Friday, August 29, 2008

Thrifty Finds and a Book Giveaway

Yesterday was a nice and much needed rainy day, so Isaiah and I headed off to the thrift store. It was slim pickings around the store until I hit the craft area and found some yarn. There were two huge bags stuffed with yarn. Usually the yarn found at the thrift store is stuff that I'd rather not knit with, but upon further inspection, I noticed one of the bags had two balls of Debbie Bliss cotton. I'm sure you can imagine my excitement. I quickly threw the two bags into my cart, knowing they were a deal at $3.95 and $1.95 a bag. Seriously. The Debbie Bliss yarn still had the price tags on them, $6.50 for each ball!

Anyway, there were some other good yarns in there two. Some Encore, which I think will be perfect for a sweater for Isaiah. And this pretty green yarn, which feels like wool, but I'm not completely sure. I'm wondering if it would be good sock yarn. I'm really wanting to try to knit a pair. All in all, there were 14 skeins/balls of yarn for $6.00. Now I just need some suggestions on what to knit, after I finish knitting my Rusted Root, of course. Something quick, easy, and satisfying. I only wish I were prolific as some knitters I know.

I also picked up some new books for Isaiah, as is our habit every time we go. It's my go to distraction for him while I shop. There were two bags of books by Rigby Mathematics and they seemed interesting, so I figured I'd give them a go for .80 each. What I didn't realize, however, was that there were 4 copies of each of the 4 books. I obviously don't need that many, so I thought I'd give them away to whoever wants them. They're thin paperback books, written by math professors. They have a rhyme to them with numbers. I think they'd be perfect for kids who are learning to count, or even beginning readers. Isaiah has been enjoying them, but I do think they'd also be good for kindergarteners , whom I think they are really aimed at. They might also be a good addition to homeschooling. I have 3 sets to give away, each containing four books : Fish for Supper, Penny Penguin's Party, Birds, Birds, Everywhere, and The Queen of Hearts. Just leave a comment if you're interested, and I'll pick three people on Monday. I'm going to limit this to U.S. and Canada for shipping reasons. Have a nice weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


My mother in law came over Saturday with a huge bundle of concord grapes in hand. She figured I would do something with them because they are not entirely edible off the vine. I instantly remembered that I had seen something on the food network about making grape pie. I was intrigued and this gave me the perfect opportunity to try it out. So I popped grapes, simmered them, pressed them through a sieve, dumped them into a pie crust, and in 40 minutes we had a delicious pie that came from picked only hours before. Of course, there are no pictures of the pie because it didn't last long. I loosely based my recipe on this one.

Luckily, there were tons of grapes left over and my little assistant loved popping them out of the skins, full of deep belly laughs. While he napped, they were made into a delicious jam. Only problem is, we have one jar. Hopefully nana can pass on some more grapes. Isaiah thoroughly enjoyed the process. Perfect for little fingers that don't mind getting dirty.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hello again.

ever notice how hard it is to take a picture of a curtain??

There's been a lot and nothing going on at the same time around here. Does that ever happen to you? John started his 2nd round of chemo on thursday and is now sporting the bald look. As I was shaving his hair, I remembered how good he actually looks without hair. I'm sure that I would not look so good without mine. We also had some good news on John's progress. I won't go into details (you can read them here if you want to), but we're happy with how things are going. Anyway, we had two days without Isaiah before his chemo started again. We were able to have a nice date night out together, dinner and a movie (Tropic Thunder, hilarious!), which we haven't done in a long while. I was also able to fit in some sewing. We've been in our house almost 2 years and I still haven't put up curtains in Isaiah's room. It wasn't really a problem until Isaiah started sleeping in a toddler bed. Now, every morning, he wakes us up with "It's not dark outside anymore. I ready to go downstairs." Every morning. This morning I was trying to explain to him that even though it's light outside does not mean it's time for everyone to wake up. It was really no use.

Anyway, he now has one shade in his room. I opted to go for a little bit more of a tedious patchwork pattern, because I obviously like to create more work for myself. I used blackout shade fabric for the backing which was a bit tricky to work with. Although I'm not sure if it was the blackout fabric or the combination of using it with linen. Whatever it was, there was a lot of slipping and stopping to readjust everything. I'm happy with the way it came out, although I could have made it a little bit wider. A little bit of light shows through each side. I'm just dreading having to make a second one now! At least Isaiah likes them. He said "those look cool mama." I'm glad he appreciates the effort.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Dear Baby Janes

This past week I have been feverishly trying to catch up on my Dear Baby Jane blocks. I fell very, very behind and some of those blocks are very time consuming! So far, I think this one is my favorite.

I thought it would be harder, but it turned out to be pretty simple. I finished up 19 blocks and have only (I think) 4 left. Two of those are already in progress. This one is already cut out, but it is giving me a lot of trouble. I had to put it down and give it a break. Hopefully this weekend I can catch up on the last of the blocks. I have been trying to save the appliqué ones for Olympic watching at night. It keeps me busy so that I'm not falling asleep. I hate that these events are on so late. It's really ruining my sleep schedule! In other exciting news, my sister is moving down here tomorrow from NY and I couldn't be happier. Her move just happens to be perfect timing with all that's going on in my life. My parents will also be helping move her in along with some other family that is in town for the weekend too. I had the brilliant idea to have a family Olympics tomorrow night, so stay tuned for the hilarity that will surely ensue. Hope you all have a good weekend!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Doll Quilt Received!

Today was an exciting mail day. I was opening packages for the swap I am hosting, and as I was opening one, I realized it wasn't for that swap, but it was my Doll Quilt from the Doll Quilt Swap. What a great surprise! I knew some had already started going out, but I honestly wasn't even thinking that mine was on its way!

Isn't it gorgeous?? It's from Leah, who has a beautiful blog and makes some incredible things. The colors are just beautiful and match my bedroom wall perfectly. My MIL was here when I opened it, and she said "how did she know what colors your walls are?" I don't know how, but I do know that I'll enjoy looking at it every time I am in bed. So, thank you, Leah. I love it! (you can see leah's photos of it here )

Oh, and is anyone else enjoying the Olympics as much as I am!??! That 4 x 100m race was crazy awesome last night!!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Doll Quilt and some other stuff

Yesterday, I took advantage of being kidless and finally finished up my doll quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap 4. I had a hard time deciding how to precede after reading all of your feedback the last time I posted about it. In the end, I decided to just use both the white and black and I love the effect that it gives. The piecing on the edges were done on John's advice, who really liked the look. I really hope that my partner likes it. Hopefully I can get it in the mail tomorrow.

Isaiah stayed with John's parents yesterday and he'll be staying with them again tonight. It's giving me a good opportunity to get some things done around the house, things that would probably be undone in a matter of seconds with Isaiah around (you know, like cleaning up the living room). I wanted to thank you all for your comments on the last post. A little bit of an update: John just finished his first round of chemo on tuesday. We found out that if loses his health insurance, that the Leukemia and Lymphoma society can pay for it. That's a big relief. On the job front, I'm still looking. I have a B.S. in Chemistry, but have never used it. I basically got married right out of college and then had Isaiah pretty shortly after. We'll see what comes my way.

I've received several e-mails about donating bone marrow, and I wanted to pass along the info if you are interested in being a donor. John is adopted, so we are relying on the bone marrow donor registry. You can go here for more info on becoming a donor. If you do sign-up, please let us know because it would mean the world to us and we would want to properly thank you.

Also, a quick thank you to an anonymous person who sent us a dinner gift certificate in the mail. I would have thanked you privately, but since there was no name, this only seems appropriate to thank you here. So, thank you, thank you, we really appreciate your kind gesture.

Pheew, that was sure a long post. Now John can stop bothering me about not posting all week :). Hope you all have a good weekend. It looks like it's going to be a beautiful one here!

Friday, August 01, 2008


John has his PET scan yesterday and it revealed some findings that the doctors totally did not expect. They found some signs that the disease had spread to two other parts of his body. So he is unable to undergo radiation following the chemo as planned. Instead, he will undergo at least 4 rounds of chemo followed by a bone marrow transplant. Yesterday we were just flooded with information and everything is so overwhelming. They can't even give us statistics on how well they think this will work because John's lymphoma is very rare and unusual, with basically no literature or other studies like his. At the beginning of each chemo cycle, he spends the night in the hospital to receive one of the drugs through a 12 hour drip. He did this last night and I spoke to him this morning. He said he is feeling o.k. now, but woke up with chills followed by a fever early this morning. He'll then have a 96 hr infusion of chemo this weekend, which is the same as he had last time he went through this. At least it's a little comical that he has to carry around the chemo in a fanny pack. He's definitely not the fanny pack type.

Anyway, we thought that he may be able to work during radiation, but with this development, he'll most definitely have to take a leave from work. I'm hoping that we'll be able to maintain his health insurance and other benefits while he undergoes this. In the meantime, I'm job hunting, but I have no idea what I'll do, seeing as I haven't worked in 3 years. I know we are very supported by friends and family, but there is just a feeling of helplessness I can't shake.

So, that's the update. I'm sure John will be updating his page from his perspective once he's home and rested. Thanks to everyone who's been sending e-mails and well wishes our way. W really, really appreciate it.