaning (that didn't even last 10 minutes) before I said, "Stop" at this rate I'd get nothing done. So I decided to start on the cartons Mary and Brian had stacked in a guest bedroom. I got rid of 3 more cartons (and only 3 left to go) so I'll be done with this job soon. I can't wait and to know that this is more packed up cartons left to come down...oh mercy, that means next year I won't have any little surprises. I'm still getting dishes where they go, etc., but at least the cartons are gone...O.K. all but 3. I did 3 loads of wash, and between each load I set a stitching goal. So by the end of Sunday night...I had accomplished quite a bit and was really feeling proud of myself. While I didn't know it at the time, this would be my last "great day" for a few weeks. We had the Ann Arrundel Yarn Crawl two weekends ago and although we didn't see very many of the knitters it made us get the yarns out of the cartons that came in this winter and get them out on the floor. Unfortunately, we also made a new knitting corner which took away the table we use on Sundays when stitchers come in to stitch. So I'm not sure what we're going to do about this....but soon the hotel lobby will be ready and the weather hopefully will be warm enough that we can just go in there and stitch. God knows the chairs are more comfortable in if the weather would just cooperate. It was still dipping back down in the 30's last week, but during the day it did get up to the 40's or 50's so we're getting that touch of spring, it just hasn't committed itself yet. We had that one day in the high 70's two weeks ago which really spoiled us. We got that false feeling of summer and we don't want to go back to winter. However, this week we did get back up to the 70's and the rest of the week looks warmer so spring is here. I was stitching like a maniac, or knitting and stitching like a maniac and then this pain appeared, which made it impossible to get rest of comfortable. I was having the most fun before the "pain" appeared, knitting and stitching, but once it appeared all stitching ended. As you know Betsy Morgan's class is right around the corner, and since I had her pre-work done I was concentrating on my Lauren Sauer class in June. I'd stitch for a while on that and then I'd flip over to other things. When Debbie Liming was down two weeks ago for her mini retreat...she pulled out the Lizzie Kate "Peep" piece and as we were studying it she said, "Wouldn't this be cute as a pin"...and of course that sent me over the edge and I went home that night and finished it. I wore it in (finished in a tin necklace from Twisted Threads) the next day to show off and commented about wanting to put grass in the basket as in a candy filled Easter Basket. So, Debbie finished hers and brought it in the next day with the grass done in turkey cute. (Why didn't I think of that myself?) So of course I took mine apart and did the turkey work on mine as well (monkey see...monkey do). I love this and think it's the cutest necklace for Easter day. You will see me wearing mine on Easter in the shop. At the same time I've also been working on knitted little hats that were made to fit on eggs in an egg cup. We found the patter in a new Debbie Bliss book in the shop. So cute for Easter as well (I tend to work toward holidays). The first one I made the ears were way too long and kept curling. Then I read the directions carefully (honestly why can't I do that first), and found that if I had stitched them the way they say the ears wouldn't curl at all. So I made a second one knitting in white and it turned out perfectly. These are going to look so cute on my Easter table, and I know the kids are going to love them. And the plus wasn't a scarf or hat...the two things I've become proficient in when knitting. Pat and Sara found a rabbit for me to knit so that's my next project which must be done before Easter (this may not happen). I'm so busy at night trying to go from one project to another...well I'm up half the night stitching or knitting. I also finished Just Nan's Christmas Cheer, the 2009 Christmas ornament. It actually is shown in a frame from Just Nan and that's what I'm using to finish it. I've run into a snag however, so while the stitching is isn't in the frame, as it doesn't fit. So either the company mis-marked what the fabric is or...well there is no well or. But I simply adore the piece. My favorite part is probably the lettering which is a small script type, just lovely. There is a small amount of bead work which also really adds dimension to the piece. I always enjoy the Just Nan pieces because of their delicate look...and this one did not disappoint. Usually there is more over one stitching, but the only part stitched over one is the lettering. So easy stitch people! Anyway, I've put in another fabric order which I hope will be here soon so I can stitch this again in the proper frame which I just adore. Now all that stitching was done however, before the "pain" arrived. That was 1 week ago on Monday. While I work I complained (what a surprise) about my leg hurting a little, but by Monday night I was in severe pain and unable to get comfortable lying down or sitting up. That meant I could not concentrate on stitching. Damn!!!! This went on all week as I tried everything to get rid of the pain. Friday I left work early and Saturday I stayed home. After work Sara came over to check up on me, and bring me her left over pizza (there is a God!) but when she came in she saw that I was at my breaking point. I was so desperate by this point I agreed to go to the hospital. I have to say I was surprised on a Saturday night that I was in and out of there in about 2 - 2 1/2 hours. The gentlemen who saw me listened to my complaints, took one look at