Trying to get healthy around here – NOT

Just finished a 10 day course of radiation in Abilene yesterday.  Sure glad to have that done.  The treatments really wear me out, but add 2 hours worth of driving after working most of the day….you end up with one exhausted cookie.   Therefore,  I’ve been missing in action again.

I will say that it feels like the radiation has helped my right hip some.   Jury is still out on the back/rib area.   Still have the big knot on the back of my skull and it’s pretty tender.   Praying these issues will all resolve themselves and with the Lord’s grace,  I can move on to living my life normally for awhile.   Apparently insurance hasn’t approved the new chemo drug yet, so we’re still in limbo on that.

We went to Winters, TX last weekend for a “Save the Memories Day”…had Tractor Olympics,  a couple of bands belting out music, a quilt show and a parade of old cars, tractors and fire trucks.   They are raising monies to put a new roof on their beloved old Rock Hotel.   Hoping they did well!   We looked through the exhibits,  had some hot dogs and enjoyed ourselves greatly.   Oh…we DID get to visit with Wanda and her husband, Charles!   That was the best part!

Had lunch with a good friend from the Baird Housing Authority today!   Was great visiting with you Ronda!  Let’s do it again soon.  Prayers for your Mom’s continued recovery.

The weather front has been mixed blessings the past week or so…we’ve had 93 degree days…and 26 degree nights.   Ernie has covered/uncovered plants until he’s tired of messing with them.   The wild plum and the pecans had already flowered when the freeze hit, so we’re figuring nothing there for another year.   However,  his tomato and  potato plants  look good.    We’ve had a tiny bit of rain and a couple of drizzly mornings with much cooler temperatures.  That’s really good for the lettuces and spinach.

I thought we were down to 1 rooster and 1 hen, but there are still 2 hens running with the rooster.   That’s a good thing.  I wish we had about 20 more hens out there and a coop!   Ernie got some more chicken scratch and the doves came back.   Guess they don’t like the cat food like the chickens do :-)    Those guys will come up on the deck for cat food…and brave the cats!

Speaking of cats….Ernie put Blaze out the other night (normal thing) and we haven’t seen him since.  Hoping he hasn’t run afoul of a predator.   If he’s gotten hurt,  maybe he’s holed up somewhere till he regains his strength.  Just makes us sick though.   That’s the trouble with kitties allowed to go outside.  You cannot protect them 24/7.

Now,  maybe I’ve got you caught up on life on the Bayou!


Susan ~ Patchkat



New kitty room?

I’ve decided what we need for revamping our little greenhouse/kitty room.   I’m thinking it will include lots of sweat equity and about 6 windows and screens for the North and East walls to completely enclose that end of the deck.   We have a spot where there at one time was an A/C unit…that would make a great “door” for the kitties to go between the house to their new room.   Of course, it would require a shelf and some smaller shelves up the wall (like stairs) for them….but they could safely lay out and watch the wildlife, enjoy the fresh air and the sunshine.

Sadly,  it would mean the outside kitties would no longer have access to the greenhouse in the winter, but…I have another plan for a new space for them…one that isn’t exposed to the North winds…and would be easier to heat.   Still need to finish measuring and drawing before I can really say it would work.   Even better,  there is a small wooden storage shed on the property that could be moved and repurposed for additional kitty housing.   That one will take a little research to see what we can do with it.

Now,  I’m on the lookout for those 6 matching windows w/screens.   I contacted Abilene’s Habitat “restore” store.   Maybe they’ll come back with just exactly what we need.

Do you have an enclosed “sun porch” or greenhouse?   How did you enclose it?  Is it heated?  Do you run a ceiling fan for summer usage?   What about mosquitos and bugs?

Susan ~ Patchkat

Something fun is coming :-)

Just sent in my deposit for a 3 day quilting retreat with dear friend Wanda!   Finally,  something just for the girls and really fun :-)   It’s been ages since I’ve been able to fellowship with other quilters and actually work on my own stuff…and Lord knows I need to get some UFO’s completed.

imagesMulberry Canyon Quilt Retreat is an annual retreat put on by a couple of local quilters.  They use facilities at the Butman Methodist Camp.   Think it’s about 55-60 miles from us.   I’ll have to work that Friday, but maybe NBL will let me out a couple of hours early.  That would be nice!

My machine of choice for piecing is a Singer Feather Weight.  Love those little machines.  Need to clean and oil mine…wind a bunch of extra bobbins.  Then that will be ready for serious sewing.

Then to pick out which UFO’s I want to work on…I have so dratted many!    I have blocks to cut for kits…or a Mystery Quilt to finish assembling.   There are several packages of swap blocks to be set into quilt tops.    I’ll have to spend some time this weekend getting stuff together.   To be realistic,  I tire so quickly, that I’ll be doing good to work on 1 project, much less 2 or 3.   It will be fun trying though.

What supplies do YOU carry to the retreats?

