Sunday, February 28, 2010

Still Alive and Kickin

After way to many days of laying around, curled up and feeling as if I was dying - it looked something like this (the one on the right):
I have finally joined the land of the living again.  Although not the land of the eating, my stomach is still very tender and trepidatious about food and food smells at the moment.  So I've been spending my time relaxing, looking out the window, watching TV, reading all your fun blogs.  It looked something like this:
Today is a pretty good day in our neck of the woods - 57 degrees, Sunny, no wind.  We spent the morning just sitting around, reading the paper and letting the sun shine in on us - something like this:
Perhaps later on we might do some sewing, or more resting, but it looks like the flu bug is clearing out and we are returning to normal.  Good thing cuz life is just to short to spend it all sick like that!!  CR mentioned that the lawn needs to be mown and we have tulips and daffodils coming up - Oh the joys of Spring!!!

Hope the sun is out in your neck of the woods.

Hugs,  Tammy

Friday, February 26, 2010

Misery with a Splash of Whine

So I thought the worst of the flu bug hit CR, but avoided me, that said, Tuesday afternoon I got jiggy and went and got a pedicure, bought a new book to read while getting a pedicure, went out to see a friend and take a couple of things to her.  Oh you must see my pedicure:
I love how they do those pretty flowers, and with such a steady hand.  I'd have paint all over me and every thing else if I attempted this.  One of the things I took with me when I visited my friend was something that I recently put together:
A cute little bag made from a honey bun.  Don't know what I'll use it for, but it was fun and easy to put together and I love the fabric.
So all was wonderful, it felt great to get out and then Wednesday morning I awoke to the worst stomach pain I've ever felt.  I thought I was dying.  I have been so sick for the last 3 days that I'd like to cry, but I'm to dehydrated to tear up.  I'm choking down gatorade and water to keep myself from landing in the hospital, but I sure wish I could wake up tomorrow and have this be a distant memory.  CR got sick Sunday night and says today he finally is normal again, so there is hope, but sounds like I get to suffer for a couple more days.  I have never noticed how many freakin food commercials there are on TV until I've had it on so much while being sick and I have to tell you, they are not appealing at all.  Good grief, I love food, what is wrong with this picture!!  Take care everyone and stay healthy.

Hugs,   Tammy

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Celebrations and Flu Bugs

We had a wonderful time for CR's birthday and thank you for all the lovely birthday wishes to him.  On Saturday we went to a wonderful local winery that also has a fabulous restaurant.  The food was delicious and 6 of our friends joined us.  We came back to our house for some coffee and dessert.  If I had been thinking, I would have gotten pictures, but I was to busy visiting and totally forgot the camera.  Anyhow I made Swedish Creme for dessert:
Doesn't look like much but you put fruit on top - in our case we topped it with raspberries and it is one delicious dessert.  It's not as sweet as a custard or creme brulee, but it is that consistancy.  If you're interested, here is the recipe I use:

Swedish Creme

2&1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1 pint sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Place the whipping cream, sugar, and gelatin in a saucepan.  Stirring well.  Heat thoroughly on medium heat, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.  Continue to heat through for about 5 minutes and stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, fold in sour cream and vanilla and gently whisk till thoroughly blended and dissolved.  Pour into a large bowl or individual bowls.  Cover by gently pressing plastic wrap over the top to seal.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours when using one large bowl.  Serve plain or with topping of choice.

All was well till Sunday afternoon.  Both CR and I started to feel funky, he's still got the effects and I'm feeling better now.  Not so fun after such a nice time to get hit with a stomach bug.  The poor 4-legged kids were beside themselves as we were both so quiet.  I think they took turns making sure we were still breathing.

Maddie is much happier today now that her parents seem to be normal again and giving her the attention she deserves.  I mean really whether you feel good or not, that is no excuse not to give belly rubs at regular intervals.
I did get back to my sewing room and I've discovered I can cut things out again, so theres no stopping me now, except for the fact that cutting things out is my least favorite thing to do.

