Uh Oh. Prepare for a long one, folks…plus WIP Wednesday #218

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote. I have no real excuse, just a general malaise with everything. I guess a mild semi-depression that I am working my way out of.

HEALTH – this is the biggie. The growth found on my annual physical in February has now been excised and a biopsy performed. And the best news – it’s benign. I am so relieved. However I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to boot camp & right now, I’m sticking to walking.

WEEK IN THE LIFE – I have completed my album – which was an achievement in itself! I am not happy with the volume of notes I made, & luckily I have enough in the way of embellishments that I can repeat the exercise in November (before December Daily). Ali’s newest Travel collection is somewhere in the NZ Post system so I hope to get that later this week. Photo post to come!

TRAVELLING – We’ve done a few small trips lately, as you would know if you followed my Instagram. We tried to get to a car wrecker in Whangarei the other weekend but due to an accident (no fatalities but two hours on a 2km stretch of road was frustrating) we couldn’t get there before closing. We ended up staying at Lang Beach, just south of Waipu Cove & did a lot of exploring around Whangarei. I also caught up with a previous workmate Jill, who has Si’s total admiration for sailing around the world (multiple times as long term readers will know) and not killing her husband in tight confines. Last Saturday we got up early, drove up & found the bumper we needed for the Toy Car – and the targa glass panels and covers & some other bits too! Also if you’ve coveted one, I can confirm that a Blunt umbrella is awesome. I got myself the Karen Walker limited edition, as it’s pretty and the odds that the boys will want to be seen using it are low!

OTHER STUFF – the Auckland Photography exhibition is on and Rory, a friend & official Briscoes photographer, has an exhibit on at the Wintergarden Café by the Auckland museum. His theme is birds & flowers & there were some pretty things.

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I went to a number of NZ Comedy Festival events – the 7 Days live screening with Louise, Paul Choudry with Si & then Lou treated us to Jamie Bowen – whose surprise guest was Dai Henwood. It wasn’t comedy as such, more a discussion around a wide range of ideas/events, but it still had laughs and things to ponder. I liked it.

20180530_173025I cleaned and re-stocked the big tank. Tubbs is happier! I do have the smaller tank still set up, much to Si’s disgust, and I think I will get some more mollies and a betta for this one – plus a new light. It needs a light desperately, now its winter and the sunshine hours have reduced.

READING – a lot of trash interspersed with some good writing. June/July looks good for me, with a lot of my fav authors released or releasing for the Northern Summer. I read the latest Rosalind James as part of the pre-release group; there’s a Nalini Singh Psy-Changling & a Tracey Alvarez Bounty Bay next week, a Kirsten Ashley Chaos & Eloisa James Wilde in July, and two LH Cosway to come (all pre-ordered to my Kindle). I had forgotten about the last two Nora Roberts releases so they’re on my Kindle now too.

20180519_065758Non-fiction has been Brene Brown & “The Year of Less” by Cait Flanders & “Slow” by Brooke McAlary. I brought Si “Spymistress” by William Stevenson for Audible and he recommends that one.

I also brought Cocktales, not for the writing but because of the cause. If you are not a romance writer you may be unaware of the huge uproar over a certain author deciding to trademark a word, which in this instance was “cocky”. Her reasons are as shallow as a bird bath is to the ocean, and multiple organisations are now funding the court battle against her, including an union organisation for authors. I don’t believe any one person can TM a commonly used word (it’s not like Xerox or Hoover, where the brand is now also the action) & I think her actions were malicious in intent.

STITCHING – I haven’t stitched all that much since I wrote. 8 instances on the LHN Summer Band Sampler got me to a finish; then 5 sessions on a new start, home*stitch*ness Four Seasons (New Zealand) version which I have quickly fallen out of love with (I think it’s the Cashel fabric, it’s not evenweave & very scratchy); two beading sessions on Mill Hill’s Honey Pot so those are now glued onto felt and ready to cut out as FFO’s; and at work/travel I am working on the two Trinidad Santa’s from last year’s Mill Hill/Sandra Cozzolino release. I’m up to the fiddly parts & making sure thread doesn’t carry on the back of the plastic canvas version. And at home I’m back in love with Fairy Idyll and nearly done with the greenery at the base of the rabbit. My round robin also came back; I need to stitch the square left & bead it all but that’s a budgeted finish for when I’m a little tired of FI.

STITCH FROM STASH – I had my first “no purchase” month in quite some time. This at least brought me back from the brink & I finished in the positive. I’ve also sold (for the same price as I paid) the second copy I had of the Mirabilia Cinderella design so this month looks good too.

Apr-18 May-18
Budget $25.00 Budget $25.00
Melinda – 4*mags -11.04    
Andie – OOP Miras -40.00    
home*stitch*ness 4 Seasons -9.81    
Spotlight Cashel FQ -34.99    
Spotlight 10 DMC -16.90    
       
Melinda’s RR Gigi 12.56 SOLD Angel of Christmas 10.00
Countrystitch Credit (dye) 4.44 LHN Summer Sampler 14.63
LK Be Bold 9.25    
       
Rollover $25.20 Rollover -$36.29
Total Available Budget -$36.29 Total Available Budget $13.34

WIPOCALYPSE QUESTIONS: I’ll post these in the June entry. I need to make sure I post more regularly!

thanks for reading!

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WIP (cough) post-Wednesday #212

Apologies for the lateness but – yeah. Life.

This past week has been really odd, frantic busy & I haven’t had much stitching time at all. I finally started Little House Needlework’s Bethlehem & this is all I have managed, in between swearing & work, while in my little office.

We finished the work at the MIL’s on Tuesday, just in time to run home, clean up & shoot into town to see Jimmy Carr at the Aotea Centre. Another night without eating (trying to get parking & pre-pay so we didn’t get towed ate up the time) but it was so worth it. I know he’s crass & non PC, but his humour is on multiple intellectual levels. And his reaction to hecklers is spot on. I laughed until my cheeks hurt & very nearly at crying point. And we had a late night visitor – those stripes look odd!

Last night MIL and the boys arrived home – hooray! She kept on saying she’d loved what we had done, but then spoiled it a little by commenting about our wanting to sell it. For the fifty-fifth thousandth time – it’s not us thinking about selling. Grr. She has a lot of trouble just being grateful & that is getting to me. After all, that space was original 1979…it was well past due!

I don’t see much stitching in the next week either – I want to go to the last days of the Corsini Collection at Auckland Art Gallery. It closes Sunday but I plan on going Saturday with Mase in tow.

Blurb: From the private collection of the eminent Corsini family in Florence, Italy, comes this fascinating exhibition featuring Renaissance and Baroque painting by artists such as Botticelli, Andrea del Sarto, Caravaggio and Pontormo.

The exhibition provides a window on the family’s continuing passion for collecting art, their support of artists, and their ongoing loyalty to the city of Florence, which has prevailed through the devastation of WWll and the inescapable forces of nature during the flood of Florence in 1966.

Portraits, landscape, mythological and religious paintings, as well as sculpture, works on paper, furniture, costumes, embroidery, games, kitchen equipment and a lavish dining room set for six, will portray the life of this family at the Palazzo Corsini and their patronage of the arts.

Let’s Catch Up, Shall We?

It’s fair to say that it’s been an awfully heavy month. I have done little else but work, cry, look after mum, try to keep the family sane, stitch & attend bootcamp. I can report that of all those, only work & Mum is the bit where I can consider it a pass.

If you don’t want to read on, you can take a pass here too. Thank you for your kind thoughts & prayers & comments over the last month. They are very much appreciated.

Let’s divide these up into sections:

WORK: I am up-to-date thanks to Jille taking care of one of my in-boxes for a week. I am currently starting at 6am, finishing just after 2, & picking Mase up from school, & into “normal” stuff after. I have run out of leave, as the rest of the adult family didn’t step up (yes, I am a little resentful here). I have another 4-6 weeks of this routine. It’s hard not having a proper lunch break/walk/escape from the office time. One of the buyers is also not speaking to me, the weirdo, as her work crush has been speaking to me! Umm – he has to, we work together?!! I have little patience for child-like, bitchy actions from people in their 50’s! I am treating this like a game & currently we are at day 12. I wonder if this can last until her retirement? Cross fingers!

 

BBM: I tried going to 2-3 of these a week. Unfortunately I’ve re-injured my wrist last Sat at the Strength HQ morning so can’t do half the stuff. I can’t STITCH either! Slowly going insane…cue the CRY. And the migraine, which is completely stress related. The GP yesterday put me onto Rizamelt, which dissolves in the mouth. So I’m more likely to gain a benefit, as the fast-acting migraine the other day left me vomiting.

 

MUM: So the 4 hour hospital appt turned into 5 days. The surgeon taking the lung biopsy cut thru her lung, & so she needed a chest drain. This gave rise to further complications. She doesn’t remember much, as she was pretty out-of-it, but at one point I honestly thought that she was going to die. Lung illnesses are scary stuff. The funniest point was when (high on morphine) she was glaring at one of the nurses, totally convinced the poor woman had kicked a squirrel! Yeah. We don’t have squirrels down here. Not even close.

The upshot is that we don’t yet have a comprehensive diagnosis. This is making Mum giddy, & it took a lot of talking to get her to understand that YES SHE IS STILL SICK and NO YOU CAN NOT GO BACK TO YOUR NORMAL. She likes to bury her head in the sand and ignore what she doesn’t like, which is one reason she got so ill, because she wouldn’t go to the GP until we forced her.

Her ANA tests are sky-high, which indicates an auto-immune disease. Her body is attacking her lungs. Usefully she tested negative for the more common strains, like rheumatoid arthritis etc. Her lung specialist has referred her to the RA clinic, as they deal with the auto-immune complications more than the respiratory clinic, then we go back to respiratory in 3 months time.

In the meantime, she has to eat regularly (at least 3 times a day, one meal fibre cereal & only 2 pc bread a day, which unknown to us was all she was having a lot of the time). Poop every day (instead of once a week). Take vitamins. Walk daily (cue a multitude of complaints). But she has lost 9kg since starting to see the specialist, so that’s good (it took 6 of us to move her in the hospital, as she was in so much pain she couldn’t help us). In another couple of weeks she can go back to the GP & see about clearance to drive & “work” at playgroup & school reading recovery again.

She will have to keep a healthy routine now for the rest of her life, and avoid people with respiratory illnesses themselves. I know this will be super-hard, as she needs to feel useful, but that should be a worry for another day.

If you got to the end of this, thank you! Well done! It was like a mini-marathon to run, & I guess you can tell that my personal stress level is super-high. I’m thinking I should probably take advantage of the work Employee Assistance Programme & the free counselling. Especially as I can’t stab things…

WIP (somewhere it’s still) Wednesday…

I just found this in the drafts – whoops!!

I had a full-on day yesterday, so apologies for not writing. Hubs packed/left for a work trip (solo parenting, oh yay); I had work, I left work early to look after sick MIL & sick child, worked at home, did three loads of washing (did I mention sick child?! I meant, SICK child), stitched a little, forgot to eat lunch, found warm clothes, left Screaming Teen in charge and went to the British & Irish Lions game at Eden Park (thank you adidas crew). If you want a match report, go HERE

As you can see, primo seats, right on the 22 and UNDER COVER. The only wet was from beer spillage when the people in front of me cheered. Unexpectedly, the Auckland Blues won 22-16. Personally, used to rugby league referees, I thought this one sucked when it came to positioning. He appeared to be in the way multiple times so kudos to the players, having to add “don’t pass to the dude in white” to their thoughts every time they passed from the base of the scrum or a ruck.

Stitching-wise, I am nearly completed all the DMC in Andromeda’s rock. I have decided to change out the charted green to a Kreinik to give gloss, like you could expect from wet seaweed/mussels, and eagle-eyed punters will see that I have frogged the lilac in the waves on the left & worked out that I will replace this with 3752, which is in the same depth group.

The image on the right is very true to the colours of the fabric, which is Country Stitch Antarctic Storm on 28ct lugana. Catherine likens it to DMC 800 and that’s pretty much what it is, just slightly darker as I specifically requested.

http://www.countrystitch.com/Handdyed-Fabric/Handdyed-Fabric-Antarctic-Ice

 

Friyay!

Oh, thank goodness it’s Friday. This week has been full-on, with the middle three days devoted to the work conference. I am pleased to report that I didn’t embarrass myself (or my boss) and didn’t call anyone by the wrong name. Not even once. Admittedly this was helped by being in a group with one other with the same name, 3 other support office people, someone I clicked with right away, and another I thought was OK and not a plonker.

And speaking of the plonk, it was pretty low on the scale, so that was only the half glass with dinner. Just enough to pretend that I am an adult.

And my team won the challenge. We rock.

Stitching-wise, nothing but FFO so far. So at least I ticked off some monthly goal between WIPocalypse updates. Toothless in all the variations is going off to Europe in the post today. Hope my partner enjoys!

Zac was involved in the term art exhibition at Waitakere yesterday. It’s cool to see where his talents are evolving to. This is my super sporty, super geeky kid who is exploring his boundaries and taking every opportunity. Love that.

Have a good weekend, everyone! Don’t forget to get some exercise in! (that’s me in the blue – lots and lots of bear crawls make for a really solid sleep!)

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EEP Monday-itis

I’m feeling more than a little off today. It’s the first Monday of the new fiscal month here at work, so it’s busy-busy-busy yet I want to play (as I write this I’m heading into the last couple of hours and I’ve cleared today’s reporting requirements and am up to the 23 store emails from Friday, so at least that’s something). As a family we have a new routine this week with Si away (we’ll see him briefly on Thursday but that’s it until Sunday). I am absolutely stoked to have finished Cloudsfactory A-Team (only 6 stitching nights!), a huge chunk of Persephone’s skirt for Stitch Maynia’s colour challenge (over 2K stitches or nearly half a skein!) and a new start on Emma Congdon’s Wise Words trilogy (altho for now I only want to do the Tolkien). Both my Secret Santas this year are really hard!!!

And on a personal note, I am struggling with forgiveness.

On Saturday my eldest brother let me know that his dad, my stepfather, is very ill and has been admitted to hospital. JM is 87, so this may be his time, but I am struggling to give a crap. I’m on empty when it comes to him & my (biological) mother – and that’s where I have an issue. Great that I’m not angry or disappointed or frustrated anymore – but where is my Christian spirit? My heart is so hard. I imagined visiting and telling him that I forgive their selfishness and the hurt they caused; but as neither honestly believes they have wronged anyone of us children this would be a waste of time, and would hurt me more. I’m having trouble lifting this burden. Please remember me in your prayers this week. x

Feeling Good

It was the first long weekend of the “summer” for us down here in NZ. The forecast wasn’t too crash hot but who cares? Three days away from the desk beckoned…

And it stayed that way. I thought about work late last night & decided that hey, I’m capable of getting heaps done today, so why break into family time when I really don’t need to? So we snuggled down (as much as one can with a sulky teen) & relaxed. I’m so relaxed right now that I have “losted” my work key and sat in my car until (work) Z appeared this morning! It worked out well as I remembered my alarm code & he couldn’t remember his.

Screenshot_20161022-160919.pngSaturday started with boot camp, like it has for the last few weeks. I am enjoying this start to my weekend. We did the other steps at Trusts this weekend for a change; terraces to bear climb (or reverse bear) or run down, steps to run up, ab work on the dock in the sun, listening to the water rush by. I still don’t like being in photos but there is a huge difference between 8 weeks ago and now. I have cheekbones! That’s Loren, Si & myself, with #masetheace above us. Si keeps telling himself (and us!) that he was the rose. Huh.

In the afternoon I surprised the kids with the Lego exhibit that was on at Trusts. I won over cynic Teen 1 AND 2, not bad for seven bucks a head! We probably spent a couple of hours there; didn’t buy anything but I am lusting after both the Disney castle and Hogwarts – I have earmarked part of my bonus on a family holiday, part towards a canopy for the new ute and now part for a Lego castle. I am earning it, I may as well be frivolous with part of it! Mase dug into his pile of Lego on Monday and created a robot – he asks that you note the “glasses” it is holding.

We also went to Waiwera to soak out the stresses. Biebs stayed home so Lou came; Mase and (regular) Z went down the lazy river, had cannon fights and so on; I got very annoyed at a bunch of 15yo boys who had a go-pro, took over the relax pool and talked (loudly) about boners, shaming fat girls & so on. If any one of them had a gf I’d be very surprised – what little sh*ts. Grateful I don’t see my teens in this mode (altho I am very sure they have a sh*t mode too).

img_20161023_133618Sunday was devoted to Grandma’s house. Two sets of steps are replaced; the gardens are pruned/chopped/weeded, lawns sorted. Hard to believe these were puny $2 buxus that I put in 12-13 years ago. That hedge is as high as my waist now.

Monday started at Bethells dunes with Chris & Loren (Paige & her fam were late). For all the time I’ve spend at the beach, I’d never gone into the dune side. Chris had planned a three-step exercise for us and OUCH my calves were cramping very quickly! However apart from the reverse bear crawls up the slope (no-one managed that) & the two-feet-together-jump-up (only Si managed that) & the body drops (I struggle with those as my wrist goes too far, so I sub out) – I managed to complete a set. Si, Loren & Bran were well into their second set at the end of 20. Then we did a final set as nine – Paige had appeared by then – & I think the kids beat us adults hands down. Next time I’ll bring the board to go down the dunes! 20161024_085847.jpg

The rest of the day was devoted to relaxing (we watched Peter Kay’s Tour that wasn’t a Tour vid, totally recommend & I was in stitches for good portions of it and its fairly clean), getting ready for the week ahead (I prep Si’s & my breakfast cereals, snacks & so on for the whole week on Sundays now as a kick-start & did a lot for the kids also), and speaking of stitches, I got in some time on Andie’s round robin. It was a bit awkward as her stitching is the opposite to mine (/// then \\\) and had forgotten that I could turn it 90 degrees to get the same result and use my method. You can tell I clicked yesterday as the progress was so much more! Doh.

Tag starts this week; Si and Biebs are refereeing at two tournaments a week this summer, on Wednesday and Fridays. Then boot camp is Thursday (I want to start adding Tuesday to my schedule); next Monday sees the start of Tag…our weeks are filing up as Monday swim classes started last week. The next few months are going to be an exercise in balance; but only 15 sleeps until the US Elections (I do not envy your selection), 29 until Thanksgiving (the tradition I think I would adopt) and 60 sleeps until Christmas! So that’s 55 until I’m on holiday…