Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 212 of 365

My mind has a bazillion things going through it right now and I just realized I haven't given the update on my second chance day (Day 208).

The second chance for Merle Haggard? He and Kris Kristofferson went back and forth on songs, and both of them forgot some lyrics. Last time when I saw Merle, his intoxication was the obviously the reason for his poor performance. This time, once he started the song again he got it right. But they both look old (because they are). It gives hope that even at that age, you can still contribute and have some life left in you.

The second chance for me? Finally making it to a concert again? Well, here's how it worked. We had seats in the third row. The third row in the orchestra pit. Since the third row orchestra pits seats aren't permanent seats, nice padded chairs were brought in. Comfy seats, lots of legroom, plenty of space to move and adjust, up close to the stage. My body made it through just fine. I don't know if there is another concert in the near future, but this one worked out well.

The second chance watermelon didn't turn out so well. Whenever we've grown watermelon in the past we've always winded up picking them too early. Despite when we plant them, they usually get hit by the frost before they are ready. But after looking at them carefully, we found one of the biggest ones out there. The one with the creamy yellow underbelly. Stuck it in the fridge, got it nice and cold, and cut into it for dessert.

It was pink. Not just pink, but light pink. I thought by chance it could have been a different variety and gave it a taste. Uh, no. So the big, beautiful, green striped watermelon had to go bye-bye. We still have several growing in the garden, so the second chance plants will just have to give us a second watermelon before the first freeze.

Pumpkins before the first freeze? Quite a lot, including this one. From hanging on dearly to my pea fence as a green pumpkin on Day 184 to a hanging on dearly to my pea fence as an orange pumpkin today.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 211 of 365

Every time I go to the doctor I feel like I'm digging a bigger hole for myself.

Today was the rheumatologist appointment and I had a couple things I wanted to find out about. The first one was about another medication - one for my back. On Day 190 when I was at the pain clinic one of the only acceptable options for me was an anti-inflammatory medication that I could use sparingly for a few months to provide some temporary relief. When the pain clinic doctor gave me the prescription he cautioned me that the use of this drug will cause an increase in the side effects of my methotrexate (the chemotherapy drug I take for the rheumatoid arthritis). So I hadn't taken that anti-inflammatory yet, hadn't had any temporary relief from the back pain yet. I wanted to check with the rheumatologist first. His answer today?

No. That medication is not something you should be taking.

The second thing I wanted to find out about was something to relief the miserable pain, stiffness, and swelling of my hands. My hands have always been the first to go. When I'm starting to have a flare-up I notice it in my hands first. I've given up crocheting. I've given up hand quilting. I squeeze toothpaste with the heel of my hand. I mostly wear slip on shoes. I can't grasp things, hold things, or balance things in my hands.

And now since my entire day at work is spent typing away (and I have several days of those in a row each week), my hands aren't getting better. In fact, they are getting worse. A lot worse. So I asked about some braces I can work in.

His answer? Yep, that might be a good idea. Except...

If the hands are getting worse despite the aggressive drugs I'm taking, we need to take a closer look. There should be no reason, even with the excess typing, that the pain, stiffness, and swelling should be not getting better and it especially should not be getting worse. So another ultrasound has been ordered. And if the results show the hands are the same or worse than before?

Another treatment. Just about the last option. An expensive option.

On Day 15, I started an expensive treatment. A $500+ a shot once-a-week treatment. Over $2,000 a month for one injectable medication. (Thank goodness for some insurance help.)

But this new, last ditch effort medication? Three starter doses, then doses every eight weeks (or could be more often). Each dose is a 2 hour IV. I have to sit in the infusion center for 2 hours at a time. But the cost is the worst part.

According to the nurse, around $10,000 a treatment. That's ten thousand dollars for each one of those IVs. Thirty thousand dollars right off the bat for the starter doses. $10,000 each time after that. I don't know what insurance covers, but imagine not all of it.

If that won't make a person depressed, I don't know what will.

So here at the end of the day, I'm retreating to my sewing room and am going to fold some fabric. Some bargain fabric I got this week. Perfect for kids quilts, and perfect for a different project I have coming up soon.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 210 of 365

I've always wanted to own a children's bookstore. Like Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail. I kept the idea in the back of my mind until I saw the movie. Since her business went under in the movie, I figured it might not be the best career move so I dropped the thought completely. Then I wanted to be an author. A children's book author. I have a couple rough drafts of stories I've worked on over the years, but haven't moved on either of them.

But something happened last week that made me think I might pick up those rough drafts again. I went to see the movie, The Help. By myself. Yep, I finally I made it to the movies.

I had watched the movie a while back with my husband, but since then I've read the book. I wanted to go back and see the movie again after reading it to do some comparisons between the two. The first time I saw the movie, I was engaged in the story of the lives of the maids. But when I watched it this time, I picked up on something else. The writing. If you haven't seen the movie or read the book, it's about people telling (and writing down) their stories. It occurred to me that I'm doing something similar. Nothing as grand or forward thinking or controversial as what's portrayed in the movie, but still my story.

Some days when I sit down to write the blog, I'm having a bad day and it is prevalent in my writing. Other days I've had some time to think things through and wind up telling stories (all true) about my life. I wonder if I tell enough of these stories I'll feel like a writer. Maybe I still have some of my own life stories to tell. Maybe someday something I say will have importance in someone's life besides my own.

They say if you want to write, treat it as a job and practice it every day. All day long during my real-work job I do nothing but formal writing - reports, plans, grants, and lots and lots of editing. At home, my writing is more casual with the daily blog. I'm getting tons of writing in - both formal and informal - so do I want to write even more so I can finish one of my books? I don't know.  Finishing a project that has been gnawing on me would be a nice thing to have complete.

Maybe my own rose garden's version of Charlotte's Web is a sign.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 209 of 365

I've always tried to rationalize what I eat. Especially the not-so-good stuff. It's like those articles I read called Eat This, Not That. It spotlights different restaurants' choices and suggests which one is better than the other. Not that they're good for you, just that one is better.

My most frequent (and flawed) which choice is better thoughts:
  • I'll eat a bigger dinner and then I won't want a sugary dessert.
  • I'll eat a sugary dessert and then I won't want to eat a big dinner.
  • I'll eat a fruit filled danish instead of a doughnut. At least I'll get some fruit in.
  • I'll eat fried zucchini to get in some vegetables. Never mind that they're slathered in bread crumbs and fried in oil.
  • Let's have green pepper and onion pizza instead of pepperoni. Must be healthier, even with all that greasy cheese.  
  • Might as well make homemade french fries - they have to be better for you than restaurant fries.
  • Caramel apples can't be that bad for you. They're made with apples for goodness sakes!

I'm not sure I can count today's picture and tutorial in the healthy department. Yep, there are apples involved. But they also have caramel. And chocolate. And Butterfingers.

They may not be healthy, but they are unbelievably tasty!

This recipe is featured in Valentine's Day: 14 Ways to Say I Love You with Desserts. Pick up your copy today!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 208 of 365

I'm not a musically inclined person.

The most difficult class I took in college was Music 101. The second most difficult class was another Music class. I think I must be tone deaf or something, because when we had to distinguish between the different notes, I couldn't hear the difference. When other people listen to music they make comments about a particular instrument in the song, but I can't hear it.

But I like listening to music and even prefer it over TV. Don't know what I'm listening to, but I do listen. My tastes have changed over the years, though.

I started out in high school being into pop music. Then I shifted to rock. AC/DC, Foreigner, Rolling Stones. The Rolling Stones had a farewell tour in San Francisco when I was a teenager. I couldn't go, but listened to the SF radio station play each song as the Stones were playing it in the stadium. Being it was a farewell tour, I knew I'd never get to see them for real.

When I was a teen, I moved to Idaho and turned country. Barbara Mandrell, Willie Nelson, Conway Twitty, and Merle Haggard became listening staples.

Since then, I've listened to all types of music with no particular favorite. I've been to dozens of pop, rock, and country concerts and enjoyed Journey (my first concert) as much as I enjoyed Conway Twitty, Sting, The Monkees (oohh, Davey Jones), and The Rolling Stones (yep, saw them live in concert about 25 years after that farewell tour I missed).

But one concert - specifically one performer - has left me disappointed, and I never forgot it. Merle Haggard.

He was one of my favorite country singers and I got the chance to see him in concert not long after I moved to Idaho. But once I saw him on stage, my opinions changed. Merle Haggard was under the influence of something. Alcohol, maybe? Stumbling around the stage, slurring his words, forgetting his lyrics. The worst concert I have ever been to.

I decided right then and there I'd stop listening to him, stop buying his music. And I did. Every time his song came on the radio, I wasn't interested in paying attention.

But it's been almost three decades since that concert. It's finally time to give Merle Haggard a second chance. I'm also giving myself a second chance.

He gets his second chance tonight, after work. My husband and I are going to see Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson in concert in Boise. As for my second chance - after giving away my Elton John tickets back on Day 37 (Marcie told us about the concert and sent us a picture on Day 39), it's time to try and get myself back to a concert.

I hope it all turns out well. I know the second chance I gave my watermelons worked out well. The late cold weather in the spring (like where the tulips were covered with snow on Day 58) made for dead watermelon plants. I purchased new ones later in the season and hoped we'd get watermelons before the first fall frost.

The second chance watermelon are ready to be picked. Let's hope the watermelons are tasty, Merle Haggard is good, and I can make it through a concert again.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 207 of 365

I have been a bit confused about something.

For some reason I had difficulty posting my videos straight to the blog. I should have pursued the issue more, but decided to try and see if I could get them to work through YouTube. When I started putting them on YouTube then posting them from there to the blog, I was able to get them working with no problems. Based on your suggestions (thank you!) I've been filming my tutorials for Tutorial Tuesday beforehand. I either film them over the weekend or on Monday. Then I edit and upload them to YouTube. From YouTube I post them when Tuesday comes around. It was all working well.

Except something weird started happening.

I started getting comments from people about my videos. Comments on Sundays and Mondays, before I ever had the video up on the blog. I also started getting e-mails from YouTube about people "subscribing" to my videos.

So here's what I've figured out so far. All my videos I've uploaded are collected together on a "channel". My channel. People can view the videos on my channel, and (I think) if they "subscribe" they receive notification when I post a new one (even though it's not on the blog yet).

So some folks (don't know if they're blog readers or not) are getting the first look at the tutorials. So it's only fair for me to give you the channel info - just in case you're wanting to be one of those first-look folks. My channel is the debp33 channel. (I must have signed up under a different log-in than DebzDays.) And if you're not a YouTube person, I'll still be posting the tutorial on the blog on Tutorial Tuesday.

It's small potatoes, but as of right now I've had 19 people view the channel and 1,782 people view the videos. Wow!

Speaking of numbers, have you noticed the map on the right side of the page here? Over 9,000 visitors to the blog so far. Another wow!

The third and best wow of the day? The picture of our Orange Dream rose, of course.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 206 of 365

I used to be embarrassed about where my degree is from. At the time I was attending, the university had both lackluster academic and athletic programs.

Before my time on campus, the football program had seen some success during its junior college days in the 1960s and then later saw success in the 70's with a record-breaking quarterback. (A quarterback who, after graduating from college, happened to have worked in my school district for umpteen years.) In 1980 a national championship was won. My husband was working with the team then, and has his own championship ring to prove it. And his championship football team picture and his Letterman's jacket is hanging on the wall downstairs.

Then for the next 15-20 years the university's football team was competitive, but didn't come close to great successes seen in the past.

As students we went to lots of games. We lived just a block from the stadium, walked to the game, and never worried about not being able to get tickets. Not great seasons equaled easy-to-obtain student tickets. Once we graduated we mostly stopped watching the games, and every time alumni conversations came up I kept my mouth quiet.

But now people are proud to have graduated from Boise State, home of the blue turf, ranked number four in the nation as of today.

Even those who don't have any connection to the university are decked out in gear, buying up tickets, and clustered around TV sets everywhere on game days. Just late this afternoon my husband and I had gone out to an early dinner and found fans streaming into the restaurant as we left. (My husband certainly noticed and we made plans to be in attendance at the joint for the next afternoon game.) The grocery store was packed with fans, decked out in their blue and orange, buying up snacks last minute.

It has even impacted us. One of my daughter's classmates and husband's former students/players is a star defensive tackle on the team. I noticed my husband had his alumni shirt on today. We listened to the pregame as we were driving home.

Guess I've jumped on the bandwagon, too. Not too much - I don't have any blue and orange clothing yet.

Today's picture is orange, though. But not a happy orange picture. One of our monarch butterflies somehow met a not-so-pleasant fate and the results were evident on my gravel path.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 205 of 365

All my titles at work carry a certain amount of respect with them, but it seems my personal projects don't.

At work I have three job titles/descriptions attached to my name.  On Day 106 the first job came. On Day 184 I took an additional position. Then just this week I was offered an another additional job at my same school. Three job descriptions attached to my name now and some new responsibilities.

This is definitely going to be my last add-on position. When I signed this new contract yesterday, I told the gal this would be the last one I would sign because I needed time for my charity work. Why did I say charity work? It sounds like I'm working in a soup kitchen or blood bank. What if I had said I needed time for blogging? That would have been an even bigger mistake - being a "blogger" carries with it a certain negative connotation.

So just how do I describe my personal projects? I don't. When asked what I do when I'm not at work, I usually just respond with I do a lot of sewing. As much as I'm proud of what I do each and every day, I can't figure out a quick and easy response.

I write, I photograph, I document. I quilt and I sew for sick children and children of deployed military personnel. Through my videos, I teach people how to do quick and easy projects.

But it's more than that. I'm part of my own personal growth project. A project that is keeping me moving forward on most days. A project where I find ways to deal with the pain and frustration of injuries and rheumatoid arthritis. A project that prevents me from being lazy and forces me to make the best of each day.

Okay, I admit it - I really don't know how to describe what I'm doing.

I can describe today's picture, though. Sunshine-y.
In other news - we have a 200th Day Giveaway WINNER!

The random number generator picked comment number five. Number five was Pam who wrote, "Debbie, You always amaze me with your talents and patience.GOOD JOB!" So Pam, use the "Contact Me' button at the very bottom of this page so I can send the goodies your way. Congrats!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 204 of 365

This isn't a cooking show, mom.

Words uttered from my daughter more than once. When she's home we work on building her repertoire of recipes. And the details, information, and expressive language I use when teaching her how to cook and bake sound like a cooking show to her, I guess. When she says, This isn't a cooking show, mom, it's a signal to me that I'm giving her too much information. But now she's even getting it when she's not home - by watching my tutorials. Just yesterday she let me know I use my "teacher voice" in them. Whatever.

Yet...

I was flipping through channels yesterday and came across Guy Fieri's Big Bite on the Food Network. I have watched his other show, Diners Drive-Ins and Dives where he travels around the country, focusing on small restaurants and the foods they cook. But this show, Big Bite, is a show where he's cooking different things in his kitchen. My husband has watched the show many times but I always skip it.  But this time I left the channel on it. (And it wasn't because of his hair - oh, I do love his hair. For many years I had short spiky hair, dyed with blonde highlights, but never dyed like his. I wish I would have been bold enough to go as blonde and spiky as he does, but I never got there.)

As I sat there watching Guy grab things from the fridge and cabinet, talking about techniques and why he uses what he uses and what could be substituted, I thought, Oh my gosh, that's me. When I do tutorials, I add all that extra chit-chat into the video. But since I'm trying to keep my videos just a few minutes in length I wind up editing all that extra conversation out. Leaving it all in would probably make for an entertaining cooking show or sewing show, but I'm not sure the world needs another one of either.

According to my daughter, one thing that doesn't get edited out is that "teacher voice". As I thought more about what my she said, was she implying the "teacher voice" was a good thing or a bad thing? (You can bet I'll be asking her on that one.)

One thing that is a good thing is my picture of the day. The Canadian Geese were flying around on my early morning walk this morning. I was patient, hoping to catch them flying over the river. They weren't cooperative, so an orange morning sky background will have to do.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 203 of 365

Someone asked me the other day if I know the family I'm making these latest kids quilts for, the ones with the pictures in them.

Nope. Though, after making these quilts, I kind of feel like I do. The pictures in the quilts tell the story.

The family has a black and white dog. The oldest girl has a nice, new bicycle. She and her dad have been to a butterfly garden. The little boy plays with a set of jumbo Legos. Dad is in the Army, like Folgers coffee, and once got his red truck stuck in the mud.

But right now dad won't be helping with the bike riding, won't be playing Legos, and won't be getting his truck stuck in the mud. Dad is deployed and the kids are missing him.

So quilts are on the way. Quilts with sewn-in pictures of the kids and their daddy. Quilts that will, hopefully, help them remember their dad until he gets back home.

I feel blessed to be part of such an important project. I've decided this will be my go-to quilt charity and am requesting to "adopt" another family.

If you have any interest in joining me, visit Operation Kid Comfort to let them know you'd like to help. You can use your own fabrics to make the quilt or you can request one of their free fabric kits. The quilts are quick and easy to put together and are a great opportunity for us to support the children of deployed servicemen and women.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 202 of 365

I often wonder how family traditions get started.

We have the Christmas Eve book opening tradition, the Mexican-feast-during-tree-trimming-time tradition. The muffin and juice breakfast on Christmas morning tradition. And for Thanksgiving, we always have the same foods. Sometimes we might add an extra side dish or an extra dessert, but the core menu always stays the same. Always.

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, rolls. Pumpkin pie, cherry pie, lemonade pie.

I'm not sure how the lemonade pie tradition started. I do know it started when I was young, probably still in high school or junior high. Since it's made from lemonade and it's a frozen pie, it seems quite odd that it has wound up on our Thanksgiving table - when the weather is cool - every year since.

We rarely have it any other time. But it might fit well as a cool, tart, refreshing treat on a hot summer day. Although summer is waning we still have warm temperatures hanging around here, so I decided to make one.

Decided to make one and film it. Tutorial Tuesday is one of the easiest pies out there. Lemonade pie. (Unfortunately, after taking the picture I also found out it makes a nice substitute for my morning Cheerios. Gotta make sure I don't do that again!)

Half a can of frozen lemonade (thawed), a can of sweetened condensed milk, and a container of whipped topping. Mix it all together, put into a prepared graham cracker crust and freeze overnight.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 201 of 365

You'd think after 200 days of trying to get myself back together I would have figured it out by now. I would have figured out how much I can push myself, when to take a break, when to try and do more and when to not.

Nope.

