Monday, January 25, 2016

Have you heard of Instant Pot

So - have you heard of Instant Pot?  Oh my gosh around Christmas time a bunch of my friends were going on and on about it.  It looks like a crock pot, but it's an electric pressure cooker.  It has all sorts of settings and wow, it does everything well and fast.  I've done a cheap chuck roast in it with potatoes and carrots that was fall apart tender and delicious.  Last night I did a 6 pound whole chicken in 45 minutes and it was so juicy and falling apart it was cooked so nicely.  Typically these things would take all day in the oven on low heat or in the case of the chicken at least a couple of hours and splatters all over the oven to clean up too.  If you are interested I got mine on Amazon as they have some of the best prices -here is the link:  Instant Pot

  • Instant Pot IP-LUX50 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, 5Qt/900W, Stainless Steel Cooking Pot and Exterior
I got the biggest kick out of Scotchie today, he hides his face and I swear he thinks he's invisible and you can't see him:

You can't see me Mom and I'm not gonna look at you!

Okay I can't help it - I had to look, yep I'm here, but I was invisible!!
Brought something home in a big sack and Chanceman decided to get playful and then when he was done he just sat on it for a while - just so everybody knew it was his sack and don't touch it.


Went to a local store called Craft Warehouse today to get some backing fabric.  Well they had a lot of cute ideas and so I checked out all the cute, crafty ideas and put my own choices and touches to the ideas and came up with this:

It's a small lantern that I put a 30 strand battery operated twinkle lights into, then some moss and then this adorable owl figure.  I think he turned out so cute.  I need to hide the battery pack better though.  Sadly with flash you can't see the twinkle lights.

CR continues his PT to help him stand straighter.  We also had an oncologist appt today.  For the past 2 months his PSA has gone up 2 points each month.  No changes to medicine yet, but it may be coming if this becomes a trend as well as a full set of scans to see what the cancer is doing and if there are new lesions on the bones, etc.  Golly that is not what I wanted to hear, but a lot of new medicines have come out, so there are other things to try and we will continue to stay positive and make the best of a rough situations.

We've had sunshine for several days and it sure does make a person feel better.  I feel some energy again, even though I've had a terrible stomach bug that is still sort of hanging on and I'm doing my best to try to ignore it.

So what is your weather like - are you stuck with a lot of snow, or are you getting to see the sun?  What have you been up to, any fun changes to the house or planned changes to the yard and garden?

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Winter Spruce Up and Hobby Lobby

Are you like me, you take all the Christmas stuff down and then you decide things need to be changed up as you put the house back together.  Sometimes I do a lot, sometimes it's just a matter of moving things around.  This year I did a few things and they all involved Hobby Lobby.  My Aunt Jean and I feel we should own stock in HL as we seem to have a bit of an addiction.  The thing is they have great stuff and great sales, so what's not to love, right!

I put my back to school boyds bears on the old sewing cabinet that sits on top of my MIL's cedar chest and then found this adorable bird house and candle holder to go with them at HL.

I had this old rustic bell hanging from that hook for years and I was sick of it, then on a trip to HL I found this adorable teapot with cups and spoons wind chime.  Around here we get winds that would smash it in no time, but it was perfect for the inside!

I had a wooden picnic basket here for years, but I was tired of the look, so I found this adorable little shelf with 2 galvanized shelf/trays for this spot, it had to be short as I didn't want my quilt hidden behind it.

A closer look at the shelf.  The two kitties on the top shelf were sent to my recently (from my Auntie) and they are also from HL in North Carolina.  I haven't seen them at our HL.  I think they are so cute!

I have this thing for Owls and I have my Auntie started on having a thing for them too.  She found this Owl at her HL and sent it to me.  When I got it I remembered these tiny stools at HL and thought it would be perfect for him to sit on and watch me in the evenings.  He's my embroidery inspector as he usually sees me in my chair doing that!!

In my other living room I had this candle holder lantern thing hanging there for years and I was sick of it too, so I found this adorable bird cage at HL yesterday.  It hangs above my MIL's buffet and I have my patriotic angels and such there so I got the red bird cage (they have it in blue and green also).
Yesterday I decided I was tired of my snowmen wall hangings and winter themes so I decided to jump the gun and go ahead and put out Valentines day stuff.  All that pink and red and hearts brightens the room a bit and Valentines is less than a month away.

It's been a rough winter around here.  Cliff is still holding his own and going to PT to strengthen his back and core so he doesn't walk so bent over.  I had an epidural in 2 spots in my back this past week and I'm hoping it helps out with the pain I was feeling.  My knee (left Knee) is bone on bone and the cartilage under the knee cap is totally gone as well.  So I'm going through the process of getting another knee replacement.  It worries me to be in the hospital for 4 days and leaving Cliff alone.  I have to figure something out, but it won't be till April/May so I have sometime to get that arranged.  I worry about him because he has the chemo brain issues that come from heavy duty cancer meds and he needs help daily - he needs me and I have to get this knee fixed and get out of pain so I can be the best me and help possible.

