Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ready for Jam Makin'

I received my order of Pectin from Amazon.  Now I am ready to make some low-sugar strawberry jam this year.  Anyone used this before? I am anxious to give it a try.
I am a little nervous about going back to work.  I've been off for four weeks.  I haven't been off this long in almost 27 years!  I still don't have my normal energy.  Thank goodness I get to do half time for a couple of weeks.  I sure hope that eases me back into the 10 hour days. I've enjoyed being off, but would have liked it more if I was able to do all the stuff I'd like to have gotten done - sewing, planting some flowers, and cleaning the garage, the porch, and all the outdoor furniture and cushions.  That will all have to wait, I guess, until I'm back to full strength.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Perspective

I am enjoying my last day off work. Next week I start back to work half days. I haven't sewn any in my quilt room since I've been off. I've missed it. This afternoon I came upstairs to look at patterns for my next Remembrance Quilt and ended up on the bed. I love this room!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day Trip

Today the hubs and I made a little day trip.  We visited the cemetery where his brother, and parents are buried.

And then we went on up to the mountains and drove the Cade's Cove loop.
It was pretty for most of the day, but unfortunately my back started giving me a fit even before we got there.  I ended up laying in the back seat for the ride home.  Guess I did too much yesterday, or maybe just riding in the car for an hour and a half was too much for me......I'll be glad when I get back to my normal.  I'm not complaining though, I've got so much to be thankful for.

Cow's Milk Alternative

We live in such a blessed era.  My father had trouble digesting milk a few years ago and there wasn't as many cow's milk alternatives available as there are today in our area.  I have tried the Almond milk and love it.  I've always loved milk, but the last few years, I've noticed my tummy doesn't tolerate much of it.  Check out the differences in the picture.  Although the almond milk doesn't supply as much protein, overall it is much healthier, and provides more calcium. We usually get the 1% cow's milk.  The almond milk has a thicker, creamier consistency, much like 2% or even whole, but has the same fat as the 1%.
And in case you can't read the fine print, almond milk does give you less potassium and protein, but has less sugar, fewer calories, and provides iron and other minerals cow's milk doesn't give you. It is more expensive, but for someone who can't tolerate much of cow's milk, and needs more calcium (I have osteopenia) I'm sold on it.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Today is only the second time that I've cooked since I had my surgery.  It is time to get back in the groove. Thanks to many friends who brought food, and to the hubs who grilled, and made sure we had plenty to eat.

In my quest to learn how to cook and eat whole foods, I again made a tofu stir fry. I started with stir frying the veggies in a little peanut oil....this time I used a few different veggies.....
 Then added in cooked brown rice, peanuts, pineapple tidbits and a bit of teriyaki......
then added the tofu that I had marinated in teriyaki sauce.....
and here is the final product....
and for dessert I made a fresh strawberry cobbler.  I used almond milk and a little less sugar than normal in my attempt to be dairy free and cut down on sugar.  By the way, the almond milk is really good and has 50% more calcium than regular milk.
The little corner in the right......well, I had to taste it.  I thought it was still very yummy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Work Group

One of the members of my work group is taking another job and moving away.  We are sad to lose him.  The group decided to take him out to eat today.  I made the drive to town and met with them for lunch.  It was great to see everyone after being off a couple of weeks.
These are great folks!

Preserving History

Isn't this quilt a beauty?
It was made by my grandmother in 1976 in honor of our country's bicentennial anniversary.  I have inherited it from my mom and am making a label for it.

I love old, scrap quilts.  She machine pieced this one, but hand quilted it.  I didn't start quilting until after she passed away, but I bet she would have been pleased to know I am doing my part to keep this art form alive!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Brown rice, dried cranberries, sliced almonds and a pat of butter, a bit of sugar, and a little milk.

On the advice of his doctor, my son is trying to do a plant based diet (no meat, or dairy), for health reasons.  So when he and his wife came in for their very short visit ( he preached at a local church on Sunday), I tried to make a dish that would accommodate his diet.  I made a stir fry with brown rice, tofu, mixed vegetables, peanuts, pineapples, and teriyaki sauce.  It was really good.  With his encouragement,  I watched a movie called "Forks over Knives."  It is a documentary discussing the health benefits and research in a whole foods, plant based diet.  There is evidence that this kind of diet can even reverse heart disease, diabetes, and many other chronic illnesses, while providing energy, stamina, and shedding excess pounds.

So today, I tried to make a fairly healthy breakfast with some of the leftover rice.  I am going to try to start incorporating some of these ideas in our diet as well.  

Monday, March 19, 2012


I decided to go fishing with Jim tonight. Although I only was able to fish about ten minutes before my body reminded me of my surgery two weeks ago, I caught this baby!! We had a good time.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Watts Bar Lake

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My view

The last couple of days have really been beautiful, and we are promised more this week. I told the hubby I feel like I am retired.....hmmm...could get used to this time off thing.

I am also trying a new app that will let me post from the iPad. So, let's see if this worked.....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I am coming off the energy high from the steroids. Wow. Amazing how they disguised the pain and soreness of the surgery. They did heal the pleurisy. Now I am back to feeling like I had surgery 12 days ago. A little sore and I tire out a bit sooner than I'd like, but overall doing great.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Products I love

I decided to write a post about two of my favorite products.  No, I am not being paid.

I am very light skinned.  Pale is the word.  Some call it fair.  Anyway, I've never tanned well and now at my age, the tanned look from the sun isn't worth the damage to my skin.  I've tried many of the self tanners and they all smell HORRIBLE on me.  A disgusting smell.  I can smell it when I move, or sit, or whatever.  However, I did find one that isn't as strong as the others.  In fact, St. Tropez Gradual Tan advertises that it eliminates the smell by 70%.  And that is a true statement.  It is pricey, but worth it if you are self conscious about your pale skin but forced to dress lightly because of your hot flashes (ha!) 

The next product I love is Cetaphil Daily Advance Ultra Hydrating Lotion.  This stuff is the bomb.  I mean, it moisturizes like none other.  Not greasy, not thick.  It also advertises that it keeps working for 24 hours.  In addition to my fair skin I also have very dry skin.  In the winter my legs will flake with dryness, and my cuticles will crack. I use this stuff from face to toes every night after my shower.  Love it.  You can find it anywhere - grocery, Walmart, etc.

I kind of enjoyed this product review post.  I might try to make it a regular.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hysterectomy Recovery

Today, I actually felt great.  After a trip to the ER with a diagnosis of a little pleurisy, and the prescribed 6 days of steroids, today was the first day I can really say that I feel good.  I am sure I overdid it today.....sure of it.....I tried to do things slow but was just so hyper it was difficult, I swept the porch, did a couple loads of laundry, hung some things on the clothes line, emptied the dishwasher, walked to the mailbox, went upstairs a couple of times, paced the floor while I talked on the phone did a few things which included sitting outside and working on my cathedral window for a bit, and watching a little TV.

I have a nickname my husband gave me years ago, "Randall," mostly because I am a huge tomboy (can be rough and uncouth) but also because I am always into some kind of project and don't mind getting dirty, and am somewhat hyper.  I say Randall is my alter ego.  My friend told the hubby that Rachel on steroids will be like Randall to the 10th power.  Lol, we got a kick out of that.  But I think she was right.  I was up at 6:15 after not much sleep, and have been at it all day.  My back is telling me now I've done too much. I think I'll take a shower, and a pain pill, and go to bed early.

Oh yeah, the best news is that when I saw the doctor this week because of the chest pain (pleurisy) he read me the final pathology reports of all the "goods" that were removed.  No cancer.  None. Nil. I asked him what he thought of this whole deal.  He said he didn't really know what to think of it.  Initial ultrasound indicated a problem, as well as the post-menopausal bleeding, and other symptoms I had.  First uterine biopsy yielded a small patch of cancer cells.  Second and third biopsy's - nothing.  Final hysterectomy nothing. And when the uterus was removed, it looked normal, not like it looked on the ultrasound.  His only thought was that the initial blind biopsy picked up the only bad cells.  I know what happened.  Me and many others were praying between the first biopsy and the others, and God showed me mercy.  I am so thankful.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

First Outing Since Surgery

Today was the first time I've been out of the house since my surgery.  I went to a baby shower.  It was for my dear friend's daughter-in-law.  I got to give her the quilt I had made her new baby and also give sweet Brittany the quilt I made out of Chase's clothes.

Kandi got some beautiful new things for little Kylie Shields, her third child, who will be making her arrival in a couple of weeks.

I think I did fine.  It felt good to be out especially on such a beautiful day.  I did come home and rest on the bed for a couple of hours afterward.  I think I must have had my expectations a bit too high for my recovery.  From all I've read (lots from the Hystersisters site) I think I am progressing normally. Resting just isn't something that comes naturally to me.  I like to be busy!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I know it has only been four days, but I've been a little down today because I am not yet able to run up and down the stairs and be back to my normal, hyper self. However, a couple of doorbell rings sure did brighten up my day.

My work group sent me this beautiful bouquet of spring flowers to cheer me!

 And then a bit later, my boss and a co-worker sent me these beautiful spring flowers.  Fresh flowers really do cheer you up!  I have such great friends and co-workers!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Got home yesterday from my Da Vinci robotic hysterectomy.  No bad cells found yet, but all will be sent to pathology.  Pretty sore.  Kind of feels like my insides have been in a blender.  I am being a good patient and doing all the things they say.  And am actually looking forward to being off work a few weeks, especially since spring is on its way.  Hopefully, in a few days, I'll feel like some sewing.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Remembrance Baby Quilt Finished

I had so many little things to quilt around (snaps, plackets, embroidery designs) I just stippled it.