Saturday, August 31, 2019

Under the Needle: August

Another Under the Needle post with little to report, but substantial progress has been made on one of my EPP projects. It's grown from 10 stars to 42. The stars are about 5" in diameter. I still love making these little stars so stitching continues.

The end. Turning my hopes toward September. 😉

Friday, August 30, 2019

Learning Patience

I don't often talk about health issues here and truth be told, we've been very blessed and neither of us have any complaints other than the normal wear and tear that reminds us that we are no longer 20. I've only had one small outpatient procedure - small procedure - big bill! DH had a rough patch when he had a bulged disc pushing on his sciatic nerve a few years ago, but we've generally been able to steer clear of doctors. Neither of us takes any medication unless you count fish oil and vitamin C and DH takes some joint supplements that I may start taking. We try to eat healthy and are trying to slim down (constant struggle) - I don't bake anymore unless I'm cooking for others or have company, but the slim down process is S-L-O-W. It doesn't help that my knee is keeping me from my daily walks and really just about anything else right now.

We have a sports medicine / orthopedic clinic in town and on the 12th I called to make an appointment. The earliest I could get in was the 22nd. X-rayed knee. Good news - no broken bones. Made an appointment for an MRI a few days later.

Good news. No torn ACL, LCL, or meniscus. But a chunk of bone or cartilage is floating around in my knee joint so appointment has been made to have it scoped...on the 17th. Sigh. The surgeon is going to be out for 2 weeks and that's the earliest slot. Official diagnosis until he gets in there is 'internal derangement of the knee', which is kind of a catchall phrase for something's amiss. Grateful it's not an emergency, but frustrated that simple things like stepping into the shower, or pickup, or even britches is an ordeal. Getting up after sitting or lying down makes me want to cry. I followed DH around at Sam's on crutches (I'm becoming a crutch champ), but let him navigate the grocery store solo after this latest appointment.

I don't watch much tv, participate in social media, or play any games on the computer. But I can hobble around and keep up with the laundry, cook, and keep the dust bunnies from staging a mutiny although I'm not very graceful while attempting to do so. Sewing is not fun because it hurts to swivel in my chair, reach for anything, or get up and down.

In the big scheme of things, this is not a big deal. So many are facing much more serious challenges.
 My current situation has allowed me time to read and pray and ask the Lord what he wants me to learn in the midst of this season. The first thing I heard was, "Patience, my child". So I sigh.

And smile.

And sit as His feet.

And that alone is a blessing like no other.

Monday, August 26, 2019

From the Bookshelf

Many of you have shown interest in what I've been reading lately. I'm glad to know that in today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, folks still read. I can't remember a time when I didn't love reading and I love all forms of it. I'm a fan of libraries, e-books, audio books, used bookstores, and just bookstores in general. With my bum knee, I've had more time to sink into a comfy spot and lose myself between the pages and as requested, I thought I'd share the titles I've recently enjoyed.


Rainwater by [Brown, Sandra]


The Nightingale

Where the Crawdads Sing

 Lilac Girls

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Whistling Woman

Whistling Woman (Appalachian Journey Book 1) by [Tillery, CC, French, Christy Tillery , Hunter, Caitlyn]

A Mind of Her Own

And I'm currently reading this one:

Shadow of the Wind

And this one:

The Counselor

I think that may earn me some kind of bookworm status. No, I don't always read this voraciously, and yes, I am doing other things during the day. I'll come up for air at some point. 😉

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Sewing Slump

You would think my indoor confinement would translate into oodles of sewing progress, but that has not been the case. And truth be told, I'm not indoors all the time. I have GOT to get outside some just for my sanity. But, I seem to be in a sewing slump. Projects are mocking me from their respective bins:

And I feel a little guilty that I'm ignoring them. I HAVE added stitches to my little EPP project:

But my sewing chair remains empty.

I don't really want to cut fabric for a new project and my current project requires lots of hopping up and down which probably isn't the best idea for my knee right now:

I need more muslin for the connecting diamonds and trips to Hobby Lobby, or anywhere else, are out of the question right now. DH hasn't had to do the grocery shopping in the 32 years we've been married, but he picked up a few things the other day. I told him I'd be glad to turn groceries over to him permanently since he was doing such a wonderful job, but I don't think I'm going to get that pushed through. 😉

I'm doing quite a bit of reading. Our girl gave me a lovely stack of books for Christmas and I am devouring the stories and relishing the fact that I have the time to lose myself in the pages.

I am cooking although I'm keeping it pretty simple because it's just not fun heating up the kitchen when it's this hot

And yes, I'm trying to rest my leg and let it heal, but I'm not a very good patient. The other day I told a friend that I am kind of like a 2 yr-old insisting that "I DO IT!" And I want to thank all of ya'll for your many kind comments, thoughts and prayers - I am touched by your thoughtfulness. I'm still hobbling around, but have an appointment tomorrow.

Still, I'm not complaining - even if it sounds like it - 😉 because it could be worse and this will heal with time. I just hate that DH is having to pick up the slack. I think I'll mix up a batch of cookies and bake them while it's still fairly cool. Cookies are a love language around here. 😊

Friday, August 16, 2019

Medical Care

Warning: Whining ahead. I've been spending more time indoors than I usually do because of this:

Last week I twisted my knee when I was getting up after sitting on an unsteady rock to remove a mesquite thorn from my hiking boot. I managed to walk back to the house and figured I'd ease up a bit on my morning walk to let it heal for a few days. Then I was out in the coop and tripped over some of the chickens that were scurrying under my feet. I must have done a little jig in an attempt to not step on them, while avoiding a big rock, and to keep from falling into the Bird of Paradise bush. Needless to say, grace and coordination are not my strong suits and I'm very grateful the chickens were the only witnesses to my flailing limbs as I was unceremoniously planted in the dirt, again twisting my knee.

