Sunday, June 28, 2015


I like jewelry that's unique. I don't like stuff you can see everywhere. I don't usually wear bracelets, but this was so special, I had to have it.

Can you figure out what it is?

It's made from an old sterling silver fork.

You can find more from the ForkWhisperer.

I'm finishing up that thing I can't tell you about, and hope to be moving on to some real sewing real soon!  I'm two weeks into the antibiotics and I am feeling fine. I'm trying to get enough rest so I don't wear myself out.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Catch Up

I still haven't been doing a lot of sewing. I'm still working on that thing I can't tell anybody about, and I want to finish it this weekend. I got the Black Box quilt off to Paducah for the AQS show in Syracuse. I've been resting, and I've read three books in the last week alone.

The big news is I am planning a road trip to visit my friend Kathy who now lives in Belfast Maine.

Kathy visited me in 2012 (OMG, has it been THREE years?) and is the maker of the most outstanding, awesome, magnificent free pieced houses I have ever seen.

It will be a four hour trek to her house, and we have several days of mischief planned. Sewing may be involved. I can't wait.

Charlotte, I have added you to my prayers. Three times. Good luck, friend.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Little Sewing, Please, Maybe?

Oh gosh yes.

My sister called me up yesterday morning. "You know Lynne, if you WANTED all the attention you got, I'm not sure you could have cooked up a better reason."

I laughed.

"And you know I don't mean that in a negative way, it's just that, SHEESH!!"

Um yeah. Sisters pretty much hit the nail right smack on the head, or wherever else they want to smack it, and are quite satisfied with themselves no matter what.

"Frankly Marie," I said to her, "I would have been a lot happier without the tick bite and all the fuss..."

So yeah. I'm a week through the antibiotics and the last ten minutes of the hour after I take the pill are the hardest. That's when my stomach feels the most squeamish, and it tells me to start dinner so I will have something ready when the timer goes off. Otherwise I'm trying to get enough rest and drink extra fluids.

I have been doing a little bit of sewing, but it's for something I can't tell you about, so I have nothing to show you, except selfsame sister visited yesterday with a fellow quilting buddy to pick up one of these,
It's my homemade bread, (recipe here) and the only thing I did differently this time is add the grated rind from an entire navel orange to the dough when I was adding the eggs. This stuff is pretty much divine no matter how you eat it, sliced naked, toasted, toasted with butter (or anything else), as part of a sandwich or whatever. Nobody ever turns a loaf down, and I am always made aware at just how good it is whenever I take a bite out of the stuff that passes for "bread" nowadays.

After my sister and her BFF left yesterday, after looking at quilts, I decided to hang the crayon quilts in the dining room.

So yeah, finally, here is something quilt related.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Am I The Only...

Am I the only person who is counting down the hours until the new Poldark airs on Masterpiece Theatre tonight?

I watched the one from the 70's when it aired back then, and please, somebody, tell me I'm not the only middle-aged female who'll be glued to the TV tonight...

I know, I know, I'm an incurable romantic, and probably way too old for this, but wth? If you call my house when it's on, don't expect me to pick up the phone.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Win Some, Lose Some

My test was positive. I have Lyme Disease. The really good news is I caught it early, before it hid away in my body and became a debilitating illness. This round of meds should clear it out completely.

My name and address were sent to the state as required by law, so I am one more on the list of citizens in NH confirmed as infected by Lyme Disease. It is an endemic here in NH. (In 2001, there was only 1 case. In 2013, sadly, the number of confirmed cases was 1323.)

I will continue to take the antibiotic, and will have to be a lot more careful when I walk about my property.

The CDC link above, has information on how to to establish a "tick-free" zone around my house, and some of my landscaping plans for other parts of my yard have changed significantly based on this knowledge.

Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lump = Lymph Node!


I just heard the results from my ultrasound, and they are Negative!

The Lump is just an enlarged lymph node and nothing else.


Much Ado About... Nothing?

The biggest excitement of the ultrasound came when the radiologist came into the room after the tech went to ask if the images were sharp enough for him.  Was this good news? Or bad?

As it turned out, it was neither.

