Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Long Time No Hear From

Well friends, it seems like ages since I have blogged here.  Probably because it has been FOREVER!

Lots of things have been going on here.  My grandson is now almost 6 years old and will be starting Kindergarten in the fall.  If you think time flies when you children are little, it goes even faster when you have grandkids!

Personally I have been fighting the battle.  The cancer battle.  I will give you the short story.

On October 31, 2016 I went in for a routine mammogram.  I have been having mammograms since I was 27 (that's a long time, by the way) due to fibroid cysts.  After having to go back in after the results were read, I decided a few years ago to just stay in my robe and wait for the results.

This time, I just kind of had a nagging fear in the back of my head.  But here comes the tech, calling me back for more views.  Not quite my idea of a good time.  This mammogram device was surely invented by a man who was trying to get revenge on some woman.

The radiologist read the new views and decided there was something suspicious.  I was scheduled for a needle biopsy two days later.  Nothing worse than waiting, especially when you are waiting for that kind of news.  On Friday I finally received the call.  The doctor said the results were inconclusive and it now became a surgical issue.

On November 14, 2016, I underwent the knife for a lumpectomy.  Again, the lab here got inconclusive results.  By this time, my nerves are shot.  More waiting.  When I went for a follow up with the surgeon, he had just gotten the results.  It was cancer.  Pure tubular carcinoma of the breast.  Thankfully, my surgeon got clean margins and no further surgery was needed.  He also said he had to give massive credit to the radiologist as this tumor was so small, and on the chest wall, that he was surprised it was even detected.

Then the fun starts.  All this information is flying at me, barely any time to digest it.  I met with the radiologist and oncologist and they decided I would undergo radiation treatment.  I underwent 30 radiation treatments.  So thankful I didn't need chemo.  Thankful for lots of things.

To say this experience has changed me, would be an understatement.  To be faced with your own mortality is very eye opening.  I'm positive I can say I have kicked cancer in the ass.  You can't get rid of me that easily!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Lionel Trains


My father passed away in 2007 and one of his favorite past times was his Lionel train collection.  This was no run of the mill collection, his love of trains occupied the entire attic of our big old house.  Warning, post contains a lot of pictures.  I hope you enjoy!


Aunts and Uncles told us that my dad had started collecting after his days in the Marine Corp.  At that time, he had his trains in the attic at his parents house in downtown Indianapolis.  Mom and Dad's first house was a tiny ranch, and with 3 young kids, there definitely was no room for them there.  When I was 6 years old, my parents purchased an older home about 4 miles east of downtown Indianapolis, just off of Washington Street.  Finally, my dad could have his trains in his own home.
My childhood home.  The attic is behind that small window at the top left.
In 1983, my mother decided to leave the marriage.  Dad had a bit of a hard time adjusting to single life and went through a period of depressions.  Even his beloved trains couldn't help.  Finally in 1985 he met a lady.  In 1986, he prepared to sell his house and packed up his trains.  I know this from the newspapers he gently wrapped his collection in.
Notice the date on the newspaper that he wrapped the trains in.

Just a few boxes that contain trains.
My stepmother relinquished dad's collection about 4 years ago.  To me.  When they first came, I went through the 11 totes and boxes.  There were empty boxes and I searched out the corresponding trains and put them back.  At the time, I was still a bit grief stricken, so back to the garage they went.  I didn't tell my brother and sister as I had intended to make it a surprise for them for Christmas.

Fast track to today.  I was cleaning out my garage last week and decided it's time to get them out of those totes and let someone enjoy them.  There are literally hundreds of trains.  Diesel and steam engines, box cars, coal hoppers, caboose. etc.  Buildings, some metal and some hand made by my dad.
This pile of track represents hundreds of feet of his display.


A couple of the many buildings that my dad made by hand.  I remember him spending hours at the dining room table constructing display items for his trains.
One of many steam engines.  My girls each took one like this to have for their trains for their Christmas tree.

Another one of my favorites, a pullman car.
The General.  I kept this one for myself.  It's a little fragile, so I will most likely use it for display only.

The transformer.  Dad spent hours with his hands on this, running his trains.
This hat was one of his favorites.  I snagged it up.

My mother's birthday was in August, so I knew my brother Bobby, would come for a visit.  Even more so if I told him I had Dad's trains.  We had a great day of cooking out and reminiscing about the trains.  Bobby knew way more than my sister and I did about the trains.  I took a few to have on display.  My sister set up a little display for herself.  I gave each of my girls enough to have a train under their Christmas tree.  The rest went to my brother who plans on setting up a train display in his attic.  So after a lifetime of collecting, my dad's trains are finally going to be enjoyed again.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Underground Railroad Sampler

Several years ago (I'm too embarrassed to even tell you how many) I attempted to do a block of the month follow along for this Underground Railroad Sampler quilt.  I think I only managed a few posts and I finally got mine finished.
I got my pattern from the Quilt In a Day book titled Underground Railroad Sampler.  The stories behind the blocks are amazing and I really enjoyed making this one.  I was able to complete this quilt using my scraps.  This really got me thinking about how they used to make their quilts out of necessity back in the day and not just for fun.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Crockin' Continental Chicken

In my attempt to plan menus better this year, I decided to reach into my recipe box and try some old favorites.  This slow cooker recipe for Continental Chicken is from my original crock pot book.  I won't say just how old that is, but I'm sure in some circles it's considered "vintage".


Continental Chicken

6-8 chicken breasts (I prefer to use chicken breast tenders)
6-8 slices of bacon
1 package of Buddig beef
1-10 ounce can cream soup
1/4 cup sour cream mixed with 1/4 cup flour
Arrange dried beef on the bottom of greased slow cooker.  Wrap chicken breast with bacon and lay on top of dried beef.  Mix soup and sour cream/flour mixture together and pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high 3-4 hours.  I usually serve this over a bed of rice or noodles along with green beans or broccoli.
 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Dragonfly

We have this huge blue pole barn along the side of our back yard.  Not my favorite thing to look at, that's for sure!  This spring I finally got a start on trying to make it less of an eye sore.

One thing we have around here that I do love are dragonflies.  Even though it's early in the season, they are already making their appearance.  In the summer I love watching them hover above the pond and flit around the yard.
  
I gathered up some "junque" to make my own version of the dragonfly.  Some fan blades, a spindle, white paint, screws and a few eye hooks.
I love how it turned out!  I wound up using some old insulators for the eyes instead of the glass globe in the previous picture.  Not quite sure if you can judge the size by the photo or not, but the wing span is almost 4 feet.
Stay tuned for more junque decor on the pole barn!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Book Page Stars

For a couple of years now, I have had this idea in my head to make these book page stars.  Even though Christmas is already past, I can be ahead of the game for next year!
Items needed for this project:  3-D paper mache stars in various sizes, old or new book pages, mod podge, scruffy brush, scissors, mica flakes, silver garland, german glitter and fingers.

Using the paint brush, I put the mod podge on in sections and  then used my fingers to smooth down the pages and get the placement I wanted.

Using a thin brush, place mod podge along the edges and raised portion of the star, then sprinkle with german glitter.  Make sure and put something under the surface where you are glittering to catch the excess.
It was hard to get pictures of the stars due to the camera flash.  
This group of stars has the glitter garland around the edges.  I glued the garland in place with a hot glue gun, gluing in short sections.  Warning:  glue gun is HOT!

This group may be my favorite.  Loving the vintage look, coloring of the pages and the garland.

This reproduction box of Christmas snow is used in my Santa display.  Inside is a zipper bag of mica flakes which I used on the next set of stars.

These flakes are light and fly away easily.  I used a deep glass bowl to sprinkle them over the stars.   Again brushing with mod podge and using my fingers to sprinkle the mica.
These were actually finished first.  I put them on the tree for a picture before I put it away.

In total, I made thirteen stars.  They say odd numbers are best.  My plan is to use these to decorate a garland above my kitchen window.  I can't wait to see how it looks!