Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A New Table Cloth

I found a pattern when my friend and I went to Portland that I thought would make a fun and interesting Quilted Table Cloth.  I knew I had just the right fabric for it at home in my stash, so this week I got busy and put the top together:


I've had this Lakehouse fabric for several years and could never decide what I wanted to do with it.  I think it makes a good quilted table topper and will really be spring and summery for the house.  I will try to get going and quilt and bind it too.  Get it on the table and buy some new candles to match it - maybe purple.

Yesterday we went out to price new kitchen cabinets and counter tops and I am so excited.  We had to come home and get a few more specific measurements, but they were able to plug in our measurements and then show us a computer model of how it will look.  Oh my gosh I'm excited.  It is going to be so awesome.  Considering this house is around 70 years old, you can imagine that my kitchen isn't the greatest and the drawers are not easy to open or close anymore.  Our new kitchen is going to be fantastic.  What is not going to be fantastic - emptying it out, oy vey, that is going to be a job and then some (thank god it's a small kitchen).

Monday evening I heard from my surgeon's nurse and she said my surgery will probably be on the 15th or 22nd of May, I'm waiting to hear from their official scheduler for the date, pre-op date, etc.  Of course now that I know I'd like to have the official date for planning purposes and good grief that will probably take another week to get a call.  I might call them if I don't hear something by Friday.

It's rainy and windy and damp and chilly around here.  I wanted to get a pedicure this week, but I think I'll hold off cuz I'm not wearing sandals with the chilly weather.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, April 21, 2014

Where did last week go..............

I just realized that it's been a week since I posted anything.  Sadly not much has been going on.  I had several appointments last week, house cleaning, etc.  Life just got in the way and then of course I'm STILL waiting on the surgeon's office to give me a surgery date for my knee, ugh.  I wish I had exciting things to tell you or share with you, but sadly, it was just the everyday things in life that got in the way of my posting last week.

I did finish my dog embroideries, and now I need to figure out how I want to put them together.  Here are the last 2 blocks that I completed last week:



This past weekend I started work on a new quilted table cloth and it's coming along nicely.  Hopefully I'll have a picture to show you by the end of the week.

Today we are going to start looking at new cabinets and counter tops for our kitchen.  I think I know what I want, so we have measurements and such and it's time to start getting prices.

I sure hope I hear from the surgeon this week so I know the surgery date and can plan accordingly.  There is nothing worse than doing your part and then waiting and waiting and waiting.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, April 14, 2014

Finnish Cardamom Rolls

Yesterday, because I wasn't in the mood to do much or clean house, I baked.  Finnish Cardamom Rolls.  It's a process, but it's not hard either.  I quite enjoyed doing it.  And the outcome was super delicious according to CR!!


So if you feel like trying something new, I got the recipe from a cooking blog I follow called Jo Cooks.  Here is the website:  http://www.jocooks.com/bakery/breads/finnish-cardamom-rolls/

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fabric Shopping Fun

As I promised, here are some of the wonderful finds from my Friday shopping trip to the big city!

First up I found this awesome Creative Grids 2&1/2 inch Ruler:


Then I found this really cute pattern for a 46 inch square table topper:


I just knew I had the perfect fabric at home to make this from my stash:


Remember that table runner I made a week or so ago, the one that took 6 fat quarters.  Well I picked out some lovely fabric to make my Aunt Shirley one to take back when I visit in October:


Then I got some Minnick and Simpson Grant Park fabric to make an "X Marks the Spot" quilt for my Aunt Jean as a quilt of valor for her.  She and her late husband were retired Marines.  One of the things we will be doing when I visit the Aunties in October is to take my Uncles ashes to Arlington National Cemetery.  I felt a quilt of valor for her was in order to honor her and his memory.  Here is the fabric and a picture of the pattern I'll use:



Then while at one of my favorite quilt shops in that area - Holly Hill, I found the cutest quilt kit and pattern that I just had to have:



And last, but not least, I have a couple more of my doggy block embroideries done:



I'm looking forward to getting my surgery date for my knee and then I can start planning and cleaning so all is in order.  However at the moment my knee is hurting so much that I'm going to take it easy for a couple of days.  I would like to do more, but my darn knee will not cooperate.

