04 November 2010

FML

I've been 'sick' with one thing or another pretty much since January 2010. I've been in more doctors' offices, more hospitals, more labs than anyone should be this year. I'm tired of it.

In the past two weeks, I've had an endometrial biopsy (follow-up visit next week) after having the never-ending period for several months. The ultrasound discovered I had fibroids - no big deal as it's common in women my age, but the heavy and long periods were a concern. I tried for months to get answers, having to switch GYNs to find one who listened to me and took my concerns seriously. In that respect, I feel like I'm getting answers - albeit slower than I desire.

Secondly, a routine physical with my internist revealed that I have high calcium levels in my blood. Follow-up blood work suggested that I have hyperparathyroidism.
Now the kidney stones, recurring UTIs, and some of the other maladies that have befallen me are starting to make sense. I'm set to see an endocrinologist later today. The cure is a simple surgery - which if that's the case, I'm ready to be knocked out, sliced and diced.

However, I'm really on the verge of losing it. I'm sick of being in doctors' offices, going to labs and having vial after vial of blood drawn. I'm scared. I'm alone. I want someone to just hold me close and tell me everything's gonna be alright.

I'm tired of being sick. I simply want to be well again.

23 September 2010

What a Difference

I was looking at pic from the past year - I was really surprised to see such a change between last September and this September.


This time last year, my hair was not much past my chin, burgundy red, and still pretty much in a bob.

This year it's more natural looking red, layer and well past my shoulders. I guess when you don't have your hair cut regularly, it does grow!

Am I thinner? I dunno. Probably about the same (plus/minus a few pounds) weight-wise, but not nearly as toned as I was last year. I need to get back to yoga regularly, not just for the physical benefits, but for the mental benefits too.

Lots of changes happening in my life right now - some for the better, some for the worse, but I am confident I'll weather through. I hope to get back to posting regularly in the near future.

10 May 2010

Meltdown Free Mother's Day


Me and Tara - Wonder Bar
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

For the first time in I-don't-know-how-many years, I managed not to have a meltdown on Mother's Day. I've struggled for years with the fact that I have no children and though I have come to accept that I'm never going to have a child to call my own, Mother's Day still hits me hard.

Despite the well wishes of friends who remind me that I'm very good 'doggie mom' - it's not the same. There's a piece of me that's empty - and desperately wants a child of my flesh and blood. But as each year passes and I grow older, the chances of that lessen and I must content myself of being 'mom' to the menagerie of four-legged critters who live under my roof.

That said, yesterday was a lovely day all in all. I haven't been sleeping well for the past two weeks (insomnia sucks!) and despite being awake at 6 AM to let the dogs out, my husband was gracious enough to let me go back to bed and sleep until I was ready to get up. Bliss.

We took the dogs to the reservoir for a walk in the early afternoon. We discovered a new trail that hadn't been open on our last visit there, so we took it. It was a bit longer than expected - so much so that Tara was exhausted by the end and I had to carry her for part of the journey. My 'old lady' is a trooper though - she didn't complain once, though she gave me the look when she needed a break.

The day was capped off by Mark making dinner for me. I'm not a fan of most tomato sauces, but I like the one he makes. It's not special, but it's his and it's DAMN good. Add a little sausage and rigatoni and it's mmm, mmm good.

So, despite only being a 'dog mom' I had a good day - much better than I expected.

27 April 2010

Be A Witch - Shepherd's Bush


Be A Witch - Shepherd's Bush
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Chart: Be A Witch
Designer: Shepherd's Bush

Fabric: 10 ct Sand Tula
Threads: Weeks Dye Works, Sampler Threads, Crescent Colours, Anchor

--

It may come as no surprise that my favorite holiday is Halloween and thus I have several Halloween themed charts in my stash. There's just something about pumpkins, witches' hats, black cats that I love to stitch.

I started this piece when I had my NYC stitching pals (aka the MetroStitchers) over for an afternoon of fellowship. It's a quick stitch, being done on Tula, even if one does make a few mistakes and have to frog a little. I finished it up last evening, buttons included.

The only change made to the threads is that I used Anchor 403 for the lettering (a witch) in place of Blackbird from Crescent Colours. My LNS was consistently out of this color and I decided it wasn't worth ordering online when a solid black would suffice.

Now it's time to decide what to stitch next -- while continuing to make progress on Love from Turquoise Designs. I'm on the final letter (L) so the end is in sight.

23 April 2010

Awesome Day


055
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

My mom arrived, with her friend, Ron, on Wednesday evening for a visit. Yesterday we drove up to Liberty State Park to take the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Me and my big mouth complained that every time someone comes to visit, if they haven't been here, I have to take them for a visit. Well, I'll never say that again... Yesterday, while we were there, The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, was receiving the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award.

