Stay Tuned!!

Last year’s Halloween Entry was one of my most read entries. Instead if wondering why that is, I choose to believe that this wonderfully historic family I married into interests more people than we realize. Either that or we Americans just enjoy a scary story, either way, I thank you all for enjoying the entry.
So, after last year’s story, how do I top it? What kind of story do I tell this year? Well, I am researching several different stories passed down through family lore, and some documented in historical texts.
This year, I may bring you a story that is mainly speculation, or I may bring you one that is factually true, I am not sure. Just know this, it will be a ghost story and it will scare you!

‘Tis The Season

Starting in mid-October, the season of big events gets hopping. This year, with Cowboy’s follow-up X-ray at the end of October, we have even more than usual. We kicked things off this weekend with a pre-birthday lunch for the Mini.
My in-laws come over every weekend, especially now that they are building a house in the lot next to the one we used to live on in the next city over. So, they travel the 150 miles one way from right outside Memphis to right outside Little Rock every other weekend or so. It was like clockwork, every third Saturday, when Cowboy was home, they would be here for a few hours to take us to lunch and visit.
This Saturday was also the day Abbie, our Blue Heeler/Aussi Shepard mix, was due for her monthly stuff (flea and tick drops and heartworm meds). We also planned to clip her toe nails as well, since she sounded like she wore tap shoes when scampering down the hall. If you want to see a dog get confused, clip her toenails after she goes click-clack for a few months and then let her walk around. Abbie didn’t know what to think when she didn’t make a sound while walking around.
After the dog-chores, it was off to lunch, we went to the catfish place we go to at least once a month. Its one of those neighborhood places where the waitresses know your order and the owner will chat with the regular customers. Cowboy and I decided to give Mini his big birthday gift a few days early at his birthday lunch with Grandma and Grandpa. The new Kindle Fire was a huge hit! He has been using it ever since we gave it to him! I think, though, once he goes back to school tomorrow, we will have to set down some ground rules, like that he actually has to read on the Kindle, and not just use it to play games. We did save some of his smaller gifts to give him on his actual birthday.
With Mini’s birthday, it also means my time is running short to finish some of my Holiday crafting projects. The first project I need to finish? This week, I will be taking some red felt, a paper circle, some newspaper, and a white “M” to make Mini’s Halloween costume. He is going to be an M&M.
I also have an afghan to finish, and some mug/glass pads to finish (quilted single coasters for a desk, a set of 12 for each gift), some teacher’s gifts (scarves), and a few throw quilts for some people. So it is going to be a busy few months around here!
At least I can start my busy days with some pumpkin pie coffee creamer to get me into an early holiday mood!

More Jelly Roll?

If you have read this blog before, you probably know I’m sort of addicted to jelly roll races! Since I am too cheap to spend $30 on a pre cut jelly roll, I cut my own. Every time I make a project of any kind, I save any scraps that can be cut into 2″ wide strips and put the strips into a bin. Then, when I want to make a quilt, I can just pull out strips and start sewing.
Jelly roll race quilts are awesome for those just starting out and learning to quilt. You can add difficulty as you get more comfortable with spacers, borders, and bindings.
I decided tonight it was time to undertake my biggest challenge yet, a queen size quilt for my bed. I am not exactly sure how I’m going to do the actual quilting part of it, but I will figure that out when the time comes I guess.
I will post pics as I get more done, but this one will be huge! I used half my bin of strips, many from fat quarters, many from just yardage of fabric, many from short yardage I got in a huge lot of various yardage on EBay.
Another great part about jelly roll quilts? The fabric doesn’t have to always go together! So you can use combinations you never thought to use together. Ok, back to work now!

Jelly Roll Race Quilt

I took the Jelly Roll Race Challenge. I did not have an actual jelly roll so I cut my own out of 10 fat quarters, nine 2″ strips per fat quarter, but you can really make them out of any length of scrap fabric that can be cut into 2″ wide strips. If the lengths are different, it’s even better! The more strips, the larger your quilt top.
I decided to make this for my niece’s high school graduation as a throw quilt for her dorm room.
The strips I used were black and white animal prints. I used this as an opportunity to use black for the quilt backing, white thread for the quilting, and red strips for the binding. I still need to practice binding, but its not too bad for my first time binding!