Hugs,  Tammy

Friday, February 19, 2010

Feb. 19th, My Wonderful CR's Birthday

Today is my beloved’s Birthday. I can’t believe how time has flown. We both are celebrating big numbers this year, he is celebrating 70 – a VERY young 70 and later in the year I will be 50. In March we will celebrate 24 years of marriage, and 26 years of being together. It seems like yesterday.

When I met CR, I couldn’t get over his gorgeous blue eyes (and he had a nice behind too – sorry, I couldn’t help checking the booty out). I just remember as I got to know him how sincere his eyes were, you could tell he listened to your every word and thought fully, not thinking of something to say before you finished. He took your words and thoughts in and he appreciated who I was. I was a pretty tough chick when I met him. I left home at 16, an abusive situation and 2 things I thought at the time I knew for sure was – I wasn’t going to get married and I wasn’t going to have kids and continue any abuse. He read right through me, he knew I had a tough act, but underneath was a completely different person, who just didn’t feel safe in the world. Until Him. He made me feel safe, his love was unconditional, he knew I had a lot of things to get past, but he was willing to be patient and kind and let me grow and celebrate my growth with me.

As in all marriages, it hasn’t been all wine and roses, but it’s been so rewarding. We work together to make a good life, we are best friends, we laugh and we cry and we grow stronger as a couple no matter what obstacle comes our way. We are there for each other. I always wondered when I was young, how does one know what love really is – well I found it and I feel so dog gone lucky to have met such a wonderful, loving, kind, thoughtful, giving man. God really blessed me!!

So Happy Birthday CR, you are the most wonderful husband in the world – at least for me. I’m so grateful for everything you do and everything you are!!

Hugs, Tammy

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Year Ago Today

A year ago today, my wonderful hubby had the radiation seed implants for prostate cancer.  It was a scarey day and time in our lives.  I am so grateful it is behind us.  His PSA is now 0.01 and we are thrilled.  It's also Sunye's Birthday today.  I won't give her age in case she reads my blog.  Happy Birthday Sunye - your Dad and Step Monster love you and hope it's an awesome day.

Hugs, Tammy

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunshine on Wednesday

Wowzer, the sun is out, it's 55 degrees out and gonna be in the 60's in the next few days.  It feels so good to have the sun out, the tulips and daffoidls coming up and the extra energy from exercise isn't hurting either.
Madison had her "day of beauty" as I like to call it, today.  She went to see Meredith her groomer and doesn't she look especially fluffy and sweet:
Here she is looking in the direction of the microwave - this is where her treat jar is and she thinks that I want to give her a treat for posing, so I do, because, well, she sometimes runs the house and I just can't say no:

While she was being groomed, CR and I went to Costco to buy one of these:

The doctor wants me to check my blood pressure every day for a month, ugh, it's like "Dude, my blood pressure is up because I'm here for my physical, this means you are going to poke and prode and probe, none of which I enjoy - you're blood pressure would be up too".  Anyhow I just listened to him and figured I'd do it, make him happy and go on with life.  But really, what gives, if you're like me you hate these appointments, thankfully they're only once a year, and dog gone whose blood pressure wouldn't be up.  I'm nervous, I had to step on the scale for crying out loud - I mean that alone is enough to send me over the edge.
After we got home, UPS arrived and we got this mysterious box from  It was addressed to both of us, and I knew I didn't order it, I wondered if it was an early b-day present for CR, but he left it for me to open and inside was this:

