Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Autumn at the Nursing Home

The Lakeview Baptist Church Turban Ladies told me they were making Mama a basket to send her at the nursing home, so I went by to pick it up, and found a beautiful pumpkin basket just overflowing with goodies.

 This is a talented and dedicated group of ladies who meet every Wednesday morning to make turbans for cancer patients.  Bonnie, Barbara, Mary, Ann, and Joyce.  It was a small group that day with a lot of people missing.

I used to go more before my life became so complicated but am always invited and welcomed when I do show up.  They not only cut, sew, and deliver the turbans, but some of them crochet beautiful hats and share those with cancer patients and anyone who could use them.  In the foreground is an adult bib to protect the clothing of hospital and nursing home patients, of which they sent Mama 5 or 6.  I need one of those myself and might have to borrow that one on top.

She was thrilled to get the basket and kept finding more and more treasures.

Here she is modeling one of the bibs.  She took one to a friend and is enjoying the others.  Before, she would have a towel to protect her clothes, and half the time it would slip to the floor during the meal.

 This is a really nice double-sided throw to keep on her recliner or at the foot of her bed.  It really comes in handy lately with the cooler weather.

I'll get a picture of Mary's beautiful hand-painted card when I go Thursday and add it here.

Debby went with me last time and helped me get Mama's winter clothes unpacked and in the closets and drawers.  I needed that!  She took Mama a beautiful fall wreath for her door.

Prettiest one in the nursing home!  Mama says everyone comments on how pretty it is.

We just got back from a wonderful 4 days at the beach, and it couldn't have been more perfect - except for maybe more fish biting.  I have way too many pictures to sort out and help me remember this trip but no time right now.  

I did a little embroidery before I left.

I used the free circle from Applique Market and a monogram from Monogram Wizard.  So easy.

Funny thing - this project took about 15 minutes, but then I started a fall one with a little appliqued pumpkin, and was almost finished when I caught the elastic in the stitching.  I was watching it and stopped the machine, but when I started to snip the mistake, the whole thing popped out of the hoop, and I was not able to match the position again.  SOOO frustrating.  I'm taking it out though, every last stitch, and will do it again.  

I think Graysen will like this Cinderella pumpkin coach.  This is from Applique Corner.  I didn't put an initial on it because I know Kate will want to wear in in a couple of years.  Although Kate does need some monograms of her own.  I'll get busy on that.

This style of embroidery from Urban Threads interests me, and I'm working on getting the color combinations just right. These are on waffle weave dish towels.  They started out white once upon a time but got washed with something orange and turned out the nicest pale yellow color.  I could never duplicate that color again.

I love the leaves but am still trying to like these cornucopia ones better.

Beach pictures later - but soon - before I forget the details.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Cinderella has her Dress

She's concentrating on the movie and waiting for the ballroom scene.  I think she likes it, and the fit could not have been better.  

Baby Kate is biding her time for cute videos, but here is one from last month.  She turned 4 months old yesterday.

I spent most of the morning learning how to get videos on Youtube and how to edit them.   I went through a lot of my old ones and had so much fun remembering.  

I can hardly remember when Graysen couldn't talk and could barely walk.  This morning, Ryan Skyped with us, and she was rattling on about hummingbirds and her new friend at the park and swinging and seeing Mila and Owen.  She even used that left hand to draw some G's for us.

We're gathering up a few things for the St. George's trip Thursday.  Very few.  Mike is smoking some macaroni and cheese, and we'll buy a bunch of shrimp on the way in.  Very simple trip.  Books and fishing stuff and a little food.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rain and other happenings

It's been so long since it rained, I think of it as a really big deal.  I woke up yesterday morning to low rumbles of thunder, and it proceeded to rain off and on all day.  In fact, I went to sleep with the sound of rain falling.  So nice.

Mike had radiation at 9:30, so I went with him so we could run a few errands.  We went to Fresh Market across the street, and it's always such a treat to go in there.

Beautiful but simple display inside the front door.

Another year I might have gotten excited about the pumpkins and things and brought home a few, but not this year.

I've added just a few things to get into the fall spirit and put up the summer things.

The front door wreath had seen too many autumns and was looking shabby, so I got rid of it and brought the back door one to the front and called it done.

Along with some fall leaves in Granny Watkins' churn and a ceramic pumpkin.  

Across the street, Lauren and Elizabeth Ann have a cute door.

A few kitchen things that make me happy and feel fall-ish.

Things are coming and going lately.

Here is the spot where the piano used to be.  

It was a nice piano but never played.  We sold it to a piano company who picked it up yesterday and moved it.  Definitely much better than trying to sell and move it ourselves.

Now what to do with stacks and boxes of piano book and sheet music - some of them 60 years old.

 I imagine a lot of them will be thrown away, but I'll have to look one last time at the mean scribbles of my first music teacher when I didn't practice  please her.

When I went to look for them, I didn't have any of that music - already packed away, I guess, but I did have the sweet memories of Mrs. Turner, my piano teacher for only 1 year, my last year.  These markings were hers, which shows I did play music like this once upon a time.  Wish I had had her the other 10 years!

Not everything is going.  Some things are coming in.  Like the new Griddler.

We didn't know we needed this.  An indoor grill, a griddle (or both at the same time), a panini maker - and much more.

But one night during a steroid high sleepless night, Woot made Mike an offer he couldn't resist,  Half of the Amazon price for the same thing.  It is nice, although I haven't used it.  Mike has made several things, mainly sandwiches, that are really good.  He still won't say the word "panini" though without grimacing.

AND the Cinderella dress is finally on its way to Graysen, along with the hairband, a tiara, and some long white gloves.

I still love those little sleeves - although not the inside facing!  I'll do better on that next time.

I got busy and embroidered a couple of shirts for Graysen.  Aunt Kathy should not look at the Halloween one - fair warning.  Graysen likes 'piders but not ladybugs.

The little creature had eyes and a smile, I guess to make it look more friendly, but it was a disaster, so I took them off.  Except for one gray eye that resisted all my attempts.  It does look a little sinister with that one silver eye.

The monogram I love.  I had this little scrap of paisley fabric that went so well with the shirt, but it was so hard to pick out the right colors that I almost gave up on it.  It's really a little more pink that the picture looks.  The design was a freebie from Applique Market,   I can't remember where the other one came from.

 That's finally all.  I think I'll just coast the rest of the week.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Muddle

I guess that's what our lives are right now.  It's not a bad life right now - but still seeming to be in a holding pattern:  Waiting to list the house and then waiting to sell it.  Hoping to pack up all our belongings and move 2600 miles across the country.  Waiting to see the babies grow up and being able to spend time with them.  Waiting for these cancer treatments to end. And for a particular radiation machine to fix its gun filaments.   Waiting to see what new crisis (or drama) Mama will report from the nursing home.  Praying for the things friends and family members are also going through at this time.  Daring to even follow national and local news.

I have mentioned jokingly to a couple of people lately the phrase "bloom where you're planted."  Meaning that we are not always in a place or situation we love, but we should make happiness where we are.  And we've been planted in a lot of places in the last 20 years, Montgomery being the most unlikely place of all.

I have a birthday coming up in a little over a week, and I found the gift I'm going to ask for.
A book called The Bee Cottage Story:  How I Made a Muddle of Things and Decorated My Way Back to Happiness.  I'm not sure decorating is ever going to bring me happiness, but the idea of making our space comfortable and even pretty has always appealed to me.  Maybe I'll learn something to help on that front and also maybe find something to help get out of this muddle.  One of my favorite blogs, Southern Hospitality, featured the book today and has some beautiful pictures.  Her blog always has things that inspire me.  I don't think Rhoda has ever found a project she couldn't tackle and has through the last several years completely changed a generic house into a lovely and inviting home.  I love to look at her before and after pictures!

I'm going to see if Mike wants to walk in the cool morning and then get a cup of coffee and tackle a few things in the sewing room.

My picture for today.  It makes me smile.

This beautiful princess wand was discovered in the Dollar Bin at Target.  I had no idea what it would "do" but I knew Graysen would probably like it, so I sent it last week to be put into the Potty Reward basket.  Looks like it made its way into those sweet hands and will now drive everyone crazy  entertain everyone until the battery somehow mysteriously runs out.  It not only lights up but loudly sends out Fairy Godmother "music."  You can almost see Griff being changed into a beautiful horse or Jack into a toad.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Second Week in September

Nothing happening worth writing about, except life, but I'm going to anyway.

We just got back from a 6:30 a.m. walk which was very pleasant and just on the verge of being chilly.  I felt Stella's fur when she came in from her morning outing, and it was cool, so I did wear long sleeves.  

This has been a week when I did not get motivated to do anything.  I did finish the Cinderella dress except for hemming and can get that in the mail.  

Here are our hummingbird visitors to the breakfast room window.  There is a tiny one, a baby, who sometimes just comes and sits on the perch without drinking.

