Monday, July 15, 2013

Judy Peterson

This posting is the obituary for my lovely wife who went by the name  "Whitestone".   Judy's battle with cancer ended June 23, 2013  This will regrettably be the last post on this blog.  Thank you for loving and supporting her. She is now with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.    

Judy E. Peterson

  • BORN: February 15, 1945
  • DIED: June 23, 2013
  • LOCATION: Onawa, Iowa

Judy Elaine Peterson, 68, of Onawa, IA, went home to be with the Lord Sunday, June 23, 2013, at Burgess Health Center in Onawa, IA after a 4-year battle with ovarian cancer.
A Memorial Service will be 11:00 A.M. Saturday, June 29, 2013, at Evangelical Free Church in Onawa, IA with Pastor Tim Koehn, officiating. There will be a private family burial in the Onawa Cemetery, Onawa, IA. There will be no visitation. Arrangements are under the direction of Rush Family Care Service, Onawa, Iowa.
Judy Elaine was born February 15, 1945, in Onawa, IA, the third child of Otto and Ellen (Jackson) Hall. She grew up on a farm in Kennebec Township, Monona County, IA. She graduated from Whiting High School. Later while working for the Monona County Soil & Water Conservation District she attended night school and graduated from Buena Vista University.
Judy's great joy in life was her family. In 1988 she married James Peterson. Together they had four children, Summer, Susan, Shawn, & Steven.
Judy enjoyed all aspects of homemaking, gardening, and was a prolific quilter.
She was active in her church and taught Bible for years to women in jail and prison.
Survivors include her mother, Ellen Golden, of Onawa, IA; her husband, James of Onawa, IA; their children, Summer Tuller , Susan (Mark) Belflower , Shawn (Leslie) Peterson, and  a sister, Ellen (Tim) Bennett; three brothers, Fred Hall, Terry (Mai) Hall, Thomas (Lois) Hall, nine grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her father, Otto, and her brother, James.
Memorials may be directed to Burgess Home Health and Hospice of Onawa, IA.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Progress on the Y2K Quilt reproduction

Difference in value

Last night I placed the border on the Y2KQ repro.  (Thanks to Anita Grossman Solomon for kindly providing the fabric!!! and to my longtime quilting buddy, Judy in Ohio, who met up with Anita at the Cincinnati quilt show and sent the fabric onward to Iowa!  You ladies are gems!)

If you remember, the repro is done with 1.25 inch squares, using a 1/8 inch seam on my vintage Singer 15-91.  The final quilt will be 40"x60" plus the border width. This is considerably (I do not exaggerate) smaller than the original which is a huge queen size.

As you can see there is considerable difference in value between the replacement border fabric and the original, so I felt the black inner border might blend too well with the new "2000" fabric.
Border on the repro...will bind in black

Instead I used a rather neutral fabric from my "recycled shirt" stash.  I admit, I put a few shirt squares in the quilt, too, wherever I could fit them in.  I just cannot get away from my shirt addiction. lol

I plan to baste today, hopefully. I had chemo yesterday and still have some extra energy from the steroid they infuse with the chemo.  If so, I will begin handquilting.

The original Y2KQ border
I debated hand quilting vs machine quilting (mine or professional) and decided on HQ.  Many days I do not have the gumption to sit at my machine. Secondly, I worried that MQ might not set off the quilt as well as "quiet hand quilting" might do.  Thirdly, on my more tired days I can still sit in the recliner and hand quilt. Fourthly, the original is hand quilted.

I think a black binding will be the best.

So what have YOU been doing for creative recreation?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tell Me if I'm Making Much To-Do About Nothing

So why isn't this  in the news?
Why isn't it on the front page of the major news agencies?
Too lurid for the timid American heart?
Too ghastly for those of tender spirit?
Too "real" for those who don't want to see reality?

No, the reason this isn't on front-page America is because people go along with what was happening here.  They think "the ends justify the means"...whatever "ends" and "means" happen to mean to them.

If this were happening in some veterinary's surgical room, there would be screaming to high heaven (if anyone believes in heaven anymore).  If some veterinary had made him/herself a millionaire by doing this to so many cats/dogs/horses/cows the vet would be in prison faster than you can blink an eye. And there would have been oh-too-late offers to "adopt" all those kittens/puppies/foals/calves and offer homes where they could live happily ever after.

