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New Year, New Attitude?

So, yeah, you guys know my motto, "no good news, no posts", which is why I haven't posted anything since October. Short version: I haven't really stitched since September, which I think I posted my last picture (my ORTs are SHAMEFUL, but I will post them, as well as the very demeaning parade of TUSALs if you want to see them); my mental health has declined despite numerous attempts to make to better by visiting numerous professionals (which is just making it worse); my physical health is also declining (despite visiting numerous professionals who also keep making it worse); I am now truly alone because my family situation has changed (it was explained to me by the right person where I stand in the hierarchy, so I removed myself from the entire bunch, it was just easier than being a constant burden). I know that some of that is cryptic, but there is a reason for that. It's basically irrelevant. Point is, I'm still standing (for now), and I'm still here.

What I can say is that I have half of one credit card left to pay off. All the rest are done. Then, I can put my entire paycheck into savings for whatever. But even that has a caveat...my job may not be stable for much longer. Again, cryptic, but business ain't so hot right now. I need to make a decision about my future, but I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, so, for now, I'm just working on paying the last card off and then...saving, saving, saving. And, on top of that, the trailer is falling apart, but again, another problem for another day.

I did, finally, clean up my duck room so I could get inside. It had gotten so bad that I couldn't get in the door! I bought two new shelf units over a year ago, but all the new Disney purchases had just got piled on top of them (still in their boxes) in the doorway to the point where you couldn't get in the door and had started spilling out into the hallway. The stuff from my Disney trip in 2021 was still on the kitchen table (I haven't been able to look at it since I got home, let alone work on the pictures). I also had hanging shelves in the closet from a long time ago that I knew I could use. On New Years Eve, 2022, I started in and, at one point, my living room looked like this:

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It got worse, but I did keep the TV clear for when Duran Duran came on:

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Call me prejudice, but seriously, they were the best act all night (and one of the few who sung live and didn't lip sync or use auto-tune...I didn't know people still did that)! And how cool can you be when you pull out fuzzy coats in the pouring rain? Anyhoo, I finished on New Years Day by 6 pm (yep, I did not sleep all night. But I can now walk 360 around the room and have a middle section (if I turn sideways and suck in my gut, I am still fat afterall). Since then, I have added a ton more stuff, but I'm still getting in, so yea me (p.s. this was before I vacuumed or cleaned up the tools, so forgive).

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And I have a Marvel wall with the hanging shelves (I should have been better at taking pics, there is a ton of stuff all the way to the floor). I need to get longer shelves, but it's OK for now. Cap Funkos are getting more sparse and there won't be many more Hawkeye's either. I figure Rocket will die in the next Guardians (just a guess), so I only have Bucky left of the characters I collect (for now). My Eternals (Ikaris, Druig, and Dane Whitman (they didn't release a Black Knight yet), are in my living room with the TV Marvel stuff...Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones...I'm not sure why I put them there). And so far, other than the Marvel Moments I have liked, I haven't collected any other characters (thank goodness!).

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Sorry, hands in the way here, I had been up over 36+ hours! Oh, and Jamie is only in there because it's a pup-free zone and he's safe there.

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As some of you remember, those bins are all my Disney trip mementos...the bag is this past trip. I bought myself a birthday cake and the cake box was too cool (and too big) for a box, so I just kept it all in the bag with the cake box.

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And I didn't get that last picture out, but obviously I got out, or I wouldn't have made it to work for the past two weeks (ooh, there's a thought!). I do need to add the same hanging shelves in my bedroom (I don't know why I call it that, I still sleep on the couch), but I haven't done it yet. Some of those medical issues are keeping that from happening right now. It also kind of looks like a Funko fest, but that couldn't be further from the truth. At last check, I literally have barely over 400, which, as collectors go, ain't many. It's just, I tend to put the Funkos on top of other stuff. At the bottom of all the Funkos are tons of books and other things holding the Funkos up. They are just lighter and tend to sit on top of things better!

Our weather is also all over the place. We've had tornado warnings, ice and snow (and no, I wasn't driving and taking a picture at that point, the light was red), and back to tornados (we had bad storms last night):

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I've also started a new collection, whisky! I didn't start keeping the boxes until about halfway through (and I'm kicking myself for that), but now I'm displaying them above my kitchen cabinets (forgive the trailer park look, I do live in a trailer...one day I've have a "real" house and they will be displayed properly, and yes, there is one tequila box up there, but it is Sassanach Tequila, so it's excusable, right?). I live in a dry county, which means we don't have liquor stores here. I can go a county over, but they only sell Glenfiddich or Glenlivet, usually a 12 or a 14 year (usually WAY cheaper than what I pay online, but still). It's just easier to order it online. Actually, I just ordered four more yesterday, so I should have them next week! I'm learning what I like and what I don't like (bit smoky, heavy on the peat, sherry or brandy casked). Sometimes I splurge on a more expensive one (although I can't afford, nor would I spend more than $200 on a single beverage...especially when I picture all the Disney things I can buy with that money, although I did splurge on an 18 year-old Loch Lomond for my birthday), but I'm just having fun for now. I try not to get anything under 12 years old, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm willing to try (anything but blended or American or Japanese...I do have my standards, and yes, I'm aware Sassanach is blended, and it was more about who made it rather than the taste...I used most of it in cooking). I'm thinking about branching out into Irish, but I don't even know where to begin there. My father's father always drank single malt Scotch, but he died when I was 11. It was cheap stuff and super strong, but I remember the smell of it like it was yesterday!

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Oh, pups are doing OK. Bam is almost fully blind now, but he's still getting around fine (as long as I don't move anything in the main space. I have to put his treats in his mouth (because he can't find them if I drop them). But he's still a happy little guy. And Bug is, well, just Bug. They just got haircuts not long ago, so I have a fairly recent pic:

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I'm well over a year straight on Duolingo (and BBC) with my Scots Gaelic lessons, and I feel pretty certain that I can say I'm fairly fluent in Scots Gaelic. I've gotten where I use it more and more at work, to say things I don't want people to hear (or understand). I also started to renew my French and started Polish, Latin, Esperanto, and Greek, but I figured out pretty quickly it was too hard doing more than one language at a time. I also got a book on learning to speak and read Old English, and then I really started to get confused! The French and Gaelic at the same time wasn't so hard (probably because French is just a refresher from high school and early college), I just tend to focus more on Gaelic. Maybe some day, I'll start a new one when I completely finish the Gaelic course.

And I think that's about it with the updates for 2022, nothing more really to see here. I haven't gone anywhere in over a year, so no new pics, but again, if anyone wants to see, I'd be happy to show what little I did on my WIPs from last year...sad though it may be. I'm going to try (once again) to keep up with everyone's blog, but seeing all your stitching progress makes me feel horrible! I just spend my time watching movie and TV reaction videos on YouTube! I can't even watch FlossTube anymore, it just makes me feel useless! I probably really should stitch now, while my hands still work. I'm gonna regret not doing it while I still can and I know this, but the motivation for just about everything is gone, at least for now. But I'm still working on getting it back. I will always have hope that I will someday get it back. That's my inner Disney girl, ever hopeful!

Disconnect is freeing

Two days before my B-day, I turned off my phone, iPad and computer. It was scary at first, you'd be surprised all the little things you use your phone for...like an alarm clock, checking security cameras, checking the weather, even just something simple like checking the time. But I did it. I had to turn it on the night of my B-day because I had to set my alarm for the next morning for physical therapy, but by the time I had to turn it back on, I didn't want to! I LOVED having it off once I got used to it! I read my usual Jane Austen's Persuasion (which I always read on my B-day), then I watched the movie (the Rupert Penry-Jones version), then I started watching a bunch of other stuff (more on that in a mo-mo). I just felt more free than I had in a long time, without the constraints of connections, if that makes sense.

I wish I would have stitched, but I didn't, sorry guys. I ended up watching a bunch of those historical dramas that I hate so much, like "The White Queen", and "The White Princess", and "The Spanish Princess". There is a reason why I don't watch that crap, but I had to see what all the fuss was about. My point is, if you are going to make a historical drama, sure, dramatize some of it, but at least try to be somewhat historically accurate! They merge characters (and by characters, I mean real historical figures), change names, add new ones, for the sake of drama, and knowing this history (because I'm related to most of them), it was hard for even me to keep up. I got Showtime to watch "The Tudors" (I watched it years ago when it came out and remember never finishing it back then), but it was so disjointed and so historically inaccurrate, I couldn't even be bothered and dropped it immediately. The show even opens with, "let's start at the beginning" and it starts with little 3 year-old Mary running around, Henry knocking up Elizabeth Blount in like episode 1 or 2 and Anne Boleyn lurking in the background plotting her course in ruin! Uh, wha?

For the record on the other shows, Elizabeth Woodville and Jacquetta of Luxembourg (aka Lady Rivers aka the Dowager Duchess of Bedford) were NOT witches. Margaret Beaufort, the Queen Mother, was NOT responsible for the deaths of young King Henry V and little Prince Edward in the tower (Edward III killed them, numerous sources are documented to have verified that fact). She was too devout. There was no curse on Henry VIII and his offspring put on them by Elizabeth Woodville and Elizabeth of York. Katherine of Aragon's virture is probably not in question at the time of her marriage to Henry. King Arthur was frail from the off. Again, Katherine was a very devout woman and they took their religion VERY seriously. Funny how all these shows are supposed to "empower" women, but they all seem to villainize them. Witches, whores, schemers, and blasphemers, while the men are the innocent victims of the women's crimes? What I'm seeing is a bunch of male whores, scheming and blaspheming, and seeking magicians of their own. Things that make you go hmmm....

I'm still watching "The Serpent Queen", but seriously? Every Sunday, I'm like "why am I watching this shite?". Catherine de'Medici may have been a "difficult" woman who struggled with religious issues (OK, she slaughtered a bunch of people for religious persecution, but what leader didn't do that in the middle ages? Henry VIII? Mary I? Elizabeth I? What about the War of the Roses? The Bruces? Shall I go on?), but she was also responsible for a huge Renaissance movement and ran two countries at various times when women were thought of as little more than uteruses. She's just evil because she's a woman? And no, she wasn't a witch either. will draw the line at "The Crown" though...there is no way I'm watching that. There are a lot more of these shows, but frankly, I don't think I can take anymore. Give me a good old-fashioned documentary any day!

