Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Well hello!  It has certainly been a while!  I wish I could say that my absence has been full of crafty fun, but unfortunately it hasn't.

Work slammed me pretty hard in the last half of the year and then we were slammed with personal problems.  My husband's cancer came out of remission and attacked his adrenal glands.  We found out over Thanksgiving and my husband was put on medicine to help until his surgery to remove the glands.  Life certainly has not been easy since November!  Husband's med's made him continually feel sick which impacted him both at work and at home.  Luckily, his work was very understanding and lightened his work load significantly so on days that he just couldn't make it in, he was able to work a bit at home.  He wasn't allowed to do anything physical (not even take out the garbage- I know!) and that hit him hard since we are relatively active people.  His surgery was the first week in February and I am not exaggerating when I say that it was the worst 2 days of my life.  It lasted 7 hours, finally finishing up at 11pm.  The glands were larger than expected (though they were expecting quite large) and they had to "scrape" them off of other organs because they had essentially cemented together.  One was the size of a cantaloupe and the other a volleyball.  How they fit in his body, I will never know.

He was in the ICU afterwards on a respirator and looked like nothing I have ever seen.  We weren't allowed to stay at the hospital (unless we sat by the exit doors in the lobby), so we were sent home.  Thankfully, the nurse did let me stay for a couple of hours until he settled down enough to sleep, so I got home around 4 that morning.  I was back shortly after and eventually he was put in a specialty unit where he stayed for 8 days, 7 of those he wasn't allowed to eat.  The staff let me stay with him, probably more for their own sake than for my own since he needed something every 45 minutes.  He couldn't even move his arms to reach the mouth swabs.  Sleep was just not an option.  On the fourth day I was so tired that I crashed between 12 and 3 that night and did not hear him calling my name.  I was so freaked out that I couldn't hear him I didn't sleep for the rest of the night.  It was nothing I was expecting.

Richard's right gland (1.75 lbs)
When he came home it was a bit better, mostly at night.  He was only up a few times and because he wasn't hooked up to 4 different machines, it was much quieter and I could hear him a lot easier.  He was using a walker for a couple of weeks and needed to nap after each time he would get up and move, but it now significantly better.  He can go up and down stairs and walk continuously for 40 minutes, walker-free.  His incision is finally healing (it is about a 12" incision from his rib cage vertically to just past his belly button) and we are in the stages of adjusting his medicine.  The doctors believed they got everything during the surgery and we had a few check-up appointments and haven't seen any signs.  They are concerned that it will attack his para-thyroid, but there is nothing to do but wait.  I am hoping by summer he can ride his jet skiis, but I am doubtful.  He has not gotten the ok to lift anything heavier than a milk jug, so I know it will still be a long way to go.

I thought that I would be able to start making a string quilt that has been on the books after I moved him home, but there was just no time.  I think soon it will be started, though!  My house is looking back to normal after appearing to be a pseudo-hospital with mountains of gauze and medical tape, oddly arranged furniture and walking aids.  I did have a baby shower last weekend and I managed to make a little minky blanket.  It was super fast and easy, but I think that a baby will love it.  I made it the week before the surgery when Richard was at work one day and I was home.  I am sure glad that I did because I would have never gotten it done otherwise.

I hope that your near-year has been full of happiness and good tidings!  Perhaps the next time you hear from it won't be too long!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Another shower you say?

Sure did.  I can't believe how little time I have had this year and because of it I've only made one quilt for Richard's cousin who is expecting twins.  I really, really like how it came out.  The funny thing is that it matches her nursery perfectly.  I couldn't even believe it because the shower was a gender reveal.  I chose to use a bungle jungle (moda) charm pack because of all the bright gender neutral colors.  I was fortunate enough to find a bolt of happy go lucky at an Amish quilt shop up near Grandpa's cabin and it matched the charms perfectly.  Made the quilt, really, I think.  

Richard's cousin sent me a picture and it almost looks like it could have come with the sheet set!  

I quilted it with little squares, but since I didn't have much time I did it sparingly and used straight lines to compensate.  It matched really well and wasn't too overwhelming on my home machine.

But wait!  There's more!  Yesterday Stacy had an emergency c-section done to deliver her twins 9 weeks early.  Elliot and Olivia weigh in at 3lbs 8oz and 3lbs 4oz respectively.  So far they are doing well and are resting in the NICU.  Mom and Dad were able to feed and change them yesterday and are hoping to cuddle them today.  Can't wait to meet them!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sometimes my work is conducive for working on my hobbies

Days like that don't happen often, but it did today.  And you know what?  It was fantastic so I thought I'd share it with you (though I better be quick because it's almost my bedtime!).

We have 7 sites that take an hour each so there is a lot of down time.  Since it didn't rain (much) I brought along some stitchery!  This was a set I inherited from my Grandma when she passed away last summer and  I told my sister that I would finish it up and make a quilt for her one-day baby.  What a nice time to be able to work on it :)

Hope you stayed cool today!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Amy's Baby Shower :)

Well, time sure has flown by.

My cousin's baby shower went really well!  My Aunt and I make a pretty darn good pair I would say to host a shindig.  I brought the decor and dessert and she provided the lunch and the location.  I love the way my quilt came out and I definitely rendered my pregnant cousin speechless with my gift.  I ordered custom bibs for each holiday in addition to the quilt I made.  I can't wait to see them on the little guy who is due within the month!  Now I just have to make basically the same quilt for my sister and I since it came out so nice.  (No, I'm not pregnant!)  Want to see some pictures?

Love this :)
Amy's shower was a "monster" theme.  Her nursery is the peek-a-boo monster set so I matched theme to that.  I had this fantastic cake topper made and put it on top of a 6" tiered cake.  I also made those fantastic monster cupcakes so mom an dad could have the cake for themselves.  They were a huge hit!

Love!  And actually kind of easy to make!


Fantastic monster watermelon my cousin made for me!

monster cookie favors

eyeball toothpicks!

Opening my gift :)

dad, mom, me

I just love this guy and so did Amy!  

a centerpiece

Monday, April 22, 2013

The top is pieced

What a crazy weekend this has been, and I can't believe that I actually got any sewing done.  Though, I have to admit, I didn't exercise at all.  

On Friday we had a worker here to patch all of those (13) rod holes we found in our basement ages ago, as well as 2 vertical cracks.  While he was working away I started making a cupcake/cake stand for my cousin's baby shower.  It's funny- with things like this I have better luck searching pinterest rather than google.  It turned out pretty good- I'm just hoping it stays together!

Great idea, pinterest.

I'm going to put a 6" mini cake on top

After that we went to a birthday party for a neighbor where I (shockingly) stayed up until 12:30!  I know, I know, party animal.

Sherwin Williams was having an amazing sale so we decided to pick up some paint to patch places in a bathroom as well as paint for the basement wall we destroyed.  They have this nifty color matching machine which has worked well for us in the past and was able to match perfectly the basement color, but the purple for the bathroom was a disaster.  I ended up going home and cutting a piece of drywall out to be able to get a better match, which still didn't work.  Thankfully they were able to manually guess what needed to be added and we got something that is quite close.  I haven't had the chance to paint anything with it, but my fingers are crossed.  I really don't want to repaint the whole thing because they have yet another wall paper border in it and I actually like it.  

We also put on a trailer hitch on our Saturn, cleaned the mess in the basement, crafted for the baby shower some more, did the laundry, went to Home Depot 3 times, practiced making monster cupcakes, washed the floors, and sewed.  

I am sooooo happy with this baby blanket!  I wish it were mine.  I need to see about duplicating it for myself and my sister because it is adorable.  See?

I'm going to put a dark brown binding on it.  I just want to squeeze it!  It is going off to the quilter this week, hopefully!  Now I need to work on a couple for twins next.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Monday, April 8, 2013

I'm famous!

Well, kind of.  Our project was featured in the local paper :)

You should probably read about it and see me in my lovely orange gumby suit!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I'm on a roll now... ?


Look what I made this weekend!

I'm adding these to my panel quilt.  I'm so happy with them, I just want to hang them on the wall.  Since this is the quilt of firsts, I saw this block and thought why not?  They match well with what I put on the top so I went to work.  Yesterday when I was creating the the first two, I found a reason to leave them alone.  They took me like, 3 hours.  And they are only 6" blocks.  Ugh.

Looking for a quick 6" block to shimmy up to it, I thought a 9 patch would be good.  I put some pieces on the floor for appearance sake and called in the husband.  He hated it.  Ugh again.  So then I decided to throw in the towel and make 2 more stars.  Good news!  The rabbits went so much faster since I knew what I was doing.  So thankful.  

Now as the husband puts it, I'm back to staring.  At this.

He also asked me if I was aware that everything wasn't the same size.  Haha, no sweets, I did not realize that this was a puzzle.  Thanks for pointing that out :)

This week is our first full week of field work and to be honest, I'm kind of dreading it.  One of the gear types we are dropping this year just is not conducive to the strength of the current and I had to cut lines and leave an anchor on the bottom of the river last week in an extremely dangerous situation.  We were all, literally, shaking in our boots.  I hope we don't have to do it again, but you just never know what the boss will say.

I hope you all have a lovely week!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Making Progress

So this weekend I sat down again and finally tackled more of this paneled baby blanket I am creating.  It went well, surprisingly!  Though I have learned I hate panels.  Too much math and creativity is involved.  My cousin better love this :)

So far I have put together the top three main blocks with some spacer blocks, and added a border to all of the blocks in the panel.  I decided my next "spacer series" is going to be a row of hourglass blocks.  This row is going to be duplicated beneath the block with the boat as well.  I asked husband's opinions of color scheme here, so I hope they look good when I put them in.  I finished 8 or 10 while husband was watching b-ball and have another 6 or 4 to go.  Then I need to make a couple blocks to saddle up to the side of the boat panel and decide what to do from there.

It has been interesting though, since every block I've made thus far has been a new one for me.  I made 4 pinwheels and I am happy with 2 which went into the top section of the quilt.  The two I need to make next are some version of the Ohio Star and a Nine-Patch.

I have another crazy busy week ahead of me so I know I won't have time to touch this again until maybe Saturday afternoon.  Field work this year will, most certainly, eat my life.  When that's not eating my nights, boot camp will.  Or it will be a combination of the two.  Which was a ridiculously stupid idea I had thinking I should do some heavy lifting all day then go to Miss Killer's class.  Only two more weeks of it though, then I can just keep to field work.  

My mom is also coming to visit this Friday.  Mostly because I'm forcing her too.  She is a putzer, even with taxes, so I scheduled her appointment with my tax man and am going with her Friday to be sure she gets them done and in on time.  After that, I have no idea how I will entertain her.  Hopefully the weather will be nice and we can dink around in the yard :)

I hope you all had a nice weekend!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming..

You know Dori from Finding Nemo?  I hear her serenading me on daily basis.  I don't think I'm crazy, but this song has been me for the start of this year.  So much has happened between now and January that, when I was thinking about it yesterday, I really had no idea what went on.  I don't even have photo documentation for most things, so really, my chaotic life must not be very fascinating.  Here are some things that have been occupying me lately:

Last year I kind of dropped the ball on Richard's birthday.  He didn't get a gift from me.  I was supposed to get him the corn hole game since he enjoys playing it during the summer.  I wanted to get him custom ones, but I just wasn't happy with my options at the time.  Well, a year later, I had them made.  They are awesome though, so I don't feel all that bad for the delay.  It took me a long time to find someone who was fantastic at woodworking and gave me a good price.

Happy late birthday, honey.

This is our new huge monstrosity garbage disposal after the old one decided it was time to simply dump all of the water that came out of the tap directly through the bottom of the sink into the cabinet.  That was fun.  Husband picking the biggest  most highly rated disposal he could- that we had to order and wait for shipping?  Also loads of fun since I was out of a sink for 6 days.  We also had sump pump issues, roof vent issues, and basement leak issues.  Some are better, some are still works in progress.

Garbage disposal disaster, 7 days later.
 He did redeem himself, however.  After I cleaned the daylights out of the cabinet I wanted to tile over it in order to easily clean future leaks.  Being just like a man, I was going to do it myself, but then husband said "Why don't I do this and you can do other things?"  What? Oh, ok... um... I'll just... go over here and um... vacuum while I contemplate what just happened.   

Thanks for the idea, pinterest.

Then I went to West Virginia for work.  I helped teach people how to ID larval fish, which is so captivating I know you want to hear all about it. Perhaps another time.. I didn't take any good "pretty" pictures.  It was mostly food. 

I ate terribly
And also this one of a random jewelry store inside of a Kroger.  That also sells furniture.  Who does that?

Then I told Richard I had enough with at least one shelf of our pantry and I was going to buy a pull out drawer for it.  And he just said, "ok."  So we went and bought it... then he put it in.  In the same morning.  I think that my husband is turning into a mutant.

Really, this is life changing
I can see everything

We had family over for Richard's Grandpa's 88th birthday!  I forced pictures on them.  Lesson learned from not taking enough of my own grandparents.

bottom left: FIL, Grandpa, Husband
I also cooked a lot.  Way more than these photos.  I'm vastly expanding my recipe collection, again, thanks to pinterest.

I'm in my 9th week of boot camp.  No pictures.  Just imagine a giant hot mess.  That's what I look like every Tuesday and Thursday. 

We bought a new (used) Saturn Vue for Richard to replace his aging Grand Prix.  You never know when you are going to need a family car!

Annie has been getting into various shenanigans   

We start field work next week!  It's crazy at work and will continue until December.  Thanks, climate change!
(not me)


Tomorrow I'm getting my taxes done, going to the dentist, and visiting my pregnant cousin.  Not too much longer until July and her little boy will be here!  Hopefully Sunday I will get more than 1 block done on her quilt since I'm running out of time :)

I hope you are having a lovely day!