27 September, 2023


If you've ever had your dominant hand in a cast for four weeks you know the feeling of absolute FREEDOM that is experienced when it's removed. Yesterday I was freed from the fiberglass "prison" that has surrounded my hand, wrist and arm; hallelujah! When they rolled the cast removing machine (saw/vacuum combo), just like the one pictured here, into the room I wanted to stand up and cheer. After it was carefully bisected, spread apart and lifted off the nurse asked if I would like to keep the cast as a souvenir! "No" was my reply, "please feel free to throw it away"! I was free to wash my hand again, to do dishes, to take a shower and to wash my hair without a cumbersome cover over the cast, free to apply lotion on my hand and arm, to brush my teeth with my right hand, free to do my hair, to wring out a washcloth; FREE! My wrist is still a bit weak; I have great extension (upward movement) but am working on improving flexion (downward movement) in the wrist, that will take time. I'm back to a splint for a few more weeks, as needed, just as a precaution. The post-cast X-ray looks perfect, all healed and aligned. I was lucky. So, what's next? I have so many projects piled up it's hard to know where to begin. Doing a bit of light rotary cutting might be just the therapy that I need right now, or maybe a little cross stitch! The thankfulness that I feel right now is that I'm free; free once again to choose either one. 
Life is Good!

26 September, 2023

From the Kitchen...

There's been a lot of things happening in the kitchen lately, all good. After we returned from our trip up north I decided to try out a recipe given to me by an extended family member, for a "topper" to enhance Augie's kibble. He's an extremely picky eater, turns his nose up at a LOT of things, and basically eats like a cat; nibbling here and there when he feels like it. We've done all of the recommended behaviors like leaving his food down for a short period of time and then taking it up but he could care less. He's skinny. We certainly don't want him to be heavy, not by any means, but he could use a bit of a boost. The topper contains chicken, oatmeal, carrots, zucchini, canned pumpkin, apple, olive and coconut oils and blueberries. I mixed it all up, portioned it out (I had enough for three weeks, froze two thirds of it) and we gave it a try. Success! He loves it (except the blueberries!). If anyone would like the actual recipe just let me know. The chicken/oatmeal can be substituted out for ground beef/rice as well.
The backsplash was completed last week and now our kitchen is, at last, finished! I love working in here now; it's so light and bright! It's quite a transformation from the dark cherry cabinets and the black granite that we've had for 22+ years. Mr. G has outdone himself!
And, the crowning touch: when a retired engineer designs your drawer space 
you can believe that there's a designated space for every. single. thing!

Life is Good!

19 September, 2023

One Quick Trip

We've only just returned from a quick trip to Massachusetts; this time, sadly, for a family funeral. Our dear friend, and brother-in-law, Dick, passed away on Friday, September 8th. He'd been sick for the last few months, we kept up constant communication with Mr. G's sister, Barbara, and knew of his rapidly deteriorating condition but still were not prepared for that phone call informing us that he was gone. We have so many wonderful memories of him throughout the years.
In this photo, taken twenty five years ago, they were visiting us in our home overseas. Dick is on the far left, then Barbara, me and Mr. G. Those were happy times; we enjoyed SO many together! As you can tell by the picture at the top, Augie made himself at home while we stayed with Barbara, trying to help out as we could. That quilt in the upper photo is one that I made for my mother-in-law, seventeen years ago. You can read about it here; I was a brand new blogger way back then; the quilt now resides with my sister-in-law. 💗
We were able to dash up the road a little further, to NH, and grabbed lunch with my Mom and Dad on Friday (fish chow-dah, 'nuf said), it was so good to see them! On Sunday, when we were getting ready to leave, Augie and Monty (Barbara's dog) had a spirited game of tug-of turtle as we were eating breakfast. They're the original Big Dog, Little Dog pair.  They really do miss each other now. 
I read this book while traveling and highly recommend it; such great insight into dog behavior!  Home again, we're back to work on the kitchen project, finishing up the backsplash.
This is totally random but I thought I'd include this topic since I only just tackled it. When we arrived home there was a water ring mark on our coffee table. I have no idea where it came from or how long it had been there. I looked up some remedies and found one that utilized combining mayonnaise and fireplace ashes. I mixed up a small amount, rubbed in into the offending mark with a soft cloth, and left it there for about an hour. When I rubbed it off the mark was gone completely; I used equal parts, probably about a TBSP of each. 

Life is Good!

13 September, 2023

I Sewed!

Yes, I did it; I sat down at the sewing machine this weekend and actually sewed! This is the sum total of two days' work, not much in the grand scheme, but it's HUGE after these last two weeks of being sidelined! Yay!! These were already precut and labeled before my little trip onto the brick sidewalk, if they hadn't been I'm not sure I could've gotten this far. I'm unable to use the rotary cutter just yet. 
The pumpkin blocks will ultimately become the borders for this table topper, it was a kit. I committed to three kits from my LQS last year (who offered the kit of the month program); October, November and December. Stay tuned for more, but be patient. My Dad has always said, in situations such as these, "don't hang by your thumbs waiting"! That most certainly applies here.
This is the current situation here, Mr. G is in the kitchen installing backsplash currently (out of view, to the right); Augie is sitting in the Studio (pantry is in view, straight ahead). I'm ironing and he wants to be part of what we're BOTH involved in. Such a loyal little friend. 💗
So, for those of you who've been following this cracked wrist saga; you might recall that I tripped over the garden hose, that was my fateful step. Unbeknownst to me, Mr. G removed that clunky big hose that was my downfall and replaced it with a Flexi-hose. I stepped off from the side porch the other day, taking Augie out, saw this and almost had a heart attack! For all in the world, to me, it looked like a coiled black snake! I grabbed up the dog, and jumped back; it's lucky I didn't trip, fall and break the other wrist. Fear not, my BP has returned to normal.
Life is Good!

09 September, 2023

Along The Way...

I've learned a LOT along the way while the wrist is healing. Time doesn't slow down, or stop, when one's casted. Nope, it's business as usual. Augie turned eleven months old on Wednesday! He's my best snuggle buddy and resting companion when I need that. I can tell when I've done enough for the day and it's time to lay low. Fine motor skills are slowly returning and strengthening, (I can pinch the clips together on a skirt hanger again, type on a keyboard and manage a fork to eat) gross motor skills remain good and are less painful each day (handling the vacuum cleaner, walking the dog and gently stirring or scooping with a spatula). All those crazy little mindless actions that we're used to doing countless times each day now demand respect and a level of determination. These two products have been game changers for my daily routine! This cast cover is truly waterproof and easy to put on and take off by myself. I found that I couldn't manage a regular blow dryer and round brush, the dryer was too heavy, it was impossible and frustrating. A friend recommended a hairdryer/brush combination. It is lightweight, easy to maneuver with one hand, and does a great job of drying and styling at the same time, which makes it an enormous time-saver; win-win! Who knew? To be honest, the hardest time of day for me has been getting ready first thing (showering, doing hair, dressing myself); it's easier with these two items but I'm still rejoicing after those tasks are completed and ready to tackle anything else! 😉 One-week-after X-rays revealed the cracked bone remaining in alignment, it's all good. Three more weeks of being casted, you can believe that I'm counting the days!
To pass the time I have organized my embroidery floss by brand and type. Something I have wanted needed to do but never wanted to stop and take the time to accomplish. Now it's done.
Our Stitch Club met here and this fella thought that Quiltkeemosabe's tote bag made the most comfortable bed. They came bearing books and magazines which have been great to peruse this past week while I'm healing; such a welcome way to while away a few hours. 
The kitchen re-do project continues with backsplash. We loved this herringbone pattern, the tiles are 1" X 3". Apparently they're a BEAR to cut. 😬
But they sure are pretty up on the wall. Grouting and sealing happen will next.
We had our two grandchildren last weekend. 
Gregory did a fine job as a stand-in acolyte at church.
In an effort to do less physical activities we watched movies together Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon; it's a BIG challenge to find something that an almost 13 year old and an nearly 11 year old haven't seen before, but is also is appropriate and grabs their interest. These were all good ones! I've got more to share in the next few days. I hope to try some machine piecing over this weekend and may get back to the longarm too; we'll see. Life moves on, a day at a time, and if we're lucky we learn new things along the way; it's all good.