I may take all this a bit personally because this is my bloodline and I find it a bit offensive. Hell, to be honest, before I knew it was my bloodline I found it offensive! Get the history correct, is that so hard? It's like those serial killer dramas...why? Just tell the truth, it's just as juicy! It almost makes me wonder if this is not why fake news is so popular. People will believe anything you slap in front of them...give them a show and call it history, they will believe it's 100% history, give them a crime drama, same thing, why should the news be any different? It's almost like when I read a news article, I need to find three more sources to back it up! It's ridiculous! We knew in 240 BC that the world was round, but the number of flat-earther weirdos are growing coz they "read it on the internet". Sweet Christmas! Aren't we supposed to be advancing with time? It's like we're hitting a dark ages patch or something where everyone is going stupid. People are refusing to learn and, those who have learned, refuse to believe what they have learned! I just don't get it! My brain is still like a sponge and I keep soaking up as much new material as I can get, but I have noticed it's getting less and less. Science is getting weaker, Astronomy is making very little leeway considering the times, all I have is history and people are trying to rewrite it, or change it every single day. I don't understand.

Back to the main point though because that's a DEEP rabbit hole, let's try another one..."Outlander" does a pretty good job of getting history correct (or at least it did in the beginning of the show), but I haven't made it past book 4, so I don't know how the books do. Same with "A Discovery of Witches", those books are pretty spot on (minus the little add-ins for dramatic effect, which is how it SHOULD be, dramatic fictional touches you can easily determine from the fact), but it helps when you have a historian writing historical fiction (in the case of ADOW). They tend to get it right. I still have to be very careful with anything "Outlander"...that's a rabbit hole I don't want to fall down into again. It took me forever to break it last time. My OCD tendencies are getting worse as I get older, so I don't need anything to stir that up. I think that's why I'm watching things I know I won't get addicted to. Speaking of...

I did watch "Cranford" again, and "North and South" (the Elizabeth Gaskell version, that the crappy American "North and South soap opera) and I started "Lark Rise to Candleford" again, but I switched and I'm now watching Marvel shows I never watched, or never finished. I did "Legion" this weekend (horrible...seriously, the episodes that I could follow, I couldn't stand all the singing and dancing...why?) and "The Gifted" (which was really good, but unfortunately ended on a cliffhanger coz it got cancelled). I've restarted watching "The Runaways", which I started a long time ago, but never finished coz it sucked, and, once I'm done with that, I will need to restart and finish "Cloak and Dagger" (which also sucked) and that will be it, but I'm determined to finish them all. Maybe I just didn't give them a chance at the time. I may watch "Helstrom" again just because it's another Hulu show and it keeps showing up (and I really liked it...it's only one season, so it couldn't hurt), but we'll see how it goes. I just don't really want to end on "Cloak and Dagger" as my last Marvel blast on Hulu. "Helstrom" was an unsung hero and not enough people watched it. Shame that.

On to other things, this is my last week of PT. My insurance won't cover anymore. The joys of the American healthcare system. I also got pushed back from going back to work until the 17th. I do have to say though, all this time alone has calmed my mind quite a bit. If I didn't have to work, I could very easily live like this all the time. I do well alone. Maybe that's the way it was always meant to be anyway. When I go back to work, I will just go in, do my job, and come home. I'm going to save up all my money (the credit cards are almost all paid off, almost down to the last one), and then everything goes into savings for a downpayment on a house, no sister required (although it will probably take me forever because I'll have to pump a ton of it into this trailer to keep it from falling apart). I just have to decide where I want to live. By the time I save up, it may be retirement time, and I can move anywhere, that is if we still have a Social Security program in place by that time. If not, might be time to either go back to school again (I think I can go back here at 55 for free, so only 3 more years), although I don't know what I'll do with a degree at 60 (if I live that long). Be my luck, I'll get my degree, buy my house, and then drop dead!

Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes and B-day wishes! If I stitch more, I'll post it up! And, just a suggestion, if you do watch those horrible historical dramas, follow it up with a historical documentary, for my sake, 'kay? Their entertainment value is OK actually, but KNOW your history...actually, watch the documentary first, then the drama...yeah, that makes more sense. Then you can find all the historical errors and point them all out to your family. They will either think you are an insufferable know-it-all (like mine) or think you are brilliant. I'll keep my fingers crossed for the brilliant!

So, where have I been?

Where have I been? What have I been up to? Well, I've had surgery on both knees now...I'm at the end of my time off for the second surgery, although I'm pretty sure he's going to extend it because my left knee isn't cooperating, shock. I go to physical therapy twice a week, which, in itself is pretty stressful (not painful, just stressful), but I deal as best as I can.

Between surgeries, I went back to work for about four weeks, which probably wasn't long enough, but it definitely made me realize how miserable my life really is. I'd like to say I've come to some massive decision about that, but I haven't. Work keeps calling me while I'm on medical leave (both times). After the first time off, I thought I had leverage to ask for a raise, because apparently they can't live without me. "We can't afford it", they said, but I know they are handing out raises left and right to others right now (people NEVER keep their mouths shut about raises). I said I would refuse to answer the phone this time around, but I'm just not built that way. I wish I was.

I am still paying the credit cards down, just two to go and one will pay paid off either by the end of this month or next, and then just one left! I've been working my butt off on that. Then all of my money can go into savings full-stop.

I've also spent all this time trying to find a house. I haven't been able to. Let me rephrase that, no one will let me! They are either too expensive, too yucky at the price-point, gone before I can even look at them, I get out-bid by someone with more money or a cash offer, yada yada yada. As of now, my "investor" and I have had a falling out, so I can't buy anything anyway without her help, so I guess I'm stuck in the old trailer for now.

I have actually been looking for some land, because the one thing I can do without any intervention is buy another trailer. Don't need an "investor" for that, it's like buying a car. Granted, I don't really want to do that, but what choice do I have? If I can make mine last just a bit longer, maybe I can save up enough in the next couple of years that I won't need the "investor" and can do it on my own. I've debated taking out my retirement, but there's only a small part of it I can take out and it's barely enough to cover things with the big tax hit that comes along with the extraction, so why bother?

On to more pleasant things...last time off, I planned on watching a bunch of shows. I didn't. This time off, I planned on reading a bunch of books, I didn't (although I still have time to read a few, but I doubt it will happen). I've done a lot of work on Ancestry, when I can sit at my desk (you would be shocked at the positions that can really be painful on your knees), but otherwise, not much else. I have been stitching some though. Last time I stitched some, but this time I've done more. I'm still going, so this is a work in progress, but I've decided I'm not going to stitch anything else until I finish Maleficent (but you guys know me, my mind changes as fast as a clock changes time).

Last time I stitched anything on Maleficent, it was apparently Nov 8, 2020! Yeah, I've really had a mental block to stitching! But here is where I left off:

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And currently, I'm only stitching a couple of hours a day (my attention span only lasts about that long, but she's moving along slowly (and I believe there is only one more row after this one)...this is from the 19th, which is the last day I worked on her:

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But yeah, other than that, I have literally spent two separate five week stints at home, sitting on my tail feathers, watching YouTube non-stop, trying to forget that I exist. It doesn't work for long periods of time, but it's nice while it lasts. I know that sounds a bit like depression, but I like to think of it more as escapism. My various diseases are exploding into one another and creating this symphony of chaos which I stopped trying to control during my last knee surgery time off. I did try to reach out then, but I can only afford therapy every three weeks, my family could care less (their problems are way more important...or so they tell me), and I just don't have anyone else. This blog was never meant to go this dark, so I've been quiet for months.

So what do I do? Nothing. It builds, it festers, and then other things happen that point-blank remind me how little I matter (that's a story I can't share here, but it shook me to my core), and then I just shut down, because what else can I do? But oh well, those are separate matters that aren't meant for here. If I keep stitching, I'll keep you updated and those of you who follow me on Instagram, I usually post pics there as well, although I haven't in week or so.

I also missed my Blogoversary in Aug...it was 11 on the 30th. I didn't really miss it, I got the notice, then the above incident happened and I just didn't care. Sorry guys. Next week is my birthday, so I'm anxiously awaiting the devasating event that's going to ruin that too! Ain't I just a barrel of laughs! I'm not even sure how I'm going to celebrate (if at all) this year. There will be no fancy home-made dinner or cake this year. No trip (because I can't drive long distances, technically, I'm not supposed to be driving at all, I just don't have anyone else to drive me back and forth to PT, so I do it myself). I think I will just turn off the phone, lock the door, and ignore everyone (like that EVER works!). I'll figure something out between now and next week.

Anyhoo, that's the update. I'm alive, I'm stitching, dreading the day I have to go back to work, and even more emotionally closed off than ever, so what else is new, right? I really need to update this blog! It's looking old! Hope everyone else is good and I'm sure you guys are just stitching away, making me look even worse than I already do! But hey, you guys are so amazing, I couldn't stack up if I tried!

Been a while!

I haven't realized it's been since January since I've posted, but life has been taking me in all kinds of directions, although, as per usual, most of them haven't been good, but hey, what else is new! You guys know me though, I just roll with the punches, let the bruises heal, and wait for more hits to come! Lots to catch up on, so this might be a long one!

Yes, you guys know me, I've been right on top of world events, and I'm just heart-sick at what is going on in Ukraine. As a child of the 70's/80's, it feels like I'm living in the Cold War era again, and I can't say it's not giving me nightmares. I'm not going to go too far into politics here, but I literally have not been this scared since I was a kid. What is happening to our world? It's like we're regressing...we need a reset on the entire world, everyone just needs a good slap in the face and a "snap out of it!". And people wonder why I'm scared to leave my house.

But anyway, enough of things I can't control (like I have control of the rest of this post either), I've finally got back in to my neurologist last month and got my meds back after 7 months without them, so I'm sleeping again (as much as I can sleep), and my headaches are starting to wane a bit. I also got the results of my nerve test that they did back in October (you guys remember, the one that I had right after Disney World that was absolutely horrible and I cussed like a sailor all the way through in a busy doctor's office?). Well, turns out I have moderate to severe nerve damage (nothing I didn't already know) in my feet and legs. Again, it's probably why I have a high tolerance for pain. My nerves are shot (in more ways than one!).

