Thursday, May 26, 2016

Keep On Keeping On

I can't believe it was April when I wrote my last post!  How the heck did that happen?  Here it is, almost the end of May.

Some things have changed.  We are still moving.  However, we won't have that view that I posted about in that lost post, which is here.

When we had the inspection done on that house, we found out that it has just been treated for mold.  It actually happened between the time we put in the offer, and the time of the inspection.  The fact that the selling agent hadn't informed our agent of this fact, when we made the offer, sort of threw us for a loop.  When I heard the news of the mold, even though it had [just] been taken care of, I decided I couldn't live in the house comfortably knowing there had been mold, and not knowing how long it had existed before it had been taken care of.  Since I already have a lung disease, I knew I'd be constantly worried about the house, and the effects it would have on me.

We looked at a LOT more houses.   We put in an offer on 2 more homes, and for one reason or another, they also fell through.

We went back to a home we originally looked at when it all started.  It sits on the tenth tee of the golf course.  I wasn't (and still am not) thrilled about that.  However, it's the only house with the layout closest to what I was looking for.

I have a friend who continually told me, "You can't get everything you want in one home."  I started to fall into the belief myself.  It's probably true, unless you build a house from the ground up.

Are there some things I'll change about this house?  Yes.  They are cosmetic changes.  I will paint some walls.  I will change the kitchen out for a more modern one.  The kitchen appliances, floor and counters, all need updating, as well as the washer and dryer.  I am hoping to have that all done within a year.  It depends on how quickly we can sell the farm though.  

Packers arrive on June 9.  Delivery is the 10th.  Then lots of work on both houses.  Clean the old one and get it photographed.  Clean the new house and get it all organized.  I take my time.  Hubby wants everything done in a day.  That ain't gonna happen this time.

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend.

Remembering those who have defended our country, and lost their lives over it.
To most, it means sales and deals.

Thanks for stopping by. I'll try, really try, to post more often.  Not having my crafts (everything is packed!!!!) to depend on for something interesting to talk about, has been hard.  I'll never pack all my crafts first, ever again!  Of course, I hope not to move ever again either!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Change ~ And Moving On.............

Change is in the air.  Things here at home are discombobulated.  In an uproar.  A mess, for sure.

I finally decided that we need to move, and I'm not backing down on this one, this time.  The time is right.  It's necessary.

Right now, there is too much work here for my husband to keep up with.  5.6 acres isn't a lot, but it's more than what is easy for him right now. I'm no help because physically, I am a mess.  My shoulder is pretty bad and the pain is constant.  I don't know [yet] what's wrong with it, but it's not easy doing every-day things like cleaning where I have to reach, or use pressure.  My knees are a mess and kneeling is virtually impossible with my right knee, the one I've had two surgeries on.  I can't lift a pitchfork, I can't push the wheelbarrow, I can't do much with the horses.  We don't ride anymore, the horses are pasture pets.  Bridget can't be ridden because she just has too many physical issues, like a grade 5 heart murmur and Suspensory Ligament Disease.  She will be 26 in May.  She's a Tennessee Walking Horse and she was my first horse.  Then DH wanted to ride her.  So I gave her to him.

Bridget is the light colored (Strawberry Roan) horse in the above photo.  Blue is the dark horse behind her (he's a Blue Roan).

Bridget continues to hold on and be stubborn. You see the green grass (and weeds) they are eating?  That is something that gives me guilt.  Where we are moving, the horses will be in dry paddocks and won't be able to roam around much.  They are used to having around 4 acres to roam on, and they won't have that at the new stables.  The upside is, the new stables take full care of the horses, and if we want to, we can go on vacation and someone else is taking care of them.  That's something we can't get out here.

At the new stables, there is a nice barn with huge stalls, a couple of riding rings, and a battlefield where horseback riding is allowed.  It's not a bad deal.  Except that DH is having a really tough time giving up the care of the horses.  I can understand that.  He's done it a long time.  However, it's also very demanding, along with having to get rid of all the leaves from all those trees in the pastures, every fall when the Oaks let go of them.  There is SO much work involved.

