Thursday, April 30, 2009

Later, same day

Well, I didn't do very well on the to-do list; but I did get all the laundry except linens done. Lillian keeps telling me she will do it when she gets home, but I don't want her to have to do it.

I have to have a pre-op physical and series of tests as the ones from last October are too old-so that got scheduled for Monday afternoon. It really messes up my work schedule, but Siane will go with whatever I need to do, like going back and forth or just taking a sick day for the whole day. The pre-op people at Shady Grove Hospital were great; they told me that if my primary care office can't fit me in so close to surgery, they have a clinic I could go to. Nice to know, but not necessary.
I will be so glad when this is over!

I'm going to crochet tonight and not feel guilty. Now, I'm off to find a metric tape measure for Lou (don't ask me why, I'm not sure I want to know).

Another click, another clack

Go look, maybe join. Once in a while we do need to take a step back and focus on ourselves. This challenge does just that: make a list of projects for you, and finish them throughout the summer. Hmmm, spoiling ourselves for a change? what a concept! I'm not sure I'm going to be able to meet this challenge, but again, it gives me something to focus on besides dealing with cancer.

Yesterday at work the system was down most of the day for an upgrade and the training session had been scheduled for Friday. Though I don't work Fridays, it seemed to me a smart thing to plan on being there. About mid-morning, I got an email that the session had been switched to Thursday. It took me about an hour to reschedule everything from Thursday to other days, and I wasn't a particularly happy camper. But, I did my thing and got work done then went for my haircut. And I got them all cut-but back to that in a moment. When I got home there was a message that the session had been canceled altogether because there were problems with the upload. Pissed me off a bit, but I'll deal.

Yes, I got them all cut. I explained to Elizabeth what's going on and that I basically needed a haircut that would be easy to manage and not develop into bedhead hair, and so I went from shoulder length to barely there-a feminine kind of boy cut. It's very feathered on the top and sides but real short in the back-perfect. it will probably shock some people, but they forget that I usually get it cut short in the spring so I can drive Miss Lucy with the top down and not have hair all over the place.

I'm hoping to get Donna's apron mostly finished today once I stop wandering around the internet. I'm not sure when the dog show circuit starts, but I want to be able to check off something on my list of to-dos. It would be nice to finish Emma's and Gadha's too, because those are money generators, but they both understand that it may not happen BS (before surgery) so, though on the to-do list, we'll see.

I'm acknowledging the fact that I am not Superwoman, and that I will not get all my to-dos done BS. Oh, well. I think maybe if I prioritize what I want to do, some of it will get done. Probably the things (livingroom piles, diningroom table stuff) that drive Lou crazy are the ones I should start with.......

Well, I'm going to sign off and see if I can shake off this "want to get back in bed because it's ugly outside" mood and get moving.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hot day

Another beautiful day here today, I could almost get to like it if it stayed this way; but tonight the temperatures will drop, we'll have rain, and tomorrow will be miserable. Okay, not miserable, just crappy.

I'm lining up all the ducks in a row regarding the surgery and feeling pretty good about it. The insurance is taken care of, I should be getting the updated requirement sheet from the surgeon today or tomorrow, and I've got a comfortable terry cover up for wearing home.

Now, to the IMPORTANT news: My daughter, Lillian Rose, is a published author!! Her advisor from Brown, Jim, finally got one of the papers together and it has "gone to press". So very cool and amazing, of course she is the last author, but Lou says that means she did all the work. I do remember seeing lots of those images on her computer screen. But it is definitely cool.

KS is cruising along. She called me today after her meeting with her advisor and asked, "How would you like to go to Spain or maybe Latin America over winter break?" It seems she was talking to Wey-Gomez about an honors thesis, and he suggested she would learn so much more from research looking at the the actual paintings rather than just studying them in books. I wonder if he has a cutting of the money tree we could transplant so it would be blooming nice big hundred dollar bills by winter break.....

Tara got me interested in looking at a few sites she visits, and I signed on to do a quilt-along. I have never really quilted before, but this is an easy nine patch pattern that I think even I could do without messing up. the idea is to do a square a day (or like 7 on the weekend) and by mid-summer have enought to put together as a quilt. I may wimp out and only make it baby sized and then I'll have the perfect gift for Jamie's one-on-the-way. Since she's due in August, I would be able to have it finished by the shower. Sounds like a plan, right?

Monday, April 27, 2009

The azaleas are out!

When I got home from work today, the azalea transplants were starting to open! Lou thinks they would not have survived another season in the sideyard, and I agree. They're so pretty, when they're a little fuller I will take a picture to share. And, in the shade bed under the magnolia, the lillies of the valley are opening. This is really one of my favorite flowers from childhood. We had a huge patch in the backyard, up against the neighbor's garage. I like to think the fairies really are out there among the leaves, and in the very quietest part of the night, they come out to play the "white coral bells". It must be incredibly sweet music.

Leslie really liked her apron, and she plans on wearing it when she gives a party next and when people ask where she got it, she's going to say "I know this woman who makes these incredible aprons. Would you like her web address?" So, I guess that means I have to get this surgery under my belt and get sewing. That's okay, it's rarely a hardship for me to sit down at the machine. I want to make a variety of half and full bib styles, G-d knows I have enough patterns and enough ideas of changing them that I won't run out of styles very soon. and therein lies the rub: how do I decide which styles to concentrate on? Most of my apron wearing friends prefer full styles so they have lots of hand wiping space. I prefer half aprons for "show". Well, I'll figure it out eventually.

Next on the list is Donna's dog grooming apron. The material is so cute, little paw prints all over the place on a pale tan background. I'll be making a smock type covering, with sleeves, and nice pockets for tools. She's asked for velcro on the pockets to keep things from slipping out, but I think that will just collect dog hair. I'm thinking more along the lines of short zippers. So, tomorrow after AC Moore I will start drafting her pattern, and hopefully she will be done by the weekend.

I think Gadha's mother and daughter matching styles will be similar to the one I made for Leslie. Simple, with style, and washable!

Hmm, am I having too much fun with this? Maybe, maybe not.

Today at lunch Angie was making an ankle bracelet from the stuff we got last week, and I put it on to model and told her I was keeping it. I know she won't let me pay for it, and it's so cute and feminine. Shiny silver, too, my favorite, although as Lou says, since it's just silvertone it will probably turn my skin green if I leave it on too long....we've had that happen before.

Well, I think I'm going out on the deck to enjoy the bat show until it's too dark. good dreams to all.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Softly comes the night

Well, I feel like I've had a busy weekend and enjoyed every minute of it! I got caught up with my Weight Watcher buddies and am still doing fine on the scale so to speak; it may only be in tiny increments, but I continue to lose weight which means I'm probably not stress eating (and isn't that a surprise?).

I found a place to recycle the packing peanuts and Friday Lou and I took 6 black garbage bags of peanuts to the Mailboxes Plus on Rockville Pike. The guy was really glad to have them, and I'm glad they aren't going into the landfill. We also sent the cuckoo clock up to Brown for the exhibit Sarah is helping to organize as part of one of her classes and was able to send it from the place we recycled the peanuts. I have one big box and half a bag left of peanuts, but Angie wants them for when she moves to South Carolina. I also got the rest of the OR boxes unpacked, it was a major undertaking, but everything is organized in the yellow room and once I'm feeling better after surgery, I will start working on the doll clothes.

Saturday I straightened up Sarah's room so she'll have a bed to sleep in when she gets home, the other stuff she will have to decide if it's "get rid of, store, or find a new place for". She will have all summer to do it. Now, I just need to rearrange the master bedroom so that it will be easy for me when I get home from the surgery.

Today was anothe spectacular weather day. I mowed the lawn early before it got too hot, and while Lou dealt with the plants, I started moving the trimmings and dead limbs from the "junk" pile by the fence to the area in the sideyard I want to passive compost in. We actually made two piles, one of kindling and one of compost. I got about half way through the pile and decided it was getting too hot to keep going. After a quick shower, we went to B3 (Bed Bath and Beyond) and got the terry cover ups they had advertised this week, I figure they will be good for post surgery as they are light and non-restrictive. We also stopped at the store and stocked up on the steaks on sale for when Lill is home. We do like our red meat, that girl and me.

Once home I started on a new apron idea I wanted to try, a full apron with a flounce (not ruffle) that I wanted to make reversible. I made it in Leslie's colors, her kitchen is black and gray, so one side is a black print on a very light cream background, and the other side is a Sabbat print in blue on white. so, she will get it as a gift. There is a slight "bleeding" of color through, but as this was a prototype, it doesn't matter that much-but I did decide it's not a pattern I want to use for reversible again. I will probably make it up in the yellow stripe and blue/yellow floral print for Lill so she'll have an apron to use on a daily basis. And, speaking of daily basis, please go visit:
and read about National Apron Day. I plan on making something new for myself to wear that Monday, maybe a showy little hostess half apron. I also want to order some of the matzo print fabric online so that I can make Passover and Chanukah reversibles, and I still think I'll make a few Christmas and Chanukah reversibles for the mixed families we know.

I hadn't been to the swap site for a few days, and what I read there today upset me a bit. There are some people who haven't honored their commitment and sent their partners their aprons. I feel bad-I know I couldn't wait to get mine and I couldn't wait to hear what my partner thought of hers. There's been some discussion about how people feel, and of course there really is no way to know if people will flake or not. i'm really glad my partner didn't because I've made a new friend from this who loves the same needlecrafts I do; sewing, knitting, crochet. Love and kisses to you, Tara! And I've made another friend, Karlie, who also loves needlework. It's a joy to me to have these girls to email with and check their blogs and see what's going on in their lives.

Louis, the love of my life, continues to absolutely pamper me. He always has, but now with this surgery ahead of us, he is taking extra care to see to my needs. So, imagine how touched I was when I went out on the deck yesterday and saw the lounge chairs set up next to each other. I made a gin and tonic for us to share, and as we sat he remarked how the chairs were the perfect height to filter the sun on the plants he'd moved outside and to keep them for getting sunburned while they reacclimated to the outdoors. I said, "So, this wasn't set up for us to enjoy the evening?" and his answer was, "well, that's an added benefit"....what can I say?

Tomorrow I'll see if I can get a hair appointment because it's really too long to be driving around with the top down on Miss Lucy. I'm about a month overdue for the convertible haircut, but since it was so cold and rainy I didn't rush it. After this weekend, I KNOW I need it cut.

The only other possible score on tap is that the AC Moore online ad this week showed Adirondack chairs. When I called the store, I was told they have a lot in stock. We were going to go and pick them up, but when I got ready to print the coupon, they had two: one for 25% off the entire purchase this week, and one for 50% off one item on Tuesday only. So, we will print two coupons and go pay for them separately, and then Lou will have a job to put them together and stain them. It was really weird that they advertised them this week because I had just said to him I'd really like two chairs on the front stoop, and he said he'd really like Adirondack chairs in wood, not another plastic one like the one we have from Everett St. the only other ones I'd seen were $99 at World Market, so now I will have my chairs for about $70 instead! I just love that store!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Everyone's a Critic

So I sent the pictures of my apron to the kids to see, and of course KS has to comment on my clothes even though I told her I know she needs to remake my wardrobe. I could do it myself, but I've got other things to do. Besides, it gives her such pleasure to tell me I look like a dork. it must be a burden to have a mom like me-tough luck, girls! I think one of the best parts of life is to realize that no matter how hard we try or think we want to be different, we basically become our parents as we age. Since I really liked my parents, I think that is a good thing!

We are in for about four days of beautiful weather says, so we will be enjoying coffee on the deck watching the birds eat breakfast on the railing. They are so used to us already this spring that if they fly away when the door opens, they come right back within a few moments.

On my to-do list today are a variety of house jobs, none so big it will make me crazy (that job is scheduled for Saturday). Today I'm going to get Lill's room ready for her and do some sewing, maybe make an appointment for a hair cut. I need to find some place to recycle all the packing peanuts from the stuff sent from OR, right now I've got two and a half black garbage bags filled, three boxes to put into bags, and still about 6 boxes to unpack---that's Saturday's crazy job.

I have been getting lots of wonderful calls and emails from family and friends regarding the saga of Lefty and Righty. It's very true: what goes around comes around. After spending my life trying to be a good person and be available when I was needed, I am finding people are making themselves available to me. Weird place to be since I rarely ask for help-but it's still really comforting to know you are all out there, waiting to step up however I need you to. Thank G-d for you all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

here I am, ready for tea just like at Strathmore Mansion, sort of.....

Tara did a fantastic job and I just love it...just ignore the weird rain hair, but check out the gold lame tennis shoes.

of course blue is my favorite color

And here it is!! My swap partner, Tara's, gift to me! a very cute light blue apron with appliqued sections of cross stitch.... but wait, the next post will have the white side because I still can't get two pictures in one post.

We have a date

So, is this like a bat mitzvah or wedding, that we have a date? The surgeon's office called yesterday and my date is May 12. It will be an intensely long day as the first surgeryw ill take about three hours, and the second about 8 hours. But, I think it is better than having to go under twice. Just think, I'll wake up hating the world, but I'll have perky breasts and a relatively flat tummy. I'll probably be fairly black and blue through the process because my skin is so delicate.....who cares, as long as the cancer is cut out. So, Lillian will be coming in the 7th until the 26th. She and Jack will have to go to Providence to pack up Sarah, and bring her stuff home. That's okay with them. I still have to call Norman and Aunt Zelda, I just haven't had the heart yet. But, it will be tonight. Other than the date, I have no news as the surgical assistant said all the info would come by mail. So, enough of the cancer saga.

I have to admit I am a wimp: I cancelled my dental appointment for tomorrow becasue I figured what good does it do to have a consultation and then more than a month before we can start that work? yes, I wimped out.

So, everyone, you need to mosey over to the tinkerfrog blog of my friend Tara and look at the pretty pieces of stash she is using for a giveaway. But don't enter, I want more chances! They are half yard pieces that will make beautiful totes or a lap quilt, and I will need something to keep me busy after I am feeling better but not allowed back to work yet.....

Tonight Lou is taking my picture in my swap apron; I finally found my camera. I do have to say, though, not remembering where it was forced me to learn how to take a picture with my phone and then send it to KS. I know-shock-I'm entering the 90s......

the sky is getting very dark again and the rain is starting. I will sign off before the power goes off.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Evening comes

We have had a really nice day hanging around the house after our morning adventures. We are expecting a soaking rain tonight and possible thunderstorms tomorrow. It will do all the new plantlings good.

I got all the laundry done and the ironing of all the shirts and new materials. For me, there is something so wonderful about looking at the lengths of uncut fabric-is it the anticipation of what it will become? the excitement of the creative process starting? the feeling I have that in a few moments, when I make that first cut, I'm beginning something that will be intensely personal whether it is for me or someone else? I've never really defined what sewing means to me. For many of my growing-up years it was necessity. Then, it became not exactly a luxury, but an avenue to express myself. When my children were born it took on another aspect of expression and a process they could share in. I've always made jokes that my girls never realized Halloween costumes could be bought; but that has always been a treasure time for me-and I think we have every costume I ever made them. From the simplest ace of spades converted pillowcase to the rows of lace lining the skirt of the can-can dress, I've enjoyed all of it. Lillian sews a little bit, and Sarah has expressed an interest in learning this summer. What a wonderful legacy I can hand down to my girls. They also taken up crochet in the last year which also gives me pleasure to watch them create from yarn. I am a happy mother....

Good Morning!

We just got back from a plant sale at the church down the street and from the plant store. And did we score! Tomato plants for regular and cherry tomatoes, and some red raspberries to see if we can get to grow along the fence by Dave's yard, and a chinese maple. Lou is playing in his personal nirvana.

I just came back from the swap site and found another idea to steal-ribbon ties. A very cute reversible half apron. Looking at the paisley print used on one side, I realized that "vintage" means different things to different generations (duh...) If the rule of thumb is that 25-30 years makes something vintage/historical, and 50 makes it an antique, then lots of stuff I would consider "regular"-paisley, flower power prints, bright colors, etc. are really vintage to someone the age of my girls. The 70s are vintage to them; I think of the 40s and 50s as vintage. So, I guess all the tablecloths from my mom have now moved into the antique category.

I had my second cup of coffee on the deck this morning while Lou started puttering with the new plants. Unfortunately, neither the Mr. Lincoln nor the Enchanted Evening roses survived the past winter. I will have to call Jackson-Perkins on Monday, they aren't open today. I'm bummed, Mr. Lincoln is my favorite red rose, and the Enchanted Evening was a really pretty lavender, not as nice as Sterling Silver, but I thought it would be a heartier rose so that's why I ordered it instead of the Sterling Silver. If I have to worry about losing it anyway, I may as well get the Sterling Silver and have the rose I really want. I do miss the climate of the Bay area and Woodland for growing roses. They took so little care and were so healthy. Well, I'll find a good spot for them here eventually.

I'm going to sew...hopefully for a few hours....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday 4/18/09

Today has been a really beautiful sunny day and we have gotten a lot of stuff done. I was out early to get to CVS for vitamin C and the four pack of solar lights they have for $15. I got a set the other day and we tested them on the deck, they work well, and they are cheap, so that is good!

I finally got my newsy email sent to my reconnected friend from high school, Beth Nehampkin. First, she forgot a letter in the address, then I forgot a letter, then I suggested she get on gmail instead of comcast because it is so much easier!

I mowed the lawn and raked some of the leaves from the back yard into the area I want to be the passive compost pile. I'm hoping eventually the tree limbs and leaves will build up the soil area and it won't slope so much.

Today in an email Bonnie called me a hero. I'm not a hero, I'm just a person doing what I think is right for me and my family. I refuse to be paralyzed by this diagnosis of cancer. I refuse to have it take over my life like it did for a few days this week. The only thing on my non-cancer to-do list that I didn't get done today was sew and that's because I made the decision to play in the sun instead. What can I say? once a sun goddess, most likely always a sun goddess. I would do some sewing now, but I want to redo my nails because Lou and I are going to a performance at Strathmore Music Center tonight. Okay, family, pick yourselves up off the floor that we are going on a date night. But-it is Bernadette Peters and the acoustics are fantastic, and I didn't get to see Savion Glover with Angie, so we're going.