I managed to be less than 10 feet from the man for a bit. Snapped a pic with my cell phone and sent it off to the BFF (the ultimate Springsteen fan) and get a text in reply" What? Where is this? Are you there? OMG! I texted back the specifics to get "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" in reply. Took a lot more pics with my regular camera (which are on Flickr), but since I was off to the side, they're not the best. Still, I was less than 10 feet from an American icon.

After hearing him speak, the crowd dissipated and we bid farewell to Ellis Island and boarded the ferry to the Statue. We didn't get crown tickets (I did that climb once about 20 years - that was enough, TYVM) but we did have tickets giving us permission to climb the pedestal. They said it was 156 steps, but after going 142, the ranger said we had 40 more to go. (What sort of math is that?)

I made it up, but it was an ordeal. I don't like stairs. Particularly when the stairwell narrows so it's a one person width and if you look over the walls/rails, there a big chasm of nothingness - in this case, the innards of the Lady. Coming down was more of a challenge, I went really slow, was on the verge of freaking out, but I held it together. This was the easy part - hard to believe I climbed the narrow spiral staircase to the crown all those years ago. (Once committed, you can't turn around.)

After a brief rainstorm while we were up on the pedestal, the sun came back out. We drove back down to the shore, meeting my husband for dinner at Spike's in Point. Lobster bisque + lobster roll might just equal the most perfect meal. I was so stuffed, as much as I wanted a piece of key lime pie, I couldn't eat another bite. We ended the night strolling along the boardwalk in Point, then I took mom and Ron for a scenic ride home through Spring Lake, Belmar and Avon (along the ocean) before leaving them at the hotel and coming home.

It was a great day - though I was exhausted when I finally got home. Intended to go to bed early - but had to upload the pics. By the time I did get to bed, I was out before my head even hit the pillow.

15 April 2010

Meow Pussycat


Kitty Cat Row - Bent Creek
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

I put the last stitches in Kitty Cat Row tonight. Well, almost the last stitches -- the last stitches I'll do. I need my mom's assistance in doing the French Knots for the mice's eyes/nose/feet. She's coming for a visit next week, so I'll get her to do her bit then.

Now it's back to my LOVE piece...

07 April 2010

New 'Do


Self Portrait - 04/07/10
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

A month or so ago, I had a makeover done at one of the cosmetic counters at Lord & Taylor. As a thank you with my purchase, I was given a free cut/style by a stylist from a nearby salon.

My hair is stick straight (does not hold a curl easily) and thick. If I put it up wet in a ponytail, 14 hours later - still wet at the core. As I'm growing it out, I've been struggling with it, swearing when it seems to have a mind of its own, not doing what I want it to do.

On impulse, I decided to let this stranger do the one thing I've always feared (after a previous botch job some 20 years ago): layer my hair. I talked to her, told here I didn't want them to be obvious but always wanted my hair to be manageable and have a little more movement. Once she was done, I saw the difference immediately. My hair went from heavy and lifeless to free and flowy.

It's been a few weeks and I'm still trying to achieve the exact look she managed (without use of a flat iron which I've never quite mastered). I think today it turned out pretty damn good and I managed to get a decent shot of myself. I'm happy with the cut and now have to make the decision to continue seeing my current stylist (who I adore and have been seeing for several years now) or give the gal who gave me this new look another chance.

05 April 2010

Hello Kitties!


WIP: Kitty Cat Row - Bent Creek
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

With the gorgeous weather, I've not really been stitching much the past few days, choosing to work on my tan instead, however, during the deluge, I did plug away on Kitty Cat Row as seen here.

This was a project I had started over one on 28 ct fabric - surely I must have been ill to attempt that. So a trip up to Tawny's a few weeks ago resulted in me acquiring this blue fabric. Hopefully now with baseball season starting up, I'll find time to stitch and cheer on the Yankees in the evenings. A couple games and this should be finished quickly and then I'll be on to my next UFO.

04 April 2010

What's one food you'll never eat again?

Peppers - green, red, orange or yellow. I got sick on pepper steak on a flight to Florida 30+ years ago and never again will peppers or any food containing peppers cross my lips. I can't even stand the smell if someone at my table (or even a neighboring table) is eating a dish with peppers.

Ask me anything

28 March 2010

Love Update


WIP: Love - Turquoise Designs
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Wow, that title sounds like it's gonna be a more interesting post than it actually is. Sorry folks, it's cross-stitch related, not romance.

After the flare up of my carpal tunnel subsided, I got back to stitching. Picked up my WIP - Love by Turquoise Designs and got a little more done. I was going great guns the first couple months of the year and now I've slowed down my stitching just a little bit.

I chose to fling one of my UFOs which I had started over one (what the heck was I thinking?) and started it up again on a new color fabric. You can see I've not got much done on Bent Creek's Kitty Cat Row, but I do like the fabric choice so far. I'm gonna work on this a little more today while watching March Madness.

