You are currently browsing the archives for July 2007.

A Little Closer…

  • Posted on July 30, 2007 at 11:39 pm

I just put the final stitches into part 6 of the secret project. I’ll start part 7 tomorrow. We’re taking the day off Wednesday and going sailing since the weather this weekend didn’t agree with us. Hopefully, I’ll be able to stitch more then, too. I really need to get all of the stitching done this week so that I can do the finishing work this weekend, in between sailing and visiting with my parents and mail the package out on Monday, if possible.

Still Secretly Stitching

  • Posted on July 28, 2007 at 10:50 pm

Yes, I’m still at my secret project stitching. There are actually 7 parts to it, though 2 are backs and don’t have as much stitching. I’ve actually finished 5 parts as of right now, but the remaining 2 pieces are big. Part 6 is in progress and is essentially the size of two other parts put together. And Part 7 is four parts put together. Eeep!

I need to get this in the mail within the next week, but I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to do it or not. I’m leaving Part 7 as optional, since it’s the biggest. I could also alter it so that it’s half the work. Yeah, maybe I’ll do that. I would surely like to include all of the pieces and give this as a complete set.

It’s too bad I didn’t get much time to work on this while I was in Canada so that I could have gotten further ahead. I thought that giving myself a month worth of time to stitch it would be enough, but not with my schedule.

My mood has been awfully shifty lately, too, which isn’t helping matters at all. I went to work on Wednesday and that was it. *sigh* I did put some good work in last night and this morning, though. And I didn’t stitch on the days I stayed home, unfortunately. I have GOT to stop wasting my vacation days this way. I guess it’s time to tell at least one of my sponsors what’s going on and see what options I can pursue until I see the doctor and get medicated and regulated. I’d do anything to feel mentally stable again at this point. Soon, I hope.

Love, Hate and More

  • Posted on July 28, 2007 at 11:10 am

I was tagged by Coral a little while ago, but have been so behind on my blog reading that I didn’t realize it. So, here we go!

Rules of the game…
Once you have been tagged, copy and paste your answers onto your blog and leave a comment on the taggee’s blog so they can come back and read what you wrote. Let the tagging begin.

I love it when: I am happy.

I hate it when: People are unkind and/or unhelpful, especially those with service jobs.

I cry when: Whenever. Good movies make me cry. Depression makes me cry. Hormones make me cry.

I remember when: Strawberry Shortcake was out the first time. Gosh I loved those dolls and stuff!

I laugh when: Terry makes me laugh. He’s the only one who can predictably get me to laugh or smile.

I’m good at: Starting up a business in a fairly short period of time, apparently. πŸ˜‰

I’m very good at: Pretty much whatever I apply myself to.

I’m bad at: cleaning the house. I don’t like having a messy or dirty house, but I can’t seem to make myself find the time to do anything about it.

I’m very bad at: being patient. Patience is not my strong suit.

My most daring adventure: My current journey to self-discovery. It takes courage to face yourself and accept your strengths and weaknesses as you find them.

I tag: Whomever feels like playing along.

SBQ: A Love/Hate Relationship

  • Posted on July 26, 2007 at 11:22 pm

This SBQ was suggested by The Wagon and is:

What do you love to do that many people hate? What do you hate to do, but do anyway?

I love to do hardanger. LOVE it. Not that others hate it, but people are afraid of it. Needlessly so, I would add. I relish the challenge, really.

As for hate, that’s a pretty strong word. I’m not a huge fan of French knots, but seem to have gotten the hang of it, so those aren’t too bad anymore. Enough that I’m actually considering trying a Teresa Layman kit at some point. Over one is a challenge for me because my stitches don’t look as nice as I would like them to, but I still do it and I somewhat enjoy it, as well. Oh, got it! I hate basting. It’s boring and time-consuming. I do it when I have to, like for RR fabric, but avoid it like the plague whenever possible.

SBQ: Stingy Much?

  • Posted on July 26, 2007 at 11:16 pm

This SBQ is:

Do you consider yourself a “floss miser?”

Nope. Not a floss miser. Not at all. In fact, I can be the opposite sometimes. I just try not to worry about it and enjoy the process. πŸ™‚


  • Posted on July 25, 2007 at 4:00 pm

A.K.A. We’re Back!

It was a whirlwind, not a vacation. We babysat drunken people, served as designated drivers, I got to drive in thick fog in a city I don’t know.

Good news: I finally had a menstrual period. Four months after starting Yaz.

Bad news: It happened while we were in Canada.

Good news: I was prepared. πŸ˜‰

Good news: I stitched a hardanger suncatcher for Grandma Magee in the car on Wednesday. Even cut out the hardanger sections and wove them while in the car. She loved it. πŸ™‚

Good news: I got to meet Christine D. in person! Way cool! I will talk more about that in another post. πŸ˜€

Bad news: I had a sudden, severe IBS attack come on a couple of hours after seeing Christine. I mean, we were in the car, had to turn around and go back to the campground, I was beet red, stripped down to my undies and had to grab a bucket to take in the bathroom with me because I wasn’t sure which end it was going to come out of first. I don’t have them like that very often. Thank goodness! And my follow-up visit with the gastroenterologist isn’t until August 21st and can’t be moved to any earlier. I already tried this morning.

Good news: I actually drove my first long distance (4.5 hours) and drove through my first two toll booths on the way back on Monday.

Bad news: The decision to drive the entire 15 hours back in one day was not appreciated by my body; which was expressed to me in no uncertain terms by said body on Tuesday. I’m not sure that we’re going to Guam in October now because neither one of us can take the 22 hour plane ride.

Good news: I’m home!

That’s about it for me today. I’m feeling cranky and really don’t want it to spill over onto my blog, so I’m cutting it short. I have no pictures to share of the suncatcher that I made for Grandma Magee, even though I had my camera with me. Just slipped my mind. Same thing as before, just in purple (her fave color). πŸ˜‰ I uploaded all of the pictures that I took of Terry’s Dad’s wedding into my photo gallery, if you care to take a look. Terry’s suit jacket didn’t fit him well because his shoulders are way bigger than his waist, so he looks heavier in the photos than he actually is. We’ll have to buy him a more tailored suit soon.

Well, I’m rambling and it’s time to leave to see Dr. Steve. Byeeeee!

I’m Outta Here!

  • Posted on July 17, 2007 at 5:13 pm

Okay, not quite, but, for blogging purposes, I am. I will not have time tonight or tomorrow morning to do anything other than hope I have a sudden burst of energy so that I can complete everything that needs to be done before we leave.

Thank goodness I’m a mega-list-maker. I think that it’s the only thing which keeps me sane during times like this. Thank goodness I finally found a dress for the wedding last night, too! After visiting several stores, I finally broke down and drove out to the JCPenney store last night. I should have started there, but I’ve always had good luck at Boscov’s in the past (until this time). The first dress I picked up at JCPenney fit. And so did the second and the third. The tough decision was which colors to choose once they all fit. Then I bought shoes and a handbag. The dress was on sale and the shoes were on clearance ($16 for off-white dress shoes!). It doesn’t get much better than that. All I have left to buy are the pantyhose and I’ll pick that up during a WalMart run after work tonight.

Phoebe’s life jacket arrived today and fits well (the first one was too small). She looks so cute; I can’t wait to get a picture of her on the boat so that you can see. She’s such a preppy dog, thanks to her mommy. πŸ˜‰

I’ll only put in 6 hours today at work because we ran some errands this morning, including shipping out return packages (like Phoebe’s too-small life jacket and the first GSP unit we bought for the boat, which turned out to not have all of the features that we wanted) and picking up a fresh print-out of Phoebe’s rabies vaccination certification from the vet to present at the Canadian border on Thursday.

More errands to do after work. Pick up some odds and ends at WalMart, fill prescriptions at the pharmacy and buy some cards. Terry’s dad’s birthday is Thursday, his grandmother’s is Friday and the wedding is Saturday. Whew! We never figured out what to buy his dad and Nancy (his bride), so I think an IOU will go into the card. πŸ˜†

Then, once we finally get home, frozen dinners will get tossed into the microwave to eat, all of the dishes piled up in the sink need to be washed, the dishwasher (clean, fortunately) needs to be unloaded, then reloaded, a couple of loads of laundry need to be done and then I can pack.

Well, anyway, enough of that. I need to get back to work. I’m trying to tie up some loose ends before I leave and, so far, I’ve been fairly successful!

I may not blog while I’m away, depending on whether or not I have a reasonable connection available to me, but I will be thinking of all of you!

What Have I Been Doing?

  • Posted on July 15, 2007 at 10:42 pm

Not stitching, that’s for sure. I haven’t picked up a needle in over a week. Oh wait, that’s a lie. I did put in a very few stitches while at the hospital on Friday.

So, let’s see. I last posted on Wednesday.

Thursday: Bought a sailboat. Sailed said sailboat with the dealer to get a feel for what it can do. Towed said sailboat home. Mangled the swim ladder while backing it down the driveway in the dark because the ladder, which is not supposed to fall down, fell down from the up position and we backed over it, bending it backwards and wrenching it and its brackets sideways. Gouged the driveway a bit, too, but meh, who cares? It’s all fixable and at least we got our first owie to the boat over and done with quickly. Oh yeah, got a really bad sunburn on a few sections of my back that I apparently wasn’t reaching every time I reapplied the sunblock spray. Doh!