Mike finally pulled up the zinnias that attracted them in the first place.  We'll miss seeing all the beautiful butterflies. 

These pictures were on Facebook, but I thought they were sweet, 

 Mike caught this little deer looking for who knows what at a neighbor's house.  Poor thing was so scared.

On the medical front, Mike got one more chemo done with 4 more to go.  Radiation, however, turned out to be 3 treatments instead of 5 since Monday was Labor Day, and the machine was broken Friday.  

We met Kathy and Alan for lunch after they both had appointments at nearly the same time.  We went across the street to Chappy's Deli and got there before the lunch menu was available so enjoyed a nice breakfast and good conversation.  

That's about all I can squeeze out of the week's news except for a visit to Andalusia on Tuesday to the nursing home and a fun lunch with Debby.  

Sunday, September 6, 2015

I Need a Fairy Godmother

To finish Cinderella's dress.

The picture is crooked, and some things are just basted on, but it is looking somewhat like something Cinderella would wear.  

I told Emily it was definitely going to be costume-y since I will probably be making another one in a size 4 next year.  She reminded me that it WAS a costume.

When I sew, I need to do nothing but sew.  When I interrupt myself, something is always going to go wrong.  I did the bodice first and was going to do the bodice lining next.  I found out I couldn't find any of my interfacing and was waiting for the best sale at a fabric store to get it.  In the meantime, I did the sleeves. 

There were so cute I had to try them out to see how they were going to look.  And then I sewed them on.  That line of sequins was harder than I thought to sew on and look straight, and that Sassy Satin ravels like crazy.

Once I got the sleeves on, I then did the little bustle thing and looked at the directions and noticed that I was seeing a lined bodice.  Oops.  I had forgotten to sew the lining to the bodice before putting in the sleeves.  No way was I going to take those sleeves off, so I settled for just putting a facing at the neck, and I'll Velcro the back opening.  It's going to look awful on the inside - but it's a costume!

I could use a fairy godmother for medical issues too.  We get a break tomorrow because of Labor Day, but then Mike has an oncologist visit on Wednesday, 4 radiation treatments and chemo on Friday.

And Mama has hurt her arm somehow.  She was in so much pain she didn't read the Sunday paper today, so I know it has to be serious.  I'll be going down there Tuesday in hopes of meeting with the physical therapist or her doctor and nurses to see what's to be done about that.  

Then Stella/Molly the cat has a kidney infection or obstruction or something.  She is a very quiet and unobtrusive cat, so when she wet the American Express bill that was on the den floor yesterday, we knew something was up.  She was headed for Mike's shoes, but I got her to her litter box in time.  She is showing all the symptoms, and I feel so sorry for her.  I'm hoping to wait it out tomorrow and take her to the vet early Tuesday morning.  If she's worse tonight or tomorrow, I'll see if there is an emergency vet number or an emergency clinic.  She seems fine as long as you hold her and pet her, but we're afraid to leave her alone in the house.  

I'm looking for my magic wand to take all my troubles away.  

Thursday, September 3, 2015

First Day of New Journey

This is where Mike will be spending the next 6 weeks - every weekday for 33 days - and one day a week of chemo.

Just like going to work.

 The lab is the first stop.

Chemo face.

 The face used to encourage people to bring coffee and snacks.

I didn't dare take pictures - although I'm sure the lady wouldn't have minded - but his neighbor today was a former Turpentine Queen of Bainbridge, Ga., who turned down a majorette scholarship at FSU.  Her Daddy wouldn't let her go.  I left to run errands, but I think Mike learned even more.  

 I like the way this hall looks, but this is the first time I've seen it empty.

Mosaic in the lobby.

As soon as chemo was over, it was next door to radiation.  We were in and out in about 15 minutes.  It took me longer than that to get warm afterwards.  I need to come prepared next time I go.

Very little else going on.  Tomorrow is nursing home day.  Mama has injured her shoulder some how and is rebelling against physical therapy.  I doubt I can say much to convince her, but we'll see.  

We've kind of halfway watched a few football games tonight.  We didn't care who won, so it wasn't that much fun.  Pulling for Vanderbilt who is losing 7-6 in the 4th quarter.  

Sewing has been nonexistent lately.  I did make these shirts last month for a birthday party - sweet 1-year-old and her 2 big brothers.

 Just got this picture of Graysen "looking at my fruit.  I can't like carrots.  I CAN like bananas.  I CAN'T like celery."  I know she likes strawbabies.

Happy Baby Kate.  Pretty soon she'll be interfering with Graysen's reading time.  I miss these girls.