Caching Up

Posted by on November 15, 2011 in blocks | 23 comments

Those who were around in 2007-2008 might remember just how debilitating my then “mystery illness” was.  It started with irritated eyes and vision problems, a constant loss of voice or hoarseness, allergy symptoms and fatigue so extreme that I fell asleep at stop lights and could literally sleep for days … and progressed to migraines, complex partial seizures and other problems that I attributed to my “broken brain.”   After almost a year of poking and prodding … and doctors scaring me with what their opinion about what it could be, we (and by “we,” I mean me) traced it back to the cleaning chemicals that were constantly being sloshed around in open buckets up and down the hall outside my cubicle wall.

The bad news is that the first list of symptoms is back.
The not so bad news is that my contract for work there is ending … so I will be out of the new office location (we moved on Nov 1) that is making me sick.

Until I lose this job and have time to recover, I may not be the best at being on top of things.  For example, I didn’t get out of bed and mostly slept from Thursday night through Monday morning.  Emailing me to ask why I haven’t yet added your blocks to the sidebar really just adds to my stress.  Spending an hour and a half reading through the posts and finding BAD LABELS really makes me wonder why I am giving up 90 minutes of what is now very precious “alert” time for people who can’t be bothered to label their posts correctly.  I mass corrected all of the Oct 2011 received blocks … but I do wonder why some of you think it’s OK to continue to expect me to spend the time to fix your posts to make it possible for me to track down missing blocks–and you do know that you WILL EXPECT ME to track down those missing blocks.  Or maybe you still think YOUR IDEA about a label to use is a better idea than using one that would make it possible for me to find ALL the posts about sample blocks sent or received or ALL the posts that contain photos for blocks you expect to be counted and included in the drawing?

If you have posted blocks in the past week, please take a moment and check the list.

In case you haven’t noticed, all this EXTREME fatigue and “broken brain” makes me VERY CRANKY. I have NO ONE to take care of me and yet some of you seem to think that when it comes to the block lotto, I am here to continue to waste hours TAKING CARE OF YOU.

We will be taking a Block Lotto break in December–I had planned to suggest a Block Lotto group swap next month, but after seeing the posts and complaining email messages, I am now asking myself WHY I would/should spend even more time doing that for some of you.  During my break (when I will inevitably be cleaning up the blog posts and updating the blog), I’ll decide if I can continue … and whether or not I want to do so.   Adding the stress of my contract ending and the job hunt to my health may well be all I can tolerate.

I appreciate the offers of help and may be taking some of you up on past offers to clean up the labels.  And before some of you ask, I am NOT interested in franchising the block lotto and spending what is often considerable time choosing and/or creating blocks and pattens for YOU to use in YOUR block lotto. Especially in my sick, cranky state, I’m just not that altruistic.    And while I ALWAYS appreciate your input, if you are going to email me about how I SHOULD be doing things, labeling posts,  or something else, please consider that the Block Lotto is a finely tuned machine that has evolved and grown over the past 10 years and over that decade, I have pretty much figured out what works and what won’t.  If I poo-poo your idea (everyone using their own name for the labels, for example), it’s because I probably have a better understanding of WHY the guidelines, labels, etc are what they are and what can be accomplished through following the established rules.


  1. Sorry to hear you aren't feeling well, Sophie. I love the lotto, but not at the expense of your health (or sanity 🙂 ). Rest up, and I hope you fell better soon.

  2. Love you, Sophie!
    Thanks for all the work that you put in so that we can have FUN.

    [I think I did them right, but I for one will be much more careful about my Labels on posts from now on.]

  3. Sorry to hear you are not feeling well…My asthma goes into high gear around paint, cleaners, air freshners and the like so I emphathize. (Thank goodness for vinegar)

    Thank you for doing block lotto, I think everyone enjoys it…but it is a hobby, and you are talking about your everyday life. You need to do what is best for you no questions asked. We all have different times where we are busy/dealing with things and can't get to all that we'd like so everyone should understand.

  4. I have loved playing on the Block Lotto over the past few years. I have often wondered how you or anyone else that does swaps, can keep everything so organized. I have appreciated everything you have done for us!! Get better Sophie! We love you!

  5. So sorry to hear about your illness and life stressors. I don't think I could handle what you are dealing with, and wish I could be there for you.

    I would be MORE THAN HAPPY to help in any way I can! I really mean that! I am a seasoned blogger and a very seasoned quilter. If someone wants to put a lotto together, creating patterns and generating ideas would be a fun and simple project for me.

  6. Sophie….so sorry you arent' feeling well. I have only participated in the Sept. and Nov. block lotto and I have had so much fun doing the blocks. I hope others now realize that it takes human effort to make sites like the run smoothly. I sure hope you feel better soon but the question is whats more important….you health and sanity? or block lotto? I say, take care of yourself and get better soon…real soon. My prayers are with you Sophie and thanks for starting the block lotto.

  7. I hope you feel better soon. Block Lotto is great but health is far more important!

    "When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on"
    : )

  8. So sorry to hear you are unwell again. I have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this group and have learnt so much. It is a great way to try out new methods but not necessarily make a large quilt.
    I hope you are soon feeling better. Take care and look after yourself.

  9. I'm so sorry to hear you aren't feeling well on top of all the job stress.

    If I can help in any way, please let me know!

  10. So sorry to hear about your ailing health sofie. Take care of yourself!

  11. I'm so sorry you're not well Sophie. I do hope I haven't contributed to your stress and work with the labels, I'm not very computer literate and I probably messed up my posting.
    Thanks so much for putting all the work into Block Lotto for us and I hope you get well very soon.
    Hugs Sue

  12. Sophie, please get well and don't worry about the Block Lotto. In fact, declare 2-3 months off and declare it the Blick Lotto UFO completion challenge. All of us participants could turn our efforts to completing those many UFOs and then sharing the results at the end.
    Also, be sure your dr checks out the possibility of Lyme disease and thyroid issues. Unexplained fatigue could be related. I also recommend Norman Cousin's laughter therapy: check out funny movies, watch Big bang theory and 30 rock, and read some Carl Hiaassen novels! Or we can send you quilting jokes. We are so grateful for you!

  13. Sophie,

    Thank you for all you do. Block Lotto has been a great experience. yes, your health is more important than our 'fun',

    I have been recently diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. Your symptoms made me think of it…especially falling asleep at stop lights.

    Peace and healing to you,
    Cathy Ann

  14. Sophie, thank you for the honesty. We sometimes act like we can do EVERYThinG when in fact it is impossible, and obviously when we are not at optimum health, even more so. I do hope you get some answers, and healing.

    I have enjoyed the block lotto journey this past year, and have appreciated your hand holding and patience with my newbie questions. It has been something that I share each month in my quilting class, and have enjoyed the challenge! Thank you for sharing your ideas, knowledge and with the great blocks I've done with you.

    Take care! hugs to you,

  15. Take care and take a nice, quiet month off in December. Hopefully you'll decide to continue but your health and sanity MUST come first. I don't know how you do all this anyway. I have CFS/FM and I know I couldn't do it. I'm amazed at the amount of work it takes. I had no idea that you weren't feeling well, too. Wow. You've done an awesome job. Now turn that energy inward and concentrate on yourself. (And then hire a disability lawyer and begin filing for Social Security disability. It will take a long time and it's best to start now. WITH a lawyer.)

    Get well.

  16. I hope yoU feel better soon, Sophie.

    To everyone reading these comments who has ANY doubt about whether or not you used the correct labels, YOU can correct your posts. Don't wait until Sophie gets around to it. First, check the sidebar for the correct labels. (And we're talking labels, not titles. Big difference.). Then click on the little blogger logo on the top left of this page. That will take you to your "dashboard," where you will see any blog for which you have writing permissions. Click on "edit posts," and a list of posts will come up, and you can look for the ones you wrote. Those are the only ones you can edit. In italics or colored print, depending on your browser, you will see the labels underneath the title. If the labels are correct, you're done. If they're incorrect, then click on "edit post.". At the bottom of the post is the space to insert labels. Fix them. Then publish your post again.

  17. Oh Sophie, that sounds terrible. I love the lotto even if I can't find the time to participate every month and I am sure it is very time consuming for you. You are doing a GRAND job with it, thanks for all the time and effort you have put in it over the years. I hope you feel a lot better very soon and that something turns up job-wise. Thanks, I am very grateful for the fun time I've had on the lotto and I hope you can continue it in the new year but only if you feel fit enough for it. Rest up and take care of yourself for now.

  18. Sophie, I want to add my thanks to the list above. I SO appreciate all the work you've done on our behalf for so long. The lotto has been so much fun and I've learned so much.
    I had no idea you've been sick and I'm so sorry. It must be so discouraging to feel the symptoms coming back—beyond terrible I'm sure.
    You've got our very best wishes and prayers. I would also be happy to offer any help I can.
    Thanks Sophie!

  19. Love you, Sophie!

  20. take care of yourself, Sophie – your health must come first! The suggestion for block lotto members to finish off any UFO's is a good one 😉 I haven't done anything with my violets yet ;-(

  21. Sophie, please put yourself first. It must be so hard to be on your own going through this. Do what you need to. You need to be your first priority just now. Hugs and prayers for you.

  22. Take good care Sophie – you MUST take the time you need – don't worry about how long (i love the idea of the UFO break ) we just want you to get well x

  23. Oh Sophie, you really are suffering aren't you. I hope you take as much time as you need to get to a place where you are well, and are enjoying BL again.

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