Friday: Spent the day at the hospital. The Upper GI with Small Bowel Study that normally takes 1 to 3 hours took me 7 HOURS! I’m not going into details, in case others who read my blog happen to have a need to go through this procecure in the future. Let’s just say that some mistakes were made by the radiologist, I think, and it turns out that my large bowel (large intestines; colon) is longer than most people’s. As such, my appendix actually resides in the middle of my lower abdomen, instead of on the right. Good to know in case of appendicitis pain. Bad when the radiologist keeps looking in the wrong spot for my appendix and the junction between my small and large bowel. For hours upon hours. Until one of the chief radiologists is called in out of sheer desperation (and the fact that it was 4:45 PM on a Friday and the staff wanted to get out of there).

My abdominal muscles feel like they have served as someone’s punching bag. Oh wait, they have! My back hurt like … (insert appropriate simile here) due to laying around in rough cotton hospital gowns on hard metal tables much of the day. Not nice for bad sunburn from day before. My back, neck and shoulder muscles went into spasm from above described laying around. I was unable to stitch during most of my waiting time because I was subjected to laying in different positions in order to try to get the barium to move through my system.

[note] For future reference, my digestive tract doesn’t like barium. [end note]

Saturday: Towed the sailboat over to the house of friends who live on the water. Went to their community’s boat ramp, rigged the boat and tried to launch the boat. Were unable to launch the boat due to poorly engineered boat ramp (it goes down a foot or two, then levels out) and low tide in shallow area. Waited around for an hour or so on the community beach for tide to start coming in. Gave up for a bit, went back to their house, ordered and consumed dinner. Went back to boat ramp once tide had come in and given us a foot or so more water to work with. Finally floated the boat off of the trailer and went motoring and sailing for an hour or so. Got boat back onto trailer, towed to friends’ house and unrigged in the dark. At this point, I had developed a migraine and the bugs were attacking the easily-seen white person (me) with a hunger, so I went inside and left the boys (which ended up pretty much being Terry by himself) to de-rig the boat. Sorry guys! Towed the boat home. Backed it up the driveway without incident (whew!). I immediately took a Maxalt and went to bed.

Sunday: Woke up very late with shoulder muscles in spasm and a bit of a headache. Ate. Watched some TV. Went upstairs to work on OSL accounting and entered a bunch of new inventory into the store. Check it out! Writing this blog entry, then going to bed.

We’re back to work tomorrow and Tuesday, then leaving as early as we can manage to drag ourselves out of bed Wednesday morning to head to Canada. We’re most likely splitting to drive into two days, stopping somewhere in Maine (perhaps around the Old Orchard Beach area) for the night, then continuing on to Saint John Thursday morning. I should get lots of stitching done in the car. At least, I had better, because I have things to do! πŸ™‚

So Much, So Much…

  • Posted on July 11, 2007 at 3:45 pm

I have way too much going on right now. It’s very overwhelming.

The good news? After our sailing expedition the other weekend, we had so much fun that we decided to buy a boat. We go to the dealer tomorrow to sail it and potentially take it home with us. I can’t wait to be able to go out onto the Chesapeake Bay and escape all of the noise, hassle and stress for a weekend. Ahhhhhhhh… won’t that be nice? In the meantime, I still need to get a life vest for Phoebe (yes, they make them for dogs) and make sure that we have all of our ducks in a row before we leave next Wednesday morning for Canada for a week. For those who have asked, we are going to be driving up to Saint John, New Brunswick for the Saturday nuptials of Terry’s dad. It’s the same day as Christine V‘s wedding. πŸ™‚

In other news, there are several stories running concurrently. I have managed to get back onto my feet on the work front and even though I am still bored and dissatisfied with my job, I am getting a lot accomplished. So far, this week, I have been juggling a minimum of two different projects during the day, but often more. That’s more like my normal self, but it is exhausting.

I saw a gastroenterologist on Friday morning regarding my chronic IBS and some stomach pains that I’ve had recently. As a result, a small barrage of tests have been ordered. Yesterday, I had an abdominal ultrasound of all of the organs floating around in my midsection. I also stopped in and had blood taken for the blood tests that he ordered. Friday morning I will be having an upper GI with small bowel study. This is where I get to drink some thick liquid that I’m just praying isn’t too nasty and they chase it through my digestive tract. At least, that’s what I think it is. If you have unpleasant stories about a similar procedure, please don’t share them with me. I am trying to stay positive about it, so I only want to hear if you have a story where it was much easier than you thought it would be. Or something along those lines. I’ll go back to see him in late August (I’m on vacation, then he is) for the follow-up to see what the results of all of the tess show and see if there is a need for him to do a colonoscopy.

