Monday, July 21, 2014

DorrieBelle, scofflaw at large.

There’s such a thing as making a good-faith effort, and I did. Found all the paperwork, got up early for breakfast and a shower, even went to the bank to get cash funds… but came home with the same expired driver’s license. Computers are down statewide. Even if they had been as bushy-tailed and eager as I, I’d still have no new license. It reads ’$21.50’ for a Class D renewal on the confusing DPS website. Turns out, that’s a fee that is only tangentially attached to operating a car in this state. It’s mostly used to make tag agency workers laugh. No, the real fee is $33.50 ! Whoa.

So I came home, put all those papers back, and picked up my Dearest Son and went to the thrift ! Hmpft. They can call me when their computers are back up, and I’ll call them when I have more money. Sheesh.

But then it sort of happened again at the store, so I just sort of shrugged. I was looking for two appliances that, while are pretty cheap brand new, might be available second-hand for even less – a coffee maker and a hot air popcorn popper. Darn VA’s got me addicted to coffee again, and I’ve given my last three pots to the IL’s. No popcorn makers, but I found a $10. coffeepot for $5. Well…then I remembered that I don’t have any coffee, I gave that away with the pot. I could afford one, but not the other, so I left it there. I can sub with some hot chocolate I remembered, and try the tea again until things ebb back up.

Neither of us found much else promising, either. Grubby Barbies and tired babies, not much else in dolls or toys. Maybe Monday’s not the best day to visit. But I’m glad we got out and about. The grocery next door had a special on strawberries - $1. a pound ! Got plenty to share, and made sure M&FIL had a nice box of them. Also got a loaf of rye bread as a treat for me, and blueberry bagels on clearance for breakfasts. Dearest Son had his own treat to choose, and even shared a bit of it with me. He’s so sweet !

Unfortunately, it soon got hotter and hotter, and even making lunch beyond a cold sandwich was a bit of an effort. Thank Everything for leftover Chinese dinners ! I was so relieved when Beloved Hubby came home early. I really worry when he’s out on days this scorching.

Here’s my second Belle doll, the one from the birthday lot. She’s about as I found her, although I cleaned the newspaper ink smudges from her face and hands. For whatever reason, my seller just dropped her and the clothes into a box, with no bags, no nothing, then threw two wadded up pieces of newspaper on top and sealed it up. Both of us were lucky the dirt came off. And none of the shoes or other small pieces fell out, due to the huge dent and minor tears on one side. She finally has her  crown – yaaay ! – and one earring, too. This is Rapunzel’s nightwear, with the robe behind her. There’s even a little gold initial on each robe, which I am seriously thinking of picking out and easing flat. I’ve always hated clothes specifically for one doll only, and as you can see, some colors look better on other dolls than they do on the one they’re issued.

I have the slippers, too, for all my DP&M nightgowns, but they’re huge and always fall off unless the doll’s standing on ‘em. I’m thinking of adding a strip of clear elastic to hold them on, or just resew ‘em smaller. Haven’t decided yet. (grin) Now those slippers may fit AG-style and clone dolls, now that I think about it….

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Everybody's Free (To Feel Reseated !)

Click to see everybody ! 

There’s an incredible, almost indescribable sort of satisfaction that bounces around in your head when the die-hard ‘lavender and tea tree oil’ all-organic botanist comes around to ask you for that big spray jug of pesticide you keep around for when the cats’ fleas get a bit too rowdy. Or when their head cold just won’t go away with baking soda and peppermint, it’s time for Mucinex. (shrug) Happens sometimes.

I was all set to visit my neglected thrift shop when I stupidly stopped to verify my driver’s license. With a birthday in the dust, it’s always a good idea. Unless you really wanted to get out for a bit. Mine expired months ago – I’d updated it to vote in the 4-year before last election, and the DMV updated the whole license instead, months before my birthday. Guess what’s on my agenda early tomorrow morning ? Hafta spend a few minutes getting paperwork together – in our state, if you’ve let your license lapse, you gotta come up with a birth certificate.

So instead, I got to stay home and have fun with what I already got – always a good choice on a hot Sunday. All in all, and off and on, it took me about three hours to get the Monster High shelf cleaned and reset, but it really was worth it. Now I don’t feel so bad and neglectful when I look at them all. And I’m really glad I stopped when I did ! Cleaning and dusting that many took a long time, imagine if I’d had the more common twice that many. I even remembered to hang the three flying characters I could think of with MH-stand waist brackets suspended from screw-in cup hooks. Could have hung a few more, like the gargoyles, but the box the cup hooks was in is gone. In fact, the box that box was in has vanished. The things that happen when I’m stuck in a hospital room… Getting them finally hung up at last got those cup hooks off my desk, where the idea and initial experiment’s been waiting since May. Yaaay !

That job also had side-jobs, like digging out the stepstool toolbox to hang and clean with – it was buried under pounds of papers further wedged deep under Beloved Hubby’s desk. Took me 15 minutes and a ten minute break to get that out of there, much less use it. But since I also tossed out two boxes and moved some other things, there’s now space for it out there by the Arena. I’m the only one who uses it anyway.

Had to start and complete it today, since it took over a good chunk of the living room, and with all the traffic back and forth, it’d only be a matter of time before something got lost or broken. While I didn’t see any AWOL dolls, I still crawled under and checked – found some fabric pieces, three dead June bugs, and a live spider – and did a little cleaning there, too. So while it took longer, I stayed with it, and I’m proud of me. I think all 59 of my MH (Or, in the case two knockoffs and a Catwalk Kitty, MH-themed !) classmates are happy, too. Beloved was pleased to see me so industrious, so he sprung for Chinese for dinner ! Soo tasty… 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My snuggly birthday present !

I really enjoyed doing those put-off-forever little things this week, so I kept going with it. Finally got all those buttons from that grab bag I bought sorted out, and stored the long-ago washed fabric that’s been draped over various chairs for months. Moved around my rolling Arena carts and got them reorganized, too. Even managed to squeeze the last pattern purchases into the vintage pattern box I have for them, but it’s super-tight – any future purchases will have to be digital, for sure. I also discovered I had two copies of Simplicity 5276, pajamas and robes for American Girl-size dolls. To keep that from happening again, I updated my computer files to show everything I have, even if it’s not scanned yet. That was also fun.

Then I turned my attention to the box in the hallway. It’s been sitting there since I got discharged the first time, Beloved Hubby shoved it there while he cleaned. And my air tube has snagged on it ever since. So today, I cleaned it out, found space for the various stationery, CD Rom backups, manuals, and software. Finally – that box has orbited the living room since February. Now I can more around a lot easier, without the cannula snagging on it every time !

I’ve said it before so I’ll say it again – when you’re on a breathing tube, you’re modeling  the world’s most demanding train. Sure, it looks elegant and regal on Elsa, but hers doesn’t yank rather painfully up her nose at seemingly random moments, or snag on every little thing it can find on her ice crystal floors. Also, while we mean to or not, we all step on it. Even the cats.

I’m holding off one of the biggest jobs for tomorrow. Cats have knocked over nearly all my Monster High dolls from their seats on the bleacher shelf. Gonna clear it off completely, give it a good wipe down, then reseat everyone. I’m sort of dreading it, sort of looking forward to it.

I couldn’t find a good photo of my birthday present. Even the ‘buy this’ image isn’t the best, and I'm just too lazy to make my bed for photos. But I love my huge microfiber MH bedspread ! It’s so soft and cuddly, and will be fantastic when the nights get cold and stay that way for more than a week. Beloved Hubby and Dearest Son ordered it and it came just in time, so when it did get a bit brisk this week, it was ready for me to curl up under. I love it. It’s even reversible, so if I like, I can display skullettes and hearts instead of the ghouls. Even Beloved has liked having it over him earlier this week. What a great present ! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Did you miss the photos ? They're all yours now !

I sewed – just a little, but I did it ! Once the Arena was all tidied up (still have to really go after a serious cleaning, there’s cat hair everywhere), I cheap-serged the edges of that fruit-slice seersucker I bought a couple weeks ago. Basically, I traded two pair of Mal-Wart knockoff doll shoes that didn’t fit any of my dolls for three yards of that luscious summer print. At $1.50/yd, why not ? Soon it’ll be a simple ‘scrub’ style top, once it’s washed and ready. And I’m sure I’ll find some way to use up any scraps ! Since it seems a bit on the narrow side, I wanted to cheap-serge it so it wouldn’t fray much. And that’s done. Yaay !

I’m also taking pictures again ! This is the grey dress I was working on in between hospitalizations. 

Turned out OK, but it wouldn’t quite fasten at the top, which is when I got all itchy about eyelets. Not much on how the skirt turned out, either, but on the whole, it’s not a total disaster. I can do better on the lacing part, too. Here’s the fun part – it’s completely made from the legs Beloved Hubby cut off a pair of pants to make shorts ! All the stains are on the inside.  Not my best work, but not too shabby, either.

Either way, those photos are blog exclusive now. I haven’t been posting to Flickr in quite some time. In fact, I haven’t posted much there since I kind of resigned from Monster High. That spark will return eventually, but for now…I’m enjoying the DP&M dolls, even if I’m the only one. It satisfies my Fairy Godmother impulses. I mean, the dolls are $60. MSRP, but often go for $40. or less, brand new, and like MH, the clothes are worth more than the dolls. I can get a barely touched Belle on eBay for less than $15. all the time, but try to snag her ball gown separately. $20., if you can find one. (sneaky laugh) I have two…

So you can say – as I often do – that the DP&M dolls are under-appreciated, and that brings out my creative side when I have the energy to sustain it. However, as you may have guessed, I’ve been too ill to create much. So when my birthday came around, and so did this huge lot of DP&M stuff… well, we paid a lot, but got a lot, and a lot of hassle, but it’s here, finally, and I love it all. I now have a selection of tutus and nightgown/robe sets, three pair of ice skates and several pastel pairs of shoes, and even Belle’s red/pink gown and hooded cloak from the ‘Something There’ scene from the movie. And a second Belle doll. That’s how I have two of her yellow gowns. 

I’m very happy with it all, but my seller ranked. Took a week between cashing my funds and shipping the box, put two sheets of wadded up newspaper in on top of the doll so she was covered in ink, box was bashed in on one side…(sigh) I have no regrets buying the lot, or even what I paid – it was less than a third of the retail price for each outfit, and the doll was kind of a freebie – but I could have used a lot less hassle, since it’ll be a looooong time before I spend like that again !

I’ll start posting photos of the bounty, but tomorrow, I’ll show you what Beloved Hubby and Dearest Son ordered for me – it’s awesome. And with our weird weather, I’ve already been using it. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I feel like I can really say 'I'm BACK !' now.

It’s stupid, but I’m so proud of me ! Waay back in June, when I was first in the hospital, the cats pretty much took over my sewing Arena – especially the bars on the rolling cart that held ribbon spools. I’ve had to pick up unspooled ribbon about every day since, either winding it back up, or putting it back on the table when they finally pulled it completely off. Every first day I’ve come home, I see the pile and say to m’self, ‘You need to fix that.’, but either slept all day or got sick again. Well, today, I fixed it ! I got it coiled and stored, and hope to never see another Medusa-pile of ribbon on the floor. Darn cats.

From there, I was suddenly obsessed with doing all the little ‘meaning to do’ jobs, so I got working ! Found a new place for the battery charger. I had it by my nightstand, but now, there’s a lamp, a fan, a nebulizer, and the charger there, all using the same two outlets – even the extension cord couldn’t hold ‘em all. So I found a new place for the charger, something else I’ve been meaning to do, and straightened out everything else. Also got some long-delayed laundry put away, stacks of books reshelved, and the last of the hospital stuff and papers filed. Sounds like just a bit, but it turned out to be a lot of work !

(grin) I feel a lot better now, and wake up every morning with a to-do list long as a list of patterns I own… but only get maybe half done before my strength wanes. Well, half done is better than nothing done, and I can always pick up the undone jobs later. Long as I do something, I’m getting better, and so is this place – so hopefully I won’t get sick again !

I want to sew so bad…

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Awww... it's My First Diabetic Crash (tm) !

Ah, the glory of waking up in your own bed and choosing what you want for meals. No matter how the best hospital tries – and the VA does very well in the effort ! – or how hard the best hotel strives, there’s nothing better than a ham sandwich for dinner,  because that’s all you want for dinner, a ham sandwich. I had the world’s best frozen waffles and a banana this morning, and enjoyed every scrap. Beloved Hubby was all ready to celebrate me coming home, but I went for the sandwich option, due to sleepiness and funds. We can party later, when everyone feels more up to it, and we’re not broke.

Luckily, my sugar was back down this morning. It skyrockets when I’m in-patient. Probably because I eat everything on my plate if I can stomach it – there’s not a lot else to occupy time, even with a laptop and tablet. And despite the little warnings, I still get dessert, which is fruit half the time, a chocolate brownie or cake the rest. Stuff we don’t have at home, or I’d be even bigger ! So I’m sure it’ll drop once I’m back to my old routines. Plus, Beloved did the shopping, and he buys fruit, not snack cakes. Plus I'm still on steroids. 

Well. Talk about prescient. I just had a major hypoglycemic incident, and it scared the heck out of me. I thought I was just dizzy a bit, but I started pouring sweat and got dizzier and less coherent and more confused by the second. I couldn’t figure out why I was so hot, then so cold, so I looked up ‘profuse sweating’ on the tablet… ah. Guess it was down a bit too much. Oddly, my doctor’s office called to check up on me just as I was finishing my injection. A quick nap, and I was back up and ready for lunch. Talk about your learning curve… Thank Everything Dearest Son was here to help – he asked if he needed to call Daddy, or 911, or Grand-dad, offered to grab things for me, or just sit with me. He’s my hero !  

Anyway, I’m home and recovering – there’s bits and pieces of last week’s entries I need to post, and I never did show you what I got for my birthday ! So I’ll be around – and hopefully this is the last time I’ll have to come home from the hospital this summer ! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Whoo-hoo ! I'm home !!

Let's catch up a bit...

Well, guess where I’ve been – again ! Yup, few nights ago, my breathing treatments weren’t working, and my chest kept getting tighter, and the gunk I could occasionally cough up stopped coming out and instead settled in. When my o2 levels dropped under 85, we hit the button, and my butt was back on its way to the VA. I swear, I must have ‘RETURN TO SENDER’ on my hip…

Long story short, got admitted, got shuffled around, and got treated. Half the ward was coughing up gunk, you could hear us night and day. At least this time, I had one good room-mate, and then none, so I was pretty relaxed and focused more on my care instead of when I was coming home. I’m on steroids now, something I haven’t been on before for asthma- or at least, not on for a long time. It took me days, but I got most of the gunk out and my breathing is better now than it was the first time I got admitted in June.

Got sent home today, with new meds but not much else – there’s not much I can do as an out-patient for the defibrillator installation except make appointments and go from there. More exercise, more deep breathing, better food and activity choices, same as anybody else, nothing special. At least now, I feel like I can move !