Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Stitch in the Ditch

I think that I last posted about basting my Christmas row quilt. I basted it and then spent a few days machine quilting, stitching in the ditch between the rows and borders. I've decided that some pearl cotton hand quilting would be nice. I have several colors of thread picked out to use. This will make a great project for my surgery recovery...in addition to the knitting...and some hand appliqué. 

Mickey was cold yesterday and the only sweater we have here at the lake for him is his Christmas sweater. So he matches the quilt!

Yes, my breast cancer surgery is finally scheduled. It will be in November. I'll be glad to get it behind me!

Our new furniture was delivered over the weekend. The sofa and love seat are charcoal gray. We were finally able to design and hang a gallery wall in the living area- yes, Denim Cooper has a place now.  I LOVE a gallery wall! See the two copper lamps in the picture? Those are Microsun lamps I bought in June when they had their scratch and dent sale - great light for hand sewing! Later today we hope to finish hanging pictures in a couple of bedrooms.

Thanks for all your love and support!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Moving Along...

My Santa Swell is progressing nicely. I made the other blocks. And then I sewed them all together. Boom.

Then I laid the BIG santa in place on top. The directions call for Santa to be fused to the background around the outside edges. BUT I didn't bring any fusible web to the lake.  I rarely use fusible anymore anyway. So I'm in the process of hand appliquéing Santa onto the top. Do you see where the quilt top is shadowing through the beard? No worries, that'll be cut out from under Santa.

This kit has you sew enough blocks to also make a table runner AND a pillow - so I'll have a couple of more little projects to finish, too.

I had my MRI yesterday...at 6 am...2 hours away. We hit the road at 4 am and were back home around 9:30 am for breakfast and a nap. The results were good!

Next step - one more doctor appt before I make my decision as to which surgery option.  Over the weekend I wrote a detailed pros and cons document on each of my surgery options. It made me feel so much better to get all this out of my head and onto my computer. Making progress...

Today is day 30 of my Whole30 eating plan! I did it! Okay, not quite...I did eat peanuts for the first part of the 30 days and later learned that peanuts are not allowed. I've switched to raw cashews since. Starting tomorrow I can slowly add more foods back in my diet, but I don't think I'll do that yet. I want to eat this way for at least another couple of weeks. Whole30 has made me feel energized. And since I know that I'll be having surgery in the near future it makes sense to me to keep eating as healthy as possible.

Today I plan to baste my Christmas Row quilt. I want to machine quilt it in the ditch and then add some touches of hand quilting with perle cotton.

A big thank you to all of you for the sweet comments, emails, and messages I've received. A special thanks to JM - a blog reader from Australia - she has been sending me a funny email every day and I adore them! Laughing is the best medicine!

Friday, September 28, 2018

I Wore an Orange Dress

Do you remember this dress I made a couple of years ago? I decided to wear it to my appointments at the hospital in Birmingham. I wanted to be dressed in orange and be 'put together' and show some of my personality. (Unfortunately I was always in a hospital robe (not the dress) when I met every single doctor - haha!)

Somehow receiving this tote of goodies made this all real for me. It's not a bad dream.

I liked all the doctors - that is good. But they want one more test - an MRI - before I can make a decision on what type of surgery to have. Hopefully that will be scheduled soon. I do like that the decision in totally mine on which surgery. This helps me feel a bit in control of this out-of-control situation.

Still eating healthy - last night's dinner was lean steaks with capers and ghee, baked sweet potato wedges, and a lovely salad. I was weighed at UAB Wednesday and I've lost 12 pounds since Sept. 2 - and I'm never hungry. I really love Whole30 - it's retrained my brain on what I now want to eat. I don't think I'll be falling off the wagon.

Yes, I'm staying busy. I've finished half the blocks for my Santa Swell quilt. I'll start on the other half today.

Happy Friday to you...

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Staying Busy

Hubby is doing his best to keep me busy and distracted. Yesterday he took me on a morning boat ride - not our norm - it was peaceful...

Our doggies love a boat ride!

Next he took me to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant - I've figured out I can get Chili Rellenos  (my favorite!) without the cheese and stay on Whole30. So good.

Then it was back home for a nap for both of us - neither of us had slept well the night before.

I then spent the afternoon finishing the cutting of my Santa Swell quilt - ready to sew!

I've been thinking I need a project on which to focus in doctors' waiting rooms. My hand sewing won't work because I won't have the proper lighting - I really need good lighting with my bad eyes! I thought punch needle might work, but there are too many thread changes needed, and again...I need good lighting. I saw a really beautiful needlepoint canvas of a yellow lab - nope, again we have thread changes and not enough lighting.

This scarf jumped out at me yesterday. It's double knitted (I think that's the term) so each side is the opposite of the other. I'm not a knitter. But if I can get this started and figure out the pattern, I think this might be a good waiting room project.  You can find it at Purlsoho.

I ordered the yarn and knitting needles last night. You KNOW I'm not a pink girl....so I selected a gray and white color scheme - I figure it will match anything I wear.

So I guess I will become a knitter - haha!

Happy day to you...

Monday, September 24, 2018

Cutting Out Another Quilt

Our girls and one SIL were able to get away and come to the lake for a few hours Saturday. It was a much need fun distraction for me. Hubby grilled out burgers, we went on a fun boat ride, and the girls helped me with some little projects. One redid the quote on my felt board - I'll share it soon. And the other opened and set up a clock that arrived while they were there. The UPS and FedEx truck come here daily it seems to bring things I order online for the house.

Yesterday afternoon I wanted to do something quilty, but I didn't want to sew. I had brought this Santa Swell kit to the lake and started cutting it out. I'll probably finish the cutting today.

I'm still following Whole30. Officially I'm on day 23 of 30. However, I realized halfway through that I had been eating peanuts and they are not allowed - peanuts are a legume - well, darn! When you mess up on Whole30, you are supposed to start over. So I'll add another couple of weeks onto my 30 days. Yes, you do this for 30 days and then you can start adding foods back. 

I truly don't miss any of the forbidden foods and I do love how I feel when eating so 'clean.' Last night we had spicy tilapia with cauliflower rice (with sautéed celery and peppers) topped with jalepeno relish. It was a big plateful of food! I've now bought raw cashews for snacks to replace those peanuts. This morning I tried coconut milk (no dairy allowed!) in my coffee and I love it! Were it not for Whole30, I'd be stress eating chips, cheeseburgers, french fries, cookies, etc. I'm so thankful for Whole30.

I'm actually dreading adding foods back - I've so totally adjusted to my new normal. Though a small glass of red wine will be nice...

I hope you don't mind, but I'll be sharing about my cancer journey here at times. I hope to look back on these entries in a year or two and remember my feelings and thoughts. 

Diagnosis day was hard. Such a shock. And it was so hard to tell loved ones. I let Hubby tell most family members. But I woke up the next day with a determined positive attitude. It would be okay. But, I have to admit that the last couple of days have been hard. I'm not sleeping as well and seem to be on the verge of tears at times. I know this will pass and I'll get back up again. I'm looking forward to meeting with my surgery team this week and knowing my options. I'm ready to make whatever decisions are necessary and move forward. Meanwhile I'll try to keep busy. I want to watch a funny movie today - something that makes me laugh out loud. Any suggestions from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime?

I will say that I've learned so much about my my friends and family who love me. Every single message, text, email, call have helped lift me up. I more determined than ever to keep surrounding myself with positive, supportive people and move the negative ones to the side. Yes, there are negative ones, too, and that has added to my stress as of late. Today will be a good day - if I have anything to do with it!

Make your day happy!

Friday, September 21, 2018

A Sew Day!

Yesterday was a new day. I sewed! And I finished my Christmas row quilt top. This will be one of my favorite quilts because most of the rows were made by dear friends. I almost ran out of fabric for the border, but with some piecing I was able to make it work, barely!

I wish the colors showed up better in these photos - they are much more vibrant than it looks. I have the batting and backing here at the lake so I might just get this quilted myself - we'll see if I get it done before Christmas....

TV Report -

We watched The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society movie on Netflix - SO GOOD! I had read the book years ago and the movie did not disappoint.

We binge watched Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime - again so good!

Weird thought of the day-

I am a Cancer (astrology) and I have Cancer - haha!

I need a few things from the store today - Hubby wants to take me. No, I'm fine, I said. I feel great. I can drive. I can go by myself. He really wants to take me - he wants to take care of me, I get it. And it's so sweet. It's not like getting the diagnosis has made me into a weak and sick person - I feel just like I've always felt - healthy and well. So I will go shopping (by myself!) and he will wait for a contractor to come to fix one of our punch list items.

In late August I decided to begin Whole30. It's an eating plan - not a diet, though most people do lose lots of weight. Basically you can eat meats and vegetables (as much as you want) and some fruit. No bread, flour, sugar, alcohol, legumes. There's more to it, so go to the site if you are interested in learning more about it.

When I found out I needed a biopsy, I almost gave up Whole30 before I started. But I didn't. I started on September 2. I'm so glad I did! Without Whole30 I would have been doing lots of stress eating this month. I'm eating good, whole foods and loving it. I don't miss the things I can't eat. This has given me lots of energy and I know this good fuel will be something that helps me heal more quickly and continue to feel strong.

Last night's dinner: Spice-Crusted Salmon with Carrot 'Fries' and Avocado-Kale Salad with Chipotle Dipping Sauce. (With a little help from Blue Apron.) Blue Apron has Whole30 options during September and I'm really enjoying preparing them. Good, clean eating!

Have a good day!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

I Have Breast Cancer

I was going to keep this quiet for now. I've told family and close friends not to tell anyone. I had to let it sink in. But today I felt compelled to share with my dear readers and friends across the world. Family and friends...you can share now if you'd like.

If you have to have breast cancer, I'm told I have the best kind. Wonderful prognosis! Very treatable! Caught very early! (Ladies, stay on top of your mammograms - that's how mine was found.) 

Please don't feel sorry for me! I actually feel much better since the diagnosis than I did during the weeks of multiple mammograms, a biopsy, and lots of waiting. The waiting is the WORST! (Well, the biopsy was no fun either...)

There are so many good things: I have a wonderful husband and two fabulous daughters who are supporting me. And I can't forget my mother and brother who are calling to check on me. I have a fabulous network of quilting friends who are basically my backbone - two of whom are breast cancer survivors. 

We'll meet with my surgery team next week to develop a plan of action - I look forward to having a plan!

If you know me personally, PLEASE DON'T CALL. I'm on the phone more than enough right now talking with family, close friends, and doctors. You may email or text if you'd like. Those who already knew this news - my closest bosom (ha!) buddies and family members - you may keep calling!

I truly don't want sympathy - this is a common issue amongst women and it's my turn to take the bullet. I'm really okay! And ready to attack! 

Though I haven't felt like sewing in weeks, today I do - I plan to sew today! Yay!

Enjoy your day - I will!