Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Week in Review

It's been a busy week here at Chez Nana.

I had chemo #6 on Tuesday ... I'm now halfway through this round of chemo.  As usual, chemo was uneventful.  My WBC is down, and while I'm not to the point where I need to be in isolation, I do need to be very careful when out and about.  Thankfully we're past the winter season so the likelihood of being exposed to nasty germs is reduced ... I've never been that much of a germaphobe, but I'm turning into one, thanks to cancer. Ha!  After we finished up at Siteman, we headed back to the Illinois side of the river to do a little shopping for our master and guest room makeovers (more on that to follow) and grab some lunch.

Wednesday I finally bit the bullet and cleaned out/organized the closet in the master bedroom.  It was long overdue, and I have to admit that seeing it decluttered and organized makes me smile.  We watched the Blues wrap up their 2015-2016 season in disappointing fashion.  :-(  I might feel less disappointed if my Cardinals were playing better. 

I spent Thursday pressing the bedskirts and curtains and with DH's help, I set up the master and guest room.  
The quilt I'm currently working on will go on the wall above our bed.  And this is on another wall.  
My sister sent me this ... just because.  I love it!  And it's perfect as the goal of the aforementioned makeovers is to give our house more of a beachy feel.


Friday I finally got back into the sewing room and was able to get a couple more blocks finished.
I had to stop after two blocks, as we joined 4 other neighborhood couples for dinner.  

Thankfully I have everything caught up so I can spend this holiday weekend in the sewing room ... after I go get my weekly blood draw.  I normally get the draw on Monday before chemo on Tuesday, but the lab is closed on Monday for the holiday. So Saturday it is.

Wishing you all a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

Kathy

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Rest of the Weekend


I promised a picture of my haul from my trip to my not-so-local quilt shop.  
The red will be backing for my two tumbler quilts. The blue on the bottom will be incorporated into my kaleidoscope quilt, and the blue stripe came home with me because I just loved it too much to leave it behind.  And the charm pack will come in handy as I am going to need to make some partial blocks for my Martha Washington's Flower Garden, which is made from Kansas Troubles fabrics. And of course, let's not forget the Kona Snow which is what prompted the trip to the quilt shop in the first place.  

I spent most of Saturday in the sewing room.  I was able to avoid any more unstitching by writing the colors on the papers so I could keep track of what colors went where. 
There's that blue I picked up on Friday. 

I got 7 more blocks finished ... 9 down and several more to go.
 
Paper piecing takes longer (for me anyway), but I enjoy that method of piecing.  It produces sharp points ... although I'll confess that my center points aren't always perfect, but considering that 6 seams converge at the centers, I can live with a little less than perfect. From a normal viewing distance, they are definitely acceptable to me. 

Those additional pieces were pieced on Saturday.  Sunday was filled with church, shopping, lunch, laundry, swapping out the towels and shower curtain in the hall bath and getting out for a walk and to just enjoy the fabulous weather.
(For those who are OCD like me, that's a searsucker shower curtain, not one that needs to see an iron - ha!). By the time I was finished with all that, I was too tired to do anything other than watch the Penguins vs Lightning.

It was a productive yet relaxing weekend ... and I'm planning on continuing with that theme through the week as well.  

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!
Kathy

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fun Times in the Sewing Room

I decided to head on over to the quilt shop yesterday morning.  Of course, I came home with more than just the white I went for ... I didn't get a photo of my haul ... I'll share a picture next time.

I was able to quickly piece two blocks.


Just about the time I thought this quilt would come together quickly and easily, block 3 gave me a lesson in humility. I had to unstitch and restitch the final seam twice before I could get the pieces to line up satisfactorily. I had just enough time to give the block a nice press before DH brought dinner in from the grill.  Oops!


Obviously I correctly pieced the right half ... but reverted to the color layout of blocks 2 and 3 when piecing the left half. :-o

Hopefully I'll be a little more alert tomorrow when I head back into the sewing room.

Here's my inspiration quilt:
I wish I could cite the source for this image.  I pinned this quite a while ago but the previous pinner pinned to the image rather than the original website ... I didn't realize it until just now when I wanted to give proper credit.  Don't you just love the secondary design created?  

hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!
Kathy

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Best Laid Plans ...

