Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All My News

Sorry for the long time between updates, but I really wanted to post some pictures with this blog, but because of some home improvements around here, our printer was unplugged, thus I couldn't scan anything to show you! We finally were able to reconnect the printer yesterday. I've been keying this blog post for awhile, so is kind of long. Sit down with a cup of coffee and enjoy! Below you will see a picture of Rachel and her softball team and a picture of my progress on 'Amazing Grace'.

My Weight

A little over a week ago, out of the blue, Sarah said to me, 'Your skinny!" I asked her, 'what did you say?" She told me again. I was surprised. I have lost a huge amount of weight, but since I have basically maintained my weight since November, and she hadn't said anything like that, I didn't think of myself that way. I do have a very thin neck now, as well as thin wrists, shoulders and ankles. My upper arms, thighs and stomach have a great deal of loose skin, my legs and arms have more than my stomach though. I think that my loose skin might finally be absorbing I guess would be the term. A few days ago, just to satisfy my curiosity, I measured around my upper arm when I had my arm in a position that made all the loose skin be near my elbow. I then measured the loose skin area of the arm. The difference between the arm with and without the loose skin was three inches! I then did the same thing to my thighs. I sat on my bed and bent my knee up. That made my loose skin roll toward my hips. When I did this, the lower part of my thigh, above my knee no longer looked fat at all. The difference was six inches! This does make me wish that either my insurance would cover the surgery to remove loose skin (but they won't) or that I could afford to pay for the surgery myself (but I can't) :( The insurance company considers it cosmetic surgery, and to a point they are right, on the other hand it is loose skin that weighs quite a bit in and of itself and thus in my eyes is a health issue. My doctor guesstimates my loose skin to weigh at least 30 pounds!

I took Rachel to a local clothing store so she could spend her birthday money and decided I'd try on a size smaller than I currently am wearing, and discovered that it fit! I can honestly say that I haven't worn that size since my early teenage years! I also realized that I am having to tighten my belt another hole to hold up my pants, but then this doesn't surprise me knowing what size pants I own and what size that really fits! (LOL) I am unsure how long it will take for my loose skin to absorb, since I do have a big amount, but I guess I should be encouraged, since I am losing inches again. In the last few weeks I have started losing weight again too. I asked my doctor awhile ago if she considered me overweight anymore because of my 'number', and she said, "no, because I know about how much your loose skin would weigh." That made me feel good!

I had slowed down on my time at the YMCA while Jack was in the hospital and then the nursing home, but now am trying to get back into the rhythm, but still want to go more. It may be helping me lose my loose skin, I don't know.

Even though I haven't actually bought any pants in my current size, I am very pleased with my size and still in shock that I wear that size! I am also in shock that in the past week or so I have worn some shorts! I tried on some shorts the other day at Wal-Mart and they fit, but since Jack wasn't with me, I didn't buy them. I did decide to try on some shorts here at the house and they fit! I didn't have the issue of them riding up between my legs, either! I haven't worn shorts since I was probably ten years old! :)

Girls Softball

I am uncertain why, but Sarah's league didn't take pictures, so I don't have one to post of her, but Rachel's league did. What is funny about the team picture is that Rachel really is taller than Coach. He asked her to bend her knees to make herself seem shorted. He stood on his toes. Rachel really is taller than Coach. She is actually the tallest girl on the team. In the team picture, she is standing right next to Coach in the back row, on his left side.


Sarah played three games last week. She plays every Tuesday and Thursday night. One of the nights is a double header and the other is just a single game, most weeks. Sometimes both nights are double headers. Some of the games, like her last game are rather exciting. Sarah is a very good catcher, and made a lot of very good plays during the game. I remember two pop ups, a throw to second to get a gal trying to steal (Sarah got her) and a couple of very exciting tags at home that went her way. She also got a couple of doubles and hit in 4 RBIs. Sarah is enjoying playing, even though her team has not won a game this season at all.

