Lexapro, Menopause and Me

IT’S BEEN almost five years since I took the plunge into menopause. I was 48 years old. One month I was fine. The next month I was on a roller coaster of emotions. Hot flashes, memory loss, anger and sadness. It was crazy, and I was crazy.

The lab work showed positively menopausal. My doctor prescribed Effexor for the mood swings and the hot flashes. Hormone Replacement was not an option because of my family history of breast cancer. The drug helped all of my symptoms, but I was now an insomniac. Lack of sleep made me lose focus and I was less efficient and productive. And perhaps less sane. The doctor switched me to Lexapro. It worked too but without the insomnia. The most upsetting side effect was weight gain. I also felt like I was treading water. I was moving but not going anywhere.37994E18-5629-4976-B0EE-D55B7E597BB5

Now that I’ve weathered the depths of menopause, my doctor has advised me to taper off the Lexapro. She is worried about the effect of the weight gain on my health. Hot flashes won’t kill me but diabetes will.

It must be done slowly since I’ve taken it so long. I’ll begin this process in February. I’m hoping for post-menopausal calmness and a bikini body!

Rhoda’s Fruit Cake 1993

I received the nicest letter yesterday with a typewritten version of my mother’s Fruit Cake recipe. My mother’s sister’s friend, June, makes this recipe each year. My mother gave her the recipe in 1993. June was making it this year and shared it with my aunt’s children. She had the handwritten version and it didn’t copy well so she typed it and sent it to them via email. She sent a copy of the email to me.

My mother died in 1996 and her sister died in 1999.

It’s nice to know someone remembers my mother at Christmas with his amazing recipe.

I’m sharing it with you.

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Merry Christmas,

Wanda

How to Play Hopscotch

I’m happy to announce that my quilt, How to Play Hopscotch, will be on exhibit at QuiltCon East 2017 as part of the APQ Nine-Patch Challenge.

I like challenges. It focuses my mind, and it’s fun to see what I can create within the parameters of the challenge.

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I sketched a lot of designs which were very complicated. I even cut a large stack of squares and played around with them on my design wall, but they all seemed contrived.

About that time I was at a party where two little girls were playing hopscotch. The adults had a lengthy discussion on the rules of hopscotch and of course we researched that on Google.  There are many ways to draw a hopscotch board but it’s a simple game — tossing and jumping.

I thought a simple nine-patch would be best and each block could have white lines representing the chalk lines. I also used a variety of fabrics — lightweight denim, shot cotton and regular cotton.

Once the quilt sandwich was assembled, I hand quilted each number in each block. Then, multiplies of each number.

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The finished quilt is 51″ by 51″.

 

HOW TO PLAY HOPSCOTCH

1) DRAW blocks on the ground with the ninth block being HOME.
2) THROW a stone on One.
3) HOP on ONE FOOT where the stone isn’t.
4) Hop through all squares and pick up the stone on your way back.
5) Start again and throw the stone on Two.
6) Hop on the squares where the stone isn’t as above.
7) Hop through all squares and pick up the stone on your way back.
8) If successful, start again and throw the stone on Square Three.
9) The winner is the person who tossed successfully and hopped successfully.

My new sewing/office space

Advertising works on me. I saw an ad for Havenly.com on Instagram and was intrigued. They’re an online design service. For $199, you get two design concepts, an initial design and a final layout for the room plus a shopping list. You pay them and they handle the rest. You can buy all or nothing. Check out their designers here.

Using photos I uploaded and my Pinterest page, my designer, Heather H., of Austin, Texas offered two concepts:

Concept

Concept One

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Concept Two

 

I made comments about what I liked and what I didn’t. I told Heather that Concept One was “sew sweet” and Concept Two was “sew cool” and I wanted to be COOL. That resulted in this concept:

Concept

I commented again and this was the final presentation:

Initial Design

I purchased the desk and the cutting table as well as a computer keyboard system from HumanScale.

The curtains were listed at $530 for the two panels and I knew I could make them myself. I contacted my friend Ana who works at U-Fab and is a fellow Central Virginia Modern Quilt Guild member. She found me a great option, $12.99 a yard, and they made the curtains for $89 each, which is a great price, for a total of $300 for the two panels.

I painted the walls a light gray, Reflection, from Sherwin Williams.

I decided to wait to buy the rug since I had a rug I could use for now. After everything arrived I placed the furniture in different locations. The cutting table was bigger than I anticipated but I love the counter height and the extra space. I’m undecided about getting the chair — which I think is heavenly.

Now for the GRAND REVEAL. I don’t know how those magazines and design bloggers get such great wide views. You’ll see it got dark while I tried to get the perfect shot.

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View from the Entrance of the Room

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View of the Sewing Machine Table and Cutting Table.

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Cutting Table — love these street signs I got at a salvage yard. The lamp is handmade from an Etsy shop called Lampada.

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View from my desk.

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Scrap bins find a home under the cutting table.

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More scrap bins on an old ladder we purchased in 1990. The print, Peachy Keen, was bought through Havenly.

office-desk-view

My new desk. I use Big Book of Quilting to raise my laptop. I use two monitors so it looks cluttered. Those design bloggers probably would have styled it by removing them, but this is real life.

The design wall came with me from the apartment, and I’ve blogged about it previously.

That’s it — somewhere between Sew Sweet and Sew Cool.

Wanda

Whew!

We moved into our new home almost a month ago. It started out with a bang. We were moving some items in Dave’s pickup truck and as he exited the vehicle, the only tree in our yard slowly fell on the roof and hood of his truck. Dave watched, helplessly. He was not injured.

tree on truck

Luckily, across the street was a car alignment shop and one of the mechanics, Bill, knew someone who could come over right away and extract the tree from the truck. The local collision center sent a tow truck. It was not totaled. Yippey! Ti’s a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado and the current value is about $3000. It doesn’t have a lot of mileage so we were relieved we didn’t have to buy a new vehicle.

We used a rental vehicle and our insurance for that ran out last Friday. At $38 a day, it adds up fast. We picked the truck up on Friday. It cost $5800 to repair. We had $500 deductible. But, wow — a very expensive tree.

We used movers for all our furniture and that part was seamless.

Unpacking and organizing takes longer than you expect. There is disorder almost everywhere. We have sheets on the bed and clothes in the closet, plus clean towels, so we are not suffering. We have eaten out a lot, and it’s time to go on a diet.

I’m excited to design my new office sewing studio. More on that later.

Wanda