my back and said, "I think you have shingles." I said, "I don't think so....there is no hot spot, I can touch my back and there is no pain, I really think it's the sciatic nerve." (oh, yes, now I'm a doctor." He then went on to say he felt it was shingles as there were three little blisters what were scabbed over. Three little blisters...well I said O.K. give me meds and I'm out of here. So he prescribed a virus medication ($207) and a couple of other things to start with and off I went. I got home, ate the cold pizza (best part of my day), took the meds and I entered dream land. I woke up about 3 hours later feeling great. I thought I was home free people. Stitched for a few hours and slept again and woke up Sunday morning at the top of my game. I called in sick again (no need to stress myself) and spent the day stitching and resting, and taking meds. Went to sleep Sunday night woke up at 2:30 in severe pain once again. Regardless of the fact that I had taken all the meds for the day I popped a couple more and spent 4 hours waiting for the pain to subside. It finally did at 6:00 in the morning at which time I went back to sleep. I waited until 8:00, called my doctor and asked to see him and they said "come on over." I belong to a boutique doctor who you pay a yearly fee to, however, it does come with immediate appointments and time with your doctor when you need him. So I drove over, told him what was going on, he looked and announced, "Sally, I hate to tell you but I agree, you have shingles." I didn't know you could have them and not know it. My father had them 2 times on the top of his head and he didn't want you anywhere near him they hurt so bad. Anyway, of course the doctor noticed when viewing my charts that I hadn't been in the office since 2009, so that meant I had to go to the hospital to get all the tests, x-rays and crap you have to do to be up to date. But he gave me vicidin so I felt it was the least I could do. I then went to work I felt so good. The weather was warm, I was feeling good and I was now set to get something done for the first time in 2 weeks. I was flying high until 3:03 a.m. when my plane landed once again and I was in pain. I don't like taking meds so I take the minimum necessary, but at 3:03 a.m. I made a judgement call and I took another pill. I didn't get any relief for several hours so this morning I called the doctor and after a little discussion we decided I'd try taking 2 every 6 hours and if that doesn't do it, then tomorrow we're going to start a new medication that will be stronger. Honestly people, this sucks! So I'm home again today as I was feeling a little shaky after being on the 12 hour fast (oh my God! 12 hours without food...I'm not sure what is worse.) As soon as I got out of the hospital this morning I ran to get something to eat, took more pills and now I'm a little shaky and experienced a moment of feeling sick to my stomach (and if you've seen me you know that's a whole lot of sick). Poor Sara is trying to get stuff done for me but we're so far behind, but the doctor says it might take a month to get rid of the pain at the most (for most people) and then I should be able to function now I have that goal. Anyway, that's what's going on down is it at your house?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just another day has turned into crap....

Before I tell you about my crap day let me tell you my good news. Got the word yesterday through e-mail that since 75% of respondents to the survey from TNNA (who sponsors Nashville market) state that Nashville is their favorite trade show so they have already announced that there will be a February market in Nashville next year...SCORE! I couldn't be more thrilled. Last year we didn't find out until July and I was panicing big time. Anyway, that's something for me to look forward to in 2012 already. As for Salty Yarns, we had our "Knit and Bitch" group meeting yesterday and as ususal I talked them to death. It is so much fun to meet and get my talk on....and see what everyone is stitching. Diane is stitching a dog coat that looks like it would fit a horse. Honestly, I can't imagine the size of this dog but I know one thing, I don't want to meet up with it in a dark alley. But with this beautiful red coat he should be warm and happy. It's an amazing project for her as she is really a relatively new Knitter. She made her grandson a sweater for Christmas...she is not daunted by any project and not content to start with a scarf or hat. Eleanor is moving on and started a hat yesterday on circular needles and she was so busy listening to us talk and talking herself she forgot to join the piece and ended up having to rip out and start over. Pat is up to her usual tricks...making unique projects. She finds all different kinds of yarn and stitches something with it. Always show stoppers and leaves you with the "how did she do that" question. We got in what we refer to as ruffle yarn last week. Pat came up and I showed it to her (I knew if I showed it to her she would just have to take a skein home and use it and I wasn't disappointed.) I knew she would knit with it right away but she broke all records by returning the next morning with the ruffled scarf finished. I meant to get a picture of Sara wearing it, but kept forgetting (what a surprise), but remembered yesterday to get Pat to model it. That's the length you get (she's wrapped on side over her shoulder) with just one skein. But I love the look. And Pat said it took her no more than 4 hours to knit it. So fast, and fun, and a scarf that would really dress up an outfit. We have the ribbon yarn in reds, purples, beige/brown, black/white so far. Back to Knit and Bitch, Renee is still working on her vest but she's almost finished I