Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The signs of Fall

It seems like we have ridden the motorcycle so little this summer compared to other years.  It was either too beastly hot or we had something going on socially or physically that we couldn’t. 

I was so hoping for a ride on Sunday but the day started out so cold and rainy that I pretty much wrote off the idea.  It was one of those dreary kind of days that makes a person feel like taking a nap, so I did! Smile 

About an hour into my nap, DH pulled my covers off and pronounced it beautiful out and told me to get my gear on, we were going for a ride.  Yea! 

The sun had come out and it had warmed up, sort of.  It might have warmed up from morning but let’s just say I was thankful I put the longies on under my jeans.


The corn is drying.


The soybeans are dropping their leaves.


The trees are just starting to turn.


The shadows get long much earlier in the evening


and as the sun sets behind us, it’s gets cold really fast.

Yes, the signs of Fall!  I love it!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy Birthday to my best friend!

Today is DH’s birthday! 

I always thank God for one more year together but this birthday is even more special to me.  A friend of ours lost her husband Tuesday night in a tragic truck accident.  I think I’ll hug mine just a little tighter as we sleep tonight.

Work-people (527)

Love this picture of Dan, scrapping steel and serving others, two of his favorite things!

Happy Birthday to Dan!  Here’s to many more of years of love, companionship and serving together!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Weekend happenings

What started out as a quiet weekend seemed to fill rather quickly.

We had visits from our three special little ones Friday night and for a bit again on Saturday.


They are so just so darned much fun to have around.  Sometimes, they just crack me up!

On Saturday, I was able to get in some quilt cutting.  I didn’t do much sewing but cut out enough pieces for three autumn runners.  Now to get them done before I need pine trees instead of pumpkins will be the challenge. [sigh]  I was going to work on them tonight but I came home too tired and didn’t think it would be a good idea to applique in that state of mind. 

I also opened the garage door to this late Saturday morning. 

(notice the “Mom why are you taking my picture?” look)

What a nice surprise to have Joe standing there!  He lives 2 hours away so we had no idea he would be visiting.  He had come home on some business and had to go back mid-afternoon but we’ll take as much of a visit as we can get.

I am so enjoying the fall weather that’s set in here.  It makes for great bonfires like we had Saturday night, just DH & I.  We don’t often have a fire for just the two of us.  Such a nice treat!



On Sunday afternoon, we took a short bike ride on a few backroads and to Poopy’s for a burger.  It’s not unusual for there to be a couple of hundred bikes there on any given warm weekend. 

IMG_7867IMG_7880IMG_7885I wish I could somehow transport the smell of this freshly mown hayfield over the blogosphere to you.  There just isn’t much better.  One of the best things about riding a bike is being able to smell everything around you. 

Sunday night we helped my SIL, Sue celebrate her 50th birthday.  I tried out a new cupcake recipe…white cake with cherry filling and cream cheese frosting.  I used a new cream cheese frosting recipe and let me tell you, it’s a winner.  I throwing any others out and sticking with this one.

IMG_7860I just re-read this post and now I know why I’m tired tonight. Whew!

Hope your week is off to a wonderful start!


Madison Quilt Expo

Last Friday, some friends and I crossed the cheddar curtain (into Wisconsin) and attended the Madison Quilt Expo.

I’ve never been to a show of this size and it did not disappoint on the “overwhelming” scale! 

Oddly enough, we spent almost all of our time there looking at the what seemed like hundreds of vendor booths and just a couple of minutes looking at actual quilts in the show and most of those were in the entrance hallway.

On top of that, I took very few pictures.  I hardly had the camera out of my pocket.  What was up with that???

These are just a few of the things we saw that interested me.

This one absolutely amazed me.  All the detail and the itsy bitsy people pieces.  I enjoyed looking but it won’t be on my to-do list.  I’m thinking this is way higher on the patience level than I go.  IMG_7807

I really liked the colors and shading in this one although there is something about the tree that reminds me of an Scooby Doo cartoon where the tree jumps up and runs after them. Smile


This is a little busy for my taste but liked the colors and especially the wonky trees.  Wonky trees may be in my future.