"When did you have your last mammogram?" he demanded, "It wasn't here."

"I had a digital mammogram in Salem, because the insurance company was fussy about how much it cost."

"We've worked to make sure the cost is the same with all insurance companies."

"Not YOUR cost. MY COST. I would have had to pay over $150 out-of-pocket to get a digital mammogram HERE, but in Salem it didn't cost me anything."

"REALLY!  We'll I'll get to the bottom of THAT."

We laughed. "OK," he said pointing to my shoulder, "When did that start hurting?"

I told him.

"When did you notice this?" he pointed to the bite mark on my arm.

"It was there almost a week."

"How did you get bit?"

I described ripping out the kudzu in the unmaintained parts of my front yard.

"That's an awful lot of work for a 60 year old woman."

I scowled. "It needed to be done, I had the time and the energy."


He is not convinced the lump is related to the tick bite. He does not think it will disappear quickly (less than a week), and that I should follow up with my PCP a few months down the road.


Later, Julie emailed me, and I quote: "Sigh. Has the medicine affected it at all yet?"

My reply:
1. It doesn't hurt.
2. It isn't as red.
3. I have to poke around to find it.

I went to work yesterday, but was failing by lunchtime. A rest on the soft bed in radiology must have revived me, because I returned to work with more energy than I had in the morning.

We'll see, but so far I feel a lot better than I did on Monday.

Results on Friday. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Carrying On

Marei wanted to know if I would create a spreadsheet to know what to eat when.  No, I didn't do that, but I did figure it out in my head.

I can't eat my usual breakfast of homemade granola, milk (soy) and fresh fruit for breakfast. (But I CAN have it for lunch!) So I've been having this instead,

Avocado toast, a fried egg with a bit of hot sauce and fresh strawberries with a bit of maple syrup.

The ultrasound is later today. The antibiotics have already helped me feel better and I have purchased some probiotics to offset their side effects.

Thank you all for your wonderful words of support, your prayers, and your helpful suggestions. I've got a list of books to read while I am "laid up" and offers of assistance from many friends nearby. With all your support, I know I'll get through this.

It's important to keep a positive attitude while going through this, so I think you'll all share my enjoyment with the following photo my DIL sent me.  "I think," she wrote,

"he's still tired."

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tick, Tick, Tick...

The other shoe dropped Monday when what I thought was a bugbite on the same arm as the lump developed a red halo, and I discovered an oval shaped rash on my chest. The lump in my armpit had red streaks on the skin and I felt achy and sore all over.

My coworkers and others told me to straight to Urgent Care.

The doctor took one look and said, "Lyme Disease."

I had a blood test for that and something else (can't quite remember) and was prescribed the antibiotic Doxycycline, which has a long list of things I can and can't eat before and after taking it. (Take on an empty stomach with lots of water, don't lie down for 10 minutes after taking it, don't eat for an hour after taking it, don't eat anything with calcium in it for two to three hours afterward...) I have to take the antibiotic for 3 weeks and was told it would probably be really nasty to my stomach at the end.

The ultrasound is still on for Wednesday, and I have a follow up visit on Friday when I'll learn the results and a plan of action.

If there's an upside it's that I found it within two weeks and got treatment right away.

The downside (aside from having Lyme Disease) is that Julie says "your gardening activities are officially over for the year, except for watering your garden from a very long distance away."

Any future work in the garden or the front or back yards will have to be done by a professional landscaper and not me.

Don't tell me I should have checked myself for ticks. I did that every day I worked in the garden, but apparently I was looking for X and I should have been looking for Y.


So I'll stay home on Tuesday, sacked out on the couch. Millie has already made it clear I am a perfect spot for napping, which is nice.

The Eagle Has Landed

When my son arrived on Saturday he complained he hadn't been able to get any sleep on the redeye flight from Los Angeles. He didn't get much sleep before he had to leave either, perhaps four hours Saturday night, as his flight home left Boston at 6AM. I don't know if he slept at all on that plane either, but my DIL sent this photo in a text message to tell me he was safely home.

"The eagle has landed," she wrote, "and has already passed out."

I thought it charming that his dog was snuggled up beside him.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Guess who pulled the ultimate surprise and flew across the country for my nephew's graduation???

My son, who I haven't seen since his wedding last May.  I don't think I have to tell you how much his very short visit lifted my spirits.

It's the Little Things...

My top loading washing machine is underneath some cabinets and they jut out just far enough that the washing machine cover won't stay open on it's own.  The previous owner used a cup hook on a string from the knob to keep the washer top open.
It worked, but it looked really stupid. Every time I'd open the cabinet the hook went flying around, and if I didn't get the laundry detergent out of the cabinet first, I had to unhook it, close the washer, etc, etc.  There had to be a better way.

 A magnet seemed the perfect solution, but I couldn't get a magnet to stick to the cabinet. The bond between the magnet and the washing machine was stronger than the bond between the glue and the magnet.  When I wanted to hang the welcome banner to the side door, my friend Julie said Larry (her husband, an engineer and A-1 solver of problems) had a great source for "rare earth magnets."

Now I have no freaking clue what a rare earth magnet is, but I checked out the website and found just what I needed, a small 1/2" square magnet with a countersunk hole for a screw.  Bingo!

It works like a charm, and has the added advantage of being able to have the cabinet door open while the washing machine is open, so I can reach the laundry detergent inside.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


I found a lump in my armpit yesterday. It hurt. I went to the doctor. It's an inflamed / enlarged lymph node. No way to know what it is for sure without an ultrasound, which is scheduled for next week. It may simply be an infection which might clear up before then.

So cross your fingers and let's hope so. 

To say it's knocked me for a loop is an understatement. 


In significantly better news, my quilt, The Black Box, has been accepted into AQS Grand Rapids.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Leap

This is my nephew with his quilt.  I'm pretty sure words aren't necessary for this photo.

 It's so funny. Every time I give somebody a quilt, the first thing they do is wrap themselves in it.

 Of course, he had to ham it up.

 "I am a BURRITO!" he called as he rolled around on the grass.

"I love my quilt, Auntie! thank you very much."

After that he ran around the park using the quilt as a cape.

Looks like a hit to me.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Delivery Day

Today is Delivery Day for this quilt. Woo Hoo!  I'll tell you all about it later!

Friday, June 5, 2015

A Night Out

Last night I brought my nephew to the Currier Museum of Art for one of their "Currier After Hours" events.

We had a light dinner in the Cafe and listened to this folk band. It was great. The instruments included a drum one of the performers sat on to play (above), bagpipes, a clay jug, an 1846 banjo and a washboard. There was also the green thing on the far left, a combination of a metal drum and a double bass. Pretty amazing.

I couldn't take any photos in the Audubon exhibit, or of the sculpture my nephew liked best, or of him hamming it up next to an Audubon painting of a snarling fisher cart, but I could take photos of these two abstract paintings which reminded me of quilts.

This painting is by John Edward Heliker, an oil on masonite from 1952 called "Trastevere."

This new acquisition is by Ilya Bolotowsky, (an American born in St Petersburg Russia, 1907 - 1981). It is an untitled oil on canvas, painted in 1952.

I'm always telling you to go to your local Art Museum and look around. Every single one usually has free admission for residents on a specific day and time. At the Currier it's Saturday morning from 10 AM to noon.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Nephew

My nephew is the President of the school orchestra, and as such he was the one to offer thanks to the music teachers at the final school concert of the year last night.

He did it with aplomb, making the audience laugh on several occasions. There's more than just a little bit of ham in the kid.  We're going out to dinner on Saturday, when I'll gift him his quilt.

This quilt.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Little Hand Sewing...

When you exhibit your quilts, they need to have labels with your address and all that stuff.  When you move, you have to make a new label.
So I had to make a new address label for the Black  Box quilt.  As long as I was at it, I decided to add the labels from the AQS shows the Black Box has been shown in.

Chattanooga, Des Moines and Albuquerque.  The Black Box will travel to Syracuse in July. There's a possibility I'll drive five and a half hours to go see it, but the dates are problematic with stuff going on at work. We'll see.

In the meantime, I can check, "sew new label on Black Box quilt" off my to-do list.