Friday, January 18, 2013


Hello everyone!

Since the beginning of 2013 I have been battling the paper monster in my office/sewing room.  After the fiasco trip to the Social Security Office for my "hearing that never was", I have been researching lawyers and trying to organize my disability paperwork.  It is obvious that I am not going to be able to secure the disability coverage to which I am entitled without legal representation.

I have finally settled on a lawyer who handles only Social Security Disability and represents individuals with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Chronic Pain Syndrome (among many other conditions).  These three conditions are among the biggest contributors to my inability to work, so having a lawyer familiar with the implications of these medical issues is paramount.  I will be having my initial phone interview by the lawyer on January 24th and will be meeting at her office some time shortly thereafter.

In order to be completely prepared and hopefully cut down on the billable hours I will incur, I have begun assembling large 3-ring document binders for myself...with duplicates for the lawyer.  The sheer volume of materials generated since my original application for SSDI back in October 2011 is enormous!  Generating duplicates of this paperwork for the lawyer means I am "drowning" in records and plowing through mountains of 8.5 x 11 bond and rivers of HP ink for my all-in-one printer.

To date I have acquired copies of all of my medical records pertaining to the myriad conditions causing my disability, some dating back as far as 1999!  On more than one occasion I have thanked God for my experience in the medical records departments of many healthcare facilities and my understanding of medicine...and my medical conditions in particular.  If the task is overwhelming for me, I cannot imagine what a daunting task it is for individuals with no experience in the medical field.


As a result of these endeavors, my cutting table is completely covered with stacks of papers to be processed, one completed binder, one binder in process...and two more binders that will be assembled once my husband has stopped at the store to buy more supplies!

The stress of handling all of this is becoming more intense, and without my cutting table I am unable to begin work on the next two or three quilts I have planned; nor am I able to work on the two pillows I have promised family members.  My sanity saving crafting is on hold for at least the next few weeks while I focus on my legal representation.  Just when I need the diversion the most!!!  I am about at my wits' end!!!  Can you hear me screaming through cyberspace????

So I ran to JoAnn's and purchased a large skein of cotton yarn to make washcloths!  I have begun knitting the first of many.  I want to make at least 8 to stock my two bathrooms and I may consider knitting a few for J and his girlfriend to use in their new apartment.  Right now I am sticking to a plain garter stitch as I don't think I have the concentration necessary to tackle an actual pattern.  But maybe once the rhythmic click of the needles has soothed my nerves I can try something new!  I may not be cutting out the quilt I am itching to begin, but I'm working on quality hand made supplies for our home that will provide years of use and money savings.  The joy and pride that comes with hand crafting is just the medicine I need!  

So, please excuse me while I head to my rocker to lose myself in the click of needles, the motion of the chair and the rhythm of the music.   Ahhhhh.....serenity!!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

CRAFT GOALS for 2013

I'm a list maker, partly because I have always "worked" that way...and partly because my short term memory issues mean more gets forgotten than remembered if I don't write things down immediately, lol. 

So, this morning I began making a list of the sewing, quilting and knitting or crocheting goals I have for 2013.  My list isn't long as I cannot complete much on a daily basis, but it includes items that I really want to concentrate on and perfect.  This year I am focusing more on "quality" than "quantity".   

As a fairly "new" quilter I have to admit I am totally and COMPLETELY frightened of free motion quilting.  It is a skill I want to learn and become good at, but the thoughts of even "attempting" any FMQ just scares the pants off of me.  So I am going to find the ugliest fabric I have in my stash and make small "sandwiches" on which to practice various patterns.  Leah Day has a wonderful series of free videos online to teach free motion quilting.  I have watched every single one of them, TWICE, and have modified my generic FMQ foot to stop the inherent bounce that makes FMQ quilting more difficult.  I have ordered and received gloves to make it easier to grip the quilt sandwich and I am currently waiting to receive several free gift cards so that I can purchase a silicone mat to place on my machine to help the quilt glide.  And then...I WILL learn how to free motion quilt!!!

Honestly, I don't have a clue why FMQ scares me so badly.  It is only material, batting and thread... and since my seam ripper is already my best friend I should have absolutely NO problem unpicking any mistakes I make (and I am sure there will be PLENTY)!   Guess I will just have to take a deep breath and plunge right in.  Any suggestions before I jump into the drink???

PS - A list of my goals can be found on my sidebar.  I will update the list as I reach my goals.

Thursday, January 10, 2013



One of my goals for 2013 is to acquire as many "free" items as possible, thus establishing a "trickle income" to subsidize my disability income.  Every freebie I get is either adding cash to my coffers or reducing money I would otherwise have to spend!  I hope to accomplish this by either completing offers for free samples, posting "wanteds" or accepting "offers" on Freecycle, searching the web through paying browsers, reading emails, or doing surveys to rack up points to be exchanged for gift cards, magazine subscriptions, etc.  I will update the tracker in my sidebar as each item is received, but will give details of my "scores" in this post.

So far in 2013:

  1. Two free AMC movie tickets from one of my husband's friends (he had more than he could use).
  2. Two $5 Amazon gift cards - Swagbucks
  3. One $25 Paypal gift card - MyPoints
  4. One Starbucks coffee - Online Freebie
  5. Five free K-cups when I ordered coffee for me, a machine for DS (I owe him one for his apartment as I have confiscated "his" for my sewing room), and coffee for DS to go with the machine. 
  6. One $5 Amazon gift card - Recyclebank 
  7. One full sized shampoo
  8. Eight samples of shampoo and conditioner
  9. Two packages of veggie seeds
  10. One sample of toothpaste
  11. One toothbrush
  12. One dental floss
  13. Two baby safety locks (they never came in time to give as part of a shower gift)
  14. Two protein bars
  15. One sample shaving cream
  16. Six samples of fabric softener

Saturday, January 5, 2013



It is still pitch black out and I SHOULD be sound asleep.  But aches and pains are keeping me from dreamland once again.  Tonight (or more accurately 3:28 AM) even the electric blanket isn't helping!  So, I am going to fix myself a nice cup of camomile tea, browse a few quilting websites and hopefully ease my body back into my cushy bed and sleep before the sun comes up.

Hope you are all sleeping sweetly.....

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 - A FRESH START....

Today is the second day of 2013, and I have been giving some serious thought to my hopes, dreams, wishes and goals for the coming year.  This past year has been a year of ups, downs, and transition for me...and I don't feel as though I have really "lived life" for the past 14 months or so.  I have been on hold, in limbo, as I wait for someone to finally diagnose the symptoms that have been plaguing my days.

That is definitely going to change in 2013!  I do not have to sit by totally helpless and allow the physical aches, pains, tremors, shakes and weakness to grind away at my soul.  I love life WAY to much to passively slide from day to day, as I have been.  Yes, my body, the machine that moves me through this life, is in need of some TLC and healing...but I, the essence of who I truly am, am not encumbered.  I can still love, laugh, hope, and dream.

So here are my 2013 resolutions:
Faith - The trials of the past few years have strengthened my faith in The Lord.  I don't need to know where I am heading in life or how I am going to get there, as long as I have faith that my future will be exactly as God wants it to be; and He will be there for me to lean on no matter how many twists and turns I encounter along the way.  I can find peace in knowing that I truly can, "Let Go...Let God".

Family - My family always has been, and always will be, my world.  In just a few short weeks our son will be moving out on his own and hubby and I will officially be "empty nesters".   It is a time in our lives when we can refocus on the love that brought us together 30 years ago, held us together through thick and thin, and will continue to deepen each and every day for the rest of our lives.  It is a time for rebuilding as a couple and planning for our golden years together.

Although our son is leaving the nest, he knows I will always be there for him and his dear girlfriend.  My challenge is to do so without smothering them (easier said than done...but I'm trying!)  As an only child, J and I have always had a very close relationship.  I understand that in some ways his dear girlfriend is taking my place; and that is how it should be.  He doesn't love hubby and I any less, his heart has just expanded to love her too.  I feel as though I am adopting a daughter, and I can't wait until the day she is "officially" my daughter in love.  She already feels like family.

Both hubby and I have very small immediate families and now that life is slowing down I hope to spend more time with those we hold dear.  They are precious to me, and I want to make sure they know how tightly I hold them in my heart.

Finance - Money.  The root of all evil (or so the saying goes).  This coming year is going to be a time for reigning in spending and padding out savings as much as possible.  I want hubby to be able to retire as soon as possible, and to do that we need to be debt free and have money in the bank!  Too bad it took me so many years to realize that spending does not bring happiness!  I want to start, and stick to, a REAL budget.  I have already begun researching cheaper alternatives for some of our expenses (auto and home insurance) and have managed to save a significant amount of money for this year's coverage.  I have a lot more expenses to research in the next few months! 

For Sale! -  In 2013 I want to purge through our entire house and sell whatever we no longer need or want.  Any money I can acquire will be added to our bills and savings, divided equally. 

Freebies -A friend on a forum that I frequent offered a challenge to acquire "A Freebie A Day".  It is amazing how many free samples are available on the web and how many sites are available where you can earn points just by searching the internet or doing surveys.  I hope to take advantage of as many opportunities as I can in 2013!  You can check out the tracker on my sidebar and you can see how I am doing in my quest for a freebie a day!

Freecycle - Freecycle is a wonderful concept and in 2013 I intend to make much more use of this away what I no longer need and do not sell, and posting "Wanted" requests for the items we need.  It truly is a win/win/ situation for all involved!

Frugality - Oh, there are SO many frugal activities I want to undertake this year.  If only I had the energy to try them all!  But I will try, a wee bit at a time, to change my behavior on a daily basis to become more and more frugal, live a simpler life,  and reduce, reuse, recycle and repurpose. 

Above is just a general overview of the goals I have for 2013.  How are you doing on your list, and is there anything I have totally overlooked on mine?