We both turn 60 this year.  Egads!  How the heck did that happen????? DH had his birthday.  Uneventful as he likes it to be.  Me?  I turn 60 in May.  Which is approaching quickly.  I know, it's all a matter of mind over matter, right?  But truth is, we are both feeling it.  DH spent 20 years in the Army, was a Drill Instructor for four years.  It was all very hard on his body.
Sorry for the crooked photo, it was scanned and I did a poor job of it.
He hasn't changed much in the last 35 years.

He doesn't smile for photos.  Still.  That look of disdain is the one I usually get when I point a camera at him.  Ha!

So, as I started this story, I started saying how I'd made this decision this is the time to move.  It's really difficult for me to explain, but I'm going to try.....something, or someone, is pushing me.  I've had this feeling since my brother passed away.  Call me crazy, but I know he left this human life way earlier than he ever wanted to, and I do believe he is pushing me to do things that I have wanted to do, but have backed down from, time after time.  I tend to back down from decision-making, and I finally figured out why. I am not a confident person.  I may come across confidently in person, but I really am not.  I doubt everything I do.  I doubt my decisions.  I'm not good with responsibility.  I am not good with putting my foot down and saying "this is what I need/want and this is how it's going to happen."  Because of this bad habit of mine, I will say I want to do something a certain way, then I back down, and decide that it's not going to be right, or work, or that maybe I'm wrong.  Plus, the responsibility is on me if it goes wrong.

I also don't earn the money around here.  That's what DH is good at.  Me, not so much.  I'm a lot better at spending it than making it.

So, we went to look at homes on a complex called Lake of the Woods.  It's a really beautiful complex, it's been around since the 70's I believe, and it's close by.  It's actually about 25 minutes from here, but that makes it 25 minutes closer to the kids and grandkids.   All very good things!

We will be making almost as big a change going from the farm, to the complex, as we did when we came to the farm from a townhouse on a postage size piece of land.  We will be going back into the land of Homeowners Associations and neighbors.  We have neighbors now.  The ones we have now, shoot guns, set off fireworks, start fires that catch on our leaves, and are generally a pain in the butt.  With an HOA, we don't have to worry about that, hopefully.  It's not ideal.  However, it IS something I'm willing to deal with.

We put an offer in on a house.  The offer was accepted.  We go on Thursday for the home inspection.  Barring anything that is fatally wrong with the house that the owners won't fix or we can't accept, and the appraisal comes back without us having to pay more, then we are in.  The government has ruled that the finance companies must take 45 days to close on a house, so here we are, waiting....we can't close till 31 May.  I hate being in flux.  But, the powers that be have decided that's how it's going to be.

It's worth it.  Look at the view from the front porch.

Yep, that's a lake view.  A spring time lake view.  Isn't it beautiful?

The house will need some updates, and I will do that over time.  I will NOT, however, wait forever like I did in the townhouse, and like I did here.  We are finally getting this floor replaced.  It's SO ugly.

I will have pics when the new vinyl gets put down.  My daughter thinks I'm nuts to put vinyl down, but this is a farmhouse, and vinyl will be easy to care for.  Besides, I'm not sinking a bunch of money into a stone floor when we are selling.  Update, yes, expensive, no.

Well, I need to get my office packed, because the next step is to get the first floor painted.  That happens next week and I'm trying to empty as much as I can out of the rooms that will be painted.  It will make it easier for the guys that are painting.

I hope your life has something new and exciting in it every day.  I also hope that if you have an angel in heaven that is helping to push you in the right direction, you listen.  It's for your own good.  I know my brother is helping me through this and that he is watching over me.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

An Artist.....Struggling

I don't consider myself a struggling artist because I don't consider myself an artist who is taken seriously.
I am an artist, who has trouble taking myself seriously, and who struggles.   I struggle with self confidence.  I struggle with the idea of being a "real" artist.  I struggle with the fact that I don't specialize in one media, or one type of artistry.  I jump hither and yon, wondering what to do next, thinking up all sorts of crazy ideas, jumping from this project, to buying supplies for the next project, when I already have 10 projects in the making.

It's like being a Jack of All Trades, Master of None.  Sigh.....................................

It's like photography - I love the photo above. I know, it could use some work.  Heck, it's an iPhone photo.  But this photo shows me the horse and the person at work, the relaxed nature of both, and the luck that we have, of having a super duper farrier (we only trim feet, we don't shoe).

