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Thursday, September 29, 2016

So sleepy. . . I always sleep well after my latest appointment is over !

Yaaay ! Today was a great day. I cooked dinner with MIL, and it was fun and tasty, and my drain bulb is gone. My docs are so amazingly awesome, I didn't feel a thing – they had to tell me they were done, and that was without any numbing drugs of any kind. They also gave me all the opened supplies, as I still have other issues going on that can use them, but even my remaining healing's going well, too.

Today's model is Frozen Fever Toddler Elsa, wearing the dress I got at the thrift for $2. last weekend. The blue bow shoes that came with it are at her feet, I prefer Elsa's originals with that dress. Not sure who that dress was made for, it doesn't close all the way in the back on either Toddler Elsa or any of the Disney Princess and Me dolls. You can't see it from the photo, but it goes to her ankles in the back.

It's part worn out, part brand new, something I see often in kids' toys bought second-hand. While the tulle's Velcro ™ snagged in several places and the edge trim is missing in more, it still had at least four packaging tags dangling from it. I've bought sooo many dolls with wrecked, torn clothes, but their hair is still in the factory set. Or with wrecked hair and perfect clothes, it goes both ways !

Confession Corner : It took me a couple tries to get the sewing machine needle threaded, and I tried to blame my numerous attempts to start a new color for that cross-stitch kit on the hospital's odd lighting. I have to have needles and thread just so to get 'em together these days.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Still not right, but not bad either.

Got to sew again ! Too bad it came out nearly the same as the first one. But I played with it for a while, and I can fold the collar part to the front, to the back, under the arms, over the arms, flip it over twice – I came up with all sorts of ways for the doll to wear it. But it's still nowhere near as modest as the ones pictured with the pattern. Still not sure where I'm botching it, and I'm not completely convinced it's my sewing at fault. I may do my usual pattern-tweaking tomorrow, if I'm not tired of it yet.

That was the big excitement of the day. I think I had a sort of relapse, I was really tired today. But I didn't nap, as my medical anxiety over tomorrow's appointment will already make it hard enough to sleep tonight. FIL likes to drive me to the VA when he's feeling well enough, probably because waiting for me gives him quiet time to work on his book, hang out with vets, or enjoy some solo time in the Patriot Cafe. He's completely enamored of their cheeseburgers, too.

Decided not to go to the thrift again today, as the doll I was thinking of getting required shoes six times as expensive as she'd be – plus shipping. Plus, I simply wasn't in much of a mood for it. Kinda hoping the flea market will be in town again this weekend, though.

Well, I gotta be up early tomorrow. Hope your Thursday is great ! You deserve it !

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Not too bad, really - even if it wasn't supposed to fit Elsa. . .

It wasn't until I started to write today's entry that I realized – I hadn't told you that, due to a cluster-bomb of family drama that has very little to do with Beloved Hubby and me, M & FIL moved in with us, back when I had the hernia surgery in late June/ early July. They're supposed to move out in a month or so, saving rent and utility bills to join BIL in upstate New York, but we'll see. It's actually gone better than I thought it would, but that may be because I was at the VA for most of their stay so far !

Only problem is, they moved most of our stuff out of our upstairs bedroom – Beloved had already moved our bed downstairs, to the living room, during my Summer of Illness – and kinda just tossed it anywhere. The Playroom is now our bedroom, with bags of clothes and books and misc. shoved around and cluttered up everywhere. I've been too exhausted to clean up much, but if I wanted to sew, I had to dig out from under, same with my cutting table.

But I've been meaning to clean up most of that already, so it felt good when I got it done. Today's effort came out a twinge small for the standard Barbie body it's made for, so when it fit my Hasbro Coronation Change Elsa, I was happy ! BTW, if you're concerned about shoes for the larger-foot Hasbro Disney Princesses, I discovered that she fits most Monster High footwear, and with a bit of persuasion, the ghouls can wear her icy heels !

The pattern's one of the freebies I downloaded yesterday, Dolls Ahoy's 'Cloth 'n' Thread Halter Dress'. It's named so because that's all that's supposedly needed is cloth and thread. I needed a bodkin, a chopstick, and a vat of patience to turn that narrow tie-down collar right-side-out ! But otherwise, it went together well, and sewed up fast - only about fifteen minutes, not counting turning time - but I didn't like how it fit on my test model. So I took it in a bit at the back seam and it fits Elsa beautifully ! She can wear it with the collar up, or folded over, like in the picture. Neat ! If I do the facing in a contrasting fabric, it'll be even more versatile.

I hope to try this pattern again tomorrow, as I think I know where I blew it. If you'd like your own copy, you can find it here - Cloth 'n' Thread pattern (I printed it at 100%, and the inch mark matched) and an image of the finished item here - Malibu Barbies modelling. It's pretty, so I hope I get it right next time. Still, not bad for someone who hasn't sewn in months !

Oh, and I promised to tell ya what I found at the flea market on Saturday. I got a vintage copy of Better Homes & Garden's Sewing Book, and a bag of 70s Workbasket magazines, each for a buck. Workbasket and I go waaay back. My maternal grandmother had a subscription for decades, and during our occasional vacations with them (they lived about a day's drive away), my mother and I would dig through all the back issues, either borrowing some and mailing 'em back, or just taking them to a photocopier machine before we left. While I knew most of them would be knitting and crochet patterns, I couldn't resist the lure of old ads and recipes. Well worth a dollar. I even scored a couple sets of heat transfers, and a lot of Bicentennial craft ideas.

I also got a CD of ocean sounds and the soundtrack to Cats, and several DVDs. But the prize of the day was 'School Spirit' Spectra, still in her box, for $2. ! Even if I decide not to keep her – I already have the first one – I like her clothes and shoes, and will probably keep those.

Well, I gotta clean up tonight's mess if I wanna make another tomorrow. Even if it's cleaner in there than it's been in weeks ! Thanks for all the sweet messages and kind concerns. Ya'll are the best, and I love ya !!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Kinda Katy Perry-ish, at least to me.

Yay, a quiet day at home. I'm still digging through my neglected e-mail in-box, unsubscribing again from a buncha stuff I unsubbed from the first time I was admitted to the hospital. Those political ones just don't wanna leggo – and they 'share' with dozens of others, so it isn't the one you were sort of interested in, it's that one and its fifteen 'friends'.

Found a good Pinterest board with tons of Barbie patterns I didn't have yet - - and downloaded a few. While I had to make a grocery run today, I hope to sew tomorrow !

Also had to find places for all the goodies from the thrifts, yard sale, and flea market I got to visit this weekend. Not a lot of doll stuff, but I got a pretty Target 'Barbie Basics' doll whose outfit was so amazing, I thought it was original to the doll. Nope, I think the only things she still has from her packaged days are her shoes and a bracelet. Couldn't resist that Steffie face, her dark hair, and those luscious red lips ! And for $4., I didn't have to. That thrift is having a half-off sale Wednesday, and I just might go. They had a lot of nice fashion dolls.

Same store got me a toddler Disney Princess pair of blue 'bow' shoes and a blue dress that could fit either the toddler or possibly the Princess and Me dolls. Hope to try it on one tonight. I also got some tiny blue roses on white flannel and pink 'stars and swirls' fabric there. The rhinestone snowflake necklace will be in season soon, and I can't wait to use the porcelain spout-cup to melt butter in the microwave. I got it all for $11.,cheep ! Another thrift had a blue tag special, so I got three new t-shirts, a pair of pants and a still-tagged nightie – in smaller sizes, I've lost 35 pounds since May ! - for 99¢ each, along with a bike pedal exerciser ($5., was looking at a new one for $25.), a glass loaf pan ($3.), and a box of unopened cocktail umbrellas ($2.) from GoodWill. Total sucker for those little paper umbrellas. Tell ya what I got from the flea market tomorrow.

Slowly but surely picking up household tasks again. Luckily, Dearest Son has been helping me with dishes. Some foods still taste odd to me – fountain sodas are consistently awful, so are many savory items – so dinner's been pretty basic, lunch at home is soups, ravioli, and ramen. That should improve soon !

I'm almost nervous about sewing tomorrow. I haven't done it in months ! Wish me luck, I may need it.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Zombie Blog !

Wheee ! Both this here blog and me are coming back from the dead ! Whoof. What can I tell ya'll, Summer 2016 has seriously lacked !

Sorry if I made anyone worry. I hadn't been feeling good for a while, so when I got a massive stomach-ache at the end of June, I knew my hernia had come calling, just to make the misery complete. Since it'd been nearly 20 hours by the time I called for help, my primary care Doc advised us to hit the VA ER. Three days later, I had a strangulated hernia operation – it was chewing on some intestine. Ick.

