Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 639

When I look back to the early days when we first married I sometimes think, why did I do that?

Take Christmas presents for example. Young hubby would shop for me at Christmas, but being he was/is only able to use one hand he found it difficult to wrap presents. Some years he would pay to have things wrapped at the mall, but mostly he brought the presents home unwrapped.

And I would wrap them.

Wrap them with a twist. Hubby wanted me to be surprised on Christmas so I would wrap presents blindfolded. (Do you know how hard that can be?!) We still joke about that now, but now I have also gotten wiser. I wrap my own presents not blindfolded, but only if I've bought them myself. (Otherwise he uses a gift bag.)

I bought these sewing scissors for Christmas and they just arrived in the mail today. I'll soon have them wrapped and under the tree but I just had to take a picture first.

The most beautiful pair of scissors I've ever owned!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 638

What do you get when you have a husband whose new hobby is cooking? A husband who is tired of the run-down potholders? A husband who decided to pick out fabric for some new ones?
A husband who decided he wanted to learn how to sew?

You get these. Every stitch sewn by him. 

First time ever using the rotary cutter and the seam ripper, but the most impressive - the first time he ever used a sewing machine. I never thought this day would come.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 637

Hello, my name is Deb and I'm obsessed with taking pictures. Of frost. Again.

Another rose bush...

A spiderweb in the tree...

Black-eyed Susan...

Windshield of the car under the carport.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 636

It isn't the picture I take that I regret. It's the picture I don't take that causes me to wonder why didn't I?

So despite the foggy, cold, very frosty morning I headed outside before sunrise, before work, to take pictures that could only be found on such a day.

First, the burning bush.

Then the roses. You know how they say no two snowflakes are alike? I believe the same can be said about ice crystals on the leaves of rosebushes.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 635

Every time I opened my mouth today, no matter what words came out, hubby said that's a song. And he was right. About any combination of words is an actual true song. But no more true than when he started singing a Five Man Electrical Band song after I took today's picture.

Sign Sign everywhere a sign 
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind 
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign

What kind of picture would spur someone to break out in these lyrics? How about this one I took while waiting to be let through by the flagger.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 634

Hubby's trying to grow a mustache.

He's had beards and goatees during our time together but for the most part has kept his face clean-shaven. With no facial hair he's always had a young looking baby face, but now, with all this illness, he's looking very old.

The mustache isn't going to help things much. It seems that the majority of it is coming in white. Not light brown, not gray. White. I even took a picture. It is going to be a time-lapse of sorts. From stubble to full mustache. (If it gets that far.)

But I don't dare put that picture up today. I'm going for something much more colorful. Day 625 pieces turned into blocks on Day 626 and now have turned into a quilt top. Almost a quilt top, that is. The pattern calls for an additional border with some more applique. I just don't have the energy (or patience) to finish it yet.

I'm too busy with hubby having me count the white hair/brown hair ratio on the mustache.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 633

It took kitty no time at all to figure out my chair was the best place to be on a rainy day.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 632

If there was a world record for the greatest number of hours spent in brand new recliners, I think hubby and I would be in contention for breaking it. Since the chairs have shown up, that's where you'll find us. But spending hour after hour in the chairs have limited the pictures available for today.

I could have taken a picture of the geese flying over the river. Except the hunters are out and I would be afraid of capturing the very moment a goose started plummeting to the ground.

I could have taken a picture of us lounging in our chairs. Except our eyes were closed more than they were open.

So I took a picture of hubby's fireplace. Except it's not a fireplace.

He wishes we had one so he could sit in his new chair by a warm crackling fire, but we don't have a fireplace anywhere in the house. He found the next best thing - a candle. (Yeah, I don't get it either, but whatever...) I won't be surprised if he winds up using this picture on cold days as a backdrop on his computer screen!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 631

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you get to enjoy time with family and food.

I know I enjoyed the mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 630

I intended to love my living room, but after several years of continuing to add random pieces of furniture I grew to dislike it. End tables and lamps we bought in 1985. Chairs from the department store. A coffee table bought online way back when shopping first hit the internet. An immaculate thrift-store couch. I kept telling myself it was all going to come together but unfortunately it never did.

Fast forward to this afternoon. Out goes the over-sized plush green chair (if you're reading this, live around here, and know someone who might want it I'm more than happy to sell it super cheap) and out goes the striped chair (to the sewing room for that one). With a bit of furniture moving and the addition of two new rocker recliners I can finally say it's starting to come together. It appears those bookshelves need some attention, though. Nothing like a picture to show what things really look like!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 629

I thought the only early Christmas present we'd get were the chairs we purchased yesterday. I was wrong.

The phone call from the kidney specialist today was a Thanksgiving/ Christmas/ New Year's/ Birthday/ Anniversary present all rolled into one.

Back to normal. Hubby's kidneys, that is. After a full month in the hospital, losing so much muscle mass he was confined to a wheelchair, thousands of dollars in medical care, poking and prodding and testing and diet restrictions and massive amounts of medications, the kidneys have returned to function.

Now it's just a matter of him slowing tapering off the steroids. He has to build up his immunity and stay away from sick people (like teenagers), but he's on the road to recovery. A great present.

And here I thought all the paper towels I bought for him (he has a paper towel obsession) at a super price at Staples was going to be the best part of the day!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 628

We decided to buy ourselves some Christmas presents. A pair of matching presents, actually.


We have a set of rocker recliners downstairs in the basement but I worry about us making it down the stairs all the time. So today we headed over to the furniture store to take a look. (That's where I should have taken my picture. Over a hundred chairs and wouldn't you know we had to try out almost every one of them.) We did find what we wanted and even better, they're being delivered the day before Thanksgiving. Christmas is coming early in this house.

As for today's picture, we have road construction nearby that has turned the highway into a one lane road. Sitting in the car forever waiting for our side of traffic to be let through gave me time to look around to find a picture. All I came up with were the metal pieces on the semi in front of me. But the real magic happened when I pushed "pencil sketch" on my photo editing software.

Totally cool. (Although not as cool as it will be when I'm sitting in the new chair later this week.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 627

Only because of this blog did I step foot outside today.

I made juice for breakfast.
I worked in the sewing room on the quilt-in-progress from yesterday.
I worked on hubby's school work.
I worked on my school work.
I played Words with Friends.
I watched the last NASCAR race of the year.
I folded laundry.
I shopped online. (Nothing exciting, just paper towels.)
I scanned, then emailed something for my daughter.
I listened to Casey Kasem's top 40 - from 1979.

And I never left the house. Since not one of those things was worthy of picture-taking I had to venture outside after dinner.

It didn't take me long to find something colorful. The burning bush may have lost all of its leaves but the berries are sure bright.
I say that and then this comes up. Playing Words again tonight and I get the highest score I've ever earned, 111 points. Worth a picture to me.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day 626

He picked a hobby.

After forever of trying to get hubby interested in something to keep him busy, he finally picked a hobby. It isn't like he had too much a choice in the matter. As the days were winding down for him to get back to work he was getting antsy. Or maybe it was bored. But now with him not being able to return until at least January he had to figure something out.


He spent the majority of today in the kitchen. He made homemade pizza, cooked up chicken for tacos tomorrow, baked up more chicken for early in the week. Washed and chopped vegetables for my juice. A few times he asked about how to do certain things but for the most part he was on his own. 

I'm sure part of the reason he picked his own hobby was because he's getting tired of me dragging him into mine. He winds bobbins for me, he picked out buttons the other day, and now he's picked out the color combinations for the applique flower blocks. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 625

I'm so mad at myself because of several missed opportunities for picture taking today. If I had snapped all the photos I considered, things would have been a bit more interesting (and varied). But I didn't and they aren't.

So another day of work in progress. More blocks and triangles and applique pieces for another wall quilt I had started years back.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 624

Hubby was too excited to sleep last night.

He had a meeting lined up with his principal for this afternoon to talk about school. He was going to make sure he got the elevator key and restroom key so that when everyone went away for Thanksgiving break next week he and I could get into his classroom and get things set up for his return the Monday after Thanksgiving.

He was excited to see staff, excited to get back to teaching, so excited to try out new jokes on the students.

But when we walked out of the kidney specialist's office this morning we didn't have a work release slip in our hands. We had a shall-not-return-to-work slip. All through the day he and I continued to use the same word.


While we knew returning to work was going to require some accommodations, we didn't expect not returning was going to be an option. Kidneys still aren't there, but even more of a concern for the doctor is the high steroid dosage he's on. The doctor is super-concerned about the immune-system suppression hubby is experiencing right now. Being around other people - especially 170 kids a day (about how many kids he'd have in classes throughout the day), is dangerous to his health. Like being in a petri dish, the doctor said.

Hubby is disappointed, discouraged, defeated. It's for the best, but right now it's not feeling that way to him.

I did get him to laugh a bit today. We were stopping for milkshakes at Arctic Circle and the sign out front read No chocolate 99 cents. I went on and on about what kind of dessert it might be. Only when we got a bit closer did I realize I misread the sign.

While their sign might be a bit off, their shakes sure aren't.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 623

The sewing obsession continues.

As I was organizing the sewing room (one of those things I do when I feel yucky) I came across a box. A long-forgotten box. A box holding partially completed blocks I had sewed together. Blocks I had intended to use for a couple different wall quilts many years back. As I'm in the middle of projects (Alaska quilts sent, snowman quilt finished) it seemed as good a time as any to finish them up.

And thank goodness because working on these old projects has been enlightening. It takes seeing my old sewing work to realize how much better my sewing work is now. But how could it not? Just think of the hours and hours and quilts and quilts I have done. What a busy couple years I've had!

First top complete.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 622

I know things are bad, about as bad as they've ever been for me. How do I know? I can't even make it through a full day of work anymore. I struggle so much just to get there, only to find my fatigue, pain, and anxiety too high by afternoon to function. Only after coming home and taking  a long rest do I feel competent to get anything done. (Thank goodness I have a job that allows me time to work at home.)

I  know things are bad because every spare moment I have I hide out in my sewing room and keep the machine humming through projects. My snowman quilt is finished. I washed it up afterwards and now the quilting I did makes it look textured. 

I know things are bad because who in their right mind would spend days quilting thousands of far-from-perfect circles over the entire quilt? I wanted it to be like snow, but in hindsight I probably should have just quilted simple snowflakes.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 621

I could have posted a picture of the itty bitty snowflakes falling today but I've got a better one.

Call it interesting or cool or weird or gross or whatever you want, but it's just a cat doing what a cat does.

Licking her chops after eating her dinner.

Unfortunately I snapped a picture at the exact moment her tongue was going back in (or was it coming out?) of her mouth.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 620

I got a kick out of my husband last night. The football fanatic was watching Marsing High School play in the state playoff game on the Internet, listening to Boise State play Hawaii on the radio, and watching Notre Dame play on the TV.

All at the same time!

I began to make fun of him but didn't get too far. He reminded me that I'm not any different when I get in my sewing room.

Who in their right mind makes three quilts at once? Guess that would be me. All three are ready to head out to Alaska this week.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 619

I'm glad the wasps are gone but I'm even happier to get a nice close-up picture of their nest.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 618

I'm starting to get a better understanding of this anxiety thing. It seems to be tied to leaving the house so I'm starting to think it's pain-related. Every time I have to leave whether it is for work or appointments or grocery shopping, the anxiety shows up. Those days I'm not having to go anywhere, not so much. Just thinking about how much pain I'll be in going down the stairs, getting in the car, walking from the car to the xyz, walking in the xyz, plus having to be pleasant to others when I don't feel so hot is enough to me want to go and hide. Unfortunately the doctor won't prescribe anything until he's sure it isn't linked to the arthritis flare ups. I had an ultrasound on my hands today and the results of that should determine the course of action. So, more waiting.

In the meantime the results of hubby's bone scan came back. Thanks to the heavy-duty, long-term use of steroids to help improve his kidneys he now has osteoporosis. He will start on some medication, but the damage has been done. It's not like he's steady on his feet anyway - between the cerebral palsy, the (possible) permanent nerve damage in his feet from the renal failure, and the tremors from (probably) the renal failure - he's an accident waiting to happen. He's still planning on going back to work after Thanksgiving but certainly won't be using the stairs on the way to and from his second-floor classroom.

And our daughter. Such a great kid. She started a new job today, a promotion at her work. She's been interested in this lead position that only occurs during the holiday season for several Christmases, and now it's hers. More responsibilities, employees that report to her, and a pay raise. We are so proud of her commitment to the working world.

We're also proud of her commitment to helping out her folks. After all her work in the rose garden she also found time to rake leaves. And boy, were there a lot! (Shh..don't tell her she's in the picture, too.)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 617

Recipe for Healthy Roses

2 adults, each with health issues
1 hard-working daughter with two days off from work
2 warm November days
2 wheelbarrows
1 pitchfork
3 garbage cans
10 large black trash bags
several pair of pruners and loppers

Mix all ingredients, making sure to take before and after pictures.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 616

I don't think I'll ever stop being amazed by the pictures taken at sunrise.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 615

I couldn't get through the day without taking yet another fall picture. Who in their right mind could resist taking a picture showing the yellow leaves and the beautiful blue sky on a highly unusual 70 degree November day? Not me.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 614

With the way things are for both of us, hubby and I didn't get very far with cutting back the roses today. We did have a helper but she was more interested in playing in the leaves than helping us in the garden.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 613

This is the week we're going to cut back our roses for the winter. (With kiddo's help, of course.) Before that happens, just a few last-minute pictures of roses still in bloom.

If you look closely on this next picture you can see a bee at work in the middle of the rose.
Knowing I was patiently waiting, the bee made another appearance.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 612

Our backyard seemed a good place to get fall-ish pictures today.

But I sure didn't expect to see a fall picture like this. Poor little Johnny-Jump-Ups are having to fight the leaves.