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

 

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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

shiny-red-new-year

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.

Happy-20New-20Year!-202

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

When life gives you lemons…

you can make lemon pies, lemonade and lemon-orange marmalade!   Thank you dear Sheryl for the gift of Meyer Lemons!

DSCF9691I spent the last two days working on lemon-orange marmalade…and it’s yummy!   I ended up with 20 half pints and still have enough lemons to make a pie for tomorrow and save some juice/zest for another day…of course, I could forget the pies and make another batch of marmalade (I absolutely ADORE marmalade).

Let’s see,  I was also gifted with about 15-20 Gala apples by the NiceBossLady.   SO….This afternoon,  I made up an “Apple Normandy”.   DSCF9699

Lots of apples, cinnamon, custard, pecans and spiked raisins.   It looks and smells wonderful.  We’ll find out later this evening how it tastes with some fresh whipped cream.

There’s a roast in the slow cooker and I have stuff thawing for a turkey/dressing casserole.  Since Ernie and I are celebrating Christmas together with the kitties,  we simplified the menu and all our plans.

Gifts are wrapped and under the tree,  we listened to Christmas music all morning and now,  I’ve curled up with my favorite blankie, the lap top and am watching Polar Express.

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The kitties have made the feline version of an oreo cookie!  They are so fun to watch… Spooky on the left,  Snuggles on the right with ShadowFire sandwiched between.   Love these little guys!

Ernie has been outside chopping down a dead tree and cutting fire wood.   He’s drawn a crowd,  think most every neighbor has been over to check out what he’s doing!  Didn’t see any helpers though.   Ernie seems to enjoy cutting and splitting wood.  I sure am thankful for that!   I don’t do very well with the chain saw or the axe, hee hee he.

Heading into Christmas day tomorrow…Wishing you and yours a most Blessed and Happy Christmas.   May the Lord grant you safe travels and shine on all your families and your activities.

Susan ~ Patchkat

Finally….

I finished the last 2 gifts last night…late.   I’m going to do better next year.   That’s my mantra every year, but I really mean it this time!    Seems I’m always running right up to the mailing deadlines….or the delivery time.  There have been years where I was still working on a gift in the car on the way to the recipient’s.   What happened to that person who used to shop all year,  have everything wrapped and ready before Thanksgiving?   I’d have everything in the mail the day after Thanksgiving and plenty of time to cook and bake…time to hostess open houses and parties.  What HAPPENED????

Ernie is off delivering gifts  today.   I’m at work.   Tomorrow,  it’s off to Dallas to deliver there.   Hope we find someone home, lol.   Once that’s done,  then we’re home until I return to work on Thursday.    5 whole days off!!!!   A mini-vacation!  I’m excited.

Marathon gift wrapping, cocoa drinking session at our house tonight.  Bring your tape and scissors and come help!

Susan ~ Patchkat