A really cute wooden box with Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chunk, Peppermint and Caramel Pecan Brownies.  When I opened the card, it was from my friend Laura.  I met Laura in West Yellowstone Montana several years ago.  She owns the Canyon Street Ice Cream shop and Cliff and I loved to get ice cream there when it was hot and we weren't fishing.  So we got to know Laura and her border collie - Ghost.  She is an awesome lady and truly a kind and thoughtful person.  I'd lost touch with her this past year, I had sent a letter to her at Christmas 08 and didn't hear from her in 09, but with CR going through cancer treatment and all that was going on, I kind of dropped the ball in checking in on her to see if she was okay.  I had mentioned to CR this winter that I needed to see how she was, to find out if she was back east living with and helping her father or if she was living in Montana full time again.  From the return address she's back east at the moment and I will be writing her a long letter as well as a thank you note for the goodies.  It was to wish us a happy valentines and to tell us she was sorry she hadn't written and loved us dearly.  Is that not the sweetest, nicest thing.  For me a letter would have meant just as much.  I can't wait to get back in touch with her and catch up.  I wish I had a picture of her, her smile lights up a room, that is the kind of gal she is.
Well off to finish one more dusting chore and jump on the treadmill.  Hope you're having a bit of sunshine where ever you are!!

Hugs, Tammy

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's - a bit late!!

I don't know how this happens, but sometimes, time just gets away from me.  Sadly, I can't say that I've accomplished much and yet I have gotten things done.  For instance I've been researching something that may help with some health issue I have.  I've also been cleaning the heck out of my house, my hand is strong enough for me to finally give it a good deep cleaning, and oh holy crap it needs it.  The dust (and fur) have been a flying.  I also decided to give up my sedentary ways, clean off the treadmill (w/CR's help) and get my butt moving again.   Here it is:
It's in a small back bedroom, where I have a lot of spare stuff, like the cat carriers, a file cabinet, wrapping paper, you name it, and I would almost bet it's in there!!  Sadly, 20 minutes into my walk and I'm huffing and puffing and wheezing the house down, wow, I had no idea I was that out of shape.  And the muscles that have awakened, oy vey, who knew.  I read an article recently about runners who run, outside if you can imagine, with no shoes - barefoot.  Supposedly it's actually easier on their legs, joints, etc, like ancient man used to do it, although ancient man didn't have to contend with broken glass, etc on the asphalt, or asphalt for that matter.  Anyhow, I don't want to do that to my tender tootsies, but I've been walking on the treadmill barefoot.  I think it awakens a lot of little muscles and I've been told it really helps with balance.  Lord knows I can trip on air, so if it will help with balance, I'm all for it.

I keep forgetting to post a picture of my delicious Aussie Caramel Mud Cake, with the delicious Lyle's Golden Syrup, so here it is:

By the time the picture was snapped, there wasn't much left, you see something this different had to be shared with many friends and all of them LOVED it.  Yeah it's a delicious cake and moist and well those Aussies had a great idea coming up with this cake.  Again I have to thank Jennifer at Bronze Wombat for converting things on the recipe and steering me in the direction of if it's this for Aussies; it's this for the US when it comes to ingredients.  Next up we are going to try Anzac Biscuits (cookies). 
CR's birthday is coming up, a group of 8 of us are going to a local Winery that has a marvelous restaurant to dine, and then back to our house for dessert.  So I plan to make Swedish Creme topped with Raspberries and Anzac Biscuits.  I'll be sure to post pic's before we dig in.