I've had my head in books more lately, so not a lot of progress is being made on the needlework front. I've also been doing a lot of soul searching - trying to figure out what I want, what will make me happy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not unhappy, but I really do need to figure out what will make me happy and pursue it. (Will probably post on that eventually - once I get my head around it.)

That's the news from this corner of the globe. A blustery spring day here - perfect to stay indoors, under a blanket with my dogs at my feet, watch basketball and do a little stitching. Or reading.

20 March 2010

Spring Has Sprung


First Day of Spring 2010
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

A gorgeous day here in Jersey - mid-70s, sunny, not a cloud in the sky. After the weather we had in February/early March, this weather is MUCH appreciated

We rounded up the pups and took them over to the dog beach in Manasquan this afternoon. They had a ton of run, running up and down the beach, sniffing the other dogs (and being sniffed in return). This two-legged person had a lot of fun just watching her dogs run with joy on the sand. Spent about an hour there letting them 'blow the stink off' before we headed back home. I'm watching NCAA basketball, the pups are conked out on the floor.

Tomorrow is to be another beautiful day - so perhaps I'll load the dogs up in the car and take them over to the reservoir for a walk. Then again, I might just want to sit on the patio and reposition the TV so I can watch basketball. I know this weather is too good to last, but at least I don't have snow like some of my friends back in the midwest. Keep it, please.

18 March 2010

More Puppy Love


Self Portrait - 03/18/10
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

This time, me and Suki (aka Snaggletooth) enjoy the gorgeous spring weather. Of course, Tara got her share of TLC today as well.

16 March 2010

Weight of the World

Just over 2 weeks ago, I went for a coloposcopy. My doctor told me that the results of the biopsy would be back in 7-10 days -- since last Wednesday, I've been anxiously awaiting the results.

Today, I finally connnected with my doctor. Apparently she had been trying to reach me at home (our answering machine is on the fritz) and only today did someone bother to write my cell phone number on my chart. (Nevermind I've been calling daily since last Wednesday and leaving that particular number.)

The news is good - nothing to worry about. Yea! But the bad news? Quarterly paps for the next year, biannual paps for 3 years after that. I'll be in stirrups more than Roy Rogers by the time this is over.

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Now I can get back to living and stop holding my breath. Thanks everyone for the good thoughts and prayers. I don't know how I would have gotten through the past several weeks without you. xoxo

14 March 2010

Noah Built an Arky, Arky

It's only rained two days and nights, but I think we've had enough for forty days/nights already. Most of the state is flooded and it's just downright nasty out there. No day for woman or beast to be out - though the girls and I did take a walk around the block this morning pre-deluge. Seems like the perfect day to stay inside, watch movies and stitch.

I pulled out some of the UFOs which I blogged about in my last post. Once I started working on Kitty Cat Row, I realized WHY it was a UFO (unfinished object for those not in the know). It's worked over one -- on either 28 ct or 32 ct linen. WTH was I thinking? Even in my younger days with excellent eyesight I was never a fan of over one on anything greater than 25 ct linen. Surely I must have had a momentary laspe of reason. So I chucked that aside and picked up a new cut of linen to use. I saw on someone else's blog that they did this design on blue fabric, so I have a cut of 28 ct Little Boy Blue Cashel to stitch it on. Today's gonna be the day I start it.

Put a few more stitches in Sam Sarah's One Fine Day as well. Not so certain I'm gonna like this piece when all's said and done. My flowers look like one big muddled blotch of color. It may require some backstitching to get things to pop - and I don't like backstitching. I'll keep plugging away on it as I did love the design when I purchased it and I've already invested a significant amount of time on it.

Love (Turquoise Designs) is progressing nicely. After a major project at work which required a lot of mouse clicking, my carpal tunnel flared up in my right wrist. As a result, I took a break from stitching and didn't touch anything for several weeks. I pulled this out at my stitch-n-bitch lunch group this week and put a few more stitches in it. If I work on it today, I just might be able to finish off the O...

Though the weather here is craptacular, I am filled with excitement. Besides it being Selection Sunday (I live for the NCAA Tournament, even when Indiana isn't playing), tonight's the premiere of The Pacific on HBO. Even though I'm not overly fond of war movies, I've been anxious for this since I saw a trailer last fall. Loved Band of Brothers, so I can't wait to see how Hanks/Speilberg present the war in the Pacific. Don't bother me after 6 PM tonight - I'm gonna park my ass in my recliner and have my eyes glued to the TV.

Lo - there's a bright yellow orb in the sky. Is that the sun? Perhaps today will not be a total wash afterall. It's still raining, but one can hope that it stops?

26 February 2010

Rediscovering Lost Projects

One of the benefits of cleaning out closets is that you rediscover abandoned projects. Today I rifled through a bag in my craft room (yes, I have a craft room and it's utter chaos!) only to find several WIPs.

