Monday, February 28, 2011

Feb Baltimare Xmas Block Done

I did finish this block near the end of last week. I love the happy gingerbread men.
If I were to do it again, I would have chosen a brighter fabric for the ribbon that intertwines the candy canes because they are not very visible. I'm NOT redoing them. I'm hoping some creative quilting will help them to stand out a bit more.

I received my Sue Spargo February kit on Friday. Apparently they were late getting the wool thread from their distributer, hence the delay. I plan to start stitching on it this afternoon.

Dad news:
Everything flip flopped yet again over the weekend. I was having allergy issues Saturday morning, so hubby dropped Mom off at the nursing home for a visit. When I picked her up later, it was obvious she had flipped again. She'd made up her mind to get him out of there. I was not good for much the rest of Saturday or Sunday.

She knows I don't agree with the decision. I'm not helping with the move. She found a friend to take her to visit today, and I guess the same friend will take her tomorrow when the move will take place. As for me, I'm going to move forward.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


This was the view from my kitchen window this afternoon. Our tulip tree is gorgeous this week. I don't mind washing dishes when I get to stare at this. We're expecting bad storms overnight, so the tree might be a little worse for wear in the morning.
And here's the view in my mirror. It may not be totally obvious here, but I got a MAJOR haircut today. I've had a rough month. Spring is almost here. I'm ready for new beginnings. So I took the plunge and went pretty short. I'm still shocked every time I look in a mirror, but I think I'm going to like it.

Dad news: We had a good visit today. No complaints! I'm proud of the way he's adjusting to his situation and I tell him that every day. He's made a new friend (though he can't remember his name), and he enjoys the exercise sessions - amazing for my couch potato Dad! He wants us to bring him a pad of paper and a pen so he can write things down to remember to tell us. He also asked for a cell phone, but we're not going down that road. He'd never figure it out, and if he did, we might get calls all day and night!

February Lollypop Finished!

I finished my second Lollypop Tree block last night. I do love this project! Easy, laid back, and high impact.
I still haven't received my February Sue Spargo kit - think I'll e-mail them today to see what's up.
I hoping to finish my Baltimore Christmas block for this month today - the reveal tomorrow (hopefully).
Dad news: I decided after talking with the nursing home again not to pursue moving Dad to another unit. He is where he is for a reason. Yesterday when we visited he had on two shirts, one on top of the other. And he was obviously very confused. So it's best for him to stay on this locked unit so he won't wander off.

My goal now is to work out some kind of schedule for taking my mother to visit him. She doesn't drive anymore - have I mentioned that? I cannot continue indefinitely taking her 7 days a week, and she knows that. I'm thinking we'll work toward 3-4 visits per week eventually. I would love to find someone who would like to make a bit of money by being her driver sometimes.

I have begun to take my applique project with me on our visits. I sit and sew while we chat. I sit by the window (no lamp). If it's a cloudy day, I can't see, but on sunny days I can accomplish a bit. I think Dad is enjoying watching my progress on the blocks, too. He always asks me to hold up what I'm working on so he can see it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Here We Go Again....

I made this block over the weekend with scraps from my Lollypop project. I think the brown strip is too heavy, so I will probably chop this up and make two (or more) blocks from it. Here's the one I made last month:

Things are still changing around here concerning my father. My Mother decided (this morning) to hand over the decision making to my brother and me. So she's no longer in charge. So we will NOT be moving my Dad home this afternoon.

I had to break the news to him today, which was not easy. He was VERY disappointed. Now I'm trying to get the nursing home to move him to a floor that is not locked down. As of now, he's surrounded by people who are much worse off than he is. It's very sad, and the other patients are not able to talk with him, so he cannot make friends.

The nursing home gave him a dementia assessment test this morning to see if he could be moved. Though he passed the same test with flying colors a couple of weeks ago, he failed it today. So now they refuse to move him.

What to do now? Not sure. I do know that he's not coming home, because that would only make things worse. And, no, my Mother is not open to going to live there with him. My brother is a doctor in another state. I think at this point I'll let him get involved to see if he can convince them (from a doctor's viewpoint) that he would do better with a different level of care.

I'm trying to take it one step at a time and not rush into anything (like my Mom did).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Moving Day...again...

