Sunday, January 13, 2013

No Fear!

 Well here's my first big project for 2013.  I don't know how to upholster a chair.  I've read lots of great tutorials in the world of blogs.  I've watched YouTube videos.  I DON'T KNOW HOW TO UPHOLSTER A CHAIR, but I decided to approach it with my new motto for the year.  No Fear!  People do it everyday.  I'm a smart girl.  I can do this.  How hard can it be?

This is what I started with.  Ugly.  Fabulous bones.  Cheap.  And let's be honest that's what it's about.  Taking something from cheap to outstanding.  It's a comfortable chair.  It could be lovely.  It cost $43.

I sewed what seemed like million miles of welting.  It always seems like a million miles when you are sewing welting.  I hate love sewing welting.  Honest.

I started taking off the old fabric and thought I was smoking it.  I reupholstered the sides, back and arms.  Look how fabulous that welting looks!  I thought WOW! this chair is going to be amazing.

After pulling a gajillion staples.  After pulling ugly fabric off until I was short of breath.  After trying three different staple guns to find one that sorta worked.  After I made it all work and it looked so pretty.  THEN like so many other things in life I discovered the error of my ways.  If it seems too easy, it is.  Count on that.   Write it down because it is reality missy.  I discovered all the upholstery in the center front of the chair is attached from the front to the outside of the frame.  As in it goes from the front all the way around the frame to the back and is attached under all the lovely new upholstery I just finished.  I wanted to wail, nash my teeth and weep.  I did none.  Oh I whined, but I didn't pitch the hissy fit I wanted to.  So what's a girl to do?  I ripped it all off.  All of the new lovely back breaking work.  Work I did with energy I really don't have to spare.

So here is where it is at now.  Evil. Naked. Chair.

Here is the only thing I could save from my first start.  Isn't it lovely?  

So.  Tomorrow I start with a naked evil chair.  I'll be taking my sore, beat up, crippled hands and sewing another million miles of welting.  I'm deconstructing the original cushion and using the pieces as a pattern for a new one.  I'll then start putting it back together.  I will get this chair reupholstered and looking like a million bucks.  I will go forth with NO FEAR!

How was your weekend?  Bet it was better than mine!


P.S. - The Nelson is doing really great and back on the road to recovery.  Praise God!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Another Chance to Start Fresh

It's been forever since I've posted a thing.  The last three months have been nightmarish at best.  There really hasn't been anything great, or fun, or fabulous or anything anyone would want to hear about.  The Nelson has been really sick for several months and that has taken every bit of my energy which was in short supply to begin with.  I'm not sure what is going to happen with The Nelson but I can't change anything about it so I have to turn it over to God and have faith.  

The good news is it's a new year and I want to look at the positive for a change.  I'm sick to death of the bad and I don't want to dwell on it anymore.

First good thing is I finished CHEMO!!!!  Yeah for me!  Yippee! WOO HOO!  Zippity Do Da!

I will start radiation sometime this month but I'm one step closer to being done with the whole cancer nightmare.

New Years Eve we spent with the BugEaters at one of my all time favorite restaurants Crechales.  They have been in the Jackson area for over 50 years and still going strong.  They are moving in July and I fear it will never be the same so we wanted to all go and New Years Eve seemed like the perfect time.

This was the view outside my studio window this morning.   In a way it's magical and mystical looking.  In reality it was cold and wet but I appreciate the first description so much better. 

 And here is the first project of 2013.  A chevron pillow.  I know big damn deal, but when you haven't crafted, sewed, copied from Pinterest, something in forever it feels like a big deal.

I bought this great pillow to put out for Christmas that was linen and in silver said Peace.  It's actually one of the few decorations I even had out.  I went to put it away and realized I really liked the shape of this pillow in this spot.  (The spot is another new thing you'll see more of this year.)  So I just got up and decided to make something that worked year round.  It even has welting.  Are you swooning and impressed yet?

