Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Hello, all my bloggy friends. I hope Halloween gives you more treats than tricks. We have cold, rainy weather with temps predicted to be in the low 40's (F) to upper 30's for tonight. Poor kiddies. I hope they are dressed warmly.

Life on the Front Porch has been very slow and very quiet the past couple of days. My plans to spend a rainy Sunday in my recliner doing crafty stuff got sidetracked when I woke up Sunday morning with a very painful right foot. RA had reared her ugly head and attacked my foot with a flare. I got up only to go back to bed because of the pain. As the day progressed, the pain increased and I ended up not being able to walk on that foot at all. I spent the day in bed sleeping trying to avoid having to deal with the pain. Monday it was swollen and still painful but I was able to bear weight so I hobbled to the recliner and proceeded to do my Sunday thing on Monday.

Tuesday, I went for a desperately needed haircut since I hadn't had one in nearly 2 months. It was nice to get out even if the temps were cold but not nice to drive. My right foot is my gas and brake foot. OUCH! By the time I got back home, I was hobbling again and my foot has swollen out of my shoe.

The only good thing that has come from this is two whole days spent doing crafty things; crocheting, cross stitching and reading. Okay reading isn't crafty but I do enjoy it. And it was all guilt free because I couldn't do anything else. Now is that putting a silver lining on that cloud or what!

Anyway, it's late here and I'm off to bed. I'll leave you with a photo of my haircut. It feels sooooooo much better.

Thanks for dropping by. Have a great day and remember all the people on the East Coast of the US. This crazy storm has wreak havoc for lots and lots of people.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Safety Through the Storm

I hope everyone in the path of Sandy stays safe and dry. I don't know when I've seen such havoc by a storm this far north.

To all the police officers, firemen, first responders, power company workers and any one else who has to be out in this to protect others, be careful out there and be safe.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Just a Quick Post

Just a quick post to say thank you all so much for your comments on my health. YES, I am doing much, much better and it is wonderful to have energy and be able to breathe. Thank you also for the lovely comments on my daughter. She is special to me for many reasons. She read my last blog and told me she cried! Guess Mama can still touch her.    : )

No photos this time. I haven't been able to do anything else on Jellybean's blanket but I have decided that it is going to be fine. Several people locally told me, when they saw the photo, that they thought it was finished and Annie at Knitsofacto reminded me that a rectangle is fine. I smiled at her comment and a little light went on. So, I have decided to do the last row of bobbles and then start on the border.  I hope to be able to finish it this week or early next week. I'll be sure to post an FO update. What a great thing that will be!

As I said in the last post, I'm working on some things for the Snowflake Swap that Kate at Granny Taught me to Crochet is doing. I've found some really cute patterns and I'm doing a little bit of stitching and a lot of ooohing and aaaahing. I love Christmas. I love the decorations, the trees, the SNOWMEN, the pretty packages, seeing my family's faces when they open their presents. It's all special to me.

My inhaler is continuing to help me everyday and I feel human again. I have managed to fix a meal 3 times this week. I know that doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment but I was having trouble cooking on the weekends, much less trying to do anything during the week and fix a meal. On Wednesday, I made a meat loaf, oven potatoes with cheddar cheese and fried okra. When the Hubs got home from work, he walked into the kitchen, took a big sniff and told me he hoped I never stopped using those inhalers!  *big laugh*

I am reading lots of new blogs right now and spending some quiet time catching up on back posts on those blogs. Here are some of the ones that are new to me:

Small ThingsSnowcatcher15 Coast RoadFar Side of FiftyCoal Valley View: A Farmlet, 4 Kidlets, and a Whippet, Goat Philosophy 101, and Posey Gets Cozy.

These are just some of my new followings. I love the blogging community and how  you find new blogs and new friends so many times.

A big welcome to my new followers. Thank you for stopping by and spending a few minutes with me.

Tomorrow is going to be a crafty day for me. The weather has gone from being sunny and warm with highs in the 70's to cold and rainy with highs in the upper 40's. There is a good chance of rain all day tomorrow and a possibility of snow flurries tomorrow night! So I will plop in my recliner with my craft goodies around me and watch all the DVR'd shows I'm behind on. Let's hope the cold weather doesn't annoy my RA and my wrist will let me have a lot of hooky and stitching goodness.

