Monday, March 2, 2015

Hazel's Gettin' Done

My family has been super busy. My husband's grandma died. The funeral was on Friday and we had family come in from out-of-town and many family gatherings before and after. For such a somber occasion, we had a really great time being together. His grandma was ready to go. She was 87 and had been struggling with cancers and infections for a number of years so I'm glad her body is no longer battling those things. She will be missed a lot. 

I finally put Hazel's glasses on and brought the quilt to the quilter's. Even though I have a sewing machine that could totally rock out free motion quilting, my body hasn't healed enough to let me do so. I can only sew for short periods of time before I'm in pain. And quilting requires more strength than piecing and I simply don't have that yet. Anyway, I chose a closely quilted broken glass pattern. I'll share when she's done. 

I am getting better at the artisan bread. This was honey oatmeal and totally amazing. 

We made popovers yesterday. I must confess that I ate most of them myself. Nobody else liked them. Oh well. 

I also baked strawberry muffins this morning. The brown stuff on top is a brown sugar glaze. 

The Geometric Color Wheelbis coming along though I am not totally pleased with the color gradation. My husband says it looks fine as does the kind folks on Instagram (find me in there as Tubaville). I'm learning to live with it. 

My bag is almost finished. I'm supposed to cut holes for grommets but I'm scared. Real scared. If the grommets don't work I have holes. Holes. 

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Four days

Ack! I did it again! Four days since the last post. I could make a bunch of excuses but nobody really cares to hear those. Lets just move on. 

I've been doing a lot of baking. I forgot to take a picture of the zucchini muffins so there's even more than this. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, molasses rye artisan bread, strawberry scones and pumpkin muffins. 

I finished this cross stitch piece. 

And I'm launching a new epic color wheel project. 93 colors. 

I'm on color four. 

And some cute pet pics. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Craftiness

So much for posting every day eh? I've been busy!!

If it's not one doctor it's another. I saw both my shrink and my new GI specialist this week. Plus I got my blood drawn twice to test for thinning/clotting and got my meds readjusted. 

My mental status is very stable. Yay! Of all people, my psychiatrist was a wealth of information on pulmonary embolisms. 

My GI status is not so good. I continue to have internal bleeding amongst cramping, bloating and other unpleasant things no one wants to hear about. We are first going to give a whack at diet adjustment and see if that helps. Remember last year when I went off meat and dairy and sugar? My GI doctor wants me off meat and dairy again and to limit my sugar intake. No high fructose corn syrup at all. I probably didn't mention it here on the blog but once I lost the 30 pounds I started eating what I wanted again within reason. I don't mind eating vegetarian/w fish so she said that's a lot safer than most medications, procedures, etc. and also really good for me. As for sugars, I decided I'll only eat what I bake myself. Pure cane or brown sugar and honey. Sugar substitutes are bad for a number of reasons that I won't get into. Anything fake is bad basically. 

Anyway. Moving on. 

I mentioned in my last post that I placed my seed order from Well, I got them already!! I highly recommend them! All organic, no GMO. Fast, great prices and selection and they give you a really great description of the plant so you can decide for yourself if it would grow in your area or not. I know this doesn't look like much selection for a large garden but we also get a weekly CSA box from our local farm because my husband does work for them. So I don't need to grow lettuce, spinach, carrots, potatoes, beets, leeks, cucumbers, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower or green peppers. 

The things I am growing are: Minnesota melons (they look like mini cantaloupes), turnips (I love them), cherry and regular tomatoes, red sweet peppers, radishes (my son could live on these alone), sweet corn, white scallop squash, cilantro, Hungarian wax peppers, snap peas, wax beans. 

At some point this summer, I want to request that my husband build me another garden for raspberries and strawberries. I used to have both but we built our new house over them. I really missed them last year. 

My bread machine kicked the bucket so I've moved onto making artisan breads. I'm really glad for this because these are so delicious. 

I actually turned a finished needlework piece into something! My daughter wanted the purple blackwork for her room. I priced out custom framing and it was $50!!! And not even what she really liked! So I went back to the drawing board. I dug out a bunch of purple fabric. She picked out what she liked the best. Then I found an old pillow that we don't use anymore and inspiration struck. The rest is history. 

I'm also stitching up this clever idiom. Maybe I'll actually do something with it!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Smoochee Boochies

Quick health update: While the meds seem to have resolved the bleeding, the pleurisy has returned. This is such a delicate balancing act. I am propped up on the couch right now feeling pain and downright discomfort with each breath.