Life is Good!

31 August, 2023

On A Break

You might have thought that I've been on a break. Well, let me tell you, it's not been an intentional one (however break may just be the operative word here). I've got lots to write about and plenty to catch up on; that will all happen soon enough. But, in the meantime, I've been sidelined with a cracked distal radius bone. Yep, that's me and, of course, it's my right wrist. Sigh. Every event like this has a story behind it, I wish mine was more exciting. I weeded the perennial garden on Saturday, every square inch. It looked beautiful. I stepped back to admire my hard work and noticed that the bird bath needed a good spraying off with the hose, the base was splattered with mud from the last heavy rain and the basin needed refilling. Easy peasy. I walked a few yards to the spigot, unrolled the hose and headed, lickity split, toward the bird bath. Unbeknownst to me, the hose had snagged on a branch of shrubbery located behind me pulling me to an abrupt stop. Well, as you know from Newton's 1st Law of Motion: objects in motion (me) stay in motion at constant velocity, unless acted upon by an unbalanced force (the branch); I tripped over the hose that I was carrying when I was suddenly jerked backwards and came to a crashing halt (left knee, extended right hand) onto the brick walkway. Ouch! My knee hurt but it became immediately clear that my wrist got the worst of it. Icing and pain relievers helped, marginally, but by Sunday morning it became apparent that X-rays were going to be needed. The rest is history now. I've progressed from a splint to a cast yesterday when follow up from Urgent Care occurred with Orthopedic Specialists. Four weeks now of figuring out what I can and can't do. Hmm. I've already learned that I can do a LOT more with my left hand than I ever imagined. Time flies and these next twenty-eight days will too. Because I know it could have been a lot worse I'm counting my blessings big time; that and catching up on those quiet, mundane tasks that I'd set aside for "someday". In the kindest showings of Christian love our freezer has been filled with dinners for at least a week to come, another generous stranger came yesterday and brought our trash can in from the street to its resting place behind the garage and carried our mail to the front steps. There's oh-so much to be thankful for; believe me when I say that I most certainly am, it's all good! 

    Life is Good!

18 August, 2023

Sister Stitcher

If you remember from last week, our youngest granddaughter was eager to learn hand embroidery. She came and stayed a few days with us; guess what was first and foremost on her list of things to do! In this photo she's exhibiting all of the basic stitches that she accomplished on day one: running stitch, backstitch, split stitch, chain stitch, satin stitch, lazy daisy, fishbone and, finally, French knots (those were the hardest). She was still smiling when she asked if she could move on to a "real" embroidery. The little kit she worked from had a stamped floral design but she opted, instead, for a puppy dog that I had in a book of redwork patterns. There were a few other things to do in between her stitching sessions. 
She's a home schooler, there was classwork to do. Augie was never far away from her.
There were also piano lessons to practice.
She accompanied me on a trip to the library, too. 
But otherwise, from early morning... (look at where her buddy hung out)
...until after dark, she persevered on her stitchery piece. 
That ta-da! moment that we all love!
We turned her cute little project into a small pillow, 
look at that smile; she was so proud.
Welcome to the Stitching Sisterhood, Lynnleigh!

Life is Good!
And, if this little story could get any sweeter, 
she gave this to her brother when she returned back home.