20141011-210730.jpg

Dream Sewing Room

Anyone ever try cutting 4 feet long strips of quilting binding using a 12 inch long self healing mat, 14 inch long straight edge ruler and rotary cutter? Yeah, curse words slipped out and I was glad my son was not home, especially when the cutter slipped during repositioning of everything and almost sliced off the tip of my finger.
This got me thinking about my dream sewing room design. What would be in the room? What tools would I have?
The room itself would be about the size of an average bedroom with a large walk-in closet and would be set up in a way that even my mother, the woman who taught me to sew, who could sit down and 5 hours later have a full formal dress planned out, fabric needed calculated, pattern in mind, finished product sketched out, and fabric swatches either pulled from her stash or ordered. To say she has talent is an understatement. My mother is truly gifted with a Singer!
So, my dream sewing room….
The basics, of course, tons of lighting, lots of throw rugs that can be removed easily if needed, peg boards, cork boards, dry erase. A quilt frame in the corner for my latest quilting project.
Along one wall would be a banquet size cutting table, at least half of its surface is a self healing mat with different size cutters lining the peg board on the wall with clear plastic templates above them on the wall.
The other half of the table is set up for cutting patterns and fabric, with lots of cutting tools hanging on peg boards on the wall.
Between the cutting table and the sewing tables is an over sized ironing board with three different irons, one for regular use, one for dry ironing, and one for fuse-able stuff. There is also a free standing steamer.
In the corner is a dress form. There are several sewing tables with a few machines also.
Tucked behind the quilting frame is a foldable three part mirror and fitting stand for apparel projects.
Now for the closet. There are shelves, bins, baskets, and cabinets along the walls of the closet with everything and anything a well stocked sewing room would need.
The closet can also be used as a fitting room, it’s that big! There is, of course, a radio in the room and a large magnet that can be used to find dropped pins.
What would you have in your dream sewing room?

Summer into Fall

As summer fades into fall and the calendar turns another page, it is time for things to really get busy around here!
The weather may not realize summer is over, still reaching 85 degrees during the long Indian Summer here, but September marked the start of our family’s celebration season.
Most of our family birthdays fall between September and December, with all the holidays thrown in there as well.
This means I am busy with my hooks, needles, and pins! This week I hope to finish two Christmas afghans and at least one Christmas lap quilt.
I have also started a few birthday presents.
I also need to find a pattern for a six pointed star afghan for my best friend’s son’s bar mitzvah one year from now.
I will post pictures of all my projects as they are completed, I just will not say who they are for if there is a chance they will see the blog.
So, happy crafting and gifting everyone!!

KatieBear

12 years ago, it was a crisp, clear September morning in Alaska and my world changed. You were born. You were tiny, doll-like with very powerful lungs! For those first few days, everything was perfect.
We were blessed, at 9:44PM Alaska Time with our two pound 13 ounce baby girl. Only 15 3/4 inches long, you were our little angel.
Our perfect little family. We would enjoy the next three days, making plans for you to come home when you got bigger and telling your extended family all about you.
The moment we saw you, our hearts swelled with that absolute perfect love a parent has for their child.
Daddy’s Little Girl you will always be, and forever you will be Mamma’s Tiny Dancer.
You may have only had half of your heart, but you fought with all your being to stay with us. Your strength far surpasses that of so many adults. You taught me more than I can describe, my precious darling daughter.
We had to say goodbye to you too soon, Little Lady Katie. You may be far away from us, but you are always in our hearts.
Mamma and Daddy love and miss you so much, baby girl. We know you had to go, that it was just too much for your little body to handle, but to the very end you didn’t give up.
Your little brother, who is almost bigger than Mamma, wants to make you a birthday cake today. I think I will let him.
When you were born, that moment you came into the world, I couldn’t picture my life without you. Watching you fight, I knew I would have to face the worst fear of any parent. I think I have done ok, baby girl.
I miss you every day, and yet the world goes on. We must move forward.
We love you and we miss you, my sweet KatieBear.
Thank you to all who took part in Caitlin’s life.
Dr. Glen Elrod, the BEST OB a woman could ask for! (Congrats on the new practice and the new baby!) Thank you for taking the time to answer every question I had with both pregnancies.
Tammy Hatfield. A wonderful nurse practitioner who knew when she needed help. You took the fear out of my first pregnancy.
The entire L&D staff at Providence Medical Center in Anchorage
The NICU and PICU staff at Providence and Legacy Emanuel hospital in Portland, OR. You have a tough job and every nurse in all the units is an angel.
The life flight people.
The Tricare agents who processed the claims.
The staff and volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House. You guys are awesome!
Dr. Marc LeGras. Caitlin’s day to day cardiologist.
Last but definitely no where near least, Dr. Albert Starr. You saved Caitlin’s life and gave us more time with her. Your steady hands and brilliant mind are true gifts. You will always have a place in our hearts. Thank you doesn’t seem like enough.

Please, look both ways when you cross the streets of heaven while walking with your great grandmothers.

Caitlin Elizabeth
September 17, 2002, 9:44PM,
Providence Medical Center, Anchorage AK
2pounds 13ounces, 15 3/4 inches

Gimpy McHobbles

September 2 I got a call from Cowboy’s boss saying that an ambulance just left to take him to the ER. They took him to UAMS, the local Level 3 Trauma Center, and she said “Its bad, real bad.” When I get the full story from her, something happened to Cowboy’s breaks and the tractor of his big rig rolled over his right (driving) leg.
I quickly made arrangements for The Mini and got to the hospital just as they were bringing his back from x-ray. The x-rays were negative, so he did not break his ankle (which amazed everyone). He was diagnosed with a severe high ankle sprain, given an Ace bandage and crutches, a script for 5.0 hydrocodine, and sent on his way.
photo(34)
This photo was taken in the ER

I went with Cowboy back to his company’s headquarters so he could do some paperwork and I got a few things out of his truck, since it was obvious he would not be driving for the next 2 weeks. After the paperwork, we were sent home to follow the doctor’s orders of ice, elevation and compression.
photo(6)

photo(7)

photo(8)

photo
These were taken later that night, at home. The swelling is not too bad, it just distorts his foot a bit. The black “X” is on his foot, just so you know what you are looking at.

The next day, he went into work for the day shift, since he is on light duty, he needs to work 40 hours a week in the office. He also had a doctor’s appointment and physical therapy, and he was set up with three times a week physical therapy until he is cleared to go back on the road.
Physical therapy gave him some stuff to do at home to get mobility back. Everyone was impressed with his range of motion, especially after having 5 tons of truck on his ankle and leg. People were amazed he didn’t break his ankle, or anything for that matter.
photo(9)

photo(10)
The swelling after the first day of physical therapy. The swelling got worse, but everyone said it was from working it during therapy, sleeping with it unwrapped, and not elevating it completely.

He continued with the physical therapy, icing, wrapping, and elevating it. On Friday, he had another appointment with the doctor, who said he looked to be getting better. The swelling was getting better, then worse, then better again, and he was not in pain.

Then, September 10, the swelling got worse, alarmingly worse, and new bruising showed up on his toes. We kept doing things the way we originally were. We decided to hold off on raising alarms because he had a follow up appointment with the doctor on Friday, September 12.
photo(13)
Notice how bad the bruising is? Cowboy said he could feel the skin at the base of his toes stretching! His foot also looked like a grapefruit. The doctor was very concerned and decided to do another x-ray before ordering an MRI of the foot. This time the x-ray was higher, though.
After taking 2 out of the 4 x-rays that were ordered, the x-ray tech said “Oh, that is broken.” The level 3 trauma center did not think to take an x-ray of the entire part of the leg the truck rolled over, just the ankle. It turns out, his fibula is broken, clean through, nice, clean break. The bone is not displaced, which is a positive.
They caught it before the bone started to knit back together, so they do not have to rebreak it and there is no need for surgery. They put the leg in a boot and have canceled his physical therapy, obviously. He has a follow-up with the orthopedist on Monday to see what our next step is.
In the last 24 hours with the boot, the swelling has gone down, so has the discomfort. Thankfully it was caught, even though the original ER did not think to x-ray everything, just the ankle. The bone is not shattered, and no joints are broken, so we got VERY lucky.
Recovery and all future plans have been delayed by a few months, and he will be home, on day shift, for a few months. There are some positives in the situation, though, and we have to look at them. He will be home for the Razorback games now, and he probably will not have to take his vacation to ensure he is home for Christmas and New Years, since the office is closed those days. Gotta look for the silver lining.