Sunday, June 26, 2022

Year of Projects 2021-2022 Roundup!

So this once-a-year round-up post has been a favorite post of mine for the last 6 years, but I'm realizing that several of my regular visitors at this point might be unaware that for the past seven years I've participated in a blogging community called Year of Projects (aka YOP).  This is a group of knitters and crocheters and weavers and various other fiber crafters who come together from around the world on a site called Ravelry and encourage each other through our blogs as we pursue our common (and some uncommon) handcrafts.

By this point I think I've slid almost completely off the radar of the group in terms of my actual participation, but my handcrafts of choice do still remain crochet, knitting, and cross stitching/embroidery - even though I haven't been very active at any of those things for many months now.  

In looking back at my record of what I've actually completed over the last 12 months, I see I have very little to show, but wanting to complete my 7th YOP year, I've rounded up pictures of what I have done.  

I started the YOP year with a bang by finishing probably my all-time favorite project:

Mr. Fox was kind of hard to let go, but it was made as a gift so as soon as I finished him (and took some pictures), I packed him up and mailed him off to his new owner.

One of the other projects I had begun a year or so earlier was to work at completing as many as I can (or want to) of the small doilies in the book, 99 Little Doilies.

I managed to add six more to my small collection of little doilies:

And before I was done crocheting with thread and tiny hook, I finished three medium sized doilies:

When I show doilies I've made I am often asked how I use them.  I don't use them all at once, but I often tuck one into a little vignette on a table top, or place one or two together at a jaunty angle under a collection of pictures in frames, or peeking out  at an angle under a potted plant.  Hubs then comes along and "straightens them out" and much to my dismay I find them later no longer looking "artsy", or like something fun and surprising.   I've often thought some day I may put a several together and create something unique, but by the time I have enough to do that, the idea will probably be so ordinary I'll not want to do it anymore.  That tends to be how I roll.

And finally, this spring I pushed myself to finish an afghan I had begun for my youngest son - I believe in 2020:

And that's it!  Even though it wasn't a prolific year of crafting, it's still fun to pull together this post and see what I managed to finish - all in one place.    

While I think I've figured out a way to possibly get back to cross stitching to some degree, I'm planning on stepping back from the YOP group at least for the upcoming 12 months.  It seems an obvious decision since I don't envision having anything regular to show for who knows how long.  That said, I will continue to enjoy watching what my favorite YOPers are up to, and plan to continue visiting your blogs.

Anyway...  I wanted to kind of explain this post to some of my newer visitors - since it isn't like anything that's shown up here for much of the last 12 months.  

And this post wraps up my 7th Year of Projects year, and that alone feels like something of an accomplishment.  I just can't believe that many years have flown by so quickly.  But ain't that always the way it goes. 

It's been a fun 7 years!

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Cherry cobbler...

As I've harvested and pitted cherries, I've been enjoying thinking about how I will use them in the upcoming months.

That said, after freezing 6 bags with 2 cups each before the cherries on the tree appear to have finally passed their peak this year, I will happily let the birds enjoy what's left on the branches.  Pitting these small tart cherries is quite a chore - especially with my hand issues.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed making (and we thoroughly enjoyed eating) a simple cherry cobbler last weekend.   It's a pretty standard recipe found in lots of places online, but here it is in case you're interested.  Next time I'm going to follow the suggestions for doubling the recipe (or I suppose, I could just use a smaller baking dish) for a thicker cobbler.

It was the first dessert I've had in over three months.  
And I do believe it was worth breaking my sugar fast for.  

I certainly have no regrets!

I'm curious if you like cherries and if so, what do you like to do with them?

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Still here...

I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post.  May was a good month.  Very good, in fact.  I enjoyed taking some pictures of spring flowers, and finally after a very rainy and chilly spring (which I loved),  we finally put in half of our garden the third week of May.

We also had out-of-town and out-of-state visitors in May, and that was pretty special.  The asparagus patch went totally "to fern" by the end of the month, just as the strawberries started ripening.  We started picking strawberries and I got some in the freezer before the end of the month.   So glad I did because reading below you'll understand that my strawberry picking got cut short and we turned the task over to any friends interested in a "you pick" experience.  Most of the rest of our little strawberry patch harvest is taking up space in several friends' freezers for them to enjoy later.

And now a cherry tree is producing fruit.  A tree we didn't even realize was a cherry tree until last weekend. The fruit is some sort of sour cherry - a bit tart for eating fresh, and on the small side, but I've read that they should be very good in baked treats and in smoothies, and they perhaps make the best cherry pie.  I'm not particularly a fan of cherry (or any fruit) pie, but I might be game for making one using cherries from our own tree. Or maybe a cherry cobbler.  

My thumbs have become very sore again, so I saw a hand surgeon in mid-May.  X-rays show that the cartilage is completely gone at the basal joint on my left hand, and nearly gone on my right hand.   Surgery should provide a fix, and up until recently I was looking forward to having that done, but for the present I'm seeing how far a cortisone shot will get me.  It appears it's not going to get me very far. The joint pain and ache throughout my wrists still get to be too much when I'm active, so mostly I'm just not testing the limits of my hands very often.  The pain is very real, and I'm ever so thankful there is hope for getting back more full use of my hands.

Yes, May was filled with good and interesting, and some promising things.

And then, to finish off the month, there was a most memorable Memorial Day when all the good things took a back seat momentarily as I made a trip to the ER.  I'd been in serious discomfort since the Friday evening before, and when nothing brought relief or sleep or the ability to eat solid food for three days, I finally gave in to exhaustion and pain fatigue and asked Hub to drive me to the ER.  The whole experience was a little more involved than I'll go into here because I can't seem to write about the interesting stuff without including the mundane stuff and before I know it I've written a tome.  So the fun stuff I'll keep to myself and this I'll keep brief.  

Two weeks ago tonight I was in a recovery room contentedly sedated, eating scrambled eggs - my first solid food in four days after a miserable weekend (plus some) that finally resolved in my having a very inflamed gallbladder removed.  I suppose the reason my gallbladder was inflamed was because I had three large-ish stones fighting for space inside it.  The whole package was so big that the surgeon had to enlarge the original incision to remove the organ and its contents.  And thirty-six hours after I arrived at the ER I finally got to come home.  Sore, but happy to have surgery behind me.

That said (and really, I share this in case it's helpful for someone else), from the time all the stuff they gave me at the hospital was out of my system 'till a week out of surgery I was in a world of hurt, but after a phone consultation with the surgeon's office, I traded a fairly useless-to-me narcotic for Gabapentin (for burning pain where the gallbladder once was), and replaced an ice pack with a heating pad on spasming muscles where the incision was.  Once I did those things, I was pretty much golden.  Doing those two things produced a nearly overnight turnaround in the pain - just a week ago.  

I can still feel my innards - a bit bruised and battered, and still healing.  When I even slightly over do it I feel remnants of a burning pain (like when we put in the second half of our garden on Sunday, and when I picked cherries this morning - I hurt tonight), but believe me... I haven't been vigorous doing any of this.  I'm taking it extremely easy in my estimation, but I have a post-op appointment tomorrow, so I'll see what the doctor has to say.  I'm really hopeful that soon I'll be feeling more or less back to normal, but I'm trying to accept that it may just take me longer than I'd like.

And now since I'm trying to keep this short, I'll just finish up with some of the pictures I've taken over the last four weeks:

I hope you're having Happy June!  

I'm trying to make the most 
of the rest of mine!