As I still like most of them enough to want to continue them, I decided to put them in the rotation and make finishing these projects the goal if I'm to purchase any new charts.

First up is Bent Creek's Kitty Cat Row. From the numerous pics of my two dogs, you might not know that I'm owned by four cats (Stanley, Sadie, Lily and Mac).

Time for me to get cracking on this - there's a notation on the chart that it's reserved for a friend of mine in New Zealand when I'm finished. I probably put that note there 3+ years ago -- Kath, have you found another copy of this chart yet?

I'm stitching this over one on 28 ct hand-dyed quaker cloth in Kiwi from Kiwi Illusions. There's a bit done already, so with the quantity of natural light increasing daily, I think I'll start plugging away on this. I've got a Daylight lamp in my stitching corner so that'll help after the sun goes down.

The next lost project (or in this case, tossed aside) are these Tulips from DMC. Some of you may remember I paid beaucoup bucks for this kit from DMC France only to find it offered as a freebie on the DMC-USA site a couple years later. There's some counting errors in it but I think I've managed to compensate for them.

Stitched on 28 ct Antique White Cashel, the center two tulips are complete and most of the far right (red) tulip is done. This might be slow going, but I'm going to make an effort to get this one done and framed before summer arrives. I love this piece - even if I paid too much for it.

Continuing on with the tulip theme is Nan's Garden from Annalee Waite Designs. I love how bright and cheery this piece is and should be able to bang it out pretty quickly once I put my mind to it.

Stitched on 28 ct Antique White jobelan (noticing a trend as to what count fabric I prefer to use?) with DMC floss it's a simple and beautiful piece. I've barely put a dent in this, so I may push this one aside while I concentrate on finishing the other projects.

The final 'abandoned project' found in that shopping bag is Sam Sarah's One Fine Day. (Yea, I like flowers, if you didn't notice.)

This piece is stitched on 28 ct (of course!) hand-dyed Golden Sands Cashel from Kiwi Illusions using Sampler Threads. It's a bright cheery piece. I think the fence post is going to be a bit tedious, but I'll get it done.

There's a bajillion Lizzie Kate pieces that I'm wanting to start, but I think I'll set them aside while I try to finish up these half-finished projects. I like these four well enough to want to put the time and effort into finishing them.

There's a few others that I will need to decide "finish or fling". They may end up in the bag of stuff that I'm planning to Freecycle once the spring arrives. I've been purging my stash and setting aside charts that I no longer care for. My tastes have changed over the years and while I probably could make some mad money listing the no longer wanted charts on eBay, it's just too much of a hassle. I'd rather Freecycle them as a lot and make someone's day.

Considering there's a list as long as my arm of new charts that I want, I better get busy stitching so I can treat myself to the new stuff.

25 February 2010

Puppy Love


Self Portrait - 02/25/10
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

A tender moment with my 'old lady' (estimated age ~16 years) , Tara. Nearly two years together and I love her more every day. She's my shadow, my velcro dog.

24 February 2010

Update


WIP: Love by Turquoise Graphics & Designs (24 Feb 10)
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Wow - realized I hadn't shared my progress on Love in a few weeks. I've completed V and E, otherwise I haven't touched it much in the past few weeks. I was working on a major project at work which was due last Friday. The project is done but my carpal tunnel flared up, so I haven't really felt much like needlework despite it being my right wrist that aches and I'm a left-handed stitcher. Still need to figure out where my splints are so I can wear them and get through this.

Besides work, life's just been crazy here - snow, snow and more snow. Another storm is bearing down on us now. Depending on which forecast you look at we're to get between 3-18" between now and Friday. I honestly don't remember seeing this much snow in winter for years; probably since I lived in Michigan. As much as I'm sick of hearing my husband mutter, "I should be in Florida", I'm beginning to think that's not a bad idea. I like snow, don't get me wrong, but I've had enough for now.

The newest market releases are available and after reading the various market reports, I've got a list of 'gotta haves' as long as my arm. However, I'm attempting to focus on stitching from my stash this year. I've slipped a bit (damn you, Lizzie Kate, for such cute designs!), but from this point forward - no new charts! At least not until I stitch some more of what I've got in the massive stash.

Finally got back to yoga this week and it kicked my ass! It wasn't the gentle yoga I usually go to, a normal Hatha Yoga session, and though I was able to do most of the poses, by the end of the 1h, 15m class, I was physically exhausted. Mentally, it was what I needed - it really got my head back where it needed to be. So, I'm re-establishing that routine and feeling better about myself.

I've also been going through my closets, purging the old clothes, sundry items that I've never used or will never use, and Freecycling them. It's been remarkably freeing to declutter and pass stuff along to a person who can use it. I've got another pile of stuff to list, but with this miserable weather, I've been hesitant to list since people may have difficulty getting out to pick it up.

