Six months later…..

It has been six months since I last blogged!  My plan was to write about things other than knitting, crochet and needlepoint (which is mostly what I do) while I was sidelined because of arthritis and bone spurs in my thumbs. That certainly didn’t happen.  Although, I have new followers!!  Happy about that and having new followers has motivated me to write again.

Thumbs. I know having thumbs sets us apart from other species but I never realized how much we do depend on them until this.  Both of my thumbs are affected but my left is the worst of the two.  The pain has been incredible.  Lifting has been excruciating. Anything really that involves my thumbs has been super painful.

So far, we’ve done soft splints, cortisone injections, warm compresses and just generally going easy on them and resting them.  The injections worked for a while but now don’t so we’ve had to get a little creative (more on that later).  Surgery is not an option at the juncture which is fine.  I’ve had two surgeries and am not looking forward to another (or two).  In case you are wondering this is where thumb arthritis usually takes place.

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If you are a crafter you can totally understand how not being able to do the things you love can be maddening.  So, while we were working out what to do I did some crafting that was not so hard on my thumbs.  Can’t use the knitting needles so out came the glue gun.

One of the things I did is make some oil lamps for our patio area and outdoor kitchen. I really like the way they turned out.  If you’d like to make some yourself, here’s what you’ll need.

Empty wine bottles

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Tiki torch replacement wicks ( I got mine at Walmart)

Brass connectors (diameter big enough for wicks to go through but small enough to hold the wick in place)

Something like this:

connector

Glue gun and glue sticks

Rope, decorative pieces such as flowers, stones, scrapbook embellishments

Now that you have your materials together get that glue gun fired up and decorate your bottles.

Really how you want yours to look is entirely up to you.  I took rope and attached it to the bottle winding it around and around using the glue gun to make it stay in place.

Like this:

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After you have wound it up as far as you want you can leave it plain or add some embellishments.  I went to my scrapbooking stash and found some perfect items.  Run some more rope up the neck and TaDah!

After putting some fish tank gravel in the bottom of the bottles to make them more sturdy and less likely to fall over take the brass connectors and glued them in the neck so they will stay in place. After that fill up the bottle with lamp oil and slide the wick down through the connector into the bottle.

Now you have some perfectly nice wine bottle lanterns!  You did it!

These are the three I made.  The photo is minus the wicks and connectors.  However, you can see that in minutes you could come up with your own lanterns.

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I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that you need to be careful with flammables.  That’s why I put the gravel in the bottom.  And make sure your connector and wick fit snuggly together so the wick doesn’t fall down into the bottle and lamp oil.  Disaster will ensue!!

I hope you enjoyed this and will make your own.  I would love to see photos of some that you’ve done.

One last thing: Thank you to the new followers.  I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I enjoy writing them.  Drop me a comment anytime!!!

 

Stitch on my friends! And if you have gimpy thumbs do some gluing instead : )

 

Tracy

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Sidelined : (

I have been sidelined from needlework!  I have arthritis in both thumbs that has plagued me for a number of years.  A twice a year cortisone shot in both thumbs when the pain gets bad has done wonders and has kept me happily crafting.

Since moving I’ve had to find a new orthopedist and two weeks ago had injections once again due to severe pain.  Two weeks later I’m still in overwhelming pain.  And because of that I can’t knit, crochet or needlepoint.  Needlework is what I’ve always done.  In the evenings while watching TV I most often have something in my hands I’m working on.  On long car drives if I’m not the driver I take something along. So, needless to say, I’m not a happy camper.  And I’m wondering what is next for these thumbs of mine. I have another orthopedic appointment on March 9th so we will see.

In the meantime my post will be about other things.  For instance:

This morning driving to work in a snowy white world I am reminded of how much I have experienced and grown in the last few months here in Nevada.

We moved here during the summer with temperatures in the 100s.  Today it is a cool 27 degrees.  A really cool 27 degrees.  In this last week we’ve had winds of 70 mph or more, torrential rain, sunshine and an overnight snowfall of 11.5 inches.  Coming from Napa in northern California this is quite a shock. I’m told that the winters are not normally this severe.  We will see when next winter comes next year.  But, at this point you have to wonder when you wake up day after day with changing weather if we may not just continue with winter the rest of the year.  I’m kidding of course but you kind of have to wonder.

However, we are not the only ones socked in with extreme conditions.  News reports show that my home state of California is so inundated with rain that the ground in some areas are giving way. After years of drought the ground just can’t absorb it fast enough.  California also has spillways that have not been used in years seeing an overpowering amount of water and causing one to break.  We/they need the moisture so badly but I feel like the ground needs a break to catch up.  Where my son lives 14,000 people have been evacuated because of flooding.  Where my daughter lives they had so much hail yesterday that it looked like snow. This extreme weather unfortunately has kept me from a few visits to see my kids in California.  So, I’m hoping and praying that this ends soon and is not as bad next winter.

Coming from a place that doesn’t see snow I have learned how to adapt to snow.  Its’ cold, I don’t like being cold. So now, I have a wool coat, lots of gloves, scarves and a brand new pair of snow boots.

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The first few snowy days my partner drove me to work. Now I feel very comfortable driving myself.  My little copper penny HHR does surprisingly well in snow and ice I’ve found.  Although, with a 10-15 minute drive to work the heater doesn’t fully get going until I pull into a parking place at work.  So on any given weekday morning you’ll find me in my office at my desk with a portable heater under my desk trying to get some warmth into this body. I’ve also shoveled snow, slipped around on ice and have found some little tricks to make taking off for work a little easier.  FYI: fill a tube sock with cat litter, tie it off, place it up on your dashboard at the window and forget about the inside of your window frosting up. It works!

I’ve also found joy in the little foot prints the rabbits make out in the snow.  So adorable!

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It’s all new, exciting, scary sometimes but overall I’m so happy to be here.  Let me just say that I will be so happy when I can hang my wool coat back in the closet, put my gloves and scarves away and don some flip-flops!  What a day that will be.

So, for now we bundle up, give my hands a rest until I see the doctor again and dream of stitching.

 

Stitch on my friends!!

 

Tracy