 One final thing.  This sweet ride should be arriving at the house tomorrow.  I wanted it from the moment I saw it at Target when they opened the Neiman Marcus line on December 1st.  It's by Alice + Olivia and I am in lurve with it.  It is technically my Christmas present but with all the shenanigans this month we didn't order it until last week.  I can't WAIT for it to get here.  I'll probably look like a hippo on a hip bike but what the hell, you only live once and it is considered exercise right?

So here's to a new year and a new slate to start writing on.  LB has a couple more days off before things gear up again so I plan to spend some much needed down time with him.  Did you do something fabulous to start off the new year or are you starting slow and steady?


Sunday, September 16, 2012

I completed a project!

I completed my first home project since I got sick today.  It was a tiny project and it took me all day but I did it.  Unfortunately I have no pictures to show you because I didn't finish it until it was already dark.  Remember, the all day thing?  I plan on taking some tomorrow after getting home from chemo so I can share.

Until then I have a problem that has bugged me since we bought this house seven years ago.  All the doors are wood.  None of them are painted.  All the trim is painted so I don't know why they left the doors wood.  It's not like they are made out of fabulous expensive wood.  Just builder grade wood hollow doors.  Another thing is most of them are in my hallway which is dark as a tomb most of the time.

This is the view from one end.  The color looks a bit bluer than it really does in person.

 This is the view from one end at night.  Isn't that builder grade ceiling light from the 1970's just fabulous?  I know you are dying to get one for your house.
This is from the master doorway using flash.  There was no way to take this picture without flash.

This is the view you get when you walk in the front door from the foyer.  That's Rickey Hill peeking in the bottom left corner.

I know all this yummy wood grain is making you drool.  It's just so woody....  LB and I have a couple of ideas we are kicking around.  Hope you had a great weekend!

What would you do if all this wood goodness was in your hallway?


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Eating the Poisoned Apple Knowing it is Poison

I know I've been gone a long time.  There are lots of reasons and most of them are not pleasant.  Cancer sucks, I've said it for years, but chemo sucks so bad words can't describe.  I knew it wasn't a walk in the park.  I knew the doctors told me I couldn't work.  I knew it would make me really sick.  I knew all of the details.  I didn't know I was so clueless about how truly life altering it was really going to be.  I thought I would feel bad for a little while and then the rest of the time between chemo treatments I thought life would be basically normal.  NOTHING is normal when you are taking chemo.

I cut my hair and donated it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths because I knew it was going to fall out and I didn't see any point in it just falling to the floor when it could be used for a good cause.

I went and had my third surgery to have a port put in.  The port was so I wouldn't have to have my veins punctured repeatedly every time I went to chemo.  Because of the number of treatments I was to receive my Doctor wanted the port to be put in.  Thank God that woman knows what she is doing.  It makes chemo easier on me and I'm so glad I listened to all the advice and did it.  After all the other surgery scars what was a couple more.  The surgery was pretty easy and I'm so glad I have it now.  They draw blood out of it and give me all the medications for chemo in it all with only one stick.

  I went to my first chemo with a smile on my face and Fifi La Fluer to hold my hand.  (One of these days I'll have to tell you all about Fifi.  She and I go way back and have done a lot together.)

Good Lord I didn't know how things would change after that first chemo.  The day I went to chemo I felt fine.  While the first medicine was going in all the sudden my eyes went wonky.  I realized all the sudden the letters on my phone just looked like a honeycomb.  That was pretty strange.  Called the nurse and they slowed the medicine down and everything went back to normal.  The rest of the treatment went fine and we went to lunch when I was done.  That should've been my first clue things were about to change.  But no, I was still going along in my happy go lucky bubble. 

The day after my first chemo I felt a little off but I was still okay.  Mrs. BugEater came up to visit and I was so glad she was here.  I went and got the shot to help my bones produce more blood cells and we hung out.  I thought I was going to be able to handle this.  Day three I felt a little more off but pretty good until noon.  That's when I started feeling the nausea pretty bad.  I called the oncologist and they called in a nausea medicine and I thought it would be okay.  By that night I was certain something was wrong and I was going to die.  The next 4 days are pretty much a complete blur of illness the likes I have never experienced.  To say it knocked me off my feet is a complete understatement.  Holy crap I was SICK.