This winter has been so grey and depressing.  I need some sunshine and the spring I think.  So it helps to just redo little things in the house to switch it up and have some fun with it.  I am so blessed to have a hubby who enjoys and appreciates all the little changes I make and how I switch things up.  He is always so complimentary of what I do.

So tell me what you have been up to since the holidays?

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas

Hello Everyone, so sorry I've been absent.  I haven't been interested in my blog or anyone elses these past few months and I miss it, but something has to give.  My husband is doing well and yet not.  The medicine has given him chemo brain and I've had to pick up a lot more of everything because he just can't.  It's been hard, not just from the overload, but from the grief of our lives changing so significantly and the probability that they will never be the same.  Ah life, it always throws you curve balls, but sometimes you just aren't prepared and you just don't handle them well.  I am so grateful to have my husband with me and I'll do it all if that is what it takes, but I get tired and overwhelmed and feel like I can't do anything and everything or do them well even.

I'll try to be better about blogging, but if you don't see me, well you know that life is busy and I have more important things I must do.

Merry Christmas and big hugs,
Tam

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

I am most thankful this year for another Thanksgiving with my wonderful husband.  He is the love of my life and I am so blessed to be his wife.  I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday with family and friends.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sprucing Up

I feel like I haven't been that good of a blogger this past year.  At times I've wondered if I should just give up my blog as I'm not sure many people read it.  But for now I think I should keep it as an outlet for all that is going on.

I've finally been released from PT for my ankle and it's finally not aching in weird places since the surgery.  Over all it was a good fix and my ankle is much stronger.  I'm happy I had it done.

It's been a rough year for my poor Hubby.  His cancer has really slowed him down, the drugs have given him issues with concentration, etc and that's been hard on him as well.  It's been hard for me to see my wonderful, strong, sweet man have these issues and I can do nothing to fix it for him.

That is why this is probably still a good outlet for me, even if not many read it, I can write things out as life's road becomes harder.  And outlet is a good thing - right!

So now for something interesting.  I've been sprucing up the house.  I got rid of the recliner and got a beautiful new chair and ottoman.  Of course the minute I did that, the side tables for my new chair and the other chair were just not right, so now I have new tables too.  I also got a recumbent bike and had the treadmill hauled off.  And we had to get a new freezer for the garage, our 32 year old workhorse of a freezer died on us.  Thankfully we didn't lose any of the contents - remember all those blueberries I picked this summer, yikes I would have cried if we lost them.  And I got wild and crazy and got a new espresso machine and a grinder.  My old workhorse espresso machine that I bought in the mid to late 90's was sounding off to me and I knew it was time to replace it.

So here are some new pictures: 

My beautiful new flexsteel chair.  The ottoman actually went with another chair, but I loved the design and I didn't want a huge ottoman.  This is big enough for my feet and Rascal the cat to nap on, so it's all good.  I ordered a pretty throw from Pier 1 for the chair and until then I have a quilt on it, but I don't like the colors of the quilt.  So next year, sometime, I will be making a quilt for my chair, I just have to figure out the colors, pattern, etc.  As you can see the old side table is way to short for the chair
When I picked up my (to heavy) magazine basket, the handle broke.  Oops.  So I went to Hobby Lobby and found this.
My Aunt Jean loved it the minute she saw it but they don't have them at her NC Hobby Lobby, thankfully I was able to find
another one just like mine at my Hobby Lobby and will be able to ship it to her with some other pretties I've been making
for the Aunties in celebration of Christmas.  We don't call them Christmas presents, we just send each other stuff all the time and it's so much fun.  I am so blessed to have my two wonderful Aunties in my life!!

Like I said, I needed new side tables, so this is the new table by the older chair (Maddie's chair)

New side table by my chair.  The other tables were shorter than the arm of the chair and I just knew I'd spill coffee all over my pretty new chair, the carpet, etc.  So these tables are perfect and I can put hand sewing on that second shelf!

I make lattes for us everyday and so I needed a new machine that could do the work.  I settled on the Gaggia Classic and the burr grinder for it.  So now I freshly grind my beans and make our lattes.  Madison won't let us forget to make "the beverages" as we call them because she gets a milkbone (like she would if we went through a drive thru latte place) and then a special treat of either a greenie, jerky bites or a peanut butter kong.  Yes, she is very spoiled and loved.

Last but not least - our new bike.  No more worries about falling backwards on that darn treadmill.  I'm such a klutz I was worried I would do just that and I just don't need to hurt anything else or have to have anything else fixed if I could help it.
So that's what we've been up to and how we've spruced up a bit here.  It's been fun, but now I have a bunch of cardboard to recycle, ugh.  I was lucky in that the bike people delivered and hauled off the old treadmill for free, the freezer people delivered and hauled off the old freezer for free and the chair people did the same so I didn't have to lift anything heavy and hard to handle.  That is the one nice thing about going to local owned business rather than a big box store. 

I found the side tables at Pier 1, darn things had to be assembled, thankfully Cliff did that for me - I tried, but didn't get far.  I would have rather purchased them assembled, but around here all the furniture stores sell gigantic furniture for the huge homes they keep building.  My house is small  so I have to buy smaller proportioned things.