IMG_7810  I really liked this wool runner.  I didn’t buy the kit though as realism set in and knew that it was more in depth than what I have time for right now.


I fell in love with this line of fabric.  It’s wintery not Christmasy.  Not crazy about the silhouette animals but all the other fabrics are right up my sewing machine!  I bought what I could at the show and now have to find the rest.  It’s Bernatex Montana Modern from last Christmas so technically it’s not available unless someone still has last years stock.  This quilt shop said they had some.  I just haven’t called them yet.


See how good it’s going to look in our sunroom?  Smile


Between this and the other projects I came home with, I’ll stay busy most of the winter for sure.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Feels like Fall

Not only did I dig out the Fall deco this weekend but the temperatures have chilled and feel like Fall as well – 60’s today and low 40’s for the overnight.  But I love it!  Fall is by far my favorite time of year to experience and decorate for.

A few of my decos….


I’m really pleased with how these two outside arrangements turned out.  I’ve had the containers out for summer the last couple of years.  The flowers had faded and they were looking a tad shabby and not in a chic way.  I replaced the flowers, changed the greenery and added pumpkins.  I love re-doing things I already have.


I decorate with the basics – berries and pumpkins.  I try and keep it simple for the most part.


I found this little sign at a craft show on Saturday.  It pretty much sums up how I feel.  I really am blessed in so many ways.  Of course, there are days it will be nice to have this little plaque as a reminder.


I don’t remember having white pumpkins around when I was a child, do you?  I sure like them now though.


Have you started your fall decorating yet?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A chilly Sunday evening ride

The past few days we’ve seen 90+ degree temps but today it feels like fall with highs in the low 70’s and high 40’s for the overnight.

We love to ride in the fall when there is a crispness to the air and tonight did not disappoint.

Soybean fields are starting to turn yellow.  Some of the plants have even dropped their leaves already.  It won’t be long and the combines will be running.

Cattle were grazing in the pasture instead of chillaxin’ under a tree trying to stay out of the heat.

Road closed?  That doesn’t mean us does it?  Apparently DH didn’t get that message.
Tonight will probably be the one and only time we’ll ever have Hwy 2 to ourselves.

We could actually take a minute to enjoy the view of the river.  Sure am glad the county deputies were off doing something else and not patrolling for goofy motorcyclist that can’t seem to read road closure signs.   How about you…are you a rule breaker or a rule follower?  just wonderin’.  Winking smile

We saw some of our friends badly storm and hail damaged corn.  Yikes!

And we enjoyed a beautiful sunset!  Then promptly came home and took a hot shower to warm up.  Smile

Hoping your Sunday was just as wonderful!

Taking charge of YOUR health

I’m warning you up front, this may get a bit long and a tad graphic, so you can feel free to stop reading now if you’d like.

That being said, I really feel I need to share my story to encourage someone out there that they aren’t crazy and second opinions are a very good thing.

Earlier this year, I had gut issues.  I’ll spare you all the nasty details but they were somewhat debilitating.  They would come out of the blue and double me over and last for 3 – 4 hours at a time.  I kept trying to attribute them to a virus or something I ate.  While in to see my regular GP for a sinus infection, I mentioned it.

Before I knew it I was scheduled for the dreaded colonoscopy.  They found ulcers in my large & small colon.  The doctor, who I’ll call Dr. V, in my local smaller town hospital diagnosed me as having ulcerative colitis and more than likely Crohns disease.  He put me on steroids for 3 months to clear up the ulcers and then said we would go from there.  The episodes were fewer and further in between so the drugs were working.  So far so good right?  Well, other than the 15 lbs I gained while on the steroids. grrr!. 

