Thursday, July 30, 2009

Flashback: Simplicity 3833, a retro dress, visa news, etc

Day 4 of "wear a dress to work every day" week. Today's dress was also sewn in the summer of 2007. It's Simplicity 3833, a "retro" pattern. The fabric is brown with turquoise flowers. It's some kind of rayon. Here's what it looked like when I wore it today:

Flashback, Simplicity 3833, front, from 2007
I neeeeeed a haircut!! I had also just come back from walking, and it's humid, so my hair was extra pouffy.

Flashback, Simplicity 3833, side, from 2007

Flashback:  Simplicity 3833, back, from 2007

Here's when it had sleeves back in March 2007 (but they were too tight and the dress was also pulling across the upper back because the sleeves were too tight). I think this photo is also the best for seeing the pattern in the fabric:
I think it'll be cuter without sleeves.

I laugh; my caption says I would remove the sleeves "tomorrow". Which was actually May 2007:
May 12, 2007 fixed dress

I made this dress in red, also in 2007, and I wore that dress on Monday this week (though I did not take a picture of me wearing that dress on Monday). Here it is from 2007:

July 8, 2007 red dress

Pete received a letter from the American consulate in London, with instructions on applying for his part of the visa. Now our lawyer is making it sound like he could be denied entrance to the US when he visits on Aug 8 because they may think he will not return to the UK since we are mid-visa process. The reality is, anyone who comes to visit the US can be denied entrance for any reason at all. We are doing this the right way and I really don't see why he would be denied entrance just because we are in the middle of the visa process. I mean, we paid a lawyer to do this so why would we abandon the process now?

I had acupuncture tonight. Felt lots of fluttering in my legs and even some on my scalp (which was new to me). She put needles around my collarbone this time, which was brand new. They didn't hurt at all. I had some needles that hurt around my knees. And I learned that she's an occupational therapist during the mornings, not a PT like I previously thought. I felt a little lightheaded afterward, but then I went to Lucy's Kitchen to pick up some chow and I ran into a classmate of mine from the gym. She was asking if I moved to England or defected to a different gym. So we caught up a bit. I recognized her right away. Apparently she saw me before I saw her and thought to herself, that she knew me from somewhere, then had a flash of me in a pirate cupcake shirt and then she knew who I was. She said she always liked reading my gym shirts.

Vanilla Chocolate Cupcake shirt Pete gave me for V-day

Andy sent me some great links about pain, pain management, a pain journal pdf, etc. I'll post that stuff with my next post.

I'm taking tomorrow off and meeting up with a friend for lunch. Then I hope to go to the boardwalk for a nice walk. I also hope to remember to bring my camera!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Flashbacks: Threads dress & old friend

I'm wearing a dress to work every day this week. Here's what I wore today. It's a Simplicity Threads dress that I made in July 2007. I don't think I knew SPR then, so I definitely never reviewed it. I do remember that I cut a 14 and it was HUGE in the chest area--I wound up taking out the front panel and cutting a new one from a size 6. Now that I know about reading "finished garment measurements" I now understand why it was so big!! I was looking at the pattern the other night.

These are pix after wearing it all day today:
Flashback from 2007:  Threads

Flashback from 2007:  Threads

Flashback from 2007:  Threads
This is the fabric; little tiny paw prints:

Flashback from 2007:  Threads

My original photos from 2007:
July 19, 2007 dress

I didn't realize that I was making the wacky expressions even then:
back of July 19, 2007 dress

Tonight I had dinner with my friend Andy. I haven't seen him in over a year and he happened to be attending a conference in Princeton so we met up. He was a medical writer and now he manages medical writers. It was amazing to talk to him about my pain--he actually understands it!! He recommends seeing a pain management doctor, whom he feels may be able to determine the cause of my pain. He also knows a fantastic physical therapist. And he's going to send me a pain journal!! I started my pain journal on Monday. We talked a lot about pain relievers and supplements. and he said that pain is not constant--what the brain measures overall is differences in pain or new pain, it can't feel constant pain. I thought that was an interesting idea. Overall, the conversation was just really really great.

I took Aleeve today, so that's the end of my Aleeve-free streak. My right side was flaring a little, like a 4. It was exactly 4 weeks ago that I had the major 3am flareup on the right side. At least the pain is not really bad like it was that time!

