Tuesday, December 1, 2015

From an ER Visit to Backyard Firepits, Fall 2015 Had it All

Well the fall season sure went by fast this year. Between adjusting to some new meds and trying to keep up with things at home I guess time just got away from me. Let's take a quick look back at the past few months.

Fall Favorites

My sister gave me an adult coloring book and some high-end colored pencils for my birthday. Who even knew there was such a thing as high-end colored pencils - much to my surprise it actually does make a difference.

Anyway, I've really enjoyed relaxing on the couch with my book and pencils this fall. Something about the rhythm of moving the pencils and focusing attention on color selection and technique well, it's both relaxing and distracting. Perfect for someone like me.
This is the one I'm currently working on.
Since popular culture has begun to embrace adult coloring as a relaxing activity for anyone of any age it has become easy to find coloring books made for adults. Some are actually adult themed or humorous but most seem to be intricate designs. I highly recommend this activity to my fellow chronic pain sufferers.
My other favorite from this fall is the discovery of these sheets at Target. I've been waiting literally for years for the local Ikea to open up so I could pick up another set of white sheets. We got a set when we lived by Ikea in Northern Virginia a number of years ago. Unfortunately, when the new Ikea opened, I discovered that they no longer carry those same sheets. But I did find these Threshold brand brushed organic cotton sheet from Target and decided to give them a chance.

Threshold also makes some that are not brushed or organic
Make sure you look for the green organic banner.

They come in a variety of colors and even some patterns.

What makes these sheets so great? Three simple things:
1. They're made from BRUSHED organic cotton, which means the fabric you see and feel in the store will still look and feel the same even after it has been repeatedly washed. You won't see your dryer lint trap fill up with all the softness you were promised in the store, only to be left with thin, rough sheets. In general, finding brushed cotton sheets can be difficult.

2. The fitted sheet fits great, even after several washes. Plus it has labels that mark top/bottom and sides, which is great for our king mattress. Before I was forced to use the trial and error method for determining which way to put it on. I guess this wouldn't be a problem on smaller mattresses, where length and width are more obvious. AND the top sheet is longer on the sides than any other sheets I've ever owned. I love this because now I'm not struggling to cover my fitted sheet and I can actually tuck in the sides if I wanted to.

3. The price point is just as perfect as the sheets themselves. The sheets only have a thread count of 300, which sounds kinda rough. That's because stores want you to believe that a higher thread count equals softer sheets but that is simply NOT TRUE. Sheet softness is determined by the quality of cotton being used and if it is brushed or not. These sheets are in fact quite soft and very reasonably priced, ranging from $28-$56 for a set.

Fall Successes

The big success this fall was in making pillow covers. I made a few envelope style covers just to get my feet wet and then I started in on the zippered covers.

These are two of the Christmas covers I made.
With Gypsy on the couch all the time I love being able to take the covers off our throw pillows and wash them. So far I've made some nice fall and Christmas covers.
The other big success this fall was completing the painting project in our main living space. It was important to me that it was done before it was time to decorate for Christmas and we got it done just with just a week to spare. What a relief!

This final project was tricky because it was this funny little area above the rabbit nook. Unsure how the inner structure of that shelf would hold up to my weight we tested it with weights first. With the aid of some wood to help distribute the weight evenly, it ended up being no problem at all. Now I just need to figure out what to put up there...

Fall Failures

Our oven/stove isn't quite working as it should. It's one of the appliances that came with the house, which means it's of low quality to begin with. Still, I thought it would last longer than 2 years. Normally I wouldn't worry too much until it broke outright but since it is a gas appliance we don't want to take any chances so we've ordered a new one. A nice one that can withstand regular use, with a warranty and everything. There are several things I hated about our current one so this wasn't terrible news, still it was a rather large unexpected expense right before Christmas. Thankfully appliances are on deep discount right around Thanksgiving so we got a great deal. Now we just have to wait another week for delivery.

Fall Highlights

After years of waiting and 18 months of construction, Ikea finally opened in St. Louis. I absolutely love being in an Ikea. I love small spaces and I love design so walking through the showrooms are great fun. Plus, there are all sorts of bargains to be had in the marketplace. Not everything is priced well but enough is.

I picked up these two low-light plants to put in the master bedroom.
Eventually I want to have plants in every room.
I've already been twice and hope to make another trip later this month. It's wonderful to have an Ikea nearby again.
The weather has cooperated allowing us the pleasure of many firepits - always a highlight. We managed to squeeze one in almost every weekend of the season. I LOVE sitting in front of the fire with hubby, just talking and enjoying the environment. Our firepits always brighten my spirit, helps me relax and what a tremendous distraction. Even when I'm in a fair amount of pain I can still sit outside and have a nice time in front of the fire with my love.

It was all the more precious this year because quality time with hubby is harder to come by now that he has gone back to school.

Fall Lowlights

Hands down the lowlight of this fall was the day I spent in the ER in horrible pain from my endometriosis. I was glad for the intervention and some relief from the pain but I was pretty disappointed with myself for ignoring the worsening pain for so long.

So there you have it. This fall came with all kinds of ups and downs. Life remains interesting and for that I'm thankful. Now Let's get this winter thing over with.

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