Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter

Well, just 5 more days and I'll be in surgery getting yet another bionic knee.  That will make a set of bionic knees and a bionic hip.  And hopefully the arthritis will stop, I haven't got time for this, and it hurts!!

In the meantime, tomorrow is Easter.  I wasn't going to do anything special and then I watched Pioneer Woman on the Food network last Saturday and this one dish she made got me thinking, well I have to cook anyhow.  So I got a bone in spiral cut ham and I'm going to make Pioneer Woman's funeral potatoes to go with it.  Sounds depressing right, well these potatoes have sour cream and cheese and all sorts of stuff that make them a heart attack in a casserole dish of goodness.  I don't usually cook stuff like this but I figure once a year, why not.

I've been spring cleaning and dusting and moving furniture and going to town on the house.  I won't be doing any deep cleaning for a few weeks after surgery so I figured I could start out with a nice clean house.  And after the heat pump and furnace install, wow, this house needed the deep cleaning.

I also got busy last weekend and put together 5 table runners.  Three for me and 2 for the Aunties:

I made this one for the side table by my chair and a second one for my Aunt Shirl

I made this one for my coffee table.  I didn't have enough fabric to make more than one.

This seems to be the only photo I have of my blue and yellow one.  It was material I had in my stash and I thought it would make a pretty runner, I also made one for my Aunt Jean.
Once I completed the table runners I had to take my sewing machine in for her yearly tune up.  She's only 5 months overdue.  I should have taken it in last October, but I totally forgot.  Last fall and part of the winter were very stressful and tune ups were the last thing on my mind.  I miss my sewing machine when she's in the shop.  It's okay if she is here and I'm to busy to use her, but if she's gone, I keep wanting to start a project.

Last week I took this picture of our oldest cat Chanceman, he's such a beautiful boy, I thought I should share it:


Just small things left to do.  Monday I'll vacuum and mop.  Tuesday I'll do some cooking and baking.  Wednesday I'll do the laundry and get my hair colored.  I won't know till Wednesday afternoon what time my surgery will be.  

Happy Easter to you all and Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, March 7, 2016

Exhausting Week

Boy oh boy was last week exhausting.  First the very long day to install the new heat pump/furnace and thermostat.  Then a day of duct cleaning and sealing.  Then I go to clean house on Saturday and my darn vacuum gives out on me.  Seriously, I can't take much more.  Can't something cheap break down, that is easy to replace or something you don't have to replace right away.

At the end of last week I discovered an extremely ugly, short piece of white rain gutter on the house by where the new heat pump is - I was not amused at this discovery:


 Apparently in order to get the PUD's (public utility district) rebate for the new installation they require this rain gutter thing.  It would make since if the unit was directly under the roof line, however it sits back from the house almost 2 feet, which makes the rain gutter useless.  It will be removed once the rebate is approved.  How ridiculous if you ask me.

I got my new glasses last week and I'm very happy with them.  I was so sick and tired of the rectangle lenses.  I actually got 2 pairs, one for regular use and one that is specific to computer/reading/up close use.  I love both pairs, but be careful which pair you are wearing when you decide to drive to the grocery store.


 While we sat around while all the work was going on around the house last week we had the TV on and the Today show was playing.  Well this gal made a Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake and that made CR drool, so this weekend I baked him that cake, and he loves it.


 And finally there are signs of life and greenery around the place.  Hooray for spring:




That is about all I have to tell.  I was exhausted this weekend so I did a fair amount of resting to get back on my feet.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Things Are Not Built To Last

Oh the month of March.  It's all about replacing things that aren't built to last.  For starters, there is my knee, although I did get 55 years on it.  Sadly our heat pump can't make that claim.  The darn compressor died.  To replace it would have been $4000.00, which is certainly cheaper than a whole new unit, but...................the EPA phased out the refrigerant that is used in our older heat pump, so it would be hard to find a compressor, and even if we did, if it didn't last very long we'd be in the same world of hurt and out $4000.00.  So it's time for a new heat pump/furnace/thermostat.  I'd rather spend that money on a big vacation or a trip to several fabric shops.  But no, we must have a unit that works, especially in July when it's 110 outside and my menopausal self can barely stand the heat.  I need my air!

So this is the scene in my driveway - we are being installed today:


Because the furnace part goes in what is considered a cellar room under the house, accessed via an trap door opening in our closet, I had to round the cats up and put them in a back room.  Currently someone is body slamming the door to that room and they want out.  I'm pretty sure it's Rascal, he's the reason they are in there because he would be underfoot, down in the cellar and all over the place and think it's all great fun.  I just hope he's not smart enough to figure out the door knob the goof head.

My new shoes came in, they're really good tennies that have a rolling foot bed as opposed to one that bends at the toes.  With the arthritis in my big toe, this is exactly what I need and so I just picked them up.  They are Hoka Brand and the Bondi Bondi style.




