Oct 6, 2015


I'm more than a little obsessed with Angie Grace coloring books and ultra fine Sharpie markers.  Methinks I have found the paper and ink equivalent of Laura J. Perin and Vineyard Silks!

Oct 2, 2015


I love the way Stewey collects his cookies and pumpkins from around the house and stores them in his apartment:

Only a page or so to go:

I think this one is my favorite thus far:

Goal this weekend....finish this!

So now I'm off to the dining room table to tackle some paperwork, do a little menu planning, and write a grocery list.  I'm thinking chili in the crock pot and some corn muffins just might do the trick.

I hope that your weekend is filled with nothing but bliss.....
Woo Hoo!

Sep 28, 2015


Have you ever Googled yourself?

(You do realize that not very long ago that would have been a most inappropriate question to ask polite society, no?  I mean, come on.  Who would have imagined that one day I would be sitting in the Happy Chair asking the stitchy world if it had ever Googled itself.)

(A filthy mind is a terrible thing to waste.)

So there I was, minding my own business, when I got the bright idea to see what would happen if I entered my name into this silly contraption.

Most of the images were benign.  A few of them were even vaguely related to me.  

But then, right there in the middle of all of the stitchy things and Stewey things and general crazy spinster related things was this:

For the record, that is not me.  While the upper half of this lovely lady does indeed resemble Yours Truly, my lower half has NEVER been that thin.  And while I totally applaud her choice of the pink tee, I don't actually own a pair of proper going out in public trousers, which these seem to be.  Add several dozen pounds to her heiney and slap a pair of eighteen year old sweatpants on her, and then I can understand the confusion.

Oh, and I think that might be a Walmart deli counter, and I have never been to a Walmart deli counter thankyouverymuch.  I buy Stewey's Virginia ham from the qualified slicing professionals at Martins Supermarkets and Martins Supermarkets only or he spits out his morning pill in the most inconvenient places (like the bath mat or in the nether regions of the dining room).

If you are, however, still interested in seeing what I really do look like from the behind, allow me to present the Official Spinster Stitcher Portrait Of Immense Accuracy and Discernment:

Stewey informs me that this will conclude my little excursion onto the information superhighway, so I will say good night and get back to my coloring book.

I hope you had a wonderful Monday and that your Tuesday is fabulous!

Sep 27, 2015


I sat at the dining room table and colored from 1:00 yesterday afternoon until 2:00 this morning.  I'd love to tell you that I managed to do the laundry, wash the dog, clean the house, and solve world peace during that time, but the truth is...I just colored and let my feeble little brain wander about.

Stewey watched the football game and put himself to bed at a reasonable hour, but awoke determined to get me into a more productive mode today.  He piled all of the laundry (perfectly sorted and prepped, thankyouverymuch) right in front of the bedroom door, so if I want to escape the confines of the sleigh bed and head for the living room, I need to either climb over it or grab a load and get it sploshing.  He also ran the dishwasher and affixed a note that says "Empty me immediately, or shame on you and your slovenly ways" , so I suppose I had better take the hint.

He's napping in the sunshine at the moment, so I could steal a few minutes to color just one more.....

Nope.  Better not.  The snit that is sure to be thrown will not be worth the ten minutes of fun.  Time to get moving!

I hope that your Sunday is as easy and fun as you want it to be!
Ciao, mee a-more-rays!

Sep 22, 2015


I decided to re-write my to do list for the week in light of yesterday's field trip to the oral surgeon.  

Normally, I sit down on Sunday evening with Erin (that would be my Erin Condren Life Planner thankyouverymuch), and I write a list of crap that needs to get done like laundry, grocery, water the plants, fret over the bills, tidy the kitchen, etc etc etc.  It's pretty much the exact same list every single week, but every now and then I add something like "take a long snoozy nap" to it so that I can have at least one small victory as I cross something off.

But inspiration struck a few moments ago as I was heading into the kitchen for some scrambled Egg Beaters. (I am determined to use this little tooth adventure and its resulting soft foods only diet as the jump start I need to lose 174 pounds in a week and a half, so wish me luck).

I'm using my dining room table as a kind of staging area for all things fuzty since it's been too hot to spend any meaningful time up in the studio.

Oh, who am I kidding.  I'm using the dining room table because I'm just too darn lazy (and rotund, I might add) to schlep up and down the stairs eleventy seven times a day to fetch water, pills, snacks, and for those ridiculously frequent potty breaks.  (Who knew that Lasix could make a person feel like the human equivalent of a water wiggle?)

So, if you'll indulge me, may I present the official Spinster Stitcher Table Of Happiness And Joy While We Await The Tooth Pain Apocalypse:

Yes, this is indeed Little Lord Fauntleroy's shampoo, towel, and bathrobe.  I figured I should probably have at least one "cleaning" chore on the list.

Finally, the latest novel that has captured my fancy.

So there you have it.  My week is now all planned out, and after I hit the tub for a scrubby bubble bath and some fresh jams, I'm going to start tackling it!   Woo Hoo!

Sep 21, 2015


I just had oral surgery, so I thought I would post before the Novocaine wears off and I am praying for an anvil to fall on my head.  I thought I was just going in to have a molar removed, but apparently my jaw bone decided to make it a more interesting endeavor.  One extraction and a bone graft later, and I am none the worse for wear, but very very curious about the origin of my new parts.  I know that it came from a cadaver, so all I can hope is that the donor was very smart, very good looking, and very happy and healthy.

So it looks like I will be propped up in the Happy Chair today with a book and stitching in hand.

And lots and lots of Tylenol.

Sep 20, 2015


You might notice that a pumpkin is never very far away from You Know Who.  Damn Dog.

We're having a very lazy Sunday morning here at Chez Spinster.  Laundry is sploshing happily about in the washing contraption, meatballs are simmering away on the stove (*) and I am just about ready to start stitching for the day.  I've been playing with Shepherd's Bush "Harvest of Plenty"' and depending on how closely I need to pay attention to today's TeeVee programming, I might just have a Happy Dance by sundown! I  think it's been months and months since I've done cross stitch, so the silk through linen thing is quite lovely, if I may say so.

(*) As for the meatballs....I made a big batch of Salisbury Steak meatballs that I saw on The Pinterest.   I haven't had Salisbury steak since elementary school, and I'm not exactly sure what compelled me to try these, but I am certain that this is quite possibly the best meal I have ever made in my whole entire life.  I will be eating these atop mashed potatoes and egg noodles, and will have to apologize to my dad in heaven for eating starch on starch.  (We always ate our egg noodles on top of our mashed potatoes, and every time we did, Dad would say "Starch on top of starch?" before digging in.  He always did so with a twinkle in his eye, so methinks he wouldn't be too terribly disappointed in me after all).

Here's the recipe: It's from jocooks.com (complete link below):


Pin on Pinterest223.9kShare on Facebook0Share on Google+361Share on StumbleUpon55Tweet about this on Twitter15Email this to someoneShare on Yummly
These Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes are a classic and a true comfort food. An incredibly delicious and easy dinner recipe!
These Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes are a classic and a true comfort food. An incredibly delicious and easy dinner recipe!
Nothing screams comfort food to me more than meatballs and I would go as far as considering myself a meatball expert. I really am a sucker for a good meatball and I’ve never met a meatball I didn’t like. But these salisbury steak meatballs rank up there with my favorite meatballs of all time, which of course have to be my Romanian meatballs, but I may be biased here. However these meatballs have to be the most flavorful meatballs I’ve ever had, and that gravy is to kill for!
It’s amazing what you get when you mix some ground beef with some delicious condiments. I remember when I was in college and didn’t cook much, frozen dinners were my meal of choice often. Among them was salisbury steak with mac and cheese. Yep, I used to love it. So if you’ve never had salisbury steak before, it’s just ground beef with condiments but it’s shaped to resemble a steak and it’s usually served with gravy along with mashed potatoes or noodles.
These Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes are a classic and a true comfort food. An incredibly delicious and easy dinner recipe!
But nothing beats homemade, right? The house smelled ridiculous as I was making these. I probably drove some neighbours nuts too! I got about 40 meatballs out of this recipe, which at first I thought was a lot, but then I wish I’d have doubled the recipe because they’re just too good. Oh well, I’ll just have to make them again and again.
These Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes are a classic and a true comfort food. An incredibly delicious and easy dinner recipe!
I couldn’t resist popping a couple in my mouth after they were fried. If you want to go the healthier route with this recipe, you could bake the meatballs, I bake meatballs all the time and they turn out great, but there’s something to be said about making the gravy in those brown bits left in the skillet. That’s where all the flavor is my friends.
These Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes are a classic and a true comfort food. An incredibly delicious and easy dinner recipe!
I chose to serve these meatballs with mashed potatoes because I haven’t had mashed potatoes in a while and to me nothing goes better with meatballs than mashed potatoes to soak up that incredible gravy.
These Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes are a classic and a true comfort food. An incredibly delicious and easy dinner recipe!
4.8 from 13 reviews
These Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes are a classic and a true comfort food. An incredibly delicious and easy dinner recipe!
Serves: 8
For Meatballs
  • 1½ lb lean ground beef
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs, I used Panko
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup coarse grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (for frying)
For Gravy
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • parsley for garnish
For Mashed Potatoes
  • 5 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ to ½ cup skim milk
  • ¼ cup light cream cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sep 14, 2015


My Mo-ther can't come to the blog right now.  She's in the Happy Chair, rocking herself back and forth, tears streaming down her face, and all of your lovely words washing over her like the healing waters of Lourdes.

We both cannot begin to tell you how much we love and appreciate you, and despite the fact that the old lady is about as active as a tree stump lately, we do promise to try to keep in better touch.

Our days are very routine here at Chez Spinster.  We awake (slowly), and after ablutions and constitutionals (Mo-ther the former, moi the latter), the paper is read, coffee is consumed, and the Jumble, Suduko, and crossword are dispatched in good order.  I then fetch the Erin Condren Life Planner and we select at least one thing from the long list of to dos that we carefully negotiate each Sunday evening.  (On good days, Mo-ther gets jiggy with it and does two or three things, but I prefer that she pace herself, or there's hell to pay the next day).  Then, if there are no appointments to attend, once something useful is accomplished, it's time for a snoozy nap with our faces in the sun. (Mo-ther's first, my fourth or fifth of the day, since I find it helpful to lounge quietly when the old lady attends to her chores.)

Upon rising from the snoozy nap, we have cheese and crackers and a dietCoke.  Once the weather turns, this will switch to tea and a lovely cookie.  I am particularly happy about that, since I do think that afternoon tea is much more civilized than afternoon aspertaime.

Our evenings are quiet.  I supervise and Mo-ther stitches in the Happy Chair.  The only downside to this is that it takes a fair amount of arm twisting to convince my mom that PBS and all of the excellent programming contained therein is much more suitable than the c-r-a-p she usually watches, but we seem to have reached a compromise of 60/40.  Currently we're at 60-Caitlyn Jenner and 40-Arthur and George, but I'm hopeful that this will swing more in my favor as the season wears on.

When the old lady starts to droop, I noodge her back to the big girl sleigh bed and tuck a novel into her hand.  Fortunately in this area we are in agreement, and most of what she reads is quite good.  She finished "The Little Paris Bookshop" and "All The Light We Cannot See" most recently, and is now plowing through "Sophie and The Sybil".  When she remembers, she does update her Goodreads page, and we make quite a ceremony of adding the latest title to Bob.

(I'm afraid to confess that Bob is a name shamelessly stolen from the editor of the New York Times Book Review, Pamela Paul.  Bob is the "book of books" that Mo-ther has recorded since/about 1991.  And, just like Ms. Paul's version, Bob is a cloth-bound journal with just the title and author listed as a book is finished.)

(And may I point out that we learned this proper name for Mo-ther's book journal after watching an interview on CSPAN?  Mo-ther was knee deep in all things Kardashian, and I managed to get that half hour of CSPAN in there only after her meds had kicked in.)

That's about it, my dear friends.  We hope that your needles are flying, your chairs are happy, and that you know how much we adore you.  Until we meet again, I remain your faithful and devoted pal...


Sep 12, 2015


Stewey and I awoke to a crisp, breezy, sunny day.  It truly feels like I can come out of my little hovel now.  Thank you, dear friends, for all of your concern regarding my absence.  This was a lousy summer for Yours Truly, and although I have been decidedly unwell, methinks I will be on the mend soon.

What can I say?  I'm just too damn ornery to be sick.

The good news is that Stewey has found a new calling as a home health care aide.  He has become very adept at pulse monitoring (he stands on top of me while I'm sleeping and measures my breaths in and out on his little stopwatch), bathing (he has an afternoon snack on the bath mat while I soak in the tub), and medication dispensing (he stuffs all of my daily pills into a sesame bagel, but insists on a small piece of Virginia ham sliced to within one millimeter of paper thin as reward for not killing me by means of overdose.)

What's wrong with me, you ask?  Well. I suppose that I had hoped to remain an international woman of mystery, but the truth of the matter is that I am a kidney patient.  I have stage four FSGS, which means that I am one bad lab result away from starting dialysis.  I've had kidney disease for about thirteen years now, and have managed pretty well, but age is catching up with me and things are progressing pretty quickly.  I spent the last eight months on a drug called Acthar to see if we could slow things down a bit, but it doesn't appear to have worked, and I got the lovely parting gift of 30 pounds and the lovely side effects of powerful steroids.

I am also a thyroid cancer survivor and a Crohn's patient, so when I tell you that I've got more pills in me than a Walgreens, I'm not exaggerating by very much.  Needless to say, I am the poster child for autoimmune disorders.  

Which leads me to the conclusion that my parents were brother and sister, or I was hatched in some kind of toxic waste disposal facility.  

Or even more tragically, both of those things are true and I will never be Grand Marshall of the I Love Lima, Ohio celebratory parade.

So there you have it.  The deep dark secret that I have been holding close to my ample, yet saggy bosom for quite some time.  I am terrible at sharing these types of things, mind you, since I hold firmly to the belief that if I close my eyes tight enough and put my hands to my ears while chanting la la la la la, all will be rainbows and unicorns again soon.  I also seem to have some strange patholical need to remain positive and very vague, and not share every single detail of every single moment of my life despite this age of The Facebook posting and The Twittering and whatnot.

But for those of you who DO share all of the intimate details of your lives on The Facebook and The Twitter please don't stop!  I scour those things like some kind of crazypants stalker and can't get enough of the vicarious living, traveling, eating, stitching, parenting, organizing, dating, homekeeping, and whatnoting contained therein.

I have friends who have had the misfortune of knowing me my entire life who will tell you that I remain an enigma and that they couldn't tell you anything about what goes on in this head of mine, so please don't feel bad that all this time you thought I was a normal person....that's all part of the circus, my dears, and life behind the curtain is going to stay just that.

Unless, of course, Stewey finally publishes his expose' on life with spinster, and then I imagine that I will have to confess that I am just a hot mess of fear, loneliness, sadness, and frustration like the rest of the planet.

It's definitely not easy being me, but I'm happy to report that things in the reading, sleeping, and needlework departments are going swimmingly.  I have been devouring good novels at the rate of two or three a week (Holy Schmoley am I thankful that we have such an amazing library system here in Hoosierville!), and if all goes according to plan, I'll spend tomorrow up in the studio assembling The Spinster Stitcher Basket Of Autumnal Needlework fun.

I've been happily stitching away in the evenings, and have managed a finish and some good progress on pieces that have languished in the WIP bin for far too long.  Here are a few craptastic photos of the  progress:
The top piece is by Laura J. Perin Her Very Self and the bottom two are from Miss Threedles.

I do hope that you will forgive such a personal post, and I hope that this wasn't overstepping the bounds of our lovely little world.  I'm sure that Betty will send me an angry email about my crappy writing and the fact that I felt compelled to write about something other than stitching, but that's just the risk I will have to take.

I really do thank you for your notes and calls and "Where are you, dear Spinster Stitcher"s.  They have been so lovely and are just what the doctor (or in my case, entire team of doctors) have ordered!

Happy Fall, y'all!

With much love from The Spinster Stitcher and Her Little Dog, too!

Jul 21, 2015


Money has flown through my checkbook like a drunken spinster in a needlework shop.   Between the visit to the emergency vet, Stewey's annual physical, and now an air conditioner repair....methinks my pen has scorch marks on it.

I settled in for some stitching last night and felt a bit flushed.  This is normal for me, especially when Kevin Costner is on the Tee Vee, but by 11pm, it was a balmy 78 degrees in here.  When you consider the fact that I normally keep the place like a meat locker, this was definitely a problem.  I was smart enough to turn the thing off so as to preserve the motor, and headed to the big girl sleigh bed to fret.

One capacitor later and we're back in business, and God willing that will be the end of our little surprises for a while.

I did get the full report on our patient.  Turns out he's perfectly perfect in every way, and a coat or two of clear nail varnish every now and then will do the trick.  I would prefer to go the Sally Hansen route, but I heard somebody on the phone this morning asking about package deals at Canyon Ranch. Damn dog.

(I am, however, completely relieved to know that he is in good health and will be around to torture me a good while longer.)

I'm headed to the Happy Chair for a stitching session.  If all goes well, I hope to finish my LJP piece and move on to the next!

Jul 18, 2015


The heat index is predicted to be 105 today, so Stewey and I are hunkered down with vats of iced tea with lemon.  (Pips removed, thankyouverymuch, or SOMEBODY throws a colossal fit).

I've decided that we're going to stitch and watch bad TeeVee for the entire weekend. ( I seem to be obsessed with all things Kardashian as well as old Dateline episodes. Wonder what's up with that?)

Here is the piece that's captured my attention for now.  This is Laura J. Perin's Stained Glass Windows done in a pink and brown colorway:
I had completed that second to last block last night but realized that I had stitched it entirely wrong because I was a) looking at the wrong page of the chart and b) I had my canvas turned upside down.  A few choice swear words later, some reverse stitching, and a little bit of sympathy from You Know Who and all was put right once again.

With all of the drama around here, I think I neglected to show you the end result of my Independence Day piece:
I so enjoyed this one, and now have three projects finished in the red, white, and blue theme.  Maybe I should think about getting these framed and up on the wall one of these days?

Jul 15, 2015


I can't even...

In the event that you can't figure it out, please note that You Know Who is now sporting a new booboo cast on his left front foot, as opposed to the old booboo cast that was on his right front foot a week and a half ago.

This time, though, we had the added bonus of a visit to the Emergency vet (read: "Who needs groceries when you can spend it on booboo casts instead?"), blood everywhere, and nine vicious bunny teeth bite marks on Mommie as she tried to staunch the flow, find the missing toenail, and put on a bra for the white-knuckled dash to the hospital.


And, yes, we have an appointment with the non-emergency vet tomorrow to see what's going on with Little Lord Fauntleroy's toes.  I swear, if it turns out that he's getting some kind of exotic spa treatment that's causing all of this, or that he's stubbing himself on his Manolos when we play fetch, I'm going to move far far away.

Jun 25, 2015


I started this piece quite some time ago, but it seemed like the perfect project to return to now.  
This is Laura J. Perin's "Color Study: Starry Nights", and I have changed the colorway to a red, white, and blue theme.

I'm using DMC perle cotton #5 in 321 red, 336 blue, and 3865 white, along with the corresponding DMC floss in the same colors.  I think that the background will be Caron Watercolours in Honeysuckle, but I only have one skein and am not sure if it will be enough, so that might change.

All I know is that I'm enjoying this tremendously, and am just happy that needle and thread are part of my evenings again!  Oh, how I missed the perfection of a LJP chart!

Stewey sends his love and thanks for your concern for his recent Mo-ther induced injury.  I have to say...he only milked it for a day or two before he returned to his usual Royal Heineyness Little Self.  Almost makes me wonder if he realized how bad I felt and decided to go easy on me?  

Jun 19, 2015


The title of this post should be "Why my Mo-ther sucks, by Master Stewey Angus Willowswamp, His Very Little Self".

We awoke early, had breakfast, took our morning constitutional, and then headed for our pedicure.  We even left early enough to enjoy some sniff-time at the pet medical center so that we didn't rush in the place like we usually do, with Stewey a nervous mess and Mommie Dearest svitzing like a pudding at a picnic.

And then I proceeded to hit him with the door on the way into said clinic, and managed to rip two of his little toenails right off of his tiny little bunny foot.

It took the team about a half hour to patch him up while I frantically tried to clean up the massive pools of blood all over the lobby, me, the exam room, and the lovely display of historical materials celebrating the clinic's 100 year anniversary.  Between me huffing and puffing and bawling over what an idiot I am, and the horrified parents of other pets trying to console me, there was blood.  Lots and lots of blood.  Who was the character in Shakespeare who kept trying to wash the bood off of her hands?

Well, about an hour ago, that was me.

Except instead of looking all tragic and elegant, I looked more like a pitiful lunatic trying to sanitize an entire pet medical center with a crumpled up tissue and a travel size bottle of Purell that I fished out of the bottom of my Vera.

I'm pretty sure we're going to have to move now.

P.S.  Stewey is fine, by the way...I'm the hot crock pot full of mess in need of sedation.

Jun 18, 2015


Bora Bora
Needle Delights Originals
18ct. mono canvas in white
Threads from chart

I finished this moments ago after a long day of....well, I'm not sure what it was a long day of, actually, but apparently carefully reading charts was not on the list.  That last section is not at all what is charted in terms of the color placement, but methinks it is going to have to do for now.  I'm afraid that if I un-stitch and re-stitch, it will kill the little bit of momentum I've had these last few days, and given the state of my stitchy union lately, I really don't want to tempt fate.

Why can't I get my act together?

Even Stewey is out of whack.  He jumped up into the Happy Chair and told me that if I didn't take him for a pedicure soon, he was going to run away from home.

(Tomorrow.  10am.  And if somebody behaves himself, there is the possibility of a quick trip to the PetSmart for provisions.)

I hope that your corner of the world is considerably more in sorts than our is at the moment, and that wherever you are is exactly where you want to be!


May 29, 2015


Ahhhhh, welcome back, old friend neurosis.  I got myself completely stumped on this piece and couldn't figure out why the stitches weren't matching up.  Turns out, I was off by one lousy little stitch in the striped section, and it threw the whole lot off.

A few hours of ripping and re-stitching and I'm back in the saddle.

And yes, I really did try to compensate rather than rip, but this is me we're talking about and I just couldn't stop the screaming in my head...

May 12, 2015


So far, it's a lot like turning nine.  Mo-ther has promised tea and toast in the big girl sleigh bed for the morning, but I'm not optimistic that her efforts to satisfy me will be entirely successful.  Oh well, I suppose that I will give the old gal points for trying.

Now that I'm ten does this mean I ne├Ęd to stop peeing on the ottoman?

May 6, 2015


I 've been having a conversation with this project as I'm stitching it -- asking it what it wants to be and how I can help it live up to its full potential.  (What can I say?  It's vastly more satisfying than listening to Stewey prattle on about topics I don't understand --- like the impact of foreign aid on the Greek debt crisis or the British Parlimentary elections.)

This canvas keeps telling me that it wants to sing with some basketweave and a little silk, and, if I think I can manage it without making too much of a hash of it, some specilaty stitches and fibers that were suggested by Miss Janet Perry Her Very Self in a stitch guide that she did for me for this piece oh so long ago.

The months away from stitching have made me a little gun shy about getting all fancypants, so the fact that this canvas seems perfectly happy to stick with simple and classic makes me breathe easy.  No need to re-invent the wheel just yet, I guess.

Baby steps.

May 1, 2015


It's 8:00 on a Friday night.  I'm in my jammies, the diet Coke is bubbling away in my sippy cup, and the needle is about to start flying!


By the way....crazy loved this book.  Just can't figure out why, since it is well beyond my coolness level.

Apr 30, 2015


My mo-ther can't come to the blog right now.  We've had a rather interesting morning here at Chez Spinster, and all I can conclude is that she might have done something incredibly stupid....or incredibly brave.  All I do know is that she is in the Happy Chair with needle and thread in hands, muttering something to herself that she will never ever never ever let anyone or anything come between her and the thing that saved her pitiful little life ever again.

I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I keep hearing the words "hyena" and "enough".  And given the fact that she got up at the crack of dawn, put on her outside clothes and shoes, and then was gone for only an hour or so, I am guessing that she decided to get out of the litter box once and for all and get back to her life.

My mo-ther is a good person.  True, I am the first to point out her failings in the areas of homekeeping, martini making, and general learning how to be out in polite society without breaking into a flop sweat and chattering like a circus monkey -- but she is kind and hard-working and decent and well-meaning (most of the time), and other than a few very dark periods from her past she has been a pretty OK person.

So the fact that this hyena was able to infiltrate her little brain and convince her that she was worthless and incompetent and lazy and stupid is surprising, but not impossible.  She didn't have her shields up.  And she didn't have the capacity to realize that no matter what this animal said or did to her, at the end of the day, she has me and Aunt Chrissy and my pesky little cousin Bosco and all of you to have her back.  

I'm not going to disturb her from her stitching today, since it's the first time I've seen a smile on her face in months, but I did want to let you all know how much your love and encouragement and words of wisdom have meant and have done for her (and me) these last several weeks.  Thank you, dear pals.  From the bottom of my silk smoking jacket clad heart, I love and cherish you deeply.

Now I'm going to get back to my sunspot near the patio door.  But first I need to pee on the ottoman.

With love,
Your Pal Stewey 

Apr 27, 2015


Thank you for all of your comfort.  Sometimes all a spinster needs is the tender ministrations of her friends, a pat on the hand, a cup of of tea, and a "There, there, you poor dear" thrown in for good measure.

I made my trip to the bank and spent a delightful time with the lovely representative, who, as it would just so happen, was a classmate from Notre Dame.   I don't think we ever crossed paths while there, but it sure was nice to have a kind face lead me through what was surprisingly a relatively painless process.

Waiting until Saturday to get a new card is a little panic provoking, but I always have Stewey's emergency twenty to count on if I can't make it to the branch for a lobby cash withdrawl.

So I came home feeling slightly better than I did last night, when I discovered that my account had been hit again.  Same online dating site....different amount.

You will be happy and very proud to know that I harnessed my inner potty mouth and called the online dating site to politely let them know that if they hit my card or account again, I might just have to take it up with the duly designated authorities.

At  least that's how it went in my head anyway.

Turns out that I don't have a dog in the hunt, since my bank credited my account for both charges, and it's now up to THEM to chase this down....which, by the way, they probably won't do because the amounts are so miniscule when compated to the ba-jillion dollars that they normally have to keep track of.

So somewhere out there are a couple of people who will enjoy a month or two of online dating, thanks to my bank and the fact that there are apparently more important things in the world than worrying about an idiot spinster's debit identity.

I swear life was a lot simpler when you could buy stuff with two goats and a jar of jam.

Apr 26, 2015


Dear person who stole my debit card number and used it to buy a subscription to an online dating site that shall remain nameless....


If the charge would have been for food, or an electric bill, or medicine for you or a sick child, I'm one of those idiots that would have happily given you the last eighteen cents in my account if I thought it would help you.

But a dating site?

I get it....truly....I do.  Being alone can seem like a very bad proposition, and I suppose that you figured that companionship would fix whatever ails you.  But do you really want to find your Prince or Princess Charming with a stolen credit card?

Phooey on you.  My morning will be spent at the bank ordering a new card, and then on the phone with all of the places that I had that old card on file to make buying things like prescriptions and car insurance and Stewey insurance that much easier.

Can a spinster just get a break, please?

Methinks I am not meant to be in the world writ large, and that life would get a lot better if I just took my little dog and a diet Coke and headed to the studio.

So how was your weekend?

Apr 23, 2015


I haven't stitched since February 1st, which means I haven't been me since February 1st, which means Stewey, Bosco, and Aunt Chrissy are ready to put me at the curb with a sign that says "Free to a good home.  She eats a lot, but knows how to load a dishwasher like nobody's business.  Just don't ask her to actually empty the damn thing, and you'll get along just fine.  Updated on all shots and vaccines, and fairly housebroken, but ridiculously high maintenance and not to be trusted with other pets or small children, since she has a tendency to take their toys."




Apr 6, 2015


I only have a quick minute before You Know Who decides to wake up from his post-luncheon nap, so I'll have to make this quick....

Aunt Chrissy and I had a lovely Saturday with the girls at House of Stitches.  (Waving a hearty HELLOOO! to Miss Linda, Miss Joy, and Miss Cherry!).  Provisions were purchased, threads were petted, and the Spinster Stitcher Basket 'O Stitching Fun was updated accordingly.  (Pictures to follow, I promise).

Easter dawned bright and early (as I think it usually does), and a fine time was had by all.  Stewey participated in an egg hunt on the back lawn of the neighbors, and managed NOT to chew the arm off of three tiny little girls dressed all in yellow.  I was dumbstruck and amazed, but my stupid dog hopped around noodging the hidden eggs, stood over them until a tiny little girl dressed all in yellow came to collect it for her basket, and then wiggled his tail and barked heartily as they scampered to the next conquest.


I am DEFINITELY not insured for him to be his usual anti-social ferocious snarling self with tiny little girls dressed all in yellow.

Aunt Chrissy insists that Stewey really is part bunny and that the outfits of the tiny little girls dressed all in yellow were Little Lord Fauntleroy approved, so that's the only reason why we avoided catastrophe.

I'm just happy I don't have to move.

Mar 26, 2015


My mom can't come to the blog right now.  She's sitting in the Happy Chair on her ample heiney, drooling into her sweatshirt over a tuxedoed Pierce Brosnan in Die Another Day.

It occurred to Mo-ther that she has never watched a James Bond movie from start to finish, and this particular Thursday seemed like as good a place as any to start.  I would have started with something involving a more classic Bond, but this is my stupid mo-ther we're talking about, after all.  So I will wait until she gets to one featuring Sir Connery before I reveal the news that the most recent Bond looks like Yours Truly with his fair hair and devastatingly handsome disposition.

Thank you for all of the lovely encouragement about the "situation" Mo-ther is presently embroiled in.  As she was boo-hooing the other night about her predicament, I reminded her that this is only a test and that she needn't worry about being made to feel the dumb bell.   There are plenty of us who love her...just as she is.

My Aunt Chrissy will step in eventually and set things to right again.  As she is fond of saying..."My sister?  Yeah, she's a marshmallow,  and she has a little dog that doesn't know he's a dog....but I'm the one you have to watch out for.  I'm the dog that BITES."

You have to love that in an aunt.

Tomorrow has been reserved for homekeeping, and then, as God is my witness, I am locking Mo-ther in the studio on Saturday until she comes out with a proper stitching basket in place.  It has been far too long since she had needle and thread in hand, and although I am a simple pup, methinks that this is surely most of her problem.

Besides, I can only put so many sedatives in her evening tea before the authorities are called and I am whisked away to account for my sins.

I do hope that this finds you well and that you know how much Mo-ther and I love and cherish your friendship.  It's an odd connection that we share, but one that is most truly priceless to us both.

With much love from your pal,

Mar 23, 2015


So here I am on a late March afternoon, watching the skies drop eighteen feet of snow on the ground.

(OK, maybe it's only an inch or two, but the fact that I'm going to have to put shoes on and find the snow shovel and then perfectly sculpt a path for Little Lord Fauntleroy to go outside to do his thing makes me think that the eighteen feet would actually make all of this silly fuss worth it.)

I'm thinking.

I'm thinking about men.

Before you call the Spinster Union to have my membership revoked, I'm not talking about "thinking" in the filthy and perverted way that a spinster of a certain age should be.  I'm thinking about the fact that at the ripe old age of 48, I have only known men who can easily be classified as extraordinary.  And I'm thinking this because, only very recently, I've been dealing with a man who is most definitely NOT extraordinary, and it has me stopped cold dead in my tracks trying to figure out how to process things.  (And again, before you place that call....I am in no way talking about dealing with a man that would in any way jeopardize my status of a single gal that wouldn't know what to do on a date if said date came with instructions neatly printed on his forehead.  I'm dealing with this fellow in a VERY non-biblical sense.)


The easiest analogy I can provide you, dear reader, is if you were a regular visitor to an animal sanctuary, and you enjoyed looking at and interacting with pretty turtles.  You talked to the turtles, went on long and leisurely walks with the turtles, laughed at the turtles' funny jokes, and even found enormous comfort in the company of the turtles.  In short, you came to believe that turtles are wise and wonderful and generous and kind and lovely creatures that you're just happy to be around.

And then the next time you go to the animal sanctuary, you don't find turtles, you find a screeching, viciously- fanged, feces-throwing heina.  This heina is mean and nasty and cruel and very very unkind, and every time you get within ten feet of the damn thing it makes you start to question your worth as a human being and makes you silently pray for death or a fast trip out of the animal sanctuary.

Wait a minute.

I'm starting to see that my analogy would imply that I somehow think men are animals.  Whoopsie.  Didn't mean to open THAT particular can of worms, I swear.  I'm just trying to explain that for some stupid reason I've had the pleasure and good fortune to know brilliant and wonderful men and now I'm trying to figure out one that's not so brilliant and/or not so wonderful.

It's not a big secret that my dad was my hero.  He was at once the smartest and kindest and most perfect person I've ever known, and the fact that he and I could be the same species, let alone be related to one another baffles me.  Dad was one of only a handful of people I've ever met that was entirely without ego. That didn't mean that he didn't have a sense of self or that he lacked confidence -- quite the opposite.  His understanding of who he was and what he stood for was so firmly implanted in his brain that he didn't feel the need to explain it every seven and a half minutes.  He just lived it -- by example and how he treated people and how he loved and provided and acted and thought and worshiped and talked and...was.  He was the cat's pajamas, I tell ya, and if I could figure out how to emulate one small part of him I'd punch the clock and call it a day.

I've also been blessed with uncles and cousins and great uncles and second cousins who were and are great men.  I've tried so hard to find one that causes me to say "Eh..." but I can't.  Each and every single one of them were and are men of honor and integrity and kindness and decency.  Whether it was my Uncle Connie teaching me how to color with my left hand, or my Cousin David taking me to the movies and then not leaving me in the parking lot when I was stupid enough to leave the car door unlocked and his radio was stolen (I'm still so sorry for that, by the way)...every single one of my male relatives made it easy to love and respect them.

My guy pals are a little nuts for entertaining a friendship with Yours Truly, but as hard as I try, I can't find a scoundrel among them.  For some stupid reason, I found men to be friends with who are smart and funny and kind and decent and lovely.  I've never once had to question why I would want to know these guys, and on more than one occasion, I've secretly wondered if I was worthy of the friendship.  My men friends are the brothers I never had, the protectors I never thought I needed (turns out, I did), and the gifts I definitely didn't deserve.

So this brings me back to Mr. X.  I think that the reason why I'm having such a hard time trying to navigate the waters of my interactions with him is that I haven't seen this particular animal before.  He's throwing me new material (and by that I don't mean pretty patterned fabric with which one might make a sassy little lap quilt).  He's throwing abuse and terror and cruelty and havoc into my world and I'm stumped as to what the h-e-double-toothpicks I'm going to do about it.

I'll ponder and I'll fret and I'll ponder some more, but I can promise you that the moment my hands go to my ample hips and that "look" comes into my eyes and the word ENOUGH crosses my lips, you'll be the first to know about it.  I am, if nothing else, my Mother's daughter, which means that I can be rather determined once I get my moxie up.

Stewey and I (oh, crap on a cracker is THAT another male figure in my life, or WHAT!!) send our very best to you and yours.  We've been doing a whole lot of nothing lately in terms of stitching, but that is going to change very very soon.  The Spinter Stitcher SpringTide Barrel O' Fun is almost complete, and as God is my witness, the Big White Wall of Nothingness is going to get a new Easter outfit if it kills me (which it just might).

Thanks for coming back after such a long absence, my friends!
Woo Hoo!

Mar 3, 2015


Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh

Feb 12, 2015


So I'm looking at the darn Google thingie (a few weeks ago, as it would happen), and it told me that I had written 999 blog posts.

"Holey Schmoley!", I said.

And then I got in the Happy Chair and I started fretting about number 1000.

It got bad enough that when Aunt Chrissy and I went to the TGI Fridays for dinner at 3:00 this afternoon (because that's how WE roll in the big city), I decided to get her loving, wise, sisterly advice.

(OK,  so maybe that really wasn't the reason, but rather it was because she was paying for dinner and I felt really bad about it because I am the big sister and hapless matriarch of this little goat rodeo we call a family and it's my job to keep us in Arnold Palmers and cheeseburgers.)

But I digress.

So I says to Aunt Chrissy...."You know, I've been giving something a lot of thought.  I feel like I created a character called the Spinster Stitcher and that I go on my blog and live in this world with all of these amazing and wonderful and perfect people (that would be all of yous, by the way)....(oh wait, except maybe not Betty and the damn 13-year old who keeps hacking me with p.o.r.n.)...but for the most part, Spinster Stitcher is just that...a character.  Am I really being authentic?  Am I really letting people know ME?  Am I afraid that if I really shared my true self there would be a mass exodus and I would be left here, standing in a dark and deserted parking lot (I mean, come on, can you think of anything scarier?) (except maybe thunderstorms) (or cockroaches).  So I'm thinking that for my 1000'ndth blog post I'm going to tell my T."

It was at this point that Aunt Chrissy snorted a little bit of her cheeseburger out, daintily dabbed at her mouth, and said "Have you been watching The Lady Chablis in Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil again?"

(The truth of the matter is that....why yes, yes I have.)

(The Lady Chablis is fabulous.  Talk about a "character".  She is a drag queen in Savannah, Georgia, and her T is that her real name is Frank.)

But I....you know.

"I just feel like I want to tell everybody everything there is to know about me and to make sure that I'm presenting myself to all of my faithful readers (insert more snorting of the cheeseburger here) and that maybe a few of them will appreciate my honesty and integrity and courage to bear it all and it will inspire them to be brave or take a chance or do that thing they want to do, but can't.  I want to make a difference in the world, Aunt Chrissy, and I think my blog is the place for me to do that."

So I listened very carefully to everything Aunt Chrissy had to say (which, remarkably, sounded like blah blah blah blah blah) and I came home to write post number 1000.

I was on a roll, I tell ya.  Fingers flying, confessions confessing, T's all over the damn place.

And then Stewey walked in.

"Mo-ther.  What's all of this nonsense I hear about you committing acts of unspeakable horror on our blog?"

(You'll notice  I let that one go, by the way.  OUR blog?)

 "Stewey, Mommie wants to live a real life.  Mommie loves her faithful readers and wants them to know the real and authentic and true person....not some crazy lunatic with a talking dog and enough facial hair to grow a pashmina.  I've carefully crafted 999 blog posts and I want number 1000 to be special, Stewey.  I want the world to know how much their kindness, and friendship, and thoughtfulness, and love have meant to me, and I feel like number 1000 is the perfect place to do that."

(It was at this point that I realized that Little Lord Fauntleroy had not heard one single word I had said because he was too busy peering through his little spectacles at his iPad.)

"Mo-ther, you haven't written 999 blog posts.  You've written 998 blog posts and one fairly incoherent draft."
(Cue the sound of a squeaky hamster wheel turning slowly as my tiny little brain pondered this.)

Happy 999, everybody.

If we make it to 1000 without losing any more of our minds....there will be cake.  For everybody.