Saturday, July 26, 2014

Quilt of Valor

I finally finished the Quilt of Valor I've been working on.  It's for someone special to me.  It's queen size, so it's bigger than a typical quilt of valor.  I used Minnick and Simpson's Grant Park fabric and I'm thrilled with how it turned out.



Our flooring guy is here doing his part and then we are ready for cabinets on Monday.  Things are coming together after a lot of stress to get everything and everyone scheduled, etc.

The heat is turning back on here and we are going back to the triple digits, ugh.

A friend gave us some delicious peaches today so I baked CR a peach cobbler.  He's been working so hard patching the walls, painting, etc.  He deserves a vacation, but no rest for us for a while.  I think as long as all of this just comes to an end and our schedule slows down he'll be happy.  I know I'll be happy.

Hope you all are having a fantastic weekend.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Trouble with Old Houses...............

The trouble with old houses is................they are always trouble, nothing is simple, surprises await you at every turn, nothing is cheap, and on and on I can go.

We had the kitchen demo on Monday and it went easy, breezy, done in about 3 hours.  So far so good, right.  Then Tuesday our electrician showed up to add some plug ins and a light above the sink and that is where the trouble started.  I believe I've mentioned that our house is 70 or so years old.  So of course things aren't up to the codes of today, but it gets worse than that.  First, we needed a new circuit breaker box.  All of the circuits were full and well some of them were so outdated I'm not sure they were safe.  So we made the big (translated - EXPENSIVE) decision to replace the box.  With that came a whole new set of troubles.  The dryer plug in was wired all wrong, there was a wire behind the wall not turned off properly (don't ask me - I don't do electrical), a multitude of issues and the worst offense of them all - our house was not grounded.  How we didn't have a house fire is any one's guess.  I think someone above was definitely looking out for us.

As of this morning we are electrically sound and the house is grounded - whew!!

Here are some pictures of the current state of the kitchen and the new electrical box.







 
During all of this we were without power in the house which meant no phone, Internet, cable - nothing, it was a long 2 days.

Living in the 5th wheel has had its challenges as well.  The day we moved our stuff and the kids in, I fell up the stairs and landed on my new knee - 2 days of bad pain, but luckily I didn't lose any of the bend I'd gotten and as of today I now can bend my knee to 122 degrees (the goal was 120), so a bonus of 2 degrees is just fine for me, in fact it made my day.

Then yesterday I scraped the scar area, yikes that hurt too.  Nothing like the fall, but seriously if I have to be clumsy (and I am) do I have to keep targeting my darn new knee. 

Cliff is busy patching the walls, etc and then we will paint tomorrow or Sunday.  Cabinet install is set for Monday and Tuesday and then 3 to 4 weeks till we get a sink and counter tops.  That kind of sucks, but once done it will be awesome and during that time we'll be gone for a week to Spokane for our doctor appointments (last 3 chemos coming up and then I'm done).  I can also put a lot of the kitchen away and get the house cleaned up after the HUGE mess that's been made beyond what we thought would be made.

I'm busy in the sewing room on a project that I hope to have done soon and off to my quilter in short order.  I have a deadline for this one and while it's a ways away, I can't wait till the last minute either.

Have a great weekend!

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, July 18, 2014

Demolition

This Sunday we will start out drive way camping.  We are moving into the 5th wheel for a while because on Tuesday our present kitchen is being demolished.  Then we'll have our electrician doing some work, we'll be doing some patch work and the following Monday and Tuesday we will have the new kitchen installed.  Cabinets that is, the counter top people need the cabinets in place to make the final measurements to pour the counter tops and I just found out that they'll be here on the 30th or 31st for final measurements and it will take 3 to 4 weeks before they install - OMG, I could cry, I don't think I can live in my driveway that long - we'll have to figure out a way to live in the house and wash dishes somewhere else.  And this is why I hate/dread remodeling.

So here are pictures of the kitchen as it is now:









Old and not so pretty, but wait till you see what we are doing, I think it's going to be so awesome!!

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, July 14, 2014

It's as Hot as an Oven Outside!!