I had four long, late, exhausting days at work last week. Saturday was spent out and about with hubby. Then came Sunday and I crashed.

Getting up in the morning was even more difficult than usual. My body moved much more slowly during the day. Everything hurt. My energy level had disappeared. I struggled with every task. Usually when I have a bad day, I tell myself things will be better after a good night's sleep.

Nope. It's Monday and I'm still not up to par. (Thank goodness I don't have to go into work today.)

I'm slow. I hurt. I'm still exhausted.

So I did something I usually never do during the day. I decided to sit down and watch TV on the big screen downstairs. Sitting in my recliner, relaxing, watching TV. And I was asleep in my chair by 11:30 (in the morning). But even that bit of a nap didn't resuscitate my energy level.

Some days I'm moving forward, some days I'm moving backwards. I'm mad that I wasn't able to pace myself this last week and wound up overdoing it and I'm sad that my body isn't what it used to be. But I know someday I will get this figured out.

Today, though, I'd just rather hang out with the kitty in the sun.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 200 of 365

Happy 200th Day!

200 days of writing. Writing about good things and bad things. Doctors appointments, procedures and tests, medications and injections. About struggles and frustrations. Crazy dreams. Exercising, not exercising, exercising. No job to new job. Of exciting days, calm days, long days.

200 days of picture taking. Pictures of fabric, kids quilts, turtle pillows, decorated sugar cookies. Butterflies, squirrels, spiders, and the kitty cat. Sunrises, lightning in the night sky, cloud formations, snow on the ground. Roses and vegetables. Windmills, bulk bins at the grocery store, and a casino swimming pool. How-to videos.

200 days of support from folks around the country, around the world. Encouragement to keep going. Ideas to make life smoother. Thoughts that made me laugh.

On the 200th day of the stories and pictures of my life, I celebrate you. Those who have stuck with me since the beginning, those who just now have come on board. If you weren't here I would have probably given up long ago.

To thank you I'm doing a 200th day giveaway. The things in the picture might look familiar. We have:
  • One of the potholders I made on Day 34.
  • Fabric covered buttons from the tutorial on Day 153.
  • Pocket tissue holders from Day 167's tutorial.
  • The owl pincushion from the tutorial on Day 195.
  • Two "fat quarter" pieces of fabric so you can make your own Breadbasket Liner pictured on Day 38 (and from the tutorial on Day 188).

To enter, leave a comment on this post. Since I don't collect e-mails on my comment page, you will have to come back to see if you won. The winner will be announced in Friday's (Day 205) post. They'll have until Sunday at noon to claim their prize.

Again, thank you for your support. And good luck!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 199 of 365

I had a long, tiring week at work. Mentally draining. Exhausting, late nights, four days of work. Most nights after work schedule was dinner, a bit of TV in bed, then sleep.

But I need to stop watching TV shows like Storm Stories, Twist of Fate, and Full Force Nature on the Weather Channel. Events from those shows are now creeping into my dreams...

Last night I looked out the balcony and saw it had hailed/snowed and white was covering everything. I got dressed and grabbed my camera to snap a picture. By the time I got outside, the snow/hail had melted. But the waves were still washing up on the beach. There had been a lot of rain, so huge puddles sat in the sand. Puddles full of hundreds of ladybugs and centipedes. I got my camera out and tried to take pictures again, but the bugs got washed away by a wave. I then noticed several cars stuck in the beach among the dunes and started taking pictures. I walked up the hill to the car lot and found all the windshields busted out from hail. More pictures. I was on scene as the press arrived and the insurance company assessed the damage. I realized I had a report due and had to get back to work.

Balcony? Don't have one.
Hail/snow? Weather Channel show.
Taking lots of pictures? Always looking for that picture of the day.
Waves washing up on the beach and huge puddles? Weather Channel show.
Ladybugs and centipedes? No clue.
Cars stuck in the beach? Weather Channel show.
Windshields busted out on a car lot? Weather Channel show.
Press arrived? TV reporters at work this week regarding one of the schools.
Insurance company? A different issue at work regarding a gym roof.
A report due? Every week.

Now I better not dream about the picture I really did take today out on my walk. A picture of Lizard Butte - deemed such because of the similarity to a lizard basking in the sun.

Please, with the way I feel about lizards, no lizards tonight.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 198 of 365

Because of what happened on March 5th this year, I feel good today.

195 days ago on  Day 3 I had just started this blog. Didn't know where I was heading, what I was doing. But I had a picture. A picture of a quilt top that was getting ready to go out the door.

I had made a flag quilt top and hadn't done anything with it. Hadn't quilted it, hadn't even picked out a backing. But when I was visiting quiltingboard.com, I came across a lady whose daughter, along with several others, was returning from Afghanistan in September . The mom was wanting patriotic quilt blocks so she could present a quilt to each returning soldier. I wanted to help out so instead of a quilt block, I sent my entire quilt top. That day made me feel good about being of service to others. 

Those soldiers are to be home within 3 weeks from now. That gal, along with her quilting bee, have finished quilting all the donation blocks she received. The work they did on my quilt top is just spectacular. I feel even better today about donating it than back then!

Because of what happened on March 5th this year, I feel good today. And because of what happened today, I feel good. Another quilt full of pictures finished for Operation Kid Comfort.

Two quilts, two good causes.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 197 of 365

A typical night.

A friend from high school I haven't seen in forever picked me up in his needing-to-be-washed car. We drove into town and stopped to buy apricots. One place had them for 62 cents a pound, but we pulled into the place that had them for 50 cents a pound. Right next to the store were two sets of tall, steep stairs leading to a couple of shops. I went up the stairs to one shop while he went into the other shop to get the wedding gown he brought with him altered. When I got to the top of my set of stairs and looked back down, it was a dry cleaners with clothes hanging in plastic all the way back down. Near the bottom of the stairs was a ladder full of things they were selling. Not clothes, but fabric and such. I looked at some cute fabric, but when I picked it up it was really a baby block, covered in fabric, filled with polyester stuffing.

Then I woke up.

What the heck? I tried to trace back the details.
  • Car needing washing? My car's clean. But there is supposed to be some rain coming in, so maybe I was thinking about that.
  • High school friend? He was in the Air Force Academy over 20 years ago and I haven't heard from him since he graduated.  But yesterday the quilt I finished was for a child of someone in the Army. And my daughter had a friend who left for the Navy this week.
  • Apricots? When my mom was here a couple weeks back we made fried peach pies. Since then, she's been working on perfecting a recipe for fried apricot pies using a variety of doughs. Apricots could have creeped in from that, but 50 cents versus 62 cents a pound? Guess because I like to save money.
  • Steep stairs? I do need to go up the steeps stairs at work to find a report, but have been putting it off. I just don't like those steep stairs. (Although in the dream I had no problems with the stairs.)
  • Wedding gown to be altered? Earlier this week I was thinking about getting rid of my wedding gown. It's taking up space in my closet and my daughter already made it clear she wouldn't wear that style. And goodness knows I'll never wear it again.
  • Dry cleaners? Working at a dry cleaners was my first job ever. 
  • Looking at fabric? Well, I am kind of obsessed. But picking up a baby block filled with polyester stuffing? My tutorial this week used polyester stuffing.

But how does that all fit together? I wondered that on my morning before-sunrise walk.

I came up with nothing. Not really nothing - I did come away with a picture from my early morning visit to our rose garden.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 196 of 365

I'm a dreamer. Not a daydreamer, but a night time dreamer. I wake up in the middle of the night or in the morning with vivid memories of my dreams. Some of the things in my dreams - being late for work, forgetting to finish something - can be explained because it might be something I'm subconsciously worried might happen. But sometimes I can't figure out how particular details wind up in there and how one dream can twist and turn so much.

It's probably not much different than when I lie awake at night. I might start thinking about one thing, which leads to another, and another, and another. My mind moves a mile a minute and I forget what I originally started thinking about. I guess it's like that Bing commercial about search overload syndrome.

It even happens to me during the day. I was going to start today's blog by saying, "It's back!".

Which then made me think of Back to the Future.
Michael J. Fox.
Fox and the Hound.
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog.
Elvis.
Graceland.
Will and Grace.
Last will and testament.
The Ten Commandments.
Tablets.
Ipads.
Ipods.
Pea pods.
Pea fence.
Vines.
Ivy.
Poison Ivy.
Calamine Lotion.
Baby Lotion.
Baby Blanket.

Hmm..Actually without any forethought, that example worked out just right. I guess my mind knows where it's going after all.

The "It's back!" was referring to my exercise streak. I'm finally again three days (in a row) into an exercise routine. And how are baby blankets connected to today?

Finished my first quilt for Operation Kid Comfort. (Since kids' pictures are on the blanket, I took the picture from afar.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 195 of 365

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I don't know how I feel about owls.

When my daughter was a toddler, we were playing in the snow outside our front door. As we approached our pine tree, a gorgeous white snow owl flew from the tree. Owls were good.

A couple years later as I was finishing up college to become a teacher, I took a science class to learn how to teach science to kids. In one of the activities, we worked with owl pellets. (An owl pellet is undigested food the owls have regurgitated.) Things like bones, fur, feathers, and teeth. We took these disgusting looking pellets and took them apart, looking for jawbones of animals, legs, etc. to get an idea of the owl's diet. We were told you just had to use the owl pellet activities with kids. That lesson left me not liking owls so much. (And I never did use that activity with my students.)

As time went on I forgot about the activity, I forgot about the snow owl. Didn't have a thought about owls until this spring.

Thanks to Oprah I liked owls again.

I watched an episode where she and Gayle were doing a camping trip to Yosemite. Oprah woke up in the morning in the coolest owl pajamas. I liked owls again.

I thought this owl-liking business was going to stick. I've been seeing cute owl fabrics, and knew they'd make great kids quilts.

But this summer, owls were on my bad side again. Behind our back fence, across the road, sits an old metal building. In that old metal shed some owls have taken residence. Some screech owls. (They probably aren't screech owls, but they sure sound like them.) All night long they screech. It seemed though the babies cried and cried for mama all night. Mama eventually shows up, feeds them, they quiet down, and mama leaves again. And the babies cry again. And again. And again until she shows up again.

It probably wouldn't bother me so much except I had problems sleeping this summer. And the particular metal shed where the reverberation of screeching owls occurred just happened to be a straight shot out my bedroom window.

Thank goodness those owls have since moved on. They probably left plenty of pellets behind, but I certainly am not checking on that one!

I decided I need to start liking owls again. I again see lots of cute fabrics, but since I've already purchased enough fabric to make kids quilts for the rest of my life I won't be buying any owl-specific fabric.

But then I found a post over at The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle. I visit her site often as she is tremendously creative when it comes to decorating sugar cookies. Just last week she made some beautifully decorated owl cookies. Oh, how I wanted to make those cookies!

But I'm on a sugar-cookie fast, so instead I made an owl-themed pincushion using the same cookie cutter for the pattern. I used scraps from my stash, buttons from my collection, and some leftover felt, too.

In addition to the standard sewing supplies, for this project you will need:
  • Two 5” x 5” fabric scraps
  • Two buttons
  • Small felt scraps
  • Pincushion filling – I used fiberfill but you could use cotton batting or steel wool
  • Owl template, download HERE
 

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 194 of 365

I've always had a job where I've had to be to work before 8:00 AM. More like 7:30. Every single day, five days a week. But this year working part time things are different and I can't get it to work for me yet.

Today I go to work in the afternoon since it will be a very late night at work. Going in late should be a good thing. I get to take my time getting up in the morning, getting the body moving, getting the hands working.

Except every time I looked at the clock I would think of how many hours I had left at home. It started first thing this morning. How many hours do I have left to get myself out the door?

Last night I was looking forward to this morning. Plenty of time to work on those kids quilts, exercise, go outside, write the blog, have breakfast, lunch, and plenty of time to pack my dinner.

It didn't work out that way. I don't know where the time went, but no quilting happened. I did finally exercise - I busted open that Richard Simmons DVD and danced to the oldies. But there went another hour of my time. I did squeeze in some time to look around the gardens and much to my dismay, my perennials are just about done for the year.

The Black-Eyed Susans are about the last colorful thing out there. They're obviously happier about the way the day turned out than I am.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 193 of 365

When questioned about where they were 10 years ago on this date, everyone has an answer. But the I will campaign asks a different question.

I will.

The I will campaign asks, "What will you do this year, a good deed, charitable activity, or other plans, to honor the 9/11 victims, survivors and those that rose in service in response to the attacks?"

My answer - I will make quilts.

I've teamed up with another organization to provide quilts to kids. But these quilts are even more special than those I've made before. Operation Kid Comfort creates custom-made quilts and pillows for children of deployed U.S. military personnel who experience grief from missing their mom or dad. Photos of the deployed parent are printed onto fabric and sewn into the quilt or pillow.

Operation Kid Comfort sent me the pictures of a dad and his three kids. I used my own fabrics and have made three quilt tops, one for each child. Now this week I'll work on getting them quilted. Each one of these children - a 4 year old girl, a 19 month old boy, and a 2 month old girl - in Fort Stewart, Georgia, with a dad faraway, will receive a quilt with his pictures sewn into it. 

My most special quilts of all.

It's not too late to participate in I will. What will you/did you do this year, a good deed, charitable activity, or other plans, to honor the 9/11 victims, survivors and those that rose in service in response to the attacks?

I'd love to hear from you. You can also post your response on the official I will website at http://911day.org/.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 192 of 365

I've been dreading writing my blog for today. I've put it off and put it off and now I have to do it. Why would I be dreading writing so much?

Yet again I did not do what I said I would.

The first thing I heard this morning while attempting to sleep past sunrise had to do with a question about zucchini bread. Zucchini bread I was wanting to cut back on.

My husband was excited he had picked some big zucchini while I was sleeping and wanted to know if I'd make bread today. As clear headed as I was yesterday about giving up the zucchini bread, I was not as clear headed early in the morning. We made zucchini bread. Several hours of baking. Nine loaves. We already have downed almost a loaf. What was I thinking?

And eating too much zucchini bread certainly didn't bode well for the rest of the day. For what did hubby want for dinner with his barbecued hamburger? Homemade onion rings. I've only made them a couple times before, but I made them tonight. Thank goodness they aren't one of my favorite things or I would have probably eaten way too many of those, too.

Lots of zucchini bread, had to finish up the salsa (with chips) and a couple greasy onion rings didn't lend itself to exercising. So I didn't.

Crappy food, no exercise. Why do I not care enough about myself to make the changes I need?

I'm not the only one eating too much these days. Mr. Spider from Day 187 looks like he is about to explode. Bet that moth wasn't the only thing that he's been munching on!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 191 of 365

I have my Richard Simmons DVDs close by. I have workout clothes there, too. Except I haven't taken the DVDs out of the plastic wrap yet. (A lot of good they're doing like that.) I do walk every Tuesday morning before work, but have I stuck to the rest of my exercise plan? Nope.

How about those eating habits? I look at all the changes we've made over the years. All the things I/we used to eat too much of:
  • Ice Cream. A container never lasted more than a couple days. Now one could last a month or more.
  • Potato Chips. Ditto.
  • Dessert for dinner every night. Then leftover dessert for breakfast.
  • Containers of chocolate candy at work.
  • Halloween candy purchased in September, eaten, re-purchased in October, eaten, then re-purchased at Halloween. Then leftovers eaten within a couple days of Halloween. Then after Halloween, more candy bought on clearance eaten. (We now skip Halloween altogether.)
  • Cheese. We love Tillamook brand cheese. The best in the world. We could go through a block a week. Now a block lasts us a month.
Despite all our good changes, in the last couple weeks we've picked up bad habits that we need to back away from. We make zucchini bread, we eat the zucchini bread. Although it's packed fulled of fresh zucchini (about two cups per loaf), it's also packed with sugar. The chips and salsa are just as bad. We make fresh, healthy, good-for-you salsa every single week. Of course, fresh salsa requires some delicious, not so good-for-you tortilla chips (and we've been eating plenty of those).

Gotta stop that, gotta get moving on the exercise.

So today is my last day of being lazy with food and exercise.

Today is also my last sunrise picture for a while. I have no intention of getting up early enough to see the sunrise for quite a while. It's been a long week, a dog-tired week, and the weekend is upon us. Yay! And next week my schedule is such I don't have to be there first thing in the morning.

I'll take it, even if I miss an opportunity for a colorful picture.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 190 of 365

"I don't think so" became my mantra today. Most of the times I was thinking it, but once in a while it just slipped out of my mouth.

Where else would an I don't think so day start but at the Pain Clinic. Again as I sat there in the waiting room I listened to interesting conversations. The things some people say out loud is quite amazing. I'm sure the large doses of pain medicine in their systems certainly have something to do with it.

Surprisingly, I was looking forward to this visit to the pain clinic. This would be the time I would finally find out what's up with my back. Finally maybe have a plan to get some relief, a plan to move forward. Yes and no. My new MRI results told the story.  Bulging discs in every single vertebrae scanned. Arthritis in every single vertebrae scanned. And a very severe case of arthritis in two vertebrae.

Options? No long term permanent solutions. No surgeries, but also no long term pain relief. Ever. The only hope is management of pain symptoms. Injections for the rest of my life. I don't think so. Pain medication for the rest of my life. I don't think so. Anti-inflammatory medications - used sparingly and not for more than a few months at a time - might temporarily provide some relief. Okay. Except when he handed me the prescription, he cautioned that the use of this drug will cause an increase in the side effects of my methotrexate (the chemotherapy drug I take for the arthritis). I don't think so, but will visit with the rheumatologist first.

I left that mess behind to stop by and pick up my new glasses. I'd been having terrible headaches at school being on the computer all day so a new prescription will fit the bill. I picked up my $320 glasses (that's with insurance), but they were missing the sunglasses piece. Every time I've gotten new glasses for the last 15 years or so, I get the kind that have a magnetic clip-on sunglasses piece. It just so happens the lady helping me pick out glasses a couple weeks back forgot to mention these new ones didn't come with the sunglasses piece. If I want to switch to a pair that does have the magnetic clip-on, I could pay $120 more. I don't think so. But, if I want to get a prescription pair of sunglasses, they'll give me a 50% discount. I don't think so. Or I could pay extra and get transitions, but they won't be as dark as I'm used to. I don't think so. Or I could pay extra and buy a clip-on piece that sort of fits. I don't think so.

I've seen older ladies wear sunglasses that fit over their regular glasses so I went on a search for those. First store, no luck. I found them at the second store. Twenty bucks worth, but if they work I'm willing to pay. I tried two different styles of those big wraparound glasses on. I don't think so became I really don't think so.

Scrap that idea. So I decided to stop and get something to drink for the ride home. In the drive through of Carl's Jr. I was sitting in line, minding my own business, patiently waiting for my turn at the speaker. The gal in the big SUV in front of me wasn't nearly as patient. She started backing up, which made me start backing up. But I guess I didn't back up fast enough because she backed into me. And then she took off. No stopping, no checking, just sped off out of the line. I don't think so! I got her plate number and checked my front bumper. No damage other than a bent license plate.

At that point, getting home was all I wanted to do. I think I just might need a nap.

The best part of the day? Sunrise, of course.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 189 of 365

I almost cried last night. Not because I had a bad day, or because someone said something to me, or because I stubbed my toe.

I almost cried last night because I was utterly and totally exhausted. Another late night at work and a day full of meetings. Every time I go to a meeting, I'm carry a big bag of books, files and binders. A heavy bag. And my shoulders and my back have borne the brunt of the pressure.

Then there are the hands. When I started back to work and greatly increased the amount of time I spent on the computer, my hands started swelling up from the arthritis. Now my hands aren't working so well. I've even resorted to putting the tube of toothpaste on the edge of the sink and using the heel of my hand to squeeze. No more squeezing toothpaste tubes in the morning for me.

And my wrists? In worse shape than ever. From loading and unloading books and binders, and typing and typing and typing. And getting the laptop in and out, and filing papers.

I have an appointment at the pain clinic tomorrow, but I'm not holding out hope of any relief there. Unless it's comic relief. (See Day 145 for my experience there last time.) Rheumatologist is in a few weeks and I'm counting on some suggestions for arthritis pain relief. Maybe. I'll even take arthritis pain management instead of relief at this point.

So when I got home last night, hurting beyond belief, exhausted beyond belief, I wanted to cry.

But I didn't. I had a great dinner prepared by my husband, went to bed for a little bit, then got back up to take a shower. Showers always make me feel better. It just didn't make me feel as good as I wished, but it kept my tears away.

Today here I went again, back to a meeting in Boise with my big bag of folders and a laptop to carry to and from the faraway parking lot to the meeting.

Nice sunrise on the drive in, though. A bit of haze in the air made for a pretty picture.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 188 of 365

Sugar cookies, be gone!

I love my sugar cookies. I love decorating them, I love looking at them, I love eating them, and I love giving them away. They are something I can do quick and easy without much thought.

But I'm tired of them right now. I'm not really tired of the cookies, but I'm tired of the internal struggle - like the one that happened on Day 127. I've had better willpower these last few weeks and have given them away before eating them, but still every single time I make them I struggle with keeping them out of my mouth.

The sugar cookie demon has been faced many times these past months:
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By making them again and again, it's like I want to torture myself. Am I trying to prove I'm strong? Or maybe I'm trying to prove I'm weak? I'm tired of feeling like I'm punishing myself every time I'm around them. I could just make them and eat them and have no guilt about it. But I can't.

So out go the sugar cookie tutorials for a while and back comes a sewing-themed tutorial.

A reversible bread basket liner similar to the one I made on Day 38. Nearly the same pattern, but with different fabric. If you like bread with your dinner, or you're thinking ahead to the holidays like me, it's an quick and easy project to whip up.


While my patterns, templates, and videos are absolutely free, if you feel so inclined please consider a donation for their use. Every little bit helps! Your donation helps support the blog and allows me to continue to provide free content to crafters and cruisers all around the world.  

Rather not donate? No worries - go ahead and use them for free! If you do donate, thank you for your support!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 187 of 365

Just be still.

I keep having to remind myself to just be still. Stop trying to keep busy, stop trying to always be thinking or doing something. Just sit still and do nothing. Enjoy the quiet.

Over these past few months at home before summer vacation, I had been getting pretty good at it. I had the entire day to myself. Me, myself, and I (and some days the kitty). Time to think, contemplate, plan, and be alone in my thoughts. Time to appreciate the quiet, time to appreciate all I had.

But now as I've started back to work, I'm getting caught up in trying to keep busy. Work days are a given as the entire day is wrapped up in, well...work. Part of the draw of this work being part time was it was going to allow me those quiet, peaceful days during the week where I could be alone. I could take my time getting out of bed. I wasn't going to force my body to move earlier than it wanted to (because that always winds up costing me in the end).

Here I am a month into work and I have yet to have one day by myself. Those days I do have off I'm at a doctor's appointment or some other medical-related appointment, or my daughter is here, or my husband is here. Each week I have high hopes for some alone, quiet, just-be-still time.

Yet again this week it won't happen. Today hubby was also home, I work three other days, and the fifth day will be spent at the most interesting of all doctor's offices, the pain clinic.

Good things come about when I'm still and quiet. I just might have to force myself to be still and quiet. I did force myself just a bit today - I sat outside. After taking down clothes from the line, I just sat there. Enjoyed the weather, didn't think about anything.

The stillness did give me a chance to find a picture for the day. An big ugly old spider captured himself a moth and was doing whatever it is spiders do with moths.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day 186 of 365

It appears I'm not the only one in my family with Christmas on my mind. Just a couple days ago when my mom and daughter were here there was a discussion of Christmas gifts for my daughter. Then I wrote about Christmas crafts here yesterday, and just today my husband told me about something he wanted on his Christmas Eve list.

We have a Christmas Eve tradition of opening one present early, with the rest being opened on Christmas Day. Our tradition started because of a Batman Helicopter. 

Growing up, my husband's family let kids open one gift on Christmas Eve. The kids got to choose one wrapped present from under the tree to be the special Christmas Eve one. One year, the particular present my husband picked wound up being a Batman Helicopter. A plain, plastic, toy helicopter. A present he didn't ask for, a present he didn't even want. A present that forever tainted that eight year old's Christmas Eve experience.

After we were married, he made it clear there would be no early gifts. But that changed.

With both of us being educators, books are important in our lives. We have hundreds (probably thousands) of books of mine, his, ours, and our daughter's. And we have a tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve.

Every Christmas Eve, we open an early present. And every Christmas Eve, it is always a book we want. We look months ahead at books of interest. Books we can put on our Christmas Eve book list. And every Christmas Eve when we open that book, we spend part of the evening reading before going to bed. It's an important tradition to us.

So today as my husband was reading the Sunday paper, he saw an article about a new book coming up. A book about John F. Kennedy. Being a history teacher, he's big into JFK. Particularly JFK and conspiracy theories. He has videos, and we have more than one shelf here at home full of JFK books, and it looks like come Christmas Eve he'll be adding one more.

He's big into JFK, history, and patriotism. While I was working on getting ready for my tutorial, he came in all excited about having cut what he called a "Labor Day Special" bouquet. Unfortunately, he had to explain it to me - red, white, and blue (okay, purple) roses.

And the name of the white rose in there? It's the rose called JFK.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 185 of 365

I like September.

I like September because that means it's almost October.

October means fall and trees turning orange and yellow and cooler days. October means it's time to rake up the leaves, shut up the rose garden, and close things down outside. It means no more guilt about the lack of time spent weeding, or the scarcity of bouquets brought in, or having to worry about keeping things trim and tidy.

And almost October means almost November. November equals Christmas. The only holiday for me.

I love doing crafts, but I particularly love Christmas crafts. Homemade ornaments, stockings, tree skirts, wall hangings. Years ago I got the idea I was going to sell crafts at Christmas shows. I didn't. I sold some things at school, but never found the time to make up enough things to do a show. Then I had the idea I would just sell Christmas things year round. I didn't.

But being it is September, which means it's almost October, which means it's almost November (which means Christmas crafts to me), I'm kind of excited.

Excited that I feel well enough - and have the time - to make fun stuff.

I was going to do another sugar cookie tutorial today for Tuesday's video, but I'm getting a bit tired of cookies right now. I'll do the tutorial tomorrow instead and more than likely it won't be cookies.

By the look of the tons of fabric squares I received in the mail today (plus the yards and yards of batting that didn't make it into the picture), it might need to be sewing related.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 184 of 365

A new day and a new job.

A new job? Not exactly a new job, but today I was offered an additional job at my same school. A couple extra hours a week added to my current part-time position equates to a few more dollars going towards paying my health insurance.  Doing sort of the same thing I'm doing already, but just for a different program.  Two job descriptions attached to my name now and some new responsibilities.

The best part of this particular add-on job is I that I can do it from home. No need to go into school any extra days, no need to get out of my sweats or into dress shoes. T-shirt, sweats or shorts, and tennis shoes - now those are the kind of clothes I can live in.

Just hanging out in comfy clothes, doing my job (or at least a couple hours of it).

Comfy clothes or not, I'm so thankful I can be a productive person and have something to offer. Not too long ago I didn't believe I'd ever get back to work, that my days of contributing were over. I can't believe my brain is still working.

Something else that doesn't seem believable? One of our few still-green pumpkins in the garden. The vine found its way to the pea fence and I think it decided it's a good place to hang out until fall.

While my mind, body, and spirit was broken not too long ago, I wonder what will break first here- the pumpkin, the vine, or the pea fence?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 183 of 365

It's half over.

I am now six months into my year-long plan of taking a picture a day. My, how far I've come. Yet, ...

The other day I wrote about how posting on the blog early in the day relieves pressure from me. How after I post it feels like the important part of the day is done and I can relax.

Yes and no.

After 183 days you'd think I would have exhausted the picture-taking possibilities. Sometimes it feels that way.  I want every picture to mean something to me. Just like when I started writing here, my goal was to take a picture every day to show I had lived.

But sometimes it feels that my life isn't exciting enough to document. I'm just an average person living an average (or in most cases, a below-average) kind of life. While we traveled extensively in the past, we're not doing that anymore.

I have thousands of pictures I've taken all over this country. The White House, nighttime fireworks over Disney World, The Space Needle in Seattle, taxis in New York City, Graceland, Florida beaches, the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. But that seems such a long time ago, a different life.

Nowadays it's so much simpler. Just looking at the categories of pictures tells the story. Sewing, gardening, charity.

It occurred to me this blog has allowed me to focus on a simpler life. It gives me a reason to look for something important in each and every day. While occasionally I might feel guilty I'm not posting pictures of exciting things like trips and parties and celebrations, the pictures are a genuine representation of the person I am.

I am a homebody. I like to cook and sew and garden. And who knew I would be someone who likes to make things for charity? (Certainly not me.)

Even though I sometimes feel pressure to find a picture, I always come up with something. Something unique, or important to me, something I've made, or something that fits in with how I'm feeling. I guess the universe is on my side, cheering me along.

Looking back to six months ago, I could never have predicted where I'd be now.

Back on Day 1 I had blinders on. It was dark and I couldn't see anything around me but the pain. In that first post I even struggled coming up with things I was thankful for. But over the course of the last six months, having a purpose - taking a picture and writing about it - forced me to get myself out of bed every day. Getting out of bed for many of those days (and still some days now) was/is an impossible feat. Getting out of bed and having to do something was even more impossible.

But I've done it. For half a year.

I'm still taking pictures and writing every single day. My charity work continues. I do weekly how-to videos now. I committed to an exercise program for four months, and now I'm at it again. I'm back to work doing a new job I enjoy. My confidence which was so sorely missed over the last 18 months is returning.

Although, the pain relief I was hoping for never came to be. It's as bad as before, but I'm developing better ways (mentally and physically) to cope with it. I still have my same frustrations with pain and fatigue, but I'm managing.

A couple people have asked me if I would continue this past the 365 day mark. Maybe. I am absolutely certain that if it wasn't for this "project", I wouldn't have made the growth I've had. I can't imagine I'm halfway to where I want to be. How long does it take people to be where they want to be?

At this six month anniversary, I didn't celebrate. But it just so happens this is the day my mom came to my house for the first time since she moved back from California. My daughter was here, too, so we spent some time today in the kitchen and with some garden produce. All of us now have plenty of food to take to work, home, and freeze.

Our table at the end of the day told the story:
  • 71 tomatoes, 30 jalapenos, and 5 bell peppers picked from the garden.
  • 1 batch of salsa made (from the garden produce).
  • 9 loaves of zucchini bread baked (from garden zucchini).
  • 6 jumbo sized banana muffins (from leftover bananas).
  • 10 fried peach pies (from dehydrated peaches brought back from California).

Three generations of women baking. Probably a celebration in its own right.