Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my wonderful blog friends.  I am thankful for so much this year, I hope you have a lot that you are thankful for as well.



Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Let the Preparations Begin

This past week I got hit by a nasty flu type bug.  Man it was ugly and I was wondering how long it would take me to get over it.  Luckily Thursday and Friday were the bad days and today I woke up feeling pretty good.  So we went to breakfast and then came home so I could make my grocery list.

Here's Maddie waiting as patiently as possible for the list to be done so she could go.  Up till now it's been to cold for her to go and wait in the car.  Today it's almost 50 degrees out, but the wind makes it much colder if you're just out standing in it and boy is it grey and gloomy.

Oh Mom, hurry it up, I'm ready to go for a ride!
I'm really excited about making a Thanksgiving dinner.  I have my recipes all selected and got all my ingredients today at the store.  I also got all the baking stuff too.  So today I'm baking Pumpkin Scones (a knock off Starbucks Pumpkin Scone recipe, however I do not frost mine) and some White Chocolate/Cranberry cookies and I've put together some crusty bread dough to bake tomorrow and have with the Potato Leek soup I'll be making.  Busy girls are better girls, right.


I made 3 batches of scones and CR just told me they're some of the best I've ever made.
 
I love the crusty bread recipe - you mix it up let it sit for 12 to 18 hours, then bake it and
there you have it - homemade bread without all the fuss  Here's the link to the website and recipe:
Simply So Good Crusty Bread
I had my step stool out today in the kitchen so I could get things off the higher shelves and Rascal decided to take up residence on the stool as if to help me or perhaps supervise me.  He was so cute, but when I went to get a picture, he bolted.  Darn cat.  I did capture a few pictures of him earlier in the day - his little face is so inquisitive and adorable.




Now that it's cold he really is into snuggling my neck and sucking on my shirt and he purrs and purrs, I tell him he's purring 60mph in the school zone and he's gonna get pulled over.  Whatever we do and where ever we are in the house he will be right there helping us and making sure we do it correctly. Either that or he thinks it's a game especially when it comes to making the bed, oy vey!  It gives the other boys more time to nap I guess, since they seem oblivious to our coming and going most of the time.

So tell me have you started your holiday preparations yet?

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Best Surprise

Yesterday I got a box via UPS from the Aunties.  I thought it was some paperwork and such that we'd gone through that Aunt Jean would be sending me once I got home.  Well I opened the box and it sure wasn't what I thought it was, there were several Jim Shore boxes inside.  It was a Jim Shore Nativity set:





Oh my goodness I was so excited my hands were shaking getting all the pieces out.  It is absolutely beautiful.

I immediately called both Aunties to thank them for such a beautiful gift and to let them know how much I LOVED it.  I'm pretty excited to decorate for Christmas this year and display this beautiful nativity.

So tell me what is your favorite Christmas decoration?

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Just in Time

Just in time for Thanksgiving and before fall officially turns to winter, I finished a fall table cloth.  Since we won't be going to Cannon Beach (more on that in a minute) this year, I'm going to save it to use on Thanksgiving day.


The weather here has been frigid, then the snow and ice made an appearance - luckily it was all around us, but here at home nothing much came of it.  We have a rule that we won't pull the 5th wheel in snow and ice, so we wondered if we'd be able to even get to Cannon Beach.  Then came the call that my husband's PSA was now up to 57, it was taken twice and confirmed that the good result we thought we'd gotten a couple of weeks ago was a lab mistake.  So the oncologist wants CR to have bone scans, cat scans, lab work, etc the first week of December.  That sealed the deal for us in going to the beach, and we canceled.  It's to important for us to be home on time to have those tests done and see the oncologist at this point.  We couldn't risk getting stuck at the coast with bad weather and roads.  So we've rescheduled for March and we'll celebrate our 29th Wedding Anniversary there instead.

