Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter!

Penny had a ball cleaning out the pan from a store-bought angel food cake.  She shoved that thing all around the house, over an hour, but finally got every morsel out of it. Whew!  I thought there for a moment I was going to have to throw it away without her finishing it up.  Doesn't take much to make this puppy happy!

Things have reached the ultimate boredom level here.  I pinned some half square triangles together, but 20 minutes was all I could handle.  I can't decide if it hurts more laying down or sitting up in a chair.  I'm so impatient.  It's been, what, two weeks since the second surgery.  I'm ready to resume my normal life, whatever that is.

I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers today.  It had lots of roses and, awwww, daisies.  My friend knows me very well!

I hope everyone gets a chocolate bunny in their basket!  Have a blessed Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Craftsy Dot Com

A week or so ago I subscribed to Camille's Pre-Cut Piecing lesson on Craftsy but was having trouble viewing it.  It was all herky-jerky.  Maybe I was hurting too much or my impatience had kicked in, but I just gave up on it.  This morning I gave it another go.

You can read all about her lessons here on her blog.  There is a link there to take you to Craftsy where you can subscribe to Camille's lessons as well as those of other quilters.

I turned off HD as someone suggested, and everything worked perfectly this morning.  I have really enjoyed sitting here and watching.  It's amazing that no matter how long we've been quilting, there are always tips we pick up while watching another quilter sew. 

For instance, I pin way more than Camille does.  I think it might depend on the complexity of the block, but I'm going to try it her way on my next quilt.  I might manage to get more done when I do get to sit down and sew.

I like purchasing these lessons from Craftsy.  I can go back and view them again and again.  I'm glad Pre-Cut Piecing was the first lesson I purchased.  Camille's fabric is so springy and happy, and she is perfectly adorable.  She makes you feel as though you're sitting across the table while she's speaking.  Very personable.

The lessons covered making three of her quilt patterns, from first cutting the fabric to quilting and binding.

Great job, Camille!  I look forward to watching many more Craftsy lessons from you!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Still Recovering

That day out Monday really wiped me out.  I lay down at 10:00 this morning to just stretch out a bit.  I wasn't sleepy at all.  I woke up at 3:30.

I think I've decided that you have to be really strong to hold up your head.  I feel like it weighs 100 lbs. these days.  So every chance I get, I either lay down or sit in a wingback chair where I can rest my head.  I think this brace has it cocked at an unusual angle.  Whatever, it's hard being me these days.

Penny is doing great.  She's back to her routine of following the beams of sunshine around the house so I have to watch where I'm stepping.  I can't bend my neck forward, so I've taken to calling for her when I get up to walk around.  I want to know where she is because I surely don't want to trip over her and undo things.

I have a friend coming to take me somewhere tomorrow.  We won't be gone long, but it'll be good to get out of the house.  Of course, that probably means another two-day recovery.  It's really tough living alone and not being able to drive.  I've always been so independent and hate to bother people but I don't have any choice at this point.

I cooked a spiral ham yesterday.  It totally fell apart.  I couldn't even pick it up out of the pan.  At least I have a couple of gallon bags of sliced ham in the fridge now.  I'm not supposed to be lifting on things but I thought it would be okay to handle a nine pound ham.  Wow, it seemed so much heavier than that.  Now I know why the doctor limited my lifting to five pounds. 

The new machine sitting on the dining room table is taunting me.  Maybe this weekend I'll turn her on and play with her a bit.  I'm withholding judgment on whether I like it better than the 440.  There are some things that will take a little getting used to on my part.  But I'm up for the challenge!   One thing I seriously love on it is the lighting.  Wow!  I won't need to put the Bright Light on this machine.

I have been really going around blogs the last couple of days.  There are some gorgeous projects being worked on.  I'm especially fond of the solids that are being used.  I wish I had the room and the money to get a bolt of all of them!  I'm pondering a quilt using gray right now, and am thinking about what color to put with that.  I saw a brassy gold that I thought would be nice, but I think the overall quilt would be dull.  Maybe not.  I probably won't ever make it but it's been fun to think about.

That's it from here today.  I hope I can stay up a few hours so that I can sleep through the night.   Will need my strength tomorrow to hold up this big head while I'm out at my appointment!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Welcome Home, Penny!

And she replied, "Can't you just let me sleep?"

Yesterday was a long day here.  A very nice friend hauled me around for the appointments, and we picked up Penny at the end of the day.  She saw me and sniffed my shoes for a minute, and then headed over to the play area where she's spent her time for the past two weeks.

When we got home, she explored everything, then promptly got on her spot on the staircase landing and rolled over for a belly rub.  I knew things would be okay from that point on.

Our first stop yesterday was the dentist at noon.  He replaced the veneer on my front tooth with the permanent and cemented it in place.  We left and drove over to a restaurant about ten minutes away.  We ordered and while sipping on tea the blasted thing fell off.  Back to the dentist.  Apparently the cement they used was defective.  Second time it worked perfectly.  I have my smile back.

I always say I have to do everything twice.  (insert eye roll here)

Then just enough time to make it to my neurosurgeon appointment.   He is very pleased with my progress.  X-rays showed the plate and screws in place.  The big bandage on the front of my neck came off.  He said he just had one stitch to remove, and he tugged on it.  Ouchie!!!  That thing hurt!!!  It may have only been "one stitch" but it was a running stitch the length of the incision. And it was a six inch piece of wire, not thread!  This guy needs a lesson in stitching terminology!  Seriously!

Anyway, I'm left with paper like butterfly strips that he said will come off in the shower.  It feels so good to get that hunking bandage off.

I have to wear the neck brace for six to eight more weeks.  I hate that thing.  It's awful to try to sleep in. I have to sleep on a 45 degree wedge.  I've never been a back sleeper, so it's hard to get comfortable and it makes my lower back hurt.  But at this point I'll do what I have to do to get my life back.  Next appointment is four weeks.

I asked about flying.  I thought since I'm off, I might be able to go home for a while.


He said I have no control over the knocks and bumps that might happen while I'm flying, and he doesn't want to take the chance.   This is disappointing.  I'll talk to him about that again at the next appointment.  Maybe the fusion will be far enough along at that point that he'll have a change of heart.  I'll plead and grovel.  That didn't work on the ambulance guys, but I'm willing to try my hand at that again.  Maybe I've been on the Left Coast so long that I've lost my ability to play the simpering Southern Belle.  Of course, I was truly never very good at that but I'm not past trying anything at this point!

The last stop was the market!  Hooray!  There's food in the house and lots of fruit and juices!  (Darn, I meant to hop on the scale at the doctor's office but I forgot.  My jeans are looser, so I'm sure I left a few pounds at the hospital.)  I was sick of soup and Jell-O, but I couldn't decide what I wanted last night.  I settled on a bagel.  I was hurting a lot by this time, so I went to bed and slept for 12 hours!

Today is another day.  I woke up hurting a bit, but the pain pill has kicked in now.  I want to do more scooting and twirling today.  It's kind of funny to watch me doing that.  Since I can't look down with the brace on, I have to bend at the waist.  But the weirdest part is trying to position my glasses on my nose so that I can see out of the proper bifocal.  I've been constantly pushing and pulling on them since I got home.  The things we take for granted!

I promise no more long blog posts.  And hopefully future posts will be quilt-related!!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Digging for Gold

Yesterday, Saturday, I spent part of the day in my sewing room.  Admittedly, I wasn't doing much, am not capable of doing much, but I had fun piddling around in there.

Off of a shelf I pulled a fold of fabric.  It was a pillowcase made for me by my Secret Elf in 2008.  Inside that pillowcase were six blocks.

I love these blocks.  I definitely want to make more of them.  I emailed my friend and she found the pattern she used to make them. 

I've seen these set two ways:  like I have them laid out here with sashings and cornerstones, and also on point to look like a heart.  Both were adorable.

Anyway, I'm going to do more "scooting and twirling" today to get fabric pulled to make more of these when I'm ready able to sew again.

BTW, "scooting and twirling" is a highly scientific quilting term.  You sit in your rolling chair and scoot and twirl it around to access things at that height! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Wasted Day

Yesterday was a wasted day for me.  I came downstairs for an hour early in the morning, and then went back and slept until early afternoon.  I have to admit that I felt so much better the second time I got up.  Must have needed that.

I'm such a sunlight person.  If the sun is up I should be also.  When it gets dark, it's time to shut it down for the day.  I think my Daddy instilled that in me.  We would have "coffee" together every morning and watch the sun rise.  Daddy grew up on a farm, so that explains his daylight thing.  Me?  I think I just inherited that gene.

I was going to try to handquilt something small today, but I think I'll wait another day or two for that.  I have no applique prepped, no embroidery prepped.

I know ----------

I'll get out the "new" camera and start learning about it.  That can be done upstairs in bed.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll have a bunch of bedroom pictures to post later!  :)

I miss Penny so much.  If I had a way to get her, I'd do that today.  I have both dental and doctor appointments on Monday.  Maybe my ride will take me by the spa so I can get her.  I really really miss her.  A lot.

So totally bored here and this confinement has just started.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New Beginnings

That sounds awfully dramatic, doesn't it?

I had the cable folks here today and the maid service showed up at the same time.  I mean, there was nowhere I could sit that I wasn't in somebody's way.

Anyway, before the maids left, I asked them if they could lift the 750 out of the box in the garage and put it on the dining room table.  I figured I could play with it a bit while recuperating.  I'm going leave the 440 in the Horn table at least until I finish Brrrrr Park.

It took me about 45 minutes to figure out how to remove the bobbin and then reload it.  Then another 15 minutes or so to figure out how to thread it.  I'm going to practice that bobbin thing several times before I sit down to seriously stitch.

This machine is so big compared to the 440.  The dining room table is not an ideal height - I know that - but I had to keep standing up to see the back of the machine.

So one hour today -- I stitched straight stitches on some muslin to get the oil dispersed as was recommended to me.

I'm totally worn out now. 

Bulletin .. Bulletin

Monday, March 18, 2013

National Quilting Day

I so wanted to be sewing on Saturday, 3/16.  I heard a vicious rumor that it was National Quilting Day!  In fact, that rumor seems to have spread all over this here world wide web thing.

But instead of me sewing that day, it seems my neurosurgeon wanted another crack at my cervical spine.  Yes, I said "another."  He practiced his stitching on me on the 12th and then again on the 16th.

Doesn't seem fair that he sewed twice last week and he's not even a quilter!!

I'll try to make this short and sweet, but I've never been able to be short and lately I'm not feeling very sweet.  So hopefully you'll hang in to the end.  Maybe there will be a smile or two before it's over!

I went to the hospital Tuesday for a cervical fusion.  I expected to be in there overnight and then home for the rest of the week to recuperate.  Well, I think my friend Forrest may have been right about one thing -- you know, that box of chocolates and never knowing what you're going to get?

Seems the vertebrae are very brittle in my neck, and the cadaver bone and plates and screws weren't holding up very well.  So he kept me in the hospital another day and did a CT scan.  Hmmm, something doesn't look right, so let's send you to get an MRI.  What?  The MRI machine at the hospital is down for repair?  (This is my neurosurgeon talking if you haven't figured that out yet!)  I know!  I'll just order up an ambulance to drive you across the hospital parking lot to another imaging center that's up and running!

Seriously!  That's what happened.  I'm going on 62 years old and I had never ridden in an ambulance. I don't think that was on my bucket list, but it's been written on AND crossed off.  Now, just how do I manage to get those cute EMT guys to drive me there with lights and sirens!  Seems no matter how hard I pleaded and how much they laughed, it just wasn't going to happen.  So I resorted to groveling - as much as I could seeings as how I was strapped to a gurney - and felt quite like a beached whale, I might add!   When we pulled up to the imaging center beached whale gurney door, the three of them shouted "whoop whoop whoop"!!  I told them I was going to pretend that was sirens blazing because my daddy told me never to let the truth interfere with a good story!  :)  :)  Those guys were really having a lot of fun at my expense!  LOL.

Anyway, let's make this shorter.  It was decided to go back in and try to repair and/or stop the crumbling.  So that's what he did.  The surgery was shorter on Saturday because I was already cut open; they just had to take out the stitches (rippit rippit) and replace some of the cadaver bone and screws, plates, etc. 

And you know how I mentioned that temporary veneer that was placed in my mouth a week ago?  Well, it's now in a sterile jar waiting to go back into my mouth.  Apparently I tried to fight them all off coming out of this anesthesia.  They won, but I've got a snaggle-tooth smile to prove I fought the good fight!

So now I'm in a neck brace for four months and am supposed to move very little, no driving, no lifting, no nodding, shaking, smiling -- no, wait, I just made up the smiling part.  I think.  Darn, there are so many restrictions that maybe I'd better check the list just to make sure.  I'm hoping I'll be able to sit up very straight and sew in a couple of weeks, but maybe that won't even be possible.  I guess I won't know until I try, or am told not to try.  At about the three-month mark I think my neurosurgeon said something about an electrical bone stimulator but maybe I was hearing that through drug induced hearing.  There was a lot of that going around this week in my neck of the woods.  Gosh, no pun intended there!

BUT I have learned one thing that will never ever ever happen to me again. I WILL NOT go to the hospital for even one day without my cell phone charger.  It pooped out on the second day I was in there.  I had frantic family because they couldn't find me.  I was able to use the hospital phone to call work because it was a local call.  I tried to text J and D and G and MA and K and S but the texts didn't go through.  I didn't have my wallet with me; just my driver's license and insurance ID card.  In fact, the doctor loaned me money so I could stop and get my prescriptions filled on the way home.  Then when I got there, the pharmacy couldn't break that bill that late at night, so the limo service driver loaned me $30 until we made it the few blocks home and I could get to my wallet.

Okay, smile here.  TWO men in ONE day gave me MONEY!!  Hey, that must count for something!!

It's after 1:00 a.m. and I need to go lay down.  I'm high as a kite right now but I should be sleepy.  I have to set the alarm to wake me up in four hours to take antibiotics.  He really lectured me about that since my spine was opened up twice in four days days and that's dangerous from an infection standpoint.

I'll write more tomorrow or the next day or whenever I can manage to get out of bed.  Thank you all so much for the thoughts and prayers heading my way.  I know they worked.  My sitting here typing with two hands is proof!

ILY, my friends, very much!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Off the Grid

I'll be off the grid for a while longer.  The injections in my neck didn't help at all, so surgery is scheduled for tomorrow.  Not how I wanted this to play out, but it is what it is.

There has been no sewing going on.  I poked a button or two, but truly didn't even want to look at fabric online.  As I said the last time I posted, I've conjured up a bunch of new quilts in my head but that's as far as I've gotten.  I probably should at least note what they are because I'm sure I won't remember any of them later.

The new sewing machines are sitting in my garage.  I loving run my hand across the boxes every time I walk out there. 

I was missing a piece of fabric that I wanted to use to add a border to a quilt to make it bigger.  This was the Heritage line from Moda.  I even went to the storage room to see if I had inadvertently packed it away.  Last night while just sitting in a straight chair in the living room, I remembered where it was.  It was in the little tin "suitcase" that the kit came in.  I guess I thought that too logical a place to look for it.  Anyway, that is found and I can add the simple borders and get it off to be quilted.  Don't know when that will be, though, but at least I'm ready.

I stopped by Ginger's for a few minutes last Friday.  She is closing the doors on the shop in two weeks.  Their inventory is really sold down, but I picked up a bunch of fat quarters of  '30s fabrics.  One of the bedrooms in my future retirement home will be done up in '30s.  Don't laugh!  I already have that planned! 

So that's it from here.  Other than a bunch of medical and dental appointments the last couple of weeks, I've hardly gone anywhere or done anything.   Dental -- forgot to mention that the veneer broke on a front tooth a week ago while I was at a doctor's appointment.  Went straight to the dentist afterwards.  Why does everything happen all at once?

I think I'll have a good result from this surgery.  If it doesn't work, then I guess I'll have to retire but I don't want to do that just yet.

Please think happy thoughts tomorrow.  Don't know when I'll be back online, but hopefully sooner than later.  I look forward to seeing what everyone has accomplished while I've been off the grid!