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PlumWater Cottage

Updated: 2018-02-14T03:59:38.638-06:00


The only good thing about snow...


The temperature last Thursday was 64 degrees.  Rainy, but still...64 degrees in mid-January.  I'll take it, right?  Around midnight, the rain changed to freezing rain and sleet.  It then turned to snow sometime after daylight.  Fortunately, I pulled my windshield wipers away from the window and tucked them into little plastic bags, just like they featured on Good Morning, America Thursday morning. Also fortunately, I had a full pantry and refrigerator.  Around 8 PM Thursday evening I was notified by group text that the libraries would be closed on Friday...Yay!!  I immediately sent out a text to the employees at my little branch library.  All were happy.  After all, who wants to drive around in snow and ice?  Friday evening was a repeat...the libraries were closed on Saturday.  Our location is never open on Sunday, and Monday was a holiday.  A four day weekend.  The bad one plowed the parking lot of the huge complex where I live.  All told, we had nearly eight inches of snow over two days...then the temperature really dropped and we woke up to actual -2 degrees yesterday.  Snow is is messier.  I finally dislodged my car from the parking place late yesterday afternoon, and managed to drive to work today without incident.Since I was off, I played around with a few cocktail recipes...the one shown below is a Boulevardier, consisting of bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth.  I saw the recipe on Smitten Kitchen's Instagram feed.  Pretty good! A few of my other cocktail creations were a Dark & Stormy, a Negroni, and some plain old red wine.  It's been ages since I've had alcohol, and it was fun experimenting with new to me recipes.The other thing I enjoyed was having plenty of hot beverages...teas, hot chocolate, and of course, coffee.The time off from work was excellent, but it's nice to be back around people...I could turn into such a hermit![...]

I can tell...


...that I'm feeling better.  I have all kinds of projects floating around in my head.  For the most part, I even have the supplies already on hand.  Now all I have to do is harness the brain waves and sit down and do something!

It has been super cold here for what seems like forever.  I don't like getting up and going to work in 1 degree weather with wind chills in the sub-zero range.  No fun!  By the time I get home from work, it is dark (and still cold both inside the apartment and outside), so my usual routine is to go into the house, put my throw and/or quilt into the dryer to warm up, and jump into pjs.  Therefore, not much gets done around the house, because I usually fall asleep early and don't ever get out from under the covers until it's time to shower and get ready for work.  Not good habits to get into at all. 

Maybe tonight will be the night...



So this is the start of a new "new year, new you" or resolutions for me.  I decided several years ago that I could/would not keep promises to myself, or that they were just too big in scope to handle.  This year I just want to "be good" a good citizen, be a good neighbor, be a good supervisor, be a good mother and grandmother.  That really shouldn't be hard...I always (almost anyway!!) try to do the right thing.  It may sound silly, but I want to live my "dream" life this come home to a relatively clean and uncluttered home and do whatever my heart, knit, whatever.  Since I've severely down-sized, I'm fairly certain that I can make that happen without too much stress and strain.

Trying to get the creativity mojo going...


A few months ago, a friend was at an auction, and knowing how much I like relics and religious medals, she bid on this item (Infant of Prague) and got a bag full of other interesting religious things.
I've been trying to get back to the creative zone, and the little medals have inspired me to do something...what, I'm actually not sure of, but probably a mixed media piece crocheted with C-Lon, beads, and a few scattered medals.

I had my last round of chemotherapy yesterday (YAY!!), so I'm hoping to feel more energetic and inspired in the coming weeks.

The dust is starting to settle...


11 Chemos down, 1 to go.  The last one (yesterday) had been postponed 4 times, due to either high or low numbers.  Not good, and very frustrating!  I feel fabulous today...but it's a work day!  I'd like to feel fabulous at home so I could get some things put away!The move...long and drawn out, very exhausting.  If it wouldn't have been for my daughter, it still wouldn't be complete and I'd be paying rent on 2 locations (and it would have made the old landlords pretty angry...they want to renovate so they can attract the new medical school students and personnel.  Too bad they didn't do anything for the past 14+ years!The new apartment...kinda love it because it's so much smaller and SO MUCH quieter. The exterior of the building needs some serious TLC, but my place has new carpeting and fresh paint.  Makes a huge difference.  I haven't hung anything on the walls...trying to figure out where I really want things.I cooked yesterday...the first time in about 8 months, not counting throwing a frozen dinner in the microwave, or opening a can of soup and microwaving it.  The weather has turned very cool, so I made a shepherd's pie...a huge recipe, so I brought in single-serve dishes to work for a co-worker and myself. Hope it's tasty!No crafting adventures art, no knitting, no Alabama Chanin-ing.  I did have a class at work on Wednesday, altering Altoid tins for Halloween.  Pretty much fun![...]