Well, whew, that turned out not to be such a quick post after all. I had a lot more to say that I thought. I guess that's another result of feeling better. *smile*

As always, thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you might be.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

WIP and health update

Hello, dear friends. These past few days have been busy. Unfortunately, not a lot has gotten done on the crafty front but I have been able to catch up on some other work. After I retired from almost 25 years of bookkeeping and running my own business, I continued to help a couple of non-profit corporations here in town pro bono. I enjoy having something to do and since bookkeeping seems to be my forte, it made sense to help them out if I could. However, feeling sick and tired all the time made me consider giving it up entirely. It's really hard to stay on top of things and get reports out as due when you just don't feel like doing anything at all. But I am happy to say that the inhaler is working its magic and I'm feeling much, much better.

I didn't realize how much I was struggling to get air in until I started using the inhaler and suddenly, I was breathing much easier and not feeling as tired all the time. Amazing! I just didn't know how bad it was, but it is soooooo good to be able to walk to the mailbox and back without having to gasp for air. I've even managed to do a little housework (not that I'm all that eager for that) and not had to struggle. I still get tired easily but that's because I also have other health issues. I don't like to talk about my health issues much because I don't want to be a victim. I feel that life is what you make it and as long as I can laugh and see the up side of life, I will be okay. I'm easily entertained so laughing isn't much of a problem. The last couple of months have been hard to keep that upbeat attitude, but it has helped most days.

Onto other things. We had some really good beef stew on Sunday. I have been wanting some good hearty stew for a couple of weeks but haven't felt like taking the time to get it going. I was not as pleased with this batch as I normally am. It lacked something. I will have to tweak and try again. I also decided that I wanted crescent rolls with the stew. Now I'm not a bread baker. I think that gene was left out when I was being put together. I commented to my daughter (she of the domestic goddess sort) that it took quite a while to find crescent rolls without hydrogenated oils. We try to avoid foods with this. She told me I could make them and not have to worry about what was in them. Nope, ain't gonna happen. As much as I would love to bake my own bread, since I gave away my bread machine, that hasn't been happening around here. I do, however, have a simple recipe that the domestic goddess left with me the last time she visited. I might give it whirl one day.

Let me tell you about my daughter. She is 26 weeks pregnant with our 4th grandchild. This is her first and she is just glowing. She posts a photo each week on her Facebook page and her smile just gets bigger and bigger. She inherited her paternal grandmother's homemaking skills. Heaven knows she didn't get any from me. She (and her hubby, he's a great cook) bakes their own bread, cans and freezes tons of things during the growing season, knits, quilts, etc, etc, etc. They belong to a CSA and get boxes of fresh locally grown produce from spring to fall and they make the most of it. She and her hubby are vegetarian so she is always looking for ways to change recipes to suit their lifestyle. I am so proud of this girl. We had our problems when she was a teenager and young woman, but we are now very close. She lives 4 hours away and we talk at least 2 times a week if not more. This is her glowing beautiful self at 26 weeks. That's Hobbs the Cat looking out the door. They also have Calvin, Gracie and Buddy (all cats) and Daisy (sweet dog). Daisy is usually in the pictures but she was out barking at something so Hobbs filled in.

This was made last week on their 1st anniversary at the park where they got married.

Progress on Jellybean's blanket is moving along. I'm afraid I'm going to run out of yarn. It's not even close to being square yet and the balls are dwindling fast. This is where I am so far.

There is one more color on the fourth repeat of colors and it's a rectangle. I'm not sure what I will do. I bought the yarn when I visited Abby in June. I know the lot numbers won't be the same IF she can get the same yarn but maybe it will be far enough apart that it won't be too noticeable. I will just have to wait and see what happens.

I'm also working on some snowflake items for a Snowflake Christmas swap I've joined. I can't show those since I don't know yet who I'm paired with and I don't want to spoil the surprise. I'm enjoying this one just like I did the Autumn swap. I've so loved looking at snowflake patterns and trying to decide what I'm going to do. My biggest love is snowmen and I'm finding all kinds of them to do for me but they will have to take a backseat for now.

So there you are, all caught up in the twists and turns of my life. Thank you all so much for your kind words and comments while I was struggling these past few weeks. I so enjoyed hearing from you and each of you touched my heart and made me smile when I so needed it.