Yep, it's as hot as an oven and just completely unpleasant to be outside if you don't have to be.  I went to physical therapy this morning and walking out of the house was a blast of hot air.  It's in the 100's and as far as I'm concerned it doesn't matter where in the 100's - once it's over that mark, it's hell.  So I think we are in hell at the moment.  As luck would have it, by the weekend the weatherman says it should cool to the 90's, hmmm, not exactly cool, but I'll take it.

Speaking of PT - a replaced knee is a fickle thing.  Last week I hit 120, today I only bent to 117.  This whole thing is an exercise in patience because one day you're super woman, the next day not so much.  Up and down, one step forward, two step backward.

Well enough of my fickle knee.  I've been busy.  This weekend we went to Farmers Market and I bought some peaches.  Which meant I came home and made CR a Sour Cream Peach pie.


It sure is a good pie.  I also got started on a quilt of valor and here is the first of 20 blocks I will need to make (in different fabrics):


And I also put that embroidery finish together to make a flanged pillow.  The instructions were a bit vague, but I was able to find an awesome you tube video on it and it turned out really nice I think:



I made an envelope back and since pillow forms don't come smaller than 12x12, I even made the pillow form I stuffed in there.  Now I just need to catch up with my friend Robyn so I can give her the pillow.  It's not for any special occasion, its just because she is such a good friend and has been for over 30 years (but I'm still in my 20's - imagine that).

Tomorrow I have a doctors appointment for my knee.  I'm sure they'll be pleased with my progress.  They have to keep track of me until they release me, 3 months after surgery.

Our replacement cabinets came today, hooray.  We talked to the contractor and it may be another 2 weeks before he starts as he has a job ahead of us.  UGH, waiting is getting to be hell.  So between waiting and the weather, oh lord I need a break, right!!

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, July 11, 2014

120

Odd post title isn't it.  Not so odd though when I tell you that today, 6 weeks post surgery, I got 120 degree bend with my new knee.  The goal has been 120 degrees or better and I reached 120 today.  I'm so close to having my leg be perfectly straight that it's amazing.  I have been working hard to get that bend to 120 and when I got it today I wanted to jump off the PT table and dance!!

I also hit another goal today - I'm back to driving.  I'm not on as many pain meds and my leg is feeling strong so it was time to get back into the drivers seat.  The worst of my pain seems to be between 3pm and 6pm - that end of the day and being active pain when parts are still healing.

Not much else to report.  Maddie is rested after her day of beauty (torture in her mind) and it's hot as heckola around here - supposed to be in the 100's for the next week or more and hot nights too.  Ugh, thank god for whomever invented air conditioning. 

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Oh the Torture

Hi Everybody, it's Maddie.  Oh the torture - my parents took me to see Meredith for a "day of beauty" which I think is 2 hours of torture and it exhausts me so much.  Mom said a lot of you commented that I was gorgeous and I thank you - I think I'm pretty too.  I mean my folks tell me every day I'm a pretty girl and I believe them.  They also tell me I'm a sweetheart and I sure do try to be!!

It was a rough day all around.  My newest brother Rascal was in a jiggy mood today and really went after me, so I finally had to get testy with him and let him know that he'd gotten on my last nerve.  I didn't hurt him, but he got the business end of my last nerve and I think he'll think twice before bugging me like that again.  I'm a really good girl with my 3 feline brothers and very patient with them and my folks, so Mom and Dad told me that it was okay that I let him have it.

As you can see I'm totally worn out from all that primping, thankfully it's only every 6 weeks!!

 
 

Mom wanted me to tell you that her and Dad really enjoyed the Old Wives Cake that she posted about yesterday.  It has a definite anise taste and since they both love anise, they thought it was wonderful.  It's not to strong of a taste and the cake is somewhat dense and the texture of a sponge cake.  Of course I didn't get any, dog gone it!!

May your leash be long and your treats plentiful,
Maddie

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Welcome...........

Do you have welcome signs at your front door?  We have always had a sign of some sort and years ago CR bought me this super cool welcome sign with a bear that was on the side of our house.  The sign was originally very rustic (rusty looking).  When we resided the house, we wanted to hang it closer to our front door and we decided it was time to change up it's look.  So CR recently spray painted it black and it looks fabulous!!

Welcome to our house:

 



Today was a rough day at PT.  I woke up with a stiff leg and knee and it just has not loosened up at all.  My exercises were difficult and rather than the 115 degree bend I got on Monday, darn knee would only give a 112 degree bend.  It also was not being cooperative in straightening out.  And I can honestly say it's been aching all darn day.  I hope that tomorrow it comes around and isn't so stiff, I mean really, didn't it get the memo that I have goals!!

Today I baked CR a cake recipe I found a few weeks ago.  It's called an Old Wives Cake and it's origins are Dutch.  It sounded so interesting and it has anise in it.  It's still cooling so I can't tell you yet if we like it, but it sure smells good and looks pretty:


If you're interested in the recipe I found it here at Jo Cooks.  She has some great recipes and I love to read about what she is cooking or baking.

I'm going to finally get started on a very special quilt - everything is set out and ready (I did all the cutting before surgery - so the hard part is done).  I've been busy with other silly little things around the house so I'm a bit late getting to my sewing, but that's okay, at least I feel up to it and have the focus to do it.

It's over 100 right now and is supposed to stay that way for several days.  Typical for this time of year in our area.  It's just not fun to be outside when it's this hot though, so I stay inside.  CR still goes outside and does stuff - I personally don't know how he does it in the heat of the day.  He's always puttering around and busy.

Tomorrow Madison has a day of beauty, which means bath and a haircut and it also means she will not be happy with me.  While she is getting her beauty on, I'll be at my friend Kelly's house visiting and checking out a quilt she recently made.  I can't wait to see this quilt the fabrics she described to me are gorgeous and I love the pattern she used.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Focus

Focus is something I didn't have for quite a while.  Those darn drugs just mess with my ability to read, sew, embroider, etc.  Mostly they allow me to drool a lot and wonder if I should be doing something, anything, but only wonder - lets not get crazy and actually do it mind you!!  If I did get anything done it took a lot of internal "you can do it" talk to get there.

But lately I seem to have more focus, not enough to drive mind you - can't drive on drugs, just not worth it.  But I picked up my embroidery again.  And I finished something.


This will be a pillow when all is said and done for my good friend Robyn.  I didn't have much left to do on it, so I decided to try and see if I could concentrate and finish it, hooray for me  -  I did.

We had a nice 4th of July here.  Our friend Ken and Kelly & Roy came over.  We had yummy appetizers that included salami, cheeses, grapes, bread, crackers and a dip for the bread.  For dinner we had beer can chicken, pasta salad and a Chocolate Rootbeer Pound cake with a white chocolate frosting for desert.

Then that night I died I was so tired that I didn't even watch the fireworks.  I was on the go for 2 days and I guess I didn't realize how much I'd done and how it had gotten to me.  The night of the 4th I was having trouble getting my pain under control and I was so wiped out that I slept till 9:30 the next morning.  Now that is unheard of for me, I'm usually up by 7 most of the time.  We didn't go to breakfast or farmers market yesterday sadly.  But I did have the energy to go to the grocery store and a day of rest was all I needed to get back on track.  Tired or not, I don't regret having people over for the 4th as it was a good time and fun to do.  Part of our celebration was Kelly retiring.  I'm so thrilled for her and now we can get together in the middle of the week and have sew days, etc.

I have to update you on my little Rascal.  He is one amazing little cat.  Recently he's taken to bringing the ball with a bell in it to me on my recliner and I throw it for him, he retrieves it and comes back with it to be thrown again.  I've never know a cat who loves to play as much as this little guy.  All those toys are finally being put to good use.  He also loves to put things under the fridge, stove, etc and then it's great fun to help Dad get them out with the flashlight and a yard stick.  Great fun people!!  He is up to 11 pounds now and very healthy and happy and still an extremely snuggly little guy who comes to me several times a day to nuzzle my neck and take a nap and purr the whole time.

One of Rascal's favorite places to take a nap is the basket of quilts - I love how
relaxed he is despite his back end hanging out of the basket


Thank you all for the prayers for my Auntie.  She had a test to determine if her heart valve was leaking enough to warrant surgery and while it is leaking a bit, not enough to do surgery so she doesn't have to worry about that right now.  She's been through a lot this year and I'm so grateful she doesn't have to deal with a surgery too.  That said she is a trooper and would do it and not complain if it was needed.