think. It's amazing to watch Renee working on her cables, scarves, tote bag, and now a vest. She was always a crochet worker and kept up her "I'm not knitting, I crochet." But Pat worked on her in the fall and the next thing I knew she had knit a scarf still saying, "I thought I should know how to at least knit but I'm still only going to crochet." I haven't seen her crochet since...she's a knitter who just can't admit it. I brought my knitting, I have 2 projects I'm currently working on and didn't pick up my needles. In my defense I did have a phone call every time I sat down, but also...I'm a talker (as so many of you know.) WEATHER UPDATE: Well, it was in the 50's today, but at night still goes down to the 30's. Everyone thinks it's going to reach 70 this weekend....I suspect we'll still be in the 50's because of the air by the ocean, but the skies are sunny and blue, the water is sparkling and it's so gorgeous to see it's hard to imagine what's happening in other parts of the world. Now for the crap of the day. On Monday I put through a rather large charge in Salty Yarns, the largest I remember ever having in a needlework shop. I was thrilled, already imagining the new stuff I could buy for the shop (forget about paying bills for God's sake, I want new.) Anyway, yesterday after getting home I received a call from the credit card company questioning the charge, which I knew to be good because I knew the family that placed the charge. But I had the paperwork on my desk at work so I told them I'd have to call them in the morning, even though today was suppose to be my one friggin day off this week. But this morning I trudged into work cussing and fuming and called the company back. You have never heard such bullshit in your life as I heard. Oops, I forgot my rep for the machine called me first and went over what they would be asking, and then said to call him if I needed him. So I called Karen and she wasn't in so some other jackass started the dialogue which only went down hill after saying, "Thank you for returning our call." Now, he wanted all kinds of information including what the charge was for. I realize with credit cards fraud certainly does come in to the conversation, however, I knew the family, I had every piece of information they would require and this jackass informs me that gift cards are for future and therefore he couldn't charge that. As for the 4 reservations for the retreat, well he couldn't charge that either. So he was taking the money and putting it back in the customer's account. After about 1/2 hour of going back and forth I told him to do whatever the hell he wanted and I'd contact the customer who could then call the company and yell at them. I mean, what the hell are the cards for? Anyway, I then called my sales rep and said, "Well, to say it didn't go well is an understatement." Kyle then said, "Let me handle this, I'll tell them they can put the charge back against me if anything goes wrong, because I know you and I know there will be no problem." While I said, O.K., I'm still fuming over this. I know the charge is going through but what is my point of getting all the information they require if they still don't let it go through. Boy, it's not like the credit card companies aren't making money...I know they lose some with fraud, but I'm pretty sure they are ahead of the game. And if the customer complained they could always withdraw it out of my account on their own. Honestly, today has been the I being Punked? Because I no sooner get done with the credit card company then I called my bank to speak with the loan officier as she hadn't called me back, for 2 days. Thank God I got her today, because she never retrieved her voice mails because as she said, "I am technology impaired...I don't know how to do it." Keep in mind this is my bank loan officier....I'm sure there are others wondering why they don't get call backs. Anyway, I asked that the money be dropped into my account and she said sure, fine and we hung up. Two hours later I get a call from the corporate headquarters telling me they have no idea what she's asked for. They don't have any record of me having a line of credit. (Is this April fools day.) Thank God I hadn't put my records in the attic yet (thank God I procrastinate) so I said I have last year's records right here and here's the note #. After giving him every number on that account he said fine the money would be there tomorrow and hung up. Then I thought what if he wasn't from the bank and I've now given him all my banking information along with my federal I.D. So now I call the rep at the bank I use to deal with and told her what was happening. She said, "let me look into it and next me and I'll deal with this for you, even though it's not suppose to work that way anymore. We just won't tell anyone." So she just called me back to let me know the money is there, and it was the corporate headquarters I had been speaking with. So in the end both crap piles were taken care of in my favor, but honestly, life shouldn't be this hard, especially for a 63 year old woman. I've spent the major part of this day ... my day off...dealing with issues. Sara and her family have been at Great Wolf for the week and don't think I didn't call her to let her know what crap I've had to deal with while she's been away. I'm sure she's looking forward to coming home now. Anyway, the day is still gorgeous, and I'm leaving to pick up Solomon so things are getting brighter. I hope you haven't had to deal with any idiots and that you are able to enjoy this day. By the way, I should be done with "Summer" by Cricket tonight and I'll try to get it up on the blog tomorrow.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Piles are dwindling......................