It has been raining a lot again here. And thunderstorming. Bzzzt!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Brown extra wide double fold bias tape

I'm trying to see how many days I can go without taking Aleeve. It's been ten days. But today my back is feeling irritated again and I'm sort of tempted to take the Aleeve. I'm annoyed because yesterday the pain was a 0/1 (yes, that's right, a zero/one) and then I went to JoAnn's after work, and they only had crummy carts with wheels that don't turn properly, and I spent way too long there, and after an hour of pushing the crummy cart around, my back was starting to hurt at a 3. So I blame it on that. Right now it's a 3/4. And my knees are bothering me again.

I started my journal yesterday to keep track of what I did/ate/slept/icy patch/heat pad/stretches I did to see if I can determine what causes flareups. But I blame Joann's for this one. and myself. I should have just come home! blah blah blah. Gawd, even I'm tired of talking about my back. I have back talk burnout!!

Here's what McCall's 5799 looks like--I finished it to the point I could wear it. Now it's all nice and wrinkly after wearing it all day.

McCall's 5799 front after wearing it all day

McCall's 5799 back after weaing it all day

McCall's 5799 side after weaing it all day

I love the extra wide double fold bias tape (just lost pete there!) for the hem. I love the brown piping. I even love that it's lined (even if it means having to sew the lining to the zipper--I will sew lining in first and then zipper next time). I also love the funky dart in the front.

I SPR'd it and the turquoise dress from the weekend. All caught up on my reviews!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Star Ledger Comics

Adorably cute:

Hibiscus number three bloomed today; I think that's the first time it's bloomed since I received it (it had just rained a lot when I took this photo).
Hibiscus #3 produced a salmon or light pink colored bloom today!

Rose bush produced three more blooms today
Three more roses the white rose bush produced

The Star Ledger is now down to one page of comics in their "today" section and a third of a page of "classic" comics in the sports section. They axed many of my favs, like Frazz and Heart of the City. Sigh. But they have all axed comics and many more online.

I'm getting sleepy...time for shower and bed!! Otherwise I'd write more about the comics and the Star Ledger in general. It's a post that's been a long time coming (in a good way, mostly!!)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Randomly exciting stuff

I blogged about my finished Simplicity 2724 dress earlier today (thanks everyone for your super nice comments, by the way!) but forgot to include this photo:

I really should look at the camera when I take these pix...Simplicity 2724

It just cracked me up.

These are iron on patches, 25 cents each on JoAnn's clearance.  About the size of a quarter...
These are iron on patches, 25 cents each in JoAnn's clearance bin. They're about the size of a quarter, maybe a little bigger. They called out to me.

My white rose bush lost all of its leaves due to black spot, then shot up another stalk and produced 3 blooms today (it has 8 more to go!!)
The white rose bush lives to produce more flowers

I bought 3 scratch-off lottery tickets for $6 total. Each one was a winner, for a total of $9!

I worked a bit more on the green dress with brown flower, but then my back said "that's enough". It basically went from a 1 to a 3. That's much better than going to a 6.

There is a big thunderstorm going on outside now!! Kaboom!!

I designate this my "wear a dress to work every day" week. I'm taking Friday off, so that's only 4 dresses to go.

Good night!!

Reboot & Simplicity 2724

Cute angled view of Simplicity 2724

I am feeling calm. It's been a while since I've felt that way. Things feel under control. House doesn't look like a disaster. My personal to-do list isn't huge. Maybe my general outlook has something to do with the giant reboot I had on Friday evening.

Well, first, let's talk about the chiro. He is now away for 10 days. The day he comes back he's already fully booked. That means...I will not see him for 2 full weeks. Cue "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?" You know, Michael Bolton? He probably remade it. Was it Diane Warren? Too lazy to Google that now.

We talked about the best way to stand (which, in his opinion, is to put one foot up on something. Doing dishes? Put one foot on a phone book. Teaching class? Put one foot on a chair and lean forward, resting on your leg (very professorial pose). Keep switching legs.

Best way to pick something up off the floor? He said, to let someone else do it. Basically, lunge for it, rest one knee on the ground, pick thing up, use strength in both legs to stand back up. I tried it; it was really really difficult for me to do that--I have lost so much strength in my legs. It was pretty shocking, especially when I think about what I used to do in toning class 6.5 months ago. Alternatively, I can squat with each knee out to side, not together.