I haven't taken any classes for photography (or most of my other hobbies/work-related stuff I do).  I could get SO much better, if I put time, energy, and money, into classes.  But I don't.

Today I went out.  I needed to be out.  It was 70 degrees, and sunny.  It's March 1st.  It was 70 degrees!  How sweet!  It's not going to last......oops, look, squirrel!  Yep, that's how my brain works.  Okay, so I went out.  I really didn't have a set plan of where to go or what to do.  I did a couple of things then went to the quilt shop.  Yeah, I didn't NEED to go there.  However, I woke up thinking about some fabric I'd seen in another quilt shop, but had walked out without...........silly me.  So I thought, I'll just check it out......

Well, they had some - and I mean - some - of the fabric.  I took the end of the bolt (a bit over 2 yds) of one of them, and I got 2 yards of another, and a yard of the third.  I also found some perfect variegated thread to use when quilting the mug rugs I hope to make out of this fabric.  I paid good money for good quality quilting fabric to make mug rugs.  Am I nuts?????   I should be making a quilt, a wall hanging, something pretty out of this.  But, I love this fabric and thought it would make beautiful mug rugs.  However, I have to remember to practice making a mug rug out of other fabric first because I haven't made a mug rug before.  I have all these ideas inside my head.....

 I haven't woven in a few days....or maybe by now, it's been a week?  I was on such a roll.  Now, not so much.

I was trying out some key fob ideas.  Some of them came out okay.  Some, not so much.  I'm learning.  I'm learning what works, what doesn't.  It's tough to watch something you want to do very badly, not come out. All I think about is wasted supplies, then I get frustrated and feel like a failure.  Today, I decided, it's a learning experience.   I'm NOT a failure.  I'm learning.   So I gave myself a break, and tried a couple of things, and found out what works and what doesn't.   Cotton belting/webbing works.  Nylon, however, does NOT work.

It helps if the webbing is actually straight to begin with.  That off-white webbing on top - yeah, it's NOT straight by any means and getting it straight while being "floated" in the hoop - meaning, nothing is tying it down  - is a PITA!  Good Lord!  So it is not going anywhere.  I will try again with some smaller letters.....  I did give the purple one to a friend who has dealt with breast cancer.  I wanted to do the cross, ribbon and heart in different colors, but I messed up with the sewing order, and blew it.  She liked it anyway.  At some point, I hope to get good enough to sell them.  I don't know how long that's going to take me though!

I also struggle with knowing when enough is enough, as well as not knowing when to keep forging ahead.  It's complicated.

I have a quilt on the wall that is ready to be sewn.  I also have the king size quilt that is all pieced, but without a long arm machine to quilt it on, I am stuck (in my head) about just sewing straight lines on it, on my machine.  That's the decision I've come to.  Now, I have to move the big machine downstairs to the basement, onto the heavy dining table we have down there, so I can support and spread out the rest of the quilt.  I just can't get motivated to DO it.  More sighing.

So, I need a good, swift kick in the behind to get these projects finished, or started, as the case may be.

At some point, I want to be productive enough to sell.

At this point, I'm not - yet.

Off to feed the dogs, make our dinner, shut the windows because a cold front will be coming through tonight, bringing rain and colder temps.  Today it was 70 degrees and just gorgeous.  Tomorrow, not so much.

Thanks for stopping by.
Take care,

Monday, February 15, 2016


I always amaze myself at the things I realize....and that I keep realizing these things over and over again, or all of a sudden something that should have dawned on me years ago, are just now being realized.

A Patrick Lose design I did several years ago when I started quilting
My newest realization is that I enjoy being able to stay in bed in the morning when it's cold outside, and I don't feel guilty about it.  I'm in my 60th year, my birthday being May 19th.  I've had an interesting history with medical issues.  I've had my share of stress throughout my life.  I really feel like I'm done with all of that stuff.  I don't need to stress.  At this point, whatever happens, happens.  Either I'll wake up tomorrow, or I won't.  If I want to stay in bed in the morning, that's okay, and I won't feel guilty or apologize for it.

