Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

"You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you
never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what
you can do except the limitations of your own mind."
-- Darwin P. Kingsley

For the past couple of weeks I've been coming across quotes and articles about self confidence.  I think everyone struggles with this at some point.  We might feel confident in some areas and not so much in others. 

Until recently, I believed I couldn't create something without a pattern.  The reason I didn't believe it was because I tried many times and failed.  Usually I measured wrong or I just didn't know what all the steps were.  However, if I had a pattern and instructions, I had the confidence to make the item.  Since opening my Etsy shop, I've created sachets, placemats, bibs, burp cloths and an apron without a pattern.  My confidence is growing!

I've always admired my daughter, Erin, for her confidence in herself when it comes to creating.  Ever since she was a little girl, not knowing how to do something never stopped her from doing it!  Time and time again I watched her start with an idea and end with an object she was proud of.  I want to be like that!

How is your self confidence level these days?

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Lost in contemplation of the greenery, he failed to see the main trail fork down to the river, where it led to a zamba, a "bridge" of yak hair rope lashed together and strung across the torrent between two boulders.  For the second time, Mortenson had lost his way.
~p.23  Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his remarkable humanitarian campaign in the Taliban's backyard.

I've just started this book but it is very good.  Kind of makes me wish I was more adventerous!  Actually, a LOT more adventerous!!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Mish Mash Monday

Can you believe it's the end of June already?  Only 6 more months til Christmas!!!!  Not that I'm ready for it by any stretch of the imagination, but if I plan to sell holiday items on Etsy, I need to get busy making them!  This lavender sachet is my most recent creation.  I just need to get it listed in the shop.

I've been baking cookies again!  This time butter pecan cake cookies.  They are heavenly!

I was making an asian coleslaw that called for napa cabbage.  I cut the end off the cabbage and was wowed by the beautiful rose like design.  I know you're thinking the heat has finally got to me, but really, look how pretty this is!  I've used the cabbage many times before but never paid attention to the detail I guess.

I found this guy in the yard the other day.  He's a yearly visitor.  I don't know, maybe he's a she!

I went rummaging through my stash and came up with this fabric combination to try something new.  I might need to hit the thrift store or antique shop to find some hankies or doilies for embellishment.  You'll never guess what it's going to be!  But go ahead, try....

That's all I've been up to lately.  What about you?  Have you started any new projects or better yet finished any?  Whatever you're up to, I hope you are enjoying it!!!

                                 ~ Annette

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Pregnant Woman with a Broken Leg: Part Two

Being the gullible naive young woman that I was, I laid back and watched as the preparations were made.  Finally it began.  The incisions were made and I didn't feel anything.  The drilling started and still I didn't feel anything.  In fact, it was kinda cool to watch the whole thing.  My bed was surrounded by doctors and nurses on all four sides who seemed just as fascinated as I was.  Suddenly, without warning, pain shot through my leg unlike anything I had ever felt before.  It took my breath away and I thought I would pass out.  I screamed and begged the doctor to PLEASE stop.  He said it was the rod being drilled through the bone and would someone make me be quiet.  Everybody's hands were on me to keep me still and all I could do was cry out in pain.

Finally it was over.  Nobody would look me in the eye.  There was a lot of bustling about and the doctor ordered the portable x-ray machine in so he could make sure the rod was in the right place.  But guess what?  He didn't wait for the machine and decided it should be moved lower and before I knew it he pulled the rod out of my leg and was preparing to do the whole procedure over again.  I cried and begged him not to but I was just the patient and what I wanted didn't matter.

The procedure started again and I wasn't the relaxed calm person I was the first time.  I knew what was coming and I couldn't stop it.  I closed my eyes and waited and although I didn't scream as loud or as long, I still screamed and cried and begged him to stop to no avail.  The x-ray was taken and the cuss doctor said it was perfect the first time and he should have left it there.  With daggers of fire shooting from my eyes, I looked him in the eye and told him it wasn't happening again.  At that moment I didn't care what happened to my leg, I wasn't going through that again.  And I didn't.