But the Philadelphia story?  Nah!  We're speaking only of humans here.  Of what importance are thousands (true figure unknown but surely much more than tens of thousands) of babies who were never allowed to enjoy what Thomas Jefferson called their "unalienable Rights".

If you haven't read about this yourself, click on the link in my first line and read what Melinda Henneberger has to say in today's Washington Post.  If you are not appalled, you might consider asking God why this does not cause your heart pain and sorrow.  We should all be sorrowing for these lives lost in such horrific, premeditated, evil manner.

And if you think this is "much to-do about nothing", read the Grand Jury report here.  Go ahead! Read it, and see if I exaggerate.

Whatever you do, don't bury your head in the sand.
God help us.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Funny Thing How Two Words.....

Funny thing how two words that mean the same thing can mean different things to different people.

Infanticide ....

Abortion ....

They mean the same thing, you know!  Killing a human infant in its early life, whether that be in the mother's womb or out of the womb.  The result for each is the same...a dead human being.

How simple is that?

(For those who have experienced abortion, please know that God provides forgiveness and comfort, but only if you bow before him and acknowledge you have sinned.)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Every Time I Go to the Post Office I Remember.....

It's been four years and three months since I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, stage III-C.

That first year my slow recovery from debulking surgery (major surgery!) followed by six months of chemotherapy just about put me under.  I was weaker than a newborn kitten for such a long time and recovery was slow.  Each time I made a trip to the post office I had to climb 8 steps and then, returning to the car, climb down those same 8 steps.  I carefully placed my hands on the handrail to steady myself for fear I might take a tumble. I stepped carefully and purposely.

Nowadays, even while undergoing yet more chemo, I walk up and down those steps with ease. I seldom use the rail. Frankly, I'm amazed.

But, still, every time I go to the Post Office I remember that weakness. And it humbles me that I am doing so well, all things considered.

I firmly believe that all my days are numbered, that God holds me firmly in His hands, that nothing happens to me that is outside of His providence (His provision) for my life.  He has set me in a time and place where medical care is available and I diligently cooperate with my primary doc, my oncologist and a naturopathic doctor in trying to stay as healthy as possible.  I am grateful for this time and place.

I thank God daily for each new day.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Upon Which I Duplicate my Y2K Quilt in Miniature

2000 1-inch squares of fabric
In 1999 I did a crazy thing.  I was a member of an online quilting forum and we began swapping packets of 2.5 inch assorted fabrics to make a 2000-piece Y2K (Year 2000) Quilt.  It was a huge success and if you google "y2k quilt" you will come up with remarkable quilts.

A few months ago I decided to reproduce my own Y2KQ in a smaller format. The original is a huge queen size. I wanted a smaller size to use as a wall quilt (art quilt). And I had plenty (shall I say PLENTY) of squares of fabric still in my stash.

Well, the 2000 pieces of my reproduction are now stitched is pinned to the wall in four sections so I still need to sew three horizontal seams. The original,  completed in 1999, consisted of squares 2-inches in size after stitching. The repro is done in 1-inch squares and finishes to 40 x 50 inches.  (The design is my original design.)

I still need to add the border.
My original was featured here.

My original was featured in the Spring 2001 issue of QUILT magazine along with my graphed pattern.  And it was part of a special exhibit of the Y2K quilts at the Houston Quilt show in 1999.  You can read about that exhibit here.

I still have squares left over.  And a quilting buddy in Canada can look for a packet of 950 squares in the mail to make her own Y2K quilt. As she mentioned in an email to me, she considers this a "masochistic plan". 

Vintage Singer Model 15-91 in Queen Anne cabinett
 In the meantime, I'm cleaning up my cutting table...I have a huge pile of "leavings" after cutting 2000 squares down to size.  I cut at 1.25" and used 1/8 inch seams. It was easy to do as my vintage Singer 15-91 has a 1/8 inch pressure foot. Perfect!  This has been my most used machine over the years for it is durable, easy to maintain, has great speed, and with a darning foot, I have used it to machine-quilt many a quilt.  The only maintenance I do on it is to clean and oil it trips to the shop to pay someone else to do is an easy task.  I love this machine!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

So What's Up With Toilet Paper These Days, Anyway!