He told me a story--said it was time for a lecture. When he was 37 or 38, he was sideswiped by a car while he was riding his bicycle. He said it took 3 or 4 years for him to recover to the point where he was back to the fitness level he was at when he was hit (he's a triathlete). He said it's going to take a lot of time for me to first just get back to the point where I can do the things required of everyday living, the things I have trouble with now--like squatting to get clothes out of the dryer. He said as I gain mobility, I will do more, but my body will let me know when I've gone too far (like the flare-up I had with the dishwasher). When I do go too far, he thinks my body will pull itself out of the pain in 2 days or less.

I came home and then talked to Pete. I think it was around 7:30pm when I decided to take a nap. I woke up at 3am! Windows wide open, still dressed in my work outfit, teeth unbrushed, unshowered, supplements not taken. It is surprisingly quiet outside at 3am. It was 60F, nice temperature for sleeping. I fell back to sleep by 4am and woke again at 7:30am and got on with the day. Crazy! Usually that kind of thing happens when I'm jetlagged. I hadn't taken any naps all week, maybe that's why it happened.

I decided to start taking glucosamine supplements to see if it helps with my knees.

I stopped sewing on Sundays because I usually had a lot of chores to do. Well, today the list wasn't so long and I have time to sew.

Today I finished Simplicity 2724 from yesterday. It's a Project Runway mix-n-match pattern. I didn't use a collar; I used bias tape and treated it like a facing. I didn't make the sash as long because I prefer knots to bows; I love the way the ruffle is sewn on and may replicate that in the future on a shirt. It's a really nice shade of turquoise. Not too crazy about the pleats on the butt. I played around with the side zip to get it to an ok point. I cut 4.5 inches off the bottom and made a 1.25 inch hem. I sewed the 14 and then trimmed the bodice down to a 12 during sewing. It is done!
Close up view of front of Simplicity 2724
Simplicity 2724 side view
Rear view Simplicity 2724
Direct front view of Simplicity 2724
Another cute angled view of Simplicity 2724
Time for a haircut, eh?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Oh Simplicity 2724

I love it and I hate it. Simplicity 2724, a Project Runway pattern.
And it's not finished yet (needs to be shortened and hemmed; possibly needs side zipper to be reinstalled. I should never ever try installing side zippers again. They never ever work for me!)
The skirt of the dress is symmetrical even though it doesn't look that way in the picture!
It is sleeveless and collarless.
Does it look too bridesmaidy? It's the dress I was going to wear to Christine's wedding. I'm not a bridesmaid. I don't want to look like one.
Simplicity 2724

It also looks like the left and right side of the "collar" are not aligned, but they are.
Closeup of Simpiclity 2724

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Counterclockwise is the way to go

First, thanks to Antoinette to doing techsupport on my blog. Not only can she sew and train, she can also navigate the wonders of Blogger. Thanks, clevergirl!!

Second, how could I forget to have blogged this story??
Yesterday I saw something I've never seen before while heading to work. On campus there are two rather bucolic circles. The person ahead of me tried to make a left onto the circle—so basically he was heading the wrong way around the circle. Then he realized what he was doing and backed up, went around the circle like everyone else---pulled off just before the parking garage. I zoom around him into the garage and park my car. I’m walking through the garage and the guy pulls up!! Asks me if he can park in the garage. I said, are you here for the sports camp? (there are tons of signs around for sports camp parking, all saying not to park in the garage) and he said no, admissions visit. His very embarrassed looking 17 year old looks at me from the passenger seat. You can park on the roof, buddy. Ok, I left out the buddy part. His plates were Connecticut. Do they not have circles in Conn?

Guess how long it takes for pant legs to dry out after they are soaked in the rain? 3.5 hours! I actually walked around the office barefoot this afternoon. My shoes and socks were soaked. I felt like a drowned rat.

Here are the blackeyed susans on my messy work desk. $4 for the bunch!!
Blackeyed susans

I thought these were eustoma, but the farmer's market guy called them lisianthus. Quick google image search: looks like they are synonyms!! Most of my coworkers think they are roses. $6 for these.