The big day is Monday - I go back to the GYN for the colposcopy. I'm calmer about it than I was a month ago when she called to say my pap was abnormal. What will be, will be - and I'm thinking positively that it will be nothing. So, deep breaths and keep calm until I get my results.

In the meantime, perhaps being snowed in will let me finally catch up with what's on the DVR. I've got about 6 episodes of 'Dollhouse' left, not to mention '24' from the past two weeks. One can always hope, right?

14 February 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!


Happy Valentine's Day!
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

A lovely Valentine's weekend was had by yours truly here. Saturday night we got together with my sorority sisters and their significant others for our annual Valentine's Supper Club.

Last night's theme was French, but as I don't (like to) cook, I settled for bringing a cheese tray with grapes. I nibbled a bit on the wonderful delicacies - not eating a lot, but feeling satisfied. Unfortunately, the scale at Weight Watchers this morning didn't give me the number I wanted, but granted that I've been slacking and not trackng diligently since Christmas, it wasn't a surprise. I'm up 8 lbs from my all time low - which isn't that bad considering I've not been eating well of late.

On a positive note - I went to the gym on Saturday. For the first time in months - only did 30 minutes on the treadmill, but it's a start. I'm still not feeling 100% since having that bug at Christmas, but getting stronger every day. The treadmill was a nice easy way to ease back into things. The down side is that I've got a blister the size of a quarter on my left heel. Ugh. Tomorrow - it's back to yoga. It would have been this morning, but I didn't feel like going to a 7:30 AM class after getting in after midnight last night. This gal needs her beauty sleep.

11 February 2010

The Morning After


The Morning After - Part Deux
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

After shoveling out last night beofre nightfall, we woke to another 6" or so on the ground this morning. Additionally, the plows came through and left a pile of 'ice balls' and snow at the foot of our driveway. I swear it was taller than me at its highest point.

Two and a half hours of shoveling later, the drive was clear so I took the dogs for a walk before heading into work. It's a ghost town here today - maybe 35-40 people here and a good chunk of them are in a mega meeting. It would be an ideal day to accomplish things, but for the fact that the special project I'm working on (with a deadline of tomorrow!) can't be completed because I don't have the proper permissions to edit documents in a certain network folder. You'd think working for a technology company we'd have our act together...

It's an amazingly beautiful winter day though. The sky is brilliant blue, the snow is dazzlingly white and not too cold. I'm hoping to get out of work and home before dusk falls so I can take the girls for another walk around the block.

10 February 2010

Cookies! We Got Cookies!


Cookies!
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Over the holidays, one of items on my 'to do' list was to make my grandma's Christmas cookies. Unfortunately, the universe conspired against me and this, amongst a few other items, did not get done.

With the second round of the snowpocalyse upon us this week, I decided if I were stranded at home, I'd bake cookies for Valentine's Day to pass the time. So tonight, after shoveling what seemed like a football field or two of snow, I came inside and make cookies in lieu of dinner. (Husband informed me he wasn't hungry for dinner - never mind I had a pot roast in the crock pot.)

There's something so comforting about these cookies - they're a basic iced sugar cookie, but I have so many wonderful memories of eating these at my grandmother's and making them with my mom. I haven't had then in quite a few years - so it was time to make them. (Especially since mom didn't bother to send me any that she made at Christmas time.)

Grandma Streu's Christmas (Sugar) Cookies

  • 1 c. butter
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 T vanilla
  • 4 eggs'
  • 5 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla
Add eggs, then add baking powder and nutmeg
Mix in flour, a little at a time

Roll out dough on pastry cloth, approximately 1/4-1/2 thick. Cut out with cookie cutters.

Baked on greased cookie sheets at 350 for approximately 7 minutes.
(NB: I find that these cookies need a longer bake time - closer to 10 minutes with my oven.)

When cool, decorate with icing and colored sugar.

Icing
  • 1 T butter
  • 2-3 T milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Stir in approximately 1-1.5 c. powdered sugar.

Another Day, Another Snowstorm


Snowmaggedon - Part Deux
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

For the second time in less than a week, we've been hit by a massive snowstorm.

When I woke there were several inches of wet, heavy snow on the ground which we shoveled. By mid-morning the snow stopped and the rain/sleet set in. It was mild enough that we went out to grab a bit of lunch and to allow me to stop at AC Moore to pick up a replacement skein of floss to replace the one that went walkabout this morning. (I used the snow day to work a little more on my current cross-stitch project.)

By late afternoon, the snow returned, falling fast. By 4:30 PM we were out there shoveling another 5-6" before it got dark. I took the dogs for a walk before nightfall and came back to help finish clearing the driveway. After that was complete and we made a dent in the pile left there courtesy of the snowplow. The rest can wait until morning.

I love snow, but 2+ feet in less than a week is just a little much, especially when I'm doing this much shoveling. Then again, it is a good way to burn some calories.