A dear friend gave me the coolest tote several years ago.  It’s my go to bag when we head for Houston (my computer fits in there nicely with whatever quilting project I choose to carry.  It’s large enough to hold the 18′ x 24″ cutting mat, my rulers, cutters, an adorable strawberry pin cushion from dear friend Sheryl, and lots of fabric (or blocks).   That is the best retreat tote I’ve ever had!    Thanks, Marilyn :-)

Of course I add the extra spools of thread, the bobbin holder and my machine oil/tool bag into a net tote bag made by quilty friend Vivien!  That bag slides doen in the sewing machine case.   The spool holder adapter for the larger thread spools was a gift from another dear friend.  Her late husband, Daryl, made them for another retreat group.  I have two and use them all the time!   Thank you Barbara!   Another dear friend made a sewing machine caddy that sits on the table under my machine.  Helps to pad the machine so it doesn’t vibrate on the banquet tables, holds my scissors, seam ripper and a tape measure right at the machine.  Another really cool gift!   Thanks, JoAnn!

There are so many wonderful memories in my quilty supplies…and as I use those items,  I remember the good times and the fun we all had.  Do you have special supplies?

Ernie and the kitties will be on their own for a couple of days.  He’ll be ready to string them all up by their ears by the time I get home!   Guess I should stick my head in the freezer and start planning some easy to prepare meals for him.  He’s a great cook, but I like to do for him when I’m going to be away.  That way,  I know he’s eating real food and not just snacking!

So…smiley face for today!

Susan ~ Patchkat


Double Disappearing 9 Patch

The quilt shown in the header above is a double disappearing 9 patch.  (Which give you the smaller diagonal squares).    One of the most FUN quilts I’ve made.   I used up a bunch  of tone-on-tone and solid scraps.  The finished quilt turned out to be a large lap/twin sized.  I would like to do more with controlled color scraps.   I’m thinking it would look cool with a tan background and shades of reds/blues for the squares (think Quilts of Valor)…or maybe a pale yellow background with orange, rusts and browns for the squares.    I can also see lime greens, watermelon pinks and lemon yellows on a pale grey background.

I have too many plans…and need to retire soon or I won’t get anything done :-)

Susan ~ Patchkat

Stock Pots – another search ended!

9070Stock%20Pots%20IIIAfter shopping around and trying to decide what brand and size I wanted, I finally settled on the Tramontina 22 Qt Stainless Steel stock pot.   It’s a shame to have a pot taking up space when you only use it a few times a year, but I’ve had more call for one in the last 2 years than I’d ever have thought possible.

We make and eat a lot of soups, stews, chilis and jams…all of which require large pots for the amounts I prefer to make.   Why do a small pot when you can do the large and have meals to put in the freezer or jams for the pantry?   I love making stock too…just fills the house with the best smells.   I should learn how to can the stocks rather than freezing.  I’ll have to consult my canning mentor on this one, cause I know she cans everything in the World!  Right, Judy?

Long story short,  I found this lovely pot under the Christmas tree this year and I’m still ecstatic!  Of course,  I had just made the double batch of marmalade, but there will be another time!   I cannot wait to press it into service.  I have a smaller Tramontina pan that I really like to use.   Easy to clean and not so heavy that I cannot lift them when empty.   Full will require assistance!

I have a good hubby who finally got over the guilt about purchasing the items I really need/want for Birthdays and Christmas.  Yeah!    I would draw the line at an iron or a vacuum though!   Those just mean WORK, and we all know I’m allergic to that!

Susan ~ Patchkat



Wishing you all a safe and Happy New Year!

We’re settled in for the night.  Dinner was homemade beef soup with cornbread.  Dessert for tomorrow’s dinner is in the refrigerator, new SUV is in the driveway!!!!   Kitties are all sacked out and quiet.   Great way to end 2013.   We might still be awake for the ball drop, but I’m guessing probably not.  I can celebrate the arrival of the New Year with my eyes closed between the sheets!

Y’all have a terrific night.  I’ll see you next year!

Susan ~ Patchkat

Plans for the New Year?

“Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 KJV

Isn’t it great to have a scripture for the New Year? Forget what’s past…you cannot change it…Look forward to the new life the Lord will provide for 2014! There’s nothing HE cannot do…or anything that HE hasn’t already overcome for us! Great thoughts.


Now…for us…we’re staying in tonight! Call us “fuddy duddies”, but neither of us drinks much, so certainly not worth clubbing. Neither of us likes to drive at night, so we’re pretty limited here in Burkett for NYE activities. Someone is usually firing off fireworks at midnight.

You’ll find us curled up in front of the fireplace, hot chocolate in hand. There will probably be an old movie on the TV and I’ll be hand stitching quilt bindings with a couple of cats in my lap. All that works well for me!

We have dinner with friends tomorrow. Since it’s at their house, all I have to do is cook fresh green beans and a dessert. Easy peesy.

NY Resolutions? I no longer make those. Never kept them anyway, so was a waste of time and breath. Only thing I’ve done new for 2014 is made up a menu for the whole month of January! We’ve shopped for the few things we needed and everything else is in the freezer. Ernie keeps us in biscuits for breakfast and even sometimes bakes a few loaves of bread.

If I had wishes for things to do in 2014, I would like to become more self sufficient, more efficient in my purchasing, cooking and better at rotating stuff in the freezer. I’m hoping having a set menu will help. If I can make it through January…then February will be easier!

Susan ~ Patchkat