I often feel so frustrated lately with people who like to tell others that "well if you're going to get a cancer that's the one to get because usually something else kills you".  Yeah, well in some cases that may be true, but in reality, getting any cancer isn't good, the treatments aren't easy and if you don't know what you're talking about, then don't say anything - please.  That is my rant and I just had to share it.  You see when they diagnosed CR back in 2008 they told us there was a Gleason Scale to measure how aggressive the cancer was.  The scale went from 1 to 10 - he was a 9.  He had a very aggressive cancer and we had hoped that radiation and radiation seeds would kill it.  Sadly he's not so lucky.  If all had worked as we wanted it to, his PSA would be undetectable, but with his PSA rising, the outcome, sooner or later will be that the cancer will show up elsewhere and Prostate Cancer usually goes to the bones.  So that is the long and the short of it.  I don't understand people and their comments when they hear you have cancer, it's like they want to dismiss it or down play it.  I guess it makes it easier for them to deal with or to ignore, but to those that have it, it feels so insensitive.

Okay thanks for listening and trust me none of it was in anyway directed to my wonderful blog friends.  I can't say enough how supportive and kind you all have been.

Here's something else I worked on and finished recently:


I joined the 2014 Kathy Schmitz BOM through Shabby Fabrics.  Each month there is a redwork embroidery project and it comes with all the materials to make a small wall hanging.  This was Novembers project, and it's done and ready to put up for December.

I stocked up on baking supplies and am going to start some holiday baking this next week.  I'm also going to meet my friend Kelly for lunch on Wednesday.  And I'm planning to make a turkey dinner for us this Thanksgiving.  Typically when we are in the 5th wheel we have such a small oven that a turkey isn't on the menu, but this year I figured why not get crazy.  Now I just need to figure out where I can find a fresh turkey.

It's still super cold here, but the sun has come out each day so it makes the frigid temps seem tolerable.  By the end of the week we may be back in the 40's, now that's a heat wave, haha.

Since I don't make a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving usually, I'm curious what side dishes you make, what's your favorite??  I need some ideas.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

It's Veterans Day and it wouldn't be right not to mention my Hubby's service in the Air Force, my Uncle's service in the Marines and also my Auntie's service (as well as her husband) in the Marines.  Lots of wonderful people in my life who have served their country and their sacrifice is much appreciated.

Something I have to admit - I WAS an iron snob.  Yep I used to pay way to much for irons that promised to be the be all and end all of fabulous ironing.  My last "fabulous" iron was the Oliso, which I loved because when you stopped ironing would spring feet so you didn't have to up end it like most irons.  Sadly though, it leaked like the rest of them usually do.  So I've had it paying good money for products that don't keep their promises.  I saw a conversation on Instagram about this same issue and someone had purchased a Sunbeam Turbo pro that did an excellent job with steam and gliding on the fabric.  So with my Oliso leaking, I decided to shell out 32.00 and get the sunbeam.  Wow, it is a steam machine, glides so nicely and heats up like you can't believe.  I know wonder if my Oliso ever truly heated up as it should have.  When it starts to leak I won't feel bad tossing it and buying another, because I believe all irons over time leak and if I don't pay a fortune for them then I won't feel so bad about it!!


I found it on Amazon and because I have Amazon Prime, the shipping was free.

I also finished my first block in the Jacquelynne Steve's BOM and I think it turned out pretty cute.


The center block is a choice of a floral material, applique or embroidery.  I decided to embroider it because I just wasn't in the mood to applique.  I just noticed I need to redo the blocks with the yellow - someone sewed them on wrong, oy vey!!

I also finished another owl block today.  I'm having fun with these blocks, but they call for a lot of chain stitching which wasn't working well with my arthritic hands.  My friend Candace as Squash House Quilts mentioned to me that back stitching would work to and look just as nice - what a wonderful suggestion, much easier on my hands:


I decided that my hair was looking so dull and ashy and needed some life, so I'm back to coloring it.  Praying that the color holds well because the natural black and silver look was really bringing me down.  So we shall see in the next few weeks how it does.