The piles in the house are dwindling, and my dining room is now almost back to normal...just 2 bags with framed stuff left, and then it's on to the hallway. I've unearthed some real treasures, in fact, I got my very first counted cross stitch piece back...I just love it, as much today as the day I stitched it. I remember so well that day. I had refused to bring counted cross stitch in the shop because I just hated stamped cross stitch and figured this was no different. Then the salesman came in on the 3rd year, didn't even show me any of the charts but I had seen a trend happening with more of these charts showing up with companies. So I asked to see Ginnie Thompson's charts one more time and ordered a small sampling of them. We got them in, I pulled this one piece and decided to try it and I was in love from the first stitch. I don't care that I now mainly stitch on linen, I absolutely love this first piece done on 14 ct. aida. Isn't it cute? And that folks, was the beginning of my love affair with counted cross stitch. And I love it as much today as I did then. In fact having to clean up the piles and taking away time from my stitching is annoying to me, but then I find a treasure like this and I know I must clean up more. I had to show you a picture of my Sara stitching away in the shop, yes she's working hard. She's now working on one of the Erica Michael gauze pieces because I was talking about my love of the gauze and now she is also in love with the gauze. I finished my gauze piece, and just in time, as St. Patrick's Day is celebrated this weekend in Ocean City. St. Patrick's Day was a treat to stitch. I've been diagnosed with Macular Degeneration so I know my days of stitching 40 ct. gauze are limited, so I savor my time spent stitching them. Isn't it fabulous? I finished stitching it and Friday in the shop was my "put it together" time. I got this finished in one of the Olde Colonial mini frames. Fabulous! I also finished Shepherd's Bush Irish Heart. This I put in an Olde Colonial mini banner. Originally this was going to be a pillow, but when I got into the shop I saw the mini banners and changed my mind (plus these tuckaways make for an easy finish...SCORE!) Two finishes in one I also finished the Pine Mountain, You're My Cup of Tea. Pine Mountain pieces are such fast and fun pieces that I love stitching one when I've spent time working on something that takes me more than a week or two to stitch. It's important that I see something finished weekly, or at least semi-weekly. So I slip Pine Mountain's in often to give me that satisfied feeling. Obviously easy since I also finished Enjoy the Ride and , Rain Rain and You're My Cup of Tea since Nashville. So cute! But small projects are not the only things I've been working on. I just love Cross Eyed Crickets new seasonal pieces. I've started with Summer since I feel certain I can get this finished before summer, and I'm half way finished so I'm sure I'll get it done. I'm also working on Red Bent Creek. This was a UFO I pulled out of my pile and I'm also half finished with that one. Of course because I finished all of my small pieces I get to add new smalls to my on-going projects. I still haven't picked one though, because this weekend I'm back to my Lauren Sauer class piece and I'm eyeballing another 40 ct. piece. Got to get all the 40 ct.'s done before my eye's go. SHOP NEWS: Renee came in the other day and brought in her annual for 2011. It's the Ripley Believe it or Not Building located on the Pier downtown. Isn't it wonderful? Renee does such a wonderful job with her annuals and they continue to be one of our most popular charts in the shop. I can't end this without saying something about the tragedies we are experiencing lately. First Lisa of Primitive Needle's death from the flooding. We had just spent time with her in Nashville (we love her Halloween designs), so to find that she was gone a week later was unthinkable. Then the flooding that is taken place around the Delaware River, homes being lost, lives changed, well it certainly makes me grateful for the life I have and the roof over my head. The the earthquake and the tsunami, honestly is the world coming to an end? Should we start building an ark? I don't know, but people grab your loved ones and let them know you love them, because tomorrow is not a guarantee. It's hard for me to believe all the turmoil since we aren't experiencing any of it here. We had rain on Thursday but nothing like the storms others are experiencing. We just had a little, 3" of rain. Friday and again this morning, the sun is shining and the ocean is sparkling. No indication of the destruction I am hearing about. But let me say, we are keeping everyone in our prayers and pray that all our peeps are O.K. I am so distracted by all this that we had our monthly Stitch 'n Bitch group meeting Tuesday night and I forgot to give the stitchers the gift I brought back for stitchers (since we now have Greg joining us I can no longer say ladies) you will get it at the April meeting (by then I'll really have forgotten it so someone please remind me.) Well, I've got to get ready for work (is it really work if you get to stitch most of the time?) Have a great day and we'll talk later.