Forecast is calling for more snow on Monday. Please tell me it's not another nor'easter. I don't think I can take another substantial snow this soon.

07 February 2010

Snowpocalyspe Stitching


WIP: Love by Turquoise Graphics & Designs
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

The snowpocalyse that hit the Mid-Atlantic over the weekend afforded me time to sit and stitch uninterrupted. I loved this design when I saw it and after spending close to two weeks debating on what fabric to use, I started it last week.

While I know it's gonna be stunning when I finally complete it, it's somewhat annoying to change colors every 6-10 threads for the background design. At least there's no confetti stitching - that is probably the one thing I hate more than anything. Except French knots. (I've been stitching for 20+ years and still can't master any knot. I'm so pathetic I save my projects until I see Mom and ask her to do them for me.)

The 'V' is almost done -- I am short one color of DMC so if I can make a stop at AC Moore or Michael's tomorrow, I should be able to finish that off tomorrow. I've been working on 'E' all night - loving how it's coming together so nicely.

Now if I could only get the Nat King Cole song L-O-V-E out of my head. Should have known it would become an earworm once I picked up this piece. V is very, very extraordinary....

06 February 2010

Snowmaggedon


Snowmaggedon
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Here we go again...

Everywhere you look - a winter wonderland. There's in excess of a foot on the ground and it's still coming down. I have shoveled part of the driveway - and taken dogs for a walk around the block, bounding through the snow - but now I'm exhausted.

Glad I got the necessities yesterday: craft supplies, library books, liquor and food (in that order). It's no day for (wo)man or beast to be out. I think I'll stay indoors and craft a bit. Or tackle the latest Diana Galbadon book. Tough choice.

04 February 2010

I'm So Tired...


Tara
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Just like Tara, I want to flop down on the floor and crash. It's been a busy week for me and despite my intentions of going to bed 'early', it hasn't happened but one night.

So looking forward to a mega storm this weekend. Perhaps then I can just be content to stay inside, curled up in bed and catch up on my sleep. God knows I need it.

03 February 2010

Waiting Patiently...

Last night I got a phone call, at home, after dinner from my GYN. Apparently my recent pap smear came back with some abnormalities. In short, it's LSIL - low grade squamous intraephithelial lesion. (I can say cholecystectomy fine, but this one's got my tongue twisted.)

I ended up Googling and worked myself into a frenzy, imagining the worse possible scenario, despite the ACOG site stating LSIL is very common and usually goes away on its own without treatment. I figure I'll be the anomaly.

This morning I called my doctor's office as requested to schedule a colposcopy, and depending on what Dr W sees, a possible biopsy. I'm booked for the afternoon of Feb 22nd, so now I must wait patiently, not consult Dr Google anymore, and refrain from freaking out. Easier said than done.

Fortunately, I have a great group of friends who remind me to think positively. As one friend said, if it were that serious, they'd get me right away. So, until the 22nd, I'll try to remain calm and accept that it's ok to be abnormal (for a little while).

---
Update (04-Feb-2010): After the fact, I realized that Dr W told me this couldn't be done during 'that time of the month' so I had to reschedule. The procedure has been pushed back a week to March 1st at 2:30. So now I really do have a month of having to keep calm and stay away from Google.

31 January 2010

Are You Asking Me?


Lizzie Kate: Santa Wants to Know
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

After looking high and low for one color of thread and throwing a (mini) hissy fit, I found a new skein and sat down to finish this piece tonight.

Designer: Lizzie Kate
Pattern: Santa Wants to Know
Stitch Count: 59W x 59H
Fabric: 30 ct Northern Cross cream linen
Threads: Weeks Dye Works, Sampler Threads, DMC floss

As for the answer to the question? It's good to be nice and nice to be good, but sometimes it's more fun being naughty. *wink*

A Perfect Snow


More Snow (31-Jan-10)
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Just the right amount fell last night -- a dusting so it's pretty and white, but not too much that one has to shovel. Now if it would just warm up -- these temps in the teens are just too darn cold.

30 January 2010

A Little of Both?


LK: Santa Wants to Know
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Over the past week (or since I finished the St Pat's piece), I've been working on this Lizzie Kate piece. If Santa's asking, I've definitely been nice. *g*

I was surprised by snow this evening when I let the dogs out -- didn't know my part of Jersey was supposed to get snow. It's only about an inch - just the right amount as it's pretty to look at and doesn't require me to get out there and shovel.

It's bitter cold here, so I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup for dinner - turned out better than last time. I am not a cook - my favorite thing to make for dinner? Reservations. (Ok, it's a tired old joke, but it's appropriate for me.) This time around I chopped the carrots, celery and onion much finer and browned them before adding the chicken and stock. I let it simmer for a little over an hour on the stove before adding the noodles. Guess I'm getting pretty good at making soup. I had a request for split pea and/or tomato. Not really a fan of either soup, so my desire to make them is next to nothing. Of the two, split pea is more likely, but it's still a million to one shot.

