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Inside These Four Walls……..

empty room

well, actually, my room is not this bad…in fact, most days, I love my room…it’s painted a soft green, holds Gram’s antique furniture and my big newer bed and my crazy quilt…very cozy…but when you’ve spent five straight days in it, it does get a bit tiresome. My surgery on my hand went well, as surgeries go. My doctor fused my thumb joint and repaired my ligament on my trigger ring finger (both on my right hand). I’m expecting to return to work around Halloween….I’m on Pergocet along with some anti-nausea mediine, two extra Advils and Benadryl for the “itchies” I get from the narcotics. The Patocka Men have all been very helpful, and my mother-in-law and several friends have dropped in to help.  I’m afriad I haven’t been very entertaining! just sleeping LOTS!

I’d LOVE to be spending this time doing any kind of sewing or working on my scarves. Maybe by week’s end. Patience, I know.   Ideas are just swirling around in this foggy head!

My Hand, Day Four

Stay tuned…..

When it Rains, it Pours….


yep, this is how I’ve been feeling–just not myself. I don’t know if it’s all the rain (we’ve had six inches this month); is it that summer is over? and that it went way too fast; is it the fact that our Wendy took ill, was hospitalized and had surgery? she’s our rock — she’s not supposed to get sick! or is it my impending hand surgery next week? I just started a different job on campus–it’s going well, just very hectic. Could it be menopause? Seems I’m just angry with everyone…maybe it’s the fibromyalgia or the rheumatoid arthritis–can’t even close my hands in the morning now. Maybe it’s that Bruce has been letting the puppies sleep in our bed recently…and our bed is barely big enough for the two of us! Or, is it just this time of year–when my mom died–it was a very rainy fall day when she was buried. I always get a little weepy this time of the year.

So, what will lift my spirits? I’d like to start walking at night, just a little. I’ve been working on my scarves and practicing quite a bit with hand dyeing the silk. I don’t know what I’ll be able to do once my surgery is complete–I can take up to six weeks off from work but I really want to be back in three weeks or so. My doctor is fusing the bone joint of my right thumb; my thumb will be immobile for six weeks. No quilting or cross stitch for a while…hoping to be able to create some scarves with my left hand! please….make recommendations for any good books or movies–I expect I’ll be a might lazy the next few weeks.

All of the Patocka “men” have been very busy and I don’t see any of them much. Hard to believe that Travis will be 19 in about 5 weeks. How the time has flown…

The Month Flew By…

Well, I can hardly believe that nearly a month has gone by since I posted on this blog. Hope you’re not disappointed in me!Let’s see…what’s happened since then? Well, last weekend, we adopted two–yep, TWO–golden retriever puppies! We went for one and ended up with two (long story)…here’s a picture of Bruce at Seneca Lake on a very rare sunny day!
Bruce with (Cap’n) Morgan (left), Mia (right), and Maddie

They’ve been very good, actually…they sleep from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.  They will run to the door and scratch it to go out–and they’re only 9 weeks old.  I think that’s a good sign.  They spent some time Saturday afternoon by themselves in their crate as we attended my niece’s graduation party here in Horseheads.  My niece, Korryn, along with my brother, Ken and sister-in-law Kathy live in southern Maryland.

Korryn Paige Whited

I start my three-day work week next week…and Travis graduates from high school on Saturday (if he passes Physics!)  Brad will be heading to Florida to visit a friend who”s birthday is the same as his–they both turn 21 this Friday!  I couldn’t believe he would be going away for his 21st birthday but he told me that he hasn’t missed sharing his birthday with Justin since 8th grade….I casually reminded him that I was there at his birth and every year since!

I”m looking forward to getting back to my sewing–I have done a smidge of cross-stitch, and I’ve worked a bit on organizing my stash.  I’ll post more pictures soon.   By this time last year, we had spent a huge amount of time at Seneca Lake.  The rain just won’t go away!  I’m hoping we’ll get up there this weekend.  Bruce’s friend, John, is planning a party for Bruce this Saturday late afternoon…and, of course, Father’s Day is Sunday.   What a busy summer ahead!

Was it Something I Said?

“Dear beautiful Spring weather, I miss you.  Was it something I said?”  ~”Skipper” Kim Corbin

Indeed, did we all say something to make it such a crummy Spring?  Just like the twisters that hit our area in mid-April, the swirling gray clouds seem to be hanging over everyone in my life this spring.  Death and dying–those have been prevalent–friends have lost loved ones, I’ve heard of much sickness everywhere, and just general anxiety and restlessness with everyone, me included. 

a Twister on Seneca Lake, mid-April 2011

I know we all have nothing to complain about, what with all that’s happened in the south, but………..this rainy weather is just really getting to me.  I noticed that I haven’t posted since late February.  I think I’ve been in a slump since then–just very depressed, and it seems that everyone around me is feeling the same way.  Is it the economy?  Is it all the sad news?  Is it the weather?  I”m not certain but I know that most everyone is feeling the same way.