Hellacious Spring and Summer...


But first, a cute baby picture...
Little Vivian, looking either a little perturbed, or pondering what she wants to get into next.  Always a toss-up. She has just been the best "medicine" for me in the past several months.

On April 1, I was diagnosed with colon cancer.  I had surgery the next day and had 1/3 of my colon removed.  In May I began chemotherapy...not the most pleasant thing in the world, and it seemed like every time I'd go for a treatment, something different would pop up...low blood counts, low potassium, etc., then I'd have to build myself up (funny...) and have the treatment the next week.  It's always something.  Anyway, I'm down to 4 remaining treatments, and my doctor took me off of the "killer" chemical...the one that was knocking my stats down. So, I had a treatment on Thursday and I was able to work a full day on Friday and Saturday.  No 3-day weekend for me!

On the plus side, I've lost 40 appetite most days.  On the minus side, my hair has thinned out so much...and the gray hairs are outstanding!  I went to the local wig shop with my friend Carol (who has stuck with me through the long chemo sessions), and we found a wig that looked like my hair did before cancer, only better!  Hopefully the insurance company will reimburse me--it's called a cranial prosthesis...not a wig.

In the meantime, I haven't planted anything and my house is a mess.  No energy, but I'm feeling so much better!



Enjoying spending time with Vivian.  She loves those rabbit ears!Knitting...still working on that first sock.  I've signed up for another knitting class at another library, and it begins on April 4.  We're working on a shawlette or scarf.  Linus is the pattern name and it is a free download on Ravelry.Reading...Stamped Metal Jewelry by Adrianne SurianDIY Hand Lettering by Melissa Averinos and Asharae KrollShe Sheds by Erika KotiteI have flipped through this book dozens of times in the last week.  So many wonderful little hideaways and studios.  This is my favorite... Paige Morse's La Casita.  So exquisitely beautiful, inside and out.  I would love to have all 250 square feet of it to live in.This is actually what I could have in my little backyard...Via PinterestI think I'll make it my late Spring project...definitely doable, even with my lack of  skills. Anyone have any old doors to spare?[...]

Things that make me happy...


Words just cannot express...I love anything Frida, and these emojis are pretty hysterical!  They add so much to my meager text messages.

I totally love Trader Joe's.  We visited the location in Louisville this past Saturday and now my fridge and pantry are stocked with delicious items!  I know that Aldi is a "sister" company, and I do lots of my shopping there locally.  TJ's is the fun place though!

Another fun place to items from around the world, and fun household items.  I usually shop this place online, but Louisville had a location in the same shopping center as TJ's.  They also had another of my favorites...

For several years I would buy spices and herbs at places like Rural King...all priced at 99 cents or less.  After trying Penzeys spices, it's impossible to revert.  They have so many blends and individual herbs and spices...something for everyone!  They are also located in that same little shopping center in Louisville.  Almost one stop shopping...awful traffic in the lot, but still...all of my favorites in one location!

March 13...the first real snow of the 2016/2017 season...


This had been a pretty spectacular winter...plenty of blue skies and sunshine, and more importantly, plenty of warmish weather.  When the temperatures are in the 60's and 70's for most of February and the beginning of March, it's such a good thing!

Today (worst Monday of the year...the Monday morning after DST becomes a "thing"), it was super-gloomy.  By the time I got to work, snow started flying.  Granted, it isn't sticking to the roadways, but it is piling up on the grass and trees.

Our little daffodil garden is covered!  According to the weather service, this will all turn to rain this afternoon, and by the end of the week it should be near 60 again.  No real complaints...we aren't in the mess many along the upper midwest and east coast are in.

Making crepe paper flowers...


A few weeks ago, a friend donated a gigantic batch of books.  Most of these were crafting books, knitting, stencils, embroidery, and several clip art books/cd's.  I've been going through them and putting together library programs.  This is a super interesting one from 1922:

 Note the price...ten cents!  It has directions for making over thirty different flowers.  I want to try to make a lotus flower...looks easy enough, but we'll see!
Lotus Flower directions

My little world...


Currently reading:  I See You by Clare MacKintosh (really good so far)

Currently listening to:  The Police and Tom Petty Radio on Spotify

Watching:  Most anything interesting on Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime.  Live TV...not so much

Amazed at:  Getting packets from China, free shipping...hourglass charms for knitting progress markers. $3.54 for 75.  How does that happen?

Still waiting for:  A dress from China.  The price was right, and I hope the quality is too!  I've decided to start wearing dresses again.  I really like the looks of this one, and I have a few patterns to make some simple dresses.

 Love, love, love the free download pattern from

I still need to do the cutting on my Alabama Chanin poncho.  I'm rather afraid to take the scissors to it!  It is the perfect color for spring...blush!

Topsy Turvy World


As noted on my "Facebook Memories", in general February 7 is a pretty awesome day.  I've taken photos of me and my wineglass on the front porch after work on two years.  Yesterday was warm...70 degrees...but wet.  By the time I got home at 6:15, there was no rain, the temperature had dropped to 65 or so, but it was seriously dark!
Feb 7, 2013...a fine day!
This has been a super unusual winter here in Evansville...we've just had one dusting of snow, lots of really nice days folded into regular winter weather days.  Not hard to take, but hard to get used to.

Early February


I started a "kittenhat" for Vivian yesterday morning before work.  Megan will be getting one also. Heck, I might even make one for myself, if only to have a place to pin my button!

What are we...16 days into the new "administration"?  I'm exhausted with all of the shenanigans going on in Washington.  I really just want someone to put their foot down and (A) smash the patriarchy, (B) impeach the president, (C) make our representatives grow up...get it together and make our country what we've always been taught that it is {{although some of us may have skipped school on those days!!}} I've cut way down on news consumption, and I really should just ban myself from Facebook.  I want to know, but I don't want to be inundated...burying my head in the sand will not be a good thing.



Yay!  The primroses have arrived at Aldi.  Still such a bargain at 99 cents!  I only bought two the other day...could have filled a cart with them, but I know too well that it would have been mass plant murder.  Those colorful blooms make me so happy!



Mid-winter mini vacation!


On the beach...a first!

I spent a wonderful, warm few days in Florida with Megan, Vivian, and Kyle.  The flight from Evansville was pretty amazing. One hour and forty four minutes from Evansville to Sanford/Orlando. We stayed on the beach at Cocoa Beach for the first two nights, then moved inward to the Orlando area for the last night of our trip.  Megan, Kyle, and Vivian attended a wedding on Saturday, and I "hung out".  We flew back on Sunday morning.  Quick trip, but pretty enjoyable.  It was good to have Monday off before returning to work today.
Another first!
Delicious seafood tower from Florida Fresh Grill.  Really good.  Going to have to replicate this at home! The cocktail was also delightful...Dark & Stormy--dark rum, ginger-ale, fresh lime.

Wednesday before snow...


While I was sitting at home on holiday break, I kept thinking about wanting to get back into my routine.  Now that I'm in the midst of the routine, I just have to wonder why I was so out of sorts for the past two weeks.  I really should have called the break a 'practice for retirement', so that maybe I would have enjoyed it more.

Speaking of retirement, I received my first pension check yesterday, from a company I haven't worked for since 1984.  Pretty sweet.  There really wasn't much difference it taking it now or holding off for two more years, so I thought that I'd just enjoy that little monthly bonus. I'm thinking it will fund my three day workshop at Ephemera Paducah--TALISMANS WITH SUSAN LENART KAZMER. I can't wait!!
Workshop with Susan Lenart Kazmer at Ephemera Paducah in May



Grateful for:  sleeping all through the night, until 8AM!  I can't remember the last time that happened.  Could the 2 Blue Moons have had anything to do with it?

Currently doing:  scanning through streaming channels to find something interesting to watch. Not having much success.

Thinking about:

  • what's for dinner
  • Folding laundry
  • Running the dishwasher
  • Coffee, tea, or wine?
Accomplished so far today:

  • updated planner
  • Meditated
  • steps 

Currently reading: Lauren Graham's Talking as Fast as I Can

What I Did This Year...actually, not much!


Other than the "normal" activities that come to mind, it seems like I did a lot of complaining this year. About so many things...

  • the weather (too hot, too cold, too rainy)
  • politics (we won't get into that again, at least for awhile)
  • work (sometimes because I have to, not because I want to)
  • me (too tired, to unenthusiastic, too much!)
Accomplishments for 2016:
  • organized and facilitated many mixed media classes at work.  Lots of Alabama Chanin-inspired projects!
  • purchased my daughter's old car (which was still ten years newer than mine), and felt comfortable/safe enough to do a few road trips...Bloomington, Ohio, middle of nowhere Indiana.
Best things...
  • My daughter had a baby girl...both of them are the best!

What a year...


I wish that I could be bubbling with holiday spirit and goodwill toward all, but just sitting here, on my next to the last day of work in 2016, I just feel fraught with bad vibes.  A media blackout would be the answer.  Not reading Tweets would also be a remedy.  I've decided NOT to worry about having enough retirement funds in two years.  Hell, we'll all probably be disintegrated by nukes long before then. I'm tired of bullies, misogynists, people with no empathy, and frankly, people who are just plain ignorant...people who follow the crowds...lemmings who will walk over the edge.

Off of my soapbox, for now.

Merry Christmas to one and all...and a most joyous, safe New Year.

O Christmas Tree!


Finally!  Lights and a few simple ornaments adorning my little (4 ft.) tabletop tree.  It's about time!
Not a super picture, but at least it's now documented...I decorated!

Currently reading...


"For the woman who is doing everything for everyone--except herself."

I saw this book somewhere online, and looked it up on Amazon to get the details.  Then I placed a hold on it yesterday.  First thing this morning, it is on my desk.  Amazing! In the author bio, it says that Jessica N. Turner documents her pursuit of cultivating a life well crafted.  Doesn't that sound pleasant?

Here's hoping this one speaks to me.

Monday's my favorite things-holiday edition


It's all about comfort--physical and mental.  I love the scent of 1803's Bourbon Sandalwood candles. Not too heavily scented, just perfect.
1803 Bourbon (vanilla) Sandalwood
 For "everyday" use, I just adore LaVanila's body butters and roll on vanilla scents.  It truly lifts my spirits when I get a whiff of it!
Dreamy Vanilla scented body butter
I tried a sample of L'Occitane's Amande Milk Concentrate.  It's very lightly scented, but oh so smooth to put on.  It turned my alligator-skin legs soft and smooth!

Lightly scented, very hydrating body creme

It was hard to come in to work this morning...I was an absolute slug all day yesterday.  Most of the day was spent watching movies, rubbing on body lotion, drinking tea, and basking in the candlelight!

December...a December to remember?


...Because I didn't decorate for Christmas yet?

I picked this up at the little shop I work in a few times a month (far removed from my regular gig at the library)--way back in early October.  I really liked the industrial look of it.  I let a friend borrow it to display earrings on at a few art shows, and when I get it back, this might be "it" for decorating.  One of my other trees sits naked in the entryway on a table.  Seems like there's no real time to get to decorating it.  Maybe, maybe, maybe tomorrow.

Knitting for Peace.  World peace, local peace,my peace.  Read about it on The Healthy Knitter blog, and find the pattern for a cowl on Ravelry.

I have the perfect yarn for this project, but of course, it's in the wrong colorway for my winter coat.  I was so enchanted by the yarn color and feel that I didn't give a thought to how it would coordinate with my winter coat.  I do that so often that I shouldn't even be surprised by it!  If you don't like working "in the round", Vicki at Knitorious has instructions for using straight needles.  Find it on Ravelry here.

I have "blog-stalked" Knitorious for the past year...she does so many amazing things and I love to follow her progress on Alabama Chanin stitching.  At one time I searched lots of blogs regarding other sewist's versions of that type of slow fashion.  One of my goals for this coming year is to make a wearable garment.  So far, I've just done accessories.  It's time to broaden my horizons and my wardrobe.

Miss Vivian Rose was a blast to watch last night.  I can't wait to work on projects with her!

Three weeks post election...


Wow.  Three weeks have passed and I'm still not wanting to accept the results.  Day after day, and Tweet after Tweet it becomes more surreal.  While I do not "care" for PEOTUS, I do follow him on Twitter and reading the tweets usually raises my blood pressure.  I cannot imagine four more years of this nonsense.  Can you?

Life goes on, but sometimes I feel so hopeless/helpless.  Ridiculous...grow up, Teresa!  Get over it and accept it.  Easier said than done.  Instead, I mope--especially after watching the news.  I think that I need to crawl up into a little dome or bubble and just "be"...shut off the worries of the world and retreat into my own little world.