But that also may be my fault. I've been pushing myself. Life is short and I'm grabbing hold. Today I did even though I felt like garbage. I sewed this Infinity Scarf:

And I baked these chocolate scones:

Yesterday, I ordered seeds for my new big circle garden from including this alien-like delicious squash: 

And my husband and I celebrated Valentines Day with good wine and chocolate and episodes of The West Wing.  I couldn't think of anything more perfect:

17 years together. Smoochee Boochies!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Communicating With My Crafts

I still don't know much about the bleeding. It's still happening. I got my meds adjusted through the Coumadin Clinic but otherwise my doctor has ignored my repeated calls. The Coumadin Clinic is separate than my doctor's office BTW. I just updated them what was happening when I did my latest blood check. This entire experience has been so frustrating.

Anyway, that's not really what I want to talk about. I want to talk about using craft as a medium for communication like cussing and feminism and politics. I would so love to do this...but I have kids that are disabled and will never quite understand, no matter how much you explain, nor how old they get, what any of this means, that it is in fun or done as a statement. They will just think it is BAD BAD BAD. And that's fine. I don't want my kids to start swearing because mom made a "Bitch, please" cross stitch pattern.

But I still want to use my craft to communicate how I feel. Somehow. I've been following patterns and whatnot for 20 years. I've gone off the grid a little bit but I've never tried text. I started reading Completely Cauchy (NSFW) recently and she got me thinking about things.

My husband and I have been discussing how we want to decorate our house. When we built it last year we agreed that I would have full decorating license. So far I have opted for a neutral palette so I could have some time to decide how I want to fill the walls. As time has gone on I've added modern pieces of my own creation: a few quilts, a painting, cross-stitch. My husband and I got into a somewhat heated discussion the other day about what direction the decorating was going in. I realized that I wanted our home to reflect my talent, my time, my inspiration and outside art that inspires me. Yes, it's selfish. But it's MY house. I don't want some designer house. I want a gallery.

How does this tie in with communicating with my crafts? I love how Completely Cauchy doesn't follow patterns and has found her own style and is going down her own path of craftiness. I don't necessarily want the F Bomb all over my house but I would like to figure out how to create my own patterns when it comes to quilting. I need to step out of that safety zone. At the same time, I want to create some pieces that tell how I feel about social justice and feminism. I want my home to tell stories about my time working with foster kids, kids with disabilities, kids involved in the juvenile justice system, rescuing cats and dogs, battling mental illness, addressing sexism and more. I, of course, need to finish what I have started already. But I hope to find a way to have new projects reflect and project messages. This is going to be fun.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Another Health Scare: Internal Bleeding

Well, I'm not out of the woods yet. I will be calling my doctor tomorrow as there is some considerable internal bleeding going on. Some in my lungs. More in my digestive system. I write this in tears as I have been so grateful for every day I've had out of the hospital and have tried to make the best of it. I refuse to go to the ER. Those bastards have really screwed up a lot in my poor body the last few months. I admit that I'm scared. This health "adventure" doesn't seem to want to quit. My arms look like a heroin addict. I've lost weight and had to buy new clothes and completely rethink my diet due to Coumadin even though they say you don't, I don't think they can handle someone that eats as much Vitamin K and danger-zone herbs as I do. My INR levels have been all over the place so far. 

I apologize for the ramble. I'm just really scared. These are two of the major "call at once" things that we were warned could happen to me. Because of the medication that I'm on, my blood doesn't easily clot and internal bleeding could be really bad. I just worry what next steps might be. I finally resemble someone that feels like a normal human some of the time. I've taken up baking. I've tackled easy cleaning jobs. I'm feeling good about myself. Now this. Oh please let it be something that heals itself and passes easily without requiring a hospital stay.please. 

I've used my time to finish my daughter's purple blackwork. It's a satin DMC floss and just heavenly to work with. 

I've taken up baking big time. I've baked, so far this week, cinnamon bread, Tuscan bread, honey whole wheat bread and a Finnish rye bread. Oh and double chocolate oatmeal cookies. All delicious. It's fun to learn a new skill that is useful, saves us money and is better for us than the breads full of unpronounceable ingredients at the store. My Tuscan bread had 3 ingredients. One was water. We made little delectable pizzas out of them and it was amazing. I love this. 

My body clock is off since getting home from the hospital. All in all, I spent 13 days without sleep because of the incredible intolerable pain. Since then I've developed a deep appreciation for the routine of bedtime and wake up/sunrise. I used to despise both as wasteful labor some activities. Now? I look forward to both as peaceful, contemplative parts of my day to be appreciated with fruits and tea or coffee and something baked. Fred joins me on my chair as we watch the sunrise together and I reflect on how lucky I am to be alive. 

Ever since I got out of the hospital, Fred is nearby. Mostly an independent cat, Fred now checks in frequently for ear scratches and hellos. I have to sleep on the basement couch to remain properly propped up so I can breath without much pain. This is what I usually wake to in the morning: Fred nestled on my legs