It has been a long six months.
But before I go any further, I wanted to say thank you to my friends for all the cards, letters, emails and gifts you have sent over the past six months. You have lifted my spirits and given me hope. You have made me laugh and made me feel that even though I'm "stuck" right now trying to heal, I'm not alone.
Since I last posted, I've had about 36 radiation sessions (I think it was 36... I lost count!) to my shoulder, femur, knee, hip and shin, and in May I had a second big surgery to have a plate put in alongside my femur.
If you remember from my last post way back at the beginning of the year, I had a titanium rod put into my femur to stabilize it and keep it from breaking, but the femur broke during surgery. I thought things were looking up in May and that Doc would tell me I could start trying to walk without the crutches. But I found out that the bone holding the screws in place was gone and I would need to have the plate put in to stabilize everything. It was a big surgery, bigger than the first one.
I'm still on crutches, although I can use just one around the house and I've even taken a few steps with no assistance at all. (I walk as though I'm practicing for an audition to be on The Walking Dead.) I'm trying to bend my knee but I'm still pretty stiff and looking forward to physical therapy starting soon.
Enough of that.
I'm sitting here trying to think about what to say about the events of 2020 so far. There are no words. I'm grateful that we have each other. I'm grateful that we have prayer and acts of kindness and the ability to lift up one another. I'm hopeful that through pain and struggle and challenges we have healing and growth and awareness. Rough seas make good sailors.
A friend sent this to me:
I've been doing lots of stitching but not so much fully-finishing, so I'll show you some snapshots of some recent stitching finishes.
Stasi B. sent me a complete kit for "My Friend" by La-D-Da. It included silk threads, gorgeous linen, backing fabric, stuffing and even a neat tray to put it in. I changed the border a little by adding some Algerian eyelets to the pennies.
The fabric is 32-count Straw by Weeks Dye Works.
"Old Glory" by Little House Needleworks, stitched on 32-count Lambswool linen with called-for threads.
"Liberty Pirate" by Sue Hillis Designs, stitched on 32-count Legacy by Picture This Plus with DMC.
"Bluebird Cabin" by Country Cottage Needleworks, stitched on 32-count Tombstone by Colour & Cotton. I used the called-for threads except for substituting Colour & Cotton Mediterranean for DMC 3816 (the two birds).
"Farmhouse Bird" by Heart in Hand, stitched on 32-count Natural linen.
"Love is in the Air" by Country Cottage Needleworks, stitched on 40-count Vintage Country Mocha linen. I stitched this one over two except for the wording, where I used two strands. I messed up right at the beginning of this stitch by not stitching enough rows in the snowman on the right, and I didn't realize until way later. I had to adjust, adjust, adjust to get this to work out! (I know you've been there, too.)
"Sampler Snowman" by Homespun Elegance, stitched on 36-count Vintage Country Mocha linen. I used the called-for threads but substituted DMC B5200 for Shaker White. I wanted a bright white snowman.
I fell in love with this design when I first saw it on Carol's blog, Stitching Dreams. I found the pattern while in Oregon a couple years ago at Starlight Stitchery (formerly Friendship Crossing) in Corvallis. It came with the cute skate charm. And isn't that alphabet gorgeous? It is "Fiesta" by Caron Wildflowers.
"Star-Spangled Spectacular" by With Thy Needle & Thread, stitched over one on 25-count coffee/tea-dyed lugana with called-for threads. I could not find Classic Colorworks Pine Needles anywhere (Covid thread shortages) so I subsituted Weeks Dye Works Oscar.
"Stars & Stripes" by Little House Needleworks, stitched on 36-count Vintage County Mocha linen with called-for threads.
"Village Green" by The Prairie Schooler, stitched on 32-count Antique White lugana. For the longest time, this was my "unicorn chart." The only copies I could find were on eBay for as much as $80. Ridiculous. I was so happy when they reprinted this one.
"Spring Saltboxes" by Plum Street Samplers, stitched on 40-count Vintage Country Mocha linen with mostly called-for threads. I substituted some blues here and there but I don't think I made any notes. Eek!
Let me tell you, that was a LOT of white stitching. I get that they are supposed to look like Polaroid prints and I would not have gone to the trouble, but I have a finishing idea for this one and I need that look. I have the patterns for the rest of the series, but the thought of more white stitching is pretty daunting.
I love the tiny little bees in the first one:
"Winter Row" by Bent Creek, stitched on 32-count Heritage by Picture This Plus. I used the called-for colors but substituted DMC B5200 for WDW Whitewash. I absolutely love this in its simplicity. I have a finishing idea in mind, using an old fence board.
Thanks for stopping by, friends. And thank you for your sweet, encouraging comments, emails, letters, cards and prayers.