Too Hot To Bother and MS Update

As you can see, my life has revolved mostly around our cats Laudy and Pip. That’s as it should be for a crazy cat lady. I did squeeze in making some delicious English muffins; they didn’t last long. They were especially good with some Tiptree Raspberry Jam made in England ๐Ÿ˜‹.

Southwest Missouri has been in the grips of a severe drought this summer made worse by excessive heat over 100ยฐF these last couple of weeks. As a result, I’ve not been out of the house much because MS and heat don’t mix well. Summer has traded her usually lush green frock for a drab yellowish-brown garb that isn’t nearly as attractive. We may get some rain later this week, it’s gotta come sometime!

The MS Update Part: You may remember that a few years ago I started taking a drug for my MS named Ocrevus. It was an IV infusion given every six months and I was able to get the last couple of doses at home through home infusion nursing. Well, after a lot of prayer and discussion with my neurologist, I have decided to stop taking the drug. This will be the first time in 26 years that I will not be on a disease modifying therapy. My disease has continued to progress, in the normal course of things, to a place where there are no current drugs to treat it. I’ve known I’ve had Secondary Progressive MS for the last few years but opted to treat it with the drugs available for Relapsing Remitting MS because nothing else was available. Ocrevus has some significant side effects when used long-term and I’ve reached the point where the risks outweigh the benefits. Not everyone with MS may agree with my decision but, for better or for worse, no one else has to live with the results but me. As always with MS, no two people have the same disease progression or outcomes. Though I appreciate the concern and good will of others, please don’t send me articles and cures to try. I am probably already aware of whatever you’ve found on the internet or what your aunt’s cousin’s friend’s dad tried and how it “cured” him. I chose to educate myself about MS as soon as I was diagnosed and have stayed on top of research as well as drugs, diets, and homeopathic interventions ever since.

I am quite at peace with my decision, I’ve known this was coming for a long time. I’ve had 32 years to get used to my MS, we’ve sort of grown up together and understand each other ๐Ÿ˜‰. As always, I appreciate your prayers. Considering how long I’ve had MS I know I am doing very well related to many others. I can still walk some for short periods of time and I can independently take care of most of my daily living needs. My wonderful hubby is my right hand and I know God gave me a tremendous gift when He gave Todd to me. My sister and Dad are always ready to help at the drop of a hat and my Mom-in-law is only a phone call away and has come to the rescue on more than one occasion. I also have a loving and supportive church family, as well as good friends who care and always offer to help me whenever needed.

Thanks for coming by to catch up today, I know it’s been a while since I last wrote. When things cool off a bit I’ll probably be more likely to post more often. May God be with you! โค๏ธ, Amy

A Week In My Life

Sunday was a beautiful day in the Ozarks so Hubby took me for a drive after church.
First thing Monday morning one of our cats puked her breakfast all over the blanket on our bed. So, laundry.
I listened to some classic rock while sewing up a tote bag on Monday.
One of Hubby’s work friends has been sharing with us some of the surplus eggs her hens have been laying. She loves the St. Louis Blues, so I found some themed fabric and made this up for her.
I don’t care about hockey, but I love the yellow and blue together.
Tuesday afternoon I rode my scooter to the little lake in our neighborhood and took a few photos.
Wednesday was a rest day. Pip and I watched the birds together ๐Ÿฅฐ.
After work on Thursday, Hubby and I went to my Dad’s for dinner. Hubby then helped Dad clean out the gutters and…
…weed eat.
Dad worked hard too.
I sewed up a couple more totes on Friday. I think I’ve now made 13 bags from this pattern over the last year.
The cupcakes look yummy ๐Ÿ˜‹!
I love the pockets, they make the bag very versatile.
Friday was a tough MS day with very limited energy. I was pretty proud that I was able to get the kitchen cleaned.
Today, Saturday, has been another MS dominant day. I sat on the patio this afternoon and enjoyed watching the birds and this little fella.
I think squirrels are funny and cute, though I know they can be pests.

I hope you are doing well. God be with you! โค๏ธ, Amy

Hoppy May

I always look forward to a visit from the migrating red-breasted grosbeaks each spring.ย  I noticed this sweet lady this morning but haven’t seen a male yet.ย 
Grosbeaks are in the same family, Cardinalidae, as cardinals.ย  Can you see the family resemblance?
This robin hit the jackpot by our neighborhood lake.
Evidence that spring is all around us.
Several frogs were sunning themselves in our neighborhood lake earlier in the week when the weather was nice.ย  There were only a few pink petals floating in the water but this little fella found one.
I’m not sure who was watching who.ย  Those eyes ๐Ÿ‘€!!
I love how you can really see this frog’s tympanic membrane ๐Ÿ‘‚.
The eating must be good at the lake ๐ŸฆŸ
I have no idea what this is but it was pretty cool with all the bubbles inside it’s top.ย  If it was an inkblot, I’d say it looks like a person walking down the street with an invisibility cloak over the top half of their body.

