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

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Happiness Is.....

All the fur kids playing nice and relaxing together:


Maddie

Razzy

ChanceMan

Scotchie

Razzy and Maddie have a contentious relationship, so while it's not unusual to see her relaxing near the other 2 boys, relaxing with all 3 of them is a rare sight.  Razzy just can't seem to leave her fluffy tail alone and that is cause for grumbles from Maddie!!

Hey, what are you doing with that darn camera again..............
We had company this week.  Doug - Cliff's brother and his wife Monica came for a visit and it was a nice time.  I fixed dinner and we had great conversation.  Sadly they live on the other side of the state so we don't get to see them often.

I've got an appointment for Cliff to start seeing a local oncologist and we are excited about that as the trip to Spokane was just to much for him at this point.

It's still pretty warm here, wishing the fall chill would take over, I'm ready for it, although I'm not ready for winter, but the weather people tell us that we'll have a warm winter, so I guess there is nothing to worry about the cold or a need for long johns.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Few New Things

A few weeks ago, while I still had the cast on, my Aunt Jean sent me a picture of these beautiful lamps she found at Hobby Lobby.  I fell in love with them.  At that same time I was searching the internet to see if I could find a new coffee table that was smaller and didn't feel like it took up all the floor space in the living room.  Once I found what I wanted I told Cliff that although my birthday wasn't till October, I wanted the coffee table I'd found online and the lamp at Hobby Lobby, he said that was fine.  So I ordered the table, as soon as the cast came off we went to Hobby Lobby and here is what I got for my birthday a month or so early.

My new coffee table with the new table runner I made
and showed a picture of in my last post.

The old coffee table was a bit shorter and 30 inches square, so almost double the width of this one.
I just love this lamp and now all of us have one because my other
Aunt loved it so much that she has one now as well.  It really is pretty.
I've started some embroidery projects that will turn into wall hangings with a Christmas theme for the Aunties.  And I have some projects in the sewing room that are barely begun that I need to pay attention to and do something about.  It's always good to have some projects hanging out waiting for the mood to strike you.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

18 Pounds

Eighteen pounds of an orange cat on your back, a tad heavy, but he's so sweet that you can't get mad, you just pet him and tell him he's a pretty boy.



My Cliff is such a patient man and for some reason Scotchie has taken to getting on his shoulders.  Which is not small amount of weight, but he's so darn sweet and such a shy boy most of the time.  It's nice to see him have this little routine with Cliff.

In other news I've been working on a new table runner for my new coffee table.  I need to get the binding on and then it will be ready.


I love the pattern, so easy to put together - the pattern is called Tankini, odd name, but great pattern and like I said easy to put together.

Tomorrow the boot comes off, you'll hear me celebrating around 11am pacific standard time.  I am excited to wear a "pair" of shoes again and not have to wear this one flip flop that is about the same height as the boot so my back doesn't hurt.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Changesl

This has been a year of changes for us.  Some of the changes have been difficult, but we have powered through them and accepted them and kept on fighting.

One big change is my dear Cliff's health.  The meds are working well, but have really slowed him down.  It's been a hard transition for him to face the fact that he just can't go and do like he used to.  Don't get me wrong, he is still doing well, but just not as much.  We have decided recently to find a local Oncologist so that we no longer have to make the 2&1/2 hour drive to Spokane monthly for his appointments and soon we will also move our primary doctor to a local doc as well.  I've found a good Oncologist for him and we should start seeing him in October.

October will bring another change for me - freedom from the walking boot.  Yep, I'll be able to wear a shoe again and do some PT to strengthen my ankle.  It's doing really well and I'm so glad this whole process is winding down.

Another big change - our 15 year old washer and dryer, which still worked, needed work and so we decided it was a good time to get new ones to be on the safe side.  So yesterday we had these delivered and hooked up:


I have to say these are fancy.  They have a steam feature and I actually had to read the instruction manual to learn how to operate them.  Things have changed in 15 years.

Early in September I was busy making 3 of these wall hangings.  I saw the pattern in a quilting magazine and thought my Aunties would like one and I knew I wanted one:
 


I went to Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago and found this adorable owl - fall decoration.


I just have a thing for owls lately.

Then I thought I'd show you a few pictures I took the other day with Cliff and Chanceman.  Poor Cliff, he'll be on his computer reading things and Chanceman comes along for some attention and then it turns into Chanceman laying down and wanting to nap on the laptop keyboard.  All sorts of wild things happen and Cliff usually has to shut it down to get it back to normal again.  And through it all he is so patient with our animals.




