Saturday, November 29, 2014

Traditions--Old and New

 We had our traditional Thanksgiving family gathering today.  It was a very nice day and I don't think that anyone went away hungry...well, maybe Alex...he is our picky eater...he did eat turkey...maybe a roll...not sure if he ate anything else.  I heard him say the word "Sonic" as they were leaving.  I think he was hoping that they would drive through.

We had a surprise shortly after we finished eating.  Fed Ex left two packages on our porch.  Woody and I had ordered a surprise for Nathan and family earlier in the week and we were surprised that it got here so quickly.
It was an outdoor nativity scene to put on their lot that is behind our house.  A bunch of us trooped out to watch Nathan and Graham put it up.  It faces the busy road that is behind us.  We hope that the passing cars receive a Christmas blessing when they drive by.  This is a new tradition.  After that we went in and the children put out their Fisher Price inside old tradition...they get to get it out on the day we have our family Thanksgiving...when all the grandchildren are here.  
I will admit to being very tired tonight...I wonder why!  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Baking Proof

Here are the pies with the rolls in the background...baking complete.  Abigail helped me mix together the pumpkin pie ingredients. The only cooking task that remains for tonight is to cut up the broccoli so it will be ready to steam tomorrow for the casserole. I stirred the topping for the broccoli casserole together a little while ago.  Cleaning tasks are done except for the final cleaning of the kitchen.  I guess after the broccoli, I will get a start setting the dining room table.  Woody took on the task of cleaning off the front porch...leaves and spiders had taken up he blew off the leaves and swiped away the spider webs.  He also blew some leaves in the front yard. After all that he headed off for a four-mile walk. He just washed the dishes that didn't fit in the dish washer and also washed the broccoli (not in the dish water!) it is ready for me to cut it up when I head back downstairs.  Our Turkey Day is just about here.  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gobble! Gobble!

How does this turkey compare to yours (I'll bet this one is drier than yours!)?  This was the centerpiece on Nathan and Kathy and family's table this evening.  We went over there for a nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner.  The children made this turkey today along with turkey napkin holders.  We had a nice meal of barbecue pork chops, rice and salad.  And, for dessert Abigail made us a yummy pumpkin pudding dessert.
I had a slow start to my day, but once I got started I did manage to get a lot done.  The rolls are baked, the veggies are prepared for the dressing, the topping for the sweet potato casserole is ready.  I am slowly but surely checking things off my list.  Tomorrow is "pie day."  Hopefully when I blog tomorrow night I can say that I have the four pies made.  I did a little more cleaning...mainly dusting.

Woody has read, done crossword puzzles, and watched football.  He walked four miles this afternoon.  He thinks that his kidney stone problem is over...but I hate to say it as he has thought that before and been wrong.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Keepin' On

My preparations for Thanksgiving continue.  It's getting closer, but not as close as some folks' I still have several days to prepare.  At this point as far as food goes...we have a gelatin salad that I made today and the turkey continues to perhaps we will eat.  Today I continued giving the house a "lick and a promise."  I'm not doing much deep cleaning as we will do that as we clear off tables and shelves when we begin decorating. I have just vacuumed and done some quick dusting.  The upstairs bathrooms are cleaned. The guest room is ready for Erin.  I "think" that I am going to have a helper (Erin) for decorating this year, we'll see if she is interested in helping her Grammy or not!  Woody made grocery stops at Kroger and Walmart this morning.  He just had to pick up a few things...not a major shopping trip.  He walked four miles this afternoon.  It has been a chilly day and it started to drizzle a little while ago.

Two points of interest...the first I am posting so I have a record of it...Woody has another kidney stone.  He said that he woke up this morning not feeling right and it took him a while to figure out what it was.  It has been a while since he has had guess he had forgotten the initial symptoms!  He said that at the moment it must not be moving as he isn't hurting.

Next point of interest...I was talking to Melany on the cell phone and she informed me that Graham had killed his first deer this evening...she had found out on she found out sooner than her parents who live right next door to Graham. I had been on Facebook not long ago...but had shut it down before Nathan posted.  I'm staying away.  Woody did walk over and check things out.  Congratulations to Graham from Grammy...this is as close as I am going to get to congratulate him till all evidence of the deer is far far away!

Wishing all our blog readers a wonderful Thanksgiving Day tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Second Keytruda Infusion--Done!