I hope you are enjoying your week.ย  See you next time!ย  โค๏ธ, Amy

Recent Scenes

It’s been a very good couple of weeks ๐Ÿ˜Š. My MS has loosened the reins a bit some days and not ruled my life as such a tyrant every moment. I’ve seen a lot of family, especially this past week, and they have boosted my spirits immensely.

These little friends came to visit too ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿชถ!

Downy woodpecker, male, wearing his bowtie.
American robin catching some rays.
American goldfinch sporting his full ๐Ÿ’› coat.
House finches on a lunch date.
Tufted titmouse – you can see it’s thoughts written across it’s face.
Female downy woodpecker – gorgeous!
This little chickadee posed so patiently as I walked around under the tree snapping away at it and it’s snack ๐Ÿ˜‹. The chickadees seem to be really getting used to me.
My sister came up from Texas over the weekend (โค๏ธ) and we hung out at the lake in our neighborhood one afternoon. This turtle was out for a swim.
Eastern redbud petals were scattered around the edges of the lake making a beautiful contrast of color to the mossy water.
Little minnows ๐ŸŸ and their shadows.
I think a starling has moved into the box at the lake ๐Ÿ™„
Blue violets fluttering by the lake.
Glorious spring!

My Hubby makes the best thin mint concretes – such a treat!

I hope you are enjoying your little slice of time in whichever corner of the world you call home. God be with you! โค๏ธ, Amy

Happy Spring, Ya’ll!

It’s here! Sure signs of Spring are breaking out all over the Ozarks.

Red-winged Blackbirds all in a row by our neighborhood lake.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high oโ€™er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.


Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.


The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazedโ€”and gazedโ€”but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:


For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

– William Wordsworth
Ornamental pear tree, I think.
The first bee I’ve seen this year.
Just look at that face covered in pollen ๐Ÿ.
Stork’s bill, or at least that’s what Google came up with.
I love to see what grows around the lake.
That little dot of magenta made me so happy!
Though it took all of last week, I managed to finish a dress by doing a little each day. It has become a habit for Pip to climb into his little pouch and take a snooze when I’m at my machine. I’m not sure which slows me down more, MS or Pip ๐Ÿ˜‰.

I hope you have a wonderful week and take the time to look at the world around you.

God be with you! โค๏ธ, Amy

Cozy Days

Hello again, Friend. Below you will find some random pictures of things I’ve been doing to fill my winter days.

I really enjoy following several YouTube vloggers in the sewing world and wondered how hard it would be to take pictures of each step of garment construction like they do. I gave it a go and learned they have a lot more patience than me! Most of the pictures I took are in my camera’s trash and there they will stay. I’m sharing a few just to make myself feel like I didn’t waste all the effort it took to complete the experiment.

My notions and the PDF pattern.
The tail end of cutting it out.
I had enough fabric to make two tunics. I found the jersey knit on Etsy and loved the prints together.
Sewing the pocket on.
Finishing the hem.
It was my first time sewing a cowl neck.
The little pocket in the contrasting fabric turned out so cute ๐Ÿฅฐ.
I’ve learned to keep a stash of bandaids by my machine ๐Ÿ™„. Blood, sweat, and tears ๐Ÿ˜‰!

My favorite Laudy pics of the past few weeks…

We had some really beautiful warmish days since my last post so, of course, I sat out in the backyard and watched the birds.

House finch pair with a goldfinch looking on.
Carolina chickadee
Downy woodpecker
๐Ÿ’›

But, my favorite winter activity? Snuggling with Hubby!

Lord willing, I’ll write again soon. God be with you! โค๏ธ, Amy

Feathers, Flurries, Felines, and MS

Hello again, it’s been a while. I’ve been remiss in writing, distracted by other things in life. Well, actually, just one thing (drumroll)…my MS. Shocker, I know. The last couple of weeks have been simply outrageous. I’ll spare you the details, but I have IV steroids coming my way to try and get things under some sort of control. Yesterday, the day the home infusion nurse (yes, Bill ๐Ÿ˜€) was ready to come to the house and hook me up, winter storm Landon arrived covering the roads with ice. Today, Landon dumped 7 inches of snow before going on his merry way. Bill texted to say he will come over this weekend to get me going once the roads become traversable.

The snow has been beautiful to watch as it swirls and blows in frigid gusts. We’ve had 30+ birds at a time come to the feeders these past couple of days for an easy meal during the storm.

There’s a dark-eyed junco somewhere there in our lilac tree.
Bluejay
Cardinal, male
Cardinal, female
Buff tan dark-eyed junco
Slate-tan dark-eyed junco

As ever, the cats are keeping me company.

Gratefully, neither they nor my sweet Hubby see someone with MS when they look my way, they just see me – full stop. I feel so loved, and I know it doesn’t get any better than that.

God be with you. โค๏ธ, Amy

December

I think the beginning of November and the start of December swapped their weather garbs here in Southwest Missouri. 70+ยฐF today!?!

My Hubby took this photo while riding around Fellows Lake in Springfield, MO.

My sweet tooth took over my phone last month and before I knew what it was doing it had ordered TWO advent calendars!

McCrea’s Caramels out of Boston, MA. Look at this artwork… adorable! Caramel flavors include: Black Lava Sea Salt, Classic Vanilla, Cape Cod Sea Salt, Deep Chocolate, Tapped Maple, Ginger Fusion, Cafe Noir, Dark Roasted Mocha, Rosemary Truffle Sea Salt, Chocolate Peppermint, Cinnamon Clove, and Anisette.
This beautiful box of goodies is from Parisian candy maker Bossier. The website was full of beautiful handmade candies and I can’t wait to try each one. Chocolate covered almonds and hazelnuts, cocoa coated almonds, fruit flavored candies, honey flavored hard candies, caramels, jelly filled candies, almond puffed rice chocolate, bear gummies, strawberry candies, heart shaped gummies, fruit jellies, dark chocolate pearls, fruit flavored chocolate petals, chocolate balls, heart shaped chocolate truffles, calissons (French specialty candies), and fondants.
Ohhh, and I also got these little fruit flavored hard candies, they taste a lot like lollipops.

My MS has been very “assertive” over my legs and energy levels (among other symptoms) these last couple of months. That means lots of sitting and boredom. I’ve filled the time with some hand sewing and needlework. These little puffs turned out pretty cute.

We kept my Dad’s dog again for a few days. She’s growing on this die-hard Cat Lady.

As you can see, life has been very exciting around here ๐Ÿ˜‚. Of course, no post of mine is complete without a few photos of birds.

Male downy woodpecker
Male house finche

Carolina chickadee

I’ve been rereading through the Bible each day, great gulps at a time, two or three books per day. I’m overwhelmed at the scope, harmony, depth, awesomeness, faithfulness, mercy, loving kindness, and holiness of God. Everything He does is Right. Everything He says is True. In this season of Christmas, it is especially important to remember how all history, all time, all hope, all fulfillment of prophecy, all meaning and purpose is found in God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ. He is more than a season, more than an Eve or a Day. He is Creator, King, Redeemer, God with Us, Promise-fulfilled, Hope, High Priest Forever, and so much more. Come let us bow before Him and worship Him in His majesty! โค๏ธ, Amy

Autumn Leaves and A Recipe From 1909

I rode my scooter around our neighborhood this past week.ย  Autumn is my favorite season and, despite a later than usual start, trees in our neck of the woods are glowing with color.ย 

Glorious yellows and oranges ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿงก
Maple leaf aflame
Maple leaf in a sea of green
Maple leaf with scars and scratches
The last of our neighbor’s summer roses.
Our River Birch leaves in the throes of death.

A couple of obligatory bird photos because, well… I love birds โค๏ธ.

I’ve been seeing a lot of this female downy woodpecker lately.
Friendly carolina chickadees are frequent diners at the feeders.

My Dad has slowly been giving me a lot of our family pictures and genealogy material this past year.ย  As I looked through the latest batch I found a small book of “receipts” in the Edmunds Cookbook, compiled in 1909. Edmunds is a town in Indiana where my great grandparents lived in 1909 as members of the local Quaker community. I thought it would be fun to try to make a cake from the scant directions provided.

I have no idea who Mrs. Henry Berg was but I chose this cake because (a) I had all the ingredients on hand, (b) it seemed seasonal, (c) my hubby would probably like it, (d) it looked pretty easy.
The batter seemed promising.
It baked up nicely.
And.. it tasted DELICIOUS with a moist, airy crumb. The mix of raisins and spices provided a pleasant spicy sweetness.
This is me sitting down at the kitchen table to go through the cookbook to choose a recipe. ๐Ÿ˜น๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ˜ป

I hope you have a wonderful day! God be with you. โค๏ธ, Amy