Rough day around here. Mom called me this morning sobbing. She is racked with guilt and wants to bring my Dad home from the nursing home. He's being well taken care of and is beginning to get adjusted, so this is a shame. My brother and I have not been able to convince her to leave him there. I told her they will both go down quickly, but she says she doesn't care. She doesn't want to take him back until he's incoherent and isn't aware of where he is. And the same for her. Oh dear me..... I may have to be put in the nursing home. Or the psych ward.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


My name is Julia and I'm addicted to television. I'll admit it. I applique while I watch TV, so I don't throw that time away. What do I watch? CSI. American Idol. Survivor. Mentalist. Biggest Loser. American Pickers. Sarah's House. Amazing Race. And a show called Heavy on A&E. Heavy is one of those weight loss shows. People are sent to a ranch to exercise and eat right. Monday nights.

My obsession? There are a couple of quilts that can be seen in the background on the show hanging on walls. And I am becoming obsessed with them. This afternoon I paused the TV on one of them.

It's sort of like a Double Wedding Ring, but there are rounded ends on the strips.
And in the center of the rings there are these 36 patch squares.

Has anyone ever seen a quilt like this? I think I'm in love. Don't worry, Hubby, you're still my Numero Uno!

Color Therapy

I'm participating in Victoria's plaids, dots, and stripes challenge - I knew it would be a nice change of pace. We are having Spring-like weather this week, so I pulled some cheery colors from the stash. I decided to use V's slash technique to add some orange striped X's to the blocks.
These blocks do cheer me up! I'm thinking an entire quilt like this would be wonderful.

Our nursing home visit wasn't so cheerful today. My Mom cried. Hope tomorrow is better.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I don't think I've ever been so glad to see a weekend come! We are so relieved to have my Dad in the nursing home. We've known this was coming for a few years, and the countdown has been long and difficult.

When we visited him yesterday, he was full of complaints and hateful talk. Though my Mom and I were determined not to let it get to us, of course it took it's toll. However, I'm happy to report that today's visit brought few complaints and nothing hateful was spoken. Happy day!

Both yesterday and today we had to do some shopping to get him some things he needs there (extra underwear, a magazine), but from now on I think he'll be set with just our visits. The nursing home is only 10 minutes away, so I can pick up my Mom (5 minutes away) and we can be there quickly. That is nice. My Mother doesn't drive anymore except to go next door to the grocery store once a week, so I am her wheels. We'll be going to visit Dad every morning for a week or so, then we'll start skipping a day here and there. My Mom understands that when I have a quilt meeting or need to be out of town, she'll either have to skip visiting or call a taxi.

I told Dad that hubby will be visiting this weekend, and he's looking forward to seeing him.
I still haven't received my February Sue Spargo BOM kit. I'm not sure why it's later than last month, but I continue to work on my Lollypop block and my Christmas block.
Be sure to check out my other blog and leave a comment for a chance to win a $30 gift certificate to CSN Stores, where you can buy almost anything!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Moving Day

Today was the day. THE DAY. I moved my Dad into the nursing home.

My Mom made the decision yesterday. I was able to arrange the movers for this afternoon. It all went smoothly. I just called to check on him and was told he ate all his dinner. I know he must be tired because it was it was a long day for him. It was a long day for me, too.

I haven't slept well since Saturday night with all this going on. I will sleep tonight, I'm sure of it.

Mom and I will go visit him in the morning for a little while. Hopefully he'll be adjusted to his new home in a week or so.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Why the Sad Face?

Can you guess why Mickey is so sad? It's because of this:
I'm so lucky to have a large, finished attic to use for my studio, BUT it's in a sad, sad state.
It's hard to get to my sewing machine.
It's hard to walk without stepping on something.
And it's hard to find anything.

How can I be productive here?! The answer is simple - I CAN'T! It's time for big changes. This is the next step on my journey to Live a Productive Life. This room is going to get a major overhaul. First the clean up. Then the organization. A new coat of paint is also in the future - I'm sick of the yellow! I also need to address the lighting, or lack thereof.

Follow the progress over the next few weeks here. You may want to check out the quick and economical recipe I shared there today.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gingerbread Men

I finished the candy canes Friday night while we watched Secretariat with Tommy and Emily. Good movie!
Saturday night I decorated the gingerbread men, using white floss to stitch details, and sewing on teeny tiny buttons. When I bought the pattern set in Houston, it came with all the buttons. Now I'm appliqueing the ribbon that wraps around the block.

I'm expecting my Feb. Sue Spargo kit any day, so I'm glad I'm almost done with this block!

I had finally started accepting my Mom's decision about waiting to put Dad into the nursing home. Then I talked with her this morning....

Apparently he had a really bad day yesterday. She's regretting her decision. So...I took her to Walmart today so she could buy all the things he will need at the nursing home: extra pajamas, laundry basket, extra pillowcases, etc. The paperwork at the nursing home is good through the end of the month. After that, we'd have to start over, with another chest x-ray and everything else. She promises she'll make the final decision by then. But she's not ready to tell him yet.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shoot Me Now....

Things turn on a dime around here. The nursing home sent someone to do Dad's assessment this morning. I was thrilled to hear that he can be placed in the Assisted Living area - he'll get help with bathing and dressing and taking care of other basic needs. Their insurance will cover 100%! All good right? Not so fast...

The nursing home employee hadn't even made it to her car in the parking lot before my Mom called me back to the bedroom. On the edge of tears, she told me she wanted to cancel the whole thing. She said she feels like she can continue to take care of him.

As it stands now, I've canceled on the nursing home, and on the movers who were going to help us. I've been in close contact with my brother, who lives out of state. He's going to talk with my Mom tonight about the possibility of her moving to the nursing home, too. They could live in an apartment there together, with my Dad getting the extra care he needs. Not so sure how well that will go over with her.

Anyway, I am emotionally drained. Hubby says it's a good thing I like rollercoasters.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Candy Canes

I'm sensing a theme here: from lollypops to candy canes. Sugar overload in my applique. These candy cane stripes are proving to be a challenge, though not as bad as the angel shoes were last month.

On the home front. today was my Dad's 87th birthday. I took my parents a nice hot lunch from their favorite restaurant, and also a platter of cupcakes. My Mom had come to her senses this morning, realizing she absolutely can't give my Dad the care he needs at home. So after lunch I had another talk with him about the impending move. He's not taking it well. I made a second trip to their apartment later in the day to talk with him more.

It's hard because he knows what I'm talking about, but then he will suddenly become confused (his dementia is worsening). We told him, (with tears flowing from both me and my Mom) that we really wish we could keep him home. But it's just too much, and he deserves better care. As I left the second time, he said he'd go along with the move, but if he doesn't like it, he's going to tell us. I'm sure he will.

Moving day is set for Friday.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Need a Lollypop!

I remember when my kids were little, they alway got a lollypop when they were done with a doctor's appointment- a little treat to reward them for going through a not-so-fun check up. For me, my Lollypop quilt will have to do.

After days of visiting nursing homes (and calling many more), we made our decision. It fit all our needs for my dad - close to home, affordable, quality care, and they have an opening. So I spent the rest of last week making the arrangements: calling his doctor, arranging for an assessment appointment, arranging movers. Move in day is this Friday. Sigh of relief....

This morning I went by my parents' to have them sign a form allowing me to get information on their behalf from their insurance company. My dad told me how he's managing to bathe himself a bit more (wishful thinking, I'm afraid). My mother walked out with me when I left and burst into tears. She's having second thoughts. She doesn't know that she is ready to move him to the nursing home, expecially since he's obviously trying to fight it. I told her that it is ultimately her decision, and we can back out. What else can I do? Not much. So sad to see them in this state. He's struggling to remain home. She's struggling with the decision to keep him at home. Not sure where this is going now.
This was the view from my kitchen window Friday. I guess the hawk was looking for lunch - maybe a chipmunk?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dad and Doughnuts

Last night I basted several fussy cut pieces on my Februrary Lollypop Tree block. I'm loving my new applique command center!
I missed quilt guild yesterday - I took my Dad to the doctor. The doctor agreed Dad is ready for a nursing home. He helped me break the news to him. Dad took it better than I'd expected. At first he said he'd like a chance to try to take care of himself, but when I told him that he wasn't able to do all the laundry or clean the bathroom when he makes a mess, he realized I was right.

Then he asked if my mother and I would be moving in with him - funny since I live in my own house with hubby. I told him no, but we would visit him often. Then he wanted to know where he would sleep. I told him he'd have his own bed, along with a recliner, and a television. He seemed satisfied. Then he said he wanted a doughnut. So I took him to Krispy Kreme and bought him a dozen hot fresh glazed before I took him home.

Once at their apartment he settled in with a couple of doughnuts while Mom and I chatted. She was relieved he took the news well, and relieved she didn't have to be the one to tell him. Today she and I are going to visit a few nursing homes to select the best one for him. Now that we've made the decision, we are anxious for him to get moved as soon as possible.
I'm hoping that by the end of today, we'll have made a decision on one, or at least narrowed it down.

I almost forgot to tell you - this blog was named as one of the top 50 quilt blogs- click on the badge on the right side to view the others - you might find a new-to-you quilting blog! I feel so honored!