That aging thing again . . .

Well, this time it’s not just me.  Eowyn, my trusty APQS Liberty, is beginning to show signs of wear and tear.  While she remains a great longarm, she’s begun to entrap my bobbin thread every now and then.  Well, much more frequently, both now and then.  Thread tension is still great, but every once in a while, the bobbin thread hits a place in the hook where there must be a burr of some sort.  I took everything apart yesterday.  Cleaned, WD40’d, oiled.  Running smooth as silk, except for this one spot at about 8 o’clock in the bobbin basket/hook assembly that catches the thread and snaps and entraps it.  I’ve tried almost everything (well, if there’s something I haven’t tried, I’m not sure what it is) but I can’t get it to stop.  I talked with Dawn at APQS yesterday and they are sending me a new hook.  We’ll see if that will do the job.

In the meanwhile, I woke up with a horrible headache this morning.  There’s not much I can take for pain.  Weightloss surgery means that I can’t take NSAIDs – too much risk they will destroy what little stomach I have – and tylenol has never really blown my skirt up (or done Jack for pain, as far as I’m concerned).  I do have some high-powered pain meds for my back, but I’ve often found that if I take them for a headache, they just make it worse.  Well, while making coffee, I reached up to grab a coffee filter off the stack in the cabinet and realized it’s most likely my neck and shoulder causing the searing pain in my head.  Perhaps from too much time spent under the machine with my head cocked at an odd position, trying to adjust every conceivable thing to make it run correctly?  Ah ha.  So, I’m on my third round of heated shiatsu massage from my trusty Homedics massage pillow.  I think I may have a few of the knots worked out (or marbles scooted back up into my head as my PT says), so after a hot shower, I’ll go back to trying to quilt and just put up with the occasional thread breakage, until my new part arrives.  Actually, I have quite a few things done that need binding, so that may be the focus for today.  I’ve also made some wall art/potholder/trivet-type objects using the IQ that I may color and slightly bling up a bit for the holiday bazaar.  Once I have a few finished, I’ll post some pics and you can tell me if you think they are okay or just gaudy as all hell.  I’m striving for tasteful, but it’s like makeup  . . . there comes a time when you cross the line of enhancing good features and just end up looking like a trampy raccoon.  Let’s see how I do.

Enough already!!

I’m beginning to feel like Joe Btfsplk – the little guy in the old Li’l Abner cartoons who walked around with the storm cloud over his head all the time.  Seems as though I’ve jumped from one mini-disaster to another lately and it just has to stop!  My cat got very sick. I had to have him put down.  I took off to Puyallup to help a friend whose assistant had had to take off to visit family when a grandchild died.  I finally got home and began to try and catch up, and in a search for one of my six rotary cutters, I stuck my hand into a project bag and hit a fresh new rotary blade that had popped out of its protective sheath.  I have a slice down the tip of my left index finger, from the nail almost to the end of the first joint.  It is very deep and trying to hold the two halves together to get it to stop bleeding was really making me sick.  I called and got an appointment at the after hours clinic yesterday and then had to lie down here to wait two hours for the appointment with my hand in the air.  Well, after about a half hour, I got the bleeding stopped and it occurred to me that I could probably just put some super glue on it and avoid the doctor’s visit.  I called and tried to cancel but, of course, they would have none of it.  So, I went, they cleaned it out (again) and put glue on it.  Dang it.  I could have saved myself the time and money.  I should have just walked it off!!

Anyway, I’m done with the doldrums.  It’s time for good things to start happening.  I’m going to start trying to make some good things happen for myself.  This day has been fairly good so far.  Cleaning up the house, trying to get quilts caught up and my bazaar items finished.  Perhaps I can join the sale next week.  No more bad things now, you hear???  Oh – one sort of bad thing today.  Ozzie had his check-up and bordatella shot today.  They (horror of horrors) clipped his nails!!  He was having a cow, trying to bite me, etc.  Just terrified — he never lets me cut them.  Anyway, he survived and is passed out next to me on the couch.  I’ll leave him to sleep.  I’ve got lots to do.

So.  Thursday is Thanksgiving.  I am thankful.  Thankful I still have two wonderful furkids left.  Thankful I have a roof over my head.  Thankful I have more than enough to eat, more wonderful friends than I have a right to, more than so many have of so many things.  I hope you all have something for which you can be thankful, and I wish you all more than enough of whatever you wish.

Let the silly season commence

I can see it, I can feel it.  The tension of the holiday season building on the internet.  Friends and acquaintances almost ready to burst with the stress of buying and entertaining.  I just don’t do that stuff anymore.  I think that most of my family is beginning to settle down too.  My sister-in-law’s family still has a large gathering and I know I am always welcome there, but I find peace and quiet much more inviting.  The furkids and I will keep to ourselves on Thanksgiving as we usually do.  They show such admiration for my ability to hunt down and prepare a bird of immense proportions (in their minds, anyway — I think it’s a 13-pounder) and we snuggle on the couch with our turkey tidbits, catnip (the dog likes it too), and a bottle of wine for me.  We have a DVD fest, we go for a walk, we play ball in the back yard, and all is very peaceful.  This year we will be one fewer.  It’s sad, but we’ll drink a toast to Junior and remember him very fondly.  We may even put up the Christmas tree this year.  I love having a tree, but have been afraid the past few years that Ozzie would chew it up.  I think I will put it in the corner undecorated for a few days and see how he handles it.  If all is well, we’ll get the decorations on and hope for the best.  I’ve got some new battery-operated candles this year to add a nice ambience to the room with no fears of burning the place down.  Some nice music (with the occasional metal tune) and we’ll be set for a happy holiday season.  I wish you all peace and no stress for the holidays!

What a sad day

My sweetheart Junior (Otis Jr.) has gone to that happy mousing ground in the sky.  The vet believes he had a brain tumor or some sort of neurological disease that was just not fixable.  He was stumbling around the house, unable to find the litter box, and, when he did have to relieve himself, he’d go into a kind of seizure with his paws all curled up and he’d fall over.  Since his big episode in which he bit me (September) he has steadily gone downhill.  He’d gotten to the point where he would either lie in my bedroom between the wall and the laundry hamper or pace the floors while constantly falling.  It was so sad to see.  He couldn’t eat right, wouldn’t drink.  I had to give him droppers of water.

Letting a pet go is probably the hardest thing there is to do.  Thankfully, the vet made it as easy as possible.  Junior laid in my arms and purred as he went to sleep.  He was unconscious as he got the final drug.  It was awful, but very peaceful.  His ashes will come home and rest with Otis out under the rose bush.  If you’re so inclined, say a prayer for my little boy.  He was a delight.  I remember when he was little, he would stand on the cedar chest at the foot of my bed and swat at me with his little paws, like I was a play-toy.  He’d be there first thing in the morning, waiting for me to get up and play.  I will miss him so much.

Simple pleasures

Sometimes it’s the little things that really make you happy.  I had to run several errands today.  I left the house in a drizzle and got about five blocks before I realized I left the pet gate I wanted to return to PetsMart on the kitchen table!  I drove back to the house, taking note of the streaky windshield as I tried to get the drops off the glass.  So, as I headed back out of the house, this time with gate in hand, I spied the replacement windshield wipers I’d bought some time ago and grabbed them as I headed back out to the car.  I put the gate in the car and changed the wiper blades.  Turned out to be a snap — literally.  I had the best time driving around to my errands with those wipers really cleaning the glass off!  Wish I’d done it a long time ago.

Speaking of repairing things on cars, what is it with small car repairs lately?  I had to drive home in the dark last night and was amazed at the number of cars coming at me with one headlight burned out.  I like to be able to see where I’m going at night and, the last time I checked, headlights didn’t cost an arm and a leg.  Sure, everyone’s a little tight with money these days, but there’s no sense jeopardizing one’s safety by driving around with only one light.  I used part of my lottery winnings to get new tires, now I have new wipers.  Need to get the oil changed again soon, then I guess I’m ready for the winter weather.  Take care of the car maintenance people!  The bad weather is coming.

How long?

Does it take a broken toe to heal?  I looked back through my email, etc., and realized I broke my little toe on August 21st.  It’s still purple, it’s still swollen, and, now that the cold and the damp has set in, it’s beginning to hurt a lot again.  I’ve tried the buddy taping (taping it to the toe next to it), but that hurts more and doesn’t seem to help with the healing.  I don’t suppose there is anything horrible about this other than the fact that it will continue to hurt if it doesn’t heal.  Oh well, I guess I’ll give it more time.

Livin’ the high life

It’s true, it’s TRUE!  We really did win.  Tuesday night we all met for a cocktail and some food at Hop Valley Brewing Company, where we filled out all our lottery forms.  Yesterday (Wednesday) another quilter (name changed to protect the innocent) and I drove everyone’s paperwork up to the State Lottery Office in Salem, so that the checks could be expedited.  Little did we realize that they could cut the checks right then and there.  It did take a couple hours, but they had a nice coffee shop, and we got to pose for photos.  Figures I would be having a bad hair day, but I don’t care, I was (and still am) very happy!

Arriving at the State Lottery Office


This must be the place!


My friend and I dreaming of travel with our checks!

Of course, I came right home and spent my money on mundane things like new tires for the car ($800!  yipes), but I’ll put a little away for future dreaming.

Holy smokes

Well.  Where in the heck have I been?  It’s a long and winding story to be sure.  I enjoyed myself at MQX West for a week, came home, regrouped, worked on some customer quilts, and headed off for my annual fall retreat at Silver Falls State Park, off to the east of Salem last Thursday.  I love being there, as do all in my sewing group.  When we got there, we were discussing how we wished we could buy the place and live there forever.  Then we got to thinking that the Powerball Jackpot was enormous, and if we won, we really could probably buy the place.  So, we all chipped in a buck (26 of us) and bought a ticket.  The most amazing thing happened.  We won!  Well.  We didn’t win the jackpot of $235 million, but we got five numbers without the powerball, so we won $200,000.  Sounds like a huge sum until you split it 26 ways, but it’s still more money than I’ve ever won in my life.  I’ll finish paying off my IQ, buy some new tires for the car, and have a little left to save for medical bills.  My retiree health insurance sucks, so expenses have been higher than I ever expected.  It really added some fun to the retreat, but it did not come without some of the expected squabbles that happen when there is a pot of money to be divided.  Three folks had a problem with the dividing.   It was so sad to see.  Hey – I put in a buck.  If I got two back, I’d be over the moon.  As it turns out, after taxes, I’ll probably have a whopping $5,000, but as I say, it’s more than I’ve ever won at anything and I’m just ecstatic about it.  I really wish that some folks didn’t have to be mean and pissy.  Anyway, those of us who are happy will be closer and more fun friends.  Those who aren’t happy will just have to get over themselves.  If we’re going to cry over spilt milk, we might as well cry that if we’d all put in two dollars and bought the powerplay, we’d be splitting $1 million!  But we didn’t, and we’re lucky we won anything at all.  I now need to plant my feet firmly back on the ground and get back to quilting.  People are waiting for quilts, and I’ve been slacking just a bit.

When I was about 24 years old, I had a hippie chick read my palm.  She told me I would never be rich, but would never want for the necessities in life.  It seems to be very true.  Every time I get to the point where I am nervous about money (like when I retire early and find out my medical insurance pays for almost nothing), money seems to fall in my lap.  Not an enormous amount, but enough to take the weight of the world off my shoulders.  I do lead a charmed life.