I just realized that it is one month till Christmas.  We had been so busy today that I hadn't thought about today's date till just now when I saw it on the "back page" of the blog.  We left the house this morning around 11 and pulled back into our driveway around 8:30pm.  We did add a little onto the trip as we had a glass globe break on one of our light fixtures and we went on a little side trip to McMinnville, TN to try to replace it. We did manage to find one that works.  I came home and put it up first thing.  We got to Vanderbilt ahead of schedule for a change and Woody got into the system quite quickly and all appointments went like clock-work.  After labs, he was called in almost immediately to see Dr. Sosman and we didn't have to wait all that long till he came in.  Dr. Sosman came in and asked his usual questions and poked around on Woody and then sent us on our way.  I headed to make appointments (this time I got appointments for the next three we are all set for appointments till into January) and Woody headed off to the infusion clinic...again ahead of schedule.  He was called in there quickly which also meant that his medicine (top bag in the picture) got ordered from the pharmacy and didn't hold us up as much as sometimes.  We left the infusion clinic a little before 6pm and got down to claim our car just under the wire before the valet service closed.  (We did have a number to call if we had gotten down after it we wouldn't have been stranded!) We headed out and stopped at our traditional stop...Steak and Shake.  Then it was on down the road for home.  It is good to be back home.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Preparations Underway

Today has been a very pretty Fall day...though a bit windy.  The leaves are really coming down as can be seen in tonight's photo.  I took this picture this afternoon when I got my hair cut.  Thanksgiving preparations today have been cleaning upstairs...normally that probably wouldn't happen...but Erin is going to stay with us starting on Saturday for a week.  I had to turn the guest room back into a guest room...lately that room has become the "girls' sewing room."  So I had to pick up their projects off the guest bed.  And, I have dusted and vacuumed in the room is now ready for a guest.  I haven't done any cooking today...that will get underway on Wednesday.  I got the bread baked and sliced and dried and cubed over the weekend so that is all bagged up and ready for the big day when it becomes our traditional dressing.  Over the weekend I made two for cleaning and one for cooking...slowly but surely I am checking items off said lists.

Woody went for his walk fairly early this morning as it was forecast to be as warm as it was going to get today.  He walked four miles.  He also went to the Life Care Center this morning to have Bible study with a gentleman.

Tomorrow we will be heading to Vanderbilt for Woody's second Keytruda infusion.  His appointments (lab, doctor, infusion) are fairly late in the afternoon so there is no telling when we will get home.  We did get an automated call a little while ago asking us to confirm our appointment with Dr. Sosman's assistant (thought that we were going to see Dr. Sosman...guess time will tell) and the time that they quoted was thirty minutes earlier than the appointment time we were given when we made the appointment. So looks like "things" may have changed a bit.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Time Does Fly!

Look who turned 10 months old today...our sweet Joseph.  I spent a little while next door this morning snapping a few pictures. Woody's first task of the day was to deliver the cranberry orange bread to the church.  Then he headed off to do his usual Saturday errands...the library, Walmart, and today he included a second trip for the week to Kroger since he was getting underway with our Thanksgiving grocery shopping.  When he got home I put away the groceries. He felt rather done in...had one of his zapped of energy times.  I'm glad that I had cleaned out the refrigerator yesterday as today it began filling up...what with a turkey and other items that will eventually become part of our Thanksgiving feast.  On the days preceding our family Thanksgiving, I try to do tasks that will help me be closer to ready when the big onslaught of cooking has to take place.  Today I made Savory Herb Stuffing bread.  I have two loaves cooling as I type this.  On another day I will slice the loaves and dry them in the oven and cube them for our dressing.  The age old it dressing or stuffing.  Well, since I don't stuff our turkey with it does that make ours dressing? I tend to use the words interchangeably. Anyway...the first item is cooked that will become a part of our Thanksgiving feast next Saturday. One item down, ????? items to go! Woody walked six miles this afternoon while the bread was rising.  I have loaded the dishwasher and it is washing away.  I think that the rest of the evening may be dedicated to resting and relaxing for both of us.

Friday, November 21, 2014

And...The Month Marches On

Today has been a day of doing a little of this and a little of that.  I had a goal today of making Cranberry Orange Bread and cleaning out the refrigerator.  The bread is made and all sliced and on a plate for Woody to deliver to church in the morning. Our class has been asked to provide refreshments for the folk who will be working on assembling the Night In Bethlehem Village and other decorating chores around the church campus.  The refrigerator is in better shape to take on Thanksgiving feast items as they are purchased and made next week. For his daily walk, Woody walked to and from the Post Office and on the way home stopped at our pharmacy to pick up a couple of my prescriptions.  This evening Graham came over to complete his task of taking apart his K'nex roller coaster. Anytime that any of the children asked when I was going to start decorating for Christmas, I kept telling them that I couldn't till Graham took apart the roller coaster!  The minute that he got all the roller coaster parts put away in their proper places, Graham wanted to start decorating!  I'm really not ready to face that mess! I am not having the Sunday School class party at our house this year so I am not in as big of a hurry to get the decorating done.  But Graham and I did go up to the Christmas closet and he was able to find the Fisher Price Nativity boxes and the cover for the coffee table.  The tradition is that the children get to put it out on the day that we celebrate Thanksgiving...usually the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day.  The tradition is for all the grandchildren to be here so they can all help set it up.  So it was a big help for him to find those boxes.  One thing ready for our family Thanksgiving celebration!  After he found those three boxes, he meticulously put all the boxes back that we had to get out to get to the nativity boxes. He took the three boxes and I took the table cover down to the living room and stacked them up against the wall awaiting next Saturday's gathering of family.  At that point I had a MARVELOUS idea...and he willingly went along with it...organize the toy closet that is under the stairs.  He hardly ever gets anything out from there any more so it is hardly fair to ask him to clean up his siblings mess...but...he was willing to meet the challenge.  Graham loves to organize...what a wonderful characteristic! So he crawled into the closet and pulled things out from the center that had just been piled in there and I started organizing the things on the floor in the living room by putting things together that go together. And, then I handed them to him and he slid them into place.  We made quick work of that.  So...a nice clean toy closet...for how long?!?  Then we sat down and read out loud from the book that we are reading during his reading time with me.  So a productive evening!  He stayed at our house till the rest of his family returned just a little while ago from a birthday party.  I'm off to read one of the books that I have going at the moment...the I can get it finished before it is taken back into cyberspace by the e-book library.  

Graham and family had special visitors today...the missionary family they visited and worked with while they were in Uganda last year.  Just think...the children have now played at each others' houses...on two different continents!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Knit One, Quilt Too

Some may think that I am confused when it comes to tonight's title...most would put "purl two" rather than "quilt too" in the saying.  But today Joy was knitting and I was quilting so I took liberty to change the saying.  My Cottey College suitemates would identify with the knitting we had a little ditty that we would say: "Knit one, purl two, Beardsley, Yoo hoo!"  Beardsley was our suite's name.  One of our suitemate's parents owned a knitting shop...and at one point most of us in the suite were knitting...thus the saying was born.  There...a little trivial, silly background info on me...and, the reason why I came up with tonight's blog title!

Joy joined us bright and early this morning...she wasn't feeling all that great and her family had a couple of school programs to do today in Franklin, TN.  She just stayed quiet all day...but that is our Joy...a very quiet little girl.  I think that she had a good time.  First she knit (she just learned to knit yesterday), then she played for a while on my iPad.  She likes the brain teaser puzzles...ones that you have to move certain shaped pieces into another shape...anyway...she is quite good at it and thinks very analytically as she is doing them.  Then she did art work in the school room...we got out the oil pastels and she made a very pretty mountain scene.  After a light lunch of a smoothy that Goosey (Woody) made for us and some crackers and applesauce, she decided to watch a DVD movie...I brought out the choices that I thought that she would like and she chose Mary Poppins...she had never seen it before...or if she had she didn't remember.  She really enjoyed it.  I would hear little giggles every so often.  After the movie she knit for a while and then went back into the school room and got out some of the Montessori equipment and enjoyed making patterns with the bead stair beads and a couple of other things.  Then she got the crayons down and made a really nice forrest picture...which included a turkey.  At that point her family was home and she packed up her knitting and her gatorade and applesauce and headed home with her drawings in hand.

While Joy was doing all her activities, I got Isaac's quilt ready to be quilted. That took awhile to get the layers all flat and smooth and then to pin the layers all together making a "quilt sandwich".  After that, I got underway quilting it. Just before blogging I completed the second square...there are twelve large squares making up the center portion of the a ways to go plus have the edges to quilt it will take a is taking a toll on my shoulders, neck and back...not easy pushing all those layers through the machine over and over again.  I'm just thankful that it isn't large quilt...this is just one that is big enough for a little one to cuddle up under to take a nap or keep warm while curled up on a couch watching TV.

Woody's walk today included the library and a successful attempt to get the book that Joy and I are reading back.  I thought that we might read some today, but the day got filled up with other things.  I made a pot of chili for our supper. Supper is over and I am about over for this day too...the recliner is calling my name!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Tad Warmer

Today seemed a bit "more normal" for a Fall actually got into the 40's today.  The sun was shining so that made it look even warmer than it was.  It was still breezy so that made it seem cooler than it was.  We had school this morning...a normal Wednesday morning of lessons and reading.  After Isaac had his time with me, he and Goosey (Woody) went to Kroger to do our Wednesday shopping.  Woody was home in time to have his time with Graham while I had my time with Esther.  Esther began making a pin cushion.  After lunch, I headed off to the church library.  Once again we accomplished quite a bit...finalized the processing on quite a few books...which means that they are on display and ready to be checked out.  After I came home, Isaac came over for a little while.  He likes to play some preschool games that I have on my iPad so he had his "screen time" with me today.  Woody and I had leftovers for supper.  I'm "afraid" that I "may" have to cook tomorrow!  While I was at the church library, Woody walked to the public library to return a book that Joy and I are reading together. We haven't quite finished it, but are returning it because it was overdue and couldn't be renewed again.  He returned it today in hopes that it will be back on the shelf by Saturday so he can recheck it out. We received the "friendly" automated call from Vanderbilt a little while ago reminding us of Woody's appointments this coming Tuesday. Three weeks between appointments really goes by quickly!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


It is just downright cold here in Middle TN today.  Woody did walk to the prayer room at church this evening.  I hope that he layered well enough!  I don't envy him that walk this cold evening.  We had school this morning as after the other. Late this afternoon Joy came over for her sewing time since she wouldn't be here for her time on Thursday.  I haven't stepped outside today.  Woody did walk a couple of my students back home this morning.  Woody has read, watched some TV, worked a lot of crossword puzzles...all good inside activities for a very cold day.  Tonight's picture I took a few weeks back when Woody and I walked the Tullahoma Greenway: "Reflections on a Beaver Pond."

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Came...Again!

Monday came and is now almost gone...easy come, easy go!  It has been another cold day.  We had a normal day of school.  Isaac came over first.  Elijah came in just as Isaac was asking Goosey (Woody) to take him home.  Elijah came in with the news that it was snowing!  I had read a prediction that it would be snowing at 9am...and this time a weather prediction was right.  It didn't snow long...but you could see it on some of the leaves outside and also on our car...for a very short time.  Esther came right after Elijah left for her reading out loud time.  Then Joy came for her reading time.  I had a short break and then it was Abigail's time to sew with me for an hour.  We were sooooooo close to being finished with that I told her she could come over after she finished with her school work at her house.  I ate a quick lunch and then got started on making soup for our supper...Old Fashioned Cabbage Soup.  May not sound the best...but it really hit the spot.  I got all the veggies chopped...just had the cabbage left to slice when Graham came over for his reading time.  After Graham, Elijah came over for his long Grammy time.  Monday is the only day that I have all six come for time with me.  After Elijah left I got busy again on the soup and got it finished.  I was ready to sit after I got it finished!  So I rested for a while and read a little more in the book I'm reading.  I am having fun reading this book as I am messaging back and forth with the author while I am reading it...definitely a new experience!  After I rested for a while, Abigail came back over and she sewed the skirt to the bodice and then tried it on.  She was so happy that it fit!  There are just a few finishing details that need to be done and it will be ready for her to wear on Sunday.

Woody has done a little of this and a little of that today.  He didn't walk as it has been quite cold and windy all day.  It is supposed to get down into the teens tonight. (This seems like January weather rather than November...did I miss Christmas?) He has read, watched TV, done crossword puzzles, etc...all good activities for a cold winter(y) (wait it is still Fall) day! At this point into his new melanoma treatment the only "perhaps" side effect is that every once in a while he is very tired...the kind of tired when you just can't move for a while.  He said that he doesn't know if it is the new Keytruda or the former Yervoy (ipi) that is making him feel this way at times.  It is the same feeling that he got once in a while when he was taking the Yervoy.  We do know that the Yervoy can still be having an effect as sometimes results from it don't happen till 26 weeks or more down the road from taking it.  These two infusions can work together. And, one of the side effects for both is fatigue.  Dr. Sosman didn't want to wait around for all those weeks to see if Yervoy was going to work on Woody.  He wanted to go on and get started with the Keytruda.  Woody will have his second Keytruda infusion next Tuesday.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Uh, Oh!

Look what Joseph discovered he could do at Grammy and Goosey's today (with Abigail and Joy's encouragement)!  Abigail and Joy were so excited when he made it to the top.  I'm not sure that Joseph's mommy and daddy will be as excited!

Woody headed off this morning on his Saturday routine--the library and Walmart.  I was lazy this morning and slept in.  Well, I will confess that I probably stayed up too late last night reading the book that I started yesterday.  For lunch I made dressing to go with the chicken leftovers from my time in the kitchen yesterday.  I made up the "recipe" for this dressing as I went along.  I wanted to use up some stuffing cubes that I had made and frozen a while back.  I didn't want to use them at Thanksgiving because I was afraid that they might taste stale (which they didn't).  I sauteed onions, mushrooms, apples, and fresh cranberries.  For part of the liquid I used orange juice...ended up tasting quite good.  This afternoon I talked to Melany and my sister.  So for me it has pretty much been a "sit-around-and-not-do-a-whole-lot" kind of day.  I did pin Melany down as to when they could come for our family Thanksgiving.  We will celebrate on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Woody went for a four mile walk this afternoon. He has read and watched football and some library DVD's.

It hasn't been as chilly today.  Lots of yard work being done in our neighborhood...including our yard and the neighbor's (Nathan and Kathy's).  Nathan and Kathy and some of the children have worked really hard at getting leaves blown out to the road in front of both our houses once again.  Yards looked great as the sun set...wonder if they will be full of leaves by morning. Hopefully the wind won't blow much overnight.  It actually got into the 40's today and it is heading into the mid 30's as I type.  Maybe it won't be as cold overnight tonight as the last couple of nights.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Shiver Me Timbers!

Boy is it cold here in Middle TN.  It just barely got above freezing today and got down into the low 20's overnight.  Tonight it is already 27 according to Weather Bug.  Woody did brave the temperatures and went for his four-mile walk today.  He said that he was comfortable...but he did quite a bit of layering to keep that way.  I pretty much stayed in today.  Friends who used to live in Tullahoma were visiting next door with Nathan and Kathy and we walked next door (my venture out today) to visit with them for a little while.  They also have seven there was quite a houseful!  It was good to see them.  I decided to make our main meal for our lunch today.  So cooked this morning and planned to sew this afternoon, but the sewing hasn't happened...yet.  I had ordered a book that an internet sewing friend wrote and it arrived today so I sat down for a while to get underway with her book.  I also talked with my sister.  I noticed that there are Christmas tree lights shining through the window at Nathan and Kathy's...they are much ahead of me...I'm having trouble getting in a 'tis the season mood!  

Thursday, November 13, 2014


It never got out of the 30's Fahrenheit today...too cold...too soon.  It actually sleeted for a little while this morning.  I have hibernated inside this morning...letting all come my way.  We did have a normal Thursday day of school.  Joy got started cutting out her apron during her sewing time.  We are hoping that she can get it done so she can use it for Christmas baking.  We'll try...but at only one sewing session a week, it may be difficult.  Woody didn't walk today as it was cold and windy.  He is thinks that it will just be cold wind.   He did follow Nathan over to Winchester today so he could bring Nathan back after Nathan dropped off their RV to have some work done.  In that process Woody misplaced his good pair of reading took several walks out to the car (there he did do some walking today!) to finally locate them.  I took a rather long "rest" this afternoon.  Graham came over to take down his K'nex roller coaster...a prerequisite for me to be able to begin to decorate.   At the moment I have the backing for Isaac's quilt spread out on our bedroom floor so I can see how to piece the backing to make it fit the quilt top.  After I blog, I plan to just fold both the quilt top and backing up and do the cutting and piecing "perhaps" tomorrow.  I finished a book last night and immediately checked out its sequel from the e-book program that our library offers.  I am just getting into the book so I plan on reading this evening.  It's supposed to get down into the 20's tonight.  Brrrrrrrrrrr!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nippy Fall Day

The tree in tonight's picture is in the yard right across the street from us...magnificent color!  Today wasn't exactly a normal Wednesday for us.  Nathan and Kathy and family had gone to the Florida panhandle over the weekend to juggle at a Fall festival.  On their return they decided that since they were so close to a beach that they would spend a couple of days having fun before coming home.  They got home last night, but Elijah and Isaac weren't feeling the greatest.  So this morning they took it easy and didn't come over for school.  Abigail and Joy did come over and read to me and then Graham and Esther came over for their long times...Graham with Goosey (Woody) and Esther with me.  Esther and I finished up her shirt that she is machine embroidering a design on.  Graham learned some more about the element Copper.  Woody did his weekly Krogering this morning.  He let that be his walk/exercise for the day.  Today was really nippy and quite windy...making it feel even colder than it was.  After lunch I went to work for a couple of hours in the church library.  Then I came home and flopped in "my" chair and rested for a while.  After supper, I went next door to stay with Elijah and Isaac while the rest of their family went to Wednesday activities at church. Elijah and Isaac are both feeling much better. As I left them, we were making plans for tomorrow to be a normal school day.  Time will tell!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Room With a View

At this time of the year, looking out the windows in our house gives beautiful views of oak trees changing colors.  Each day the views just get prettier...especially when the sun is shining on them...some gold, some orange, some red, some still green and some already brown.  It's a daily changing show out our windows.  This morning I got up and finished piecing the top for Isaac's quilt.  This afternoon I went to the quilt store and bought the fabric for the back plus the quilt batting.  The backing fabric is drying as I type.  Next steps: sandwiching the quilt and then pinning it.  Then it will be time to start quilting it on the machine.  Woody revved up the leaf blower today and blew some leaves...a never ending job at this time of the year.  Earlier this evening he walked to the prayer room at church.  When he left it wasn't raining, but it has rained some off and on over the last hour.  He just came in and said that he had gotten just a tad wet.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sewing Oblivion?

Often when I get busy sewing, I forget to do the things that I usually automatically blog!  I totally forgot to blog Saturday evening.  I had been at a quilting get-together all morning and into the late afternoon.  When I got home I headed straight to my recliner and not long after sitting down I was sound asleep.  I woke up thinking about blogging and then I got a phone call and after that didn't think again about blogging.  I did realize yesterday that I had forgotten, but since Sunday is my day off from blogging, I decided that I would stick to that routine and just "try" to remember tonight!  I have been working on Isaac's quilt again this evening and just realized that it was already passed the time that I "try" to blog each evening.

I made soup this morning--Italian Spinach with Meatballs.  It is a good change of pace for us...not one that I make very often.  Woody made a visit at the Life Care Center this morning.  He walked four miles this afternoon and on his return he picked up a couple of his prescriptions at the drugstore.  He found out that they had sold a couple of his books.  This evening he and a fellow deacon went visiting some folk who had visited at our church recently.  Well, back to my quilt piecing efforts...I am about to reach the end of piecing the top together and will then be on to sandwiching the quilt top, batting, and backing together so I can get busy quilting it.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Packing It Up

I am in the midst of packing up my sewing things that I will need for tomorrow's quilting day.  I am trying to only take things that I will need but there are quite a few needed items.  This year I will need less as I only plan to piece on Isaac's quilt.  I was in the midst of ironing some of the fabrics that I will need tomorrow when I realized that it was time to blog.

As far as I can tell Woody is still doing well with no effects from the Keytruda infusion.  He had the kitchen all cleaned up for me when I got up this I could mess it up again! He walked four miles this morning.  I have done a little of this and a little of that today...a little cleaning and really more than a little cooking.  I have made chicken broth for a soup that I will be making sometime in the next few days.  Then I made homemade cream of mushroom soup for pork chops that I baked for our supper.  I have made this recipe for years using either cream of celery soup or cream of mushroom soup.  The other day I came across a recipe on the internet that seemed to improve upon my original recipe and then I improved on theirs by making my own mushroom soup.  They were very good and the recipe made more than one meal...something that I am always glad for a recipe to do.  And,  now I am heading back to continue packing/preparing for tomorrow's sewing day.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

If Only We Could Have Taken to the Air...

 If we could have taken to the air on our trip to Nashville this morning, we could have enjoyed a closer encounter with some lovely clouds...the rain had moved on leaving some very pretty low hanging clouds.  If we could have taken to the air, we could have joined these birds on the wires...there were probably a hundred of them all perched along these lines..all (that I could see) facing the same way.  I think that they were getting warm plus facing away from the wind that was starting to pick up.It was a very breezy the time we got out of Vanderbilt it was really whipping around...really making
the wind chill factor be felt.  If we could have taken to the air, we could have landed on top of Vanderbilt as this Life Flight did as we were driving  up to the front of the cancer clinic.  If we could have  taken to the air, we could have avoided the gridlock that we found on both the interstates we traveled on this morning.  If we could have taken to the air, we wouldn't have been twenty minutes late for Woody's appointment even though we gave ourselves almost thirty extra minutes.  We are so thankful that we don't have to face such traffic on a daily basis.  I don't see how anyone can get to work or anywhere on time in big cities.  Everything got underway in a timely fashion...though there was no rush about anything.  It took almost an hour for Woody's new drug to get to the infusion clinic.  The infusion only took thirty minutes plus some time to flush the line with saline solution.  There was no waiting around to check his blood pressure this time so once he was unhooked from the IV, we were out of there.  We were walking out by 10:30.  It took a few minutes for our car to come.  That is when we experienced the wind for the first time today.  It was really nippy.  It felt good to get into the car.  We did stop and have lunch on the way our favorite stopping place of the moment...Steak 'n Shake.  Then we trucked on home.  After we got home, we headed next door to check to see how Isaac was doing.  It is as if nothing had happened to soreness or anything.  Today was supposed to be Joy's long time with me so I arranged to sweep her away for her time this afternoon.  Her next project is going to be an apron so we went to JoAnn's and she got to pick out her fabric.  After she and I got back, Elijah and Isaac came over for a while.  At this point Woody feels no different than he did prior to taking this highfalutin medicine.  He has had his first infusion and this time I can't say how many to go as the number is dependent on how his body responds to the infusions.  He will be scanned after he has had four in twelve weeks, as he has these infusions every three weeks.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Curbside Service!

Yesterday Nathan blew most of the leaves in our two yards out to the road.  And, look what came along early this morning to "vacuum" them up...the leaf truck!  Perfect timing.  I do think that Woody had observed them in another part of our neighborhood yesterday and alerted Nathan and Nathan got busy.  It was good to get them up before the rain that has settled in today...they got blown to the road while dry and got swept up while they were mostly dry.  Much easier job for all when they are dry.

At the moment we are waiting for Nathan to get back home with Isaac.  They had to make a trip to the ER as Isaac may have a broken arm.  I guess time will tell.  Hope he doesn't, but he continued to favor it for some time after it got hurt.  So far they haven't had any broken bones in their seems that having seven children that they will probably have a broken bone or two before they get grown!

ER report:  Praising God!  Isaac's arm is not broken.  His elbow was dislocated.  Nathan said that almost immediately after the doctor popped it back in position (after a bit of crying), Isaac said it was all better and he popped his thumb into his mouth.  He had been hampered in his thumb sucking due to his arm hurting him!  Now he is a happy camper.  And, we are thankful that it wasn't any worse than it was.  Now...I will say that his siblings are going to be a bit disappointed as they had great plans for decorating his cast if it was broken!

Woody went for a walk early this morning before the rain started.  And, then headed off to do his Krogering and made a stop at the library. It has rained a little off and on a good part of the day.  It started really raining just a little while ago.  I'm hoping that the rains are gone by the time that we head off to Vanderbilt in the morning. We had our normal Wednesday schedule for school this morning.  Graham had his long time with Goosey (Woody) and Esther had her time with me.  After lunch I headed off to the church library and worked for a couple of hours.  On the way home I stopped at the quilt store to pick out some more fabric for Isaac's quilt.  I am washing the fabric while I blog.  I need to get the fabric ready as I am going to be going to an all day quilting shindig on Saturday and I need it ready to use then.

If all goes as planned, when I blog tomorrow night, Woody will have had his first infusion of Keytruda.  This is another immunotherapy drug (not chemotherapy).  It is supposed to aid his immune system in blocking and attacking the melanoma cells (a bit simplistic of an explanation...but that is the easiest way I know how to explain it). We did learn on Monday that there is still a possibility of the Yervoy (ipi) that he had four infusions to still do its job...sometimes it takes quite a few weeks to kick in.  The Keturda and Yervoy will not work against each other...rather they can work together.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Back in a Groove?

We got least a bit...into routine today.  We'll just get back into routine and have to break out of it once again because we will go to Vanderbilt on Thursday...I guess two days of routine are better than none? We had school...Isaac first and then Elijah.  Woody went visiting at the Life Care Center today  and took Nathan and Abigail and Joy with him.  As they left, Esther came over to read.  Then Graham came over in place of Joy.  Not long after he finished his reading time Abigail was home and ready to read and then Joy came in Graham's place.  So all got to read today who were supposed to.  Since I missed Abigail's sewing time yesterday, she came over for her time after lunch.  She really is making progress and the completion of her dress is in sight.  Today she did a bit of hand sewing.  Then we started on the sleeves.  We went back and forth between my machine and their machine as mine has a special setting for the easing stitch for sleeves.  Abigail sewed up the seam on the sleeve and then I showed her how to ease the sleeves in and baste them in before sewing them on the machine.  After she went home, I finished setting in the sleeves.  The skirt is the end is in sight...she may yet finish the dress before she outgrows it!

Woody walked to the prayer room at church this evening and has returned.  While he was gone, I ground up the oregano that I had dried using Nathan and Kathy's dehydrator.  I think that I am finished drying herbs for this year...I have done parsley, rosemary and oregano.  Nice to be able to fill up the containers that I have and not have to buy new from the store.

We are attempting to get used to the time change.  I think that I noticed the time change more today than I did on Sunday or Monday.  It is still rather confusing to have it get dark so early.  I kept thinking that it was much later than it was several times today.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Even Our Signs Read Southern!

I'm running late tonight getting in here to blog.  I have been making orders for Christmas and book orders for the church library.  The time got away from me.  But, I can say that we are a couple of steps closer to having Christmas decisions made.

Today started out with heading to Vanderbilt.  The appointment was a bit later in the morning so we didn't have to leave super on the road a little before 8am.  The place that the traffic seemed the heaviest and seemed to slow us down was right in Tullahoma.  We got on the road just as parents who had dropped off children at schools were on the way home.  We stopped for gas and then were on our way and got to Vanderbilt just a little before his scheduled time for lab work.  It took more than an hour for them to call him in for his labs...which meant that he wasn't finished with them before it was time for his appointment with Dr. Sosman (well, today with Debbie Wallace, his physician's assistant).  You can not even imagine how full the waiting room was...and this is a large waiting room.  Let's just say that Monday isn't a good day for an appointment.  We got our next appointments moved back to a Tuesday.  It didn't take long after his labs were done for him to be called into the exam room.  Debbie Wallace came in and talked to us for a while.  She explained that the infusion hadn't gotten scheduled (they didn't follow through after the insurance was approved) and that today they were too busy in the infusion clinic to be able to fit Woody in.  So...we will be going back on Thursday for his first infusion of Keytruda. That will be all that he will be getting that doctor...just the infusion.  This infusion takes less time than his last infusion treatments.  These only takes 30 minutes versus 90 minutes before.  We got his next appointments which include the infusion this time for three weeks from tomorrow.  These infusions are given three weeks apart and unlike the Yervoy (Ipilimumab) there is no set number of them.  The number received depends on the results that are being seen.  After four infusions (12 weeks), he will have scans to check to see what effect the Keytruda is having on his melanoma.

Today we were driving away from Vanderbilt a little after noon.  We headed on down the road to our favorite stop for a "treat" for lunch...Steak and Shake.  Can it be possible that we will get this treat twice in one week...again on Thursday? Time will tell!  Woody even mentioned that we might head off and take pictures some place in Nashville.  But I'm not sure that it is a good idea to go much farther into the center of Nashville as I was reminded today that it is the CMA Awards and downtown Nashville is over run with country music fans!  Crowds are not my cup of tea!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Another Page of the Calendar Turned

November has blown in and with those winds in the night came quite cold temperatures and LOTS of leaves on the ground.  The day remained quite cool especially when one factors in the wind chill.  Graham and I went out in the late afternoon to go to the library...brrrrrrr!  Tonight we move an hour closer to my sister.  This is the time change that I like the best because AZ doesn't change time so we will be only an hour apart tomorrow...much easier to call when it is only an hour different.

Woody took care of the children for a while early this morning.Later in the morning he did his normal Saturday routine...the library and WalMart.   I have worked some more on Isaac's quilt...two rows are now stitched together.  I am blogging a bit early as I am going next door for movie night in a little while. I have gotten clocks moved back an hour so we're ready for the time change...I think.