It was extremely windy this past weekend.  I love flags when whipped by wind, especially with the blue sky behind them.
It snowed overnight again.  A very pretty snow, that came down at different times in different ways - big fluffy flakes, small fine flakes, and soon, this evening, it's going to come down as icy sleet, then overnight and tomorrow, it'll all be gone when the heavy rain hits.  This has been the weirdest winter I think I ever remember.  I have to say, I enjoy the snow because it makes the inside of the house brighter, and it's so much better than staring out the windows at gray, drab, brown, dead grass and leaves and bare trees.....  However, I'm NOT looking forward to the mud this is all going to result in.

I enjoy change.  I dream of traveling the U.S. in a very comfortable but not huge R.V. with our dogs.  However, having 2 horses and a cat that sheds a LOT, and doesn't love our dogs, it isn't something that is going to happen - probably ever.  It doesn't help that the other person in our marriage is not fond of change, and worries and frets over every little thing - like what if the R.V. breaks down???  I can't control his anxiety, and I can't just take off without him.  Therefore, this dream of mine will never happen.

Part of the King size quilt top I'm working on.
I also dream of living somewhere that is very art oriented....where art in the community is appreciated and accepted, and purchased by people who visit or live nearby.  Somewhere not in Virginia.  Live in a little cottage by the ocean, have a small shop where I sell my goods, and visit with customers, and have my studio so I can work all day every day.  However, this will also never happen.

I've learned to accept where I am, and do what I'm inspired to do.

I've looked at tons of homes for sale, hoping that at some point, we can move into a home with more space, where I can have every craft I'm interested in doing in one room, within arm's reach, and when I'm inspired to weave, I can walk to my loom and sit down and be drenched in natural light, and weave to my heart's content, or when I'm inspired to sew, I can walk up to my mannequin and drape fabric over it, and make a new shirt or coat or whatever.  

American Eagle
 Somewhere that has beautiful land nearby to take beautiful photographs, or cities that are within a great drive and I can shop or capture interesting people with my camera.

However, as I look at homes online, I realize, there are few that I would be comfortable moving into. That is probably because I am looking at homes within a certain price range.   Because I'm not rich.  

We have spoken of remodeling the kitchen....however, the other half, doesn't really see why we have to spend that type of money on a kitchen.  He didn't see why we had to have a new shower put in either, but it has improved my attitude about the house and being here long term.  The kitchen remodel would help that too. As would having the front porch screened in (I know the cat would love going out there - he's getting older, and has been an indoor cat since I rescued him, but always wants the windows open and always wants to be outside).   Expanding the deck is also in the plan - from the front porch/driveway area, along the side of the house, to the back of the house.  If it were up to me, and we had the money, I'd certainly put a deck on the back of the house as well. It would give the dogs somewhere to potty when the weather is bad, as they are both small dogs and don't like being out in the muck and mud and wet and rain and snow.  I would also love to sit on the back deck and stare off into space, or sun myself in nicer weather.  It's a beautiful view out that way.....

Sometimes I just get so antsy for change, that I have to do things to change things up IN the house.  So I work on my studio/office.  Or I rearrange the basement and reorganize everything down there.  Or I clean the closets.  Whatever it takes to get the wanderlust out of my system....

In another month or so, Spring will be on the way.  For now, it's winter, and I have a roast that is needing to go in the oven and I just realized, if I don't get it done soon, it won't be done in time for dinner!  So off I go.  Accept the change!

Always thankful,

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Blizzard 2016 or Winter Storm Jonas

Jonas was a whopper of a storm.  It started out calmly enough at 11:15 a.m. here in Orange, VA on Friday, but quickly moved into a category known as a Nor'easter.  Yep, good, old fashioned, Nor'easter.  Wind whipping, snow blowing, bare spots in some places, and 5 foot drifts in others.  Jonas ended his wrath on us at around 9 p.m. on Saturday night.

This was the sunrise Friday morning - we never did see the sun that day......

Sunrise before the storm.
I did a lot of prep work on Friday because we were told there was no doubt we'd lose power.  Two years ago, after a storm not nearly this bad, we lost power for almost ten days.  It was awful.  That's the year I drove 70 miles to a store where they had power, and bought a huge generator.  That thing saved us that year.  In late 2014, I insisted that we prepare for winter weather so that when it [inevitably] hit, we would be prepared, instead of worried all the time that we weren't prepared.  I'm really thankful that I was insistent.  It's been really great knowing we are prepared and as the saying goes, "prior and proper preparation prevents piss pour performance......"