I know I've been missing in action a lot, but honestly there just hasn't been a lot going on.  Life has slowed down and the day to day stuff probably wouldn't be that interesting to share.  I'm just grateful that I have my husband and we can be together and I am here to help him with whatever comes along.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, September 4, 2015

Goodbye Cast

Yesterday was cast removal day.  Boy was I excited, it's been the longest 6 weeks of my life.

This is my happy face on the way to the appointment:


Then there was the freeing of my leg, which led to scratching and a whole lot of flaky skin, ugh!

I couldn't believe hot my foot was still orange from the iodine that they use before surgery.

First order of business was to put my lovely new boot on:


Then make an appointment for 4 weeks.  Right now I have stretching exercises to do and I can remove the boot to shower and sleep and exercises, but for any walking, the boot must be on.  In 4 weeks, no more boot and then some PT.

Next order of business was to return that scooter that I like to call the death trap scooter, because I ran over my toe with it and hit my good ankle on it so many times I thought I was going to kill myself.

Then home we came so I could shave 6 weeks of hair on that leg - I swear it was so long I could have braided it.

Then we went to Costco, okay that part was a bit ambitious and I was sore when we got home and had to ice it the rest of the night.  Today it looks great and I slept like a baby.

The only real issue is the calf, it needs some serious stretching because it was in that cast for so long and it's on the verge of a charlie horse at any given moment of the day or night.

It feels so good to have that cast off.  I can't describe it, but I was starting to feel so closed in by it all and now I can get out on my own and do things on my own and do them much easier too.

Life is GOOD.
Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, August 28, 2015

Good News

It's been a year since my last cancer check and treatments.  Can't believe that a year has passed.  Anyhow the good news of it all is this - I am CANCER FREE!!  Betty Bladder is in good health and I don't see the Urologist till next August.

Cliff's PSA is remaining in the 40's which is awesome and he is doing well.  His only complaint is that the meds do slow him down and he's having a hard time getting started in the mornings.  But he feels well and looks great and isn't in any pain.

The only other news is that I only have 6 days left of this annoying cast and it can't pass by quick enough for me at this point.  

We are supposed to get rain this weekend and I'm praying for lots of it in the fire areas.  It seems like most of this beautiful state is burning at the moment and something has to give.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Saturday, August 22, 2015

12

I'm counting down the torturous days left in this cast.  12 Days.  That means I have completed 4&1/2 weeks of being in a cast and not putting weight on my left leg.  It is getting really old and really frustrating to say the least.  A little over a week ago they removed my orange cast, took the stitches out and then put on my purple cast:


It's pretty, but it's driving me nuts at this point. See that dark spot on my leg, that cast puts pressure on it and my knee when I use the scooter to get around, man it hurts like a deep bruise at this point. And the scooter, while it makes getting around easier, I have had several unpleasant encounters with it.


It's not easy to maneuver, so sometimes you have to move the back wheels and I've often used my casted leg to push it over.  The other day I did that and ended up banging it into the inside of my good ankle which was already bruised from scooter run ins and wow, I could have cried it hurt so bad.  I had to take 2 days and keep it up and ice the heck out of it.  It's still tender to even touch it, but I can hobble around on it again without pain.  I have to say that while it's handy, if you tend to be a klutz like me, it can give you problems.  Pretty much the whole inside of my good leg, from my knee down is full of bruises.  However, it's easier to use than crutches.

This is a big week for me.  I see the Urologist on Thursday to have Betty Bladder checked for any cancerous tumors.  It's been a year since my last check up and treatments and I know we are going to get the all clear.  That said I am a bit nervous, the exam itself is rather uncomfortable and I keep wondering what the heck I'm gonna do with this leg in a cast - I don't think the stirrup will hold it.  Yikes.  I'm sure it will all work out fine and I'm anxious to get the exam behind me.

Sadly, this cast and trying to kill myself with the scooter are the extent of all the exciting things I've been up to.  I plan to get into my sewing room today and work on some Halloween wall hangings for the Aunties and myself.  It's so smokey outside right now it's a good thing the cast keeps me in the house mostly.  

I saw this map on Facebook this morning of all the fires in our state and it's no wonder we are so smokey.


Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Package

CR took me to an early morning massage today and when we returned home there was a package waiting by the door.  Our mail lady was early today.  Anyhow it was from my Aunties and it was full of fun stuff:

This sticker made me laugh, not sure where I'll put it - probably on the bulletin board in my sewing room .

2 adorable owl towels - I love owls

Isn't this little piggy cute - oh my  goodness I love it.  It's sort of bowl shaped.

Measuring spoons with a wine theme

And last, but not least an adorable owl trivet.
What a fun way to start the morning.  

Tomorrow I go to my ortho's office to get the orange cast taken off and the stitches removed.  Then sadly, a new cast put back on for another 3 weeks.  I have to be in a cast for 6 weeks and not put weight on it the whole time.  It's been frustrating because doing stuff around the house, cooking, heck even a shower is a major production.  I appreciate the scooter thing I have because on crutches I'd get less done.  But the scooter has it's limits too and darn if it isn't making my knee and shin sore.  I just keep telling myself - only 3 more weeks and I can do this, I'm half way there.

I haven't really been doing much for the past 3 weeks.  Some cooking and baking, embroidery, and sometimes it feels like a big deal just to shower so I count it as an accomplishment as well.  Sad as it sounds.  I'm hoping that removing the stitches will lessen the late afternoon ache that I feel.  I have had to resort to taking a pain pill to calm it down and I hate pain pills.  Good thing is I don't have to worry about becoming addicted to them.

Sorry I haven't blogged much or instagrammed much, just not much to say, show or see around here. Once out of this cast I hope to make up for lost time and have some fun.  I truly need a fabric shopping fix, but don't have the heart to drag CR to the fabric shop - he does so much as it is right now.

So tell me what you've been up to - it has to be more fun than my summer so far.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, July 27, 2015

Orange


I couldn't believe all the colors there were to choose from.  In the end I choose Orange.  It's the color for Bladder Cancer and this next month I have my one year check up, so I felt it was fitting.  Also, it really stands out in a crowd - Cliff won't lose me while I have this thing on.

I'm wiped out tired today.  We were up and out of the house by 9 for my appointment, then to the veggie stand for corn and peaches and melons.  Apparently that little outing took the wind out of my sails for the day.

Here's hoping that I have more energy tomorrow and thankfully I have no where to be - only need to make a peach cobbler for CR.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Saturday, July 25, 2015

My New Ride

I was surprised it's been so long since my last post.  Guess I've been busy preparing for my new ride -behold, my scooter:


Oh, did I forget to mention it's an old lady scooter because this old gal had her ankle operated on this past Wednesday and can't put any weight on it for 6 weeks:


I wasn't sure about using the scooter in the house so I've tried crutches, my walker from my knee replacement and finally I decided to see how the scooter would work - well it's a miracle.  The leg that has the surgical cast on is so heavy that being able to rest it on the cushion really helps when you are trying to do the simplest of chores.  And the cats hated the walker, they're not sure about the scooter, but it's a lot quieter so it's more acceptable I think.

Monday I get a cast put on for 2&1/2 weeks, then I have to have it removed so they can take out the sutures and another cast will go back on for another fun filled 3 weeks.  I plan to pick some wild color for the cast - like hot pink or purple or just something fun, I mean why not, right.

So I'm taking it easy, taking my pain meds and just hanging out at home.  It's a production to get a shower and all so that has to happen at night before bed or I'd never make it to an appointment.  

I've got a couple of projects cut out and ready for me to sit and sew when I'm in the mood, I also have an embroidery project that I can do so I shouldn't get bored.

So tell me what exciting things are you up to?

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, July 5, 2015

4th of July

I was busy in my sewing room on the 4th.  It was just to hot to do anything outside and we have to be home when the fireworks start because Maddie gets so upset by them.

So I made some burp clothes and a small wall hanging that I got a couple of years ago in a kit.  It was a fun day, quiet and relaxed - just the way we like it.

It was a photo of Haystack Rock in Cannon beach and some batiks to border it.
Very quick and simple and I love how it looks.

Burp Clothes for the baby girl our niece is having.

Burp Clothes for the baby boy a friend is having.
It's still hot as heck around here and I sure wish it would cool off a tad.  It's only July and I find myself anxious for fall already.  But since it's July, those triple digits are the likely scenario for the rest of the month.  I don't know how early settlers did it without air conditioning, or heat in the winter.  I'm grateful that I wasn't around for that!!

Happy Stitches and Hugs!
Tam

Friday, July 3, 2015

Oncologist Report

If you'll recall back in March, CR's PSA was almost 600 and not only did he have a lot of cancer in the bones, he has suspicious lymph nodes that was way to large as well.  Fast forward to Wednesday and his Oncologist appointment and the great news we got.  While he still has the bone cancer, there is no new cancer showing on the bones.  His PSA was at 80 and the lymph nodes were half the size that they had been.  So the medicine is working and working well.  We were delighted with the news.

Speaking of being delighted, the day before the Oncologist appointment and 2 months and 3 days after the acciden, we got our Suzi the Subaru back.  Wow, it was so nice to drive her to Spokane the next day and she is a pleasure to drive.

Yesterday I spent the day with my good friend Kelly who taught me to quilt.  I made a baby quilt that I bought minky to back it with, then I freaked out at the possibility of it slipping and sliding and me making a mess of quilting it on my sewing machine.  Kelly has a gamil and so we had a quilting day and also went out to lunch.  A lot of talking and catching up.  It was a very nice day.

Lucky me, Rascal gave it an inspection when I got home

A close up of the fabric.  It's for a boy and the nursery theme is woodland creatures.

The back 
Of course Rascal decided he needed to have his picture taken while I was at it, so here he is:

I may be naughty, but I'm so cute it doesn't matter!!
It's triple digit hot here and so for the 4th of July we are staying home and staying cool.  Going to bbq some ribs and just take it easy.  Our fur babies do not like fireworks so we have to be home with them when it all starts.  Everything is so dry that I pray people don't set off neighborhood fireworks, besides it is illegal where I live.  That doesn't stop them, but it should.

Hope you all have a wonderful celebration tomorrow and a wonderful holiday weekend - Be Safe!!

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hot Enough to Fry an Egg Outside

Good grief my part of the world is hot right now.  It was 110 on Sunday, by the time I went to bed at 10 pm it was 93 and I woke up at 6:30am this morning and it was 80 degrees out.  On top of the hot temps we've had some gusty winds and thunder storms.  Sadly there is a pretty good sized fire NW of us in Wenatchee, WA and several small fires around the area.  With our drought situation we are only allowed to water our lawns twice a week and with the 4th of July coming and idiots shooting off illegal fireworks I suspect our firemen are going to be extremely busy and exhausted.

Friday we went to Spokane for CR's scans and this Wednesday we should get the results.  In the meantime we got a call from the repair shop and it appears our car is finally in the assembly stage and we are hoping to have it back later this week.  Wow, that made our day.

I've healed up and am ready to put it all behind me.  I did see the orthopedic for foot and ankles this past week.  Three years ago I injured my left ankle and so I wore a boot for a couple of months that summer.  Boy did I hate that stupid boot, but I wore it and my ankle seemed fine, until lately.  About the last 9 months my ankle has gotten increasingly painful when I am at rest.  It's pretty much constant, so I decided to see him again thinking it might need a cortisone shot or perhaps a few weeks in that darn boot.  Well, after an x-ray and an MRI and a painful exam we discovered that my ligaments are not holding my ankle in place - darn thing is wiggly and floppy and has a tear and 3 ganglion cysts and a darn bone spur to add insult to injury.  I have 2 choices, wear a brace the rest of my life or have surgery to repair the issues.  Waiting to long could result in major tendon issues on top of it all.  So, since it's hot as hell out and we have no plans for the summer, I'm having ankle surgery.  I'll have a cast for about 6 weeks and won't be allowed to put my weight on it, then a walking boot and some PT.  I figured better to do it now than the winter - who wants to navigate slick surfaces with crutches.  I swear I just know how to mess myself up and have some fun.

On to some fun news.  I recently made 2 baby quilts.  One I'm going to quilt on my friend Kelly's long arm as it will be backed in minky fabric and I'm afraid of it slipping and having issues trying to quilt it on my sewing machine.  The other baby quilt I backed in flannel and finished sewing the binding on this morning:



I also made a few burp cloths that I found a free pattern for on the Internet.  


And 3 years ago I (wearing that darn boot), painted my sewing room and covered my ironing board with this fabric:


But after 3 years of spray starch and thread and a leaky iron, it was time to recover it.  So this afternoon I covered it with this fabric:


It's actually a darker yellow than it appears - almost an orange yellow.

Well that's what I've been up to lately, what have you been doing?

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam