Monday, June 27, 2011

Still Hurting
Haven't stitched much this week as I've been struggling with the sore, stiff neck and now I have pain in my shoulder with numbness and tingling down my arm.  I've been to the doctor, chiropractor and massage therapist.  I have some mild exercises and stretching to do.  They all believe that the sore, stiff neck has caused the inflamed muscles to swell and reduce the space in the narrow channels the nerves run through.  

I say this has gone on long enough and I'm ready for it to be gone!  I thought simply acknowledging that there was stress in my life would lessen it and my neck, shoulder and arm would feel better.  

Work, Work, Work
I was working on the year end reports and discovered a bug in our accounting software -- after I had printed all the necessary reports.  The software didn't update the accounts to include any of the new account numbers that had been entered throughout the year so those new accounts didn't print in the reports.  I had to go into the account setup and manually update the reporting part of the software to include all the new account numbers and re-print all the reports again.  I made sure the software developers knew about this bug and that I was not happy.  Ah, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel and the work is slowly getting completed so I'll be able to enjoy an extra day off over the 4th of July holiday.

My New Favorite Flower
My MIL gave me a gift certificate to a local nursery, so I've been picking out new perennials for my yard.  I've seen alot of coreopsis varieties in the stores this year, so I guess it was only a matter of time before I'd pick out several for my garden.  I also discovered that there are varieties that come in my favorite color -- pink, so I'll have to get a couple of those for next year because the nursery didn't have any of those varieties left.  I also picked out a couple of varieties of Bee Balm, Blanket Flower and Delphinium.  Hubby is my gardener, so he's been busy planting them where I've designated.  I have to make sure he leaves the tags in the ground so he doesn't pull them out thinking they are weeds, lol. (Sorry for the blurry, washed out pics - it was windy and cloudy when I took them.)


Blanket Flower

Another variety of Coreopsis

Bee Balm
Baby Fish
My daughter came home from school one day last week and discovered there were baby fish swimming around in her aquarium!  She set up our extra aquarium and transferred the babies to their own tank and sent me a text message stating that I am now a "great-grandma".  She did throw me for a loop with that!

Four of the nine baby fish
 Freecycle Item Received
A couple of weeks ago, I responded to an offer for a "lightweight, easily portable Singer Sewing Machine in excellent condition and great for taking to quilting groups or class".  Knowing my oldest daughter wanted a sewing machine of her own, I thought this would be perfect for her.  Had Hubby stop by and pick it up as he was going to be in that area the next day.  This is what the freecycler gave him:

Singer 99
This particular sewing machine was manufactured in 1956 and is considered "newer" because the very first of this model were manufactured in 1924.  The case shows alot of wear and smells really musty, but the machine itself is in very good condition and sews very well.  I don't know why the freecycler said this was "lightweight and easily portable" because it weighs alot (but I have not weighed it).

What is that?
Walking into work this morning, I thought there was a leaf stuck to the building because we had rain and wind last night.  Upon a closer look, it was not a leaf!  It was a ...

  ...Tree Frog!  In my area, we hear them all evening and all night long, but I've never actually seen one.  This little guy (or gal) was only about 1.5 to 2 inches long and he (or she) stayed on the building for hours until the sun peeked out and was shining on that side of the building.  

Wishing everyone in the USA a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

Until next time,
Happy Stitching!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ehh...Blah, Blah, Blah

That's how I feel these days.  It's what I call the "end of year blahs" because the fiscal year is ending, billions lots of reports to be done and submitted, last year's books closed and the new year's books opened, internal audits to be finalized, outside auditors coming to begin their audit process and the list goes on and on and on.  Each year it seems like there is more and more to be done in less time.  Oh, and of course, there has to be a major board meeting thrown in smack-dab in the middle of everything!


Before Memorial Day, when Hubby came home with the news that his hours were being cut, I got up the next morning with a severely stiff neck.  I must have slept in an awkward position and my neck was very stiff and sore.  Anyone else noticing the connection between my stiff, sore neck and stress?

Here we are the middle of June and my stiff, sore neck is, well, still stiff and sore!  Went to have a therapeutic massage but it barely helped.  Went to see my chiropractor but it only helped for a couple of hours.  Went back for more therapeutic massage and even though she really worked the knots out, I am still really stiff and sore.  She said my coracobrachialis muscle was really knotted up and that muscle can cause pain in the shoulder, neck and arm.  I had to look up "coracobrachialis muscle" because I've never heard of it, let alone know where it's located.  I'm so fed up with feeling pain somewhere every day!

Tie-Dyed Threads

I've been teaching a small group of young ladies from my church how to cross stitch and embroider.  I started out with 3 girls and my group has now grown to 15 girls aged 8 to 14!  One of the youngest girls brought in a package of Prism Tie-Dyed Floss to share with the whole group.

Who can resist tie-dyed floss?  So I used this floss with bright, vibrant colors to teach the girls one more way to use floss in a design.  Each girl picked one skein of bright, variegated floss and we went through many designs to find something suitable for each one to stitch with these fun colors.

My design selection stitched with red, white & blue tie-dyed (variegated) floss.

It is stitched on a light red evenweave and blanket stitched to red felt.  I'm pleased with how it turned out and will place it on my refrigerator for some 4th of July color in my kitchen.

Until next time,
Happy Stitchin!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Cheerful Flower

After yesterday's high heat and humidity, everything and everyone seems to be droopy and lacking energy.  Well, everyone and everything except this pretty, little flower!  It is standing tall and facing the morning sunrise, so I took it's picture.

Friendship Bird Finished

I finished the Friendship Bird as an ornie. I did stitch the design again in reverse for the back side.  It wasn't as hard as I thought to stitch the pattern in reverse, but I wouldn't want to do it on a more intricate design.  Not sure yet if it will stay in my collection or become a gift.

Birthday Card & Floss Received

I received a late birthday card and floss from an exchange I was part of last year.  I can honestly say I've never received flower seeds in a birthday card or as a birthday gift -- I guess that's because it's difficult to find flower seeds in Illinois in December!  Thanks Pam K.

Weather, health and a bit of GOOD NEWS

After nearly a week of rain amounting to nearly 12 inches of rainfall, flash flooding and field runoff, it's turned very hot and humid in my area of Illinois.  Yesterday the actual temp was in the upper 90's and the humidity was 90%.  Hubby hates the heat and humidity, but he refuses to turn on the a/c because it's too early in the summer, plus it's expensive to cool our house (and our electric company just got an 8% rate increase).

Still feeling the pain from the shingles, but by my calculations, next week will be 12 weeks since the rash dried up.  Hopefully this horrible virus is winding down!

Took my mom back to the orthopedic doctor last Thursday.  The good news is that the fracture has stabilized.  Since it's been 9 weeks since she fractured the vertebra and she has significant risks with surgery, the doctor advised that she should not have surgery.  Because of my mom's long term dependency of pain medications, the doctor has also started with pain medication withdrawal process.  So far mom is tolerating the withdrawal process fairly well.

Until next time,
Stay Cool & Happy Stitching!