This past Friday we went up to Spokane, about 2 hours + a little up north of us.  My do it all for you espresso machine had a serious leak and lucky for me, it only took a replacement valve (that's been redesigned 4 times since the original - my machine still had the original and never failed till now) and the cost wasn't too bad - 90 dollars.  Here's the thing, to get a machine of this caliber now days, we'd have to pay about 1000.00 for it, plus I like my good old machine, I think it's about 10 years old now and it brews a great espresso.  I simply couldn't afford to replace it at this point, sadly.  Anyhow, we called CR's daughter Sunye (I'm the step monster, haha - I've begged her to call me that but she won't, darn it) to see if she could meet us for lunch and as luck would have it Ben was not in school so he could meet us too.  It was a fabulous lunch and the little man has grown leaps and bounds again.  Oh lord he is so adorable, yet so grown up for a 7 year old, of course they all are anymore.  He gets these looks on his face and I want to call him Bryan - his dad's name, he looks so much like his Daddy at times.  Unfortunately Bryan couldn't meet us for lunch, work needed him there.  I really am amazed every time I see Sunye in action.  I tell you she is such a fabulous Mommy, she is so natural and relaxed and in tune.  She makes it look so easy and there is nothing easy about raising kids, or so I think.  I didn't raise any of my own, so I'm no expert, but it does not look like a walk in the park job.  I just think she's the best, I have a lot of respect for her and when Ben looks at him Mommy, you can tell he adores her, it's so awesome to see.

Well that's about all I know.  A very late in the day Happy Valentine's day to you and yours.

Hugs,  Tammy

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Back to my Sewing Room

While the boys (hubby and cats) watched the super bowl, I got busy doing other things.  Here is a picture of the boys watching the game, I think Skeezics stood up to cheer, or to go use the litter box................
My day was spent on my heart blocks.  I used steam a seam to adhere them to the block fabric and then began machine blanket stitching the hearts:
I think I should have spent some time clearing off my cutting table, I did some fat quarter shop ordering when I was laid up nursing my infected thumb and now I have a lot to do, but no where to put it at the moment, hmmm, yeah it's a mess and will probably stay that way for a while.
Lately while sewing I have been addicted to these:
Bad, bad Tammy!!
I just got my shipment of Lyles Golden Syrup yesterday, we don't have it here in the states, but they have it in the UK and in Australia.  It all started because I saw this Aussie recipe for a Caramel Mud Cake.  My friend Jennifer at Bronze Wombat helped me convert to the US measurements.  The recipe called for Golden Syrup, which is unlike anything in the states.  My husband's family came from England, so he fondly remembers his grandpa getting some and then putting it on ice cream, so last night we gave it a try.  Wow, it is delicious, heck dipping your finger in some as Jennifer suggested to me, was delicious.  I can't wait to make the cake and CR sure enjoyed a fond memory from his childhood.  Good thing I ordered two containers!!

Hugs, Tammy

Friday, February 5, 2010

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

Hey all, please go check out Quilt Diva Julies blog Me and My Quilts she has posted the Alzheimer's Name Quilt #70 in honor of those affected by this tragic disease.  My sweet Mother-in-Law's name happens to be on this quilt, so it is particularly poignant for my hubby and me.  Her name was Mabel Edwards, she was a lovely lady and it was awful to see this disease take her long before she passed.  There are lots of things you can do in support of this cause and Julie has listed several links as well as links to get more information about the initiative. 

Hugs, Tammy

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Back to having some fun

Despite those winter blahs, I've gotten back to having some fun in my sewing room.  I started cutting out hearts for a valentines wall hanging  

and sewed some honey bun strips together to make a cosmetic bag.

It feels good to get busy again, but here's the catch, and I have to wonder, why does there have to always be a catch??  I can't cut anything.  I mean my right hand is just fine and so I can use the rotary cutter no problem.  The issue is my very weak left hand - it can't hold a ruler in place, there isn't an ounce of strength there - YET.  I saw the doc today, he is thrilled with the healing, the infection is gone and my hand is doing beautifully.  He gave me the go ahead to start working on my strenghtening exercises, so that was excellent news.  I seem to still be fighting low energy, but I think some of that is a result of the surgeries and infection.  Gotta give the old bod some time to bounce back, as I've been reminded, I'm not in my twenties anymore so these things do take time.
Here is a picture of what the valentines wall hanging should look like when it's complete:

I purchased this adorable kit from Joined at the Hip.  They have some great kits and patterns, just love their site.  Anyhow that's what I've been up to, just trying to get back in the swing of things and napping here and there. 

Hugs, Tammy