Here's another view of the susans and my cube wall (er it's not really a cube; I wish it were a cube):
another view of blackeyed susans

That makes me think of Suddenly Susan, which makes me think of Brooke Shields, which makes me think of her new tv commercial highlighting some drug that makes your eyelashes grow thicker and longer. I had no idea that was such an issue! What the hell? Eyelid darkening and iris pigmentation are side effects. I wonder what the researchers were really going after when they discovered it...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sorry to get all bias tape on you

I coined a new phrase yesterday. Basically, Pete doesn't know what bias tape is, and I was talking about bias tape this weekend, you know, like lovers do, and Pete was like, I don't know what that is.
So I emailed him about something else yesterday that I wasn't sure he'd know, and I said "sorry to get all bias tape on you". I think it will become a part of our special language, such as:
"no workie" : it doesn't work
"pas de workie" : french variation on "it doesn't work"
"workie schmerkie": work
"go gro" : go grocery shopping
Hmmm...I know we have more special vocab, I just can't think of more now...

Acu tonight wasn't as satisfying as previous visits. I felt some fluttering and some hot spots and for the first time ever, I could really feel the needle in my left ear. But I couldn't get really relaxed and I certainly wasn't on the verge of sleep. There were a lot of people in another room talking and I could hear them. The room I was in today had a window so it was pretty light in the room--the last two visits I was in a room with darkness. I wasn't really groggy afterwards, if anything I was bubbly and giddy. I told the acu about how I was so sleepy afterward the last visit--I came home and slept for an hour solid til the phone rang--she said she calls it the "acupuncture coma". The body heals itself best when sleeping.

Anyway, we talked a bit about wedding plans. I asked if she does wedding officiating on the side, because I want someone like her to do the ceremony. She said no but she could do something online because the wedding sounds like it's going to be a really cool one! If we could find a Hawaiian to officiate, that would be my first choice. But my acu or someone like her is my second choice.

I asked her about how to stand properly--I know, sounds insane, right? But I teach tmw morning and I noticed last week that I tend to shift my weight to my left foot and after two hours, my left heel is really sore. She said if I have to stand for a long time, make sure I have proper arch support in my shoes (check) and to sway or shift from side to side and think "blood flow, blood flow, blood flow". I'll try it. oh, and she agrees with the chiropractor that my muscles are the cause of my pain.

This was the first time I ever had to wait for her. She rents a room in someone else's acupuncture office, so I was able to look around the waiting room and weigh myself! I wrote down the names of some book and binder titles, but they're downstairs. Titles like "How soda is killing you" and "The Gluten Free Solution" and "The Vitamin D Miracle" , something like that.

I have to take some pix tmw of the flowers I bought at the farmer's market on Tuesday and have on my desk at work. Many many people at work think that Pete sent them to me! Um, no, I paid with them with my own $$, thanks! One person asked if I grew them.

Good night!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Knocking tasks down

You know the feeling, when the universe seems to align itself? Tasks that seemed insurmountable suddenly are getting done? It's work, but it's easier than expected and through due diligence, it gets done?

That is what my job has been like for me yesterday and today! Just knocking the difficult tasks down, makin' progress...YES!

And I got my five and a half SPR's done as well. They were stacking up and I felt I needed to get 'em done. Plan was to do one each night this week. Well, I did 3 last night and 2.5 tonight (that .5 is my green-with-brown-flower-in-progress dress!)

Went to Joann's tonight for some piping, and this woman stopped and asked me about fabrics for this baby quilt she wants to make with "Giants" and other football fabrics. She had maybe 6 fabrics, all kinds of stuff, stars, footballs, guys playing football, and the official "Giants" fabric, and I just let her talk it out, because if I were to make a boy baby quilt, it wouldn't have a football theme, and I've never made a quilt before. She said her son-in-law is a Giants fan. She questioned the red star fabric, thought maybe it should be striped instead. Where is the striped fabric, she asked? She answered her own question with "I guess it's all mixed with other fabrics" and I said that it seems to be that way, and then she said "do you have more of that fabric in another part of the store?" I said, I don't work here...she was all apologetic and said I looked like I could work there. I told her I used to work at Rag Shop and she said I had a very approachable face.

My Google blog roll seems to have stopped updating me on the latest blog entry for several people. Sigh.

Back pain: right side, mid-back, 2/3, sometimes a 1. Knees were pretty good today.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chiro explanation

Saw the chiro tonight. Told him how ortho said he doesn't know the source of my pain and sent me on my way. Chiro responded, "but we do!!" He said the cause of my pain is muscular. My old right knee injury is making me pull my body in one direction. Muscles are compensating for that direction. During a fall, like the one I had on 12/24, the muscles tighten up and keep tightening even after the fall. Then one day that tightness traps a nerve, or pulls on the spine, or pulls on a joint, and that is what causes pain. What he is doing is releasing the muscle with all his pressing and pushing, and his adjustments are to push bones back where they should be. I asked how much longer the pain will last for...of course, he doesn't know.

