Friday, July 9, 2010

Lost & Needing Help Badly

Sigh - I never was any good at keeping up with this blog. It amazes me now to look at my last post, life was just fine then, my sweetheart was here, shortly after that post he built me a wonderful lightbox so I could get better photos..... and now he is gone forever.

To make this living hell even worse, today I found out that Social Security froze our bank account, as they were reclaiming the benefit check that had been deposited just a few days after Tim's death. So, on top of this unbearable grief for my darling husband, now I am sitting here with NO income, NO money at all other than $82 on hand, and utility bills that are due.

Read below for more details - but I am desperate here & could use any help that any of my friends could give me. I will gladly consider any donation you can make as a loan & will repay you once I am able to.

If I can squeek through the next 2 to 2 1/2 months, I will receive insurance benefits - but according to OPM, it will take about 3 weeks for the paperwork to get to me, and after I submit everything back to them, it will take about a month before payment is made. (IF the time-table goes as they told me... hopefully it won't take even longer than that.) And at some point after that, I will get a small survivor annuity from my sweetie's retirement plan. So - if I can just make it until I get the insurance, I'll have some breathing room to figure out where to go from there.

I DID already pay my lot rent for this month, and the power bill --- but I still have about $150 in bills due for this month, if I just skip paying the medical insurance. Come Aug. 1st, I'm *hoping* that the park will let me slide on the lot rent for a couple months, until I receive my benefits, but there will still be all the utility bills due again. I'm going to call everyone, but based on past experiences, they don't really cut people much slack, no matter what. I've got some food on hand, and have applied for food stamps, so maybe I'll be OK in that area - it's just trying to get the bills paid for these next 2 months until I get the benefits - they did verify that the benefits are there - it will just take some time to receive them. I HAVE checked to see if there is any 'welfare' type assistance I can get, and food stamps are the only thing I qualify for - most programs are based on having children or other dependents in your care.

Again, I would not be asking for help if I wasn't outright desperate here. I can NOT lose my home & what belongings that Tim & I had. (Nor can I very well sit here w/ power turned off, or water disconnected, etc) I know -- the internet is not a *necessity*, but especially since I can't drive, it is almost a necessity for me -- I've got to be able to have a phone & net access gives me contact with other people, which I really need right now. Again, any donations I get will be considered as loans & I will repay everyone once I have the means to do so.

I just can't believe that they snatched my bank account & took every penny I had left in there (and put it waaaay in the hole, to boot). Just because Tim died a day before the beginning of the month......

On top of all the grief & pain, now I've got to deal with feeling like a moocher too.... this is all getting to be way too much to deal with. Thank you so much for any help you can give.....

IF you do make a donation, the paypal account is one that I've maintained for years now & used periodically when I had any kind of little online venture going, so the name will show up as 'dtrh enterprises' Sheesh, I was just trying to get cranked up to maybe start selling some crafts online again, when all of this happened. I'm going to try to pull myself together enough to maybe get something started as soon as I can, but I'm such an emotional mess right now, I don't know how much I can do in that respect just yet.

thanks for reading.......

Monday, May 31, 2010

New Design! Elegant Beaded Wine Gift Bag

Whew, it's been a while since I posted! I really need to get in the habit of keeping up with a blog!
It reminds me of when I was young - I never was very good at keeping up with a diary or journal either! I really do need to work on that.

I finished a new design today that I'm pretty happy with. It's for a beaded wine bottle cover or gift bag - the pattern is for both variations. I'm working on putting the PDF together & getting it ready, so the pattern will be available soon. I really enjoy working with the beads - they add such a nice touch to even the simplest stitch pattern.

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Trying to get back on my hooks, after my stash was stolen...

April 2010 -- I’m just starting to get back into crocheting again after having almost my entire stash stolen during a move. For hubby’s health, and to be close to ‘adopted family’, we made a rather drastic move back to FL last summer - we sold our house in AL, sold/gave up almost everything we owned & bought a small manufactured home in a 55+ community in central FL. We loaded our van full of personal items, and a (SUPPOSED) “friend” was going to bring his large van down a month later, bringing the remainder of our belongings. Well, “friend” disappeared with our stuff - we’re guessing he wanted the TV & electronics that he was bringing -- but unfortunately, 98% of my stash was boxed up to come in his van too. He’s vanished off the face of the earth, from what we can tell - no luck finding him or our stuff. Beh - and this was someone we’d known for quite some time & had gotten rather close with.

I was so depressed about it, I didn’t even pick up a crochet hook for months now -- and I was so terribly ashamed to even admit to what had happened - there were some sweet ladies here who had sent me some yarn gifts in the past, and more than anything else, I was so ashamed that I had lost the yarn they’d sent me. But I do miss stitching, so I’ve been trying to get enthused again. LOL - I’ve got some coned kitchen cotton, a bag of fun fur & another small bag of mixed hodge-podge skeins that were in our van, and that’s the extent of my pathetic stash right now. Living on hubby’s social security doesn’t allow for much spending outside of absolute necessities - and the dollar stores here don’t seem to have yarn, at least I haven’t found any yet.

If anyone has ANY extra yarn at all that they don’t want, I’ll gladly pay postage if you’d be willing to part with it. I mean, anything!! Cheap acrylic, fun fur, novelty weird stuff, kitchen cotton… anything at all, I’ll be thrilled to have it!

And DON’T ever ever let anyone else handle your stash for you when you move, under any circumstances!! I had so much wonderful yarn - I still have to fight the tears when I think about it - so I just have to try NOT to think about it….. losing the other stuff he stole was bad enough - but (if we had enough $$), it was all items that theoretically COULD be replaced. I had lots of discontinued yarns and other yarns that simply cannot be replaced, and I’m fighting tears just writing this again, so enough out of me for now…….

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Finally putting my stash on Ravelry

Well, I finally got a couple totes put up in my stash at Ravelry today. LOL - three totes down, and goodness-knows how many more to go. I'm still having trouble doing a lot right now, because of whatever the problem is with my arm/shoulder. It's driving me nuts! So I thought I'd finally get started on getting my stash info input.... whew, that is a JOB! But it will be SOOOOOO worth it once I have it done!! I'm going to try to perhaps do another tote or two later tonight, and maybe if I can make myself get three or four totes finished each day, I'll eventually get it all on there!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sigh... crocheting pain....

Well, not sure what I did, but my shoulder is really giving me fits today. I sat down for just a moment, tried to add a few stitches onto a project & didn't go 5 minutes before my arm was in agony. I think I slept on it crooked or something, and got it aggravated again....sigh....

Actually, there is a good bit of housework & other things I *ought* to be tending to, so maybe this is just a way to force me off my plump rump & make me do something else.... Not sure if it will hurt too much for housework, or if the wider range of movement involved in housework will perhaps help it ... but at least I can TRY to get some laundry & other things done...

Would much rather be sitting back stitching though..... It's just a pulled muscle or pinched nerve or something like that - nothing that won't go away given a little bit of time. Frustrating, but nothing that will keep me away from crocheting altogether... I just hate being "forced" to take a break when I really don't want to! LOL!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I did it, I actually knitted a few stitches!!!!

As I mentioned before, I've been trying to take a bit of a break here lately, to let my shoulder/arm rest. Shoulder is still stiff & gives me a good twang of pain if I move it in the wrong direction, but it's eased up tremendously from the way it was.

But of course, it's driven me nuts, so I've had to do a wee bit of stitching off-and-on!! I've added a few tidbits onto the background piece for my ocean wallhanging - that seems to be the easiest way to crochet & let my arm still rest, as I only do a tiny bit at a time, then stop to decide on another color/yarn/etc. Unlike getting in the middle of a solid project where I could stitch non-stop for an extended period of time....

BUT - what I'm so excited about -- as some of you might know, I've tried & tried to learn to knit, to no avail. I knew how the stitches were supposed to be done - but I just could not seem to manuever the yarn to DO it when I tried. Well, today I discovered that I was using the wrong method for me! I had heard & read repeatedly, that crocheters should use the Continental method of knitting, that it came much easier for crocheters than the English method. HOGWASH!!!! I could never manage to move a stitch from one needle to the other using the Continental method!

Yesterday, dear sweet hubby took me by Hobby Lobby, and encouraged me to get one of those "Learn to Knit" kits. I was hesitant, but as he pointed out, a majority of the do-dads included in the kit were items I could use anyway -- a needle guage (which can be used for crochet hooks as well...), stitch markers, stitch holders, a row/stitch counter, yarn needles etc. Almost everything in the kit could be utilized in my crocheting, other than the knitting needles & book of course.

Then I spotted two different sizes of BIG acrylic knitting needles on clearance for $1.25 / set. I thought perhaps a nice chunky fat needle might be easier to practice on, so I grabbed those as well.

Today, I sat down with the book, got some cast-on done, and with a rather skeptical frame of mind, tried to follow the instructions for doing the knit stitch (the book showed the English method) Much to my total surprise & delight, I actually did several rows of stitches!!! Very sloppy uneven stitches, to be sure - but they were STITCHES, nonetheless!!! I was SOOOO surprised & so happy! It is obviously going to take a *lot* of practice to get even tension & nice neat stitches, but at least I managed to move the yarn from one needle to the other, which I could never manage to do before, trying the Continental method! I think the big fat needles really helped too, rather than using normal skinny aluminum needles.

So, it's a *start*!!! At least now I feel that maybe I CAN learn to knit after all, it will just take a lot of practice before my stitches are nice enough to do a project at all. And I haven't even tried the purl stitch just yet - I only did a few rows of knit. I still need to practice at my cast-on, as it's still a bit uneven. But I am happy that I FINALLY managed to actually do some stitches, regardless of how sloppy they were! Practice, practice, practice..... and hopefully I'll be able to actually make something...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I hate my eyes.... sigh....

I managed to finish up a few shawls that were gifts, but have been having a little trouble crocheting for any long stretch lately. Due to my failing vision, I have to hold my work up pretty close to my face to see the stitches. I don't know what the difference is lately, but over the past few days, my right arm has gotten to hurting quite badly, and that's the only reason I can think of for it.

SIGH.... so I'm going to TRY to take a break for a day or two, and give the arm a rest to see if that makes a difference. My sweet hubby suggested that I put some pillows next to me to prop my arm on, perhaps that would help.

This vision stuff is frustrating beyond words. OK, I could deal with giving up some finely detailed work when it first began. I used to do some beadwork & counted cross-stitch, had to give those up quite some time ago. But for whatever reason, the vision problems seem to have accelerated over the past 6 months or so. I can't see clearly enough to do the precise cutting needed for quilting so I haven't done that in some months now. Drawing has been out of the picture for the last few years. It seems that little by little, all the things I enjoy doing are slowly being taken away, *frustrating**!!!! As long as I hold things up about 4-6" in front of my eyes, I can focus on it, but further than that, it's all a big fuzzy blur. LOL, when I'm on my computer, I'm sitting here with my nose literally about 4" from the screen, so I'm sure that exacerbates the problem, but what am I supposed to do - just not use my computer at all? Bah!!!

On a hopeful note, hubby's retirement reinstatement has just been turned over to the final leg of being approved so **MAYBE** within the next 6 months or so, they'll finally get that taken care of & we'll have our medical insurance again. At which point, one of the first things we're doing is getting the eye surgery I need, that will *hopefully* clear up my vision to some extent. (At the moment, I'm "legally blind" due to cataracts that keep getting worse all the time....) I've always been very near-sighted all my life. Had surgery on both eyes for detached retinas in the past, and had cataract surgery on my left eye already about 7 years ago - the lens replacement wasn't quite right though, so when/if we can, I'll probably have that eye re-done. But my right eye was always my "good" eye, so it wasn't a problem until the cataracts kicked in heavy on my right eye.... sigh, oh well, you gotta take what life throws at you & work around it as best as you can, I guess..... I just hope to goodness that maybe before too much longer, we'll have insurance again & I can get the surgeries done.

I'm going to try his idea of propping my arm up on some pillows to see if that eases the strain of holding that arm up at such a high angle while I crochet. I am NOT going to give up crocheting, no matter what it takes to be able to keep on with it.... that's my "mainstay" hobby & blind or not, I am not going to lose it too....

Sorry for the vent - just frustrated w/ this at the moment....