No big plans for the coming week - just a heavy workload coming down on me for the next few weeks. Just need to stay healthy and get through this. Got me a few more needlework projects in the fire - so as long as I can balance work/home/hobbies, I'll be fine. If not, there's always a bottle of vodka to help me cope.

25 January 2010

Another Near Finish


Shepherd's Bush: Scatter Luck
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Just need to get the buttons (shamrocks, ladybug, leprechaun, coins) and sew them on for this to be completely finished. A very quick stitch - started it last night during the Saints-Vikings game, finished it this afternoon. (Yes, I am on a roll.)

Designer: Shepherd's Bush
Pattern: Scatter Luck
Stitch Count: 30H x 100W
Fabric: 19 ct Ivory linen
Threads: Weeks Dye Works, DMC

My package from Elegant Stitch arrived today with Cross-Eyed Cricket's Sleepy Hollow chart, fabric and threads. I'm half tempted to start on it now so I can ensure it's finished in time for Halloween 2010, but there's a few other small projects that are calling my name. Maybe I need to start a couple new projects - it's never wrong to have more than one going at any given time, right?

24 January 2010

Another Finish


Lizzie Kate: Love Square
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

While watching football this afternoon, I put the final stitches in this piece. Third finish for 2010 - more than I finished in all of last year, I think.

The particulars for those interested:

Designer: Lizzie Kate
Pattern: Love Square (from Love Crazy leaflet)
Stitch Count: 81H x 81W
Fabric: 28 ct hand-dyed Jobelan - Pink Azalea
Threads: Weeks Dye Works and Gentle Art Sampler Threads


A quick stitch - started this on 12-Jan-10 and finished today. Now it's on to my next project -- a St. Patrick's Day piece, Scatter Luck (Shepherd's Bush). Picked up the supplies necessary for it while I was at Tawny's with the MetroStitchers yesterday morning.

19 January 2010

Frustrated

Those close to me know that I've been ill on/off since Christmas -- nearly 3 weeks into the new year, I'm still not 'right' and it's beginning to wear on me.

I commented to a friend that I'm sinking into a depression because of it. I hate that I have no energy, no desire to get up and be active. As a result, I'm not going to the gym, I'm not working out regularly and my ass is spreading, my belly has grown soft and the scale is inching upwards instead of downward.

While I know what the fix is (get up, get to gym, stop feeding my face), I just can't get over that initial hump. My gym bag is packed and ready but I don't go. I make my lunch to take to work but I still snack on crap.

I'm starting to dislike how I look again. Yes, the face is still pretty (IMO), but the bod is starting to go. Where I once I was toned, I'm getting flabby. I just don't know what it is going to take to get me into a routine once again. I miss yoga, but I don't miss the treadmill.

Well, I've put it out there - maybe now that I've said it, I'll get up off my ass and move more.

15 January 2010

Current WIP: Love Crazy - Lizzie Kate


WIP: Love Crazy (15-Jan-10)
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Since I put the finishing stitches in LK's ABC Christmas earlier this week, I started on a new project straightaway. Another LK piece - Love Crazy.

This is my progress after a couple nights stitching. I'm stitching this on a hand-dyed Jobelan - Pink Dahlia, I think it is. A little annoyed that I ran out of the pink floss to finish the "e" square. Guess it's a good thing a trip to the LNS to meet up with my Metrostitcher pals next week is planned.

I've been down for the count the past couple days - finally got the the doctor and have a dx: bladder infection. It's really zapped me of all energy - I've spent so much time in bed of late, it's the last place I want to be. Hopefully the antibiotic the doctor gave me will work it's magic and I'll be back to normal in a few days.

12 January 2010

It's Finished!


Lizzie Kate - ABC Christmas
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Today at my lunchtime stitch-n-bitch gathering, I put the last stitches in this piece - or at least I thought I did. I realized I had the little quarter note to stitch so I did that and added my initials/date once I got home.

It's not perfect - there's a few mistakes/miscounts here and there, but overall I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I'm still debating how to finish it -- leaning towards a wall hanging since I don't really want to frame it just to hang it up for a few weeks each year.

Speaking of the holidays, I guess it's time for me to take down the tree and other Christmas decorations. But first I've got a love/Valentine's theme piece to work on...

Designer: Lizzie Kate
Pattern: ABC Christmas
Stitch Count: 180W x 119H
Fabric: 28 ct Light Mocha Cashel
Threads: DMC floss, Crescent Colors

11 January 2010

Rounding Third and Heading for Home...


WIP: ABC Christmas (10-Jan-10)
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

After finishing Spooky Sheep, I picked up LK's ABC Christmas once again. With a TON of football to watch this weekend, I was able to devote several hours to working on this piece and as a result I am *this close* to finishing. There's just a small portion to go in the lower right corner -- amazing how much one can accomplish when one sets their mind to it.