On the psychological front, I have been feeling a little bit down lately but I seem to be leveling out. Even if that level is a little lower than my normal, chipper self. My psychiatrist gave me an official diagnosis of Bipolar II on Friday. I convinced him to delay any change in medication for a month, since we’re going away and I didn’t want to be away on vacation in the middle of a med. change. I see him again in August and will take up the argument discussion again at that time. I’m trying to take this time to do my homework about bipolar disorder to see if I agree with his diagnosis, what treatment alternatives are available and how I can help to manage my highs and lows.

I have to say that I am very anxious about this diagnosis, even though I got a hint of it from Dr. Steve weeks before. Several people have advised me to get a second opinion, but getting in with a new psychiatrist around here takes a good bit of time. Terry and I have had some in-depth discussions about it. From what I’ve read of the standard symptoms and descriptions of the four possible levels of bipolar disorder, I happen to agree that I fit into that category. It’s the treatments that I’m concerned about. Many of the available drugs seem to be concerned about treating the manic symptoms where I’m more worried about the depression symptoms. I’ve only ever had two episodes that seem to qualify as hypomanic (less than full mania and not really disruptive to my life), so I’m much less concerned with those at the moment. It’s the depressive episodes that I would prefer to get under control. I really don’t like the side effects associated with many of the medications, either. I looked at the one the psychiatrist wants to put me on (Abilify) and I don’t know that I’m willing to risk the side effects. One of the potential serious side effects is tardive dyskinesia, which may be irreversible. As an artist (whether I am one professionally or not, I still consider myself to be one at heart), I cannot afford to have uncontrollable twitching. Especially if it’s permanent.

Can I just say here and now that I SERIOUSLY object to the fact that he wants to put me on a drug that is classified as an antipsychotic? I am not psychotic! I’m railing against the added stigma of being diagnosed as being bipolar (as if being depressed wasn’t enough stigma), now I’m a psycho? Sheesh. I know that I’m probably blowing it out of proportion, but I’m in a very uncomfortable place right now. So far, I like to think that I’ve really tried to roll with the punches, trying different medications, being very open and honest in therapy, but I’m hitting a bit of a brick wall on this one.

And so, with that weighing heavily on my mind, I go to see Dr. Steve tonight. I plan on focusing the discussion on this new diagnosis, what it truly means and what non-medicinal treatment options are available to me. I found a pretty good site (named, go figure) that explained that episodes can often be triggered by things like stress. Which really helped to explain what sent me on this journey in the first place (when my grandfather died) and has continued to affect me (stress at work). They have a mood tracker that I printed out and have been filling out every day so far that is supposed to help you recognize your triggers. I think that this could be really helpful. And suddenly, the investment in a boat seems even more sound than before. πŸ˜‰

Terry has agreed to go in with me for the August appointment with the psychiatrist so that I have a little extra help. I think I’m going to ask Dr. Steve to include him in tonight’s session, as well. I want both of us to really be on the same page so that Terry can help me make informed decisions about my treatment. Besides, I swear he knows me better than I know myself, so it’s good to have another person describing my behaviors, even if he doesn’t know how I’m feeling inside.

Right now, I’m just trying to take life one day at a time. Sometimes, one hour at a time. Whatever it takes.

A Stitchy Finish!

  • Posted on July 7, 2007 at 9:41 pm

It’s official, I finished Summer Dragon on Christine‘s RR fabric. I completed the cross stitches yesterday and the backstitching today. And oh boy, was there a LOT of backstitching on the piece! Compared to the Spring Dragon, which didn’t have much, this one was a huge change. It took me several hours to do all of it. But hey, it’s done, and just a little bit behind schedule. It looks like all of us were running a bit late this round, so I don’t feel so bad. It’s packed up and ready to go into the mail on Monday morning.

This is a pretty one. Very sparkly and fussy with all of the leaves and vines:

Also, I can share another finish from a week or two ago. I made up another one of those lovely little hardanger suncatchers in shades of blue and turquoise, just for my buddy Anne. I wanted her to have a little something that she could hang up, no matter where she’s staying, so that she would have a little piece of “home” with her. I thought it would be nice and portable for her housesitting situation.

I’ve started another project now, but it’s a secret. It has multiple parts, but I’m going to count each one as a finish (and rightfully so, I think). I’m more than halfway through one of them already, having started it Thursday night to catch a break from dragon stitching. πŸ™‚ It will probably take me another week or more to complete the stitching on all four of the pieces and then do the finishing. I have a feeling that this is going to take me up through when we leave for Canada. In the meantime, I signed up for a cyberclass through The Victoria Sampler that started on the 5th. I haven’t even taken the fabric out of the kit and ironed it yet, so I need to get moving!

My Stick Family from