Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Eve of the New Year

Wow, 2015 is just a few hours away.  So do you make resolutions?  I don't do that anymore, I figure I just need to be who I am and try to improve on it whether it's weight, or de-cluttering the house or whatever.  I don't stress, I just figure I'm a work in progress.

We've gotten some great news to start our new year - CR has been approved for the Provenge treatments and we've gotten the financial help needed due to the expense of the treatment and we begin on Jan 9th.  We'll do a Friday/Monday schedule for 3 weeks with a week off in between.  We even received a call yesterday that we'll be getting a debit card with quiet a large amount of money to take care of food and gas expenses because we travel to Spokane (2.5 hour drive north of us) for the treatments.  Wow, that was such a surprise and a welcome bit of assistance.  Just pray that the roads and weather play nice for us as it's not the best time of year to be traveling.

In other news, I ordered an adorable butter dish and it came in earlier in the week:


Yesterday I got the stitches out in the finger I had fixed and I have to say it's wonderful to be pain free.  The stitches weren't bothering me, but they were snagging my embroidery thread, which was a nuisance. 

This weekend I'm taking the Christmas decorations down.  I would prefer to take them down soon after Christmas, but CR like to wait till New Years, so I hold off and wait, yesterday thought I told him I can't wait to put the house back in order and he just laughed and said he wondered when I was going to say that.  He knows me so well.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas or whatever it is you may celebrate and that the New Year brings you peace, happiness, and good health.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

We've had a lovely Christmas Eve.  We started our day with some homemade Pumpkin Scones and coffee - lots of coffee.  We've just been at home chillin out, watching Miracle on 34th Street (the original version) and puttering around.

Yesterday we received a wonderful gift from our friends the Massey's.  It was an edible bouquet.  Oh man it's pretty, but not for long, we really enjoyed it.  It had cantaloupe, honey dew, strawberries, grapes, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered apple slices and chocolate covered pineapple slices in the shape of reindeer.  Along with that I fixed a plate of salami, mozzarella cheese wrapped in prosciutto, we had a few cheeses and a butter brie that we put on crackers and then a pineapple pepper jelly on top of that.  It was a good after noon to eat around here.


We've never had an edible bouquet and I have to say we were really impressed with how fresh and ripe all the fruit was - and delicious too!!


And the rest of the snack spread wasn't bad either, yum!!

I also baked our Christmas dessert today.  Rather than a pie, CR wanted my dark chocolate cake baked in the Christmas tree bundt pan of course.  We'll pair it with a really good port for dessert.


Tomorrow we'll open out gifts (I already have mine and have had it since the first of December).  I'll get a prime rib in the oven and I'm making a sinful potato dish to go with it.  We ought to be so stuffed we can't move but it will be fun and delicious.

Have a very Merry Christmas and I hope your holidays are just the way you like them!

Hugs,
Tam

Monday, December 22, 2014

Busy Work

Today was a wonderful day -- why you ask, well I got that huge dressing taken off of my finger and just have bandaids protecting the end and the top area where there are stitches.  Those will come out next week.

In the mean time, when I wasn't drooling from the drugs they gave me (even a tiny surgery like that brings a whole lot of pain with it), I was trying to stay busy. 

So I ordered and received a mortar and pestle to use for the rub I'm making for our 5 pounds of rib roast (prime rib) on Christmas day.


I hope the Christmas dinner I'm making is as good as Thanksgiving was.  In years past we've had Spaghetti, and other similar dishes, but this year we are going fancy, well as fancy as we get that is.

I've also been putting all my recipes in sheet protectors and in binders and even sorted them into categories (I need more tab sheets though).  I love how organized it is and I've been meaning to do this for, well probably a year now.



I have also started a new project.  I'm still working on my embroidered owls, but I never intended to do them non-stop till they were complete, it's my long term project.  This project is for a wall hanging that has winter, spring, summer and autumn.  I have winter done.  I'll be making 2 for a couple very important March birthdays.  More on that later.


We are home for the holidays, even our grocery shopping is done, so no one has to fight the crowds or deal with the zoo that is out there for last minute shopping.  I've never been one to wait till the last minute - that would make me crazy.

Are you ready for Christmas?? 

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fusing the Finger

Yesterday morning I had my right ring finger joint fused.  It involves surgery but you're not knocked out either.  They put a block in your arm pit which numbs the whole arm for about 6 hours.  They do give you meds to relax and snooze a bit, but it doesn't bother me to be awake and listen either,

The doc gave us pictures of the pin in my finger that is used to help fuse things and the pin will be removed in 6 to 8 weeks.  I find it fascinating so I thought I'd share the pictures.



I'm currently on some pretty potent pain meds so that is all for today.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Results from the Oncologist

So many of my blogging friends have become such good friends that we email with nothing to do with blogs.  The support you all give me is so wonderful and I feel so blessed.  I thought I'd share the results with you from our oncologist appointment last Friday.

In a matter of a few weeks CR's PSA went from 57 to 98.

The Cat Scan showed that some lymph nodes were larger than normal and of a worrisome size in the lower back region.
 
The Bone Scan picked up "suspicious" areas on his right 5th and 10th ribs.

You know what, I've learned over the years that "suspicious", "worrisome" and "concerning" are not good terms when dealing with cancer - no good comes out of it, or so it seems.

So that said we are going to move forward with a immunology treatment called Provenge.  Basically it is a treatment designed to reprogram your body's immune cells to attack advanced, hormone resistant prostate cancer cells.  It jump starts the immune cells already in your body to help your body fight the disease. 
 
It's a 2 step process that is done for 3 weeks, every other week.  The first step is a 3 to 4 hour session of removing blood from CR, it then passes through a machine and collects small portions of your immune cells, some platelets and some red blood cells.  Then the machine returns the blood that isn't used back to CR.
 
This blood is then shipped off to a lab where the magic happens (I wish I could explain, but I'm not a scientist).  The treated blood is returned to the Oncologists office and two days later we are back in the office to have the treated blood put back in to CR.  This helps CR's own immune system fight the disease.  Currently his immune system isn't fighting it at all.

Of course there is a catch.  The treatment is $90,000.00, after insurance the co-pay is $20,000.00, which is just way to expensive.  Lucky for us we make well under a certain dollar amount per year so we are eligible for co-pay assistance and even travel assistance with this drug.  That said we won’t know till all the pre-approvals with medicare, Cliff’s secondary insurance and the drug company get together if we can move forward.  It all depends on what we will end up paying.  Cliff doesn’t want to pay a fortune and I understand that.  There are other chemo drugs that can be used and can also be successful, however in the early stages of his disease metastasizing,  the Provenge looks to be the treatment that will give him the most benefit with the least amount of side effects.  We should know in January what the outcome with insurance, etc will be and be able to decide then.

So now you know.  We are doing well, and actually after so many tests and expecting to hear this type of news, I guess in a weird way it's a relief because now we can get treatment and possibly get it under control.  The doctor has told us they can't cure this, but we can treat it and try to control it and that is all we can ask for.  CR feels good and doesn't have a lot of pain anywhere and that is a good sign as well.
 
Please if you would, keep my wonderful hubby in your prayers, send him good vibes - we sure appreciate it!!
 
Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Results

We are off to Spokane tomorrow for CR's appointment with the Oncologist.  We'll find out the results of his tests last Friday.  Yeah, we're nervous.

So since we'll be up there it seemed like a merry idea to make 2 of my dark chocolate cakes in my Christmas Tree bundt pan for our Urologists office and the Oncologists office.


Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lazy Sunday

I love lazy Sunday's.  I usually take my shower and then put on a pair of clean pj pants and relax and stay home all day.  I also like to make brunch.  I will often watch a Netflix movie - yesterday we watched the Giver.  I wasn't sure if I'd like that movie or not, but I did, it was really different and intriguing. 

I also did some sewing, I finally finished a small wall hanging that I've been trying to get done for a while, but kept getting side tracked.  I did the embroidery while I was recovering from my knee replacement.


Scotchie was on top of my favorite warm, chunky sweater most of the day yesterday.  I guess he's taking it to heart that Sunday is a day of rest.


Maddie was in her favorite chair and watching take a picture of Scotchie, so I decided to snap a pic of her as well - she's do darn cute.


Hope you all had a good weekend - did anyone do anything exciting??

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Decorations

Thought I'd share our Christmas Decorations this year.  We don't put up a tree, but we do manage to make it look festive I think:














 

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, December 1, 2014

Turkey's - Who Knew

So being that I just cooked my first Thanksgiving Turkey, I just have to say, who knew you could do so much afterwards with the meat, the carcass, etc.

The day after Thanksgiving I boiled my carcass to make stock.

The next day I made 2 different soups, one was a curried turkey & rice soup, the other was just a regular turkey soup with noodles.

Curried Turkey Rice Soup - boy was it delicious!!

Regular Turkey Soup with Noodles

Then last night I made a turkey pot pie with the rest of the leftover turkey and I used the left over dressing, added an egg and moistened it a tad, then shaped it into a round, when I had the pot pie put together, oh and it also used the left over gravy and some stock I saved, I put the stuffing on top and baked it for 30 minutes.  Wowzer, it was the bomb!!

Today we had to go to Costco.  I hate going to Costco this time of year, but thankfully it wasn't to bad and we got in and out quickly.  It can be a real zoo this time of year.

Then I went to a couple other stores where I found this adorable snowman cookie jar:

 
I love that he's not Christmas colors so I can keep him out for the winter.  Now that I have my new kitchen I have room for things like this and it's fun!

I also decorated for Christmas this past weekend and I'll show you some pictures later.  So when do you decorate for Christmas??

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, November 28, 2014

My First Turkey

This Thanksgiving I made my first turkey dinner.  I know I'm a bit old to just be making my first, but we've spent the last 32 or so years at Cannon Beach for Thanksgiving and a 5th wheel oven is not big enough for a bird.  So this year I made a turkey, dressing, gravy and brussel sprouts and I bought the cranberries.  Here's a look at our table:

All set with my beautiful Autumn Angel that the Aunties gave me for my birthday.
Gravy - I was so afraid of making gravy - turns out its so easy and mine turned out lump free and super tasty!

Ahhh, my beautiful bird - it tasted so good.
 
So tell me was your Thanksgiving as wonderful and relaxing as ours? 
 
Today we've just stayed at home, neither one of us is a fan of black Friday and the insanity of the shoppers.  So we have had a lazy and relaxing day.  I made turkey stock with the carcass and wow, you should smell my house.  It smells so good in here I could just pour a cup of the stock and drink it.  But I'm saving it to make a turkey soup tomorrow.  I've also gotten my dusting done so that I can decorate for Christmas tomorrow.  I can't wait to put my new nativity out.
 
Hope you are relaxing and enjoying your day.
 
Happy Stitches and hugs.................Tam

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