Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Musings

I can't believe it's Memorial Day weekend, this year is flying by.  Typically this is the start to summer with folks out camping and having fun, but if you live in my neck of the woods, it's not exactly even spring, it's chilly and windy and rainy and grey with some sun just to make you long for hot days.  So this weekend, in honor of Memorial Day and all those brave men and women who have fought for our country and our freedoms, I've been working on a project to honor them in my own small way.

On May 3rd I read a post by Carol at Brown Quilts that really touched my heart.  She has a friend who has worked tirelessly to bring a bit of home to our fallen soldiers recuperating at Walter Reed, those going off to war at airports and USO rooms, etc by giving red, white, and blue pillowcases and quilts to these brave souls.  Well she was recently diagnosed with cancer in her hip, pelvis and Stage 4 in her lung.  The doctor has said 12 to 18 months. What amazed me is that this brave woman is still working to bring a bit of home to the soldiers at Ft. Collins, GA and because of her cancer asked Carol if she could help her out and maybe deliver them to the soldiers there - she's still working tirelessly and unselfishly to provide something for our service men and women with all she's going through.

So Carol put out a call in the blog community to make pillowcases to help her friend out.  These pillow cases would be delivered in late summer - so there is still time if you'd like to help out as well.  I spent this weekend putting together a few pillow cases to send to Carol this week and here are my results:

I hope you'll visit Carol's blog here and think about helping out with this project.  As for me I'll be spending the day making a patriotic wall hanging for the house, after all 4th of July will be here before I know it.
Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tammy

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Back to Work

This Tuesday I went back to work at the tanning salon.  Hooray, it was just a 4 hour shift, but that I did it and did all the cleaning and chores required as well as wait on customers and had the stamina, well that was something to shout about for me.  I'm coming back, slower than I'd like, but I'm moving forward and going stronger every day.

Today's exciting adventure was my yearly mammogram.  I'm not a fan of this yearly event, but I do consider it a necessity.  It seemed much easier this year being 110 pounds lighter.  Of course the fact that "the girls" now resemble wet lasagna noodles isn't pretty, who cares, I'm a lot healthier.

I just finished the best book.  The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry.  Have you read it?  If not, I highly recommend it.
And before the rain hit - again (memo to mother nature, it's supposed to be spring and warm) I took some pictures of our peony - it's gorgeous this year and it's just getting started, the next few days it should be really beautiful, if our wind doesn't beat it to death.  Yep, rain and wind forecasted for the next few days, ugh.


Hope to get into the sewing room later this week, sadly nothing productive going on in there at the moment.  My friend Julie and I are going to drive to Prosser (about a 30 minute drive) to the Sewing Basket Quilt Shop this Saturday - perhaps I'll have some finds to share.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tammy

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Company is gone, now back to our regularily scheduled life.....

Wow, it's been a while since I posted.  So much to share and so many blogs to catch up on.  I've missed you all but there just hasn't been enough time in the day for everything. 

I left for Vegas early Friday morning - May 13th and had excellent travels the whole way there.  Who says Friday the 13th is unlucky.  Once I got my bag and met up with my friend Becky, we caught the shuttle to our hotel.  I changed and freshened up and went to register for the Meet and Greet, went to the Bariatric TV Forums small get together where I was able to meet so many online friends, it was awesome.  Then Becky and I had some dinner and I went to the Opening Ceremony to kick off the Meet and Greet. 

Saturday was a full day of speakers and chatting with all the wonderful people in attendance, an awesome lunch, more speakers and then I hit the wall.  Traveling and all the activities, well I just had to take a nap about 2pm, arrrrgggghhh, it was frustrating to me, but what's a girl to do and since it's only been 8 weeks since my surgery I still have to listen to my body or it rebels.  So off to take a nap I went.  I awoke at 4pm and Becky and I went to the mall for a bit and had a bite to eat, walked around and watched people - what a great city to watch people I must say.  Then back to the room where I changed into my dress and went to the closing night of fun and entertainment.  Sadly by 10pm I was ready to get comfortable and since the music was so loud, I figured it was okay to slip out and rest.  What I did participate in was awesome and fun.  Silly me, I took my camera with all good intentions of taking a bunch of pictures, and I hardly took any, but here are a few I did capture:
Me with the gorgeous Toni and Lynnda from Bariatric TV.
My Saturday Evening Party Dress.
We went to the Winn, which isn't new, but it's new to me - this is the water fall as you're entering.  It's just a gorgeous place.
The inside courtyard, simply beautiful.
More of the Winn's inside courtyard.
The Floor of the Winn's courtyard, is that gorgeous or what.
Sunday we walked the strip and visited many of the casinos.  As you can see, I was very impressed with the Winn.  It had a ton of shopping, but like all the casino's anymore the shopping is all designer with stores like Tiffany, Dior, Channel, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vitton, etc.  To rich for my meager bank account, but it was fun to look for sure.  At 4 pm on Sunday we met up with some folks I used to work with who moved to Vegas several years ago.  John and Vickie - such a fun couple and always so great to see them and catch up.  John recently retired this past Jan and Vickie has a couple of years to go.

