Friday, June 27, 2008

Wheals of Fire

Wheals on my skin keep on burnin'
I don't know if I'll see tomorrow
Wheals on my skin keep on turning
I think some salve I must borrow...

There I was, just cruising along in life, work going smoothly, managing my fibromyalgia, no drama, no pain, dancing on lily pads, cavorting with the nature spirits, when SUDDENLY!!!I'm a mass of itching burning scary welts and wheals that look like GIANT mosquito bites that travel from place to place on my body and cause me to itch so badly I want to dig out my own eyeballs and slice my skin off like a cleaned carrot..I like this picture.

Don't I look PISSED OFF?

I think I look PISSED OFF!!!!

Are these pictures too graphic for you?

Be thankful I am sparing you the ones of my ASS!!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Darn It!

Does anybody darn anymore? I think we as a society as a hole (ha ha-hole, get it?) throw things away when they get a bit of a tear. But I was raised back in the era of the abacus and I learned to darn at an early age.

My Dad wore white wool socks, and there was a basket of darning wool, a darning needle and one of those red aluminum drinking glasses used as a darning egg always on the floor by his closet door, ready to be grabbed up and used for repairs.

I remember when my Mom taught me to darn. She taught me to sew, iron, darn and wash dishes, but not to cook. Looking back I realize it wasn't because she thought those were useful skills to teach me, but rather they were the tasks she hated doing and so sluffed off onto me!

And I think those skills have come in mighty handy, regardless of the motive behind teaching them to me. But who in the world bothers to darn nowadays? OLD LADIES do! Or rather, they get their home helpers to do it for them.

So today my task was to bring home a very holey old purple wool sweater and darn at least 6 good sized holes as well as sew on a button. Why, that thing is now as good as new! She ought to get at least another decades worth of wear out of it!

As always, I had my assistant eager and ready to lend a helping hand.

First, I needed my needle, thread, sharp thread nippers and my wonderful wooden antique darning egg. Mackie, understanding the value of the egg, kept a close paw on it so it didn't roll away.

Always desirous of taking advantage of a good angle, Mackie poses for his close-up, Mr. DeMille.

I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am he is up and about, because I came very close to losing him last week. He got into some bad food and after throwing up violently five times in a row, crept under my bed and didn't come out for 5 days. I had to get him to lick water from my fingers and I cried every day thinking I would lose this dear friend of mine.

But he rallied at last with the help of some antibiotics and steroids to stimulate his appetite, and he seems to be none the worse for wear for having used up yet another of his nine lives. I figure he's used at least 4 of them by now, but a friend said it would be more like 7 since cats don't always let you know what kind of trouble they've gotten into when you weren't around.

Once the darning was underway, Mackie saw no more need to remain conscious, so he took a little cat nap...keeping his paw on the thread so it wouldn't get away, of course.

When he woke up he shoved the thread at me in a barely civil manner! It must have been annoying him in some way!

Last but not least he decided it was time to dispatch the scissors, too. I had to take these away from him, though, because I really don't want to push it in case he is really up to 8 lives, now!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ektorp Dreams

A couple years ago when my health fell to pieces, I had to sell everything that wasn't nailed down including the sofas. I was sofa-less in Sacramento for quite a while and then I bought a used one from Salvation Army. It cost more to have it delivered than I paid for it, and upon having it in my little living room for 13 or 14 seconds I realized that it stunk so bad I was going to reverberate until I got rid of it. Er maybe I mean regurgitate? Even Mackie wouldn't get near the thing.

So I had to give it away to a nice lady who had no sense of smell and oodles of children who were going to pour grape Koolaid on it, anyway. It found a good home.

And now, more than a year later, I am fed up with only having this old arm chair to sit in.

Anytime I have guests they have to pile onto the floor or stand around awkwardly like at a soiree. Not that comfy when you are trying to watch a movie together.

I decided that I was going to swing by the Salvation Army downtown and see if there was something I could pick up for 50 bucks. As long as it wasn't butt ugly or had a stank upon it, I figured I could work with it.

I saw what I wanted, or at least what would work for me, at once. It had a price tag of $90 on it. I could tell it had been in some nice old ladies formal living room for the last 30 years. It was the right size, shape, didn't smell and I figured I could live with the really despondent beige-on-beige floral print. Even the creepy fiberglass feel of the fabric would be all right. But $90? Out of my price range entirely.

When suddenly! The manager approached me and said, "I can tell you want that sofa. I'll give it to you today for 75 bucks out the door!"

"Oh, wow! My budget is 50, though."

"Okay, I'll meet you halfway at $60!"

Sold! And upon getting it home and getting it all arranged, I realized it felt horrible and was the ugliest color imaginable. But it's comfortable, well-made and has good lines so I figured I'd just have to live with it for a while.

Until I could get the sofa of my dreams. The Ikea Ektorp Sofa. That's the one I want.

Sometime in the night I started to think that perhaps I could 'Ektorp up' this sofa a little bit. Why not? I measured carefully and yes, it might work! The cover I wanted for it is only 49 bucks. That's half the price of a Sure-Fit and those things suck. Might as well throw a blanket over it as use those Sure-Fit covers; that's my thinking.

I looked at a slipcover for the chair, too, but at $39 I knew it wasn't going to happen.

So I was off to Ikea and as I was wandering through the labyrinth I spotted the Discount Stuff area. Just popping through there quickly I noticed a bin full of textiles. And yes, there seemed to be a pile of Ektorp Slipcovers! And each piece was marked anywhere from one dollar to 3 dollars! I had to really dig and really think, because I knew I was going to need extra fabric to make it work, since my actual armchair is nothing like the dimensions of the Ektorp Armchair. But after a good 20 minutes of measuring and digging, all the while elbowing this ridiculous Hispanic Woman out of the way, who was determined to get in there and grab something just because I was there, I picked out the 3 essential pieces needed to slipcover my armchair.

Meet my new and improved slip-covered armchair! I paid 5 dollars for this! The body cover was 2 bucks, the seat cushion was 2 and the back pillow was one dollar.


And all that was left to do was pry apart this sofa to make the Ektorp Slipcover fit it completely. I had to slit the back cushions off of the frame, as they had been sewn to it for some weird reason. But I didn't spend 40 years as a seamstress for nothing! Give me a razor blade, point me in the right direction, and I'm not afraid to close my eyes and Slice Away!