All the materials bought/found/ordered online that have arrived have been washed and dried. Tomorrow I will press then and then pick what to start after I finish Lill's blouse. My deal with myself is finish one blouse, make an apron, finish the second blouse. I have some really cute striped yellow and white material to use for an everyday apron for her, so if I make that one, I can get a package ready to go into the mail Monday after work. Her move to the new apartment seems to be going well and is well paced, so it shouldn't be too difficult tomorrow to finish with the big furniture.

We are supposed to have wonderful weather again tomorrow. I think we will have to find someplace to go with Miss Lucy's top down--it is definitely convertible weather.

As Levi says, love ya, see ya bye!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Can't she call?

My sister-in-law Judi doesn't realize that texting without a full kepboard is a major pain in the butt for me, but she obviously can't call at the moment, though where she is at 6:30 in the morning West coast time is beyond me to figure out.....the legos have arrived and she is still talking to us, so that is a good sign.

We met with the the plastic surgeon yesterday (and I wonder why they are called plastic surgeons-Lou thinks it's because they are "molding" something) and he's a gem. I feel very comfortable with him because he didn't gloss over the facts of the surgery. His part will be long, probably 8 hours at least, but the idea is to have everything happen at once rather than have two major surgeries to go through. He feels I am a good candidate for the DIEP flap procedure-so it's probably I good thing that I didn't exercise my tummy flat. The bright spot is that I get a tummy tuck out of the whole ordeal--they take everything out rather than just what they need. He did warn us that there would be a pretty long scar across the belly, and I told him I doubted I'd be doing any naked sunbathing since we don't have a pool anymore. He laughed. On the way home Lou said I needed to realize that with perky new breasts and a flat stomach, I'd have to get walking or rowing to take care of my butt and arms....since I was driving I didn't smack him.

I went on a short shopping expedition with Angie in the late afternoon, I realized that I was letting this side trip take over my life and that I wasn't thinking about the other things I want to do while in this "waiting" period for surgery. We got some cool beads and (of course) some material. Yesterday I had set some non-cancer goals for myself, and today I will start to work on them. I feel more like myself again; I think the few days of freaking out are over.

More flirty apron swap pictures are going up, again more great ideas I plan to steal and put into my own stuff. I love seeing what other people do!

I am going to start on my list of to-do things for today, and will be back later.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Swap received, part 2

Since Sarah is studying and I won't be talking to Tara until tomorrow about pictures in blog posts, I have to do it as two posts. Here is the surprise reversible side to the swap apron:

If you click on it you can see the detail of the Day of the Dead pattern which my partner said she has in her kitchen.

So, now that I know she's gotten it, I won't stress about it. Then, waiting for me when I got home from work were the fat quarters I won in the giveaway early in the swap. The pieces are bright and springy and the perfect surprise on the rainy day we have going here. It sure brightened me up!

Tomorrow I meet with a plastic surgeon who does the DIEP reconstruction and I haven't decided if I will still talk to the plastic guy who doesn't do it. It seems like a waste of time and co-pay when the options he'll be presenting aren't what I want.....when I was walking to the parking lot in the rain after work today I found two lucky pennies-I figured they were one for each side. See what I mean about how I feel this is taking over my life?

So, to set some non-cancer related goals: this weekend I would like to finish the first two of Lill's blouses. I would like to finish the second cotton hand towel. I would like to move more of my books to the downstairs bookcase in the sewing area. I think those are reachable goals since we won't be home Saturday night. It is the gala "birthday" weekend at Strathmore Music Center and though we are not attending the fundraising dinners and talks, we are going to see Bernadette Peters perform. I can't wait. the acoustics are so incredible in that music hall that no seat is a bad seat. I never heard from Jeff about the Savion Glover show-I gave him my tickets because that was the weekend we went to Eugene and because his daughter is a tap dancer. I hope she went and I hope she had a good time.

I'm waiting on Lou getting home-his nights are late this week because it is National Advisory Committee meeting week for this quarter. I am so glad it is in Washington this time and not one of the other centers. Even if he is late, I'm glad he is home this week.

Swap received

My swap partner finally sent an email that she received her package, so I can post a picture of what I sent. the apron was made from a tablecloth of Aunt Dorothy's, and the other items were from the resale shops. I sent the recipe for Busy Day Cake which was the standard recipe Mrs. Milkove used for everyone's birthday cakes. I still have the circus animals she used to decorate mine when I was 8 years old and we had to celebrate with the lights off because it was right after my eye surgery.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I keep forgetting

I keep forgetting to post this. Please add this to your favorites and visit everyday to click on the box:

this will link you to the site that collects clicks to give free mammograms to those in need. Wander through the stores, too, and you might find something you like.


What day IS it?

I got to work about 11:15 after the oncologist appointment, and for at least the first hour or so I thought it was Wednesday. I'm not sure why, but it was Wednesday until after 1 PM. Maybe I was in a rush to have this week over.

I am so glad that Dr. Raj is a part of this team of mine. She takes the time to listen to what I have to say, and then give her opinion. She agrees that I should go with the bilateral mastectomy, and the DIEP reconstruction. Fancy talk for "whack and redo"; and the best part: the DIEP reconstruction uses tummy tissue and vessels, etc. Essentially, I get a tummy tuck and I don't have to do all those crunches. KSarah has assured me that I will still need to keep that new shape in shape, and has offered herself as exercise partner for the summer. Sounds good to me. I have an appointment set for Thursday morning to talk with the plastic surgeon. Then Monday, the regular surgeon will be back from his trip. I'm hoping that the two procedures can be scheduled for the same time so I only have to be under anesthesia once. But, if it doesn't work out that way, then we go to plan B which is having the reconstruction later. Lill has offered up herself and Jack to help get KS packed into storage at school; I'm hoping this gets scheduled so at least I can go and give direction (orders?) since I won't be allowed to lift anything. I'm feeling more in control today-probably because Dr. Raj's agreement was a certain amount of validation for me.