Now if you wouldn't mind another prayer/good vibe request.  Our friend Charlotte's father is really ill.  He didn't feel good and went to the doctor only to find out he has cancer, liver I believe and given that he is 89, things are not looking good.  Kelly got a text on the 4th that he was in the hospital and that they would be looking into hospice.  Char's dad has been super healthy with the exception of a heart attack in his 50's so you can imagine how hard this is on our friend.  It is never easy to see someone you love in this circumstance and that you know they will be leaving you soon.  I pray everyday to give her strength for what is ahead and for her mom and dad too.

Alright, perhaps with my sewing mojo and focus back you'll be seeing some more finishes out of me.  Our new cabinets to replace the damaged ones should arrive on the 14th and hopefully we will have a brand new kitchen sooner rather than later.  I truly can't wait for the messy process to begin.

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday weekend if you live in the states and a wonderful weekend for everyone else.

And a very Happy Birthday to my friend Becky in the Chicago area.  Hope she is celebrating and making the most of it!!

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I'm so Boring....................

So I'd love to do a post about all sorts of exciting things I've been up to, but.....................I got nothin!!  Except for picking over 60 pounds of blueberries and getting a sunburn, and going to PT and getting my pain managed, I done nothing.  How sad and boring is that.

Today I started cleaning out the one living room of stuff so that we can put the washer and dryer in there and leave a path from the kitchen to the door for our remodel.  The replacement cabinets are shipping on July 3rd and we are excited to just get it going already.  You know that feeling - you've planned, you've worked for it and now it's like come on, lets get it moving and get it done so we can focus on other things.

I am still going to PT 3 times a week and sometimes I'd just like to give my therapist the knee, but I know it would hurt me far more than him.  And it's only when he's making it hurt more really, the rest of the time I really like him.  I have 113 degrees bend on my knee - lord what will it take to get to 120 and how much pain will I endure.  I got good results when I sat on the table and he would bend my knee that way, but now it's the harder position of laying flat on the table and raising my knee up - yeah, that's not nearly as easy and the results are hard to achieve and my whole leg just quivers.  I almost yelled "Uncle" last Friday but I refrained from any embarrassing outbursts, haha.  When you were a kid did you yell "uncle" as a way to say - I give up when wrestling with siblings and friends?  It's not a term I hear anymore, but I used it as a kid.

We are gearing up to have company on the 4th of July.  My friend Kelly is newly retired (as of this past Friday) and she needs a celebration, so that is what we are having.  It should be fun and a relaxing day too.  My house is rather torn apart for the big remodel so I hope she won't mind that, I think as long as the food is good she won't care.

My Auntie will be having a test tomorrow, so if you pray, say a little prayer for her that it's good results, or send her good vibes.  I'll be thinking about her all day for sure.

So what are your plans for the holiday weekend?

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Blueberries are On

With my new knee and my focus being on PT and just moving around as normally as possible I almost forgot about blueberry picking.  Luckily CR looked at the website and found out that they opened for picking on the 17.  So today we went out to our favorite organic blueberry farm and picked 19 pounds of blueberries.  CR picked 2 buckets full and I only got one bucket full.  It's not easy when you have a new knee to pick those suckers and it's exhausting and thanks to the pain meds buckets of sweat poured off of me.  Wow, not the fun time I usually have.  CR also helped me wash and dry them, put them in baggies and get them into the freezer.  Man I hate not being able to pull my weight and do my part.  We are going to try to go out again tomorrow and another day to get enough put up for the winter.


Our cabinets got inspected this past Sunday and 2 of them have to be re-ordered.  One of the two looks like someone dropped it off of a truck.  So that will hold up any remodeling till the new cabinets arrive.  Just as well, allows me more time to get this knee in better shape.

When I came home from the hospital I was on a 12 long lasting pain med with another pain med prescription for when I had break through pain.  Well the long lasting pain med ended on Saturday and I'm having a terrible time getting the other pain med to work.  I seem to have to take one every 4 hours and honestly I start pacing every 3.5 hours waiting for the 4th hour and relief.  It's crazy.  I may call the doctor.  The thing is I hate pain meds, so I don't want more, but I also am having issues with the pain.  What a big baby, right.

Still no sewing or embroidery.  Before it was lack of focus, now it's pain issues and trying to get myself on a schedule that accommodates these issues.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam