Monday, December 25, 2017

THE pivotal point

And the Word become Flesh, and dwelt among us.

'Nuff said. Merry CHRISTmas, y'all!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

An Aha! moment....

I haven't done a tablescape post in a while, so I figured it was time. Better than rehashing the ups and downs of daily life (an ain't we all got those? :) )

I still adore dressing the table with a cloth, placemats, napkins and rings, and cute themed centerpieces. It's both a creative outlet and a way to beautify what might be a bland area in our home.
Our table (bought used) is 44"x86" and has 8 chairs. I know, what was I thinking??? There are only 3 of us, and neither side of the family is big on get togethers (and my mil is doing all the 'stuff' this year).

Nonetheless, I do love our table. It's sturdy and wide, great for spreading out a monopoly game, or schoolbooks, or just sitting at the head of it and admiring it's broad, serviceable, width. What I don't care for is the color. It was originally a weird pink-blond wood, but the folks we bought it from took the the two leaves out and restained the table (but not the chairs, sigh) a hideous golden color. The leaves remained unstained.

Needless to say, this thing needs clothes! I found tablecloths to fit (72x120) at, for around $9 each, plus shipping. I have 10 different solid colors now. They are polyester and nothing fancy, but I'm pleased with them after a year of service. On top of the cloth I put placemats. Now, I don't use just one set continuously. What's the fun in that? Nope, I have around 15 different sets! Some of 6, and some of 8.

A few are round, solid colors, but most are patterned. There are Santa ones, Snowman ones, Gingerbread ones, ect for Christmas, pink, green and white trellis for spring, pastel plaid, cat tapestry ones, birdhouses, African safari/animals, ect. I'm continuously on the lookout for more. I get them secondhand at Ebay, mostly. Usually under $10 for a set of 6 or 8. Bargains, baby!

Then, there are the napkins. Again from TCF (link above), I have sets of solid color poly napkins, as well as patterned ones from Ebay. There are napkin rings of every color, santas, pigs, ladybugs, dragonflies, ect. Sometimes I do a fancy fold and forgo the rings (I have a book for that, too).

I have used my MIL's grandmother's ceramic cats (one over 100 years old, and over a foot high) as a centerpiece, two wooden elephants I decorate our bookshelf with, plants, candles, a bowl of pinecones, even my son's stuffed animals when they fit the theme! I look around my own house to find inspiration for the next table, and the centerpiece idea usually drives what I look for in linens.

But sometimes, you cannot find, or rather, afford what you like, even from Ebay. Right now, I'm focused on Easter. Now, I had an adorable table last year, and I am honestly proud of how that turned out. This year, I will reuse that 'scape, but not for Easter itself. I've got the stuff for that already, but I want some actual Easter/bunny themed stuff. Ebay is  not helping with this right now.

If I had a 4 seater table, I would be awash in affordable placemat sets. Get up into 6 or 8, and you are talking some money (over $20, which is out of my budget). What to do, what to do....

Then it hit me. I have vinyl placemats, and in looking at other stuff, found sewn vinyl sets (my MIL has bought me for Christmas (my pick)  the cutest set of...but you might see that in summer, lol) and thought, I CAN DO THAT!! And I was off the to races.

Get a vinyl tablecloth, dollar store or WM brand will work, cut it up, find a suitable colored backing cloth,  and stitch those babies up! You'd use the regular pattern for a placemat, I'm thinking. You could get 6 out of a 52" cloth, with careful cutting (fronts only, of course, it would take two cloths for a set). And all for around $5-10.

I am inspired to pull out my sewing machine and relearn how to use it (my MIL had it for years, and I forgot, and also don't have the book anymore, sigh). Anyone have any tips to make this easier, or the mats look better? A narrow gauge needle? Type of thread? Should I put batting in the middle, or no?

Ideas themed, hunting, perhaps a county fair cloth/set....woohoo!!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Marching on

To winter!
The nights are chilly here now, the days cool and delightful. I love this weather!
Not for me the heat of summer, sticky and oppressive, or the frost of winter, bare and
bleak. I like Spring and Fall, cool, moderate, enjoyable. Each with its own kaleidoscope
of colors. I will admit, though, that snow might be fun once in a while, lol.

Good things, GOD THINGS, have been happening.
Mayo set us a goal of $3800 to raise for post transplant expenses. If we were to set up
an account with the Ga Transplant Center, they would match our donations, so we only
needed $1900. Our church alone raised over that in one night for us, with more that came
in after! We now have our transplant savings, and some in our personal account for afterwards,
as well. God is good.

Tony continues to hurt, but has found that a heating pad works as well as the pitiful meds
they give him, so he uses that instead. His mom gifted him a very nice wearable heating
pad with two batteries (one extra) that he uses at work. God is good.

We found a psychologist to see Drake about his anxiety and fear of speaking. We had
the first, meet and greet visit, and we go back for tests and evaluations this Thursday.
Praying we can diagnose him correctly to get him the help he needs to overcome all his fears.
We are on the way. God is good.

My brother was admitted to our local hospital with breathing difficulties, then transferred
to Savannah. He has bacteremia, a weak heart, terrible diabetes complications, ect. He's
hanging in there, has had a toe amputated, still hurts to breathe, but is trying to remain
positive. Considering how he looked when I first saw him in the Sav ER, it's a miracle he
is alive. God is good.

My sister has a spot of skin cancer that needs to be removed, but they feel that once gone,
it will be done. Pray that it is so. God is good.

We sent off two shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child this year, and it felt SO good.
We also filled our paper bag with food for our local food drive. Drake really got into
the spirit of it, and we had great talks about helping others and doing what Jesus sent us
here to do. His faith is simple and uncomplicated, and beautiful to see. God is good.

I hope that things are well with you, chickies. Stay warm and eat way too much at T'giving!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Life in October

Drake turned 9 September 30, and we held his party on Oct 14 (so his daddy would be off work and be there, of course).

We went back to Mayo for our one year checkup. Tony's kidney function is now at 15%, down 3 percent from June.

He has hurt daily from June, and had a week long attack of gout that left him crawling in the floor to the bathroom. Got over that....

And lost a week of work due to what we think was a kidney stone. B/c of all the cysts, the stone can't just slip out as normal ( a few days), it took much longer. Thank goodness for great parents that help out in times like these (loss of paycheck).

Our church is hosting a Benefit Sing tonight, with Southern Crossroads (group) for both Tony and another woman from our church with cancer. Praying for a good turnout and donations.

Tony's good friends from work (well, a company that uses his plant at times) gave us $500 today! Our Awesome God!!

He had a scope done for his reflux, but it came back clear, no ulcers. We figure its his kidneys pushing up on his chest and stomach (as per Mayo). He takes meds as needed for this.

He has a spot on his lung (PLEASE PRAY) that he had a ct scan for Friday. It could be scar tissue, or something more sinister (Please no).

I am enjoying the BEST salsa ever, from a local restaurant, Surchero's. It is wonderful!

We are trying to sell our boat for a little extra money, no offers yet.

Drake saw a ground rattler on the way back from the pond! It was around 12 inches long, and remained still enough for a cousin (on our property looking for more snakes, actually) to come kill it.
He later, on another day, found a 5 1/2 ' rattler out by the pond!

I am considering going back to work, or school (dh's choice) in case he has to stop working due to his kidneys. Prayers appreciated.

Hope you're having a great October!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Happy Fall!

It's been a rough few weeks in our house.

Dh continues to have kidney pain, missing work and nearly crying at the intensity.
There was a week of gout in his toes, where he was crawling on hands and knees to the
bathroom. It took 5 days for the medicine to take effect. He can no longer lift and pull things
like he once could, and I'm pretty sure that the riding lawnmower is now going to be my job,
as it jolts his kidneys too much. He's tired of hurting, and I hate this 'new normal'. I want my
healthy, active husband back!

Nonetheless, we know that God's got this. He knew from the beginning that this would be part
of Tony's life, and He will work it out as He sees fit. I try to turn my fears and frustrations over
to him, but some days are better than others. Prayer is appreciated, for all of us.

In other, happier news, here's a link to a number of fun napkin folds, including a cute pumpkin.
In that one, I'd use a cinnamon stick or even a small stick (painted green if you like) rather than
the pickle (how weird).

I'm loving the cooler weather in the evenings, though it remains in the upper 80's and even 90's
here in south Georgia. Upcoming events for us include the local fair, the 9th birthday party for
our son (it was Sept 30, but the party is Oct 14, so Dh can be there), and a rodeo (our first).

What fun things are going on with you?

Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday, Monday

What I'm doing: relaxing on the couch, writing this blog post, before I get the boy to take a bath.

What I've eaten: A pepperoni and cheese calzone from WM, and some grapes. The calzone was less than stellar; I can't recommend it. The grapes were good, though. :)

What's going on today: Laundry, and soccer evaluations later today. Drake is finally in U-10. Prob no summer homeschool (to keep him up to date) b/c of the late soccer stuff. We do a couple/few times a week, nothing heavy. Our year starts Oct 1.

The weather: Alternating sunny, but mostly cloudy. Breezy enough that my big chimes are 'gonging',
due to the storm off the Ga coast (or has it moved north yet?).

My mood: Lazy, I'd like to take a nap.

Supper: BBQ sammies with KFC coleslaw, yum.

Rest of my menu: Ham and cheese sliders with fries
                              Chicken and yellow rice, peas
                              Ham alfredo with broccoli, rolls
                              Chicken (rotisserie) and potato salad
     That takes us through Friday. Not sure ab Sat and Sun yet. We'll see when it gets here.

News: We go to the kidney doctor tomorrow for news about Dh's latest lab work. We'll find out if
his GFR is lower, how his other levels are, ect. If it has lowered, there's nothing they can do about it, it's the nature of the disease. When it gets to around 10%, he'll go on dialysis, unless he gets sick enough before then. :(  The other levels can sometimes be brought in line with diet, but we'll have to see where we stand.

Reading: Not much at the moment. Internet browsing, and playing Diggy's Adventure's on my phone are good distractions to the worry going on in my mind right now. My kindle is crying for relief, however. :)

Hope you have a great week, chickies!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Valley and Shadows

Tony has been feeling badly these past few days. He went to the ER yesterday with really bad reflux/chest pain. Gird related. He's being scheduled for a scope to see if it's an ulcer.

Today there was blood in his stool/urine. He showered and headed out to work. His kidney's began hurting on the way out the door. He went anyway. I fear dialysis isn't far off.

He's tired of feeling bad, and I'm tired of being stressed about his health. Will he lose his job due to illness? What if he has to quit working? There's no way I can replace his income if I go back to work, even full time. It takes all of his paycheck for us to get by now. Each time he has chest pain, I fear it might be a heart attack. His birth father died at 31 from that.

Trying to raise money for the transplant expenses, pay off a credit card to better our scores, put something/anything in savings, and pay on the medical bills we already have from past hospitalizations. My mind is often a hamster on a wheel. Winning the lottery big time would help a lot. :)

Of course, we do know that God has us in His hand, and is leading us right through all of this. He's neither surprised nor dismayed at our circumstances. His grace will be enough. Father, let me remember this. (but around $100,000 wouldn't come amiss, either) :D

Please keep us in prayer. This is a difficult and stressful time.
If you could, would you share the link? We would really appreciate it.