Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Day of "S's"

Woody got up early on this Sunday morning and went on a Six-mile walk. Then we both went to church and Sunday School. Woody taught his Sixth grade boys class. We came home and had lunch. A little after lunch we had three Silly Sisters come over to have their pictures taken together in the dresses that I had made them. Abigail wanted to come over for Sewing School so after She got some chores done at home She came over to Sew. At some point her Sisters came over to play too. They played downstairs and also did Some art in the School room. Then Graham came over and decided that he wanted to Start his Sewing notebook so he had a bit of Sewing School too! Woody made tuna Salad and watched DVD's during all this and tried to relax. That about Sums up our Sunday!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Modeling Session and Foiled Plans

This morning Woody got up early and went for a 4-mile walk. And, it's a good thing as not very long after he got home we had a thunderstorm roll in. Woody's plans for the day got foiled...he had planned to water some gardens. Instead we got .91 inches of watering unnecessary...and Woody had to mark that off his plans for the day. The little neighbors were out early selling their wares. I walked over and bought a green pepper to use in our lunch preparations. Then Abigail came over to try her new dress on for the first time and to have her modeling session. She had fun twirling, curtsying, grinning, and then we had fun with some of the strange settings on my made her look VERY tall and thin and the other made her look rather short and squat. She thought that was funny! Woody made a blueberry dump cake to take over to the neighbors for their welcome home lunch. After the was done, he headed off to run errands and go to the grocery stores. I got up pretty early and got busy on the rest of the fixin's for today's lunch with Nathan and Kathy and family. Shortly after Woody left for the grocery store, there was a rapping on our front door and there were four little munchkins looking for a dry spot to play...they were on the front porch with umbrellas in came their shoes and in they piled. They played and watched PBS while I continued to cook. We had a fun welcome home lunch over at the neighbors house. We find that easier as their seating is more accommodating than ours...they're set up for a crowd all the time!!! After lunch, I took a nap and Woody went to the library and when he came back he cleaned up the lunch mess in the kitchen. After my nap, Abigail came over to work on an embroidery design that she wants to put in the cover of her new sewing notebook that we are going to use for sewing lessons this school year. We have it partly finished and will stitch out the rest when she comes over next. I ironed three (well, only two as Abigail's hadn't been worn yet except for the modeling session) little dresses to have them ready for the girls to wear to church in the morning. If I sew on fabric that wrinkles, then I have told Kathy that I will iron out those wrinkles after the dresses have been washed! Woody is reading and watching TV or perhaps a DVD this evening...just relaxing at the end of a busy day.
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Friday, July 29, 2011

Found 'em!

We've been looking for those cucumber-pickle-tomato eaters and tonight we found them! They went right to work selling their produce...when it was suggested that they might want to set up a vegetable stand in the morning...they set up shop immediately! Graham barks his wares..."tomatoes, tomatoes put them on your salads!" The girls are a little quieter about it...though they should have been a good advertisement as to how good the cucumbers are as they chowed down on them while they waited for customers. Graham did make a sale...their next door neighbor (not us) came out not long after Graham started barking about his tomatoes and bought some.

I'm late blogging tonight as we had to catch up with the neighbors. We haven't seen each other for a month! They have been on the road going to a Christian conference, going to several churches and doing a week long camp...they have been in the DC area (while we were at NIH!) and they have been in Oh, IN, PA, VA working and spent time vacationing at Lake Michigan and Lake Erie...all that time in their camper!!!!! I think that they are all glad to be home so they each have a bit more space! Sounds like they worked hard, but also had a lot of fun along the way too. We're glad to have them home to turn over the cucumber and tomato business. Tomorrow we will take over some jars of pickles...they already have quite a few jars in their freezer! They sampled several kinds tonight...Graham didn't even squint when he tried the lemon pickles! I don't know how he did it. I missed the cutest picture of Elijah when he took a bite of one of the bread and butter pickles...he did make a "pickle face!"

Woody got up early and walked 6-miles. He mowed for a couple of hours and when cooling off and resting he read. When I got up I set to work cooking and cleaning. I made potato salad with potatoes from our garden and used our homemade pickle relish...looking forward to eating it tomorrow when it is good and cold. Then this evening we have been catching up with the neighbors. We couldn't get in to cool off their house (one of us (not me!) locked the key that we have for their house inside their house last week) so they all came over here to eat one of their frozen meals...using our microwave while their house cooled down a bit. Then the children left one at a time to go set up their veggie stand...this was a trial for tomorrow...when they really get down to business!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to Woody's TIL (Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes) cells! On this day a year ago, he received his own God given cells back after they had grown to 48.6 billion!!!!!! I have included a link to last year's blog post for July 28th for those who haven't been following us through Woody's fight through thick and thin! That will be tonight's blog picture!

My praise is that these cells are still floating around in his body keeping more melanoma cancer cells from starting up and growing (have to this point) and are helping his tumors that remain to shrink!

Today has been a busy day for both of us. Woody got up and walked his 4-mile route. But this morning I beat him by quite a bit...I woke up after I had slept for several hours and I guess my body said that I had had a long enough nap...because I couldn't go back to sleep. I got up and started in on the cleaning that I had promised myself that I would do once Abigail's dress was completed. So I attacked our school room/office. I know that Kathy will be starting up with school in a week or so and I wanted the school room to be all nice and clean for whatever little student might come my way. It made me feel like I was back in my teaching days at the Montessori school here in town. Just prior to the start of school we teachers would meet and dust and straighten all the equipment...and that is exactly what I did today. When Nathan and Kathy decided to buy the house next door to us, I decided that I wanted to expose the children to Montessori principles. So we purchased quite a few pieces of Montessori equipment. And, today I took it all off the table and took things out of their boxes and dusted boxes inside and out and then put everything neatly back in their boxes and then back on the table. Everything now once again is back in its proper place. Last night I asked Woody if he would take the sheets off our bed (when we were both up...knowing him he might have rolled me up in the sheets if I was still in bed if I hadn't made the statement that we both be up...perhaps that is why I woke up so early!!!!). So he did his job and got them washing and then went on his walk. Besides cleaning in the school room I also have been cleaning in our room. So the vacuum and the Swiffer dusters have been very busy today! Things are looking better around here. When in the office, I also decided that it was time to file, either in the file cabinet or file 13, the papers that had accumulated over the years from all Woody's doctor's/hospital I spent a lot of time remembering all that Woody has gone through in what is almost three years from his broken arm (Sept 08) to Vanderbilt and now NIH. He has really fought a hard fight to overcome his melanoma...and to date it looks like it has been worth the fight. Praise the Lord!!!!

Woody made Crazy Dill Pickles and Sweet Pickle Relish today. We have plans to use quite a bit of pickle relish in some salads that we plan to make so he was trying to anticipate our need! Cucumbers continue to show up on our kitchen counter...definitely a good year for cucumbers at least in Nathan and Kathy's garden. The tomatoes are also coming in and they are sooooo solid...nothing better than a tomato fresh off the vine! I had a phone call a little while ago and when I got off the phone, I had lost Woody...the downstairs had all the lights shut off and he wasn't anywhere to be found...that is till I heard the drone of the lawnmower...guess he is mowing another section tonight now that the sun isn't beating down on him...still pretty warm out there...but it didn't get to 100 today which is good...just 97! And, presently it is 90. Woody helped me with a church library task this afternoon. He reviewed some VHS tapes to decide if they were still in good shape or if they needed to be deleted from the library. He completed that task and has either thrown away the tapes or put them back in a bag to go back to the church library. So we have both kept pretty busy today...this day is a bit different than this day a year ago when we were in Bethesda...Woody in the hospital for 3+weeks and me staying at the Family Lodge. Glad that we are home and that it is the year anniversary of Woody getting his TIL cells.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Can You Believe It?

It is so hard for me to believe, but school started in Tullahoma today. On a day that according to Weatherbug got to over 100 degrees. (That's like starting school in Sept. in AZ (except less humidity in AZ)...oh, I can remember being so hot walking back home from the high school on those first days/weeks of school! The heat probably didn't get to me when I was in elementary school since I only lived two blocks away...but the high school walk was a longer distance away...but walking with friends made it not seem so long...especially when my friend's grandmother made the best chocolate chip cookies in the world! mmmm I can taste them now, Carla!)

Woody got up before the temperatures rose too high and walked his eight-mile route. He came home and watered some of the gardens. Later in the morning he went to the local farmer's market and also stopped at the grocery store and picked up a couple of things that we had run out of (like bread...not good when Woody likes tomato sandwiches so well!). I did manage to finish Abigail's dress last night. Yeah! This afternoon another church librarian and I worked in the library for a couple of hours.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


My goal for today was to finish "the dress." Well, perhaps by the end of the day, but not in time to blog. The only thing left to do is the hem and it is pinned up. So...maybe...but I am pretty tired. I didn't sleep all that much last night and then I got up early and started in on the dress. I have pretty much sewed all day. Woody didn't walk this morning because he walks to the prayer room at church on Tuesday evenings. That's where he is right now. He also got up early and read. Later in the morning he did some things outside. One of the jobs that he did was to wash off the rockers on the front porch. I am planning to make some pillows for them and I wanted them all white rather than all dusty/dirty! Woody made another batch of Freezer Dill Pickles this morning. The cucumbers just keep coming in! He picked a really big tomato from our garden far most of the tomatoes that we have gotten have been from Nathan and Kathy's garden. I had a BLT for lunch using a fresh tomato. Woody is enjoying Tomato hummus sandwiches.

I heard a commotion downstairs at one point today and went down to see what was going on. Woody had gotten stung by a wasp while he was sitting in his recliner! I made a paste of baking soda and water to put on his sting and as the day wore on Woody seemed none the worse for wear! Speaking of flying insects...Melany is our bug expert and she thinks that perhaps the subject of last night's blog picture might be a robber fly. We're still now sure. I looked robber flies up...there are a lot of different varieties...those pictured didn't look just like my sewing room visitor...but maybe that is what he was. The only thing humming in my sewing room today has been my sewing machine!

Monday, July 25, 2011

What Is It?

This morning I was in the sewing room minding my own business and I heard a buzzing sound...sounded just like a big ol' fly so I didn't pay much attention to it...just thought that I would get the fly swatter when I went downstairs. Well, in a few minutes this critter landed on the curtain. I hollered at Woody to bring up the fly swatter. He did and decided to be humane and let it outside...would have been fine with me...BUT instead of it taking the free ride outside on the fly swatter, it flew off and was buzzing around the sewing room again. The buzzing stopped and I wondered where it was, but I got busy and sort of forgot about him. Well, in a little while what do I spot...but him on the skirt of Abigail's dress!!!!!!! Woody had left me the fly swatter so I gave him a good swat and "thought" that I had gotten him. I got the vacuum and vacuumed really well in the area that I "thought" he had fallen. Our carpet is bug color (brown) and bugs blend in...but the reason that I couldn't find him on the carpet was that he was still around. I got Abigail's dress off the hanger and brought it over to the sewing machine to do the next step...some handwork...I had worked for a few minutes and had turned the dress around on my lap several times...then what to my wondering eyes should appear but this critter still (or again) on another fold in her dress (suppose he liked the flowers on the fabric?)! I was humane this time and carried the dress downstairs and out the front door and brushed him off into the wide blue yonder (I hope!). I have no idea what he is and have been busy so haven't tried to identify him. But how dare he come in and cozy up on my sewing!

Woody got up early and took his 8-mile route. He had a goal in mind for his mowing today and had to hustle to get it done before we got an afternoon shower. He has read, watched a bit of TV and rested this afternoon. He is now at Monday night prayer meeting at church. I also sent him on an errand before prayer meeting get a book for me from the library. I finished the three books that Woody had checked out for me a week ago. I had Woody put in a request for the next one when he got those for me. The card catalog showed that the only copy of an actual book was at the branch of our library that is in Manchester. They hadn't called to say that our branch had received it from Manchester yet so I checked today and there is now a copy of the book at both branches...go figure. Anyway I was in need of a book so he was going to stop and hopefully get that book and the next two. I am making good progress on getting Abigail's dress finished. I am at a step that calls for some more hand stitching so am planning to do that while I watch a little TV this evening. I am hoping that I will be able to finish the dress tomorrow...time will tell...this has been a very detailed pattern...which I didn't realize when I chose it!

I will close by wishing our oldest grandson a very happy 14th birthday! I talked to him earlier today...he was playing video games...what else is new??? Happy birthday, Alex!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


This morning as I was heading to our car I spotted these beautiful pink lilies...they weren't there yesterday...and they have no leaves. One of the names for these lilies is "Resurrection Lily" (figured a good picture to put on a Sunday blog). Other names that this lily is known as are "Surprise Lily," "Magic Lily," and "Naked Lady (aka "Neked Lady" probably a southerner calls them this!). The blooms on these lilies never appear when there are leaves on the plant. The leaves appear in the Spring and then in the summer the flowers appear miraculously on tall stalks...not there one day and there they are in all their glory (minus their leaves) the next. I remembered their name being Surprise Lily. That is the name I searched on the internet and then found these other names and information about this interesting lily. They are very pretty.

Woody got up early and walked his eight-mile route. We both went to the early church service and then Sunday School. Woody taught his 6th grade boys' class. We came home and then Woody went back to church for a luncheon for the upcoming 6th grade children and their parents. It was held after the 11am service. I did manage to get Abigail's dress together enough for it to look like a dress and be able to hang from a hanger last night. Today I have worked on the collar pieces. Woody worked a crossword puzzle and at one point this afternoon I "helped" him fill in a couple of squares...enough that he was able to go on to complete the puzzle. It has been a fairly quiet Sunday afternoon and evening here in our household.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Yes, A Flower!

After last night's blog post, I thought that I needed to put up a better smelling picture. Just like last night's blog photo made me think (smell in my mind) a certain odor...tonight's evokes thoughts of a much more pleasant odor!

Woody got up early and walked his four-mile route. He has mowed a good section of yard. Later in the morning he walked to the library, the fruit/vegetable market, and to the drugstore. He has picked tomatoes (no cucumbers today!). He made us some pretty good sandwiches yesterday...Tomato Hummus sandwiches. I still like a bit of meat on my sandwiches..a vegan or vegetarian I will never be! Today he fixed himself the same sandwich, but I chose to go the route of a Panini sandwich...grilled ham and provolone cheese made on rye bread. I brushed the bread with our homemade basil oil before grilling it...quite good! Woody made another batch of pickles today...this time some more Freezer Dill Pickles. I continued my sewing...shortly Abigail's dress will have a back. Hopefully the front and back will be connected before I go to bed tonight. This dress has a lot of little details that are taking quite a bit of time. Plus it almost seems too hot to sew...the sewing room is upstairs and it is much hotter up here than downstairs. Woody brought up a fan this afternoon so I have been chasing pattern pieces around the room...but it does feel better to have the air moving. Once it got too hot for Woody to work any more outside, he came in and has read, watched library DVDs and some TV and just taken it easy.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Anyway, just like in Bambi this little fella is in the flower garden amongst the flowers. I'm getting a little uncomfortable that he is regularly coming to our yard (this is the third time I have seen him this week)looking for bugs and slugs and beetles. I surely don't want one of the grandchildren to come upon him to both their surprise! (Picture taken from inside!)

Woody got up early and went for a four-mile walk. He did do a little yard work...picking up sticks in preparation for another round of mowing. I spent a while on the computer this morning trying to come up with an Eggplant Parmesan recipe. After I found one and we got the ingredient needed on the list, Woody went to the Credit Union and then to WalMart and Kroger and did our weekly shopping. He made another batch of Bread and Butter Pickles...this time without the crushed red pepper...trying for a little different taste without quite the kick. He picked MORE cucumbers. At the store he bought some more freezer canning containers as we have now tried our Freezer Dill Pickles and they are quite good. At least this way we will be able to keep the frozen pickles a bit longer than the refrigerator pickles. I'm hoping that the neighbors (Nathan and family) have room in their freezer for some...we are about out of room in ours! Where in the world are those seven neighbor "pickle and cucumber eaters" when you need them most?! On Wednesday Woody stopped at the Farmer's Market (held every Wednesday in the parking lot of one our local churches...locally grown produce sold by the gardeners/farmers themselves) and bought me an eggplant. So I made Eggplant Parmesan for supper tonight...really quite good...even Woody who is not fond of eggplant thought that it was good. The recipe that I found used fresh tomatoes, garlic, and we were good to go for those ingredients. The only ingredient that we needed to put on the grocery list was mozzarella cheese. Woody made Blueberry Dump Cake this afternoon. Mmmmmmmmm! Good eating around here! I even managed to do some sewing...or at least get ready for the next steps on Abigail's dress. So it has been another busy, hot day...and so far we have kept away from our little flower garden visitor!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Exercise for the Day!

Woody got up early as usual...but he didn't go on one of his usual walks. Instead he waited till the local blueberry farm opened and he went to pick blueberries...three hours of picking...two gallons of beautiful, delicious blueberries. Some have been washed that we are enjoying eating, some have been measured and are in the refrigerator awaiting recipes, and the rest have been placed in freezer bags unwashed and into the freezer awaiting future eating/cooking. We have a couple of recipes that we are planning to make with them...ingredients are on the grocery list...makes my mouth water just thinking about those recipes! Woody has pretty much stayed in the rest of the day...reading, watching TV, and relaxing. I have worked a bit more on Abigail's dress...hope that she won't have outgrown it by the time that I get it finished! I have also read and taken it easy today. It started out being another hot day, but we did have storms blow through the surrounding area that dropped a bit of rain on us and cooled us down a bit. We sampled the pickles that Woody made yesterday...Lemon Pickles...this recipe uses fresh lemon juice as well as vinegar...they are pretty puckery...but the flavor may grow on us as the Crazy Dill flavor did. I also put the latest pickles that Woody made from the recipe for our Spicy Bread & Butter pickles into pint jars today. We finished the first jar of pickle relish when we had hamburgers for supper tonight. We'll be using up a good portion of another jar of pickle relish when we make potato salad. I guess we'll be making pickle relish again that recipe only makes two jars. Pickle jars in and pickle jars out of our fridge! Besides pickles made with the abundance of cucumbers, we are enjoying wonderful garden tomatoes...not anything much better! At this time of year, one of Woody's favorite sandwiches is a tomato sandwich. I tend to want a bit more on my sandwich to go along with the tomatoes!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Doing the Happy Dance!

I went to the church library a bit later today, as the computer tech person who is assigned to the library wanted to meet me to see what we could do to get the computers up and running again. Ever since we shut the three of them down, moved them out of the library for the renovation and then brought them back in and hooked them up again, the computers have not "talked" to each other. We only had one up and running and the other two just sat there "looking pretty!" Well, when the tech person came in tonight, he finally understood the problem and it was a pretty quick fix. So we now have a work/processing computer, a check-out computer, and a card catalog for the public...once again...hip-hip-hooray! One more step toward getting the library up and "really" running again...we have been "on hold" since prior to the renovation. Now we are waiting for a couple of cabinets to be built and then we will really be "cooking with gas" in the library!

Woody got up really early and went on his eight-mile walking route. He has read, mowed, picked veggies, been to the farmer's market (bought me an eggplant), went to the Credit Union and then to the store to buy some things that he needed to make a new kind of pickles, made the new recipe for pickles, watched a bit of TV, and read some more. He has had a pretty busy day.

I went gallivanting once again. One of my friends needed to go to Sir's Fabrics in Fayetteville, TN and asked me to go I happily tagged along with her. Sir's is quite a unique has all sorts of upholstery, drapery and various and sundry other fabrics both on and off is sort of "buyer beware" on some of the pieces, but if you find what you want/like and you check it out carefully, then you can sometimes get a pretty good deal. Sir's takes up two store fronts just off the square in Fayetteville...across the street from each other. Let's just is a shopping experience! I found some indoor/outdoor fabric to make some pillows for the rocking chairs and glider on the front porch. I also picked up a swatch of an upholstery fabric that I liked to see how it would look in our family room...and, it definitely has potential for cushions on the glider rocker in our family room. I do like it. Now to make the decision as to whether I have the umph to do the job of recovering those cushions...if I do want/decide to, then I guess I need to go back before that particular fabric is gone! We were both happy with our finds and enjoyed our time together. We had lunch at a little cafe after our Sir's shopping experience. Then headed back to Tullahoma. I got home and relaxed for a little while before it was time to go to the library at church...and that brings up back to where I started this blog...with success of getting the computers communicating with each other once again. So several reasons for me to do a happy dance fabric and computers working once again! Oh, and, also the fact that when I was walking into the house after going to the library that the little skunk, that was in the garden right in front of our porch, and I didn't have a close encounter of a very unpleasant kind...and, no, I didn't manage to get a picture of it...maybe next time!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Woody and I both woke up very early this morning...I had only had about two hours of sleep...but just couldn't get back to sleep so got up and headed into the sewing room. Woody went downstairs and read. After the sun came up we both went for a walk and ended up at a little pond that is off the road that we walked. There is a bench next to the pond so we sat down to see what we might spot. Woody had seen something up on this dead branch and so I focused on it to try to see what Woody saw and lo and behold this fella landed right where I had my camera focused! It's not often that we see a pileated woodpecker...and even more often than not that if I had seen one I wouldn't have been able to get my camera focused on it in time. It's not the all time best picture, but you can identify him from it! Right after I snapped the one picture, he flew off so I only got one chance to capture him. I'm so glad that I had already focused my camera! It was pretty bright behind him so I am lucky that he isn't just a silhouette. I got pictures of several other birds and butterflies that will probably become blog photos sometime down the road. Good bird photo walk today.

This was the first time that I had walked with Woody in a while due to having had a hurt foot and also due to the fact that it has just been waaaaaay too hot...this morning was pleasant, but by the time we headed home it was getting pretty hot and muggy. I sewed a little more, then read, and then took a short nap trying to make up for a short night sleep. Today has seemed like Saturday all day to me. I don't know why. Woody finished a book, mowed our front yard, ran an errand, watched some TV, and has now walked to the church for his time in the prayer room.

Monday, July 18, 2011

On The Road...Again!

Woody was up very early and walked his twelve-mile route this time. He was back in time for us to leave at 8am to get me to my doctor's appointment at 9am. Our primary care physician is 45 minutes away and on the route that we take when we go to Woody had to rein the car in to turn at the right spot! This was my six-month check-in with the doctor. It is mainly for blood work to make sure that none of my medications are wreaking havoc on my system (mainly looking at my liver function). This appointment took a bit longer than usual as she had a patient prior to me who needed to be admitted to the hospital and when she came in she apologized and said "paper work, paper work, paper work!" Our doctor used to live in Tullahoma and go to church with us, so it is always good to check in with her and see how she and her family are doing. We ran an errand after getting back into Tullahoma and then headed home. Woody ran a couple of errands this afternoon and is now at the Monday night prayer meeting at church.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday of Remembering

Today would have been my mother's 99th birthday so I have had many thoughts of her today. When I was trying to decide on a picture for tonight's blog, I finally decided that I would put in a picture of this basket of berries that resides on our kitchen table. Mother gave it to us quite a few years ago. There are times of the year that the sun comes in the kitchen window over the sink and seems to light up the berries. On Mother's last visit to TN she enjoyed the berries with the sun shining on them so much. When the phenomenon happened while she was here she would sit down at the table and just enjoy the now when the sun lights them up I think of Mother. It's like she is smiling at me! I went looking for a picture of this basket of berries with the sun on them...I was sure that I had one or two my archive of pictures...and sure enough...BUT...I went downstairs before I started to blog and lo and behold the picture that you see above is what greeted me! So here is a picture of Mother's berry basket taken today on her birthday rather than one that I had to dig out of my archive of pictures!

We have had a typical Sunday. Woody and I both went to the early church service and then went to Sunday School. He taught his class. Then we came home and have taken it easy the rest of the day. Woody is now at the evening church service.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Christmas in July?

I made this picture blurry on a reminder that the days till Christmas will probably pass in about this much of a blur, as it will be that time of the year before we know it. That is, if the rest of the year passes as quickly as the year has so far! This week several sewing places that I am drawn to on the internet are celebrating Christmas in July...hoping that I will buy something I am sure! Guess that is why I was thinking Christmas when I went looking for a picture for tonight's blog.

Woody got up early and went on about a five mile walk. Then he came home and tried his hand at making bread and butter pickles with the recipe that really like of those that we have tried so far. At lunch today, he discovered that he does like the Crazy Dill Pickles on a guess that recipe of pickles will get eaten too! He went to the Credit Union and then did our weekly grocery shopping and stopped at the library and at the fruit and vegetable market. Later he walked to the library to get some books for me, as I hadn't gotten my list of requests to him prior to him going to the library (I was still sleeping when he left to do his errands and he didn't know that I had made a list of books for him to pick up for me.). This day has seemed to get away from me without me accomplishing much. I have read and done a little sewing (very little). Woody mowed some more this afternoon and did a bit of other yardwork too. At a point I thought that I wasn't going to be able to blog tonight as our internet connection wasn't working. Since Nathan and family aren't home I wasn't sure that I would be able to get it back took quite a few tries...but eventually we were once again connected. So that is one thing that I did manage to accomplish today...just not sure how!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Shouldn't It Be Green?

Don't you think that this Irish postmark should be green?! I got mail from Ireland photographic equipment that I sent to the Irish manufacturers to see if there was a problem. I got it back with nothing said about there being a problem, so I wasn't sure if everything would work correctly when plugged into my camera. it did!!! So I now have a remote trigger for my camera. I really wasn't expecting it to work...oh, ye (me) of little faith!!!!! I was quite surprised when I heard the click and saw that a picture had been taken (of the curtain across the room).

Woody got up early and went on a four mile walk. He has weeded and mowed today and also read and watched some TV. Last night we had a pretty strong thunder storm move through and got quite a good rain along with some bright flashes of lightning and loud claps of thunder...close to an inch. Then this afternoon we had a little shower. I have done a little sewing but not much. I spent quite a while on our opinion...recipe not worth that much effort...but it was better than I expected. It was a recipe that Woody chose and from the start it just didn't sound all that good to that makes it harder to make when it doesn't appeal to the cook! The recipe was Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta. The penne pasta (not our favorite kind of pasta) was in a provolone cheese sauce...that was topped with roasted cubes of butternut squash, crumbled bacon, shallots, and rosemary and then all was sprinkled with fresh Parmesan and popped into a very hot oven to heat everything up and brown the Parmesan cheese. It really was better than I expected. But it was more of an effort than I felt like doing and I finally realized why it was so hard for me to accomplish this cooking task...after I had put it in the oven, that is...I had forgotten to take my arthritis and Transverse Myelitis meds this morning. So that made a big difference in my aches and pains and being able to peel a hard squash, stand to stir the sauce, bend over to get cooking dishes out, etc...thus all the cooking processes were just more of an effort for me than usual. Woody chose this recipe because we had a butternut squash, and also the recipe used shallots and rosemary from our gardens. He thought that I would like it because of the provolone cheese and the bacon. In the end he said that he guessed he liked provolone cheese (he isn't a big cheese fan). So on that note...I'm going to go lie down on the bed and read and rest. Woody is downstairs cleaning up the kitchen. Glad that isn't on the agenda for me tonight!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

In Sewing Mode!

Oops...guess I am in sewing mode...looked up a few minutes ago and realized what time it was and I hadn't had supper yet and it was time to I am now eating supper, blogging and the machine is going on with its embroidery without me...well, I do have to change thread colors every now and again! Multi tasking at its best!!!!

Woody got up early, as usual, and went for a walk. This morning he took his four mile route. Later in the day he continued his mowing and he also watered some of the gardens. He has stayed in the house most of the afternoon...keeping cool. He has read and watched a library DVD and some TV. For our lunch, Woody made tuna salad with our homemade pickle relish...very good. Last night and today I put two kinds of pickles in jars. We really like the refrigerator bread and butter type pickle, but, the verdict is still out on the Crazy Dill Pickles. I feel like they are a bit too salty and not dilly enough. Perhaps given a few more days to sit they might be better??? That recipe may be heading to file 13! I got busy sewing and before I got very far I realized that I needed spray starch and didn't have made a quick trip to WalMart. After that little trip I got underway with my sewing for real. The reason that I was able to have supper slip up on me is that tonight we are scrounging...which means that we are eating leftovers...first come...first served...and Woody was the first to come into the kitchen to serve himself from whatever happened to be in the fridge that was to his liking for this evening! Well, the design has finished I'm off to do the next thing for Abigail's dress.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another Hot One!

This little birdie seems to be keeping cool, though! I took this picture on the bird and wildlife trail on Big Walker Mountain in VA. I haven't stopped long enough to identify him, yet. Any of you know what he is?

Woody got up early and walked about seven miles. He worked some in the gardens...mainly watering a couple of them. After the grass dried enough, he started in on mowing...that has been what he spent the most of his time outdoors today. He has read and watched some TV. I slept in late. For lunch I had a sandwich with the homemade pickle relish on it...pretty good! Woody and also tested the refrigerator bread and butter was their third day. Again, quite good. Guess tomorrow we will test the Crazy Dill Pickles. After lunch, I met up with a fellow library worker at the church and we worked. We ended up spending a lot of time straightening out the check-out cards...someone had dumped them and then just put them back in any old way! I likened it to "52 card pickup," but with a LOT more cards. It was quite a mess, but we accomplished getting all the cards back in order. On the way home I stopped at my favorite store in town and bought some thread for Abigail's dress and visited. Then I came home and made our supper...Linguine with Chunky Tomato Sauce and Sweet Italian Sausage. We ate and now we are settling in for a quiet evening on the home front.

I forgot to mention that Woody did talk to the Vanderbilt research nurse yesterday. I commented after he got through that he didn't give them much information. He said that he answered all her questions. He said that the reason that they call is just to see if he is still alive! The good Lord willin' they will be making LOTS of calls!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Zippin' Right Along!

This year seems to be going by just as quickly as this motorcycle and it's interesting trailer (I took this picture out the car window on our way home from NIH). I can't believe that July is almost half over. Today has been another busy day...for Woody more so than for me. Woody got up really early and went downstairs to read. He usually doesn't walk early on Tuesday mornings since he walks to the church prayer room in the evening. I also got up early...earlier than I wanted to so got up and did a few things on the computer and then went back to bed for a couple of hours. Once it got light enough Woody headed outside to do some work in the yard...he sawed up another tree trunk that fell over back behind our house and he hauled it to the roadside pickup area. He also dug potatoes (I ate one for supper...pretty good!). We made more pickles today...this time Freezer Dill Pickles...I'm interested in how they will turn out as that is a way for us to make pickles and keep them a bit longer than the shelf-life of refrigerator pickles (and I still have no plans to start canning this late in my life!). Woody also picked and gathered more produce from the gardens...two more cucumbers!!!! And, he continued his battle of ridding our yard and Nathan and families' yard of poison ivy. And, he mowed! For lunch today we used produce from our gardens...tomatoes, cucumbers, dill, and make up our Caprese Salads...the store bought items that we had to add were fresh mozzarella, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Woody watched a library DVD this afternoon...resting up a bit after his busy morning of doing work outside. I started working on Abigail's dress...still mainly in the planning process...but getting closer to the cutting out stage.

It has been another hot least it was very hot the early part of the day...mid afternoon somewhere near us had a thunderstorm so it cooled us down a bit...still very humid. I surely do wish that the storm had produced a little rain for our gardens, but alas nary a drop here. Woody will be heading to the Prayer Room at church after the evening news.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cool As A 103 degrees?????

Woody harvested 22 cucumbers today! And, this is what is left of them (and, there are a lot more in this large bowl than meets the camera's eye) after I cooked with cucumbers for a good part of the day. Woody got up early this morning and went on a five mile walk (in this heat this is the only good time of day to exercise...the TV weatherman just said that they expect to break a record high low temperature overnight in Huntsville (if that makes sense!)). Woody did do a little work in the yard and in the gardens. He also ran a couple of errands today. I have worked on trying to use up some of the cucumbers. First I made our supper...Vegetable Salsa with of our favorite summer pasta has corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives, and Italian salad dressing...all tossed with the rotini pasta...with a shake of Parmesan cheese on each serving...very refreshing on such a hot day. I put that in the refrigerator to get good and cold for tonight's supper and then got started on making some more pickles! I am not a the pickle recipes that I am making are for refrigerator pickles. The first recipe that I made was Sweet Pickle Relish (and it actually looks like sweet pickle relish!). Looking forward to tasting it after it gets good and cold. Then on to a dill pickle recipe...I had fun scouring the internet for refrigerator pickle recipes this morning (there's lots out there!). The dill pickle recipe that we decided to try is "Crazy Dill Refrigerator Pickles." I guess crazy is in the name as they don't just have cucumbers in them, but also green peppers, onions, and celery. We used cucumbers and green peppers from Nathan and family's garden and then dill and garlic from ours. These will be ready to eat in two to three days. Looking forward to tasting them...hope that they are good. So we now have Crazy Dill pickles, refrigerator bread and butter pickles, and sweet pickle relish in our refrigerator. Soon we will turn into pickles!

It was a good day to stay indoors and try to keep cool...the outside temps hit 103 degrees...which is pretty bad...but around here you also have to figure in the heat index/feels-like temperature and today it has been as high as 114. Our area is under a heat advisory. I haven't even stepped outside today.

Woody is at Monday night prayer meeting at church and I'm on my way to put up my feet for a while and try to stay as cool as a cucumber!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hot July Sunday!

Woody got up early and went on an 8-mile walk. He went to the early church service and then taught Sunday School. I am feeling much better, but have taken it easy today and stayed in. I have just about finished the book that I started yesterday. Woody has read and watched a DVD and some TV today. It has been a good afternoon and evening to stay in and try to keep cool. One of the times that I was working on the computer I noticed that the Weather Bug temperature was in red numbers...that happens when it is 100 degrees or more! When I noticed it, it said 100 so I went downstairs to see what our digital thermometer said and it said 99.5!

Tonight's blog picture was taken in almost the same place where I got a picture of an indigo bunting the last time that we stopped at Big Walker Mountain...must be a habitat for them. This fellow sat on the tip-top branch of this tree for quite a while posing. We couldn't tell from where we were just what he was as the sun was really shining on we had to rely on the camera to help us identify him. The tree that he is sitting on top of is right in front of the fog covered valley that was last night's blog picture. If you would like to see this little guy in more detail, you can click once to make it a little larger and twice to make it quite a bit larger.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fog In The Valley

These are pictures that I took yesterday when we once again took a little side trip to the top of Big Walker Mountain in Virginia. We arrived to a breathtaking sight...the valley looked like it was totally filled with clouds...sort of looked like the mountains were rising up from the ocean...very surreal! I took quite a few pictures of this awesome sight and then we walked across the road to a bird and wildlife trail. We saw a couple of birds there and I tried to capture their pictures and also took some flowers along the way. Then we walked back across the road to view tonight's second picture...the valley was empty...and it took less than 15 minutes for the fog to lift. We were glad that we arrived when we did to see the valley filled with white fog/clouds.

Woody has had a really busy day. He ran several errands this morning including a trip to the grocery store and then a bit later in the morning he made his weekly trip to the library. He picked cucumbers from Nathan's garden today in anticipation of our making a refrigerator pickle recipe. He also did some yard work...I know that I heard the mower running mid afternoon. I, on the other hand, have sort of felt puny...guess this trip got the best of me. While on the trip I started having some allergy problems, then I guess something I ate the trip hasn't agreed with me so I'm being careful of what I eat today, and on top of that my Transverse Myelitis seems to be bothering me as I am having extra aches and I have pretty much taken it easy today...I finished a book and have started another. I did make the refrigerator pickles with Woody's help and loaded the dishwasher after that...other than that zilch...nada! Woody has taken it easy after he mowed this afternoon...pretty hot and humid here today. He has watched a bit of baseball and read and looked through recipe books that he got at the library today...looking for recipes that use some of things that we are growing in our gardens. We're both looking forward to sampling the refrigerator pickles in four days!

I forgot to mention yesterday that when we got home there were three messages from Vanderbilt on our answering machine...just a follow-up that they do every month or so. It must have been high priority for this research nurse to mark Woody's name off the list of folk she was supposed to call! If she doesn't call before Woody gets around to it on Monday, he will call to check in with her.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cow Appreciation Day!

It is "Cow Appreciation Day" or so we discovered when we wheeled into the Chick-fil-a in Knoxville this afternoon. We didn't know we weren't dressed up...if we had been dressed in some way as a cow, we would have gotten a free meal. Oh, well, we did get two for a free shake and one for free ice we will use those another time when we encounter a Chick-fil-a. We ran into Kathy's brother-in-law when we were eating our lunch...if Woody had known to look he might have seen Kathy's niece working there. I think that this would have been a rough day to work can not imagine the number of cars going through the double drive-thru and the number of folk going up to the window to order! LOTS...a steady stream...and it was after 1pm there.

We got up around 6am (Eastern) and packed up and then ate breakfast at our hotel. I really didn't look, but think that we were on the road by 7am (Eastern). We went off the beaten path and went back to Walker Mountain lookout again...this time planning to walk the bird and wildlife path. The view was absolutely spectacular with fog filling in the valley. I'll share that picture another time...when it isn't "Cow Appreciation Day!" We had a pretty good day for travel. We did have one period of hard rain, but drove out of it pretty quickly. We got home sometime between 3 and 4pm (Central). At what I thought was after 6pm I told Woody that I forgot to phone in my prescriptions when we got home and that it was now too late...he said that he thought that I had something wrong with my watch (like the fact that I hadn't changed my watch back to Central time)! So I did have time to call the pharmacy and even had time to go pick them up before they closed. We are now settling in for a relaxing evening after a long day of driving. Happy "Cow Appreciation Day!" Hope that some of you knew about it and got to get a free meal today! It's good to be home again...and for three months this time...that's really good!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

More Of The Same!

We had good news when we finally saw the doctors. Woody's tumors haven't grown at all...maybe a tiny bit smaller. And, drum roll............we don't have to go back for three months! We tried to beat the system today but all we did was wait, wait, wait! He signed in early (probably first as he signed in three hours his weight and blood pressure taken at that time). He was the first called back...then...he was about the last patient seen. His new Fellow told us that this time the team chose to see the patients that they had bad news for first and the ones they had good news for guess being seen close to last was a GOOD thing! We were in the patient room for a solid three hours and saw the doctors for about 10 minutes of that time! We left NIH at 4pm (eastern time) and stopped in Radford, VA about 9pm (eastern time). We traveled about 250 the other 400 miles will be traveled tomorrow...the good Lord willin'! So if all goes as planned I'll be blogging from Tullahoma tomorrow. And, before I end tonight's blog I want to wish Elijah a BIG happy second birthday!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pictures taken!

We headed out on the 7am shuttle for NIH. Woody was checking into the lab by 7:20am. He wanted me to be sure to tell you that he gave them 11 vials of blood. Then we headed for the CT scan waiting room. We were a bit early so we sat and read and Woody worked USA Today's crossword puzzle...or tried to it was rather noisy in the waiting room...lots talking...and several languages...confused my mind! CT scans were on schedule and didn't take all that long. He had CT scans of his abdomen, chest and left humerus. Then we had about a three-hour wait till his MRI. We found a more secluded place where we read. The MRI waiting room was empty when he went to sign in...a good the MRI folk often seem to be behind...but today right on time and it didn't take too long as he was only having an MRI of his abdomen. We were very ready to catch the shuttle back to the hotel and have settled in for the evening.

Well, Woody had lots of pictures taken today...and I had a picture chosen and ready to use in today's blog...I thought that I had saved it on the computer, but instead saved it on my passport (small external drive) and left that in the room...and I'm in the lobby...well, I had good intentions! (When I got back to the room, I still had internet here is a picture.) I took it out the side window of our car when we were probably going 7o mph down the interstate. Can you see why I like this drive?! We do live in a beautiful country!

Tomorrow he has an appointment in the Immunotherapy Clinic and will see his research team and find out what all the pictures taken today show. We are expecting a good report.

The good Lord willin' I'll be blogging tomorrow evening from somewhere down the road between Bethesda and Tullahoma.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


We started our dark-and-early...4:10am central was dark and then as we proceeded on our journey it also became quite foggy. We were both glad when the fog lifted. We again went the back roads to get to I-40. We had a pretty sunrise through the fog. I slept for a good part of this trip. I didn't get to bed all that early as I was doing "last minute" things (no matter how ready I think I am, I find plenty of those "last minute" things that take longer than I thought that they would), and, then Woody woke up earlier than he usually does for our I caught up on my sleep in the car. By sleeping the trip went by quite quickly! Not long after we got on I-81 we found out that they were blasting ahead at 11:30am...exactly the time that we should have gotten to that point on the interstate. It was going to be an hour delay. Just what Woody didn't want. I looked at the map and couldn't find a way to go around and miss the delay. So we just kept going. In a little while there was one of those lighted signs that give you a message that is hard to read since you are going at interstate speeds! But we were able to read it enough that it looked like the blasting time had been changed to 12:30pm...we would be long gone before they blasted! Phew! Our next warning came over the radio...listening to a DC station that gave road condition updates/warnings. They gave one for I-66, which we were on at the time of the warning...traffic going west (we were going east) was being rerouted due to a truckload of hay that had caught on fire. The only way they could get the fire out was to spread the hay across the interstate! Tonight's blog picture shows the fire after it was under control. They were still spraying water on the hay when we passed. Can you imagine the mess when it came time to pick up all that wet hay?! And, the mess of rerouting all the traffic...we saw the cars going over several overpasses...bumper-to-bumper. I'm soooooooo glad that we were going east! We were slowed down for a period of time...probably due to rubbernecking. Once we got past the fire we continued on at a good clip considering we were an hour into their rush hour (in the DC area evening rush hour is from 3pm to 7pm). Our exit for the Beltway was the one with hardly any traffic and we continued on at the best clip that we ever have on the Beltway at rush hour. It was easy to get off the Beltway...that exit is often backed up. Off that road we took the first exit and were headed to NIH. We easily went through the security gate (due to our badges) at NIH and found a good parking place. We got our bags out of the car and headed inside NIH to see when the next shuttle to our hotel would be there. We were told that it had just left and there would be another one in twenty minutes so we settled in for our first wait...with books in hand! I happened to look up and saw a shuttle from our hotel...another hotel guest had called them to pick him up so we joined him andthus probably only had to wait 5 min., if that, for a shuttle! We arrived at the hotel and quickly checked in and walked into our room on the 12th floor at 5:10pm eastern (4:10 central)...exactly 12 hours from the start of the trip! We drove 644 miles. Good to be ensconced on Pooks Hill, once again. Tomorrow lab work and scan and MRI day for Woody.

Monday, July 4, 2011

High Flying!

Flying kites and letting lightning bugs go is how our neighbor grandchildren spent part of their 4th. Kathy's parents were visiting and gave them kites...what fun they had. Graham did say that it was hard work...he made the most trips running across both yards. Trees got in the way part of the time...but none of the kites got stuck permanently!

Woody got up really early and went on an eight-mile walk...he went to check to see if gas had dropped any more...and it had...another penny! He had been waiting to fill up our car for the trip till it was at the lowest price that it had been in a while. With the Kroger discount, he got it for $3.23.9...better than it has been...but it certainly would be nice if it would drop even lower! We'll now see what the price is as we head to the DC area. As soon as I got up I headed in and started packing the suitcase. Woody and I sat out on the porch for a while and watched the older children fly their kites and Elijah release lightning bugs. Then we came in and got things ready for our Fourth of July "picnic." Woody went to get gas and run an errand and I continued to get things together for the trip. We carried our part of the meal next door. Nathan cooked the hamburgers and hot dogs on their grill and we all ate together over it is a rather hot and muggy day today...nicer to eat inside. After lunch, Graham had a sewing project that he needed help with so I worked with him for a while. Then I came home to continue getting ready. After Graham finished his sewing project, he came over here and he and Woody sorted all the K'nex pieces that had been the roller coaster and got them put away...a bit of a job! Joy played while they did that. I have been getting cameras, lenses, batteries, cords, etc. ready to go. I can say that we are packed except for the toiletry items that we will put in the suitcase in the morning and the laptop and phone and a couple of cords that I will take care of before I go to bed tonight. I think that we are just about ready to head out dark-and-early in the morning. I'll be blogging from Pooks Hill in Bethesda, MD tomorrow evening...the good Lord willin'!

Happy 235th birthday to the USA!!!!!

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

One Nation Under God

Woody woke me earlier than he needed to this morning...he forgot that we weren't having an early service this morning (habits are hard to break!)...just Sunday School and then a patriotic service at 11am. We both taught our respective Sunday School classes. My class (adult ladies) got to play with playdoh! Our lesson was about Jeremiah going to the potter's we attempted to make something with "clay" today. After we got home, I made chicken salad for our lunch. It has been a hot afternoon/evening so we have both pretty much taken it easy and stayed inside...reading and watching TV. We have a good start on laying things out on the guest bed for me to put into the suitcase tomorrow.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Dilly of a Thyme with Rosemary

Here's our barrel of dill, thyme, and rosemary. We have another barrel with oregano. Our basil and sage are farther out back in the raised bed. We are really enjoying fresh herbs in our recipes.

Woody got up early and went for about a four mile walk. I was up when he came back and we both went out and worked in the flower beds while it was still cool...though the mosquitoes were out in full force. My legs down close to my ankles are a mess of bites. Woody says that the worst place for mosquitoes is the compost pile. He was really swarmed the other day when he was shucking corn. He said that he killed ten with one slap of his hand! After I worked in the yard for a while I went in and cooked some breakfast and then went out on the front porch to eat it and have a cup of blueberry herbal tea. Woody went to the library and ran a couple of errands. I walked around and took some pictures trying out various settings and lenses on my cameras. Shortly after Woody got back from his errands, I headed off to get my hair cut and then to run an errand of my own. This afternoon Woody decided to aid Graham by taking apart Graham's K'nex roller coaster...not an easy task! The kids have been in and out this afternoon. I have been working on my Sunday School lesson and trying to keep early morning rising has caught up with me! Woody is downstairs making a marinated salad that we plan to have on the 4th and it is supposed to refrigerate for at least 24 hours so the flavors can meld. We have just been doing a little of this and a little of that most of the day today. I have a load of wash in the drier...guess we are getting a few steps closer to being ready to leave dark and early on Tuesday.

Friday, July 1, 2011

July Beginnings

Ahhhhhhhh the joys of being almost two and being able to blow out your own candle! We celebrated Elijah's 2nd birthday today as we are going to be away next week on his real birthday. Woody and I provided the birthday lunch (cooked it at our house and took it over to theirs) and Nathan and Kathy provided the birthday cupcakes. Earlier in the morning, Woody took care of the neighbor grandchildren while Kathy and Nathan went for Kathy's OB appointment. While he was doing that I got a chicken ready to roast and into the oven. Later we steamed a veggie assortment and we also had a cucumber jello salad...all menu items seemed to be a hit. Even Joy (who is "known" as a picky eater) mentioned to her mommy that she wasn't a picky eater today! After we sang "Happy Birthday" and ate cupcakes, we headed in to watch Elijah open up his presents.

This is the quilted play mat that I made for Elijah to play with his much loved toy cars and "big trucks" and take a nap under if he so desires. We gave him three new small "big trucks" to play with on the mat...he carried them around with him just about the rest of the time (even when we went outside)...and he didn't want any other cars or trucks on the play mat other than the new ones...he let know that in no uncertain terms! After the inside festivities, the birthday activities headed outside to try out his new "slip and slide" that his siblings gave him. All the children enjoyed that! But, we only have two real daredevils in the group...Graham and Joy are the only ones who really slipped and slid...the others go down it much at a crawling pace! After Elijah had played in the water for a while, Nathan came out having finished making the present that he and Kathy gave him...a pair of stilts just his size. He tried them on and walked on them for a bit holding on to his daddy's hand. Wonder how long till he will be heading off on his own on them?!

While I was out taking pictures of the water fun, Woody came in and cleaned up the lunch cooking mess in our kitchen. He walked six miles early this morning. This afternoon he has been doing some of his laundry...perhaps he's getting ready for a trip? Guess I will have to start thinking about packing soon. Woody got his "orders" (times for his scans, MRI, etc.) in the mail today...he never looks at those...just hands the envelopes to me! I put them in the file organizer that NIH gave us the first time that we went...and put that on top of one of the bags that goes with us to guess I have started packing! After the party, I went back to my sewing and completed a baby gift that I had been working on. It has been a busy first day of July!