I got a cortisone shot in my right big toe yesterday, wow, it hurts and that toes doesn't like weight put on it yet.  The last shot I got lasted 10 months and hey it's helping me avoid surgery, so if this one lasts as long I'll be very happy to go through a few uncomfortable days and nights.  Speaking of arthritis and pain, my right ring finger arthritis has gotten to the point of being so painful I hurt just thinking about touching it.  So last week I talked to my orthopedic surgeon about putting a pin in it.  The joint is trying to fuse, but it's not fused yet and the pain is out of control.  So a pin in it will help it to fuse immediately and stabilize it.  I've had 3 other fingers pinned to force them to fuse when after a year of severe pain I couldn't take it anymore.  It was a good decision before and I'm sure it will be a good decision again.  I do try to let nature take it's course, but sometime she need some help.  Should be having that done in mid-December.

It's cold as can be here - our highs might get to the mid-30's and the nights into the teens.  Yikes, that is to cold to early for us.  And the weather man is calling for snow, good grief!!  What's the weather like in your neck of the woods??

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Around the House

Before I left to visit the Aunties I completed an adorable - well I thought it was adorable Scarecrow embroidery project.  I wanted to get it out for the rest of fall and Thanksgiving, so the other day I threw some fall fabrics around it and made it into a wall hanging:


I finally got CR to hang my doggie clock that Aunt Jean gave me for my Birthday.  I auditioned it in several places and liked it best in my kitchen.  Oh how I love this adorable clock:


When I was hanging my scarecrow up, I noticed Chanceman and Scotchie sleeping in a cozy bed together and they looked so cute, so I had to get a picture:


Rascal was in the other living room on the couch looking equally adorable, so I had to take his picture too:


Maddie was in her favorite spot under the china hutch, so no pictures of her this time.  She likes to go under it to be left alone and have some quiet time.  Who could blame her, we all need some time to ourselves.

It's another damp, chilly, grey day today and the rest of the week.  Ugh, I miss the sun, but it's that time of year.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunshine

This past week has been damp and grey and gloomy, so it's no wonder that today I feel on top of the world - the sun is out!!  Nothing beats a good dose of sunshine when you haven't seen it for a while.  The temps aren't bad - upper 50's and while cool, not to cold if you're in the sun, but in the shade you need to put a jacket on.

Look at the sun and the blue skies, even Miss Maddie has a spring in her step!!

Those leaves won't be on our tree for much longer.

We have about a half acre behind our garage where we've planted Fire bushes and Arborvitae for the quail

There are also a couple of good sized Dogwood bushes too

My girl scarecrow in a flower pot - sadly all the flowers are gone till next spring
(that's Rascal looking out the screen door at me)

And on the other side of the steps - the boy scarecrow.
Inside we have Tom Turkey out.  I still can't believe it's November already.

 
Tom is one of my favorite fall decorations.  I love a cute turkey!!
 
We survived Halloween with only 3 trick or treaters.  Luckily they all came at the same time and then it was a peaceful night.  Maddie was not happy about them, all dressed up weird she felt it her job to rush the door and protect me.  So I couldn't give the kids treats till CR had collected the fierce doggie from the door, haha.
 
A little less than 3 weeks and we'll be headed to Cannon Beach for our annual Thanksgiving trip.  Wow this year has flown by for me - how about you?? 
 
Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam


Friday, October 31, 2014

Fabric Shopping

I was pretty good about my spending while in NC and came home with some money, so what to do with said money - get to the fabric store!!  Sadly there aren't any quilt shops around where the Aunties live, which always shocks me, you'd think they'd have more available than we do.  I mean there must be quilters that live there, what do they do for fabric?  Maybe I'll run into a quilter one day while back there and they can give me the scoop.

So off to the fabric store I went and this is what came home with me:


I found the above fabric for a table runner.  I have this book that uses fat quarters and a table runner pattern that uses 6 fat quarters to make a really cute runner so I'll be making this soon.  I want to put it on my MIL's buffet, I have a lot of blue in that room.

I also signed up for Jacquelynne Steves Sew Simplicity Block of the Month, which started while I was gone, so I had to get the fabric for it, the first block is out and I haven't even done the cutting part yet - I'll be doing that and the first block this weekend.  I think there is still time if you're interested in doing it.  Here are my fabrics:


I forgot to show you my new shoes that I picked up while in NC.  They are Toms and they are sparkly.  I wouldn't wear them for a lot of walking, but they're fun to wear out and about, and I think they're really cute as well as comfortable, just not super supportive.


It's a damp, grey, gloomy day around here, again.  I miss the sun already and I have a feeling the winter is going to be a lot of grey skies.  Oh well, that will make me appreciate spring and summer more I suppose.  The leaves are changing quickly and should be off the trees pretty soon.  Ugh - Raking, but wait, CR brings out the riding lawn mower and mulches and catches the leaves, that's right, we don't rake anymore, hooray!!


I can't believe this is the last day of October and Halloween.  Seems like just yesterday I was getting things ready to go back to my Aunties and now I'm home and it's the end of the month.  I bought a big bag of Tootsie Rolls for goblins who may ring my door bell, however in years past we haven't had many, but it's a Friday night so you never know.

We are home for the day/night, how about you?  Any Halloween parties or plans??

Happy Halloween, Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hey Y'all, I'm back from NC

Wow, is it good to be home.  2 weeks doesn't seem like a long time and it goes fast, but to my little dog and her cat brothers it was far to long.  Maddie was all over me upon my return, the cats however were there to greet me and then snubbed me for several days as I was out of favor with the feline crowd.  Luckily a few days later they decided I'd been punished enough and all is back to normal.

Before I forget, I know I shared all the things I was taking back to the Aunties and they were all very much loved and appreciated.  Aunt Jean really loved her quilt.

My trip home was quite exciting - NOT.  I was scheduled to fly out at 11:30am on Wednesday, our plane landed, people came off the plane, then they announced that the plane had been hit by lightening.  They had to call a maintenance person in and it would be 30 minutes before he arrived, ugh.  From there it went all downhill.  They tried to get me out on Delta, but that was a no go and so I stayed the night at the Norfolk, VA airport Hilton.  I was just grateful not to be on the plane with the major damage from the lightening!  I finally made it home Thursday and boy was I exhausted.

Thought I'd share some photos from my trip, many of which I shared on Instagram (zunibear19) and on Facebook.  So sorry if you follow me there and this is a repeat.

My Aunts live next door to each other, this year I stayed with Aunt Jean.  Aunt Jean has 2 cats:  Sadie and Missy and 2 dogs:  Shy and Gretchen.

Missy (luckily she liked me, it made up for how Sadie felt, haha)
Sadie (she stared at me like I'd murder her in her sleep)
Shy (she barks to go outside, but Gretchen knows she's barking to get someone up to give them cookies, so Gretch goes directly to the kitchen to wait for the cookie.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much, but they try!!
Gretchen (she's a sweetie, but boy does she have bad allergies, also bad gas and snores)
This is the Nicholson House, built in the 1800's it's now a restaurant - a really good restaurant.  I celebrated my 54th birthday while back east, this is where we went, twice in fact and so delish!!
 
 
 
 
 
The above pics were taken inside the Nicholson house.  The wood work is absolutely beautiful.


A cotton field near my Aunts house - the cotton fascinates me.

The above pictures are of a couple embroidery finishes I completed while in NC.
The Aunties - Aunt Jean in the pink, Aunt Shirl with her dukes up

Missy the cat helps Aunt Jean exercise in the morning
The Fall/Harvest Jim Shore Angel.  The Aunties bought it for me as an early Christmas present.

This adorable clock was given to me by Aunt Jean for my birthday

I found this for our kitchen at the Cotton Gin

A pen and pencil holder for the kitchen, also found at the Cotton Gin


This adorable night light was given to me by Aunt Shirl for my birthday

Found these adorable Jim Shore figures at a Hallmark - Owl and Cardinal, so cute.
Found this adorable turkey at a Hallmark.  Thanksgiving is my fav holiday.
 It was a great trip, I did some cooking for the Aunties and baked some cookies as well as took some back.  We went out and about a lot and spent some time at home talking, watching some funny movies and just enjoying each others company.

We were supposed to got to DC to take my Uncles ashes to Arlington, but Arlington is part of the government, which never moves quickly and so my Auntie is still waiting on them to give her a date to do this.  I'm bummed as I wanted to help her drive and navigate the trip, as well as to just be there.  Guess it was just not meant to be.

Hope you've all been well.  It's sure turned to fall here and is cool and lately rainy and damp.  How's the weather where you are - is it fall yet??

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam