Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 643

Too tired from going to work today, I put off my picture until after dark.

That was a mistake.

I wanted today's picture to be of our Christmas tree. While there aren't any presents under it yet, I thought it would be pretty all lit up. So I snapped my picture after dark with the lights shining bright.

That was a mistake.

It didn't show off the ornaments. The ornaments are important this year. For when we downsized, we downsized Christmas too. All those boxes of ornament sets that I really didn't care much for - gone. All those ornaments that I didn't have much attachment to - gone.

What remains are the ornaments that I absolutely love. The ornaments that have stories behind them. Stories of our lives.

While this picture doesn't showcase all those special ornaments, I did use a special editing tool to give it a 1960s look. Being I was born in the 60s, I imagine that could be story in itself.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 642

I intended to get in the sewing room this morning and work on the new kid's quilt I have planned. Unfortunately for me someone else beat me to the room. (It wasn't hubby.)

This little one took over the ironing board, the new fabric I was planning on using, and the little pencil sketch I made of the design.

I didn't have the heart to wake her or pull any items out from under her. She slept there for hours!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 641

Years back we bought plum-colored throw pillows for the couch. It didn't take long for us to amass enough green-colored furniture to make the plum pillows obsolete. I whipped up some green slip covers from my fabric stash and we were set.

That was more than ten years ago.

But as of this week those green pillows are no more. With the new dark brown chairs in the living room it was time for another change. Off came the green, but living with the plum again just didn't feel right. Hubby thought about sewing up some brown ones (I think he might actually like sewing!), but I had another idea. 

Pillows to match the quilt that is hanging on the living room wall right now. The quilt from Day 622.

A new joint sewing project between the two of us has resulted in these:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 640

It came down to a question my husband posed. Do you want to get better?

As usual, yesterday's appointment with the rheumatologist was a mixture of good news/bad news. The best news was that the ultrasound on my hands showed no new deterioration of the joints. That also meant I didn't have to go back on the chemotherapy and the injections and the anti-malaria drugs for the time being. Unfortunately the ultrasound showed something new. Carpal tunnel syndrome.

It shouldn't be a surprise. With all the typing I do at work and all the sewing I do at home it would be surprising if something didn't show up. But that's only part of the continuation of issues. Pain is still high so he's increased meds for that. My blood work from yesterday still shows way-way-too-high inflammation rates so we're starting something new.


Every time the doctor has brought up steroids I've declined them. The side effects have always worried me and after seeing hubby on them the last few months I've become even more leery. But when hubby asked, Do you want to get better? I only had one answer.


So after trying to stave off steroids for years, I guess I'm going down that road. And I'm not happy about it.

The only thing I'm really happy about right now is the next sewing project for us. Some applique, some additional fabric, and a soon-to-be festive set of pillows for the new living room. (If you've been reading the blog over the last month or so you might recognize some of the cut-out pieces and will be able to predict what the design will be.)

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.