The original MTNMAMA

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!!

Design Wall Monday

Let me start by wishing all of you a Happy Memorial Day!! A great big thank you to all those who have gone before and helped to make our country what it is today! We are SO blessed live in a country where we experience freedom in everything we do and have the opportunity to be anything we want to be!!! God has surely Blessed may we continue the fight to honor and bless HIM !!

My time sewing this week has been very minimal since we had to admit my , DH, back into the hospital on Wednesday. I continue to work on my Desden plate blocks by hand at the bedside. I did have a few hours yesterday while, my daughter, "Dr. Kristy" took the day shift so I could rest a bit. I got out several projects that I had worked on while we were in Texas in Jan for the original transplant. I hadn't gotten around to sandwiching them with backing so that I could quilt them when I have a minute or two, so.....that's what I did.
This is a table topper made from a charm pack that I want to finish for the table at our lake house. Very "woodsy" prints. I found a brown print for the back so now I can start the quilting.


This was a block I did for a "Joys of Winter" quilt several years ago. I made this block twice...go figure!! So it was left over when I completed the quilt. I put the borders on it last year. Yesterday I "sandwhiched" it so maybe now I will get it quilted before Christmas 2012.....but I'm not betting on it!! I always seem to push this one back and work on something else. I enjoyed making these blocks because I fused the applique but did the blanket stitch by hand. I really DO like to do hand work especially now when I spend so much time in the hospital away from my machines.

So that's about it for me this week. Hope of bringing Jeff home midweek continually floods my brain. We have had several set backs but everything seems to be moving forward today. We will start Round 2 of the chemo next Monday if all goes well. Thanks for your prayers, calls, texts etc. I really do look forward to all the comments on this blog and our Caringbridge Site. It is my connection to the world so please leave a comment or 2 or lifts my spirits to know others are out there sewing, cooking, a normal life. I enjoy meeting all of my cyberspace friends and have been overwhelmed by the kindness shown by so many. IF you want to follow the whole story of Jeff's Battle you can hop over to and go the site box and enter...jeffreydsmith.

DO something FUN today to start the summer season off right!!! I am sneaking out to a picnic for an hour or so this evening!! Dr. Kristy is on call for Dad!!! So nice to have your children grown and able to help you when you need it!!

Happy Trails,

Mtn Mama

Friday, May 25, 2012

Whoop! Whoop! Friday

Whoop! Whoop! Friday

It has been a week of extreme joy with the graduation of our daughter, Dr. Kristina Smith last Friday night to sadness and fear as we have watched Jeff deteriorate and have to be hospitalized again on Wednesday. His lungs continue to show signs of infiltrates which now require a bronchoscopy. I am writing this as I wait for him to finish the procedure. Thanks for all of your prayers and well wishes.

This week I didn't get any new projects started. Go figure!! But I did hang one of the quilts I finished this year and took pictures. I added a sleeve so I could enter it in the Tulsa Quilt Show coming up in June but with all the commotion of life the deadline slipped by me. Oh Well.... I can show it to you anyway!!

The quilt has 24 snowman blocks that were embroidered by my Viking Designer SE. The quilt is flannel, soft and cozy. It was a project that I began over two years ago and put away when the weather got warm. I got is back out and completed it early this spring. It now has a sleeve so I can hang it next winter and enjoy all the funny, playful snowmen.

As I sit by Jeff's bedside I work on hand projects such as hexies and plates. Last week I showed you my plates and chrysanthemum blocks. This is my latest hexie quilt that I completed and hung by my desk at work. It certainly brightens my day to look at it. It was an old pattern from a quilt retreat designed by a local guild member that was called "Through the Garden".

Yesterday I blogged about my sewing room and the "new annex". I wanted to share the before and after pix of the chest my daughter refinished for me for Mother's Day. It has been in my sewing room for over 20 years. It belonged to my grandfather. I thought you would appreciate the transformation. I painted it this brown when Jeff and I got married 31 years ago.

Here it is back in the sewing room all cozy and full of wonderful "sewing stuff and projects" just waiting to be started. Hope you got to sew a lot this week!! I am looking forward to doing that very thing soon!!

Happy Trails,

Mtn Mama

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sewing Room Update

Organized Sewing Overboard!!

I have spent the past few months getting more efficient in my sewing efforts by ORGANIZING my bins, drawers, and closets!! My daughter is moving out ...once again... in a couple of weeks to do her internship in OKC. With that in mind it suddenly hit me that I could turn her room into my new SEWING ROOM ANNEX. After all it is across the hall from my original sewing room and my "Stash" closet is between the two rooms. Perfect!!! Here's a quick peak at the "stash closet" and original sewing room. The closet is organized by color as well as theme.

Straight on front view
 Corner Side View

Top Shelf Quilt Storage
More Stash Items on the top shelf
Bottom Shelf and bins full of scraps and project "bags"
Baskets, Bins and Books
Cutting Table full of goodies to work with
Sewing Station complete with lap top connection to the machine
Thread.....lots of embroidery thread. Am I missing any colors?

Library of quilting and embroidery books
Small closet full of sewing supplies in sewing room

This chest belonged to my grandfather and is over 50 years old. I have used it in my sewing room for many years. Kristy just stripped three coats of paint from it and refinished it for my Mother's Day present. She replaced the knobs too. Isn't it beautiful? I LOVE it!  Ready for the Sewing Annex.

Now that you have seen the original sewing room aren't you excited to see the NEW annex? Currently we are in the process of moving furniture and putting hardwood floors in the upstairs.

So I guess we will all have to wait about a week for me to "get it all together" before the Sewing Room Annex Preview!!! Can't wait till then!!

Happy Trails,

Mtn Mama

Monday, May 21, 2012

Design Wall Monday

Design Wall Monday


Playing with "crumbs" this week. I have a bag of 1800's reproduction fabric crumbs that I have been using to make my crumb blocks.
I HOPE to make several each week and get to 80 blocks before summer's end. I think I will sash between the blocks with a black fabric. I have a large piece of black/gold 1800's fabric I got on the 1/2 price table for the back. I just discovered "crumb" quilting this spring and I LOVE it. I love "Old things" or things that LOOK "Old". These blocks are very primitive to me. Can't wait to finish enough to start to put them together.
Aren't these the cutest "erasers" you have every seen? The thread spools and needles are priceless. I took them out of the package and set them in my sewing basket stuff. Thanks to Debby, my college roomie, for finding and sending me these cute little sewing erasers.

Our week started off BUSY....I am teaching ACLS today, Jon and Kristy took a truck and headed to storage to "move" her stuff to my garage to get ready for her move in two weeks, Jenny and Ella took Jeff to the clinic early and then to the hospital to get platelets and IGG. WHEWWWW!!! I'm tired just writing about it all. Jenny, Jon, Ella and Kristy will fly to Chicago tomorrow. We will miss them greatly!!! Kristy is going for a visit and will be back Sunday. She will move to OKC June 2nd. Lots of activities at the Smith's!!! God is good!!

Happy Trails,

Mtn Mama


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dr. Kristina Lee Smith Graduates

Blogger's Quilt Festival

May 18th, started the Blogger's Quilt Festival over on Amy's Creative Side Website.  The quilts are phenomenal and each comes with the most amazing story.  Being somewhat new to this whole "Blogging" thing I stumbled upon this Festival earlier this week by accident.  I spent several days deciding what quilt I would use for my entry.  The choice became very clear as I looked through pictures of my recent past projects.   It isn't a big fact it is a small "Table Topper" or "Mini Quilt" that I named "Star of Hope".  It isn't anything fancy but the story is what makes the quilt so special.
Last August we were told that after years of treatment for Non-Hodgkins lymphoma my husband had developed Myelodysplastic (MDS) Syndrome of his bone marrow.  Basically his bone marrow was dying and he need a Bone Marrow Transplant.  This would be his second transplant.  In Jan 2010 he had had an auto-transplant from cells we had harvested years before after a round of chemo.  These cells only lasted 18 months and now we were face with getting a non-related donor transplant.  The most risky transplant of all.  We were sent to Baylor Medical Center in Dallas TX where a donor was found in the Bone Marrow Registry.  We started the procedure Dec 1, 2011.  I packed everything I could including my sewing machine and a big bag of Christmas scraps.  Each night I would leave the hospital and go back to my hotel room and have an hour or two to sew before I fell exhausted into bed.  I put together "scrap" projects which in reality are my favorite.  Nothing too complicated because my brain wouldn't take it and I had my "portable" machine which is not the best to free motion quilt with.  During his hospital stay we became friends with the patient across the hall.  She was 22 years old and on her second transplant for a very aggresive form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  Her mother is a nurse and me being a Physician's Assistant we bonded immediately.  We shared tips on how to make our loved ones feel better..lotions to use on their skin, balms for their lips, ice packs for the burning hands and was a match I truly believe was made in heaven.  After discharge we all went daily to the clinic for fluids, antibiotics, blood, platelets...anything they needed to stay alive until the marrow grew and "engrafted" enough to support the patient. My friend and her daughter lived in Dallas but we stayed in housing that was close to the hospital.  There I continued to sew and use up my bag of scaps.   In January I gifted this to my friend and made one just like it for me.  I named the quilt "Star of Hope" and I hoped would comfort her during the long days and nights of taking care of her daughter through this dark valley.

She took the "mini quilt" and put it on the back of her favorite chair where she would sit for a bit of rest, sip her tea, think of me. and recharge for all the demands that lay ahead of her that day.  Jeff did "well" for a transplant patient and we were allowed to return home to Tulsa the end of Jan.  My friends daughter continued to struggle with "Graft Versus Host" which consumed both of them.  She was seen daily in the clinic for weeks which is so tiring for both patient and caregiver.  My friend and I would text and call and stayed in touch weekly.  Jeff and I would go to Dallas once a week for the first two months, then every other week for a while.  We would meet up with our friends at the clinic or for coffee and breakfast.  Her daughter slowly was getting better and it was so encouraging to see.  We prayed for each other and cried for each other and the ones we loved as they went through all the trails associated with the transplant. 
At 100 days which is a mile marker for transplant patients Jeff's marrow was 100% engrafted.  My friends daughter also had good news with signs of baby donor cells being produced in her marrow.
Jeff's counts started to fall shortly after his 3 month bone marrow biopsy but we weren't too worried yet.
By mid April all of Jeff's counts were down across the board so we did another bone marrow biopsy which showed that the MDS was back.  His donor graft was down to 70% and MDS 30%.  He deteriorated quickly and now his marrow has failed completely.  We have remained in Tulsa for treatment because he is too weak to get to Dallas and we are very comfortable with our oncologist here.  We have been hospitalized recently for 8 days and now we go daily to the clinic and hospital for blood and platelet support.  It has been determined that he has a drug resistant clone.  So no more high dose chemo for him.  We did started a new drug that he will get for 5 consecutive days and be off three weeks then repeat. It is used to suppress the MDS.   If it works he will do it forever or until we decide if he can undergo another form of a transplant.  My friend has supported me with calls, hugs, and texts.  Just knowing we are traveling along this journey together is comforting.  She loves her small quilt and together we share HOPE.   STAR OF HOPE  is just a  small quilt that helps us face each day with renewed spirit and strength.

Dr. Kristina Lee Smith, D.O. 

Last night we celebrated the graduation of our youngest daughter from Medical School
God truly blessed us abundantly.  Jeff, who had been very sick earlier in the week, was able with the help of our Son-in-Law to be pushed on the stage in a wheelchair and "HOOD" her.
What a blessing and an answer to MANY prayers!!  We thank you Lord for your faithfulness to us!!
It was quite an emotional moment when Jon, (left), Kristina, (center) and Jeff (right) took the stage and performed the hooding.
Proud mama and Dr. Kristina Smith
Grammy and Pop came all the way from West Virginia to see the event and congratulate the new doctor.
Dr Elizabeth Shaw and Dr. Kristina friends!!
We are having a wonderful weekend with family and friends.  We have been blessed with lots of food.  God is so Good!!!  Even though we celebrate the dawning of a new physician in the house let us never forget that The Great Physician, our heavenly Father, loves and cares for us and is always providing a way for us if only we allow Him to work in each of us!!!

Happy Trails,

Mtn Mama


Friday, May 18, 2012

Graduation Friday

Dr. Kristina Lee Smith, D.O.

The day we have been waiting on is here. Kristy will graduate tonight from Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. We are still hoping Jeff will get to hood her during the ceremony. He is at the hospital now getting blood and platelets. We have family here and more coming in at noon.

This week has been filled with doctor's appointments, hospital short stays to get blood and platelets, and taking care of Jeff. I do my hand work as I set by Jeff's bed during these long days of treatment.

Dresden Plate Block

I used English Paper Piecing paddles to make this plate. I haven't mounted it yet. Not sure what I am going to so with it.

Chrysanthemum Blocks

This chrysanthemum block is mounting on a solid white block. I made two of these flowers from one sample package of English Paper Piecing petals. I may turn them on point and make a table runner.
This is my weeks work at the bedside. Very little sewing on the machine. I did make a bunch of 1/2 square triangle blocks for my Holy Toledo quilt one day when I had a few minutes to myself.
Hope you had a great sewing week!!!
Will be back with lots of graduation photos!!


Mtn Mama

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lemon Orzo Salad and Asparagus and Tomatoes

Cool Eats for Warm Weather which seems to be HERE NOW!!

Miss Ella with Auntie Kristy...soon to be the new Dr. Smith and her mama, Jenny.  Kristy is a wonderful "Auntie" to Miss Ella. We will miss her so when she leaves next week. We have had beautiful weather for the past two weeks but now it is getting HOT again. The weather stations say we are already in a June/July weather pattern. GREAT!! Last summer was the hottest we had experienced in 17 years in Tulsa....guess there's more to come this summer!!!
 Jeff has had a rough week. We are supporting him with fluids, platelets and blood. It will take several more weeks before we can give him another round of Dacogen, Till then we will go daily to the clinic and if needed to the hospital. Prayers for strength, courage and stamina are greatly appreciated as well as healing. We are planning on getting him to graduation tomorrow to "Hood" Kristy no matter what it takes. So far the plan is to have him resting off stage until Kristy is called then our son-in-law, Jon, who also is a Dr., will get him to the stage via wheelchair. Pray all goes smoothly and this is a very memorable event.

So in view of the summer like weather today we are making:

Lemon Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Tomatoes

Shopping List:

12 ounces Orzo Pasta

1 lb fresh asparagus cut into 1-11/2 in pieces

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes halved

1 lemon, juiced and zested

4 TBSP Extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic minced

2 TBSP fresh parsley minced

Kosher Salt

Fresh ground pepper

Grated Parmigiano Reggiano


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a big pinch of salt to season the water.

I used whole wheat orzo but you can use regular if you prefer. Measure out 12 ounces of the dry pasta. I do mine by weight.
Now dump the pasta into the boiling water. Cook per package instructions. About 10 minutes or until tender.
Drain pasta and put in a large bowl.

While pasta is cooking prepare the asparagus, tomatoes and dressing.
I use my handy Pampered Chef steamer for the microwave to cook my asparagus. I have had it for years....(a great gift from my college roomie) and I use it all the time.

Cut asparagus into 1-1/2 inch pieces and put in steamer with 1/2 cup water. Cover and microwave for 5 minutes.
Take steamed asparagus and immediately put into an ice water bath. This is called blanching. It helps the asparagus to stay crisp and retain the beautiful green color.

Let the asparagus chill in the water until cooled then drain and pat with a paper towel to remove the water from the stalks.

Cut your tomatoes in half lengthwise.

To make the dressing...
First zest the lemon. Then Juice the lemon. I use a recycled jar with a lid so I can "shake" the dessing to mix it together in the end.
Mince the garlic and put it into the jar.
Add salt and pepper and chopped parsley.

Drizzle olive oil into jar with lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Close with lid--tightly and sake vigorously.

Now mix the asparagus and tomatoes together
Add orzo to the above mixture.

Add dressing and stir to combine. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano. This can be served warm, room temperature or cold.
This light salad is a great addition to picnics. It can be made into a main course by adding protein such as chopped grilled chicken or steak. Hope you enjoy this while having fun this summer!!

Tomorrow is a BIG DAY in our family. Our youngest daughter is graduating from Medical School.

Oh My GOSH...... we have another Dr. Smith in the house!!!

Happy Trail,

Mtn Mama