No more shopping for me, I think I've spent enough for a long while.  Hopefully no other appliances will die on me anytime soon.

So what have you been up to and have you started your Christmas shopping yet??

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Happiness Is.....

All the fur kids playing nice and relaxing together:


Maddie

Razzy

ChanceMan

Scotchie

Razzy and Maddie have a contentious relationship, so while it's not unusual to see her relaxing near the other 2 boys, relaxing with all 3 of them is a rare sight.  Razzy just can't seem to leave her fluffy tail alone and that is cause for grumbles from Maddie!!

Hey, what are you doing with that darn camera again..............
We had company this week.  Doug - Cliff's brother and his wife Monica came for a visit and it was a nice time.  I fixed dinner and we had great conversation.  Sadly they live on the other side of the state so we don't get to see them often.

I've got an appointment for Cliff to start seeing a local oncologist and we are excited about that as the trip to Spokane was just to much for him at this point.

It's still pretty warm here, wishing the fall chill would take over, I'm ready for it, although I'm not ready for winter, but the weather people tell us that we'll have a warm winter, so I guess there is nothing to worry about the cold or a need for long johns.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Few New Things

A few weeks ago, while I still had the cast on, my Aunt Jean sent me a picture of these beautiful lamps she found at Hobby Lobby.  I fell in love with them.  At that same time I was searching the internet to see if I could find a new coffee table that was smaller and didn't feel like it took up all the floor space in the living room.  Once I found what I wanted I told Cliff that although my birthday wasn't till October, I wanted the coffee table I'd found online and the lamp at Hobby Lobby, he said that was fine.  So I ordered the table, as soon as the cast came off we went to Hobby Lobby and here is what I got for my birthday a month or so early.

My new coffee table with the new table runner I made
and showed a picture of in my last post.

The old coffee table was a bit shorter and 30 inches square, so almost double the width of this one.
I just love this lamp and now all of us have one because my other
Aunt loved it so much that she has one now as well.  It really is pretty.
I've started some embroidery projects that will turn into wall hangings with a Christmas theme for the Aunties.  And I have some projects in the sewing room that are barely begun that I need to pay attention to and do something about.  It's always good to have some projects hanging out waiting for the mood to strike you.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

18 Pounds

Eighteen pounds of an orange cat on your back, a tad heavy, but he's so sweet that you can't get mad, you just pet him and tell him he's a pretty boy.



My Cliff is such a patient man and for some reason Scotchie has taken to getting on his shoulders.  Which is not small amount of weight, but he's so darn sweet and such a shy boy most of the time.  It's nice to see him have this little routine with Cliff.

In other news I've been working on a new table runner for my new coffee table.  I need to get the binding on and then it will be ready.


I love the pattern, so easy to put together - the pattern is called Tankini, odd name, but great pattern and like I said easy to put together.

Tomorrow the boot comes off, you'll hear me celebrating around 11am pacific standard time.  I am excited to wear a "pair" of shoes again and not have to wear this one flip flop that is about the same height as the boot so my back doesn't hurt.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Changesl

This has been a year of changes for us.  Some of the changes have been difficult, but we have powered through them and accepted them and kept on fighting.

One big change is my dear Cliff's health.  The meds are working well, but have really slowed him down.  It's been a hard transition for him to face the fact that he just can't go and do like he used to.  Don't get me wrong, he is still doing well, but just not as much.  We have decided recently to find a local Oncologist so that we no longer have to make the 2&1/2 hour drive to Spokane monthly for his appointments and soon we will also move our primary doctor to a local doc as well.  I've found a good Oncologist for him and we should start seeing him in October.

October will bring another change for me - freedom from the walking boot.  Yep, I'll be able to wear a shoe again and do some PT to strengthen my ankle.  It's doing really well and I'm so glad this whole process is winding down.

Another big change - our 15 year old washer and dryer, which still worked, needed work and so we decided it was a good time to get new ones to be on the safe side.  So yesterday we had these delivered and hooked up:


I have to say these are fancy.  They have a steam feature and I actually had to read the instruction manual to learn how to operate them.  Things have changed in 15 years.

Early in September I was busy making 3 of these wall hangings.  I saw the pattern in a quilting magazine and thought my Aunties would like one and I knew I wanted one:
 


I went to Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago and found this adorable owl - fall decoration.


I just have a thing for owls lately.

Then I thought I'd show you a few pictures I took the other day with Cliff and Chanceman.  Poor Cliff, he'll be on his computer reading things and Chanceman comes along for some attention and then it turns into Chanceman laying down and wanting to nap on the laptop keyboard.  All sorts of wild things happen and Cliff usually has to shut it down to get it back to normal again.  And through it all he is so patient with our animals.




I know I've been missing in action a lot, but honestly there just hasn't been a lot going on.  Life has slowed down and the day to day stuff probably wouldn't be that interesting to share.  I'm just grateful that I have my husband and we can be together and I am here to help him with whatever comes along.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam