Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 701

From Easter to Valentine's Day I think I've got things covered. Yesterday's Easter quilt is on hold because I'm getting things ready for Valentine's Day.

A Valentine tutorial, that is. Yup, time to start the tutorials again. They've missed me and I've missed them.

First one up will be this coming Tuesday. We'll be using these materials:
Come back on Tuesday to see what we have going on!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 700

The theme of my next quilt is starting to show itself.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 699

I had to get the taste of that cow stomach/feet out of my mouth/mind. Sure, I brushed my teeth, had breath mints, ate some breakfast and lunch all the while trying to keep my mind off of it. Never have we ever had anything at Alejandra's we didn't like so we weren't going to let that Menudo hang with us too long.

So we just had to go back tonight.

Maria (the cook) made us Caldo de Res, Mexican Beef Soup. Add the rice into the soup, squeeze some lime over it. Oh so good. Just look at the huge chunks of vegetables!

Then Cocktel de Camarones, Shrimp Cocktail. There must have been a pound of shrimp in that yummy sauce!

And lastly, we started on the ensalada (salad) section. Fajita Tostada, beef. Kind of like a flat fajita taco salad. Another yummy.

The variety worked. That icky cow stuff is at the back of my mind.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 698

Hubby's never met a soup he didn't like. Whether he makes it himself or orders it in a restaurant, no matter has gross it looks, he'll clean his bowl.

But today was different. Today was our eat-through-the-menu-at-Alejandra's day.

We still had two antojitos mexicanos (Mexican appetizers) to tackle.
Nachos Supreme, beef.

And quesadillas, chicken.

And then we started in the sopas (soups). Unfortunately the first one up was Menudo. Menudo, the soup made with cow. Cow stomach and cow feet.  While we both had several spoonfuls, we sure couldn't clean the bowl. Just knowing all the fatty, chewy chunks of meat were the parts of the cow usually thrown away was just a bit too much. Even for soup-loving hubby.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 697

That gunky snow-slush-ice-rain mixture in the road did freeze last night.

A big thank you to the birds for trying to break it up and keep us all safe.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day 696

It finally rained last night. And that caused what happened this morning to happen. Because last night's rain froze.

I awoke this morning to hubby calling me from the back yard, asking to be let in the back door. He's been using the front door a lot nowadays - smaller steps, rails on both sides, easier for him to get up and down. I thought maybe he'd locked himself out or had his hands full or something else.

It was something else.

As he headed outside to take the mail to the mailbox across the street - and used the front steps, the ones not covered by the carport - he fell on the ice. Didn't even make it to the street. Didn't make it much past the bottom of the steps, even. The ice was so bad he couldn't get up. He scooted his behind down the sidewalk (he said it was pretty easy, being super-slick and icy) and around the corner to the carport. Unfortunately hubby is still pretty weak and can't get up from the ground. So more scooting he went until he got to the back steps where he could grab onto something to pull himself up and give me a holler.

No broken bones, not even bruised (maybe). Tomorrow will tell.

It's raining more right now. Just look at the mess of snow and slush and water in the road. If this freezes, they'll really be no going to the mailbox for some time.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 695

The elusive woodpecker has finally shown himself. That is I think it's a woodpecker. As I look closer, maybe not.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 694

Snow day for me, late start and cancelled class for kiddo in college. Unfortunately for hubby his school district decided to have school.

Ice Storm 2013 is what the news called it. Lots of school districts closed, a 80 mile stretch of freeway closed in the wee hours of the morning. Part of it still closed late this afternoon. Good thing I have no where to go.

I wish I could say no where to go and nothing to do. But I can't. A big project at work has me working from home - in my pjs.

Of course I just had to do a little bit of fun stuff on a day off. A new project. (Actually an old project that was stuffed in my quilt patterns. The fabric had already been cut and just needed to be put together). It's a long way from being finished but can you tell what the theme is?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 693

This sure has been an exciting month. We bought our retirement home, daughter went back to college. Got my mom moved into our new place and daughter into grandma's old place. And hubby and I are eating our way through Alejandra's.

If you've been reading here a while you know we are fanatics of the hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant in Marsing, Alejandra's. While we go there at least once a week (sometimes more) we usually wind up having the same few items.

No more.

We have decided we're going to eat our way through the menu, starting with the first page. Every visit, something different. A fun adventure. First up on the front page antojitos mexicanos (Mexican appetizers).

Plates from left to right:
Taquitos, botanas, flautas.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day 692

I'm sitting here proud as can be.

She's doing it again but this time with more motivation, more gumption, more enthusiasm. It isn't just because her parents expect it; it's because she wants it. This time around it won't cost us a penny. Probably won't cost her too much either since she qualified for grants this time. The girl who quit and joined the working world has decided it's the right thing at the right time.

Our daughter started back to college today.

She'll be busy. She's going to continue her regular job while going to school full time. I'm not sure we could be any more proud of her. She's not too many credits away from her AA in Criminal Justice and if the right classes are offered this summer, this coming August she'll have a certificate in her hands. And after that, who knows? Maybe more school, maybe not.

Good job, kiddo. We know you can do it and we're so excited for you!

(But not too excited about today's temperatures.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Day 691

How'd you like to wake up from your recliner and see this staring at you?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Day 690

I've always loved the look of aerial pictures. But being I don't find myself flying anywhere these days, this picture is the closest I can get. If you squint, you might be able to mistake it for a dried up lake in an alkali desert.

Snow + Ice + Salt/Ice Melter = this picture taken of the cement on the back part of the carport.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Day 689

Looks like I've got some people joining me in taking cold weather pictures. Nancy sent this one of icicles on the roses outside her window.
And my contribution for the day? More of that freezing fog. Looks like snow from afar, but up close it looks like ice shavings.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 688

I know I need to stop but I can't. There are just too many good pictures this winter!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 687

While this is technically another cold picture (taken on another very cold day), let's pretend it isn't.

After all, it IS the sun.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 686

I can't stop taking pictures of cold things. Lucky for all of us, I'm only posting one of them today!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 685

This notice is to inform you that the request for benefits (for infusions) has been denied based upon our review of the information provided by (your doctor).

I thought the third time might be the charm. The insurance company would take pity on me, look at my lengthy medical records and my even lengthier list of medications taken over the course of the past few years, and render a favorable decision. No such luck. Three pre-approvals submitted, three denied.


I'm just gonna keep on keepin' on. Steroids are helping with the pain, but are coming with a whole slew of side effects. Again, whatever.

At least they help me enough to spend lots of time quilting. The local bank collects and displays quilts donated for the Marsing Disaster Auction, so if you happen to be in Marsing anytime before February 2, stop by and take a look at this big (56" x 56") beauty. Done by me. (Still not thrilled about the orange, but from afar it looks pretty darn good.)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 684

When you're young you think you're invincible. You will live forever, work forever, play, go out, do whatever it is you do forever. In my husband's case, he thought he was going to teach forever. He knew retirement would come someday, but no where in the near distant future.

But when you get sick, really sick like he was, your perspective changes. It changes who you are in the present, it changes how you look at the future. It shifts your priorities. Life becomes too short to squander it away. Too short to be wasting your time on things that no longer matter. Things like a big house.

At one point in our lives we had been dreaming of retiring to Arizona, but then figured retirement would come and go and we'd still be right here in Marsing. Sitting in our 4 bedroom, 3 bath house on a large lot with a rose garden, a vegetable garden, a shade garden, and a perennial garden.

With his illness came clarity. A new dream for retirement.

2 bedroom, 2 bath, very small yard. In a 55+ community in Boise.

Tonight we took a huge step (a leap, really) in securing a future where the important things matter. Where bigger isn't better.

Our new home. And a bonus for my mom - a place for her to live until we're ready to head to Boise.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 683

Kickin' my behind is what the chemotherapy drugs are doing. Last time around they knocked me down and out and this time isn't any different.

Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday-Friday-Saturday I feel great (thanks, steroids!). I take the chemo stuff on Saturday, and wind up having a sucky Sunday and Monday. The pattern has already re-established itself.

Today I had my heart set on finishing the Disaster Auction quilt and even had the entire day to finish it. I'd work for a little while, then get too tired to do anything but sit in my recliner. And wouldn't you know it, every time I sat in my recliner today I fell asleep? Three, four, (or was it five?) different times. Sleep, back to quilting, sleep, back to quilting. Again and again and again.

I'm certain I'll be able to finish the quilt this week, but as for tonight a picture of a partly-finished quilt will have to do.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Day 682

Another day of Would you Rather?

Would you rather look down on your drive to Boise and see this temperature outside?

Would you rather get to Boise, take your mom out for a birthday lunch, and get to share her birthday dessert? Baked apple dumplin at Cracker Barrel.
Yeah, me too.

Happy birthday, Mom!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Day 681

When I walked in the sewing room today my only thought was, "Seriously?"

Is it really necessary for you to be sleeping on top of the Disaster Auction quilt?! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day 680

Hubby got his Winter Wonderland call at 5:30 this morning and I got my at 6:30. No school. Snow Day!

A combination of freezing rain and snow blowing in sideways, sticking to everything, led to almost every school for over 100 miles being closed. (That'd be Parma all the way to Glenns Ferry.)

Snow shoveling, quilt sewing, cat watching, phone call making, kindle reading, bookshelf cleaning, and of course picture taking. All today.

You can see how the snow blew so hard it stuck to the side of the fence.

Stuck to the north side of the trees, too.

Not sure the burning bush can hold much more.

Kitty doesn't like her paws in the snow. But she found a tire track and followed it down the road. Thank goodness no cars were around.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 679

Making good progress on the quilt for the Disaster Auction. I'm not so sure about the center block color I chose but I think once it all comes together it'll be fine. I hope.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 678

Usually it's the kitty waiting for us on the porch after work. Not today. With the kitty in the warm, dry house a couple birds took advantage of the predator-free environment.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Day 677

I'm not one who cares much about what the neighbors do or have. But there has been this skull sitting across the fence that I see every time I look out my sewing room window. I never paid much attention to it until today.

Something intrigued me about the snow coming down - and continuing to pile up - on a skull that sits on top of a barbecue.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 676

I feel good about the progress I made on a new charity quilt today. This one will be for the Marsing Disaster Auction next month.

Now, if I can just get my helper to turn the machine on and off for me...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day 675

For someone who is trying to simplify things I sure am complicating them. Take the snowmen for example.

I made a quilt that I adore on Day 622. It's now hanging on our living room wall.
We figured since we had a quilt that we could keep up for the winter, we might as well make matching throw pillows for the couch. That happened on Day 641.

And now, here comes a table runner for the coffee table. I think I better stop before this  really gets out of control.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day 674

While I'm thankful for the steroids working - my pain and stiffness has subsided greatly - I'm not thankful for the side effects. Headaches, anxiety, high blood pressure, an always-on-edge feeling, and the weight gain. Especially the weight gain. As I look in the mirror I see a big ole' balloon. A big balloon body and the beginnings of the steroid-looking face, all round and pudgy. It is getting so I won't even look in the mirror anymore. But I'm thankful for the temporary relief the joints are getting.

I thought when I went to the rheumatologist he might take me off the hard-on-my-body drugs, but it appears I'll be continuing them for at least another month. He also broke the unfortunate news that the disease - rheumatoid arthritis - is running rampant and needs to be controlled.  That it's time to start back on the chemotherapy drug and it's time for another attempt at insurance approval for the infusion IV drug. Dang it. Dang it for the test results, too. Another mess of abnormal tests and a sky-high, higher than ever inflammation test.

But I'm still thankful. Thankful I can now get out of bed in the morning and do things. Things like take early morning pictures in the one degree weather. Beautiful, icy pictures. I feel so lucky to be able to take pictures like these.

What looks like snow is really ice crystals. Moisture in the air freezing to trees.

In this picture, what looks like white dots in the tree are where the sun is reflecting off the ice crystals at just the right angle.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 673

Would you rather?

Would you rather step out into the cold and see this sunrise? Or...

Would you rather get in the car and find out how cold it really is?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Day 672

He did it! He left the house at 6:20 AM and returned at 4 PM. Hubby, after being so, so, sick has made it back to school.

His first stop after heading in the door? Off with the tie, off with the shoes, and into the warm bed for a nap. One day down.

I couldn't figure out what to do with the extra time by myself. Sew? Bake? Clean? I mostly sat in the recliner and watched the snow fall, then when the sun broke through found my way to the bed for a little rest. I did spend a teeny tiny bit of time sewing my next project, a snowman table runner.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day 671

If I wasn't so worried about what people thought of me I would have taken a picture of vodka bottles today. Not from a New Year's party and not from me or anyone I know.

From the water heater.

We spent this morning with the inspector at the new place in Boise. He called us to the back bedroom to show us where the water heater was - in the back of the closet, behind a panel. When you look at the closet it looks normal, but when you remove the panel, voila! There is a water heater.

And two empty bottles of vodka.

Guess someone living there must have had a drinking problem. A big enough problem to hide their bottles behind a panel in the closet. I so wanted to take a picture but was too afraid in front of the inspector, the agent and her husband, and my mom to go grab my camera and take a picture of the comical sight.

I instead found an even better picture when I stopped by to see my daughter. The fine snowflakes falling on her jacket were beautiful. This snow's for you, Lisa!