We had our electrical box set up so we have a switch that when if the power goes out, we can flip that switch, then start the generator, then flip whatever switches we need to run whatever needs to be run.  It's not a whole-house generator.  We looked into one of those and between the cost, and the fact we'd have to put in a propane tank, and make sure our propane was always full (which is difficult enough in good weather but in winter with snow on the ground, would be a challenge), the thing would have to sit right below our bedroom window, as well as right in the path of where we walk from the back door, to the barn.  It was not ideal...and again, very expensive.  More than we wanted to invest.

The transfer switch was less expensive by far, and we had already invested in a good generator.  So we decided on that route.  I'm so grateful we did.  It's not perfect, but it takes a LOT of the pressure off us during a power outage.

The snow and wind were exhausting.  The snow just kept coming, and the wind was howling all day Saturday and into Saturday night.

However, Sunday dawned bright and beautiful.....and with tons of snow to be moved.  This below is the Mister.  After plowing the gravel driveway (which is why it's not plowed down to the gravel).
We have an extremely long driveway.  This is only about a quarter of it.

This is Gabbi, our little Maltese.  This was during the storm, when she had to go potty.  We shoveled the front yard, and poor little thing, I had to make sure she didn't blow away!  Her ears blew up just as I snapped this shot, and she looked like she was going to fly away.
This is Blue, who is wondering where his grass went that he'd been eating yesterday!  He was NOT happy that the grass was gone....under a couple of feet of snow.

This is what it looked like in the town of Culpeper on Sunday.  People walking in the roads because the sidewalks were full of snow.
We survived.  No loss of power.  Some loss of sleep due to worry, but I worked really hard not to worry too much.  We were SO prepared.

I had cooked a bunch of food on Friday morning.  I made chicken breasts, and chicken thighs, and a sort of chili - we don't like spice so it was ground chicken, baked beans, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper.  It was yummy when we finally ate it.

If we don't get anymore snow, I'll be okay with that.  This was a big storm for our area of the country. I know other areas got hit with a lot more damage, and I feel really bad, especially for the residents along the east coast that have been hit several times in the last few years with flooding and erosion tearing away the coastline.

I'm not one to wish away time.  January is almost over (I can hardly believe it).  February is a "short" month.  March usually brings in spring, so it's very close.  I will look forward to warmer weather.  My arthritis has been painful, and it gets so every winter now.  Not fun.  Age is sneaking up on me.  Also not fun.  However, I am trying to live my life by the day, and not be the year.  I'm also trying not to think about my age but about how I want to live.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope if you were affected by this storm, you're doing well and didn't suffer any loss or damage.

Take care,

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Looming Snowstorm

We are in the path of the upcoming looming snowstorm.  Predictions for the area we live in, is 1-2 feet.  FEET.  C'mon.  Really?  The Euro weather models for the predictions are more accurate than the U.S. or Canada models.  The Euro model is scary.  Just sayin.....

On the other hand, I can hardly believe that January is half over.  Time just seems to fly by now that I'm older.  I can't believe I'm going to be 60 years old this year some ways I feel it, in others, not so much.

Sadly, several famous people have passed on this week - all in their 60s.  That's scary.
Even sadder, a person that I got to know over the last 8 years or so has also passed on.  She was vibrant, well loved in her work as a nurse, in her community, and as a horse woman.  She was always bright, cheery, and down to earth.  I feel sad for her passing, but I feel sadder for those people who's lives she touched and who will miss her the most.  Her family, of course, is very saddened.  Her husband and her sons.  They are all angry and will have to face life without her in theirs.  Her best friend, who was like a sister to her.  They held each other up in times of need.  They had tons of fun together in the horse world.  They were always smiling and happy when they were together.  Sue made everything you did with her, fun.

I will be getting on my old computer (which now resides upstairs but might have to come back downstairs for this task) and downloading all the old pictures I have on it.  I know I have many, many pictures that will be missing from an even older computer I had.  I wish I had saved them when I should have.  Photos are something I cherish.  I plan on getting many of them printed, even though they may sit and not be looked at often, I want them to be in the printed form for the future.  After all, I am realistic that I won't be around forever either.

I've decided to challenge myself this year. I joined a photography challenge which isn't a competition, but more of a challenge for those of us that need a bit of a push to do more with our photography.  I like this idea.  I'm not good at doing it on my own, but I may just decide to start one of my own.  I think that'll be fun.

