Friday, March 27, 2015


Despite my health, I've been staying busy. I spent the other night in the ER because of unbearable pain and a heart attack scare. The doctor thinks it was *just* pulmonary infarction. In other words, the tissue in my lungs is dying. 

On the bright side, they gave me real pain meds that actually help and I also got sleep meds. Two nights in a row of sleep for the first time in two months!! Woo hoo!

Per usual, I've been busy baking, quilting and stitching. 

Lemon blueberry tea bread

My abstract cross stitch project with my new crow needle minder. 

The Color Wheel cross stitch piece with my sugar skull needle minder. 

Chocolate angel food cake that was amazing

Our new quilted end table cover and my first foray into free motion quilting. So fun!

The Tokyo Subway Map Quilt. Slow yet steady progress. 

I also got my Hazel the Hedgehog quilt back from the quilter. Ironically, I feel like I could now quilt her myself. Oh well. She looks great and I'll spend the next day or two hand stitching the binding on. I'll share pics when she's hung. 

Thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Design Wall Monday

I've been working on a quilt pattern called Tokyo Subway Map by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson. She designed the front and the back of the quilt so I'm working on both simultaneously. 

First I cut out 1600 2.5" squares and meticulously kept them in order and labeled so I could follow her great pattern. 

Anyway, so far I have three of 25 front squares done five of the back squares done. I keep on getting distracted with other projects so progress is slow. 

Monday, March 16, 2015


My sleep in a regular bed was successful and felt oh so luxurious! I hope I will never take for granted laying flat on my back ever again! The bags and dark circles that were present under my eyes the last few months magically disappeared overnight as I finally got a full nights rest. Ahhhhhhhhh. 

I'm making the lobster dish tonight and someone mentioned on Instagram that it must be celebratory. It wasn't intended to be but in a way I guess it could be. It's cheaper to eat one cooked cut up lobster from the meat deli than it is to feed an entire family their own pork chop or top sirloin steak but it sure feels decadent. 

My family doesn't complain about not eating meat anymore. They are just happy that I'm cooking again since I couldn't for about a month after my pulmonary embolisms. We still have a pig in our freezer from a local farm so I'll have to do some grill nights where they get chops and I have a veggie burger. They make up the bacon when we make big breakfasts and I just don't have any. I no longer miss it but it still smells good. 

Today I focused on cross stitching since I was in a bit of pain from sleeping in the bed. I've made good progress on the Geometric Color Wheel:
My sewing machine is suddenly a rats nest while FMQing even though I've reloaded all the thread so no progress there. I'll figure it out. I'm sure it's something obvious that I'm overlooking. 

It rained today so my garden  is happy. It's going to be in the forties for the next 10 days so I probably won't be doing a lot outside. Instead I'm going to focus on getting my sewing room in order. Blergh. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sleeping and cooking

Tonight is my first night in two months sleeping flat in a bed since my hospitalization for pulmonary embolisms. I'm nervous. I "practiced" earlier by napping in bed. I felt no pain after. I've practiced other times and ended up in pain. I've been sleeping upright on the couch for the last two months because of the pleurisy. I think it's time to just suck it up and dive back in. Here goes nothin!

I've been doing really well lately. I have a lot of energy and there's no sign of depression rearing its ugly head. 

I sew, bake, cook, and stitch every day. Now that the weather is nice and the snow is all gone we can add garden to that list as well. 

My husband and I have agreed that my cooking is now, after years and years of practice, better than any restaurant and we are done with going out to eat. Even when I'm feeling lazy and just make something easy like hash browns it's much better than spending $50 on a dinner out. And we can guarantee a nice atmosphere and quality food. However, I normally put a lot of effort into our meals and I enjoy doing so. I read cookbooks like people read novels. I have four going right now for this week's meals. I may not even follow a particular recipe but they give me ideas on what to cook. 

I made blueberry muffins yesterday and Mexican chocolate bread today so dessert is covered for a few days. Yesterday I also made Tuscan bread which is a really basic light bread made of flour, water and yeast. 

Depending on how I feel each day we'll be having the following meals over the next three days:

Jambalaya with shrimp

Tagliatelle with Tarragon Lobster and Asparagus 

Fried potatoes with peppers maybe over rice or quinoa

I can't eat meat except for seafood. That doesn't upset my GI system since it is easily digestible I guess. I also can't eat processed food, thus all the baking. Prior to two months ago I never baked anything so this has been quite the adventure. 

Sometimes it's hard to be on Instagram with all the meaty food pics because I know how sick they make me and it makes me queasy just looking at them. I missed steak at first but I've moved beyond that to feeling ill when I see it now. 

Another reason going out to eat is hard is that I can hardly eat anything because of the very limited diet I'm on. Say I want shrimp. Most places will either deep fry them or do a scampi. I can't eat deep fried food or have garlic which is what scampi is. If you've ever tried to order a salad from a restaurant they put bacon and cheese in everything and they pre make them. Or they drizzle them in a special dressing that guess what has garlic in it. Anyway I could go on and on but basically I usually end up eating stuff I'm not supposed to because of lack of choices when we go out to eat. It's easier to just work on my cooking skills and eat at home. 

Ok this post is getting disjointed because  I'm tired so I'll just wrap it up. The end. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Gardening and quilting

We've gone from this not very long ago:
To me putting on my gardening hat:
And planting radishes, spinach and lettuce because the ground is workable. 

I also got a bug up my butt to make a new cover for our ugly end table so I was up to 1am cutting fabric. Then I got up around 6 and pieced it all together: 

I wanted something modern looking that would also blend in. I also spent some time watching Leah Day free motion quilting videos and decided that this was going to be my first real FMQ piece. No stitch in the ditch anymore. I have a new machine and a FMQ foot so there's no excuses. I spent the morning practicing. 

It wasn't great but I was doing it!

Then I did it for real: 
It looks good! It took me a super long time but it's pretty cool. 

I need to take a break now. Phew!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A boring post on diet. You might want to skip it

So I am on not one, not two but three diets. None are for weight loss. All are for health/survival. 

*Coumadin Diet- I have to watch my intake of Vitamin K, absolutely no cranberry anything and watch those herbs. Like fricken garlic. I can technically eat stuff with Vitamin K like salads but it throws off my blood levels and two months post-hospital my INR levels (measurement of blood thinning) are still all over the place. I blame broccoli that delicious fiend. 

*Nothing that breathes or it's byproduct. Exception: seafood. This means no steaks, pork chops, turkey, chicken, ham, eggs, cheese, milk, sour cream, etc. I have an extremely difficult time digesting these things except for maybe an egg or milk mixed in a muffin recipe. The rest guarantee me agony. 

*FODMAP Diet. Basically everything else worth eating is banned on this diet. Some of it common sense like high fructose corn syrup and some of it is not like plums. I've already ruled out wheat products from when I dieted last year and didn't have a bad reaction to them. 

This is getting depressing writing this all out. We went to a church buffet breakfast the other weekend. Tons of food. The only thing I could eat was hash browns. I can't even take cough syrup for Pete's sakes. But there's still plenty that I can eat. It is just more of a challenge to find it. I'm off soon to the grocery store to get ingredients for shrimp-only jambalaya. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sick as a dog

I'm like death warmed over. This head cold has hit me hard and taken me down. Last night we did some research as to which cold medicine I could take with coumadin and my anti-depressants. It eliminated most of what we had in the cupboard except one. So I took it. I shit you not within 10 minutes I was twice as sick. I had forgotten about my GI system of which I'm on two overlapping specialized diets to "fix" internal bleeding. That medicine hit my stomach and it was like a bomb went off. My stomach expanded hurting my already pleuritic lungs and it was a domino effect from there. Ironically, I never got to reap any of the medicine benefits. 

So today I sat around and did nearly nothing except rested. It was boring as hell. And I don't feel any better. I did have a neat dream that I was in a choir that drove around in an open-air short bus and sang at grocery stores. So that was the highlight of my day. 

I take that back. Last night, I made maple oatmeal bread in the breadmachine. I'm getting good enough to make recipe alterations and with my alterations I made the lightest fluffiest best tasting loaf yet. While I was sick as a dog I made something fantastic. 

Yesterday, when I was determined to work through the sickness I got two blocks done on the Tokyo Subway Map quilt (today I didn't do any quilting):

I also keep pokin away at the Geometric Color Wheel cross stitch project:

Oh and remember how I was itchin to start some seeds? Yesterday I went to town again when my husband had to go later and I picked up organic soil starter and those little black seed pot thingers. I planted beefsteak tomatoes, Hungarian hot wax peppers, marigolds and dianthus.