They are so comfortable.  Although expensive, I think my feet will be very happy and lets face it to get shoes that are good for my feet at this point I don't get off cheaply.  I pretty much only wear Birkenstock's, Dansko's, Allegra's and now the Hoka's.

Poor Maddie does not like all the construction noise and people in and out of our house.  She's sticking by my side.  She will not like me much this afternoon when I take her to the groomers for her day of beauty.  I'm not sure what is worse - construction or a bath.

Here she is looking at me like "when will this be over":


Oh if she only knew what was coming!

Not much sewing going on, I embroider at night and I have a project that I'm working on, I do have a table runner in the works, but nothing to show yet.  

Thankfully all the coughing and such has subsided now and I can ride my bike without wheezing.  So many people getting the flu and this awful cold that I hate going out for fear of catching it again.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, February 22, 2016

March Birthdays

It's almost the month of March and that means both Aunties are having birthdays.  One on the 5th and one on the 24th.  I got their presents finished up today and still need to bake the requested chocolate chip cookies.  Of course I always tell them to share, but they always crack me up with telling me one of them hid the cookies from the other.  One year my Aunt Jean went to Aunt Shirl's house, which is right next door, she was napping so Aunt Jean left her 3 cookies and when Aunt Shirl woke up, she called Aunt Jean to say - hey where are the rest of the cookies and my Aunt said that Tammy only sent us 6 so I split them with you.  Well it's rather nice that they both love my baking to the point of trying to hog all the cookies.

I did a set of embroidered seasons that have a button up back ground on a small wire stand for them. They love it when I make them things and I know they will enjoy these.

Here are some pictures:

The button up background hanging on the stand

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter
I may have to make a set for myself they turned out so cute.  I got the pattern and the stand from Bird Brain Designs

And how about a birthday quote:  The age of a woman doesn't mean a thing.  The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now if I can just get over the chest cold I have I'll get those cookies baked.  Last Friday I could feel it moving into my chest and I was having so much trouble breathing (asthma), that I called my doctor and quickly got on antibiotics.  I think the worst of it is over, but the cough remains and the head is getting in on the action.  I haven't had a cold in a few years so I've been lucky and at least I'm getting it out of the way before my knee replacement.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Catching up in Pictures

I certainly meant to try and post on a weekly basis, but time got away from me.

One thing I wanted to share is a friend ship quilt I made and will be finally giving it to my friend this next week.  I took a picture of the whole thing and then the individual blocks:











Next Up, I purchased a new desk from Pier One.  I didn't want a large desk and it would seem that to buy something all put together in this area, you need to buy big, so ugh, we had to put the legs on, which wasn't to bad.  Now unplugging and plugging all those wires into the right spot again - torture, or so it seemed at the time.


I've been fighting a nasty stomach bug for a week now and so it was such a pleasant surprise to get a box in the mail from my Auntie with a gorgeous Jim Shore Easter Basket and Eggs and a mouse that has an owl on it.



And around this house if you get up, you lose your chair to a cat.  The other evening I lost my chair to Scotchie, he's such a love, although shy with others, he's a sweet boy with us.


I went to Hobby Lobby to decorate my coffee table for Easter with the new basket I have and here it is:

I got the blue and white bunnies, then egg garland that was strung with twine.  The white bunnies don't show up as well as I'd like, darn it.

Then I had this hanging basket I'd gotten years ago and I wanted to do something different with it, so I took out what was in it, then put in styrofoam blocks and covered them with moss and stuck in these adorable owls that are actually for the outside, but I thought they'd be cute inside:


Well that is what I've been up to.  Not much, but it's better than nothing right.  Oh one thing that happened this month is my hubby went to renew his drivers license, because he walked slow - yes that is what they told us, he had to take the driving part of the test again before they would renew his license.  He is about to be 76 and he has bone cancer, ya think he might move slow for a reason, doesn't mean he can't still drive.  Oh well he was so nervous, but he passed, hooray!!  Of course they knocked his score down because they didn't feel he could move his neck enough and because they didn't have a proper area to properly parallel park and wanted him to parallel park and pretend vehicles and a curb were there.  Heck I wouldn't pass that part either, you just can't fake some things. Thank goodness it's over and he has his new license!

I also got my surgery date for my knee replacement.  The fun will be happening on March 31st.  In the mean time I'm riding my recumbent bike to strengthen my leg and have as much range of motion as possible pre-surgery.  Since I had the right knee done less than 2 years ago, I pretty much remember the routine.  Sure didn't expect to have to have another knee done so soon though.

Things are humming along and going better.  I've take over the finances and a lot of things to relieve CR.  He suffers from what they call chemo brain and has his good and bad days.  It was very emotional to take all that over and to know that our lives were changing so significantly, that things we used to do, would no longer be, like going in our 5th wheel.  I am however so grateful for my husband and that I still have him with me.  He has his 76th birthday on the 19th of this month and then we celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary on the 19th of March.  We are blessed - I am blessed.

Happy Valentines, Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tammy

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