Surgery went well, it didn't even really hurt much. But with all my other health complications, recovery was long and exhausting. Spent my 50th birthday and the 4th of July in Critical Care, with zero appetite and little energy. But my guys were there for me, with balloons and glow sticks and some fun little things I could enjoy from my hospital bed. I was still wiped out when I was cleared to go home nearly a week later.

To make a long story short (too late !), more complications landed me back in the ER with a massive infection and a drain tube that I still have. If you've never had a drain bulb, don't look it up. If you have, then you'll know why I reacted like I'd gotten a Christmas present when my surgeon said we'll remove that Thursday. Hooray !

I'd barely been home for three days when I started having severe, crushing headaches, massive visual distortions, and sleep-all-day weakness. Back to the ER, seems a medicine conflict rendered me life-threatening dehydrated, and I was also taking two other medicines that left me wide open to a 'bleeding event'. That, along with my remarkably low blood pressure, meant another week and a half in the VA's tender care. I was feeling much better even before I was admitted, so this most recent stay was the most boring and restless one. Ever find yourself ridiculously happy when you find an unworked Sudoku in the left-behind waiting room newspaper ? Yes, that bored. At least Beloved Hubby visited nearly every day and often brought ginger ale and small, healthy treats (with my doctors' approval).

I just got home last week, and am finally enjoying some of the good health so many people have worked so hard to give me. Got plenty of rest, double-checked all my medicines and cleared up that last misunderstanding, and gave some thought to a lot of things. I wondered if this blog was worth saving, but ultimately, I missed it too much to kill it, although I may not post as frequently as before. So, with your kind, continued indulgence, I'm back ! I drove to a flea market yesterday and two thrifts today, so you know I'm feeling better.

Hope your summer was more memorable, for better reasons !

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Change out the belt, put her hair up in earmuffs. . . yeah, that'd work.

Oh, yeah ? Well, you're no Han Solo either !
It's a beautiful day today. Warm and sunny – three days ago, we nearly turned the heat back on ! - and the cottonwoods are blooming. At least, I think that's what they're doing, there's thousands of tiny bits of white cotton twirling aloft in the light breezes. It's sort of like being in a snowglobe of Spring.

Had a nice Star Wars moment – first one since the confusion I felt over Episode VII – and I think it told me what I needed to know. That is, where I fit in the fandom. Well, 1977 was a long time ago, and so was 1999, I'm not that dazzled 11-year-old anymore, and I'm far from the dedicated adult, too. Like other things that have fallen away from me, or gone on without me, Star Wars was fun at the time, but there's too much else going on for me to be the fangirl I was. And that's fine.

(grin) My trigger was a Facebook post, oddly enough. It basically said, over a photo of several of 'em, 'The color of the shirt you're wearing plus what you just ate is the name of your new Star Destroyer'. I pity those who choose to defy the will of The Grey Cherries !

And, as a bonus, I watched The Philadelphia Story, presented by our PBS affiliate, and noticed how much Katherine Hepburn's 'Pool' dress resembled Leia's. Wonder if John Mollo was inspired. . . his first job as a costume designer was for Star Wars, and he also did Alien, Ghandi, and Chaplin. One day, I'll snag that 'original trilogy' costuming book, it's a bit pricey.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sushi for supper !

Umm. . .did this doll eat her right arm or something ?
Well, perhaps going shopping at Mal-Wart isn't exactly 'making things happen', but it's better than sitting at home with huge Law & Order characters on the flat-screen, just watching. For the first time since getting out of the hospital, I used a regular cart instead of a motorized riding one – I felt stable enough. We toured pretty much the whole store and if I can outlast that, I'm doing all right.

Nothing new in Fabric, not much in Toys, but I found two sets of Barbie props I liked. Here's the first one, a nice tray of sushi, served with two Barbie Head plates, two sets of chopsticks, and two green sodas. Not bad at all for $2.44 – and the food's not all one color, or the same color as the bowl ! There's one of cleaning supplies, in case the Dream Bathtub needs a good scrubbing with a Dream Brush, and the stairs in the Dream House can certainly use a few minutes with the Dream Portable Vacuum. Or you might want it for another packet that comes with a brown pet puppy and a few coordinated puppy supplies. Hand vacuums come in handy for a lot of pretend doll activities !

For now, though, at least we can answer the question most fans have had since 2013- while Elsa can stomp up a whole ice castle from will and magic, what did she eat all that time ? It's assumed she had WiFi and Netflix, with good reception, too. Still, who would have guessed Marshmallow was an expert sushi chef ? It's true !

Saw my first lightening bug of the year tonight. So pretty !