CR has been busy doing a couple repairs to the kitchen ceiling from when we had new lights installed and now that it's done (it involved sanding), I really need to do a good cleaning.  I've also noticed that all of a sudden I have cob webs hanging around.  It's like all of a sudden they showed up - what gives, they drive me crazy!!

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Week from Hell

This week started off well with my Orthopedic surgeon agreeing that it was time for a knee replacement.  One of the things he required was a statement faxed to him from my Urologist and my Primary physician that I was okay for surgery.  Makes total since because he doesn't treat me like they do on a regular basis.

My Urologists office was fantastic, they did the fax that day.  My primary doctor office is where the week from hell starts.

I called my primary's office to talk to the nurse.  You see I'd just seen my primary on Feb 14th and had blood work, in my mind I had a recent appointment in which I went over my meds, did the physical thing, etc so I should be good to go.  Well my primary was out of the office till the 21st of the month.  I asked the nurse if another doc could review her notes and my blood work from that Feb appointment and sign off.  The nurse called me back to say that the other doc's in the office were not comfortable with that and I'd have to schedule an appointment with a "mid-level" - meaning a PA in the office.  I was not really happy about that, but sometimes you have to play the game to get what you need.  So on Wednesday afternoon we drove up to Spokane (2.5 hour drive), to see this PA and get it taken care of.  When her assistant took me back to a room, she said so you are here for a pre-op, I said no, I believe my surgeon will do the pre-op, I'm here for you to look at me, look at my primary's notes, recent blood work and agree I'm healthy enough for surgery.  Nope, they insisted I was there for a pre-op and they'd be doing an EKG.  At this point I started to get a bit spun up.  That is not what the Ortho was asking from them.  So there I am, very tense at this point, and the assistants come in with an EKG machine.  There were two assistants, I don't believe they were even nurses, they hooked me up and not uniformly and did this EKG.  Neither of the 2 assistants impressed me as knowing what they were doing, nor did they look clean and professional.  Then the PA - Mary came in and goes over all the things I reviewed with my primary in Feb like she hadn't read the notes or anything, that got me more frustrated.  Then she tells me that my EKG had issues and she'd have to talk to a cardiologist and have him review it and get  back to me, so until then there would be no clearance for surgery.  Now I've had many EKGs thanks to cancer surgeries, so I know that I've never had a problem and I know that they didn't do it correctly, but I kept my mouth shut trying to be polite and see what the other doctor had to say.  In the meantime during this visit, she asked me why I came up to Spokane for my primary doctor rather than staying at home.  I've been seeing my primary for a few years now and quite honestly that was none of her business and I thought it was intrusive.  I remained polite and explained why and then she said to me - well then do you trust this surgeon in your area for the knee replacement.  Well that almost set me off - of course I trust him, I wouldn't hesitate to go out of town if I didn't trust him, he's a very good surgeon.  I was so pissed off I couldn't wait to get out of that room cuz I knew one more question and I just may blow up and I really try to be polite.  I then had to go downstairs to the lab to get non-fasting blood work (remember I had blood work in mid-Feb).  I get to the lab, they come out and say - have you been fasting, I said no, she said that it was supposed to be non-fasting blood work.  Well she'd sent the order down incorrectly so I had to wait for her to send the right order so they could do the blood draw.  I am normally very patient and understanding with medical staff, they have a busy patient load and they have rules and regs they have to follow and I don't want to make their job any harder, but this PA is someone I never want to see again, I just don't like her at all!!