They also did an EEG because I had an episode where I completely lost a day of time. I have NEVER done that before and I really can't even explain it, but I'm still terrified over it. But the EEG caused numerous panic attacks as well (although I managed to avoid it during, although I don't know how), so I guess I won't be doing that again either. It was the fact that I was forced to keep my eyes closed in a medical setting that I was unfamiliar with, and I'm pretty sure it probably skewed the results of the test. At one point, I was singing a Duran song, reciting Shakespeare, quoting Wentworth's letter to Anne Elliot from Austen's Persuasion, reciting Snow's hope speech from Once Upon A Time, and walking through Disney World in my head, all, pretty much, at the same time. To say my mind was racing, was the understatement of the century! I literally didn't think I was capable of that much thought processing at one time, but the more upset I got, the more layers I kept adding on to distract myself (none of it worked, FYI). I just kept having flashbacks to that damned psych hospital. The joys of PTSD.

I don't know if any of you guys have ever had an EEG, but they basically put this cap on your head, screw in these little electrodes (and I had sores on my head where she screwed them in a bit too far, although I didn't realize it at the time), and then make you close your eyes while they run a series of tests. They eventually do these series where they blasts these flashing lights in front of your closed eyes. For someone who is a seizure risk, that was pretty stupid. I have to admit, by about the third sequence, I rolled my eyes as far back in my head as I could get them to block out as much light as I could (and yes, they were so bright, closed eyes or not, the lights hurt pretty bad). Yes, I'm sure I ruined the results, but I didn't care. My greatest fear is a seizure and I wasn't willing to risk it. When the test was done, she had to pry my hands off the chair and I had torn it with my nails (although it was a pretty crap chair in the first place). I was crying and shaking and I fell back down in the chair and couldn't get back up for about 10 minutes. She had to just let me sit there until I calmed down. Once I got out, I almost started crying again, but my Sister (who went with me, but they wouldn't let her in the EEG room), does that thing that she does that keeps me in check and I immediately stopped myself and I was able to stay composed until I got home that night (and I totally lost it for the rest of the night...thank god I got my Xanax back!).

I've also got in with an ortho and got my knees MRI'ed (MRI's I have no issue with, although between both knees separately and my head, I've had three MRI's in a two-week time span, so that was a bit much). One knee has a benign tumor (what is it with me and benign tumors? More on that in a mo-mo), and both have torn meniscus, very little to no cartilage left, and severe osteoarthritis. I think, of all that, the arthritis was the most surprising part. I don't know why having arthritis shocked me, but it did. I will say though, I had to call work and put off coming back for about an hour. I drove around town a bit and even stopped at a drive-thru and got something to eat (a rarity for me). I had to process the fact that I had another tumor. I think I took that harder than I did the one in my brain. Seriously? Another tumor? Crap.

Anyhoo, They did give me the steroid shots in my knees, and, as per usual me, I had the opposite reaction to every other person on the planet...they said it would take three weeks for me to feel relief, it took three weeks for me to get back to normal! My knees swelled up, they hurt like the dickens, and my right knee would get red down to my ankles at the end of every day. I was super pissed! Almost everyone in my family gets those shots in their joints and, once you start getting them, they are almost addictive, because you have to keep getting them, eventually, more and more frequently to get relief. We also had two dogs that pretty much died from the weight gain from them. Which is why I always swore I would never get these shots in the first place and I was kind of shocked at myself for going "OK" like a dumbass when the nurse practioner offered them up. My family also always claimed they are the most painful thing ever, but I didn't feel a thing. I literally watched that needle go in one side of my knee and almost come out the other side and then rinse and repeat on the other knee. Thank goodness for that nerve damage, huh?

So the plan, at least now, is that I'm meeting with the doctor next week to discuss extracting some of what little cartilage I have left, sending it off to a lab to grow more, and then putting the newly grown cartilage back in my knees to repad them. Sounds kind of sci-fi for Arkansas (and I'll be surprised if my insurance covers it), but if it works, yea me! I haven't even thought about the pain of having cartilage removed and then replaced, but then again, this is me here, I probably won't feel a thing. My Sister is also going to that appointment with me. I'll let her do all the talking. She went to school with him, so she can handle it. I'm just not good with dealing with things anymore. Maybe that way I won't do anything stupid like agreeing to steroid shots again!

When it comes to the tumors though, they are usually caused by repetitive trauma, so I have a new theory, although I've done some research online and I can't find much about it (other than the typical CTE, or Chronic Trauma Encephalopathy, which the issue a lot of football players get...damage to the brain caused my repeat concussions that affect them later in life). What I'm thinking is that, kids with Autistic Spectrum Disorder have issues with banging their heads, knees, hands, whatever, against walls, bedposts, or again, whatever when they are frustrated or angry or unable to convey their feelings across (I did this ALL the time as a kid, and still have a scar on one knee to this day from banging it on a bedpost when I was mad a the age of 2, but not the tumor knee). I'm wondering how many Autisic kids have these types of tumors and if there have been any studies about it..from my limited research, there hasn't been and I think there should be. I also think that other parts of my body should be MRI'ed, because I beat a lot of myself against a lot of surfaces (and still do upon occasion). I'd bet I'm riddled with these tumors. They can turn cancerous, but they usually just tend to cause irritation in old age. I'm getting old now and they are irritating me in various joints. Again though, there aren't a lot of studies of Autistic kids when they get old in any capacity, and there really should be...we do grow up and still are Autistic, you know?

Changing the subject, on the home front, my poor little trailer is falling apart. The roof has been taking some serious hits with all the storms we've had lately. Every storm has had hail and they scream tornado everytime it rains (although we have had some close calls recently, stupid global warming). My air conditioner has also been costing me a pretty penny lately too. It's on its last legs. And don't get me started on the floors. 30 years of inside dogs have done their damage. I've also WAY outgrown that trailer and my house is starting to look like a hoarder house. I'm also getting to the point where I don't even take new things out of the box, and that's how hoarders get started...buying crap and piling it up...boxes and boxes of junk piled everywhere.

So, I've finally taken the leap and started seriously house hunting so I can have more room (for more stuff). Problem is, this is the absolute WORST time to be house hunting! Houses are outrageously expensive, way overpriced for what they are actually worth and don't get me started on interest rates. And homes in the town I'm looking in (the town I grew up in, not the town I currently live in), sell, on average, in 2 to 7 days after posting...I am not kidding. And, somehow, people are paying cash (where is it coming from?). I had to apply for a mortgage first to prove I could afford the houses I wanted to look at (there were only two available at the time), and by the time I got the approval in literally 6 days time, both houses were gone. As of now, there are none available, although I check several times a day. There are also no lots for building a new home, so I'm in limbo. Maybe by the time I find a house, the market will be better and I can get the mortgage company to refinance at a lower interest rate.

On the plus side (yes, there is one), I only have three credit cards left to pay off, one of those will be paid off by the end of June at the latest. The more cards I get paid off, the more money I can get to buy a house (although, again, I don't want to spend that much on a house). Funnily enough, mortgage lenders are a LOT like car salesmen...pushy and try their hardest to talk you into buying something WAY out of your price range. The more I spend, the more my insurance, property taxes, and overall expenses on electric, water, and gas bills will be. No thanks! I just want something that works for me and my boys. I also have to be careful about how much I talk about buying a house, or I'll start having panic attacks. I'll start thinking about all the things I have to have, like lawnmowers, weed eaters, shovels, a new vacuum, yada, yada, yada. The list is endless. It freaks me out. Where is this money supposed to come from? UGH. And when I think about buying a house that I don't know who has lived in it and how many bad ju-ju vibes it might have, double UGH! I would definitely be better off building a new house, but I don't know if that's feasible right now with how much building supplies cost. I'm still waiting on word about that.

To top all that off, (and this is the petty thing) both Duran Duran and Tears for Fears are starting a tour, and I can't go to either. Although, honestly, I don't think that I could go to a concert right now, even if I could get tickets, but still. The new Duran Duran album is the best one in YEARS (although, don't get me wrong, I love the last few too, just this one is massively different), and I'm totally bummed I won't get to see it live, like sick-bummed. Let alone most shows are sold out and the seats that are left are horrible (and outrageously expensive, in the $400 range for the crap seats). When it comes to the TFF shows, there are tickets available, but the shows are pretty far away (not that driving a bit has ever stopped me before), but I would have to go by myself, and I can't do that right now. I have NEVER been to a concert by myself Maybe I could manage Duran, but not anyone else. Oh well, I can't afford that kind of money right now anyway.

So, I guess that's why I've been absent for a while. There's been no stitching, no new trips anywhere, and I've just been waiting for WWIII, while I try to buy a house that doesn't exist. Anyhoo, this was long enough, and "again" was apparently the keyword of this post, because I used it enough, eh? Thanks for listening guys, and I'll try to keep you informed on the home front. Keep your fingers crossed for me and hope I find the perfect house for me and boys with a nice big fenced-in backyard for them to play in and go OUTSIDE to the bathroom (probably for Bam to avoid since he hates grass, so he'll need a concrete patio...again, another expense, someone to spray for bugs, ugh). My knees and my head are what they are, they will either work themselves out or not. See you guys soon and hope you're all OK and taking care of yourself and staying safe!

Answers and Stash

It seems like it's about a 50/50 split on the COVID cut question...some of you guys like getting stuff early, some prefer to wait. That's interesting to me. I've had a week to think about it, but I haven't really changed my opinion. I guess if they do the 6th season of Outlander justice, I'll be OK, but I just have a feeling...

On to other things though (because, if I get started on Outlander, I won't shut up!). I have been buying cross stitch patterns! I did look for Outlander patterns (yes, here I go again), but I couldn't find any really good ones. I did, however, OBVIOUSLY get a FanGirl Stitches one (because, well, obviously!), and some other quote ones for "Dinna Fash", which I thought would work well at work (obviously), but a proper full coverage one still aludes me at the moment.

Dinna Fash2 Screen Shot 2021-12-10 at 10.38.51 AM Screen Shot 2021-12-10 at 10.39.15 AM

I also got some Celtic ones (because I've been in the mood)

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For the first time ever, I did a request a size from HAED, and had them do a supersize of a max color chart, although there was a bit of a snafu and they did it on the original chart first (so, for everyone who wanted a supersize of the original chart, your welcome!). I finally got it straightened out though, and here is the supersize, max color chart for US Travel Bookshelf (because I am definitely a US Traveler!). I want the World Traveler too, but I haven't done much of that...more on that in a minute.

SS-MC US Travel Shelf_000b

So, speaking of world traveling, obviously, right now that's NOT a good idea, but once everything dies down (if it ever does), I've decided it's finally time to break down, stop all this Disney nonsense (and by that, I mean spending thousands of dollars to do nothin but go to Disney World and nowhere else) and go to Scotland! I've been talking to my Sister about it, although she doesn't seem excited. I may have to find another travel buddy for this trip, which is totally fine! I can do that, or even go on my own (although that may prove exponentially more difficult, but can be done).

I'm thinking I'll need three weeks, about the cost of one Disney trip, and I should be able to traverse about every major city, my family's homeland, and other key areas of interest (yes, I mean Outlander sites). It will take a LOT of planning, but I do tend to excel in that, once I set my mind to it. I would have to do England separately, and even probably in two separate trips, one for London, and one for everywhere else. Same with France, one for Paris, one for Disneyland Paris, and one for everywhere else. But again, I think each trip can be done for the price of a Disney World trip, if not cheaper. The amount of money spent on a Disney trip is outrageous, and I haven't been too happy with the way Disney has been managed as of late. Maybe it's time to step away until they "get their affairs in order", if you know what I mean.

So anyway, thanks to everyone for your votes and your opinions! I appreciate your feedback! I asked around work, but most of these people haven't even noticed it or I ended up starting some stupid political debate about the legitmacy of COVID. Seriously, I'm glad I'm learning Gaelic, I'm speaking it more and more in my daily life and no one can understand me! It's better than French, because, invaribly, someone around here had French in high school and can understand me a bit. NO ONE understands Gaelic! It's magical!

The COVID Cut

Just a quick (yeah, right!), side rant...have you guys noticed the COVID cut? By that, I mean, when your favorite shows come back, but the season is shortened, and, if they are based on a book, they have taken certain "liberties" with the story lines due to time restrictions due to COVID, because they just don't have the time to fit it in like they "normally" would?

This weekend, A Discovery of Witches started back on AMC+/Sundance/Shudder in the States (and I'll stop being lazy and italicize the show titles). We only got episode one, but all seven episodes were posted in the UK (it should have been a ten episode arch, but it was "COVID cut" due to the pandemic...oh, and someone "graciously", depending on your definition of the word, posted all seven eps on YouTube, more on that later). A Discovery of Witches is based on a triology of books, so season 3 was destined to be the final season. And yes, it has been almost two years since the finale of season 2, but again, we've been in a pandemic, so allowances must be given (although there was the same amount of time between season 1 and 2, so that might be questionable for this show).

This show, unlike Outlander, takes a lot more allowances from the books, and knowing it was a shortened season (which also meant budgetary cuts because they wouldn't have the crew due to COVID restraints), I knew the story would veer slightly more left than normal, but geez! Granted, I still loved it, but my early question to you is this: would you rather wait until the pandemic is over for your favorite show to return in all its glory, or have a shortened, possibly compromised season, so you don't have to wait?

Before you answer that, I need to admit that, yes, I went on YouTube and watched the leaked version of the rest of the episodes, so I have seen the entire season. I know I shouldn't give support to people who post videos like that, but I pay for the streaming service to see the show (and will continue to until my season airs in its entirety). I will buy the digital version when it's available, as well as the blu-ray version when it comes out. I pay for YouTube Premium. I buy Funkos, companion books, magazines with dedicated spreads...basically, they get their money back from me, one way or the other. Everyone else, well, that's their conscious, not mine. Granted, A Discovery of Witches doesn't have as much merch as Outlander, but when I get into a show, well, let's just say that a studio will get their money back from me, and then some. If Sony doesn't have enough of my money in just electronics, what I got deliveried today just in Outlander merch, probably paid for some poor sap's xmas bonus.

I need to also add that, I didn't hate season 3 of A Discovery of Witches, but it was my favorite of the three books, so I did have certain expectations in my head, even with the liberties of the show. I have the path of the show separate from the path of the books straight in my head and I was pretty sure the direction it was gonna go (or I thought I did) for season 3, but I was VERY wrong except for one story line (and I'm at least grateful they stuck true there, thank you Gallowglass!). I'm usually pretty spot on with my predictions, especially when I have source material to draw from. The COVID cut just butchered almost every story arc in ADOW (I'm gonna shorten A Discovery of Witches now, it's just too long to type) though...without true spoilers, big fights got dropped down to one-on-one's or cut entirely, major speeches became casual comments, and love scenes, became, well, love scene...singular (although ADOW has NEVER been Outlander).

I am not, by nature, a patient person, but I am used to British television, so two to three years in between series of a show isn't that big of a deal for me. I can get in an obsessive streak of a show, but I can still be pretty patient (considering) for the next series, sometimes just watching it on repeat is enough, no new material is needed. If I was given a choice between waiting another year and getting a potential longer season that could have fulfilled the story arc better, I would have glady waited the extra time for better material. And, I guess I should reitterate that, when I say "better", it wasn't horrible, far from it, I still cried like a baby, I just focused a LOT on the lost potential, more than I enjoyed all the good moments, which you really shouldn't do in the finale of a series, and I watched it four times all the way through, just trying to absorb all the little nuances they tried so hard to add in with what little time they had.

I get where people have to work and other fans might not be as patient, but what do you guys think? Have you noticed this trend? When the new season of Outlander starts in March, it will also be a condensed season, COVID cut, which means a lot of book 6 will have to be edited out due to time constraints. I would rather wait another year than have that happen, but apparently, I'm in the minority. I get that all of the movie/TV industry can't just stop, but maybe slow down a bit? If they have to cut things due to time or lack of people, then make season 6 half of book 6 and season 7 the second half of book 6 (each season pretty much follows the storyline of each book, ADOW did the same). Instead of condensation, lengthen it. They could have done the same thing with ADOW, since there are two very main story arcs in that book, one for Diana and one for Matthew, but now, it's too late and I have a lifetime of season 3 being, well, what it is, good, but with the potential of so much greatness.

I was going to make some comment about how I'm glad I don't watch a lot of television because, if I watched dozens of shows and they all came back like this, I'd be super pissed, but thinking on it, I honestly think it's worse when you only watch a couple of shows that you depend on for such high quality. It's not like I have those "burner" shows that I can say "well, I only watch those because there is nothing else to watch on a Monday night". I watch only one or two shows at a time, sometimes for a year at a time on constant repeat. Right now, it's Outlander, and has been for the past couple of months. Every waking home-life hour (which often means I sleep for the three hours my medication knocks me out, and then I'm back up again at 3 am until it's time to get ready for work) is spent watching Outlander, reading Outlander, watching YouTube videos about Outlander, and, when I'm at work, I play the scores to Outlander, all day long. The joys of OCD! But basically, a LOT of energy is spent on ONE show.

This weekend, with the premiere of A Discovery of Witches, was my first Outlander break since the end of November, but by Sunday night, I was back in Outlander world again, to take my mind off ADOW, but I just thought I'd drop you guys a quick (ha!) question blog to see if you've also noticed the COVID cut and get your thoughts on it! Maybe, with a bit of distance, ADOW won't seem so bad, and it might just be that Outlander, which ironically, I never noticed how similar the two actually are, is just higher up my totem pole right now and I'm trying to measure ADOW up to something it can't possibly compare to, at least, not at the moment. But for you guys that maybe watch a lot more TV (or maybe are like me and just watch one show), where do you stand?

Vacations and stitching!

Yep, you read that right...I stitched! Granted, it was VERY paultry, but I did it! I took last week off and spent most of the time sitting on my arse watching Outlander, reading the first two Outlander books, learning Gaelic with Duolingo (I now know my animals, food and some family members as well as greeings, big whoop, but you gotta start somewhere I guess), but I also stitched, on Tartan B, no less! And yes, in typical "me" fashion, I did most all of these things at the same time. I couldn't turn the TV off long enough to stop to do any one of the other things by themselves, so I was often reading during the parts of the show that I didn't like (like when Jamie and Claire were separated for various reasons), learning kiddie Gaelic (often while they were fighting over other things), and stitching (often while I needed to pay attention to the good bits of the show, and could look up at a moments notice at the "important" parts (and need I say what the "important" parts are?).

So, I left off on Tartan B back in December of 2017 here (yep, 2017...sad, but true):

TartanB-012

Only three days of stitching, mind you, but I did make it here, which, considering how I used to stitch it, was about a year's worth of stitching, so I'm pretty proud of myself:

TartanB-015

It actually looks like a "B" finally! I'm still gonna work on it for now. I don't know when my new part-time job will start, and I'm sure it's going to keep me from all these extracurricular activities (except at least watching Outlander...that particular OCD habit I won't be able to give up, I'm in too deep now and it shows no sign of letting up).

I wanted to watch the Harry Potter reunion, but I couldn't stop watching Outlander long enough to do so, so that will have to wait, although I need to do it soon so I can cancel HBO Max (too expensive and I don't watch it). I did manage to get my bedroom carpet steam cleaned, but nothing else got cleaned. I couldn't tear myself away any longer. No gingerbread house this year, no fancy vacation meals (but hey, I lost another 7lbs, so yeah me), and definitely no duckroom rearrangement with the new shelves I bought almost 10 weeks ago now. Oh well, I needed the time to just sit on my behind and relax (or at least that's the story I keep telling myself). I will say, that is definitely a life I could get used to!

I did update my ORT collection, and it is definitely verifiable that I did absolutely no stitching this year. As a matter of fact, if it wasn't for the past week, it would be even more empty that it was before...most of it is the green thread from Tartan B! So here is my TUSAL collection total, with the bottom right being 2021. Sad and shameful!

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If I do keep stitching, I'll post weekly updates here, but daily updates will be on my Instagram page @keeblesworld. And I guess that's it for the updates. I'm not gonna drag any of us down (especially meself, by discussing work, so we'll leave it at that! Here's hoping 2022 brings us a MUCH better year!