Sharing my life and love of cross stitch. Thoughts about this and that.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Some of my Patriotic Freebies

And take a moment to watch Endeavour land at LAX in 2012 and listen to the Fanfare. It's very moving. I get choked up watching this again after all these years.  My brother slightly tweaked it and played trumpet in the small musical ensemble. I love him so much! His musical endeavors (pun not necessarily intended) have entertained me, but more importantly have had great meaning in and have enriched my life. I need to tell him that. 

I also remember my dear Mother who passed on this day in 2011. I wish I had taken the opportunity to have told her over and over just how very much she meant to me.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

MD Anderson & Clinical Trial; Meet Up with 123er

Just returned from an appt at MD Anderson (top-rated cancer hospital) with one of the top 2 MDS doctors and researchers in the US. My sister was available at the last minute and drove her new car, for which I am very appreciative and very grateful. I went for a first visit to meet Dr. Garcia-Manero, get a 3rd perspective and discuss possible clinical trials. Absent a Stem Cell Transplant, Myleodysplastic Syndrome is not curable and a certain percentage of patients sooner or later develop Acute Myloid Leukemia. None-the-less I was disappointed. The trial he wants me to participate in is actually one of his, a Quality of Life issue to determine if a smaller dosage of the only 3 standard drugs (for the past 15 years there's not been a new one!) is just as effective as the more toxic higher dosages. The purpose being to help a patient become transfusion free.  It's a randomized study, they put your name into a computer and the computer assigns you which 1 of 3 options. One of the drugs, Decitibine, has more negative side effects (I'd already discussed these with my local doc and he's against it entirely) but both it and Vidaza lower your current counts for several months before you even see any difference. That scares me since at present it's only my red cells that are affected by the bone marrow cancer. My immunity would be compromised to a greater or lesser extent, for example, ALONG WITH my red blood cell counts which are low to start with. I would need to travel to Houston (this time it took us between 5-1/2 and 6 horus to drive) every 3 months for at least a year and incur the costs of lodging and perhaps car rental (my car is 17 years old) to get there on my own dime. I need more information, discussion, ask a LOT more questions, etc. I need to discuss this with both my local hematologist/oncologist and my Hem./Onc MDS specialist in Dallas before I decide anything. The truth is that I'm going to end up on one of them (at a higher dosage and therefore more toxic) in probably short order already, but my doc wanted to wait until something in my current counts changed significantly. Apparently the clinical trial would start as soon as I'm ready for it to. I DO NOT WANT TO GO ON CHEMO! I was already debating whether I would do it despite the ramifications of not doing so.

This trip I the had company of my sister. I expect anything in the future will be me, myself and I for as long as I can or by public transportation, which has it's own drawbacks and $$$. Oh, and I'd need to get yet another somewhat but thankfully short-lived painful Bone Marrow Biopsy every time I'm there. NOT PLEASANT!!! I had one Friday. I can't even take a bath until tomorrow, so church was a no go this morning. It'll be sore for a while. Not painful unless I push up against or bump that hip. At present I've got a big pressure bandage over the site on top of an illiac crest. At least this one wasn't as painful as the first 2.

And because my immunity will be compromised by the chemo, I'll need to move and sell my house.. I've known that since September. I don't want to move, but I REALLY REALLY need to. It's just so hard to contemplate because I've lived here for almost 33 years. I won't have any help doing so. Can't afford the considerable necessary repairs and I'll need the $$ to live on.

But the BEST part of my trip is that I got to meet up with Simcha, a cross-stitcher who also posts on the 123 Message Board!! She's an intelligent, fascinating woman and it was an absolute delight to meet her. If I go back to Houston, I hope to meet up again! Would you believe that we talked non-stop for 1-1/2 hours and only a couple of those were about cross-stitch and that was telling each other which fellow 123ers we'd been able to meet in the past. Best possible way to finish out an otherwise very rushed, very overwhelming day!

After I confirmed it was a one-day only appt (usually they are 3 to 5 days!) I reluctantly left Oscar home alone. I'd intended to take him to the vet because he's not been acting Oscar-like lately. He ate and drank very little and has been very very clingy since I returned.  I'd have boarded him but his shots weren't up to date. I'd had to leave the cats home alone when I was in the hospital for 8 days last fall and with Henna having crossed the bridge recently, I'm sure he felt abandoned. Poor "little" guy.

I don't know that anyone is interested in this stuff. Definitely venting to some extent. I'll probably delete this post in a few days.

Sunday, May 28, 2017


July 6, 1996 - May 27, 2017

July 6, 2015 - Age 19

I feel so guilty, like I betrayed her trust.
My heart is broken.

In looking up yesterday's date, I discovered that Picot,
my very sweet little white Bichon, crossed over on the
 same day in 1996. 
My heart is broken twice over. 

Nay, many times over remembering all my many
 furbabies over the past 60 years.

In Memory of Copper (who was taken back to the pound by my parents without even telling me when I was 10 - I wasn't allowed to mention or even cry for him - a child suffer PTSD since even thinking about him almost 60 years later reduces me to sobs and anxiety, and yes, anger). After I left home at 19: Guinevere (the rabbit), Alexander (guinea pig), 2 more dear female guinea pigs whose names escape me at this moment, Gus (a wonderful widely roaming Aussie) of cancer; Truffles I and II, Vesuvius (Vee), Brother John, Sally, and ALL the hamsters (everyone of them with a name!), Paddy Cat in 1979 and all 15 of her kittens over the years; Charlotte (a Cocker) in 1993; Picot in 1996 (Bichon) of a highly aggressive mammary cancer, Sweet Charity (a tortie) in 1998? who grieved for Picot and spang off the bed in absolute delight when I came home with Andy, thinking it was Picot finally come home; Andy in 2008 from Lymphoma (a Bichon/Lhasa), I miss my little white dogs!; Brulet (flame point Siamese) age 18 who simply didn't come home one night in 2012 - I searched for months; and now Henna. 

I miss and mourn them all! 

And now I face having to rehome my really big boy, Oscar (Chartreux) sooner rather than later, which I am already dreading.

It is already too quiet and too still around here. Even Oscar
 is unnaturally silent though I'm not sure he even realizes
 Henna isn't here. 

I didn't realize how much I was always listening for her and them all.

We get so attached and mourn so deeply when they
are no longer with us. Sometimes I wonder whether
the pain of loss is worth the incredible bonding. 

Yes, even with all those procreating, escape artist hamsters.

I hear Oscar now. He'll want me to turn on the faucet in the tub so he can drink from it, then lots of cat treats. He's doesn't know it yet, but he's going to be put on a diet. As I need to be as well.

Life always moves on.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Robot Monster the Musical

If you live in the LA area and enjoy completely off-beat independent productions, I suggest you check out Robot Monster the Musical, (not soliciting $$ just the only thing I could find via Google, however if you feel compelled .. neat perks. And there's a FB Page for Robot Monster). It's based on the 1953 "worst of the worst" cult sci fi films, thus making it ripe, of course, for parody and a musical version. In case you're wondering, the Robot Monster costume is a primarily an actor (in this case a singer) in what looks like a diving helmet and a gorilla suit. That alone should start you chuckling. Funny story behind that! My brother was hired to play lead trombone on a sound track (really low budget so the producers likely couldn't pay for live musicians for each of 5 performances - which will be held during the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June). My brother's description had me laughing out loud. Whether serious or seriously silly I haven't a clue, but if I lived 1400 miles closer to Hollywood, I'd definitely go see it. 😊 

So after all the recording was over, my brother stepped into the sound booth and was asked what he thought. Jim enthusiastically replied, "Greatest Musical Ever!" (he can be prone to hyperbole) and was asked if he could be quoted on that.  Resulting in:

Serious musician. Sometimes really silly brother. He says he's going to see it - TWICE.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Blackbird Designs Freebie

"Now I Know My A B C's" 69w x 53h A simple, 7-stitch high, primitive styled alphabet with Caps, Lower Case and Numbers. Several designers use same or similar. Many ways to finish or use.

I may have posted this previously, but once again just in case not.  



Friday, March 24, 2017

Amazing. Over 300,000 site visits!

I started this blog in 2009. Sometime during the past week I passed the 300,000 site visit mark. Wow!

Thank yous to all who have stopped by. I hope you've found some interest in maybe one of my charts or followed a link to find a new designer or that perfect chart you were looking for.


Monday, March 20, 2017


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Remember WebRing?

Can't believe that my old LMcDesigns WebRing site, created in December 2003, hasn't disappeared. Doubt all the links still work, but the fact that it's still accessible 13 years later is surprising. I probably moved most of the designs over here, but if you're interested in exploring something created more than a decade ago 

Even created my own buttons. :D It was a labor of love. I also created and ran three sites on Yahoo's old - sorry can't even remember the name but despite being a PITA, I had a family site, a business site, and a cross stitch site. Loved playing around within the limits of the design features and tweaking them into something really nice. As for my Attorney site, it predated most of the attorney websites by a few years. Ah, once upon a time I was still creative and had fun setting these up. Now I can't even remember the names of the online programs. :-{
  x x x x x
Seems my presence in cyber space is going to survive long past me. My MDS has been upgraded or staged one step higher at MLD, meaning that not only are my red blood cells affected, so are my platelets. There are only 3 standard drugs or combination of them which might slow down the progression but won't stop it. Only a successful bone marrow transplant will, and I am not eligible.. But I would ask that if you are so inclined, PLEASE sign up to donate bone marrow or stem cells for those with MDS or other blood diseases who are eligible. Matches are hard to find and the more people willing to donate increase the chances for others with MDS to find someone who will. You can read about stem cell and bone marrow donations at BE THE MATCH.  Thank you on behalf of the hundreds or thousands of MDS patients who have no other potential cure.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Snowflower Diaries

The Snowflower Diaries

Going back through some old posts I ran across this site and took another look. All sorts of freebies including her 2016 Joyful World series of monthly charts featuring various animals large and small and birds such as flamingos and ducks with floral sides. Each design is 99w x 73h and can be assembled into one large work. Dimensions given after the January chart. Each month has been translated into 7 or more different languages, many I can't even guess at. :D Various other freebies also featured in the left column. Nice site. She also has an Esty shop with other designs.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017