You know, I liked shopping a lot better when there were four choices of toilet paper...Charmin, Northern, Scott, Store Brand.  I mean, really, who needs an entire aisle devoted to toilet paper?

Today's choices include super-soft, double-roll, 12-packs, 6-pack double rolls, 12-pack double rolls, two-ply, one-ply, you-name-it-they-got-it.

Weirdly, the 12-pack doesn't seem to last as long as the old standard four-pack. Or is it just us at our house, over-doing the necessities of life?

Take a look at the size of the cardboard roll. I swear it's much larger in diameter than the oldies. That means less paper. And take a look at the width? I swear it's not as wide as it used to be.  Wish I could find me some old-fashioned tissue and just measure.

I don't remember having to buy toilet paper as often in years past. A four-pack would last quite awhile. Or maybe we weren't wiping our butts much in those days. But I THINK we did. I don't remember ever NOT doing that.

Oh, hey, our grocery store now and then has a coupon in their ad for a 69-cent toilet paper.  It comes in a four-pack and I kid you not, it appears to be small enough for a doll house. That may be a slight exaggeration, but only slight.  It's miniature!  Anyone can see that! Who do they think they are fooling?

Who would think toilet paper manufacturers would set out to bamboozle America?

And is anyone noticing?

So what's YOUR favorite brand these days?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Taking a Look at My Innards

A mobile scan truck much like ours.
I decided to take a look at my "innards".  I had a PET/CT scan last week in the mobile unit that visits our small-town hospital.

I'm talking about my PET/CT scan taken a week ago.  If you have medical issues, I hope you realize that you have a legal right to copies of every test and report in your med files.  Our small town hospital is very obliging with my requests for copies.  I just popped that disk into the computer and "voila!", multiple images popped up on my screen.  Images of me, slice by slice, inside out.  Not that I understand them...I never went to medical school. But my Oncologist who is treating my ovarian cancer will glean valuable information.

Nope, this is not me!
So yesterday I picked up a copy to take with me to see my Oncologist.  He normally visits me at our local clinic and has access electronically.  Monday, weather permitting, I will see him in the City and he asked me to bring along a copy.

Problem is...once I inserted the disk into my computer...I realized it was in black and white. And the PET portion of the scan should be in color!  So I'll be going back this afternoon to get a color copy for my Onc.

I'm including a pic to show you what the images look like. Yah! You guessed it! That is NOT my body!  hahahahahha!  I confess that I grabbed it from the net.  (I knew you would know that this is not the real me, but thought I'd tell you so that you would know that I, myself, know this, too! Wouldn't want you to think I am a dunce.)

Nope, this isn't me, either!
I'm apprehensive about Monday's Onc appointment, but I know that every one of my days is in God's hands. He doesn't need to see my PET/CT images to know what is happening. In fact, it is His working in my life that takes care of every moment of every day.  Sure, I see medical people and follow their treatment plans.  But when all is said and done, it's left in God's hands.  And I am safe there, no matter what.

On another note...we got 4 to 6 inches of snow a couple days ago.  I got out the snowblower to do the side driveway and my neighbor came over and took it right out of my hands, finishing the job for me. Thanks, Neighbor!  You are a true blessing! And I pray God blesses you right back, over and over again.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

I Have Fallen in Love With My Feet! They are Beautiful!

I love my beautiful feet!  That may sound strange, but it's the truth. I am in love! With my beautiful feet!  (Unless you are repulsed by the photo, you can click for a closer view!)
Healthy skin February 2013

Look at that healthy pink glow (does pink skin glow?)!

You see, not too long ago, August of last year, they looked like the second photo.  I was on Lipo-Dox, a drug with the side-effect of palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (PPE), otherwise known as hand-foot syndrome.  See these poor toes? I insisted on my daily one or two-mile walks in hot August weather. Since heat and friction aggravate the hand-foot syndrome, this wasn't exactly the smartest thing I've ever done.

The combo of hot summer days and long walks caused my toes to turn an angry red. Soon the skin between my toes blistered and sloughed off.  Was that painful, you ask? Oh, My, Yes!  I wrapped them daily in gauze until they healed but for the duration, while on Lipo-Dox, I had to be very careful with them.
August 2012 hand-foot syndrome

Thankfully, once I quit that drug the skin healed easily.

After Doxil failed, I moved on to oral Hexalen which was marvelous because Hexalen does not have the skin side-effects! My toes, my feet, my hands, my armpits, all healed!

Today my toes look like the first photo!  I am having lymphedema in the left leg, hence the wrap.  I belong to an online forum of ovarian cancer patients and learned there (didn't learn it from my Oncologist!) that there is such a person as a LANA certified lymphedema therapist. I found one 35 miles from home! (Or click here re: LANA certification)

After five daily sessions with her I have the lymph in my left leg almost under control.  She showed me how to do a lymph massage, how to wrap the leg at night, and has provided me with properly sized compression stockings.

Did I say I am in love with my feet!  It is so good to have the skin back in good condition. I hope to be out walking again this summer and am already doing half a mile a day, working into it gradually!

The Bible talks about beautiful feet.  Romans 10:15 says this: "....As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  I'm bringing good news in this post for cancer patients suffering from lymphedema about how to find a certified lymphedema therapist....but I also like to share the good news that God loves His people and watches over them day and night, through all circumstances, through life and beyond our earthly death - into eternal life with Him.  Can't get any better news than that.

May your week be blessed!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Whereupon I Tell You I Continue to be a Druggie

Lotsa veggies on this diet. Lots!
Yes, I'm still in the land of the living.  Four years ago this month I would never have believed I would still be here today.  It was four years ago I underwent debulking surgery for ovarian cancer.  "Debulking" means exactly that...the surgeon removed the bulk or 95 percent of the cancer within my abdomen. And since it was still confined to the abdomen and a couple lymph nodes I was staged at III-C...meaning the cancer had not yet spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body.

So here I am, four years later, still doing one chemo drug after another, with each dropping my tumor marker (CA-125) a few notches before it begins rising again.  Right now I am on oral hexalen but that may be short-lived and I may be going on my eighth (8th!) chemo regimen soon.

Just call me a druggie.  I consume one drug after another. The only meds I refuse to take are pain meds. Because, frankly, I haven't needed them. Amazingly!

Anyway...I belong to an online forum of several hundred other ovarian patients.  And on that forum are a few members who are working with a naturopathic doctor in addition to their medical team.   Some of them have attained stability or even remission.  Maybe they would have anyway, I don't know, but I decided I would try what they are trying.

My bedside table after tidying it up.
So two weeks ago I flew 900 miles to meet with several other ovarians, and the naturopath.  Each of us has a treatment plan specific to our own condition...based on a myriad of blood tests (some of which insurance did not cover!).  The idea is to enhance the immuno system so the body can do its best to discourage continued cancer growth.

Along with various supplements I am going to spend a few months following a very low carb diet.  No dairy. No grains. No grain-fed meat.  Organic and grass-fed.

My family doc is interested in seeing how I do on this regimen. My Oncologist just shook his head.  On the other hand, he was agreeable to letting me have a PET/CT scan sometime this we go.

In other news...which is not really news...I spent a few minutes this morning tidying my bedside table. I had it so piled high with books that I was afraid I would have a book landslide any moment. You've probably guessed I read in bed.

Another thing that is keeping me busy these days is Sunday School. I'm teaching a group of nine high school boys and girls.  I can't tell you how much I like these kids!  And they seem to like me right back.  I'm hitting them hard with lots of questions as we read through the Gospel of John.  Hey! The first 5 verses of chapter 1 are astounding!  And that's where we began. Chapters 6 and 10 are favorites of mine because they hold key verses so essential to any Christian...sadly, many Christians are unaware of these two chapters.

Specifically, John 6:37-40 and John 6:44-45.
And specifically, John  10:27-30.
(If you hover your cursor over the scriptures, they should pop up in a little window.)

To sum up...hubby and I are doing well (all things considered).  And we continue to have joy in our faith and in the promises of scripture.

May you be blessed this day.