We talked about me getting back to the gym. The answer is not yet, though I could do some very specific toning exercises on machines. I hate machines--I prefer classes. He discussed the pitfalls of classes. While the classes are good because they make you keep going and complete the entire workout, he thinks the classmates have a tendency to try to out do each other and wind up overexercising, which isn't realized til after class is over. He said what I need to do for now is walk. I said I walk approx 4 times a week for 45 min at a time. I think I walk more than that sometimes--such as when coworkers and I walk up to Nassau St at lunchtime, that's at least a 20 min roundtrip, depending on who I walk with. So I think I'm headed in the right direction.

Anyway, Len did this thing tonight with my lower left back, where he was pressing on a muscle in such a way that it hurt but also felt good. I see him again Fri. I see the acu on Wed.

I think I need to keep a journal of what I do everyday, what I ate, how much I walked, how much I slept, which stretches I did, what activity I did, etc and see if I can find a pattern as to why/when flare-ups occur. I don't really want to do it...I've been thinking all along that I should do that, and I think it's the only way to crack this puzzle. Now, from a scientific perspective, it would be interesting to go back and see the progression of my recovery path--like from those days I'd wake up every few hours and was in really bad pain. I can do that broadly with my blog (search my blog for "miserable"...) but I think I need the daily jot. I need a fun way to keep track of that info, and I can tell you, while an Excel spreadsheet with neat columns would be the best way to track it, it is not the way that motivates me. Wonder if there's some template online for keeping track of that stuff.

Back pain today: left side 2/3. Knee pain subsided again after yesterday's right knee flare-up.

I watched the finale of Expedition: Africa. Since it was a Mark Burnett produced show, I thought they might have some actor there in Ujiji, pretending to be Livingstone. They didn't. What they did have was a massive celebration, and talked about what they learned. One of the explorers said they felt empathy for Stanley and Livingstone, and that made me cry! I don't know what's wrong with me but I think I have learned to feel empathy for people in pain and with mobility issues. My issues are so small, my pain and problems could be so much worse. I feel that through this experience, I am somehow more human.

And with that, it's time to quite literally take out the trash!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hibiscus rebirth

Here's when my hibiscus was happy and healthy:
Hibiscus in bloom!  How many blooms do you see??

and then the deer ate it:
Deer:  victim 1

Now it's bouncing back (with a protective soap stake) and was actually in bloom today:

7/19/09 Hibiscus rebirth

Yes, the flower is pink and not yellow! That hibiscus blooms has pink, orange and yellow blooms...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mint chocolate chip ice cream

Today I've been working on this lovely dress:

McCall's 5799 in progress (Mint choc chip!)

I'm really pleased with it so far. I piped the neckline and armholes, which are understitched and topstitched. It's fully lined. It has a 22 inch zipper! The pattern front was for A/B cup sizes and it fits like a dream! (also comes with C and D (separate) cup sizes). I made it in 12 and it looked really small but it actually fits very nicely.

I still need to:
  • attach the flowers (they're just pinned in the photo)...though I'm not committed to the flowers (or all of them) just yet.
  • hand sew the lining to the zipper
  • hand sew the lining where the front and back shoulder seams are.
  • rip out the hem (for the second time) then sew in the brown double fold bias tape on the bottom. I figure it will mimic the brown piping and nicely finish the hem!! I hope. It's pique fabric that stretches and it looks horrible and wavy.
It reminds me of mint choc chip ice cream.

My neighbors are grilling. I think only 2% of the population actually knows how to grill properly...

Ok, time for a walk before darkness descends...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chronically challenged?

