My First Columbus Day Weekend

Believe it or not I haven’t had a Columbus Day off from work since I was 16 years old and  got my first job.

For the past 15 years I worked for a company that had very few paid holidays. That changed when I was let go from my last position and found my current one. At FGX International they like their holidays. I will even have Good Friday off. I am blown away by the holiday and paid time off package I still can’t believe it when I think about what I put up with for 15 years.

I made sure that I spent my first Columbus Day weekend thoroughly enjoying myself. First up was a much needed haircut. Well, more like a much needed trim. My hair is pretty damaged from a flat iron I had gotten for free as a sample from my last job. I thought it worked great – my hair was straight – until it started breaking apart in my hands. I lost chunks of hair from different areas around my head and they are finally starting to fill back in, to my great relief. Kudos to my amazing hair stylist Magan who made me look normal this whole time through her crafty cutting.

After my cut I went to pick up my sister to spend the day. We ended up at On the Border for some Mexican and at Jo Ann Fabrics for some new fabric. I love to make bags and picked up some cool fabric to make my niece a craft bag for Christmas. My sister got some awesome, wild greens and blues to make an Irish Chain quilt.

We then headed to see Ben Affleck (yum) in his new movie Gone Girl but the 2:30 showing was sold out. No big deal, right? Just go to the next show, right? But that would have put it well past 6pm when the movie let out and I needed to be home by 6 to give Sparrow her insulin shot.


Luckily, my sister understood and I offered an alternate idea – we could get our nails done. The girly idea sat just fine with my sister so we headed to a local nail salon. I was very impressed with the price, the cleanliness, the workmanship and the polite service. I brought my own polish – OPI’s Muir, Muir On the Wall – a brown-plum color perfect for fall. I also got acrylic nails because my fingernails were bitten to shit and it wasn’t worth paying for a manicure on them.


Sunday I was inspired to start Nora Corbett’s The Letter M for a gift for my Grandmother for Christmas. I did not have all of the Crescent Colors and beads for the design (and I wasn’t that crazy about the colors for my Gramma) so I changed the colors. I used some minty Crescent Color greens for the dress and the 552/553/554 DMC purple colorway for the letter M – perfect Gramma colors. I had matching beads and the same colors and Kreinik for the wings.

Here is the original design:

The letter m

And here is the start of my conversion on Silver Mist fabric by Silkweaver:

1013141842 (1)

I roasted a beef roast in the oven which made an amazing gravy (after the addition of butter and flour), mashed potatoes and green beans. A perfectly homey fall meal.

Today was a supremely lazy day. I designed a chart for Sparrow’s insulin shots, feedings and glucose readings. She has adapted to her new litter box quite well (thankfully). It is the Tidy Cats Breeze system where the urine doesn’t clump in the litter but free flows down into a separate pan.


I cross stitched, caught up on some tv shows and watched the Boston Bruins hockey game on tv. I’m a huge hockey fan for those who aren’t in the know. It’s been over 20 years and I still love it.

So ends the tale of my very first working Columbus Day holiday. Tomorrow starts a four day week at work and is capped off by the FGX International night at the Providence Bruins the minor league affiliate of the Boston Bruins. It ought to be a good week.

The Cost of Living

$100 for a new cat box that doesn’t have clumping litter and has a drainage pan to collect urine for glucose testing.

$30 for a month of glucose urine test strips.

$90 for wet and $60 for dry diabetic cat food for a month – DM brand.

Saturday during my diabetes class at the vet I get to find out how much the insulin, needles and sharps container are. I also get to learn how to give injections.

Extending Sparrow’s life?


Poor Sparrow.

My cat Sparrow is 10 1/2 and was in desperate need of a visit to the vet. I had noticed that her eyes were goopy and she was drinking (and peeing) an awful lot and was past due for her shots.

My last vet was a nightmare with her. She is, to be kind, a terror to take to the vet. She growls, bites, scratches, and hisses almost non-stop. The old vet was unkind and banned her from the practice.

I went back to the vet that spayed her and was upfront about her “attitude” about going to the vet. They said no problem, bring her in.

I went this past Saturday and mentioned that I wanted her senior blood work done. Luckily they were able to get her blood and urine samples before she freaked out.

And freak out she did.

When they brought me back to the room the had her wrapped up/strapped down in a blanket and I heard her growling before I even made it through the door. The vet couldn’t even listen to her heart/lungs because she was constantly growling. I escaped with one bite and a few scratches.

The vet suggested Xanax for the cat before she is brought back to the vet but didn’t ban her!! Regular old human Xanax. Well, I guess if it is good enough for me then it is good enough for her. I am to test out the dosages but I am to start her out on a half milligram. I busted out laughing and told the vet, “Hey, that’s my dosage”. The good thing is that I don’t have to buy the Xanax and can just use mine.

The vet also gave her a prescription for the conjunctivitis and suggested giving her a half tablet of Zyrtec because it may be chronic allergic conjunctivitis.

The bloodwork and urinalysis came back Monday night and she has a very high glucose level indicating diabetes. My whole future changed in an instant. The implications of this diagnosis are overwhelming. This isn’t a disease that can be managed by just a pill a day. This is daily injections and blood testing and special food and watching for hypoglycemia. At 10 1/2 she has a long life in front of her and I must do everything I can to keep her healthy. I’m nervous about the cost and nervous about the responsibility of having her life in my hands even more.

Summer 2013 163


My perceptions of who I am define me.

I am 41 and a half. That is a fact. I feel 10 years younger. That is my perception of my age.

I was diagnosed as bipolar in 2011. That is a fact. After a hellish two years and one ok one later; I feel normal again. That may or may not be a perception. I depend on my therapist and my doctor to help me find the truth in that one.

I have rheumatoid arthritis. I hurt. My fingers are deformed. I was 12 when I was diagnosed.

I have a new job as an executive assistant. I feel proud of my new job and pleased at the lower level of stress I have compared to my old job. I perceive I have quite a future at this new company.

I was out of work for just over one year. My perception is that I was let go because I am bipolar. I know I should have fought them but my perception was to feel shame and hide. I lost a boyfriend and friends to bipolar disorder. What did I care if a job was added to the list? Things worked out in the end thanks to the support of my parents.

I am overweight.Big fact. I still feel sexy. My perception. My boyfriend thinks I am very sexy. Fact! (Smile) But, I still need to lose weight for my health. Fact.

I have a bird – Bridget – and a cat – Sparrow. They make me very happy. I hope I make them happy too. I think my perception on this one is right on!

That boyfriend I mentioned, well, he makes me very happy too. He frustrates me sometimes but I love him. He’s bipolar too. What are the odds?? My perception was it was fate. Having someone in my life to teach me what life is like when you are bipolar has been immeasurable. Someone to make me happy has been priceless. Someone to listen to me and someone who sticks around during the rough times? Sigh. That means the world.

So these are some of my perceptions. Little pieces of me that float around and come out from time to time. They may not always be facts but they are truthful.

Thanks for listening.


It’s 2am and I have finally laid down in bed. Damn step throat absolutely interfered with my plans for this week. I am finally packed for my stitching retreat (details to come!) But my house looks like it was struck by a terrible wind storm! 😀

Hope my cat doesn’t get into too much mischief while I’m gone. I also hope my Dad forgives my disheveled living room when he pops in to feed the cat!

I did manage to make myself a Q-Snap cover with the new birdie fabric I picked up last week from Joann’s. Picture below!

When I cleaned out my stitchy stash box my cat “jumped” right in to help! Ha ha ha (I’m tired so this amused me!)