04 June 2009

Hello - I'm back!

Hello all you lovely stitching beauties out there and apologies for being away for so long - it appears that I've been completely lapse in updating my poor neglected blog. One of my New Years Resolutions was to try to update it more than once a year - I can't believe that my last post was 15 April 2008! I shall try to update you from where I left off as best I can without, I hope, boring you rigid *cue wavy flashback visual effect - the one they sometimes use on 'Murder She Wrote* :-)....

Now then...where to begin. Well, 2008 was a very up and down year for me. After much emotional rollercoaster rides and ups and downs, I am now finally divorced, although the house transfer is still going on. Secondly, my Mum went into hospital to to have a hysterectomy in December 2008. It's been a long haul but she's finally getting there - she's doing very well and is getting better 6 months on. The only thing at the moment that's not so good is that my beloved puddy cat Fudge got scared out of his wits (both Mum and me think he's being bullied by another cat) and has been showing signs of stress (no interaction or purring despite cuddles and lots of TLC, and eating very little and not going outside). Three vet appointments, one blood test and two vigourous examinations later, they can find nothing wrong with him, other than the fact that he's stressed or depressed. They gave me some 'Feliway' spray to spray around the house, and for a time there was improvement. He was purring, eating a little bit more, going outside (but not for very long) and he was sitting outside with me, rolling around in the garden, purring like mad and being very contented.

Then the day before yesterday, he was trying to be sick and I assumed he had furballs. It is the time of year for cats to moult and he's been coating like mad - fistfuls of fur in fact, so he's bound to have a furball or two. But the most distressing thing is, he's started to retreat into his listlessness and non-interest in anyone or anything and he's not eating at all (but he is drinking is water as normal). He's not even using his litter tray, which is worrying in itself. Off back to the vet we went again. Again he was prodded and poked, again examined very thoroughly, his temperature was taken - absolutely normal. They prescribed him some 'Katalax' and told me to keep spraying the Feliway around the house. But as you can imagine, I am sick with worry about him and it's so heartbreaking to witness him, lying on his blankie, looking so sorry for himself and sad. I'm trying to keep positive but it's so draining and worrying, trying to act normal, when the one you love seems to have lost the will.

Yes I know, not a very good starting post is it? I'm hoping that Fudge will pull through in time. I'll keep you updated as it happens.

I hope you're all keeping well and sorry again for being away so long. I shall be posting lots of stitching photos soon, so keep looking back :-)

Lots of love to you all,
Carto xxxxxx

15 April 2008

The Beginning of my Cross Stitch Journey

Can you remember your very first journey into the world of cross stitch? Can you remember having no idea of how to start, despite reading the instructions? Do you remember using all six strands of floss and getting into a complete and utter flap? I can, but I can look back on it now and chuckle.

I was looking in my WIP workbox the other day and I came across a cloth bag that I had overlooked for some time. I found something in it that made me laugh out loud. The design is by 'Dimensions' and it was part of their 'Ginger Mouse' series (a series which I think is now obsolete) – this one in particular is entitled 'Ginger Mouse with Apple' – complete with chart, a mounting hoop and the complete set of Anchor Floss cards (apologies for the poor quality pic - don't quite know why the flash didn't go off!)

I remember it as my second attempt at cross stitch and I remember buying the kit in a stitching shop in Nottingham which has long since gone, in about 1994, way before catching the stitching bug in 1997. The front looks innocent enough…you can just about make out the shape of the body and the eyes of the ginger mouse…

….but lurking beneath…(cue the 'Psycho' shower scene music!)…..

Arrrrggh! How awful is that?!?!?! I committed the ultimate cross stitching crime – carrying over the thread more than two stitches. Good grief, it looks like a hammock doesn't it?!

I'm going to keep this out and look at it as often as I can, to remind me of how far I've come in terms of stitching. It's also given me a well overdue reminder that hoping and believing in yourself is a good thing, because no matter what happens, even if everything doesn't go the way you planned it and becomes a tangled mess, if you stick at it, you will get through and all will be well in the end.

Carto xx

07 April 2008

Hello, I'm Back!

Hey all!

I can't believe that my last post was in November - it only feels like yesterday, where's the time gone?!

I'm really sorry if my extended hiatus has concerned or worried any of you. Unfortunately, since I last posted, things haven't been very good, what with my depression, which hasn't got any better, but on the upside hasn't got any worse either, and not nearly as bad as the bout I had back in 2001/2002. It's been an uphill battle to be interested in anything - everything seems such an effort! Summoning up the energy to go to work and come back just about kills me, so surfing on the old net is not something I've kept up with I'm afraid. I can just about cope with checking my emails, and that's about it. Then just as I had got over my kidney infection, I had a really bad dose of the flu, which lasted for most of December - and it's this bout of flu that has really set me back, as my immune system was next door to rock bottom as it was.

Also, work hasn't been too brilliant either, so on the recommendation from my Doctor, which went along the lines of "Please Heidi, find another job for the sake of your sanity", I've updated my CV and it's currently doing the rounds of the local recruitment agencies. I think this girly has reached the end of her tether, what with the low morale and stress of the job, plus the attitude of certain 'colleagues' not related to my team/area of work, who seem to think that I'm their PA. So, to cut a long story short, this girly is shipping out! I am quietly optimistic - I'll keep you posted if anything comes through.

OK, it's been a long time...so where do I start with the piccies? Hmmm...Christmas. Well Fudgie cat volunteered to help me put up the Christmas tree...

As you can see, he volunteered on an 'overseeing developments' sort of basis, i.e. not rolling up his sleeves and actually helping me, but, quite rightly he argued the point that, in fact, he has no sleeves, so begrudgingly I had to agree with him......

...and here he is, inspecting the Christmas tree box...

And finally, here he is 'helping' me to wrap up some presents.....

As you can see, 'overseeing' is tiring work! Aww, he's such a cutie - he's been such a tower of strength to me and sarcasm aside, I don't know what I'd do without him. He's been my friend, my rock and my everything through all of this. All I can say is thank the good Lord for Cats! :-)

As far as the stitching goes, it's really the only thing I have stuck at. Again, my Doctor encouraged me to keep at it, and I'm glad she did, because it helps me to wind down at the end of the day - plus it's something else to focus on. There's so much floating around in my mind right now - the depression, the job situation, also the fact that I'm divorcing husband this year. It's been all to easy to focus on the negative, which is really selfish as there's so many people in this world so much worse off than me - so stitching has really helped. Sometimes I only manage to complete a few stitches, then on the other extreme I can sit down on a Saturday at 11.30am and go right through to 6pm. Here's progress on 'Cat Knot' so far...

It's coming along, slowly but surely...and here's the 'Happiness' sampler. I've not unpicked the huge 'frogged' section yet - instead, I've concentrated on another area. As you can see, I've finished the first line of the saying and I've started stitching in the leaves and acorns that surround it...

Well, that's about it for now. I will try my very best to visit your blogs and return your good wishes - and there are some emails that I have received from you which I've opened, read, thought 'I must reply!' and never returned, so once again, huge and heartfelt apologies if I've seemed very rude. I really didn't mean to come across that way, honest! xxxx

Anyway, much love to you all...and I will be posting more often in future. Thank you for being such good friends, and thank you for thinking about me! This tired old thing really appreciates it.

Carto xxx

05 November 2007

Cat 'Wake-Up' Call

I just had to post this after receiving this from a friend of mine. Ah...this is so true..the joys of cat ownership! lol

01 November 2007

I'm the Queen of Frogs

Hey all. Thank you everyone for your well wishes and kind words, they have cheered me up and they keep me going. Bless all of you.

Well, I'm pretty much the same depression wise, but now I'm off sick, not with the depression, but a kidney infection that started out as Cystitis. I've been in agony for the last two weeks, what with passing water and now the dull ache in my lower back. I'm on antibiotics at the moment and Doc has told me to drink plenty of fluids, which I am doing, but the bathroom has become my second home!

Here are some pictures of my stitching. I've not done any since falling ill with the waterworks. It was only when I took a photograph of my sampler that I realised I am the all-time 'Queen of Frogs'. On the fourth line down, I've successfully managed to line all the lettering up in the wrong place, hence all the lettering you see will have to be unpicked - aarrrgh!!! Oh well, I suppose it will keep me busy. Mum says that I'm a 'glutton for punishment' and that it would send her 'completely doo-lally'! Maybe it will - I'll no doubt find out when I get around to it.

