A Look Back at February

I know I say this at the beginning of almost every month but wow!!!! Can you believe it’s March? I wanted to share with you some February happenings. February seemed to go floating by like a cloud you couldn’t quite grab onto. So grab a coffee or a glass of wine and join me. Oh and just to let you know March came in like a lamb. Do you do that at the beginning of March. The beginning of the month either comes in calm and peaceful like a lamb or windy and stormy like a lion. I have always thought of the first day and the last day of March like this. We will see what the end of March is like.

February was a great month. A lot of things happened. We got a huge work project finished. Most of that took place at the end of January but ran a couple of days into February. I guess just the relief of not having that hanging over my head made me feel much freer. We have a huge metal tunnel leading into the cave attraction where I work. The tunnel is 135 feet long and as soon as you enter you are going under the mountain and underground. The tunnel is painted yellow to help your eyes adjust to the darkness quicker so you are ready to enter the dark cave. The paint was peeling terribly from the previous horrible paint job we had had a few years ago. We had to have a crew come in and blast off all of the old paint and repaint the entire thing. We were closed for over a week to get this done.

Blasting all of the paint off of the tunnel walls was quite a job and took several days.
Finished, doesn’t it look like a sci-fi movie?

We celebrated Gotcha Day for our Scruffy. We got him on February 16th. 2018 so we have had our precious boy for three years. It is so hard to imagine just what our life was like before we got him. But again I say that about all of our fur babies. He is so happy he loves his big sister Molly and his little sister Kitty Kitty. He is such a snuggle bug and loves to sleep right up against me. I love having him this close to me.

My Scruffy

We celebrated the 10 year anniversary/birthday of Mark’s kidney transplant. This is such a blessing to us I can’t even describe it with words. You can read more about that if you want to here.

I had a much needed physical and blood work. The physical was something that had been pushed to the back burner because of COVID. It took me a little longer to get in and see my doctor. Blood work and everything was fine. When I tentatively asked my doctor “but what about my weight?” I had not lost ANY weight as we had planned. He said that considering my blood work, blood pressure and everything looked good that I just needed to MOVE!! I am not getting enough exercise. But more about that later I do have a plan and I am on it. You know I love to knit and knitting usually involves sitting. Pioneer women used to knit and walk with the wagon train at the same time. I may have to try that. HA!!!! I am a bit clumsy can you see me trying to knit and walk at the same time.

I worked on a lot of knitting projects this past month. I have about five going right now. I Know!!! I know!!! I need to finish some of them. And I will. I have a Saint Patricks Day wreath I am working on and I will show you the project as soon as I am finished.

I read three books in February. Two were great and one was just ok.

The first one was The Girls of New York. I loved this book. It is set in the forties, a love story about Vivian an amazing seamstress who moves to New York and works in her aunt’s run down theatre designing costumes for the actors and actresses and the show girls. The story is Vivian at 89 years old telling her story. I loved it.

Dear Edward: I also loved this book. Edward is a twelve year old boy, he and his family are on a plane headed to California along with 183 other passengers. The plane crashes, and out of all of the passengers Edward is the only survivor. The book goes back and forth starting with the crash and then going back to the time just before the crash letting you see a little of the other passengers’ lives. Edward moves in with his aunt and uncle but still can’t go forward from the crash. He doesn’t understand why he survived. A lot of tears with this one but still a great read.

Days of Awe: This book was kind of boring. I hate to say that, but this was yet another book that really wasn’t about anything. A story about 42 year old Isabel. In one year Isabel loses her marriage, her best friend and her ten year old daughter’s adoration. It is not funny, or interesting. Again, a book I had invested some time in before I realized that it was just “meh”. I continued reading and I will have to say the very end got a little more interesting. Luckily it was a fairly short read.

I have several others that I have for this month and I can’t wait to get started on them.

The weather here this past weekend was 75 F. Lots of walking with the fur babies and I even spotted some blooms along the way. Now let’s just hope this crazy unpredictable Tennessee weather doesn’t bring us a hard freeze and kill all the budding trees and plants.

So hello March, bring on spring and warmth and flowers and blue skies and happy times.

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!

I Gave My Husband A Kidney

It was a Thursday exactly ten years ago on this date February 24th 2011. It was 3:00 AM. My husband and I were about four hours from home in a hotel room in Downtown Nashville, TN. We had been awake most of the night. Several of our family members were staying in nearby rooms. At 5:00 AM we would all drive the short distance to Vanderbilt Medical Center and check in for surgery. My husband Mark was getting a new kidney and I would be the donor.

This picture was taken as we were leaving the hospital on the Sunday following the surgery. We were headed to a local hotel that would be our home for a couple of weeks.

My husband discovered he needed a kidney in the summer of 2010. He didn’t even know he was in kidney failure. A routine blood work-up revealed that he had a really high creatinine level. Many many more tests were done that summer into the fall and in October of 2010 he was put on the donor list to receive a new kidney.

Fortunately he did not have to wait long. I knew that we were the same blood type and I wanted to be tested to see if I might be a match. The doctors told us not to be too hopeful because the chances would only be about 15% that I would be a match. One test after another was given to me and I kept being compatible. The doctors decided not to test anyone else until I was ruled out as a donor match. We had to go through counseling and lots of the same tests but yet we had different doctors. Each doctor had to make a separate ruling on whether I would be eligible. Then when that decision was made by the individual doctors the results went before an entire panel of doctors at Vanderbilt.

My tests were finished in December of 2010. Mark did not have to spend one minute on dialysis and for this we are so very grateful. But we knew dialysis could happen if he got the flu or pneumonia or anything that could compromise his health.

So we waited and waited for the results. In mid January of 2011 we got the answer we had prayed for, I would be the donor. The surgery was scheduled for February 24th 2011. We had a lot of work to do before that day. We made arrangements to take time off from work. I would need to be out two to four weeks and Mark probably six weeks. We made arrangements to board our baby Patches our basset hound. We had to get a living will and a medical power of attorney. Normally I would have been Mark’s medical power of attorney, to make a medical decision about him if needed, and he would have been mine. But because we would both be having surgery at the same time we had to pick someone else. We chose my sister Sandy who was with us through the entire journey.

At 7:00 AM on the morning of the surgery date I was taken down first to the operating room and my kidney was prepared for the removal. At approximately 9:00 AM Mark was brought down to an adjoining room and he was prepped for his surgery. They took the kidney from me walked through the adjoining room and placed it into Mark’s abdomen. I guess if this had been Grey’s Anatomy this is where they would have dropped it HA!!!! I was really surprised that it was put in the abdomen but that is much simpler than putting it back in the original spot. So technically Mark had three kidneys. The other two have long quit working.

My surgery was done laparoscopically so my recovery time was very short. Mark’s recovery took a little longer. We spent three days in the hospital and left on Sunday. Since we had doctor visits three times a week to keep a check on the kidney we had to stay at the hotel in Nashville to be close to the hospital. If we had had the transplant closer to home we could have stayed at home and gone to the doctor visits from home. My two sisters, Sandy and Pat stayed there with us at the hospital for almost two weeks. They took care of us, took us to our appointments, did our laundry and brought us take out. They were and still are angels and we will never ever forget them.

We don’t have children so we named the kidney Baby Kay. We celebrate every year and this year Baby Kay is ten years old. Mark takes anti rejection meds every day and will for his entire life. He has done great. He works full time, works out and we travel with no problems. He sees his doctor three times a year. I am on no meds and I sometimes forget I only have one kidney. I can’t tell the difference.

There are 93,000 people on the kidney transplant list. Over 3,000 new patients are added to the kidney waiting list each month.
13 people die each day while waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant.
Every 14 minutes someone is added to the kidney transplant list.
The median wait time for an individual’s first kidney transplant is 3.6 years and can vary depending on health, compatibility and availability of organs.

Mark and I have been truly blessed with the path his transplant took. But there are so many many people needing a kidney to live. If you are ever faced with the decision to donate for someone I would encourage you to really consider it. At the very least I would encourage you to sign your driver’s license and discuss with your family if you choose to be a donor. I would be happy to share more of our experience with you.

I am linking with the weekly smile this week over at Trent’s World. Thinking about Baby Kay being ten years old and going strong makes me smilingly happy!!!!!

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!

Weekly Happenings On The Homefront

Hello friends, how was your week last week? I had a busy one but lots of different and fun things going on.

Last Monday, I started the day making sour dough bread. I had a couple of requests for it the last time I posted it on Facebook. Today was the second stage of the bread making, stirring the ingredients and forming it into a ball to let it rise. I baked it after I got home. I also grabbed takeout for dinner on the way home because I didn’t get home until about 6:00. I hate to start cooking that late. We go to bed really early. I Worked on a blog post and some of my tassel earrings and went to bed.

Frozen fog on the way into work on Monday morning. So eerie.
Some of my tassel earrings I have been working on. I will have a selection to sell very soon with lots of different colors.

Tuesday fairly uneventful I had done some grocery shopping for my mother in law over the weekend so I delivered those things to the Assisted Living Center. Work and home.

On Wednesday I had an early morning dental appointment. I had also promised my co-workers that I would make some of the cinnamon roll casserole that has been going around Facebook and TikTok. I wanted to make it on a day I was working so it wouldn’t be left at home. It is ahhhhhmazing!!!! I put it in my crock pot at 5:15 and it takes 2.5 hours to bake. You should try it.

This is a picture of the casserole just before it starts baking. Sadly I forgot to take a picture of it after it baked but it looked pretty much the same.

I had lunch with the sisters and then, in my never ending quest to rid myself of clutter, I made my weekly delivery to Goodwill. I left work a little early and ran home to feed and walk the babies because Hubs had a late night and I had to go back to work for a little bit, for a team meeting. Got home late, then it was Bedtime. Whew!!! a long day.

Thursday morning I was awakened to rain and thunderstorms. You know the kind of day it is nice to just stay on the couch. But work beckoned and off I went. I did get to have lunch with a sweet friend that I don’t get to see a lot. We used to work together many many years ago. He moved on to other jobs and other states but has landed back in this area and we try to get together every few weeks.

Friday I had to head into Knoxville early for routine blood work for my upcoming physical. Work, home, WEEKEND!!!

On Saturday I delivered a Butterfinger cake to my sister for Valentines Day and played with her new kitten. Did the grocery thing and home.

Sunday I made pancakes for breakfast and then put baby back ribs in the crockpot to cook for most of the day. I also made Hubs a coconut cream pie for Valentines. Wow I have baked a lot this past week!!!!!

We really don’t go all out for Valentine’s Day. I put out a few decorations last week. We don’t really do gifts or anything. I usually get flowers. My husband always likes to think of different things or things that are unusual. When I opened the box he got for me I knew it wasn’t flowers or so I thought. But it was. It was a real rose dipped in 24k gold. It’s beautiful and I love it.

I love my rose but I don’t love the stand it is on. I will have to search for something a little more authentic.

I worked on a new knitting stitch I saw on YouTube and had a nice day of just hanging around the house.

Before I knew it the weekend was over. It was this morning and time to head back to work. Why do days off go by soooo fast? How was your week? What are you planning for this week? Some fun I hope.

Always remember

Love your day your way!!

Happy Birthday To My Blog

Can you believe that Southern Patches is three years old!!! I am so happy that three years ago I had the courage to hit publish and launch my very first blog post.

I remember how nervous I was doing the first few posts. But it didn’t take me long to really start to love blogging.

I know that with YouTube and vlogging, blogging is not as popular as it used to be but I still love it and hope to continue for a long time.

I cringe sometimes when I look back at my first posts but that’s what it takes to learn. You just have to jump in there and do it and know it will get better.

I have published 213 blog posts over the last three years. This is a wonderful way to document day to day happenings in your life. I also like to take lots of pictures so this is a great way to store lots of my pictures.

I have met some wonderful people through this blog. People from different states and even different countries that I feel like are old and dear friends. I may have never met them if it hadn’t been for my blog.

If you are unsure about starting a blog I would definitely encourage you. I have had so much fun these last 3 years. I have learned so much about blogging and writing.

I picked out a few of my favorite posts and some of the posts that got the best response from readers. If you haven’t read them you might want to go back and check them out.

  1. Saying Goodbye to my brother Allen. Published 2-19-2018
  2. Making Fried Apple Pies Published 7-20-2020
  3. Sister Lunch. Published 8-14-2019
  4. It’s Blackberry Winter Published 5-6-2020
  5. In The Days Of COVID. Published 1-24-2021
  6. Strawberry Moon. Published 6-6-2020
  7. Fireflies In The Great Smoky Mountains Published 6-12-2020
  8. A Week In Chattanooga Published 10-9-2019
  9. Biltmore Estate At Christmas Published 12-13-2019
  10. Mainly In Maine Published 10-17-2018

Thank you so much for reading my blog. Does it make a difference in your life? Probably not but if I can share something that helps you along the way, makes you laugh, or share a recipe or experience that you like, that makes me so happy.

And always remember

Love your day your way