At home, we were all consumed by Brad’s FIRST photography exhibit for college at the end of April.   Every time he rushed into the room at home, it seemed like all the air left the room as he was so agitated.  He’s a real perfectionist, which is wonderful to behold but a little exhausting!  It was overwhelming….but that’s over, and he made us very proud!  I would post the pictures but they’re quite graphic in a gory sort of way.  He’s quite a thinker and there was a lot of depth to the presentation. 

Travis is struggling to finish high school and graduate.  He still succombs to his migraines–and we noticed that his eyelids get droopy–seems he may have “myasthenia gravis”, a neuro-muscular problem.  We’re still working with a neurosurgeon to determine this–she wants to call in specialists from Rochester to take a look at him.  He had an MRI & MRA–the radiologist made note that he has something called “arnold chiari disorder”–something to do with the brain hanging lower into his neck region, which also might be causing his headaches. 

In the meantime, my sister was diagnosed with “mastocytosis”–basically it means her mast cells are allergic to her, and she breaks out in hives.  The strange thing is that both of these–Trav’s disorder and my sister’s disorder–are both autoimmune disorders, not so unusual I guess if you know that I have chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and chronic dry eye, also autoimmune disorders.   While all this was sorting itself out, my sister’s former mother-in-law was in a rapid decline from newly diagnosed ovarian cancer, possibly Stage 4.  She had surgery this past Tuesday, which was a nightmare; it did not go well but she’s in ICU in Rochester, and I’m so praying for her recovery. 

the "Malibar VII" at Seneca Lake

A year ago this coming weekend, graduation at Ithaca College, was a glorious weekend at the lake.  I believe, if memory serves me correctly, we had spent most of the April weekends at Seneca Lake.  Not certain what this weekend will bring–perhaps some sunshine on Saturday, but sounds like more rain off and on until next Wednesday….ugh!

Please, please “Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come on Back Another Day!”   I’m going to keep chanting this over and over again….it really wasn’t something I said, was it?



A very busy Sunday for me with all my favorite things:

*Family:  I had a baby shower to attend in the afternoon–it was for my niece, Katie.  It’s her first baby–presumably a boy named Mason.  His dad, John, was a big baby–10 lbs, 11 oz–and so far, Mason is about 1-1/2 lbs. heavier than most babies at this stage in their mommy’s tummies.  Good Luck, Katie!  It was nice to see many of the relatives that I haven’t seen in awhile, even though they nagged me about not making trips up to Waneta Lake, where everyone hangs out!  I promise this year, Bruce and I will make it there more often!  My niece, Amy, was there with her little girls (my great-nieces, good lord!)–Audrey and Hannah.  Just beautiful little girls–made me long for a granddaughter–but not yet!

Katie & John, Myrtle Beach, 2010

*Food: I made a pot of Spanish Rice for Bruce to eat while I was out–knew he’d keep an eye on the pot simmering while napping during watching the Daytona race!  And he did (watched the pot and napped!)….it was a new recipe, and he loved it!

*Florida: I love Florida, love the Daytona race–but would never move there.  I love the changing seasons in the Northeast too much!  And, I just loved it that the rookie, Trevor Bayne, won the Daytona 500!  Isn’t he cute????

Trevor Bayne, 2011 Daytona 500 winner

It was a bittersweet day because it was the 10th anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr.–Bruce’s all-time hero.  It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been ten years!

and of course, my favorite, favorite thing!~~

*Fabric: when I got home from the baby shower, I worked on cutting out strips for a quick wall-hanging that I want to do for my kitchen–it’s called, “Neighborly Welcome”.  I’ve always loved log cabin quilts, and I like the “earthy tones” in this quilt.  Here’s a few photos to give you an idea:

Neighborly Welcome, by

Neighborly Welcome, close-up of the colors

Neighborly Welcome, Log Cabin Block

I’m very excited about this quilted wallhanging and I’m anxious to have it completed!  Most of the quilts I make are very involved–pieced and appliqued, usually–so it’s nice to see the results a little faster.  And I found a local long-arm quilter–Laurie’s Long Arm Quilting in Elmira Heights–and I was quite impressed with her work.  I think I’ll have her start with the wall hanging, then move on to the Mystery Quilt, if I’m pleased.

Well, better go start dinner….we’ll talk soon!


Snowy-Blowy Saturday

Ahhhh…….winter! What a strange weekend! Saturday was very windy….we were supposed to have a Romantic Night out with our friends, heading to Nichols NY for dinner and then off to the casinos nearby! We’ve never been there, Bruce and I, but thought we’d see if we could raise some racing funds (or quilt shop dollars, in my case!)

My friend texted me that they had snow-covered roads and high winds, with the Weather Channel advising no unnecessary travel! Our roads were clear…BUT two hours later *whoa*the snow was blowing sideways and building up fast!

So our plans were canceled….Bruce and I decided to travel out, just far enough locally for dinner, then home. I knew he’d have to get up early in the morning to plow and salt the parking lots (that’s what his business does in the winter months).

Both of the boys were away (can you say q*u*i*e*t?)–Brad at a friend’s house and Travis visiting a friend in Arizona for a week. Lucky me, it gave me plenty of time to quilt!

Here’s my pieced New Year’s Day Mystery Quilt; the pattern is from Janet on If you’ve not seen a mystery quilt, basically, you’re given the directions step-by-step throughout the day with no concept or image as to how this quilt will turn out!

New Year’s Day Mystery Quilt 2011,

The colors (red, gold, black, sage and tan) would not be what I would typically put together, but I kinda like it. We’ll see when it’s all quilted. It’s a twin-size quilt, so I’m not certain where I’ll put it yet.

I used a lot of Jo Morton fabrics (my favorite), including a REALLY old fabric that I’ve had in my stash for a very, very long time, just waiting for the right opportunity to use that lovely rose border! What do you think?

Here’s a close-up of the blocks, basically two easy blocks:

Love those Jo Morton fabrics!

As much as I’m sick of winter, there’s nothing better than having a clean house, a nice hot cup of tea, and time to spend in my quilt room. Ahhhh…..I love this life!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hoping your day is everything you’re wishing for! We had a “Spend the Day with Someone You Love…Your Co-Workers!” party today at lunch hour–SO MANY DESSERTS! too much food, but oh so good!

I don’t expect much tonight…Travis is working, not sure what’s on Brad’s agenda, and my poor husband has a stomach flu!  As we’ve been together nearly 28 years, we don’t do a lot for Valentine’s Day anymore, just a card for each other and a nice dinner sometime other than a holiday!

It was a very weird weekend…lots of ups and downs! We’re mid-way through the phases of the moon–new moon was February 2nd and full moon is February 18th–so that wasn’t it! (I blame everything weird on the phases of the moon!)

Bruce went to Fulton for a Vintage Snowmobile Show (The Great Whiteout) and boy! was it ever! (They display restored snowmobiles from the 60s, 70s & 80s, sort of like a classic car show).  It snowed so much that he couldn’t keep it off the sleds.  He was a bit disappointed but he came home with lots of trophies! So, all in all, not a bad day, just cold and blustery! (A little bit of UPs and DOWNs)

I went to brunch with an old friend of mine at the local Hilton (an UP for the weekend!)–just as we were sitting there finishing up, an elderly lady drove into the side of my Tahoe SUV, then drove off! Long story short, I ran through the parking lot and down the road and got her license plate number (I couldn’t catch her!). She also hit the only nearby car. The police tracked her down and got insurance information. No one was hurt, fortunately, but it was very interesting! Lost a lot of quilting time that day, dealing with the police and the insurance company.

Nevertheless, I did work the rest of the day trying to finish up my New Year’s Eve Mystery Quilt–and spent part of Sunday, too! I had to cut the borders three times because I kept cutting them incorrectly…ugh! (Definitely a DOWN for the weekend!)

I am never too sure when it’s a Mystery Quilt project what it will look like when it’s done, but I think I’m going to like this one. I used all Jo Morton fabrics: gold, red, black, sage green, navy and maroon. It’s going to be a twin-size, so maybe I’ll repaint my quilt room and keep it there; I’ll post pictures later this week.

Bruce had made plans to go snowmobiling on Sunday with some friends, riding just locally on Connecticut Hill (Again, an UP for the weekend!)  He only got about 8 miles and the sled broke, so he was home early (and again, a DOWN for the weekend!)  That was okay, he needed the rest, and he spent most of the day dozing on the couch.  It had been a long week.  That gave me some time to do laundry and work on my quilt.  I also baked cookies for home and for work and made a casserole for the boys.

I spent some time at work last week during my lunch hours cross-stitching my “Houses of Hawk Run Hollow” by Carriage House Samplings. It’s very detailed so it’s easier for me to make those little x’s in the daylight, in my nice spot at the end of the hallway. Here’s a shot of Block 1 and part of Block 2 and what it will look like when it’s completed:

Block 1 & 2, Houses of Hawk Run Hollow

Completed Houses of Hawk Run Hollow, Carriage House Samplings

Once that’s completed, I’d like to tackle “Shores of Hawk Run Hollow”.  What do you think?

Shores of Hawk Run Hollow, Carriage House Samplings