So all that was on Wednesday.  On Thursday I got a call from her telling me that the cardiologist has reviewed my EKG and I most definitely need a stress test (with a bad knee - really?).  I told her no, I wanted a 2nd EKG because I didn't feel her assistants did it correctly.  I could tell that she was not pleased that I was questioning her and her staff.  She said if that's what I wanted then I could have the surgeon contact the hospital where I was having my knee done and have him order it.  I said to her - will you then send him something to proceed with surgery, she said no, you need a stress test.  So I said then you will need to order the 2nd EKG, you are the one who needs it, not the surgeon.  Then she had the nerve to ask me for the fax number for the hospital, I said I don't have that, I don't fax them, then she said do you have their phone number, again I said no, don't you have a database with that information (cuz usually they can access it very easily from my experience).  She said she didn't have it, I said okay if you can hang on for a second I'll look it up on internet, then she decided she could get the info faster than me, give her 20 minutes and go get the EKG.  She was testy and so was I at that point.  But I felt an expensive stress test would be a waste of time and money - and guess what, I was right.  I went to the hospital and got that 2nd EKG, and you know what, I was perfectly normal, there wasn't a thing wrong with my EKG!!

So after all that, I needed to de-stress and have some fun.  My friend Kelly and I went to Portland for the day and went fabric shopping - stay tuned I'll share pictures of my bounty tomorrow.  While in Portland, surprise, surprise, I got a call from the PA that my EKG was fine and she'd be sending a letter to my knee surgeon that I was cleared for surgery.  She said all those EKG machines are different so who knows what happened on Wednesday, hmmm I know, incompetent staff for starters.

So I'm now cleared for knee replacement, I should hear in couple of days what my surgery date is.  Friday was a gorgeous day in Portland, sunny and warm and the fabric shopping was divine.  It was a wonderful way to forget about all the medical B.S. that had me seeing red.

So I hope your week wasn't as stressful as mine.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, April 7, 2014

Relief for my Knee

I saw the Orthopedic Doctor today - Dr. Higgs, and we are a go for knee replacement.  My Urologist needed to fax in a statement that there were no issues in having it done and they did (they are so good to let me know these things).  Now I'm waiting for my Primary Doc's office to call me so they can do the same thing.  Looks like the schedule is pretty full so no relief till mid to late May, but at least relief is in sight!  Needless to say this is a pretty awesome Monday and I'm anxious to get this over with and be pain free!!

Thanks for all your well wishes concerning the doctor appointment.

Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunny Sunday

It is a beautiful day in our neck of the woods and later this week it's supposed to be in the mid-70's for temps.  Come on Springtime!!

This weekend my knee has really been sore, so I decided to try to stay off of it and do some hand sewing.  I got my floating stars red and white quilt back from the quilters this week, so I put the binding on it and finished hand sewing it down this afternoon and then took it outside for some sunny pictures of it.





And for now, since it's a lap size, I have it on a favorite chair that Maddie likes to sit on.


In the past I think I've mentioned that our one cat - Chanceman likes to "gift" us stuff.  Many a morning I'll come out of the bedroom and he's brought something from my sewing room and set it there for me. I call it his way of bringing us gifts much a like an outdoor cat might bring a bird or mouse to the door.  So when CR works outside on things or if we leave to go somewhere, Chanceman will bring slippers out of the bedroom for us when we get home, etc.  Today, when I was headed for the door to take pictures outside of the quilt, I found that Chanceman had brought out both of CR's slippers, one of mine and we have no idea how he got them down, CR's sweats that were hanging on a drawer knob.  Here he is, ever so proud of all he's done:


That's our boy, he is a sweetheart and he loves us.  I can't believe he's 10 and still doing things like this.  He hasn't slowed down that is for sure.

Tomorrow morning at 9:20am (ugh) I will see the orthopedic doc and see if he will do my knee replacement or if I'll be going to Spokane to the doc who did my hip replacement.  It should be interesting.  I pray we can have it done here, it would just be a lot easier on us.

Then Tuesday we will meet up with 2 other couples who are wonderful friends that we've known for years.  It will be nice to meet them for lunch and have some fun.  The past week was rough emotionally for us and while we are doing better, we always need fun and friends to make life better.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, April 4, 2014

Signs of Spring

We've slowly come out of the emotional funk from my last posting.  We've both found that you let it sink in, you have your sad days and then you put a smile on your face and keep on keeping on.  So we are keeping on so to speak.

Lots of signs of spring in our yard, in fact CR mowed the other day, so the lawn as well as everything else is coming to life again.  Here are a few flowers and bushes around the yard:







Meanwhile I've been busy in the evenings with my doggy block embroidery and have 2 more blocks completed:



And I also did the quilting for my red work wall hanging, now I just have to hand sew the binding down.



I got a call from the Ortho doc's office yesterday - a couple of weeks ago it was decided that I should see him about the knee replacement and I had the Urologists office call to explain my treatments, etc so I got an appt. for the 14th, well they called to say he'd be out of the office and they needed to reschedule me for the 21st.  That did not make me happy, it would be 3 weeks of waiting by the 14th and now they wanted me to wait another week.  I was frustrated and let the gal know it, she then called back about a minute after I hung up with her to say she had a cancellation this coming Monday and they could get me in at 9:20.  Much better, if the Ortho here still won't do it, then I'll be making an appointment with the doc in Spokane who did my hip replacement.  If he has concerns about doing it with my treatments I will trust him more than the doc's here.  I know he'll at least call the Uro and get the information needed to make the right decision for me.  I do hope the local doc will do the replacement though, it would be much easier on CR if I was in the hospital here.  We shall see.

I have another quilt that I'm sewing the binding on right now, I can't wait to show you a picture of it as soon as I'm done.

This weekend should be quiet, not much of anything planned.  Staying close to home and relaxing with yoga pants on.

What are your plans?

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Waiting for Cancer to Spread - Wait.........What?

Yesterday we went up to Spokane for Cliff's Oncologist appointment.  We were to get the results of his scans (which we already knew were clean - no cancer spread) and to get her recommendations on how to proceed.  Seems simple enough, right.

As you recall the issue at hand is that his PSA doubles every 3 months, which is bad news with Prostate cancer and of major concern to his Urologist and us as well.  So upon the Urologists recommendation, we sought consult with a medical oncologist to become an established patient and get treatment when the time came.

I guess what we didn't realize is it's a wait and see game at this point.  There is active cancer there, but it hasn't shown up anywhere at this point, and until it does, there is nothing that can be done.  It's there, we know it, the Oncologist and Urologist know it, but it can't be treated until it shows itself and is definable.  Therefore, there is no treatment option until it spreads.

Are you as shocked as we are?  Crazy isn't it.  Upsetting, scary, depressing --- our emotions are running the gamete at this point.

So now we wait, wait for something no cancer patient wants to wait for or hear - the cancer has spread and we see it and now we can do something.  Cliff will repeat the bone scan in August, he will continue with the Lupron shots and we will pray -- a LOT.

If you pray, we ask you to remember us in those prayers, or send Cliff good healing vibes - whatever is most comfortable for you and your beliefs.  We need all we can get.

Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Fun

Today has been another lazy and very enjoyable day.  I've watched some movies and I also took some time to play in my sewing room.  When I was going through my smaller pieces of fabric and fat quarters a few weeks ago, I found this cute little pack of 6 fat quarters.  I bought them the same time I purchased this book:

Clever Quarters, Quilts from Fat Quarter Cuts by Susan Teegarden Dissmore

The book is all about things you can create with fat quarters and she's got some great ideas using 6 or so fat quarters.  One of the patterns is for a cute table runner and it was the suggested pattern idea for the group of FQ's I bought.  So today I put it together.  Very simple and easy and fun.


I should have gotten to the job of quilting my red work quilt that is pinned and waiting for me to get busy, but I just wasn't in the mood to concentrate that much.  Luckily I have some fabrics in my stash that will coordinate really nicely for the backing and binding.

Now I'm gonna sit down and do some reading, or perhaps embroidery.  Might do both, who knows, I'm still feeling lazy.

Hope you have a nice and lazy weekend like I did.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam