YOP LIST 2023-2024

Sunday, December 31, 2023



I am back.  So much to talk about so let's get going.

I have some finishes.

The second hat and mitt set was completed and both have now been mailed to their Kansas recipients.  The yarn for this set was so pretty.

Look at all those colors in it.  It was a good yarn to work with too.  Encore Colorspun was the yarn.

I was then asked to make a gnome for one of my nieces.  I finished him just in time as my niece and her family came for an unplanned visit this past week.  I now have two more to make per request from two of her children.

Then there was some cooking.

Hubby and I made green chili corn tamales one day.  It is pretty easy to do but takes time.  it took us 5 hours to make 100 tamales.  Hubby wants to make more, I do not.

This is the only holiday baking I did.  I just did not have the gumption this year to do more than these little beauties.

We had Christmas at our house this year.  There was 15 of us.

The day was filled with love and laughter.  Not to mention a TON of food.

There was another party we had and it was last night.  It was our annual End of Year party with extended friends who have become family.

This is our son and his wife from TX and also our niece and her Husband from Las Vegas.  They were the unplanned company that made our life so fun for 5 days.

Just a fraction of the people for our annual party with extended friends that have become family.  That is Josh on the right side with our niece from Vegas.

Our youngest son helping little Liam sink baskets.  Liam was one of 3 littles we had at our house this past week.  Oh how I miss having littles around.  Their laughter lights up a room.  They left this morning and my house is eerily quiet!

We finally have a diagnosis for Josh.  He has Glioblastoma.  A very aggressive tumor and will eventually take his life.  He has been approved to take the clinical trial chemo drug as well as radiation to help shrink and slow down the growth of this nasty thing.  There could be more surgery in the future if it grows to a point where they can remove some of it again.

Needless to say, this was not what we were praying for.  To say we were all devastated would be an understatement.  To get this news 4 days before Christmas was not something I would wish on anyone.  Josh went into a very dark place and it took some very stern action and people with the same diagnosis as him talking to him to finally get him to realize he needs to live the best life he has.  This is the reason I did not post last week.  It is also the reason we have been having a lot of unplanned company showing up.  

Chemo and radiation should be starting in the next week or two.  Waiting on the insurance for the prior authorization.  Such a pain!  I treasure each day I get to be with or talk to him.  No time line is given these days so we have no idea.  Although, one of the ladies in his support group is on year 25 and another one is on year 8.  Both have the same diagnosis as Josh does.  So now, we hope for extended quality and quantity of life for him.

May you all have a blessed 2024.

Until Next Time...........................Happy Crafting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2023



Do you ever just sit infront of your computer screen trying to figure out how to start your blog?  UGH!  This is me today.  Coming up with something catchy to grab the attention of the reader is one of the hardest things I do each week.  Since, I am unable to find the 'words' to get this blog off and running, I will just jump right in to my week of crafting and 'real' life.

Sunday (after posting) - I was finally able to get a bit of laundry done.  Not being home most of the week kind of puts a kink in things.  Yet, I do not begrudge my time spent with my son at all.

Monday - Got hubby to the airport.  He is off to finish up his mother's estate, finally.  She passed away two years ago.  The house had been remodeled and put on the market last month and sold in about 3-4 weeks.  It feels good to have the last thing completed.  I was told there was no need for me to come to be with Josh as he had his post op follow-up appointment and his wife was going to take the day off.  Well, things did not go as planned there.  His head was swelling and the Drs were quite concerned so sent him to the ER for various tests and then admitted him to the hospital.  Seems he was leaking 'brain fluid' (Josh's words) in-between his skull and scalp.  He was only in the hospital one day.  They started him on some new medicines to help and also made him start wrapping his head to help the fluid drain.  This is what was causing so much of his pain too.

I told him he reminded me of Ebeneezer Scrooge from the original Dickens "A Christmas Carol" movie.  He didn't find the humor in that.

Tuesday - I had Josh duty again.  There is also more car trouble going on.  Hubbys car's check engine light came on when Josie was driving it on Sunday night.  I had her switch cars with me so she wouldn't worry about it.  Seems there is a Cylinder #2 air to fuel problem.  I called the dealership to see if we could get a loaner while they repaired this.  My service advisor was not there and the person I spoke to flat out told me no way.  I was a bit miffed and decided to wait until my advisor was back the next day.  This caused me a bit of stress.  When stressed I pull out my needles and release said stress.

I was able to complete my niece's peek-a-boo mitts and seed banded slouch hat.  Then it was time to start my great niece's set too.

This is how I totally relaxed that evening.  Knitting, Christmas Movies and a little nightcap to help me relax so I could get some sleep.

Wednesday - Back with Josh again.  He is looking so much better.  The swelling has gone done greatly and his pain is minimal.  I was able to contact my car service advisor.  I explained the situation of only having one car (josie's car is still in the shop too) and needing a loaner if at all possible.  She spoke to her manager and was able to get one for us!  I turned Hubby's car in for service and picked up the loaner.  Hubby returned from his trip this evening.  So nice to have him back home.  He is also super glad to be home.

Thursday - Another day with Josh.  I am getting concerned as he is not interested in doing anything other than sit around.  I tried to get him to go outside for a bit but he refused.  Asked him to go for a walk and he scoffed that off too.  He did get a call from the clinical research team letting him know he was a candidate for their trial drug.  This is good news and bad news.  The bad news is, this means he has a grade 3 or 4 tumor (aggressive).  The good news is, the trial he took before surgery permeated the tumor so there is a chance this chemo will attack it and possibly put it into remission.  We should know more after his oncologist appointment on Monday.  Hubby and I had Adoration at our church's cancer shrine.  There were lots of prayers going up for our son that night.

Friday - Back with Josh again and deeply concerned.  He is slipping into a very dark place.  I tried talking to him about it and told him he needs to move and get out of the house.  He ignored me so I called in the big guns......My TX DIL.  She was a Senior Chief in the US Navy and doesn't take crap from anyone!  She hightailed it over to the house.  Before she got there she sent him a text and told him to get up, shower and plan on getting his bum out of the house.  And he did!  She took him on a walk and had a little chat with him about his pity party.  What a change in him after she came.  We even went out to dinner as a family that evening and what a grand time we had.

Saturday - Time to catch up on laundry!  Finally got all the clothes washed, folded and put away.  Hubby had a retreat at church so I had the day to myself.  Made a pan of corn bread to go with the soup we were having for our evening meal.  Watched a couple of Christmas movies and worked on my great niece's winter wear.

I am saving the thumbs for the end.  They can be a bit fiddly and I want to make sure I have the time to really work with them so they look nice.  I am in love with this color.  Hopefully she will be too.  I was told she likes purples and to 'think of the forest at night' type of purple.  I think this captures that.  Hubby and I also went to Mass this evening.  After dinner my Grand daughter Jaxon called and asked me to go to her house and get her meds she forgot to take to work with her.  (She is having some cardiac issues)  She was unable to reach her parents.  So, Mimi to the rescue!  Once that was all done, I finally sat down with hubby, watched a few shows we had recorded and then off to bed.

Here we are, another Sunday.  I still have a load of towels to wash and dry today.  There is going to be a loaf of cranberry bread made also.  Hubby will be glued to the TV watching NFL football so I will have lots of time to do mundane tasks.  I might even do a little Christmas baking today.  I have not made any treats for the upcoming season!  All the ingredients have been purchased.  Now they just need me to mix them all together. Needless to say, Josh has taken priority over everything the past 3 months.

Josh's in laws are coming in on Monday and will be staying through the first of the year.  I do not know if that means they will be taking over his care or not.  I know his father in law loves to be outdoors and he and Josh normally sit out back a lot.  His father in law will also be helpful in getting some of the yard work done that Josh is not able to do at the moment.  I did a bit of trimming up a tree on Friday but there is much more needing done.  TX DIL helped clean up the doggy diamonds (think about that LOL), Josie helped me clean out the fridge and freezer as well as getting stuff into the recycling bins.  We also got all the dishes done and cleaned up the kitchen for them.  His mother in law is great about keeping the kitchen cleaned up, dinner made and doing laundry.  That will be a big help for Stacie.

That, my friends is the end of my last week.  Thank you for hanging in until the end.

Until Next Time......................Happy Crafting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2023



I missed last week for updating.  The exhaustion and mental stress of the week took a toll on me and I just could not bring myself to even open my computer.  But, today is a new day/week and I am back and ready to update you on all that has happened.  Both in my crafting world and in my 'real' life.  Let's go!

I have finishes!

Hubby has a new pair of socks.  I do not have a photo of the two of them together.  Seems each time I go to take a photo, he has worn them and they need to be washed.  Does this mean they are his favorite?  Maybe!

After the socks, I needed something to make while waiting for some yarn to arrive.  I decided on making something for ME.

This is the Needham vest.  A very simple little design that will be perfect for our moderate temperatures here.

I got a bit of a start on it.  The yarn is Anthem by Cascade and has been reclaimed from a sweater I knit and absolutely hated the fit of.  At the moment this project is in time out while I work on a special request from one of my nieces.

TA-DA!  I finished the first pair of two Peek-a Boo mitts.  This pair is for my niece.  They are made in Encore Colorspun.  It is a wool blend and very warm.  (I tried them on and they were VERY warm)  I have made these before but for some reason I had a horrible time getting the fit right and the thumb gave me great fits.  Hopefully when I made the next pair for her daughter they will go smoother.  Although, her daughter's hand is an inch narrower.  Ugh, more math to work out.

As a special surprise I am also making matching hats for them.  They did not request hats.

The pattern is Seed Knitted Slouch Hat.  It is one of my favorites to make.  It goes pretty fast too.  I just hope I have enough yarn to make it.  It will be close.  Stay tuned.

And that my friends is all from my crafting side of reality.  On the other side..............my real life as a mom and wife...........well, it has been a stressful and blessed two week.

Our son, Josh, had brain surgery on November 30th.  What was to be a 4-6 hour surgery ended up taking 10 hours.  The surgeon was able to remove 60-70% of the tumor.  I know that doesn't sound like it was successful but it was.  He had to be careful as the tumor is in his central nervous system and he didn't want to cut something that could cause permanent damage.

We were blessed, in the fact, there was suite available for us to stay in while he was in surgery.  Since there were 10 of us there waiting, it made it very comfortable for us to wait and wait and wait.  Stacie (Josh's wife) did receive hourly updates as to how the surgery was going.  That also helped.  Once he was in recovery, Stacie was allowed to go and see him.  The rest of us waited in the suite.  By the time he was brought to his room in ICU there were only four of us left waiting.  We were allowed to see him, two at a time, for a few minutes.  He was in horrific pain and they were having a heck of a time getting it under control.  This mamma's heart ached seeing him in that much pain and not being able to do anything about it. We all finally left around midnight to go home and try and get a bit of sleep.  

I went back up the next day and was amazed!  He was talking and was 100% cognizant of what was going on.  His right eye was totally swollen shut and had some bruising on it but otherwise his looked pretty good.  Oh, don't get me wrong, he has staples from the top of his forehead all the way down and behind his right ear.  I am not going to post a photo of that as it is not very pretty.  They removed two sections of his skull so they could get to the tumor from two different directions.  The bone was put back in place with plates and screws.  (We asked)

He was released from the hospital on Monday! Just 3 days post op.  Amazing!  That is when my TX DIL and I stepped up and took turns staying with him while his wife worked half days.  He was not a challenging patient.  It was mainly to help him keep track of his medication time schedule and make sure he got up and moved around often.

Thor was so glad to have him home.  This was taken on Friday of this week.  The incision is on the other side of his head.  They have people bringing food over for them so Stacie doesn't need to worry about cooking when she gets home.  There has been such an out pouring of love and support.  It has made my eyes leak several times.

However, we did get the initial pathology report back and it was not the news we were hoping for.  He has the worse type of brain cancer there is.  They are waiting on the molecular pathology to pinpoint exactly which one of the two it is as well as which chemo will attack it.  He either has Wild Type Astrocytoma or GBM (Glioblastoma).  His Dr and staff said this is not a definite death sentence as it has been in the past.  They have patients now who have been treated and have been in remission for over 8 years and 15 years!  They also said, since Josh is young (not 50 yet) and in very good health his chances of them being able to kill the remaining cells and put them into remission are very good.

So, prayers are still needed.  He will start his chemo and radiation in 4 weeks.  His follow-up appointment is tomorrow with his surgeon and possibly his oncologist will be there too.  He has not met the oncologist yet but trusts his surgeon to get him a great one.  Needless to say, he has a long road ahead of him. Oh, and his chemo will all be oral, no needles!  He was happy to hear that.  He will be getting MRI's often to keep tabs on the tumor and how it is reacting to the treatment plan.

One thing that happened on one of the days I was with him, was this:

I was visited by their cat, Loki.  (Do you see a theme here?  Thor and Loki?)  Everyone was gone and Josh was sleeping.  Loki came out and was fascinated by my yarn and needles.  He is a very timid car and this is the first time he has actually come up to me and let me ever so gently touch him.  He is the softest cat I have ever felt and I have had about 8 cats in my lifetime.  I just wish he was more social.  I could sit and pet him for hours!

And that my friends is all I have for you today.  I am sorry this is so long but actually typing all of this up has helped me and my aching heart.

Until Next Time.................Happy Crafting and Keep the Faith!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!