This was quite a week, with a medical appt every day.
I saw the orthopedic doc on Thurs.
  • He said that he could "make up a story that would sound really good," but honestly, he doesn't know the source of my pain.
  • Now that it's been more than 6 months of daily pain, he said it's chronic back pain and that I need to learn what triggers the flare-ups and avoid doing those things.
  • Keep going to the chiro until the chiro discharges me (um, I don't think they do that?) and the acu.
  • Keep doing the back exercises from the therapist.
  • I asked about supplements. He said studies show glucosamine is effective for osteoarthritis in knees. He said I could try it for 3 months and see if I feel any differently.
  • I asked about vitamin D--he said unless I'm deficient, I don't need to take it. Said I should have a blood test at my primary care to determine that.
  • I asked about Magnesium. He said he didn't know what that was for. According to the bottle, it helps nerve and muscle function. Acu recommended it. He just said "ok".
  • He said because the pain oscillates from side to side, he doesn't think it's the SI joint.
  • He said again that my spine is healthy.
  • He said walking is the best exercise, and that he thinks I can use free weights again for my arms, as long as I watch my stance.
  • He asked if I feel like I'm improving, and I said I am, with pain at a 1, 2 or 3 most days. He said that I seem more upbeat than my last visit.
  • Then he said, "Be in good health", shook my hand and said good bye.
Tonight I saw the acu. It is really neat to feel all the fluttering/twitching/warm spots/pain spots. Tonight most twitching was in my right leg. I told her what happened this week. She said it's a good sign that I recovered so quickly from my back spasm. Oh, and there was one needle she put in my foot that made me say "OW" out loud--totally involuntary!! She said some of her patients yell with every needle. During the 35 minutes I was on the table, I started to fall asleep. When I came home, I slept for about an hour or so. The lotion that smells so good is Alba--I might buy some this weekend.

On Wed the chiro said if I hadn't had my flare-up, he would have reduced my visits to 1x a week. This coming week I will see him 2x, then I will start to see him 1x a week, unless I have another flare-up.

Tonight I cut out a very simple dress. It's basically to practice making the next dress I want to make, the one to wear to Christine's wedding. I'm worried that this practice dress is too small and will wrinkle too easily. But I am going to make it cute!!

Be in good health. I'm healing. My body knows how to heal itself. There's nothing wrong with me.

Good night!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Antoinette's Alterations-ish and other things

This one's for you, Antoinette!!
Ok, I just realized, this sign says "Antoniette's Alterations" and not "Antoinette's Alterations"...

When I visited the dentist on May 19, I saw this shop and made a mental note to bring my camera with me to the dentist next time so I could get a snapshot for Antoinette. Today was that day!! But now I realize there is a reversal of letters!!

Anyway, a few months back a coworker of mine asked if I wanted to accompany her on a visit to her tailor in Princeton (not Antoniette's, that's in Matawan) to pick up some shirts. It was like looking into a life I could have as a tailor. The seamstress has a little tiny shop, not much bigger than my bedroom, where one of the closets serves as the dressing room! One wall was lined with garments to be altered or picked up. Pictures of the seamstress with brides hung on the wall. The sewing machine was on a desk, and her chair was a stiff wooden chair without any lumbar support! The seamstress was wearing black pants, and all these different colored threads were clinging on to her just like me when I sew!

Anyway, my coworker had purchased some shirts that were too big, and asked the tailor to, well, tailor them. She charged $30 for one shirt and $25 for the other, to bring the shirt in on the sides and add or take the back darts in further. My coworker said that was actually more than what she paid for the shirts!! But I'm sure it's hard to make a living as a tailor in Princeton, especially paying Princeton rates, even for a shop as small as hers. I recently started tailoring purchased clothing for myself (beyond hemming long pants, but actually bringing in the sides too), and have a small pile of it to attend to! But the whole experience got me thinking about what it would be like to be a seamstress for a living.

Mistaken Identity
Twice within one week, a stranger has said that they thought they knew me from somewhere. First was at Lucy's Kitchen last week, where a woman asked if I work at Tyco. Second was today. I stopped at a consignment shop on the way back from the dentist. I've always thought about stopping there but never did. I bought a jacket. The store owner asked for my name for her mailing list. I wasn't on her list, which wasn't suprising to me but she said, "you've been here before, haven't you?" and I said no...and she said she could have sworn I had been there before.

So just who is this mystery Tyco employee who shops consignment and looks like fabulous me??

Yeah, so he thinks my sensitive tooth is an infected gum or maybe mild gingivitis but not gum recession (yippee!). Now I get to use a special prescription mouthwash for the next 16 days. I can't eat or drink for 2 hours after using the mouthwash, which is annoying. I know from past experience that it will stain my teeth a lovely shade of brown...but at least that comes off with the next hygenist cleaning.