As I lay in bed that night, I wondered how I was going to get around. I remembered someone had left a pair of crutches in the bunkhouse before we moved here, but I knew I couldn't make it to the bunkhouse and I didn't want to wake DH. Then I remembered we had hiking sticks and they just happened to be leaning against the wall and within arms reach. Yay. DH fetched the crutches for me the next morning so I could go in to work, but I came straight home after work without running any errands. Crutches are cruel. My armpits hurt so bad that I almost cried putting on deodorant the next day. 😄

I did call a sports medicine clinic for an appointment, but they can't see me until next Thursday. They told me I could go to the emergency room. Um. NOT. First off, it's not an emergency and second, who can afford that?! I even thought about going to the vet. We were really good friends with the vet in Texas and if I was closer, I would be paying him a visit! I still may!

Just the other day I received a bill for a simple outpatient procedure in December:

Yep, you read that right and why did it take 9 months for me to receive it? Plus, I already paid $800 to the doctor. And yes, I have insurance. The hospital and I are about to have a come to Jesus meeting.

Now, I don't want to make this political, I'm fed up with politics, but dang it! We work hard for our money and we don't have a lot of it. We don't run to the doctor for every little thing - in fact I don't even have a regular doctor. The price of medical care is not affordable for folks like us, who work until April 15th just to pay our taxes. Yet others receive free health care. I don't get it.

I'm just praying that my leg heals, that I don't have to keep that appointment next Thursday, and that Jesus will help me mind my manners when I visit the hospital about that bill.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Melting in New Mexico

The August heat is just refusing to give us a break. 109°.110°.108°. Day. After day. After day. I cannot make myself walk into my sewing room. I'm spending my mornings outside - walking and tending to things like cleaning out the chicken coop,

scrubbing the grill, monitoring the great plumbing project at the bunkhouse,

and fighting a losing battle but trying to keep the yard alive.

This weekend we went to a shoot about 4 hours away and the weather was amazing - the high was 84°. When we checked into the motel, we were greeted by name, offered freshly baked cookies, and it began to rain. Hard to beat a welcome like that! On their recommendation, we ate at this little hole in the wall:

Cute little place:

And the food was amazing!

We had burgers with an incredibly flavorful beef patty, chopped brisket, slaw, and crispy fried onions on top. The buns were toasted - loved that. So not healthy, but goodness, was it ever delicious!

DH's shoot was fun and held at a facility that often hosts Cowboy Action events so they had an entire western town built:

We were only away one night and needed Sunday to recuperate. Monday dawned bright and early - we're having some mesquite sprayed today. No photos because I'm headed off to work at the Sale Barn this morning. Wishing ya'll a wonderful Monday and if any of ya'll have leftover cooler temps, please send them this way.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

What Should I Read Next

As those of you who have been reading here for some time know, I am an avid reader. I always have a book on my Kindle and I love audio books, but there is nothing that beats an honest to goodness real book. I am also a fan of a podcast called What Should I Read Next, by Anne Bogel aka: the modern Mrs. Darcy. However, it has increased my TBR (To Be Read) pile exponentially. For many of us bookworms, the what should I read next question is the first thing that pops into our heads the second we read the last sentence of our current book. Well, today I finished a book (Rainwater) and DH walked in with the mail that included a package from my mom. When I opened it, I found this:

The latest novel from my favorite teacher of all time. Mrs. Meacham was my high school English teacher and sponsor when I was editor of the school paper and I adored her. She was tough. And old school. And charming. And a southern lady. She encouraged my love of the written word - definitely not a popular trait with the cool kids. However, I never was one of those and Mrs. Meacham was smart enough to know that didn't matter one whit then...nor now.

In her 60's, she became an author. She is now 80, still writing up a storm, and today I had no problem answering that question. At 562 pages, it might be a while, but there are leftovers for dinner and freshly baked cookies so DH won't go hungry and he has assured me that for the time being, my sidekick services are not needed. I am eager to dive into the pages:

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Under the Needle: July

This month was fairly quiet on the sewing front. It may have something to do with the heat. You would think 100+ temps would drive one inside to sew, but who wants to sit next to a hot iron when it's 108° - not me! The heat's broken now, still 100°, but it put a damper on my sewing productivity. And the mornings are too nice to be inside. I fix breakfast for DH and head out the door with Skeet for our 5 mile excursion most mornings. Some mornings it's just 4 and then I'll sneak in another 2 in the evening. It's generally in the high 60's when we leave the house, but it warms up fast and it's been more humid than usual so tongues are hanging out a little longer than usual by the time we wrap things up:

We've had company and made a few road trips. With the recent rains, even ranch life has slowed down. We did work cattle for 4 days and I cooked and I've spent lots of time behind the lawn mower and the weed eater.

Still, I did manage to piece this quilt top early in the month:

And add to my pile of flying geese for the quilt for our boy

I made an apron with my Quilt Squad gals one Saturday for an event in December:

And yesterday I began a new project that uses up the leftover blues from the goose quilt:

But, alas, I have no quilt finishes to share this month. 😞
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