Here is a picture of us at the Belliago Cafe:


A couple of things I didn't know about the Belliago - they take a painting from their art exhibit and recreate it using flowers and display it in their garden conservatory:

And they have a fabulous chocolate shop that makes the most amazing confections I've ever seen and they have a chocolate fountain - with white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate.  If it hadn't been behind glass I'd have been knee deep in that fountain enjoying myself, haha.


While we were there the conservatory had their glass green house on display.  Vickie told me they brought in 40,000 butterfly cocoons to hatch and boy was it a sight to see, gorgeous butterflies in all sizes and colors - a real visual delight.

Monday, Becky and I traveled back to my house where she stayed until this morning - she's winging her way back to the Chicago area as I write this.

Here is a picture of us and my sweet Madison:

Time to get busy now and get back to life.  There is cleaning to do and laundry.  I did my grocery shopping this morning.  Chores never end, do they.  I'm excited to get back to my sewing room.  While I was gone I received a letter from my Aunts who were thrilled with the purses I made and sent them.  It really made my day, I hope to travel back to see them someday soon.

Our summer warm weather that we've had the last few days has gone away, it's grey and windy here and chilly too.  I wish spring would arrive already and stay.

Happy Stitches!!
Tammy

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Off to Vegas

I'm so excited, this Friday, I'm off to Vegas to attend the WLSFA (Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America) Mother of All Meet and Greet.  I'll be meeting a lot of wonderful friends I've met on the weight loss forums, in particular, Bariatric TV.  There will be vendors and speakers with great information to share.  And the WLSFA  provides grants each year to help people who don't have insurance or can't get their insurance to approve weight loss surgery - it's a great way to help give back to our community and help other people get their health back.  Certainly this surgery isn't right for everybody, but I truly feel it helped me get my health back.  I only take two prescriptions a day - one for restless legs, one for asthma.  No more diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure.  And I credit my weight loss and the shape I was in for making my cancer/kidney removal surgery so much easier.  I've heard from several people who've lost a kidney and it would seem I'm way ahead of the curve in my recovery.  I also must credit the love and support of family and friends and the prayers everyone sent for me.  I feel very blessed and my energy is coming back, slowly, but it's coming back!!

My best friend Becky from the Chicago area will be meeting me in Vegas and then returning home with me on Monday to spend the week here.  Lots of coffee, talking, laughing, etc will be going on as well as some shopping - two women who love so shop can't forget that.  I'll be sure to have pictures to share when I get home.

Now on to a few things to show and tell:
I found a cute pattern to make a wristlet/camera bag for my little Cannon Power Shot camera that I'm taking.  It's small and compact and easy to carry.  I found the pattern here (it's a Keyka Lou Pattern).

A lot of people are showing pictures of their sewing machines lately, and because I love my girl so much, here is a pic of my beautiful Viking - Vickie as I like to call her:

And then I wanted to show a sign for my sewing room that a friend made me.

Happy Stitches and big Hugs,
Tammy

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Something good came out of my cancer.

Hard to believe something good comes out of cancer, right.  Well it did.  You see I have 2 aunts who are my mothers sisters and several years ago, about 8 I believe, they got mad at me about something and if one doesn't speak to you, neither does the other.  One lived here and one in the Carolina's.  The one who lived here and got mad at me, retired and moved to the Carolina's a few years ago.  It made me really sad that my only family who'd known me since I was a child would quit speaking to me, and then the one would move away without so much as a good bye.  But you don't choose your family and well you can't control how they feel about you, so I felt it was good to just release it and move on with my life.  I felt so blessed to have my husband's family whom I love and who love me back.  Fast forward to my cancer diagnosis, I decided to be polite and let the aunts know about the cancer - you never know what is hereditary and well I believe people deserve to know things of this nature - just in case.  And in doing so, I received a wonderful card from the Aunt S, she wanted to put the past in the past and told me she loved me and well I'm a sucker for second and third chances and I'm not a grudge holder, so we have been talking on the phone about once a week now and it's going really well.  I think time and distance have taught us both acceptance and kindness toward each other.  And in that spirit I recently made a couple of purses for her and Aunt J to enjoy, I also tend to be very giving according to CR, perhaps its to soon, but I do love to give to others, it's just how I am.  Here are the purses, they're being mailed today - I hope they are received and loved with the love I put into them for each Aunt.

I am hopeful that we can continue along this new path and appreciation for each other and continue to have a relationship.  Family is important, if not frustrating at times and it's nice to have that connection.

Happy stitches,
Tam