Rachel's team, on the other hand, has only lost one game. Rachel's team played last night and won, but they had to go past the allotted amount of time to do it! A game is suppose to be either seven innings or two hours. Which ever comes first. Her game last night was two hours and forty minutes! Rachel got a triple her first time up, but didn't get to score. The three other times she was up, she hit the ball, but was thrown out at first. She did get two RBIs. It kind of depressed her that she was unable to reach home herself. However, her team did win, 14-11. The game was exciting. Her team was 'visitor' and after their ups in the fifth inning it was 11-7. When the home team had their ups, they scored 4 runs, which made it 11-11. The two hour time limit was really up during the home team's ups of that inning, but since they were behind when the inning started and they were behind when they started their ups, of course they were allowed to go through all three of their outs. The home team had the bases loaded when the girl batting popped out for the final out of the inning. That made it go into the sixth inning, where our team scored three.during our ups. The home team did get some runners on base but the last out was a gal who struck out.

July 6

Sarah's team lost by one run, though I am uncertain of the score I didn't go to the game this time because4 I wasn't feeling well. Sarah did tell me that she threw out a gal who bunted and a gal who was trying to steal second.

Rachel's team won big...19-5. Rachel didn't tell me anything spectacular that happened in her game.

July 8

The girls were both supposed to have games lst night, Rachel's at 6:00, Sarah's at 8:00, but a Thunderstorm ended up rolling in about 20 minutes before the first game and cancelled the games. Actually, I know that Rachel's game will be played tomorrow at noon, but not sure about Sarah's. What makes it a bummer about last night, is that Jack and I now have tee shirts that we were going to wear to the games. I have one that says 'SWAT' on the front and 'Turtle's Mom' on the back. See, Sarah is the catcher for the team, and she calls herself 'Turtle' because of the gear she must wear. Jack has a shirt promoting he is Rachel's Dad. We both want shirts for the child we don't have a shirt for right now, but it may have to wait.

July 13

Both girls had games last night. Sarah had two games, one at 6:00 and one at 8:00. Her team did lose both games, 8-3 and 13-7 but her coach may take these games to the board and see about forcing the team they played to forfeit. See, if a team is short a player, they can call up from the league lower than them to get a player. In Sarah's league, Twilight, that would mean calling up someone from "A". The opposing team did call up someone from "A". However, they were not short and the gal batted in the first game and played/batted in the second game. This meant the gal who was really in uniform and able to play had to sit the bench. She batted as well, but then she was on the team. Sarah ended up striking out twice in the first game and popping up once and flying out once. In the second game she hit a double, a single and walked twice. In the first game she caught all but the last two innings, and then swapped positions with the right fielder because she needed a break from the catcher's gear. It was very hot and humid yesterday, especially when the game started. She did play catcher all of game two and did very well.

Rachel's game was at 8:00. They won,l 16-6. Rachhel got on base every time she was up, but walked each time. Honestly, I did go back and forth between the two games at 8:00, but I saw more of Sarah's game because Sarah has fewer games than Rachel, so I don't get to see her play as often.


I received a surprise in the mail last week. My class reunion is October 1. I graduated from high school in Fresno, California. I have lived in Illinois for over 20 years and have not been to Fresno since my last class reunion. I have been wanting to go to Fresno for a long time for a visit. Not just my friends, but honestly mostly my parents. My parents are getting up there in age, honestly, and I really want to see them! :) We had planned a trip a few of years ago, but it fell through because part of the money we had set aside for the trip we ended up having to spend on a new water heater because our basement flooded and killed our water heater. :( Anyway, I had told my mom that I was thinking of coming out for the class reunion. My parent surprised me by sending the money for me to make the trip! :) The kicker about the whole thing is my girlfriend since childhood will be flying out on October 8, and we are thinking, 'can I catch the same flight back as Micki?' It would save a trip to Indianapolis for Jack and it could be fun to fly back with Micki. Now I can start seriously looking into the trip. Now I really do need to get 'Amazing Grace' done so I can give it to Mrs. Gardner while I am there. I don't think I'll have a problem finishing it, because it does seem like a pretty fast stitch.

Also, Jack and Rachel are going to go to Dallas in mid-August. Sarah and Rachel have gone to Dallas to see Jack's sister, quite a few summers since Jack's cancer surgery in December 2006. This year Jack and Rachel are going. Sarah is working at Thunderwolf and Jack really wants to see his sister. They will be taking the train down. We had set aside some money for the trip, so it is exciting for the two of them.


I have been working soly on 'Amazing Grace' since my last post. The picture was a bit crooked, but not so bad that you can't get the idea of what it is looking like. The thread I am currently stitching with is DMC 3326. It is the last of the colors that goes in the flowers between the verses. It should help me not have to frog any more!! I stopped stitching on verse one and started stitching the part of the picture on the left. It has a huge "A" with an angel as part of
the cross bar for the "A". The reason I did this is because I was suspecting that the verse was off by over two and I thought that if I stitched the part that had actual x's it would help me figure that out for sure. I was right. I think what made me get off was that 3326 goes in part of the flowers between the verses, and I didn't remember that when I started stitching the verse. I started the frogging of the verse a few nights ago when I was having trouble sleeping. I am not sure why I had such a terrible time trying to get to sleep, but it did give me time to frog! I probably have about 30 minutes of frogging left.

I had to order some of the DMC 3326 (very light pink) and Kreinik 002 Fine (#8) braid (gold) for the pattern using paypal. I originally ordered it as I started the pattern, but it wasn't here by the end of that week, so I had Jack check on the order. What had happened is Sarah and Jack had ordered something for Sarah that was to use what was left on the paypal account and then our credit card. That order, even though it was placed the day after the 1-2-3 order, cancelled out the 1-2-3- order. So I placed the order again. This time it arrived within the expected amount of time. I have stitched with the
Kreinik. I like the way it looks and I also like the way it stitches. This metallic thread doesn't seem to argue like some of the other metallic threads I have used.

In my opinion poll, the majority of the people who responded put that I should use DMC 632 and Light Effects 301, so that's what I will do. I was so glad that you all responded. Thank you! :) I am not sure when I will start stitching on the Precious Moments again, since I now really need to finish 'Amazing Grace' on a deadline, for sure!

I found some tape called 'Stitch Witchery' that I can finish up the Army bookmark with. From what I understand, this is a two sided type of tape that I can put between two pieces of material (one being the stitched bookmark, one being the bookmark to hide the under-stitching) and it will hold the two together once ironed. I will be doing this soon and then sending the bookmark to Wes. The bookmark is stitched on a cream or ecru color, and the under bookmark I have is white. I'll go ahead and stitch Wes's name on what is the backside of the bookmark.

Have a great summer everyone!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What A Summer!

I have had an interesting summer so far. Both girls have started their softball seasons, Rachel just turned 12 a few of days ago, Sarah is volunteering at Thunderwolf (the stables in the area), Jack getting use to his leg, and then of course me getting back into the routine of the YMCA and then there is my taking care of the house and not to mention my stitching!

Rachel's softball team has had four games thus far. They won the first three, big. All three ended on the mercy rule. The fourth game, Friday night, Rachel was actually calle4d up to the league above her age group because they needed another player and Rachel has greatly improved from last year. Her coach (on her league) has told her she earned the first base position. She is doing very well with it. I am so glad that we were able to get her the glasses she needed w/ the prism because now her double vision is under control. In game one she knocked in three RBI's, game 2 she knocked in two and game three she knocked in two. Last night she walked once and stuck out once. The team she was on last night lost 13-3. Her team (B league) lost 11-8. Part of me wonders if Rachel hadn't been called up if B league would have won? She has her fifth game tonight. Not sure who she is playing.

Sarah's team has had three games so far. They have lost all three. Sarah is the catcher and has been playing that position for several years. Sarah has had several hits and a couple of RBI's as well. The problem, I believe with Sarah's team, is that they didn't get very many practices in before the season started. I think there were a grand total of three before the first game. She has a double header tonight against John Deere.

We had been telling Rachel for the past year that she could have her first cell phone when she turned 12, and that was what we bought her for her birthday. It is a good thing, we believe, because if she is away from the house and needs us, we can be right there. We bought her a Dairy Queen Birthday cake. It was finished in short order. She had the last piece The day after her birthday.

So far this summer Sarah has spent the majority of every day at Thunderwolf. She loves horses and started volunteering out there in Spring of 2010. She is very good with the horses and has her favorite horse that she likes to spoil. His name is Gypsy. She has talked with her boss and will be riding this horse in the Labor Day Parade this year. The funny thing to me about the name of Sarah's favorite horse is when I had a horse before we moved from Fresno years ago, her name was Gypsy.

I am excited because my girlfriend since childhood is going to fly out this fall. I have not seen her for a couple of years and I miss her so very much! Also, I am looking into the possibility of flying home in late September and going to my class reunion. It is hard to believe that it has been 30 years since I graduated. If I do this, I may see if my girlfriend and I can maybe fly back the same flight. That would be so neat to me!

Jack is still adjusting to his prosthetic. All things considered, I think he is doing very well. He is getting around fairly well. He has therapy several times a week. He is just doing Physical Therapy right now, but will be starting therapy in the pool soon. And he has also startede swimming at the YMCA occasionally.

I have worked quite a bit on my Precious Moments Girl for my Great Niece. I like how it is looking. All of the squares between the colored squares call for white. I want to finish all the colored squares before I do the white ones. I had started to do the girls skin, but then Sarah told me that she thought it was too shiny. I wasn't sure about it so frogged that. Had only put in eight or ten stitches of skin, so wasn't too bad. Thought before I did the skin, I'd put up a poll and see what you all thought. Jack and Rachel like choice #2 the best. The girl is to look part Caucasian, part African American. The picture of the baby here is my Great Niece. The poll is at the top of my blog. Would appreciate it if you would give me your opinion. The choices 1 through 6 are stitched on the piece of material to the left in this paragraph. Choice one is the top, choice 6 is the bottom. My stitching on choice 5 was a bit wide, but I think you can get the idea.

Meanwhile, I did start stitching a pattern I am doing for Mrs. Gardner. She is the mom of my long time girlfriend. Micki and I have been friends since we were eight years old. She has been through everything in my life with me. I'd have to say she is my best friend. I have another great friend that I have made since moving to Danville thirteen years ago, and she is my best local friend (Tina). I taught her how to stitch. But, Micki and I have been friends for over forty years. The picture on the right is the one I scanned when I originally started this blog post. I had to stop though because I needed help figuring out how to post the poll for the colors I should use in my Precious Moments picture. For a number of reasons, I was unable to get back to it right away. The picture on the left is my progress as of this morning. I think I may have to frog at least a few stitches in the flowers between the verses, but am not sure about that yet, so am leaving that part alone for now. I placed an order with 1-2-3 Stitch for DMC 3326 and Kreinik Fine (#8) Braid #002 Gold. I was flat out of 3326 and have never used Kreinik. I have heard a great deal about it, so we'll see how it goes. Jacked checked for me this morning and the order was confirmed. If this order is like the other things I have bought at 1-2-3, it should be here in the next couple of days.

That is basically it for now. Have a great day, everyone!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Long Promised Pictures

I finally have the pictures that I promised. Sarah looked absolutely beautiful for Wes's Senior Prom. I tried several times to crop the picture so you see more of them and less of the cars and back yard, but I couldn't get it to save. GRRRR! Anyway, I think you can see that they look great together and that Sarah is absolutely beautiful. She looks much older than 16 to me.

Wes graduated from high school a couple weeks after the prom. Here is the pictures os him and then him and Sarah at his graduation. Jack and I are very proud of Wes. He will be reporting to Army Boot Camp at Fort Sill (I think is the name) in Oklahoma (I know) in just a couple of weeks.Here is a picture of my Precious Moments project I am working on for my Great Niece. The plan is to give it to her Mother (Danielle) for her daughter's first birthday in early December. I have done a little work on it since I scanned this a couple of days ago, but only on the white part of the pillow.

My Pastor surprised me last week. He is a cross stitcher too and we often 'talk shop'. The other day he gave me a new DMC cross stitching Bag. The one that has compartments in it and an ability to hold several threads on the stitch bow system. (I think its called). I had noticed his bag and we started talking. A few days later he had to go to Hobby Lobby and he ended up buying me one. I use bobbing instead of stitching bows, but I think I can make it work for carrying my supplies. Who knows, I may decide to try the bow system and see if I like it better than the bobbin system! The bag does seem to carry everything I feel I need very well. It looks like everything will stay clean and so forth, since it zips shut.

Yesterday I went to Rachels school for an Honors Assembly. She was on the Honor Roll (again) this quarter. Her report card will be 5 "A"'s and 1 "C". The "C" is in Math. This report card is basically the same one she recieved the other three quarters of school. Sarah had said Rachel was on the Honor Roll because it was Middle School. My response to that is if that was true, why didn't she get on the Honor Roll 4 quarters in a row at that school? Next school year Rachel will be in seventh and Sarah in eleventh. I don't know exactly what Sarah's grades will be. The last day of school is Wednesday and Sarah has finals in her classes on Monday and Tuesday.

Well, I need to be getting some housework done, so I must sign off. Everyone take care in this heat and have a great weekend.