After the three months of steroids, I went in for an office visit.  I asked about diet.  Dr. V said diet didn’t matter but then in the next breath he told me to be careful what I ate. Huh?  Then he gave me a prescription for a Crohns maintenance drug so it wouldn’t flare up again, even though he wasn’t 100% sure that’s what I had.  I prefer not to take any more scripts than necessary.  I’m funny that way.  So I questioned it a bit especially when he said it was sulfa based.  I’m allergic to sulfa which he knew and I also reminded him of.  He shrugged his shoulders and said “it doesn’t matter.”  That set me off, just a little.  Then I asked the question of all questions which I think really set him off a bit “what is the possibility that something was missed on the colonoscopy?”.  A valid question in my book as my Mom was diagnosed with colon cancer at 52.  I’m 50.  He briskly said in a bit louder voice “I didn’t miss anything!” then gave me a sample of the script and said to try it and let him know if it caused a problem.  Out the door he went. I left his office pretty much spitting mad but I did try the med for three days until I broke out in a rash.  I threw it out and promptly called the UW-Madison clinic for a second opinion!

I went to my appointment in Madison and instantly felt like I was being heard.  This doc, who I’ll call Dr. W, said the pathology reports from my local hospital and the doctors notes were conflicting.  Great.  He said he would really like to do a second colonoscopy to see for himself what we are dealing with.  Ugh! but I consented to it to get to the bottom (no pun intended) of things.

The colonoscopy showed no more ulcers, no tumors and my blood tests came back great!  YEA!  However, I’m still having some symptoms but not to the severity of earlier this spring so we still needed to do something.

Dr. W’s explanation is that my colon is still on hypersensitive status from all the earlier problems.  He gave me medication to calm it down and said after 9 – 12 months he’s pretty sure I won’t need it anymore.  Yeah!  He also suggested a low carb/no sugar diet, virtually an Atkins diet.  I’m familiar with Atkins as I had been on Atkins for quite a while but the last two years I’ve sort of fallen off the wagon.  So back to Atkins I go starting tomorrow.  I find I do better starting things like this on Mondays as weekend are hard to not eat other things.  I might as well get off on the right foot.

The other side of this is if I would have stayed with Dr. V.  locally, he would have continued to throw drugs at my problem by guessing what was really going on therefore not really treating the issue at hand! 

I ran into a similar problem a couple of years ago after my thyroid cancer.  The endocrinologist, Dr. H, I was referred to locally would not listen to my concerns or symptoms.  When I mentioned anything, he constantly told me it was my hormones and out the door he would go.  The thyroid is funky organ.  If your levels, either actual or synthetic aren’t right, it can wreak all sorts of havoc with you.  I stuck it out with Dr. H. for two years until I got so fed up I went for a second opinion.  I now see an endo, Dr. P., at UW-Madison who also specializes in cancer patients and love her.  She monitors me very closely through yearly exams and ultrasounds.  She has regulated my Synthroid medicine as well as it can be.  I have blood work every 6 months to make sure the levels are correct. But the best part is, she spends time and actually listens to what is going on and adjusts accordingly!  What a novel idea for a doctor!

I’m blessed that a teaching hospital is only an hour and half drive for me and I know not everyone has that kind of luxury.  However, I’m not writing this to promote UW-Madison or a teaching hospital.  I’m writing this to encourage you to take charge of your own health because if you don’t no one else will. 

Get those second opinions!  Follow that gut instinct and when something doesn’t feel right physically or you don’t think your doc is hearing you, don’t accept status quo, do something about it! 

We are blessed to live in a country that has good healthcare available but it’s only as available as we choose to make it.  I can’t count the people that I’ve talked with that say “I can’t change.  I’ve always went to Dr. ___” or “well, I don’t understand why but that’s what the doctor said” or they just come from the doctors office and shrug their shoulders because they still don’t have answers or processes to get those answers.  That’s unacceptable folks!  Keep asking until you get your questions answered and if you still can’t get them answered where you currently are, find someone who can.  Medical records can be transferred.  Your health is too important to be pushed aside by a doctor who is too busy or doesn’t care enough to take the time to discuss issues with you.

If you’ve hung with me through this long drawn out rant, thank you for your patience.

ok, stepping down off my soap box now….

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I can see clearly now…

the angle is better

with the help of my very own design board. 


DH is so good to me. I mentioned I would like a design wall to be able to eyeball block placement better.  He dug around in his bag of tricks and came up with a piece of 1” Styrofoam, that we covered with white flannel.  DH screwed it to the wall and wallah!  I can see my projects so much better straight-on than on a table top. It’s not huge but big enough, (about 4’ x 3’) to see most placings.

Thank you DH!