Monday, after my blood draw, DH and I planned to go shopping for fabric for my next project ... only to discover, after pulling up to the shop, that it's closed on Mondays. :-o  We knew that we wouldn't be able to go on Tuesday (chemo day), so our plan was to go over on Wednesday. Alas, that didn't happen because of this:
That's T#1, with a broken finger. :-o  He was playing a "homemade" handball game in the basement with T#2 and T#3, and in an effort to reach the ball before his siblings did, his hand hit the space heater.  I got a phone call to come watch the other Ts while DD took him to Children's Hospital, where X-rays revealed a break.  They're hoping that he'll be able to switch to a removable cast in a couple of weeks so he will be able to swim this summer, but in the meantime he chose a cast in the color of his summer swim team - Splash red. If you remember, T#2 broke her arm May 2015 ... I think the Ts need to be put in a bubble during the month of May from now on. ;-)

I wasn't able to go fabric shopping Thursday either ... I had a long-overdue lunch date with an old friend.  I'm not sure we'll be able to make the trip today as DH has an appointment with his audiologist just after lunch ... Saturday perhaps?  

At least I was able to spend a little time in my sewing room Thursday afternoon ... I was able to get a start on block #12 of my pineapple quilt. 

After dinner Thursday evening, DH and I checked out our garden. Look!  We've got tomatoes ... ok, they're tiny and green, but hopefully they'll soon be big and red.  #BLT

Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals was last night.  There seems to be a trend here, and I for one am not pleased.  

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!
Kathy

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I haven't participated in a Wednesday Hodgepodge in such a long time, and I just felt like this week might be the week to get back to it.  ;-)   When you're done here, why not head over (just click on the button below) and see what everyone else has to say.



1. Tell us about a time you found yourself 'in the middle of nowhere'. Was this deliberate?

I felt like we were "in the middle of nowhere" when we drove along the Blue Ridge Mountains last August. And given our lack of cell service, I'd have to say we probably really were "in the middle of nowhere". 

 

2. What's something you're 'in the middle of' today or this week? 

I'm almost in the middle of my post-surgical chemo treatments. I had #5 yesterday with 7 more to go ... close enough to the middle to count as far as I'm concerned. Ha!


3. At what age do you think 'middle age' begins? What does it mean to be 'middle aged'? 

I'd have to say that I think that "middle age" starts at 50.  At 65, those who are in their 40s are still young ones.  After all, I can't possibly be the mama of a middle-aged woman, now can I?  Ha!


4. Ravioli, stuffed peppers, samosas, deviled eggs, steamed dumplings, pierogis, or a jelly donut...your favorite food (from this list!) with something yummy in the middle. Your favorite not on the list? 

My favorite on that would be ravioli - of the toasted variety. Yum!  My favorite not on the list?   Tortellini. Oh yes, I'll admit that I have a fondness for pasta. ;-)  


5. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying ''In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.'Would you agree? Have you found this to be true in your own life? Feel free to elaborate. 

Oh definitely.  I'm certainly "in the middle of difficulty" and I think this difficult period is an opportunity to show that a positive attitude can make a difficult journey much easier to travel - and certainly more enjoyable. Not to mention that it gives me the opportunity to share where my hope comes from.


6. What's a song you remember loving from your middle school years? Do you love it still? 

We didn't have Middle School in the small town where I grew up (they still don't), so I picked a song from my Junior High School years:  She Loves You by the Beatles. I still love it ... it's a classic. 


7. May 18th is National Visit Your Relatives Day. Will you celebrate? Which relative would you visit if time, distance, and expense were not considered. 

I'd visit my sister Lisa who lives in Austin.  Because she lives so far away, I don't get to see her as often as I might like.  And she's not that far from the beach - Galveston or Padre Island, so you know where we'd be going after our visit. Ha!


8. Insert your own random thought here. 

It's downright cold here ... our furnace ran all day/night Tuesday and is still running this morning.  Ugh! I can deal with the rain - I'm ready for the rains to be done, but it is spring (or at least it's supposed to be spring).  But this cold weather is just awful.  The good news is that it's supposed to warm up, starting this afternoon. Should be delightful by the weekend.

Game 2 of the Western Conference was played last night. That's all I want to say about that. :-(

My phone "died" again Monday night. It happened about 3 weeks ago, and I was able to get it up and running after spending a couple of hours hassling with it. I decided then that if my efforts weren't permanent, I'd not go through all that hassle again.  So it's time to get a new phone!  It turns out that the problem was battery related (not the same problem as earlier). But I can't use a phone with a battery that can't hold a charge, so a new phone was the right thing to do. 

Yes, I know that more than one random thought. Oh well, it's not my fault I have a lot to say today. Ha!

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!
Kathy

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Weekend Wrap-Up

 

 
I’d have to say that it’s time for a Weekend Wrap-Up. 
 