The next couple of hours were spent hooking my leg up to the constant motion machine and the weights for traction.  The worst was over and I was finally relaxing.  That evening and the next day, every single one of those doctors and nurses who were in the room during the drilling came and checked on me and apologized for the doctor.  It turns out that procedure is normally done under anesthesia.  One of the doctors also told me that my doctor had a reputation for a lousy bedside manner but was one of the top orthopedic doctors in the army.  I wasn't impressed!

Through all of this I still hadn't felt the baby move.  My OB doctor had been contacted and when he finally arrived, an ultrasound was done and everything was fine.  It was actually three or four days before I felt any movement. 

The next day, I had a visitor who was a patient on the ward.  He was the nicest young man and it turns out I had his constant motion machine!  This machine is quite common now, but at the time I was using it, it was being tested in select hospitals.  Womack was chosen because Ft. Bragg is home to the 82nd Airborne Division.  Men and women jump out of planes and helicopters everyday and some of them end up with broken bones.  It made sense for Womack to have one, but there was only one!  Anyway, he was curious as to why it was given to me and what all the screaming was about!  He was very sympathetic and came to visit a couple of times everyday for the next week until he was released.  He even brough his wife in one day to meet me.

I was the only female on the ward and I got all kinds of attention!  My room soon filled up with cards and flowers.  Medical staff as well as other patients would come just to see what was new or to smell the basket of gardenias from my best friend!  I watched my favorite soap operas everyday and someone was always in there watching with me.  For someone who doesn't like being the center of attention, I was having a blast!

Being pregnant, I had a craving for peanut clusters.  Michael brought me a bag and it wasn't long before the head nurse, a major who I believe enjoyed pulling rank, took them away and told me they weren't on my diet!  I was not happy.  The next day another nurse, a pregnant lieutenant, brought me a new bag and made me swear to keep them hidden and not mention her if I got caught!  We pregnant ladies had to stick together!

After the third week, the doctor said I was ready to go home on one condition.  I had to have round the clock care.  I was going to be on crutches for at least three to four months and I wouldn't be able to put weight on my leg.  He would not release me otherwise.  The army wasn't going to provide help and we were in no position to pay for it.  Everybody we knew worked.  The only solution was to move me to Arkansas to live with my family until the baby was born and my leg was healed.

After discussing it with my parents, we presented the plan to the doctor who wasn't thrilled but would approve it on another cuss condition.  I had to have an appointment with a doctor he approved of before I could leave.  Good grief!  I just wanted to go home.  He did some research and gave me the names of two doctors he recommended.  I passed this on to my mom who made me an appointment.  My doctor called that doctor and I finally had his permission to leave and was discharged on July 8th, exactly one month from the day of the accident!

The next few months were full of some pretty interesting, funny and painful incidents.  Try being nine months pregnant and getting down to and up from the floor without putting weight on one leg!  Physical therapy couldn't stop just because my stomach was in the way! 

My son was born on October 12th.  He really is my miracle baby and is here for a reason.  I still have scars from both drillings and I have never again trusted a doctor who said,  "You won't feel a thing".

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Pregnant Woman with a Broken Leg: Part one

In April 1983 I was three months pregnant with our son.  I had been pregnant twice before but both times had a miscarriage.  When I threatened a miscarriage this time, I was beside myself.  My doctor decided I should quit my job and stay home on complete bed rest at least until the symptoms subsided. 

I did what I was told and in late May I had no more symptoms.  My doctor was cautiously optimistic and told me to continue with the bed rest.  I was a good girl and followed doctor's orders until June 8th.  It was a gorgeous North Carolina late spring day and I needed some fresh air.  I decided I would go get the mail which was a short walk up the road.  When I got back to the trailer and opened the door, I stepped backwards off the three foot high concrete porch!

One second I'm standing on the porch and the next second I'm sprawled on the ground surrounded by the all important mail.  After a few seconds of confusion, reality slowly dawned.  I was laying on my left side and I couldn't move my right leg.  It didn't hurt but something told me I couldn't move it.  What was I going to do?

I started yelling for help.  All my neighbors worked but maybe someone stayed home that day.  No such luck!  I don't know how much time passed but I heard a truck on the dirt road that ran between the two rows of trailers and I started screaming at the top of my lungs and thankfully was heard.  My landlord stopped and came running to me.  He was in a panic and didn't know what to do!  I had to tell him to go inside, call an ambulance and call Michael and have him meet me at the hospital.  By the time the ambulance came, I was shivering from cold and my leg had started hurting. It didn't take long to get the air splint on and load me into the ambulance.  I was finally on my way to the hospital an hour and a half after I fell.

Womack army hospital at Ft. Bragg was my destination.  Since Michael was already on base, he met me as I was wheeled in.  I was so glad to see him but so afraid he was going to kill me!  I wasn't supposed to be off the couch let alone outside.  I shouldn't have been worried.  He was glad to see me and wanted to make sure both me and the baby were okay.

By this time my leg was aching but it wasn't painful.  That is until they removed the splint and started taking x-rays.  They made me turn and bend my knee, and up til that point in my life I had never felt such pain!  Thankfuly the worst was over for the time being and I was told I would be admitted because I had broken the right tibial plateau of my right leg.  In addition to that, I hadn't felt the baby move since I fell and there was some concern there.

I was taken to the orthopedic ward and waited for the doctor.  If I had known what was coming I could have waited forever!  He arrived with an entourage of other doctors and nurses.  It turns out that I was going to be a guinea pig of sorts.  This particular fracture would normaly be treated with surgery and a cast.  However, I was 5 months pregnant and surgery was out of the question.  Instead, they were going to put my leg in traction and use a constant motion machine to keep my knee from becoming stiff.

The procedure for inserting the metal rod into my leg for traction was explained.  My leg would be numbed, they would make an incision on each side of my leg and using a drill, they would drive the rod through the first incision, through the bone and out the other incision.  There would be 6-8 inches of the metal rod on each side of my leg.  I was assured I wouldn't feel a thing and it would be quick....
....to be continued

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I was up until 4 a.m. this morning finishing Jane Austen's, Emma.  I loved it!  This was the first book I've read by this author and I wasn't disappointed. 

Emma sets out to match making and fails miserably.  Although her heart is in the right place, she sees what she wants to see and is able to fit it all neatly into her schemes.  The characters in her circle are delightful, snobbish, annoying, eccentric and endearing.  Not unlike the people we find in our own circles today!  In all her scheming and rationalizations, she learns some things about herself and finally realizes she is in love with the man who tells her like it is.

This book was truly a good read and I'm now officially a Jane Austen fan!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day!!!

I've always liked this picture, although I don't remember having it taken.  Daddy was in the army and we were stationed at Sandia Base in New Mexico.  I really don't remember much about that time except that I started kindergarten there. 

I've come to see this photo as representing our relationship.  Daddy has always been by my side no matter what, holding my hand if I needed him to.  He could be tough when he needed to be (and I gave him enough reasons to be) and he could be and still is funny most of the time.  He loves a good joke both to tell and to hear.

I realize as I'm typing, I could write pages about him.  I could tell you fishing stories, moving stories, road trip stories and Yahtzee stories.  I could tell you broken leg stories, teaching me to drive stories and watching football stories.  I could tell you what he's like as a grandpa and great-grandpa.  I could tell you so many things but the most important thing is that he loves me and my sisters and there isn't anything he wouldn't do for us. 

We live over 1,000 miles apart and I wish I could be with him today to give him a hug and tell him in person, I love you and I'm glad that you're my daddy!!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads and to the moms who have to fill the dad shoes too!!!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Views at Sotterly

I showed you the gates at Sotterly and the flowers at Sotterly, and now I would like to show you the views at Sotterly.  Sotterly Plantation is a National Historic Landmark in St. Mary's County, Maryland.  It sits on a broad terrace overlooking the Patuxent River.  Enjoy the view!

Please bear with me as I work on a blog makeover!  I'm having the hardest time deciding what I like and what I want!  In the mean time I hope you have a truly wonderful weekend!!!

Oh, I almost forgot....I made my first treasury on Etsy!  Please check it out here and leave a comment!  Thanks for taking a peek!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Very First Apron

After about two years of thinking about it, dreaming about it, convincing myself I couldn't do it, convincing myself I could do it, devouring books and magazines about it, drooling over Janet's, planning and shopping for it....I finally made my first apron!  I really and truly did it.  Me.  All by myself.  With no pattern.  Just an idea in my head and a desire to see it come to life.

It is a mix of old and new.  A vintage embroidered table scarf, vintage buttons, new fabric, and a table scarf with battenburg lace I found in a drawer.  I must have used it at some point but I sure don't remember. 

It's not perfect and it's not exactly what I had pictured, but that doesn't matter.  What matters is I finally did it.  What matters is that I'm happy with it and will put it in my Etsy shop.  What matters is that I didn't let my fear of failure stop me this time. 

What have you recently accomplished that you're proud of?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Re-Post I'm So Embarrassed

I was reading through some of my earlier posts and thought this one deserved a rerun!  Enjoy!!

It was one of those things that I laugh at other people for doing but I have never done it. I locked my keys in the car. I didn't just lock my keys in the car but the car was still running! I don't know how it happened. Honestly I don't. And I was in the Wal Mart parking lot of all places!

I have a routine when I park the car. I turn the car off, open the door, hit the lock button as I'm getting out, close the door and put the keys in my purse. Sometimes I put the keys in my purse before I get out of the car. Today, as I was getting out of the car and hit the lock button, it didn't make the clicking noise it usually makes. As I walked away I thought I would just use the key fob to lock it just to make sure. I couldn't find my keys. Then it dawned on me, I didn't put them in my purse. I walked back to the car and sure enough they were dangling in the ignition. The door was locked. I leaned against the car and called Michael and remembered he left his cell phone in Alexandria yesterday so I would have to call his office. No answer, just voice mail, so I left a message. As soon as I hung up I heard a noise that sounded like it could possibly be my car still turned on. But the car beside me was running and the car I parked behind started up, so it couldn't be MY car. My car is quiet when it's running so it took a couple of minutes of me trying to decide if it was when the fan kicked on and I knew for sure. Another call to Michael's voice mail. As I stood there in the heat and humidity, waiting for Michael to call me back, I had a vague memory of him telling me early this morning that he would be in meetings all day. Well, poop. I had no idea when he would get the message so I decided to call my insurance because we have roadside assistance with them. There are like 34 numbers to call on the little card and none of them are for roadside assistance. I spent 5 minutes giving voice commands and pressing numbers and still no roadside assistance or even a real person. Well, poop again. Finally I call a number that has the option I need and even connects me to a very nice lady named Ellen. She was very sympathetic, made sure I was safe, and told me it happens all the time! Then why don't they have a number for roadside assistance? Anyway, she told me to wait for a call to let me know how long til help would arrive. That call came very quickly and I had 35 minutes to wait.

Now for the rest of the story!!!! I really didn't want to leave the car since it was running, but it was really hot standing there in that parking lot. I thought I would try the doors again. When I tried earlier, I tried the 2 on the passenger side, walked around the back of the car and tried the driver side passenger door. I hadn't tried the drivers door. So this time I started with that one and imagine my shock when it opened!! Yes, it was unlocked the whole time!!! Oh my gosh!!!
I got in and just sat there dumbfounded and feeling like a complete fool! I had a decision to make....either I call USAA back or really lock myself out and wait for that darned roadside assistance. I really and truly considered the latter because I was so embarassed. Michael called about this time and I confessed to him and he got a good laugh out of it. No sympathy there. We decided I should wait because by the time I called USAA and they contacted the guy coming out, he woud probable be here already. After a couple minutes of waiting I decided to just call. I was able to cancel with just a voice command and push of a button and didn't have to admit my mistake to anyone. Whew! What a relief! Until the phone rang 1 minute later. It was Ellen verifying I cancelled my help. I told her I did and that I did it because my husband arrived first to help!! I just couldn't tell her the truth!!

Lessons learned:
1. Make sure my keys are in hand BEFORE I open the door.
2. If the keys are locked in the car, try the driver's door FIRST.
3 The driver's door on my car doesn't lock if the car is still running. I tried this several times to
make sure!
4. Mark the number on the insurance card for roadside assistance!

What embarrassing thing have you done lately?  (It's okay...you can tell me.  I won't tell anyone!!!)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Flowers at Sotterly

A few days ago I shared with you the gates at Sotterly.  Sotterly Plantation is a local National Historic Landmark and that is where I chose to spend Mother's Day taking pictures.  Today I want to share the beautiful flowers of the plantation.   *Warning*:  LOTS of pictures!!!

Have a terrific Tuesday!!!