With regard to 'Cat Knot', it's steadily coming along. It might not look like much but I think I'm getting there slowly but surely.

That's it for now. I shall be doing my rounds to all of your blogs over the next week or so - and thanks again everyone for being there, it's comforting to know I have friends that care.

Lots of love xxxx

09 October 2007

I'm back (hopefully)

Hey all

Firstly, huge apologies for the really long delay in posting - I can't believe that my last post was in August!! I'm sorry I've left it so long and I hope I haven't unnecessarily worried any of you, hopefully I'm back now, but probably not so frequent as I would like.

Well, to explain what's been going on - firstly, my depression has come back. I had a bad bout a few years ago which I fully recovered from, but despite this bout not being so severe as last time the 'black cloud' has decided to rear its ugly head again. This has primarily been the reason why I've not logged on for such a long time. Everything, even browsing the web, has felt like an uphill struggle - instead I've been trying to channel my energy into staying at work.

Secondly, to add to the above, work has been a nightmare. There are still lots of 'issues' that the department I work in is having to deal with. Everyone's workloads (not just mine) have gone through the roof, which has meant that we've been working long hours. My social life is non-existent, because when I'm not at work, I'm trying to relax and look after myself as much as I can - it's about all the energy I can muster.

On a brighter note though, I passed my orange belt grading at the end of August - I'm now a 6th Kyu!

Training has also been put on the back burner for a while. I'm hoping to return next week, but I haven't been training in over a month - it's all been a little too much, so something had to give for a while, but I think now that the exercise will do me good.

I've also been stitching lots in my free time (at least that hasn't suffered, if anything it's helped take my mind off things), so I shall post some stitching piccies soon.

I'm conscious that this all sounds really whiney, but this has been my lot since I last posted. I hope you're all OK and I shall be visiting your blogs over the next few weeks. Thanks all for your lovely comments on my last post and I'm really sorry I didn't get back to you about them. Thanks again my lovelies - I don't know where I'd be without you.

Lots of love xxxxxx

05 August 2007


Hello...and, first of all, apologies for hardly being around in July. It's been a combination of feeling a bit down (which I have to say is getting less and less now - it used to be every week), working, working and working, which has completely wiped my energy...and training in Aikido, which has also completely wiped me.

I'll be graded in Aikido on 22nd August and the training has involved learning 6 new techniques...and I even now, I still struggle to remember how to do them. It's been somewhat stressful...and Sensei keeps saying 'Don't think about it, just do it', which is common sense when you look at it, but there's a glitch in my head that my memory keeps stumbling over. I know at some point it will all click and come together.......but I want it to click now!!!

Also, Fudge is now on heart tablets, and will be for the rest of his life. When he went back for his check up after the grass swallowing incident, they detected a feint gurgling sound when listening to his lungs. They ran some tests..and thankfully everything seems normal, i.e. liver, kidney and heart (despite the murmur) function is fine, but his heart is beginning to age and it's not working as good as it should, hence there's a tiny build-up of fluid in his lungs. I knew the heart medication thing would come sooner or later, and as the Vet keeps reminding me..they weren't expecting him to live beyond 6 years, so he's not doing bad at all, but it has been a worrying time. He's on a new heart medication that will not only support his heart, but also his kidneys too, which is great. He's been on the medication for a week now and, touch wood, there doesn't seem to be any side-effects.

And lasttly, work is getting me down. My department is taking over what is called the European Regional Development Fund, or ERDF for short. Currently all the regional Government offices in the UK manage and appraise these funds, but from October,the management and appraisal process will fall under the responsibility of all the Regional Development Agencys in the country (we are sort of classed as part of the Government, even though technically we are not), so thankfully it's not just us in the East Midlands that's having the headache. But it is getting quite stressful, and the workload is really full on and relentless. Hence this is the reason when I've got home just lately all I've wanted to do is have a soak in the bath and have an early night.

So this has been my world since I last posted. I've done only a very small amount of stitching because I've been too tired to concentrate....so it's all been a bit...well PANTS really. It's s long excuse I know, but I'm sorry I've not been around to look at all your lovely blogs and I've missed you all terribly. I'm hoping normal service will resume shortly. Thanks for your patience so far...I will try to look at blogs later on in the week.

Carto xxxx