The weekend got off to a busy and productive start with the semi-annual one-day retreat.  I was humbled by the enthusiastic greeting I received from my retreat and guild friends. The next quilt on my must-make list is a two-color blue-and-white kaleidoscope quilt.  I had thought about starting it during the retreat, but it would have helped had I actually done more than think about it ... I knew that I have plenty of reproduction blues but alas, I didn't have enough of a suitable white nor of the purer blues I’m hoping to use.  I’m planning to hang this quilt above our bed and am trying to incorporate more of a beachy feel to our d├ęcor, so I’m going to go with purer blues and white, none of which I have enough of in my stash.  (Yes, I have some shopping to do today – woo hoo!)  So instead I worked on what has been my retreat project for at least a couple of years now, my indigo/neutral pineapple. I got almost 4 blocks pieced ... I had one block about 1/3 done, I pieces two complete blocks, and I got a good start on a 4th block. 
Lest that seem like I was slacking, those are almost 14" blocks. I should have, if I recall correctly, a total of 10 finished blocks.
These are a few finishes … the one on the left is quilted and bound while the two on the right are just at the flimsie stage.  Unfortunately I failed to make note of whose quilts these were.  The retreat went until at least 9:00, but around 5:00 I started to tire.  I did manage to stick around for another couple of hours (a girls' gotta have dinner, right? - especially when it includes Italian cream cake for dessert!). Needless to say, I was exhausted when I got home and slept really well that evening.
 
Saturday was a slower day ... which is just what I needed after an exhausting Friday.  I managed to do some tidying up around the house, got caught up on our financial recordkeeping, supervised DSIL’s setting up our new TV, and had some fun with T#3 and #4 while the rest of the family went to the movies with friends. 
 
Sunday was a fairly slow day as well.  I finally got around to pressing the bedskirt for the new daybed bedding set … when we moved in, I couldn’t find a daybed bedding set that I liked at all, so I “settled” for standard twin-sized bedding.  It didn’t take long before I realized that it wasn’t really working and that I didn’t even care all that much for the bedding set I’d chosen.  

I also finished putting away my supplies from Friday’s retreat and spent some time working on my ongoing hexie project (this and that pineapple project feel like they’re never going to get done - ha!).
(Pay no attention to that “old lady hand”.  Ugh)  While it wasn’t nearly as warm as I would have liked, I did get outside for a walkabout … and I noticed that my hydrangea not only has a good number of buds, it’s actually started blooming! 
That light green flower in the center is the flower just opening … this hydrangea blooms white, so the flowers appear to be a very light green when they first open.  You can also see lots of little buds above and slightly to the left of the flower.  My iris are also blooming.
My azaleas are still blooming, too. 
Our garden is doing fairly well.  Our tomatoes are doing well, in spite of the colder weather we had over the weekend.  Our lettuce will be ready to pick in a few more days.  Alas, like last spring, our green beans (the few that sprouted - grrr) seem to have been a tasty meal for some critter.  We haven’t seen any signs of the raccoons that feasted on them last spring, so I’m wondering if it was the rabbits.  DH replanted more green beans … and I was finally able to persuade DH to plant some cucumbers. 


And of course, the most important part of the weekend was watching the Blues win Game 1 of the conference finals.  Let’s go Blues!!

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!
Kathy

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

An Update

I know ... blogging four days in a row?  Don't hold your breath waiting for this to become a regular thing.  Ha!

Anyway, today we met with Dr. Powell.  He continues to be pleased with how well I'm recovering. The best news of the day:  my cancer marker is down to 15.  Yes, 15!  Less than 35 is considered "normal", and mine was 1,441 back in early December.  And it's 15 now!  Granted, the cancer marker level is not the only indicator of just what is going on, but it is a good indicator of how well the chemo is working.  

He confirmed that we'll do a total of 8 sessions (12 weeks); we did 4 prior to surgery and will do 4 after.  He also wants to me to have a CT scan in a month.  He assured DH and me that we should be good to go on our trip to Hilton Head in September ... which was great news as we had ro cancel our May trip.  

After we met with Dr. Powell, it was time for chemo ... I'm now 1/3 of the way through my 6th session.  My WBC is getting low, so I need to choose wisely and be extra careful when getting out and about; the good news is that it's spring so hopefully all the nasty bugs are history. It was a long day ... we got there at 9:30 and left a little after 3:00. Needless to say, I took it easy the rest of the day. 

Thank you all so much for your prayers, encouragement and support ... all that means so very much to me, and I definitely believes it makes a difference.


I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!
Kathy