The second week after my treatment I started feeling more like myself but I was weak as water.  S-i-L and my girls came to see me and they brought some sunshine to the house.  We didn't run around like we usually do but we were having a good time.  On day ten late that night I sat down at my computer for the first time since my first chemo and I was reading email.  I sneezed, which normally isn't anything of note, and when I opened my eyes I realized there was a LOT of hair on the desk.  I mean a lot.  I touched my hair and a big ole wad of hair came out in my hand.  And so it begins.  The next morning it was even worse and it really bugged me.  Not because I was upset about it coming out but because it was everywhere.  I had a plan and it really didn't upset me.  The Nelson was way more upset than I was and she was certain I was going to be crushed.  It just really bugged me so I called LB and told him when he got home I wanted him to shave ever bit of it off.  Later that day my dear hair magician called to see how I was and I explained it was coming out and LB was going to shave it.  He wouldn't hear of it and told me to meet him at the shop and he would do it.

So we had some fun shaving it off.  Pink mohawk anyone?

Then it was all gone and bald I was.  Turns out my head is shaped just like my Daddy's was.  And it's not so pretty on a girl.  But it is what it is and I'm really okay with it.

Fifi got some new scrubs so she would be already to go to treatment number two.  I got new hair to wear.  This is a Raquel Welch wig and I get complements every time I wear it.  Having it to use as soon as we shaved my head helped a lot.  People who have known me for years don't even know it isn't my real hair.

Treatment number 3 and Fifi is still hanging in their with me.

LB has come to chemo a couple of times.  It makes him antsy which in turn makes me antsy.  It takes literally hours to do.  I finally told him I need him for lots of things but there is no reason for him to go to chemo every time.  When I want an Icee at 10p.m. he's my man but not at chemo.

It's been a really long hard road that I am still traveling.  I've been so sick getting from the bed to the recliner is an accomplishment.  But I'm still here and I've decided to try and do what I can to be as normal as possible. Being sick and sitting here in my head isn't a good thing.  I'll share more in the coming days.  I'm going to try and pay a little more attention to this blog from now on.

When LB was gone for four weeks the Phade came and stayed with me.  I couldn't have done it without her help.  DB has checked on me and spent time with me when no one else visited.  MAS has picked up the slack from me not being able to work and done too many things to list.  The outpouring of love and concern has humbled me.  So many people have done so many things I couldn't thank them individually if I had days to type.  I know all the prayers have helped me all along.  In the face of such terrible illness I have seen God at work in my life and I thank him every day.  I have learned there is always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for.  God is good.  He is always watching his flock.

Going to chemo is truly like eating the poisoned apple knowing it is poison.  I hope you have been doing fun things this summer since I haven't been able to.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Life Update

You just never know what twist and turns life will take you on.  I've met with doctors, had everything checked out they can check, waited in waiting rooms till I want to scream and discovered through it all that I am so blessed.  When you get a serious health scare you really find out how special the people in your life are.  You know you have wonderful caring friends and family but when the chips are down you realize that you have the best life can offer.  If I could pick and choose my friends and family I couldn't have picked any better than I have.  Cancer sucks but it has taught me that the people in my life  are so special and what a blessing that is.

This picture was taken by my good friend Becky right before I was going to cut my hair off for the first time in 37 years.  She took many pictures of LB and me and they are wonderful.  It was after work for her, and it was hot and she did it because she is my friend.  This spot is at another friend's home.  She let us come out and take up part of their evening because she too is my friend.  These pictures mean a lot to me because I still felt great but knew life was changing and they also represent unwavering friendship.

The picture quality isn't great here since it was taken with a phone but it too is special.  This sweet man has put up with my hair for 20 years.  When he learned I was facing cancer again he was willing to do whatever he could for me.  Once I learned from the doctor that my hair was going to fall out he agreed to cut it for me so I could donate it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.  He has never let me cut it short even when I demanded he cut it, but he said he would do it this time but not to ask again once it grows back in.  I think he was more nervous about cutting it than I was.  He has worried about me and kept in touch through everything I've been through so far.

We got two large ponytails to donate.  I hope they make someone happy.  I figured it would be better to donate it than watch it fall out and help no one.  Here is the first picture of the new me.

This is probably the worst quality picture ever but it is the only other picture I have with the new short hair.  We'd gone to dinner with LB's parents and his Mom snapped this picture.

I never thought I would have hair this short and it's been a bit of a learning curve to style but I actually like it.  Everyone has been so complimentary of it and it certainly is cooler than my long hair was.  Who knows maybe I'll keep it short after it comes back in.

The past couple of weeks have really been interesting and I have more to tell, but it is late and LB has gotten out of the bed to see if I'm okay since it is very early in the morning.  The last weeks bring to mind a favorite quote from Helen Keller that I'll end with.

"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all."

Truer words I have never heard.  Hope you are having a great summer so far.  It's hot, hot, hot here.  Hope you are staying cool!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are at Our House

I never really noticed that there were wild things in our yard.  They came in one by one and next thing I knew there was a herd of them.  Luckily they have stayed in the yard and not been liberated by some nefarious person with evil intent.

The following fellow came from a local auction house.  His name is Bob and he likes to lurk in the bushes.

 This is Dillo the Armadillo.  He doesn't have a lot to say.  He lurks by the path that leads to the front door.  He seems fairly peace loving since he has yet to attack anyone walking by.  He hales from Mobile Alabama.

This feathered friend was a gift for my birthday a couple of years ago from two girlfriends and the leader of the herd.  His name is Flip the Flamingo.  He came from Ham Jam at Philadelphia, MS.

 This little guy is quite the scamp with multi-color plumage.  He likes to lurk in the split leaf philodendron.  He's not as social as others in the herd but he's very plucky!  He is a former Florida boy but seems to like living in Mississippi just fine

 Meet Flat Phil Flamingo.  He doesn't have as much dimension as the other boys but he guards his favorite Ligustrum with fierce determination.

Our final friend in the menagerie is Hooty Owl.  He sits right at the front door keeping all intruders away with his fierce face.  Can't get this guy to smile for anything... He came from my Oma's house.

DO you guys have any wild things at your house?  And I don't mean the kids.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day and an Update

Just a quick update so you know I'm not dead.  Ha Ha, probably not so funny after my whole cancer post.  I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy two weeks ago.  I only had to stay in the hospital over night and was really glad I got to come home the next day.  It was my 42nd birthday and not the most exciting birthday of my life.  

I had a follow-up with the surgeon last Friday and he took out the drain they had left.  He said I would feel a slight tug.  CLEARLY he has never had a drain left in his breast because it felt like he was pulling the muscles out of my chest.  I told him as much.  Sister-in-law took me and said they took out like 12 inches of drain.  No wonder it hurt like hell.  The reports were as good as they could be.  All nodes tested were cancer free and there were good margins.  I go to the medical oncologist on Tuesday to find out what treatments we are going to do.  The hot flashes are about to freeze man and beast to death here at the house.  I'm moving around a lot better and it gets better everyday.  Still wear out pretty fast but considering I had two surgeries a week apart I'm pleased with the way things are going.  

I have several projects I want to get going on so feeling better is a good thing.  The Bug Eaters are here for the holiday and it's great having friends and family here.  Being a military family with a long history of veterans in our family tree I'm very thankful for those who serve or have served our country this memorial day.

Here is a picture with my favorite soldier LB.  This was at a Dining Out we went to on Saturday before I started my latest medical adventures.  I'm glad we had such a good time and got home before things went to hell in a hand basket.

What are you doing this holiday weekend?  Something fun I hope!