Thank you as always for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you are in this great, big, beautiful world.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Good news, Bad news

Before I start, I want to say welcome to all my new followers. Thank you so much for dropping by and staying a while. I hope you find something interesting here and something you enjoy.

Now, on to the doctor visit. As I said in my last post, I had an appointment with a lung doctor today. Let me just say, this man was a delight. He was kind, funny and put me at ease right away. After the dreaded weight taking and the medication listings, I had to answer some questions by the nurse. Dr. Mejia (I love that name) came in and started questioning me as to why I was there. Sometimes, I think doctors do this to make sure you are sane. Anyway, I explained about the abnormal lung function test and told him I was referred to him. He said that there was nothing terribly wrong with the lung function test so, GOOD NEWS.

However, he asked about smoking so we went through the drill of never having smoked but having been around it most of my life. Then he asked about my cough. I have been coughing for almost a month now and it hasn't gone away on the allergy an cough meds my primary gave me. He listened to my heart/chest. Oh, by the way, I have a heart murmur also and I always like to watch new doctors go back and forth listening.

Then he listened to my back and had me breathe know the drill.  He also asked about shortness of breath which I have been having for a while. He told me I have decreased lung function. He asked about a chest xray which I had not had so that was scheduled after his appointment. Here comes the BAD NEWS. I am now on an antibiotic, a round of prednisone, an inhaler twice a day and a rescue inhaler. According to the paperwork for the xray, the diagnosis is asthma, unspecified type. Hmmmm. I also got a steroid shot in my booty, big time OUCH and did a breathing treatment in the office.

I have been a little bit hyper this afternoon from the steroid shot. I've also been hot, dizzy and a jabber jaws. BUT, I'm feeling so much better. I'm already coughing very little and feel so, so much better. I don't feel as tired and draggy and I'm looking forward to tomorrow so I can get some things done around. I have to make hay while the sun shines, or rather, work while the shot lasts!

No pictures today. I was so busy running to the doctor, to the diagnostic center and then to the drug store (3 times), I didn't have time to even think about my camera.

All in all, I feel much better about this diagnosis than I did about the possibility of COPD. I think I can handle this but the COPD really scared me. I was very down in the dumps for the two days between doctor visits and tried very hard not to let myself go down very far.

Thank all of you for your wonderful comments. It made me feel so much better knowing I had a support group of wonderful people keeping track and sending me good and happy thoughts. I cannot tell you how much all of you mean to me.

I hope each of you have a great day wherever you might be and thank you for stopping by.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Up and Down and Around and Around

Life around here doesn't seem to want to settle. Once I start dealing with one thing (allergies), up pops another. I found out on Monday that I possible have mild COPD. How did that happen? I have never smoked and haven't been around smokers for 3 years. However, before that point, I worked in a lumberyard where everyone (employees and customers) all smoked and there was very poor ventilation. (Picture really old buildings, only room air conditioners, etc.) The Hubs reminded me that I also grew up in a house of a smoker and that he smoked when we married. BUT, if I truly do have COPD, I lay it totally to the lumberyard job. I have an appointment on Thursday with a lung doctor to find out what's going and where I go from here.

I spent part of the day Monday wandering around town taking photos of the changing trees. This is one of the loveliest falls I have seen in quite a long time. The trees are gorgeous; reds, oranges, gold. Oh the beauty of the fall season. All of these photos were made either near or in cemeteries! We have lovely old trees in the older cemeteries around here and they have the best color. The next to last photo is of a tree in my backyard. It is getting lovelier every day.

Unfortunately, after staying outside doing the photos, I came home coughing. I do not like having my doors and windows closed when the weather is this glorious so I opened the patio door and a window in the living room just to have the fresh air flow through the house. Since I was already coughing, I didn't think much about the increased coughing; but then I decided to close the window in the living room. Within 2 minutes I had almost stopped coughing. This really stinks!

Oh well, on to better things. When I picked up the mail Monday, I had a package from Tasmania! I had entered a give away on Mel's blog and got the cutest Christmas Heart Coaster/ornament. I also got a really sweet card with a Tasmanian Devil on the front. You know, he doesn't look anything like the one on Looney Toons!  What do you think? Isn't that the sweetest heart? How about the Tasmanian Devil?  I am so tickled to have received this. I love these give aways.

I'm also moving along on Jellybean's blanket. I'm onto the fourth round of colors. I don't know how much bigger it will be. I will probably just crochet until I run out of yarn; yep, that sounds like a plan. : ).  I don't know how I managed to get to 61 without ever using stitch markers. I bought some a couple weeks ago to help make sure I have the right number of stitches when I change yarn and these things are fantastic!!!! Just goes to show, you are never to old to learn!

I'll be back on Friday so tell you about my doctor's appointment and post pics of the baby blanket. Have you heard about Katherine's Christmas Swap? You can join by going to her blog or by going to her Facebook page. I'm really excited about this one. Snowflakes, who doesn't like snowflakes? AND snowmen! My very favorite!

As always, thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you might be.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Allergies, Anniversary and Annoyance

What a title! But it pretty well describes my past few days. I have had a dry cough for a couple weeks and it is starting to really get me down. On Monday, I finally went to the doctor to find out what in the world was going on. I had my blood pressure checked, my weight (yuck), my temperature, all the normal things and then they checked my blood oxygen level. The nurse, a friend for many years, kept looking at the readout and then she told me to take a deep breath. I could see the readout myself and a deep breath didn't change the reading. Oh well, so I'm not breathing deep enough to get a lot of oxygen into my blood. Guess what? When I do breathe deep, I cough! That's why I'm here! Anywho, the doctor came in and listened to me front and back and told me it all sounded like allergies. I don't have a fever, a stuffy nose, watery eyes, nothing, just this stupid cough. So away I went to the pharmacy to pick up the allergy medicine and some cough capsules. This is why I'm annoyed. I'm still coughing!!!!!! And let me tell you, it ain't pretty. I've coughed so much, I've had to change clothes 2-3 times a day AND I don't feel like doing laundry. Oh the joys of being old and coughing like crazy! Solution----go to bathroom every 15 minutes.

Other than the silly cough, I have had a fairly decent weekend. I spend Saturday (our anniversary) in bed feeling sick and sorry for myself. The Hubs worked on putting the garden out of it's misery and planting a cover crop for winter. Bless his heart, he worked all day long on that garden and all I did was lie in bed.

On Sunday, I was feeling a little bit better so we went out to eat. I love Olive Garden and Texas Road House but neither of them are in our town so it meant a trip of 40+ miles. I opted for Road House because they have a Chicken Portabella dish that is soooooo good. We decided to go the scenic route instead of the interstate. Much nicer and much more relaxed. As we were driving along one of these back roads, I pulled my camera out to take some pics. Smugly, I said to the Hubs, "A good blogger always has her camera." We stopped to take a photo of some horses and then some weather vanes and I noticed my battery was dying. The Hubs, quite smugly himself, said, "A good blogger makes sure her battery is charged!" Men, don't you just love them?

These are all the photos I got before the camera battery died. I really wish I had thought to charge it because there were at least 2 Quilt squares and the trees were really nice. There was lots of old buildings and interesting things to snap. Guess that will teach me a lesson.

Anyway, today I'm still coughing but a little bit less. Apparently when we get a good freeze, I will be better. I haven't had to deal with allergies before. This is all new territory for me and while I've always felt sympathy for those who suffer from them, I now have a brand new empathy. It's hard! It's annoying! I don't like cold weather because it bothers my RA so much, but I'm wishing for a good freeze to get rid of whatever is bothering me.

A big thanks to my new followers. I'm sorry I don't have a list of you but I will correct that next time. I am so enjoying blogging and having followers who actually read what I have to say is so amazing.

As always, thanks for dropping by. I hope you have a great day wherever you might be.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

40 years!!!!!!!

On Saturday, October 6, the Hubs and I will have been married 40 years! Wow, I never imagined we would make it. So many people our age are either divorced or have lost a spouse. We are very lucky to still have each other and I have to say I am extremely lucky to have him in my life. The past few years have not been good to me. I have had several operations including two knee replacements and I was diagnosed with RA a few years back. He has been patient, kind, helpful, never complaining. If the day has been too long and I haven't managed to get anything ready for supper, he fixes himself something. If I am hurting or having an RA flare, he has been known to bring in my favorite ice cream. The Hubs isn't a demonstrative type; he is not touchy-feely but he lets me know in little ways how much he cares. We have a companionable comfort together that comes from our years together. We are so lucky to have 2 wonderful children who have amazing spouses and 3 grandchildren and another on the way. I am so completely blessed by this marriage and this man.

I commissioned Fee at Chipper Nelly to do some anniversary blocks for me. They arrived last Thursday and I am so very, very happy with them. They are gorgeous and so special. Fee and I had a giggle on the date as I am in the US and she is in Great Britain and the date is done in British style, but that makes it all the more charming to me. I have an original and I love it.

This past weekend, we had a visit from our daughter and son-in-law and Daisy the dog again. Son-in-law had some classes to attend on Tuesday and Wednesday in Knoxville (about 40 miles SW of us) so they came in on Saturday and spent the weekend and Monday with us. I love when they are here; they cook and they are both great cooks. They even clean the kitchen. Whoo Hoo! Abby went with Doug to Knoxville on Monday and Daisy dog stayed with us. Poor puppy. She loves her mommy so much, she is lost without her. She wasn't as mopey this time but she did spend a lot of time looking out the window. She was delirious today when Abby came back for her.

Fall is so thoroughly here. It has been cool both during the day and night for a couple of days but the temps are suppose to be going back up for the weekend. I've developed a cough along with itchy eyes and a dull headache. I've never had a problem with allergies before but something tells me that is what I'm dealing with. I so don't want to close my windows until I absolutely have to. Guess I need to go visit the pharmacist and see what OTC I can take that won't interfere with my other meds.

I have been working on Jellybean's baby blanket. I'm on the last row of the 3rd round of colors. I'm loving it. Abby is delighted with it. It is turning out so well and I'm loving the combination of colors and I haven't lost a bobble. *smile* What do you think?

These bright lively colors ought to make a baby happy, don't you think? Anyway, I do need help on the border. As I said earlier, I know how I want to do the border but I just don't know what color to use. I'm leaning toward something darker as the dark blue or the purple or maybe even black because the colors are so deep, I think a lighter color will work. Any suggestions would certainly be appreciated.

Before I leave, I want to say welcome to my new followers:

Dianne at Yonks; Rosie at Old Magnolia Tree and Rajeswari at Diaper Mum.
Thank you all taking the time to become followers.

As always, thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you are.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Autumn Swap Goodies

Last Wednesday was a happy day for me. I received my Autumn Swap package from Amanda at Crafty in the Med. We were chosen as swap partners for this post at Blueberry Heart. I was thrilled that Amanda was my partner as she was one of the first people to follow me and has been a great source of encouragement.

The theme of our swaps was Autumn as you can tell from the name. Amanda lives in Spain and I have waited not quite patiently for my package. I made it to the mail truck in record time when she blew her horn Wednesday. I couldn't wait to open the package and oh my, what great and sweet goodies were in there. Pictures? did I hear you say you wanted pictures? Well alrighty then:

What a chock full package. It was like a treasure hunt seeing each new thing, examining them and reading the notes Amanda wrote. She did much better than I did as I forgot to explain anything. She wrote notes about some of the items which made them all the more meaningful. I've learned a great lesson about swaps. These all made me smile and made me so happy.

This made me so very, very happy. I have been reading a lot of posts where sea stones have been gathered and then crochet covers made for them. I have actually lusted wanted one so badly and was trying to decide where would be a good location to try to find one. Then I get this one in my package with a lovely note about where this sea pebble came from. This is so very special to me and sits on my desk where I can see it everyday.

And then there was this sweet, lovely beanie. So cute and so soft and oh so warm for this winter. As I told Amanda, I'm not much into hats as I don't feel like I look good in them. But I adore this beanie and will definitely wear it as the weather cools. All my favorite autumn colors and leaves blowing around it. Is that not the sweetest thing?

And finally, one more photo. My daughter and son-in-law were here this weekend and Abby loved the beanie and said I looked great in it so I asked her to take a photo of me wearing it. I wasn't sure so I'll let you be the judge. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Amanda. I loved opening the package and seeing the wonderful things inside. It was like Christmas and I felt so special. I know I missed talking about some of the thinks but each one is treasured and loved.

As always, thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you might be.