This last weeks' challenge was red.  Be artistic.  Well, I don't think I was artistic in the sense that I created something that was red.  Lots of photos of red wine splashing on dark backgrounds were posted.  I don't drink wine, and I don't have the artistic fortitude some of the people have - I'm not a pro at this stuff.  However, artistically, I like my photo because I was able to get a sharp center of focus, with even more red in the background, and the foreground is just out of focus as well.  I happened to be taking a different photo, which didn't turn out the way I'd hoped it would, then turned and saw this.  I knew I had the shot I wanted.
The previous challenge was landscape.  Since I'd been busy the beginning of the week, and sick the middle to the end of the week, I decided to get this shot:
Landscape:  Get the foreground, and don't forget the sky!  Well, I got the foreground shadows which I love this time of year - I think I love it because it proves the sun shines sometimes even in the dead of winter.  The elongated shadows are pretty cool, along with the low sun, the starkness of the bare branches on the trees, and the hilly landscape in the background.  The horizontal lines of the fence with the contrast of the vertical trees.  The sun peeking at the top of the photo.

I post my photos on the Facebook page that has to do with the challenge - dogwood52 - but I don't get many likes or comments because there are SO many people involved and posting and some of the photos are totally amazing.  It's okay.  This is about challenging myself, not about criticism from others.

The first week challenge was a self portrait.  Yeah, not happening since I'm not happy seeing photos of myself.

Next challenge is a portrait of someone else.  I don't know what I'm going to do but I'll have to get out with my camera and try to catch people unaware - that's my favorite way of doing a portrait of someone else.

One of the other things I have planned for this year is to create a quilt for our king size bed.  Call me crazy.  I bought some beautiful batik fabric but I didn't buy enough.  I then found some Shimmer fabric strips to use in addition to the batik fabric, and I really love the combination of the fabrics.  I've done 2 sections of the quilt, sewing the strips together in a certain order.  Then realized the sections aren't large enough going across the bed, left to right.  So I spent part of the other afternoon laying out the next choices for strips, and I think it'll look okay.  It's not perfect, I'd prefer that I'd made better choices before sewing the strips together in the first place, but I'm working with it, and I'm okay with it.  It's not for anyone else, it's for me, and it's a learning experience.
A sneak peak into what my new quilt will look like

I have yet to decide if I'll try to quilt the fabric myself, either on my new machine, or on an longarm quilting machine, or if I'll send it to a quilt shop to get quilted by someone else.  For me, that takes the "I did this myself" out of getting this quilt done.  Since my new machine can quilt a design in the hoop from a pattern, I think I may be doing it myself, if the machine can handle the bulk of a king size quilt.  We'll see......

I have woven 5 yards of neutral fabric on my Saori loom.  I haven't cut it off because I'm trying to get as much out of what's left on my pre made warp, and I want to weave some blue fabric.  Eventually, I'm going to have to order a new pre made warp.

I'm also signing up for a few classes/demos this year, as I don't want to let learning opportunities get past me. I'm tired of giving things up because of guilt.  I want to live today.  I don't know that tomorrow is promised.

Well, I'm off to do some more snowstorm prep.  Wish us luck.  If you're being affected by this upcoming storm, I hope you stay safe and warm, and have plenty of fun stuff to do.

Take care,

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year! Ringing in 2016

Funny, that 2016 is easy to type.....

2015 was a year of ups and the beginning of the year, I had decided I was going to give up my fiber business, and just lay low for awhile.  That made me sad, but I decided to embrace it.  I wanted to be more creative, and I did that.  I didn't do as much as I had hoped, but honestly, looking back, I really did a lot.  I started out going to a Saori weaving class at the beginning of the year, and that inspired me.  I got a Saori loom, and have had fun on it.  I got better at knitting, and can now knit continental style.  However, I can only do hats, fingerless gloves, triangle shawls and rectangular things.

2015 was also a year of challenges.  I started out wanting to get healthier. I  started with P.T. for my knee, which turned into P.T. for my posture as well.  I ended up having the 2nd knee surgery on my right knee (first one was a long time ago).  I got cleared by the oncologist as far as the uterine cancer I had (along with a hysterectomy 5 years ago).  However, realizing that I was having more and more trouble with my breathing, especially feeling breathless, I decided to pursue that by requesting a chest x-ray be done, which led to a C.T. scan, which led me to a Pulmonary specialist, and a diagnosis of  Bronchiectasis.

I lost one of my (2) older brothers in August. I'm still sad and come very close to crying every time I think about him, and the loss.  He was the one person in my family I was closest to, though not as close as I would have liked.  I was never close with my parents.  I am not that close to my oldest brother who lives in CA with his family.  But Mike was my bro, we thought a lot alike, but he was way smarter than I am, and he knew what he was doing in his life.  He was brave.  He wasn't always the smartest when it came to his health.  I do wish he'd taken better care of himself.  He might still be around, if he hadn't continued to smoke after his quadruple bypass heart surgery about 20 years ago.  He accomplished a lot of good in his life, he touched many lives, and his legacy lives on in Portland, Maine.  I miss him though.....

On another note, my in-laws are treating their son/brother (my husband) like crap, and I feel bad for him.  However, it's not my burden, and I'm working on staying out of it, and not feeding into the drama.

I worked on my weight.  Embarrassed as I am, I am going to admit here, that I was up to 238 lbs.  I'm only 5'2" tall.  I carry my weight all over my body - even my toes were fat.  I've worked hard on losing, have cut out all bread, rice, pasta, and a lot of other stuff that wasn't good for me.  I still indulge in ice cream once in awhile, and I'm addicted to chocolate....and wish I could cut it out completely.  I may be able to do it in 2016....but I'm not committing to that just yet.  I'm down to 205, but have gotten down to 201, but can't seem to get that off for good, and keep going down.  I really was hoping to be below 200 before the end of 2015....but it isn't happening.  I have gone to the gym more, I'm doing well most of the time in my eating, I've been going out and shopping (walking) more, but the breathlessness and exhaustion catches up with me.  The doctors like to say it's stamina, but it isn't.  I've tried to explain what it feels like, but no one understands.  So I am keeping my mouth shut, and hoping that I can continue to fight the weight battle, and to fight the exhaustion, and fight the breathlessness, and be strong.  I will continue to work out at the gym, both with weights (light weights, not trying to build muscle, but lots of reps with light weights to tone and still lose weight) and in the pool - I'm not a swimmer but I am working with foam dumbbells and a pool noodle with my arms and legs, and running and walking laps in the pool.  In 2016 I plan on spending more time in the pool, and working longer.  It ends up with me being too exhausted to do much else during the day, but I will fight that as well.

For 2016, I also plan on going through each room in the house, and totally cleaning out and dumping as much stuff as I can.  I can't live in the clutter anymore. I want a house that has space, that I can be comfortable in, and that I am proud to be in.  That takes work.  Today, I worked on the bedroom, and the bedroom closet.  I still have the bathroom to tackle, and hope to do that tomorrow.  Under the sink and the bathroom closet really need it.

I am going to focus on doing more projects in 2016.  I want to work on something every day.  For now, I've laid off knitting because my right arm hurts, from my fingertips to my shoulder blade.  I have a feeling I have another bone spur in my shoulder.  I had one removed about 8 years ago, and I think it's back.  The only way for it to go away is surgery....not looking forward to another one, but I'm not sure how much longer I can take the pain.  Getting old ain't for sissies!

I am going to work on my photography more.  I will weave more.  I will conquer my sewing and embroidery machine and become good at what I want to do with it.  I am going to quilt again.  I have bought fabric that will make adorable ornaments and can't wait to get some done for next Christmas.  Those projects are small and quick and will be easy to work on while it's hot during summer.  I want to spin more yarn, then knit it into fun stuff.  I want to sell more of my hand made items, and make some money this year.

I will also work on myself. I want to accept what is, live in the moment, and make my moments more meaningful.  I want to enjoy what I'm doing, when I'm doing it. I will be stronger, and fight harder, to be healthy and feel better.

There are many things I don't want to give up - like the hope of traveling to Maine again; moving to a neighborhood and having a one story home; becoming successful with my business in another form; and feeling well again.

Meanwhile, I hope you have the best New Year ever, and a happy, healthy, and successful New Year.  Thanks for being out there.  I appreciate it.