A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Still no stitching...

and I'm going into withdrawals.

I've updated my journal in the following post. I can't imagine that anyone would actually want to read it, so decided to put the highlights of my week here.

I had a really nice, relaxing weekend last week. Got lots of sleep and, aside from an occasional chest/throat clearing cough seem to be pretty well over The Crap. I got it twice and it's still making its way through the school (now both admins have it). I'm doing lots of hand washing and using hand sanitizer because I do NOT want that again.

My week started off with a delightful surprise. A week or so ago I was sitting and coughing in my recliner when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a large butterfly flutter past the window. I didn't move fast enough to see what kind (we have host plants in our yard for Monarchs, Gulf Fritillaries and Swallowtails). A few days later when I felt a little better I checked the milkweed in the side yard to see if there were any eggs and I found one! I brought it in and set up my usual "butterfly nursery," a large blown-glass bowl with several milkweed cuttings in water. I checked it for several days and had concluded that the egg must not have been viable. I got busy and didn't do anything about the bowl (the cuttings were looking kind of sad). Monday (since I'd taken a day off for a doctor's appointment) I headed to the bowl intending to empty it out and counted THREE healthy caterpillars chomping away. They were already about an inch long and had just about finished off the milkweed in the bowl. What a happy, hopeful feeling that is. The first year I did butterflies (planted lots of host plants and imported caterpillars) I released close to fifty over the season. Now I feel lucky if I even see them in the yard and can find a couple to bring into the house. To hit with three! And I haven't even checked the other plants, yet.

The rest of the week was stressful and boring and I've journaled it below. Not recommended reading.

Yesterday I braved another foray into The Attic. Happily, it seems that we have finally (knock on wood) gotten rid of the rodents. When I started the attic clean-out last fall I think I chased out the last (shudder) of the rats and it was really rank up there. This time there was hardly any odor at all and was much easier to work. My routine is to drag boxes to the access, then hand them down to DH and sort through the stuff later. Nothing is going back up there and one of the goals of this project is to throw stuff away before we move to Utah. Last batch of stuff included old Christmas decorations (still deciding on some of that stuff) and Halloween decorations. DS2 has gone through the Halloween stuff to reclaim his own and what of mine he wants. The rest has either already been pitched or will be soon.

I can't say enough good stuff about those plastic, flip-top storage bins. I'm finding a lot of damage to stuff stored in regular cardboard boxes, but the stuff that was stored in the plastic bins is pristine. And not only did we have critters up there (two species of rats, racoons, possom, cats) but we had replaced our shake roof with asphalt shingles and that made an incredible mess.

Anyway, I hit treasure in yesterday's boxes. Two of the plastic boxes contained part of my doll collection. Some of the dolls I had made (and am ready to gift to someone else) but I was thrilled to find two of my childhood dolls (including a large Betsy Wetsy and a "pretty" baby doll my mom had dressed in a christening outfit for me. Somewhere along the line I had also bought an old Tiny Tears, my favorite doll, and it's not in bad shape, either. I was so excited to see them.

In addition to my stitchery/quilting passion, I am also a scrapbooker and found two boxes full of old photo albums and memorabilia. Some of it was mine from junior high, high school and junior college. I got rid of some stuff (good girl, Debi, good girl) but kept a lot for the biographical scrapbook I'm planning. I was thrilled to find a set of photos from a 1963 trip to Disneyland to add to my "50 Years of Fun at Disneyland" album I'm working on.

The real treasures, though, were old albums of my father-in-law. My FIL was not a nice man. He had an interesting life, but was an abusive hypocrite. The family was living in French Morocco when DH graduated from high school and DH got on the first transport to the states that he could arrange (at the age of 17) just to get away from the jerk. He wasn't much fonder of his mother, having a lot of anger at her for tolerating his father's abuse of DH and his brother. Anyway, I've always known that DH would not be particularly interested in seeing his father and mother's lives preserved in a scrapbook that I might make. Years ago, when I was trying to "find" some storage in the house I came across a half-dozen very old photo albums. I went through them quickly and concluded that they were albums of my FIL's life before and during his first marriage, which had nothing to do with my husband. I packed them away and put them into the attic. Yesterday was the first time I'd seen them in years. As I was thinking about what to do with them I decided to go through them more carefully and realized that my frugal MIL had decided to add their family pictures to empty pages in these older albums. I found dozens of pictures of my husband as he was growing up. It put a crimp in what I had hoped to accomplish yesterday (DS2 will be disappointed that I didn't get more of "his" room cleared out) but I really wanted to get some of those pictures out of those albums for my husband's biographical scrapbook. My MIL had glued the pictures down real good and I couldn't pop them off the pages (couldn't even get them off with dental floss) so I ended up spending a few hours scanning them (72 pictures). Today I'm supposed to go to my Mom's for scrapbooking so am taking a big box of stuff to sort.

Since I haven't done any new stitching I'll share this scrapbook page with the little bit of cross-stitch on it. This is the first page of a set of albums I did for my older son. The name is cross-stitched using letters from the "Spooky Row" chart by (I think) Bent Creek. When DS1 got married at age 28, I put together a set of albums for him. The first started with a few family history tidbits and pictures, then wedding pictures for both sets of grandparents, then childhood pictures from DH and me, then our wedding pictures, and then into his life from birth to marriage. There were two full albums ("Mom, you put it ALL in here!"). A third started with his "wedding" pictures (he was married in a civil ceremony in Japan at New Year's so they're really pictures of their trip and New Year's celebrating with his wife's family). That third album had lots of empty pages to add pictures of their own. Now I'm starting on DS2's. I told him he would have to get married to get his, but really I'm planning on giving it to him for his 28th birthday, too (he's already 26 so I'd better get going.) Both boys have traveled a lot and I also have beautiful Creative Memories tapestry travel albums to fill with their trip pictures. One thing at a time, Deb.

Tomorrow I have my follow-up visit with the cardiologist. Last week I had taken a sick day on Monday for my bi-annual visit to the ophthalmologist. No glaucoma, no cataracts, no disease of any kind. I had been legally blind (without corrective lenses) for most of my life and treated myself (with some help from DH) to Lasik for my 50th birthday. In the first year the improvement regressed somewhat, but I can still function for days at a time without glasses which still seems like a miracle. It was good to hear there has been no further regression and I was good for another two years. I am sure I will get orders tomorrow to start an exercise program, which will mean a visit to an orthopedist for guidance (and maybe physical therapy) on how to start exercising without doing more damage to my knees and hips. I know there are people who enjoy the drama of visiting doctors but I'm finding it very tiresome. So far, though, two doctors tell me my blood pressure is under control, my mammograms are normal, my teeth are repaired and clean and all pre-cancerous growths have been removed. I still have the dreaded "colon scope" to look forward to (if you want a laugh, go read Jace's story about his parents' adventure in "colostomy") but barring any horrible news tomorrow that should hold me until next year.

1 comment:

Chiloe said...

seems you did a lot of things in a short time !!! lol I'm glad you're fine. ;)

I used to love scrapbooks but I don't have time right now. I may do it again if one day we move back to the US ;)