As for football - the Bengals lost, so it's 'wait until next season' again. Oh well. I've got college basketball now and soon it'll be spring training and baseball season. How many days until the 2010 (NFL) season begins?

07 January 2010

First Start = First Finish 2010


Spooky Sheep - Shepherd's Bush
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

I put the final finishes on Spooky Sheep this evening. I think it turned out rather nice - and was a quick stitch.

Now to just figure out what to do with it. Always a quandary after I finish stitching something!

Designer: Shepherd's Bush
Fabric: 32 ct Sand Belfast
Threads: as kitted - silk floss, Threadgatherer hand-dyed silks

05 January 2010

New Year's Start


WIP: Spooky Sheep
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

One of the traditions my NYC stitching group (aka MetroStitchers) has is to start a new project to honor those stitchers who are no longer with us. Even though I was sicker than a dog the days leading up to New Year's Day, I managed to ruffle through my stash that afternoon and find a kit that was screaming to be stitched.

With a few minutes here and a few minutes there, I've managed to accomplish this much on Spooky Sheep from (who else?) Shepherd's Bush. It's a little piece -- just need to finish the stack of pumpkins to the right, a couple stars above the lamb, and a row of satin stitch below. So maybe another hour or two and I'll have my first finish of 2010. Once I finish this, it's back to Lizzie Kate's ABC Christmas. Sadly, I have hardly touched it since Thanksgiving.

Once I finish up these two pieces, perhaps I can start dreaming of my next project - or at least go 'shopping' in my stash to see what calls to me.

01 January 2010

She's Alive!!!

After several days of feverish dreams of my own death (in various mundane and gruesome ways), sleeping 16-20 hours/day, and eating little to nothing, I am back amongst the alive and healthy.

I first started feeling 'off' after eating at the Chinese buffet on Christmas Day. Saturday I was just blah, but Sunday afternoon it hit me. I was in Pepboys, waiting to pick up my car (dropped off for oil change) and called Mark with an urgent plea, "Come get me. I'm sick." I made it to the restroom and added my own sickness to the layer of grime. Trust me folks, if you gotta get sick, don't let it be a Pepboys. I wish I had been at Target. Once I got home, I crawled into bed wearing sweats and piled high with layers of blankets. Slept until mid-evening when I got up and took some Tylenol before hightailing it back to bed.

Woke around 4 AM, sheets drenched with sweat and head pounding. Called work to inform them I wouldn't be in and after hydrating myself, slid back under the covers. When I woke around 10 AM, I tried to eat a little toast (unsuccessfully) and watch a little television. Couldn't keep my eyes open, so I returned to my toasty bed - welcome as I was suffering from chills. My day continued - sleep/wake, sweats/chills. I rose briefly around dinner time, but once again wasn't able to hold any food down, so I called it a night early and went back to bed.

Early Tuesday morning, I woke again, sheets drenched and head pounding. I knew I wasn't better so made the obligatory call to work. Fell back asleep and slept until 10 AM when I called the doctor's office with my symptoms and they advised me to come in. I had neither the full run of symptoms of flu (hope not - I had a shot earlier in the year), nor mono yet the doc drew blood to rule out a few things. I had entered my symptoms on WebMD and the constant diagnoses were mono or perimenopause. In short, the doc ordered me off work until Friday (New Year's Day) - but since my office is closed, that means Monday. I made a stop at the supermarket to pick up juice, Gatorade, and some other bland foods before returning home. Just that little adventure drained me, so back to bed I went.

Wednesday was pretty much a repeat of the previous days: sleep, eat, vomit, drink, sleep, eat, vomit, drink, sleep, eat, vomit, drink. I really don't have much recollection of these days - the bits I do remember still feel as though I was in a dream. Thursday started out as a repeat of the previous days, but by the time I woke from my power nap at dinner time, I was feeling better. Not well enough to go out and be with people, but enough to settle into my recliner for a True Blood marathon before switching over to see Ryan & Dick and the NYE celebration in Times Square. (I was happy to be in my warm house versus the crowd there.)

This morning, I awoke at 10 AM and it's like a switch was flipped. No soaked sheets, no pounding headache, able to get out of bed easily (no taking me 90 minutes to get dressed) - could it be the bug was gone? As the minutes ticked by and I continued to feel well, I grew bold and went to shower and dress and head out to movie. Husband called as I was leaving and I met him for lunch instead. (He played w/ the pipe band at the Polar Bear Plunge in Asbury Park. I had planned to do it, but the events of the week wiped that idea out of my mind. There's always next year.) Lunch was great, no ill-effects afterwards. I think I am back.

Spending the afternoon/watching college football - my ideal way to spend New Year's Day. Hoping tomorrow finds me just a little stronger.