Thursday, February 26, 2009

Applique Block Number Two

This is the second one for my Baltimore Album Quilt. Appliqued most of it in Palm Desert. Click to biggify.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Weird Vegetable

Romanesco, pictured here, has got to be one of the weirdest looking vegetables I've ever seen. It grows locally so whenever I find it I buy it. Yesterday I made a soup with it. Also added potatoes, carrots, broccoli, leeks and lots of garlic. Put it all in the crockpot with lots of homemade vegetable broth. Ten hours later I had a mushy concoction which I pureed just a little and then added a Roue of flour and butter plus some very sharp cheddar cheese.

The romanesco doesn't seem as flavorful as cauliflower but it certainly is both beautiful and weird.

Had lunch yesterday with a quilting buddy, Deborah. The place we wanted to go is closed on Monday and Tuesday so we went down the street to the Horseshoe Bar and Grill. I had a scrumptious portobello mushroom and blue cheese sandwich with sweet potato french fries. The habanero dipping sauce that came with it was a bit too spicy for me so I stuck to ketchup.

Then I went off to Bloodsource for my platelet donation. That went fine. Came home, took a nap and then finished up the soup for dinner. All in all it was a great day. Today I am spending the entire day with fabric. It will be another great day.
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Harleen's Harley And More

On the way back from puppy kindergarten a couple of Saturday's ago, Kerry stopped by Sierra Community College. Every weekend the college turns its parking lot over to people who want to sell a vehicle. Anyone who wants to sell a vehicle can be there.

Kerry really wants a Harley so he took this picture with Harleen lying next to one. Maybe he thought the Magic Fairy would arrive and say that he should be given a Harley because he was such a good person for raising a service dog.

Well, his Yamaha motorcycle is still right where he left it. No Magic Fairy turned it into a Harley. Judging by the picture, I'm not sure that Harleen is really into Harleys.

In other news, my sister is having more surgery. Yes, my sister who nearly died last year as a result of surgery.

It's time for her to have what's called a "downturn." That's when they reverse her colostomy. While she hates the thought of surgery, she hates the colostomy bag even more. Surgery is March 12th. I'm flying to Minneapolis on March 10th and will be there for two weeks.

So, I'd like to ask once again for your prayers, energy, Reiki and anything else you believe to help get her through this. She is terrified. I am too. But she has a new surgeon who seems like he understands what happened to her last time and will do everything in his power to make sure it doesn't happen again.

This will not be the last surgery. She still has some giant hernias that need to be fixed. When will this ever end.
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Photos From Palm Desert

If you live somewhere that's cold right now, I hope these photos will warm you up. Kerry, me and Harleen in front of the Marriott Desert Springs Hotel where our timeshare is. A view of the golf course with the snow-covered mountains in the background. The lobby of the hotel including the boat that will take you to your restaurant in the evening. We had a great time, but glad to be home.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Design Wall: Three Projects

I've been very busy this week trying to get ahead because we will be gone all next week.

Photo No. 1: Baltimore Album Quilt block one. This is another block-of-the month type thing. We meet the second Saturday of each month. Between meetings we create a block using applique techniques. This block will end up being about 15 inches square. Click on it to see the special applique technique we learned for the flower buds.

Photo No. 2: Another block of the month project but this one is just traditional blocks. Each block measures 12 inches square. I've done the two here so far. All the blocks will have the star affect on the outside row. We will end up with 12 blocks in 12 months.

Photo No. 3: Stash busters quilt. One Wednesday a month we meet to get a pattern for a small quilt. The trick is to use up the fabric stash that all quilters have somewhere in their sewing room. I really like the way this quilt turned out. Last month was sort of a bust, I thought. I still have to add backing, batting and quilting. I think this will hang on the wall somewhere in the house. Don't know where yet.

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  • Harleen is not having surgery on her eyes. Turns out she has "ectropion" eyes not "entropion" eyes. The former just means she has droopy eyes, the latter means that her eyelid actually turns in. So no quick trip to Santa Rosa this week.
  • I got the flu on Monday night so missed out on Quilt Guild, dinner with friends and my book group. I just felt lousy; stomach upset, achy and chills. Feeling a little better today.
  • We are finally getting some rainy weather; supposed to rain for the next 10 days.
  • We head for Palm Desert to the family time share on Sunday for a week. It's not supposed to be very warm there either. Harleen will have fun anyway.
  • Been busy working on quilting projects even though I haven't felt good. With a week away from my sewing machine I had to get stuff done for classes after I get back.
As I read back over this post, it's pretty boring. I'll try to do better tomorrow when I post what's on my design wall. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Cherry Eyes

Harleen is going to have surgery this week on her eyes. See how the bottom lids droop and you can see some red stuff. Cherry eyes is hereditary.

It should have been caught at CCI before we picked her up. They can do something when they are small that is less invasive. Our vet figured it out two days later when we brought her in for a check up. She made note of this in her chart.

So we are waiting to hear which day we take her to Santa Rosa. She will have the surgery and return home the same day.

I'd like to get it done before we go to Palm Desert next week for our twice-a-year stay at the family time share. Harleen loves it down there so don't want her to miss it.
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Friday, February 06, 2009

One Year Ago Today...

my sister had surgery. It was supposed to remove a cancerous nodule in her colon, but instead it nearly killed her.

She spent 8 weeks in the ICU in a medically induced coma and paralyzed, on a ventilator and dialysis. All together she spent 8 months in various hospitals and rehab centers.

She's home now and working every day to get stronger.

So today I'm feeling joy because I still have a sister; she is working so hard to become whole again. This took a terrible toll on her body and mind. Many, many of you bloggers prayed for her and sent cards. Her husband, Neil, was deeply touched by your concern for a complete stranger.

I guess no one is a stranger when death is lurking right outside the door.

She still faces one more surgery to undo her colostomy, which was done after the first surgery. I'm going to Minneapolis to be there for that.

We never know what the day will bring, but today it brings me great joy. Don't know about tomorrow and don't really care.

I love you Vicky.
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Thursday, February 05, 2009

It's Rainy And Cold

So I have a beef stew in the crock pot. It's a good day for something warm and comforting. The picture at right is not my stew but one I found on the web. My crock pot is oval.

I sort of followed the recipe: stew meat from a local ranch, leeks, carrots and potatoes from local farms, tomato sauce that I made from last summer's tomatoes and then froze, burgundy wine from a local vineyard, garlic (not sure where this comes from because Kerry bought it at Costco), and lots of spices. I'm probably going to throw in a handful of either raisins or dried cranberries later in the cooking process.

I'm not going to be home for dinner tonight. My friend Jean and I are going out for our once-a-month glass of wine and appetizer at a local Italian restaurant. At first I was going to leave Kerry to his own devices, but when I saw how cold and miserable it was, that just didn't seem right.

We will probably finish it up tomorrow night.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of my sister's surgery that went so badly. Tonight I'm going to write a special post dedicated to her. I'm just so glad she is alive and at home healing.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Where's My Handerkechief?

Those were the words that our house guest Steve uttered yesterday morning after he got out of the shower. He and his wife, Janet, searched everywhere. No handkerchief. Their Labrador puppy named Zoey, they decided, had probably eaten it. She was the only one in the bathroom with Steve when it disappeared. After several vet calls, Kerry and Steve headed for one that they thought could help. The long and short of it is that Zoey threw up the handkerchief, which was given back to Steve. $127 later and Zoey was fine.

We had a wonderful lunch at Whole Foods in Roseville, walked around the farmers' market there and wandered through some shops.

Later in the afternoon we noticed that some of the cattle that graze the 80 acres behind us were actually on our property and more were coming. Before long the entire herd was on our property and heading for the road. That's not a good thing. I frantically called the sheriff, animal control and the brand control guy for the county. We didn't know who owned the cattle. We eventually found out.

Kerry tried to round them up and get them back over the fence, but his ATV just wasn't enough to do it. Finally the owners arrived with a Border collie to get them back into the pasture. It is sort of alarming to look out your front door and see a huge steer looking back at you. They were wandering everywhere. The two guy fixed the hole in the fence. Meanwhile the cows (all 50 of them) stood by the recently mended fence looking slightly pissed off that they were missing our grass.

It got dark so we couldn't see what was happening, but they probably broached the fence once again shortly after nightfall.

So this morning we woke up to cows all over the property again. Some of them were on a neighbors property as well. The cowboys returned, this time with two dogs. The round up took place again. Now there is an electrified fence between our property and the pasture. I wonder what the skunks, possums, raccoons, coyotes and cats will think of that. Stay tuned for the next installment. It's never dull at our place.

Meanwhile we have many very large cow patties everywhere. Dogs love to roll in that stuff so we have to keep an eye on Harleen. I'm going to take a nap.
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