Lill called and said that she is moving on Saturday. The saga of cat urine in the apartment that "never had any pets" is finally over. She will be moving to a patio apartment, 2 bedroom, for just a little more than she is paying now. I think she's going to be a million times happier because she will have more space and can separate her life into areas-relaxing, studying, sleeping, etc. Best part, it was previously rented by one of the maintenance folks who took out the carpet and put in hardwood floors. So, once she's settled in, she can get a few rugs and she will live happily ever after....or at least happily until Jack gets there.

More cute stuff going on at the apron swap site, and Shawnee is hosted a new one for Mother's Day. As much as I want to be a part of it, I don't think it's a good idea to commit to having to sew in the next few weeks.

Of course, that did not stop me from buying some darling paw print fabric for Donna's smock for the dog shows, or some really cute apple print cotton online for Gadha. I found this site called Bear Paw Quilting that has pages of fabric on sale for 3.99...I will have to tell Angie about it.

I want a YuDu. I have absolutely no reason to get it, but I want it really bad. It makes silk screening so easy, or it looks that way. The next time they have a demonstration at Michael's or AC Moore, I want to go watch it and drool. I am trying to figure out how to justify as a nonfood reward.......and maybe with enough time I will.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday, Monday-so good to me

today I added a few "stations" to my pandora account online and had wonderful music all day long. I think the "kids" I work with can't believe I listen to such "old" stuff, but it's so nice to have a genre of music and no commercials.

Lots and lots of tax checks to do before Wednesday, and the Sotheby's bundle was late so I have to finish that when I get in tomorrow.

I'll meet with the oncologist tomorrow morning and get her take on this process. I've pretty much decided what I want, it will be interesting to see if she agrees or not. Yesterday I told Lou how I hate that I feel this has taken over my life. Nothing can move ahead until we have these appointments, and I'm impatient to move on. I have decided that everyone close is a charter member of Team S, for San-Dee and Support. The emails and phone calls have been heart warming and overwhelming. Like the big cat in An American Tail, "I've got friends-lots and lots of friends!" and I love you all.

I've started on another of the crochet hand towels and it's very cute, but not as cute as the one hanging on my refrigerator. I'm using up the cotton yarn from the prayer shawl I made last summer and ripped out because it didn't drape the way I wanted it to, so I'm feeling that I'm doing a double mitzvah-making something useful and clearing out a little of my stash of yarn. Of course, Angie is planning a shopping expedition after we get paid on Wednesday, so I'm not sure the stash will visibly dwindle...

The aprons and surprise packages showing up on Flirty Apron are so cute, people have done some really cool things, but I still like mine best-Tara did such a nice job on it. I have worn it once to bake, and will wear it again when I make mandel bread later this week. Yummmmmm! Lou is ready-it's one of the few sweets he eats. I will have Lou take a picture of me in it so we can put it up on the site.

Believe it or not, I STILL have laundry to finish because we got side tracked by Dr. Who last night. I was really excited because I didn't realize David Tennant would still be the Doctor for a few was fun.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Late Afternoon

Well, I have been busy! I typed in and emailed to Lill a bunch of Passover recipes, mostly desserts but a few other standbys to have in the apartment. I got the laundry started and then was ready for a nap.

Lill called just before I got up. I think she had her freak-out about Righty last night and has decided that Florida is always there, there will be other launches, and she would rather be home when I have my surgery. She and Lou had a long talk, I only heard the endings, that that is what she decided to do. And that's okay with me. She has to be comfortable. After we finished talking, Lou and I went out and moved wood from Dave's and I restacked it in the side yard. A lot of it was already decomposing, so we only got about a half cord, but that's fine because it was free. When I checked into WW to record my lunch and activity points, a lot of the WWers had commented they came and read what is going on. Thanks girls, y'all are welcome anytime, and can leave comments if you want to. this whole blog business is new to me, but at least I'm writing things down......

The sun is still shining and I sat in the front yard with the dogs and generated my vitamin D while Lou planted his new seedlings-I can't remember what these are. I am a little upset that the roses didn't seem to make it over the winter, he will write Jackson Perkins and see what they say. I miss having a rose garden, but we don't have the sun we need for it here. there is one place along the brick wall by the driveway I'd like to try, but I think Lou is going to plant the gourds there so they can climb over the front bushes. won't we have an interesting yard this year?

For those of you who enjoy the American Songbook type music (30-50s or so) you should check out online. It started out as a high school station outside Cleveland, and people have kept it going for years because they really liked it. Lou and I have been listening for quite a while-i think it's almost all volunteer. Music is great.

Well, I FINALLY found a dog print fabric resource so I can make Donna her grooming smock. She has been getting completely covered when she does the brushing before showing the pugs. So, I have a pattern I'm playing with, and the material arrived yesterday. so, hopefully this week I'll get moving on it. I'll post a picture before I send it out to her. It turns out these people have a store not too far from Newport near the Oregon coast, so the next time we're off to OR and head to the coast, I'd like to stop in. It's a cute name-Goin' to the Dogs.

Well, I'm off to change laundry loads and jump in the shower.

Early Morning

So, the sun is shining gloriously today, a slight breeze is swaying the newly greening tree limbs and the temperature will be in the mid to high 50s. The perfect prescription for a walk in the park, you say? Yes, but we will be stacking about a cord of wood generously given to us for free by Dave, next door. He and Carol aren't making as many fires as they used to during the winter, and they want to turn the space where it's currently stacked into a garden. I will bet right now the ground below it is incredible humus....those are some very lucky plants!

As with my apron swap buddies, my WW (Weight Watcher) buddies have sent incredible healing vibes to me during this stressful couple days. They are an amazing bunch of women from all over the country, yet as close as if we all attended weekly meetings together. Instead, we attend daily meetings on the message boards!

Dr Who is still waiting, a wave of fatigue hit me when I finished writing last night so I went in to read a chapter and go to sleep. Even with the help of valarian it took a while, but it was a nice deep sleep until 7 this morning. Or was it the wine from last night? we'll never know, and do we care?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Catching Up

Yesterday was pretty stressful, and I couldn't write. So, today the story.

The doctor called midmorning at work, and told me the results of Monday's biopsies-the left side was clear, but the right side has a small cancer.

I immediately put in a call to Dr. Kravitz, the surgeon. He was able to see us in the Germantown office, so I left work and we drove up there. He talked to us about options, then gave us the names of of other doctors to set up appointments with before making a decision. We got home, I set up one with the oncologist and one with the plastic surgeon; at present I'm not bothering with the radiation therapist because I'm not planning on the lumpectomy which would entail radiation and chemotherapy (and have a 15% chance of reoccurence). We will compile a list of questions for the oncologist since Lou can't come to that appointment on Tuesday, he has his NAC meetings this week. Thank G-d they are not out of town this quarter. Then I sent an email to everyone all at once to let them know what was going on; and made a few phones calls to people I had to tell "in person". Everyone has rallied and responded so positively, Team S is ready to roll! Where-I haven't a clue yet, but my folks are ready!

So far, the players are: Dr. Kravitz-the surgeon, Dr. Raj (Rajagopal)-the oncologist and Dr. Faulkner-the plastic surgeon. I'm sure there will be more...

We took a great drive out to David's for dinner today. Food and company were fantastic, as always. We chatted about all kinds of stuff and the evening just passed pleasantly. It would have been nice if the girls were there, but we'll be doing that during the summer. Helen, his greyhound, was sweet as ever. Louis is right, if we ever have dogs after Violet and LuLu, we will do greyhound rescue.

A pleasant ride home, and now we'll watch the episode of Dr. Who from Lill.

my life is good, and will continue that way!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Finally, sitting with my feet up

I'm finally home after a really busy day at work. First I had to answer all the questions on why I was there on a Thursday, and since it's Passover and I'm not eating leavening, it's a good thing tomorrow isn't Pizza Friday-I would feel bad not to eat that great spinach one from Vace's. Weird to be working W-Th-F instead of M-T-W. Today I kept getting all these strange requests, like the guy who wanted cash for something we are buying from him. I tried to explain that would never happen; only to find out that the VP Finance had already explained it earlier in the week. Next there was the freelancer who needed his check "yesterday" so I had to get that ready for him to pick up. Thank G-d we do not have to live paycheck to paycheck. We don't have a whole left at the end of the pay period, but at least there's something there.

I'm glad to be home. Levi's legos came and the set is slightly different than the ad for it: it has 576 pcs instead of 400. Ah, the irony of life.....fortunately, for Jude's sake, it comes in its own plastic bin so he will have a place to store all the pieces. We just talked to him to wish him Happy Birthday-they were at the store where he was buying a BMX helmet with the birthday money he had saved up. He talked to us from under the helmet. it is red. It is wonderful to be 6.

I still have not heard from the doctor's office. The last time they called us after 6 PM, so I'm not worried yet. If we don't hear tonight, I am calling mid-morning tomorrow.

Karlie asked what I've been reading. I was thinking about continuing the civil war novel I'd started that Lou recommended, but decided I needed a little fantasy instead so I went back to the Valdemar books in Lill's room. I re-read the story of Kero (By the Sword) and picked whatever was next in line on the shelf. I do hope Lill's got them in order on the shelf, not that it really matters.

Her field trip for the weekend was cancelled because of the weather near Flagstaff. Probably a good thing because she needs some weekend time to renew and plan. They will be going there anyway, but maybe later on it will be better. I sent her the recipe for matzo puffs so she'll have "sandwich" rolls for Passover.

I found some great stuff at Goodwill the other day and I'm really jazzed about getting some vintage material aprons made to put up on my site once Alan and I can get it organized. Angie skyped this morning at work to give me a link to a pattern she thought I would like--I already have it! She is thinking about doing some jewelry, but the initial outlay for stones is setting her to thinking this may not be the best time. However, she is somewhat assured because yesterday at the Women's Farm Market, someone was showing silver chains at $40-60 and dong a brisk business. People don't seem to be buying the quantity they used to buy at the Market, but they are buying. I think I will wander over at lunch time tomorrow and see what people are showing. This weekend I need to pick up the material to make the aprons from Emma and Gadha at work. these will be pretty straight forward, but I'll play later with the stuff from Goodwill. AND, most amazing, while I was looking through my old Crochet Magic magazines, I actually found a pattern for a crochet hostess half apron. I may try it, I've got lots of size 10 thread around, it's just if I have the right siza steel hook.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday morning, 9 AM

That might have been the name of a Simon and Garfunkel album, or not, I don't remember. I can remember what the album cover looked like, but not the name.

I had a very busy day at work today having not been there since last Wednesday. I had a 3 inch high pile of invoices to enter on the system, and figure out how much in checks I'll need to cut tomorrow. Because of the school holidays for J'Naie, Siane won't be in tomorrow, so she asked if I would mind working Thursday and Friday and not using sick days for Monday and Tuesday. Works for me! So, I just got as much organized as I could, and did as much as I could, I still have one database to enter before I can start cutting checks tomorrow.

I did not hear from the doctors today, but I didn't expect to. I thought the nurse was being a little too optimistic when she said we'd know today. Whatever-I can't change what the results will be no matter how antsy I am for them. I'm glad I took yesterday off, though. I basically slept all day and Lou took care of every need I might have had. When I wasn't sleeping I was reading because I wasn't supposed to do anything strenuous with my arms....which ranks up there with telling me not to lift weights:)--I may be pretty silly and foolish at times, but I am not stupid. Especially when I know how much the sight of my blood upsets Lou, and he's the one who has to change the dressing if I pop the incision open. One of the interesting things about having delicate skin is the array of black and blue it turns when you get injured. For the MRI work they had to use a clamp to steady the tissue, so the red irritation mark of Monday has now become the black and blue marks of today. they ought to be really interesting when they get to the green and yellow stage.

KS (Sarah) is going to a seder organized by one of the band members tonight. She is going to co-lead with Rachel. They plan on singing all the verses of Chad Gad Ya and Dayenu. She's feeling very good about not being the youngest and having to say the four questions; it's left to "whatever unlucky freshman shows up" as she puts it.

Lill will be going to Linda's and having amazing food. She will probably have a lot of fun, too, since all the kids will be around.

We, on the other hand, will be very boring. It was just not a task we could take this year. Next year we will decide whether to make seder here and be able to check out Jane's "friend", or go west or north. But, we won't have to worry about that for a long time.

The sun has finally decided to come out today, at 5:30. I'm going out to sit on the stoop and increase my vitamin D.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

giving thanks

Starting this blog was one of the smartest things I have done in a while. Getting comments from people who share your interests is priceless. I need to get Vera on this and introduced to Karlie and Tara, they'd have a great time together.

Lill made a comment last night that makes a lot of sense: What if my swap partner is away because of vacation for the holidays, or what if she's not opening the package in anticipation of having something really cool to look forward to? Of course, Lill is probably the only person in the world who would look at a package, savor it, and wait to open it (oh, where did I go wrong with that child?). That, coupled with the comments from Tara and Karlie, made me realize I was fretting over nothing. It also brought out a little admission from the roseola: she hasn't been using the apron I made her because she's afraid it will get stained. All I can say (in caps for emphasis) is LILLIAN ROSE!! that's the whole point! you keep your clothes clean and then, just like Omi's Thanksgiving tablecloth, every stain that doesn't wash out is a reminder of a good time/something you made. I think I will use the yellow stripe fabric I got yesterday and make her something cool that she will use as opposed to save for hostessing--there are times I KNOW she is her grandmother's grandchild.....

Monday, April 6, 2009

Back at Home

So, we are back home from the tests. The MRI one was an hour and a half, a VERY long time to lay there without moving. Good thing I was doing my diaphragm breathing-otherwise I would have been wiggling all over the place. Then we had to wait for the other doc to show up for the ultrasound guided sampling, but it went pretty fast once she got there. The results should be in about Wednesday, but the nurse cautioned that it might be Thursday. I also have a chip in my breast for locating where the MRI samples were taken from. I asked if it was like the chip you can have put into your dog so that if I got lost I could be found. The nurse laughed, the doctor didn't. I thought it was pretty funny. I'm not working tomorrow because everything has to start healing and I'm not supposed to be moving my arm much. Monica, the nurse, was running down the list of things I should be cautious about and she said, "and no lifting weights." I looked at her and said, "Monica, does it look like I life weights?" She laughed and said it was nice to have a patient with such a good attitude.

On the way home we stopped at Goodwill and I got some cool apron fabrics and a very nice vase for my pussy willows, they should look really nice by the front door.

She must hate it. I checked the delivery confirmation, and my partner's package was delivered on Saturday the 4th around noon. I haven't gotten an email from her, so I will just sit here and try not to be upset. Tara made a very sweet penguin project for her niece-to-be and posted a picture of it. Once I'm back in the swing of things, I'm going to ask her about posting pictures because she is a whiz at it. Karlie also gave me some tips using the desktop, and I think I have that mastered. It's nice to have people to help when I have a question.

Lou is making me dinner and then I'm going to bed. This has been an exhausting day.

this just in

great place for aprons and other nice things. Cool giveaway for spring, but don't pick Hello, sunshine--that's my choice!

off to tests, be back later, maybe

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Happy Day

What a great day this has been so far. After our shopping expedition, we went to the bookstore to buy Levi a few books for his birthday since he's a "lean, mean, reacing machine". We got him Stone Soup and A Pocket for Corduroy. We love stone soup and if Jude doesn't have a recording of it as a song, we will copy and send it to her. And of course we had to get the other one because that's his nickname. A girl is the main character, but that's okay, it was the idea of using his nickname.

Then we came home and did some yard work out front. I mowed the lawn while Lou planted the pachysandra from the lady who gave us the tortoise. It will be really nice on that side of the driveway when it gets established. Then we planted the new plants Lou bought. They will be especially nice because they flower in the fall.

I sent Jude a recipe for chocolate chip cookies for passover because it's good for lunches and the boys want to try and "keep" this year. As she says, we'll see how that goes. It will be hard on her, another of the "firsts" to get through without her mother. She's doing well, sometimes I wish we were closer so we could "squeeze her little head" and let her know she's loved and appreciated.

Good morning world

Well, I wasn't going to say anything about yesterday's adventure, but I think a short summary needs to be somewhere, and here is a good place as my daughters don't read this blog.....

We went to pick up the donated tortoise yesterday morning and,though I love him dearly, Lou side-tracked me while I was moving stuff in the trunk of Miss Lucy to make room for the stuff. I felt my pocket and thought the keys were there, unfortunately they weren't and got locked in the trunk when I closed the lid. Fast forward to 3A kid coming--he gets the door open, but the trunk release won't work because the key didn't open the door, the car thought we broke into it. Now, to add to this mixture, the house key was on the ring in the trunk. 3A kid drops me at the house where Lou was waiting with all the tortoise stuff (the folks had given him a ride home). We look, we debate. Of course we have really been on top of things and any door/window reachable is locked. The only house keys around are Dave next door-who isn't home-and people out of town. I win the debate: he steadies the ladder while I climb up to the second story bathroom window which isn't locked, open it and do a tuck-and-roll through into the bathtub. I open the door for him, he gives me that look, and we take the LeBaron and go get Miss Lucy. I will never do that again. The moral of the day: we are getting keys made to go in our wallets, and hiding one outside because he will NEVER let me climb that ladder that high again. And to be honest, I don't want to do it again.

On a much cooler note, Alan had registered my website and it is "under construction by Web-n-Data Services". After Monday's three ring circus we will start building what needs to go on. I'm really excited. Even if no one ever goes or buys anything, I will have fulfilled a post-raising children goal, and that is a good thing....

Lastly for this morning: I haven't heard if my swap partner got her stuff and I'm antsy to know....

Saturday, April 4, 2009

New fun blog

I just found ANOTHER fun place to wander through: the blog and etsy store of the Secret Stitch Club. Very cute aprons and lots of baby things I wish had been around when the girls were babies. Ah, the advances in 20+ years. You go, girls!

OH NO! The Lillian just called from Utah while she has a signal......what a field trip. They had a foot of snow last night, and it is snowing now. My poor baby.......good thing she learned to dress/pack layers for camping. Of course, with a foot of snow on the ground, they can't be seeing very many rocks, huh?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sun's UP!!

this links you to a very cool website with some great patterns for lots of different things. Anyone in my family: do not buy the poncho pattern or you may ruin your Chanukah presents for this year.... you may borrow mine or buy it after Chanukah.

I went to the dentist this morning and have some dental work to be done. I told him he got to stand in line behind the breast folks, and at least he laughed. I'm so glad Lou and I set up that FSA this year, at least we will see a return on some of the money this will cost. He is developing a treatment plan and I'm hoping that at least a portion of the work will be covered by our dental insurance. Then again, we have a government issued policy, and we know that the government goes with the lowest possible bid.

Louis really surprised me by adopting a new habit: every afternoon he has started to drink a large glass of ice water. I am amazed. I am thankful. I am taking bets on how long it will last.

Another thing I am amazed about: this morning, I pulled a size medium tee shirt out of the drawer and it fits. I haven't worn mediums in a very long time. This is a good feeling. I am still waiting for the fat fairy to come and take away the thighs and belly I am wearing that belong to someone else; that person has not shown up to claim their body parts and I want them to. I have been using theirs for a few years now, and it's time to give them back.

I sure hope my swap partner likes her apron. Looking at the samples people are posting mine is quite a bit different. but then again, stuff I've done has always been a bit different.

Friday, and it's raining

It's REALLY raining, complete with thunder and lightening, and I would really enjoy it if I didn't have to go to the dentist at 11 AM.

A "what goes around comes around" moment: When Lill was a toddler, my sister-in-law Jude sent her a toy for her birthday that made so much noise and was so annoying that it had to become "broken". At the time, Jude did not have children and had no clue. Since her boys were born, Lou and I have talked many times {okay, we plotted for revenge:)} about how to pay her back. We have found the way: legos. Logan, the older brother, really wanted a Star Wars kit for Chanukah. Since money has been tight for them and we had just lost my mother-in-law {Logan was very close to her}, Lou and I splurged and bought him the kit, which he adored. Enter younger brother Levi, who wants to be just like Logan. So Levi politely asks Louie on the phone if we would consider getting him a lego set for his birthday {in April} because he is responsible enough to take care of it. Being the nice big brother he is, with a streak of nasty that rarely comes out, Lou has found a lego kit at Amazon with over 400 pieces in four different sizes. so we call Jude to make sure Levi would be okay with a kit that wasn't "themed" and she says sure; then we tell her it has 400 pieces and she replies: 400 pieces? and about 30 seconds of absolute silence.... ah, revenge is sweet.....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

thursday night

yep, this day gets better and better! I have ANOTHER apron order and my cousin Alan has finally moved and registered me a web address (like I know what that means) but I am being excited about it. I will like it even more once I get some samples constructed and their pictures taken and he builds me my official website. Angie offered to do it a while ago, but Alan had promised and I wanted to keep him to it. so far, it is a site "under construction"--sounds great, doesn't it?

Louis and I went to the workshop about the BRAC impact reports on the intersections around the Naval Medical Center and NIH, and it's not going to do anything to help traffic once the Walter Reed influx happens (2011). My going to work isn't going to be impacted very much, but coming home will be a nightmare. The planners obviously have not been in this traffic on a regular basis; putting an extra lane in to ease traffic out of the medical center will effectively cut off any chance anyone has of turning onto Cedar Lane from Rockville Pike because those exiting are not going to let traffic in from their left.... Lou doesn't have a problem because public transport is easy for him, bus to metro and back. It will be interesting to see how taking public transportation will work for me. I don't think the busline goes as far as my office, but, lou said we could take a practice run next Friday to see what it would be like.

Tomorrow I will finish Lill's first blouse and over the weekend make number 2. I told her I would send them out, then take a picture of the remaining pieces of material we bought and she can tell me which blouse style she wants in which pattern--I can't remember what we picked out for each, she will-or she'll choose something different based on the ease of the wearing.

I'm so renewed to sew, and these online correspondences with Tara and Bear Picnic are really helping--thanks, girls!

Thursday morning

Though it's foggy and wet again, this is starting to have the signs of a really good day! First, my weigh in showed a loss, ALWAYS a good thing. Then, I checked my planner on the blood draw appointment, and it was a good thing because it was at 10 AM not 11 AM. Zipped up to Dr. Raj's office, and got more great news: my blood pressure was 123/78. Pretty close to normal range. Is it the HZTZ I'm taking? Is it the weight loss I'm sustaining? We know it's not the exercise because that just hasn't become a factor to add in yet....

I stopped at the post office and mailed off packages to all over the country: my apron swap partner in TN, my bro-in-law in CA, Steph in NY and a new acquaintance from the apron swap in AZ. She admired one of my vintage fabric choices, and since I didn't use it for the apron, and don't foresee using it in the near future, I offered it to her. Like I don't have a big enough stash already? I sometimes think I'm dreaming when I tell Louis that I can condense down all the bins of sewing material and stuff. So many memories wrapped up in them-picking out the material, who it was intended for, did I finish the outfit and these are the scraps, did I blow off making the clothes? Lots and lots of thoughts pass through as I go through the bins.

Best part of the day so far? Going to the gas station, filling the tank after 2 weeks and spending less than $20. It wasn't much less, but it was still less.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rain, again

We lost our sunny days but I can't be upset because the azaleas are just grooving into their new homes in the front flower beds. Lot of new leaves growing out and the flower buds getting bigger. The real news: we may actually have some lilac blossoms this year! There are over a dozen blossom shoots so far.

I packed up so much stuff tonight. All the parts of my apron swap package, the red sweatshirt for David, and a package for Steph, one of my "honorary" daughters from Lill's undergraduate years. Love that kid-she's into forensics. Steph is nearing the end of a tough few years of school in NYC, but she'll come through it on top. Since she finally sent her address, I will send her the t shirt Lill has had for a while for her, her 07 Halloween treats, and the motor cycle momma dress I found at the thrift store. However, right here and now I am saying that I don't condone her riding that bike no matter how safe it is with its fat tire; and she better be wearing a helmet whenever she starts moving. good thing my hair's white already--some of the stuff these kids are doing would make me go gray!

I've been wearing my hematite for about three days straight and am hoping the healing vibes are working. Even though the tests are Monday, the earliest we might know something will be Wednesday.

I'm off to check the swap site, then to bed for the night.