I suffered what I thought was a huge setback with my back on Sunday afternoon, when I decided to finally clean the gunk out of the bottom of my dishwasher. That was the first time since Mar 5 that something I did clearly hurt my back as it immediately went into spasm and pain was at a 6. Other setbacks didn't have an apparent cause (like the 3am screaming back issue almost 3 weeks ago). I wound up taking a lot of Aleeve Sun and Mon. Saw Len last night and he seems to have restored my back to where it was last week. That man is a magician and I wish I had visited him back in January. The Active Release Technique for overused muscles is amazing. I didn't take Aleeve at all today. Pain is back to a 3 I'd say. Sometimes a 2 and even a 1.

Tech support
It was funny that I became techsupport for my own blog! It was asking for a username/password for one of the blogs on my blog roll! Workaround was to click cancel to view my blog. But I decided tonight to remove that person's blog from my blog roll, problem solved. The author of that blog is on vacay, and I don't have any way to report to her what her blog is doing since I can't access it and I don't have her email.

Good night!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sneak peeks...

Here's what I worked on today:
Simplicity 2892.
Simplicity 2892 view B and D
Left to right: view B and view D.

I made view B minus the sleeves. I think the sizing is spot on (12). It's a cotton with a little bit of lycra in it.

Simplicity 2892 view B without sleeves
Love the pleats!!

I made view D but have a bunch of hand sewing inside the shirt to do--which is pinned in right now I think it looks a lot cuter in person than it does in the photos!!! It looks sort of sloppy in the photos (most likely from the pinning), but it's better than that. It sort of looks like a shirt for a 5 year old (turquoise gingham print on puckered fabric) but I think I will wear it anyway!!
Simplicity 2892 view D not yet finished and much cuter in real life.
Why I thought I could get away with a 6, I don't know. Well yes I do, I based it on bust measurements but um I should have allowed more ease because this is a woven. I wound up having to carve out some armholes!! Also, bra straps show and I think it's because of the size of the yoke--if I used a 10 or 12, the yoke would have been larger.

So now I'm behind by 6 sewing pattern reviews. I will catch up!!

There are a few shirts I want to make (Simplicity 2599 is back because I want to try view D again--someday I will blog about what happened with that.).
Shirts I want to make
Actually I should put S2892 view D back in the list; I think I want to make it again in a different fabric and in the proper size.

And there are a LOT of dresses I want to make, even though I hardly ever wear dresses. I want to make one to practice and then make the dress I want to wear to Christine's wedding. (that would be the PR pink one--though I'm making it in turquoise and non-metallic).

Dresses I want to make

Ok, time for a quick stroll around the block before it's dark out!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Prepping for weekend sewing

Fabric for Simplicity 2892
Actually, the fabric on the left is plum colored, though it's hard to tell from the picture. The fabric on the right is a puckered gingham print. So cute!

I just cut out two shirts for Simplicity 2892 for my weekend sewing. View A without the sleeves and view D. We'll see how it goes. SPR folks say view A is apparently easy-peasy, but view D requires patience with all the ruffling. I predict I'll make both shirts tmw. Want to guess which fabric is for view A and which for view D?

Suddenly I have quite a lot to do at work again. But I knew that was going to happen in July.

I slept a lot yesterday. My sense of humor returned at work today. Related?

One of my teeth is bothering me. So on Mon I see the chiro, Tues the dentist, Thurs the ortho, Fri the acu. I'll see the chiro again either Wed or Fri. Knee pain is non-existent today!! Back pain is predominantly left side and is a 2/3.

It has been a gorgeous week here!! Tonight I walked around Princeton and discovered a new paper shop which has lots of things I want and nothing I need. Princeton is pretty lively on a Friday night. There were three couples tango-ing in front of the library. Lines outside ice cream shops. Old men in suit coats. Teenagers everywhere.

I am healing. Good night!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Good news

It's getting late, so here's a list:

1. My part of the visa application has been approved! So in 2-3 months, Pete will receive the paperwork to do his part of the app.

2. I told Len (chiro) this morning that "I'm seeing the ortho on the 16th to discuss..." Len cut me off and said "to discuss how great you're doing!" (I was going to say, "to discuss the possibility of the cortisone injection".) I think I should stick with the chiro and the acu for another month and reassess then. The injection would have to go through the muscle to get to my SI joint and I'm figuring, that's gonna be painful. Things are starting to look up with my back. Pain is sometimes a 1, usually a 3, or a 2.

3. Saw Karen (acu) tonight.
  • She loooved the fact that I brought my summer bathrobe with me (no, it's not one that I made, but is rather one I've owned for a while with short sleeves and knee-length, great for acu!). I loooved the fact that I wasn't wearing a scratchy non-environmentally friendly paper gown.
  • She stuck a needle in my right knee that was incredibly painful, and one in my left ankle that was somewhat painful.
  • I think there's some slight bruising on my foot from one of her needles.
  • I had the needles for half an hour!
  • I felt a LOT of fluttering in my right calf & my abdomen.
  • I felt some very pointed pain at one needle in my right calf and sometimes in the right knee.
  • I felt warm spots all along my forearms.
  • I was in a different room this time that had no windows. It was pretty wonderful with the lights out.
  • For a few minutes here and there, I didn't feel any back pain at all!!
  • It felt like pain was lifting out of my right knee cap.
  • Karen revealed that she goes to the same ortho I go to!
  • I felt really groggy afterwards and ready for sleep!
  • I told Karen how I say "There's nothing wrong with me". She said that's great, and also offered these suggestions: "I'm healing." "My body knows how to heal itself."
  • She said I'm really in tune with my body which is great for acu but bad for pain because when I'm in pain, I really really feel it.
  • The lotion she put on my legs tonight smells like plumeria! Oh Hawaii, how I miss thy state!!
4. I've been waking up before my alarm every morning this week!

5. I've been taking my dietary supplements. So far, so good.

6. Answers to quizzes:
  • Yes! It's a wooden cow on the wall!
  • Love: brown! Like: gray! Hate: pink!! but that's mostly for the way they were constructed or problems I had during construction. I'll write a post about that later. One day I may love the pink one. Despite construction issues.
Good night!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Minty fresh

I am feeling pretty darned good. I mean, the pain is around but it's feeling like it's going to disappear soon. I told Len tonight how I feel things are looking up and he was like, don't get too crazy and do too much stuff too soon. He also said I might regress a little bit. He made a "chart" with his hand to show how my recovery should generally looking like an upward sloping line, but that there may be some dips here and there. Yup, yup, got it!

I also started taking supplements (magnesium and vitamin D and vitamin C, in addition to my usual daily multivitamin). The morning after taking the magnesium, I felt like I had a lot more energy. No idea if those things are related or not.

I got so much done yesterday. Mobility is really coming back! I was able to finally hook up the hose and cut back some shrubs and the mint. The mint is hardy and bold, and was taking over the sidewalk, so I cut some sprigs for my house:
Mint from my "garden"
Because Antoinette loves my guessing games, guess what that thing on the wall is, above the mint. Others are free to participate too (lsaspacey, I'm looking at you! pjb, you already know!)

Weird, "looks like it's blurred but it's not" Cloud pic for yesterday:
Cloud pic for 7/5/09

I planted impatiens last year...and one of them came back? Huh?
impatient volunteer!
Great shot of my thumbnail there too.

Hosta bloomage:
Hosta bloomage
The deer ate some of the blooms, but not all.

All of my delicious plants have soap stakes now, so hopefully they are all protected.

Last night I went for another walk. As I was crossing the bridge to the other condo development, I saw two deer. One of them ran across the path, but the other one stopped in the path. I don't think she knew I was on the bridge. I wasn't that far away from her. She stayed there for a while and moved on. I could hear them running through the woods. Then a duck started quacking a lot and a stray cat was looking around too, and the fireflies were all blinking and it all seemed very magical like a Disney cartoon!

Unrelated: A lot of my ebay auctions are ending tonight and it's really fun checking out what didn't sell, what sold the second time around and which items are definite clunkers. Lenox dolphin? clunker. Mind of Mencia DVD? clunker. Crane's stationery & French Connection tote bag: second time around winners. Villeroy & Boch vase and candleholder matching set? definite winner!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Like, Love, Hate Simplicity 2599

Today I finished S2599 view C, started and finished S2599 view D, and fixed the ruffle on S2599 view E. (I also hemmed my gray pants again, so I actually completed my sewing list from last night.)

Simplicity 2599 views D, C, E
Left to right: view D, view C, view E (without bow, with sleeves of A/B)

Guess which one I love, which one I hate, and which one I like.

Simplicity 2599 view D

Simplicity 2599 view C

Simplicity 2599 view E

Ignore the threads--I will cut them off!!

Do you like, love or hate any of those three shirts?

Ok, time for a quick walk before the sun sets. This is the coolest July 4th in memory. Usually it's 97 on July 4. Today is in the 70's, was sunny and pleasant!!