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 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 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!

Monday, September 17, 2018

More Lake House Before/Afters

I did sew a bit one day, but have not gotten back into my groove yet. So here are couple more lake photos - I LOVE before and afters - don't you?

Above is the entryway to the house BEFORE! The walls were covered with grasscloth wallpaper which had been painted over. I really hate it when people paint over wallpaper! Strip it first! I know it's hard because I've personal stripped plenty of wallpaper. But it's so worth it!

And there is the AFTER.  The wall are shiplapped and white. There is a new ceiling fixture that you cannot see in the picture.  And my vintage treadle base makes a wonderful and airy entry piece. The map is of Lake Martin - it's vintage and has been in the house for the last 28 years. The sign above is personalized and given to me by one of our daughter. And yes, the floors are new, too.

And here is the BEFORE of the downstairs bathroom. Dark! This room also has wallpaper that has been painted over. What's more, they never painted behind the toilet! Hubby really wanted a walk in shower in here because we sleep in the adjacent bedroom.

TA-DAH! LOVE this bathroom now! It's bright and light! So much better!

Here's a close up of the shower tile - two rows of subway tiles and then a row a gray penny tiles.

And that cool, round pillow I made for the living room? Yeah, well it didn't work there so it is living on the screened porch.

I've been enamored with punch needle on Pinterest lately. I had brought some punch needle supplies with me here and pulled them out yesterday for a bit of screened porch play. It's something. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Back to Sewing

I finally started sewing again; it's been weeks! I'm working on borders for my Christmas row quilt.

I'm also getting back into the swing of cooking - a healthy meal last night! Yes, it was as good as it looks, served with salmon.

Here's another peak at our bunk room. This used to be a large closet. It may seem crazy to get rid of a big closet, but we find that our guests usually only stay a few days at most and don't need a lot of closet space. I found this idea on Pinterest: I hung (with Hubby's help) an Ikea shelf rack upside down. Now guests have a handy spot to hang their clothes.

As for the stained sofa.... I decided the sofa is just too big. I don't want to keep it even if I could get the stains out. So Thursday we went furniture shopping. We have ordered a new sofa and love seat. It was fun picking out the fabric. The new furniture will be delivered in 6-8 weeks.

And that's it for today!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Popping in from the Lake!

Life is beginning to be a bit more 'normal' - whatever that means - haha! We moved into the lake house a week and a half ago. We are almost done unpacking and are beginning to hang pictures and artwork. Hubby is spending lots of time in the yard, getting it back in shape.

Above is the 'before' and 'after' of the kitchen. It was 'L' shaped before and now it is 'U' shaped - much bigger! The island is the same except it's been painted and topped with quartz. The vent hood is hammered copper and all countertops are quartz. Note that the soffit above the cabinets is gone - much more storage now. LOVE this transformation!

I talked here about getting some porch furniture sand blasted and powder coated. Here it is in all it's fresh oil-rubbed-bronze finish with newly reupholstered cushions. Looks great for 26 year old furniture, doesn't it?

Morning traffic...

Evening grilling...

Cooper LOVES it here! He swims every single day.

We have worked so hard over the last few weeks and are so glad we are slowing down now.

The best news? We went to Auburn yesterday and I brought back a sewing machine and supplies! I think I'll be sewing again this week - so happy about this!

My biggest dilemma in the house is the sofa. We were hoping to save it. It's a sleeper sofa with removable slipcovers. I spent two solid days washing the slipcover using Oxyclean, bleach, detergent, and anything else you could think of. But there are weird stains that are huge and are not coming out. Any suggestions? I've even thought of dying them to see if that helps - they are ivory in color.

We may just have to buy a new sofa - and that's okay, too.

I'll be sharing a few more pictures of the remodeled house soon. We have a few more 'punch list' items that are being done here and there - the design/remodel group we hired to take on this project has been the BEST! Such a pleasant experience!

Enjoy your day!