Monday, July 30, 2012

A little catching up ...

Today I finally sat down and finished filing through all the days of the Red, White and Blue blog hop.  During the second week, I was away on my hike and the following week I was in SF with Sam, so I never got to see the rest of those fabulous posts.  I pinned links to all of the posts here.  So much amazing talent!  Here are my favorites (other than my own, of course):

I'm also linking up at the last minute to the second week of the Tetris Quilt-along on Happy Quilting.  I'm keeping up so far and that makes me smile :)

Today actually marked day 12 since Sam had her occipital injection.  Unfortunately there was no benefit from that treatment, so we're working on the next step with her doctors.  We'll keep everyone posted on that.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Adagio: Ritardando (rit.)

After the last couple of weeks I am so ready for a little slowing down.  I loved my hike and have survived San Francisco, but I am so ready to get back into the around-the-house routine and just get stuff done.  I missed my sewing machine and I certainly didn't get much housework done--thank goodness for Grandma while I was gone :)

Samantha and I met with the doctors at the UCSF Headache Center on Tuesday and Wednesday.  They basically confirmed her diagnosis of New Daily Persistent Headache (NDPH) with one caveat--there are two "types" of that diagnosis and she has the migranous variety.  Basically her constant headahes mimic migraines in a couple of ways, but aren't really migraines.  But we already knew all that ...  On Wednesday, she received a shot of lidocane and steroid into her left occipital nerve.  That can take 7 to 10 days to feel any positive effect and works for 2 out of 3 patients.  In the meantime, we're fervently praying for her to start feeling some of that relief.

We did get a little bit of sightseeing in between doctors visits, public transportation and the 9-hour drive each way, so here is a sampling of some of the relaxing we did:

Finally, I signed up to do another quilt along a few weeks ago and it started while I was in SF.  I woke up early today to work on week one and here it is.  I'm grateful it came together so quickly since I have so much else to do :)  If you're interested, check it out by clicking on the link on my sidebar or at
Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

S.W.A.K.: I'm ho-ome ...

I spent the majority of this week hiking along the McKenzie River.  I haven't done anything like this in years and I had a super fun experience!  I served as a back-up adult for the just-in-case scenario.  My original plan was to stay at camp each day, but I ended up hiking about half of the 23 miles that the others completed.  We started up at the trail head above Fish Lake Creek on Tuesday (July 10th) and ended down by the Hot Springs on Friday (July 13).
The first day I was driving down and hiking up to meet the group at a couple of different points. I figure I probably hiked about 3 miles or so.  I got to see beautiful Clear Lake and Sahalie Falls.  Unfortunately it was too much for Sam and I ended up driving her home that night.  I drove back early on day two and hiked the whole day with the group after settling into the campsite we were headed to that evening.  Thank goodness for two cars!  It allowed me to store some gear and also for us to have one car at each end of that day's leg of the trail.  We hiked from Ice Cap to Trail Bridge which is 5 to 5-1/2 miles.  It was 3/4 of a mile just from the trail down to the campground.  The next day I hiked about 3/4 of a mile down before I had to go back up to my car at the top of where we started due to serious blisters.  I got the spend the day at Olallie camp with two of our YW.  They were totally bummed not to be hiking but we had a good time playing card games and exploring right along the river.  That last day most of our group packed up to go home, but one of our super-leaders wanted to do another leg, so three of us packed up and hiked from Olallie down to the Belknap Hot Springs which added another 5 miles to the total.  Even though I only walked that one day with my full pack, I ended up with about 14 miles under my belt.  I'm so proud of all of us!

It was amazing to me how much a backpack can really slow things down.  What would normally be for me a couple of hours on a day hike became a day-long ordeal with a couple of longer stops to take the pack off and rest, eat and filter more water. The trails are very well maintained and shared by hikers, campers and trail bikers.
Really, there was NO reception!  We couldn't check in at home in the evenings.  We relied on prayers for our loved ones back home.
 Each day along the trail was so very different.  We had everything from lava fields to lush, Jurassic-looking water inlets.  So much of the water was clear and inviting ... even if it was FREEZING.  I've never drunk straight from a river before.  What a treat to have fresh-filtered water.  That's the life!
 We have a very small YW group with awesome, supportive leaders who rearrange thier lives to let us have amazing activities like this.  We started with three girls and five leaders and had quite a range of experience represented.  Our priesthood leaders would shake thier heads at us in the evenings ... table cloths and green salads apparently are not roughing it enough :)
I didn't get too many pictures because Sam had our camera on the first day and she used up almost all of the battery, but here are some that we had (she took most of these posted here--THANKS!)  I am so grateful to live so close to several wilderness areas and be able to bask in nature's beauties.  I had some amazing time to reflect and meditate and recharge my spiritual energy.

Hope your week was as awesome as mine has been!  Next week I'll be out of it again since its finally time to drive down to San Francisco for Sam's specialist appointments.  Hopefully we'll have some time to have fun and take more awesome pics of that trip.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hooray for the Red, White & Blue!

Welcome, welcome, welcome!  For those of you who are visiting for the first time, my name is Heather and I am the Reformed Heath'n.  This is my first ever blog hop experience.  I've loved skipping around in other hops and seeing all the amazing projects that everyone was working on.  I thought that was way beyond my experience level, though.  BUT, when I saw spaces open for this blog hop, I knew this was the right one for me to get acquainted with this experience!  I hope you enjoy my project as much as I enjoy all of yours!

Thanks so much to Jane @ Jane's Fabrics & Quilts for organizing this two-week-long event and also to Madame Samm for cheering us all on.  I'm especially excited to be coming to you on Independence Day!  For the full line-up, click on the button on my sidebar.  Here are the rest of the lovely ladies who are also posting for you today:

A Reformed Heath'n (you're already here!)

I've always loved this holiday--and anything related to celebrating our pride in the stars and stripes.  One of my fondest memories growing up is visiting the Smithsonian Museum of National History.  I was in second or third grade and recovering from the chicken pox.  I was no longer contagious, but not yet ready to go back to school.  My dad worked at home and offered to do anything with me that I wanted to do for a day.  I think he was a bit surprised that I requested a museum trip :)  In those days, the original Star Spangled Banner was hanging in the entryway behind a protective screen.  They would lift the screen and play the national anthem at certain times.  That day, we planned our trip so we would walk in just before the music started and I could be front and center by the railing.  I remember being in awe of the flag that was so old, that had survived so much and was the inspiration for our national anthem.

Protective “Olio”
This memory is why I wanted to do a traditional star block.  After much searching and playing with designs, I found this one that I absolutely love:

I looked through my 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks by Judy Hopkins and found the one I was looking for on page 227.  It's name is The Sickle, and with a couple of modifications, it is one-fourth of this quilt block.

I used the dimensions from the book and here is what I cut for each larger 12" block:
Main Color:  4 squares of 3-7/8" cut in half on the diagonal to make 8 triangles
                    8 squares of 2"
Second Color:  8 squares of 2"
White:  4 squares of 3-7/8" cut in half on the diagonal to make 8 triangles
           16 squares of 2"

1.  Chain stitch all the HSTs together--half white, half color.  **Note:  The next time I do this, I will not cut the HST's apart until they are stitched.  For this alternate method, see my other tutorial HERE (under Day 3).

2.  Chain stitch all the 2-1/2" squares together the same way--half white, half color.

3.  Press all the seams.  Because I want this to lay flat as a table runner, I chose to press them all open.
4.  Combine the rectangles to make four squares.   Then combine two of the 4-square blocks and two of the HSTs to make the reformed Sickle block.  (I like how these smaller squares kind of look like butterflies.  Opens up a whole new can of, well, ... )  Press the new seams.

5.  Lay out all your squares to create the desired pattern.  Each large finished block is made up of four smaller blocks.  There are tons of possibilities, but this is mine.

Stopping here is the one red, white and blue block, as promised.  Keep going to see the table topper ...

For the table topper, I made four blocks.  One-half yard is all you need of both the red and blue, and one yard of the white.  For the thin border, I cut 4 strips that are 2-1/2" x WOF (approx. 1/3 yard) and for the outer border, I used 5 strips that are 4" x WOF (approx. 2/3 yard.)  I'm planning on using about 2 yards of fabric for the backing and 2 packages of regular old white bias tape for the binding.

I sure hope you all enjoyed the project and come back often to see what's going on around here.  Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful Independence Day!!

**Thanks for your patience everyone.  I had it scheduled to post at 12:01 AM today, but apparently I did something wrong.  Thanks for coming back!**