Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blast from the Past

The picture's not so great, but here is one of the first ever quilt projects I made many years ago. I remember making it when my sewing area was in our basement in a corner of the guest bedroom. I made a few of these gingerbread potholders that year to give away as gifts, saving one for myself. I see that I even hand quilted it, though only around the binding - haha! Still love it though.

I felt like today was my first really "normal" day in an entire month. Dear Driver B took Mom to the nursing home to visit, so I had the entire day to sew, cook, and do laundry. So that is exactly what I did. I started out the day soaking some dried navy beans. Then I put them on to simmer with the ham bone from Thanksgiving. The "soup" simmered all day, and made a delicious dinner.

I sewed off and on all day, making lots of progress on multiple projects. My hip is a bit better too, I think. A few more days, and I'll be fine. But I think I'll sleep with a heating pad tonight for good measure.
Here were my helpers. They were so glad to be out of the cold and in my lap. Though as I write this they are both in Hubby's lap, of course. Mickey is growling in his sleep.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Slight Detour

I took a small detour from quilts for the upcoming new book today to work on a very small project. I had some help. More help than I wanted or needed. Have I mentioned lately how Mickey likes to be in a lap? Actually, he INSISTS on being in a lap! So he sat while I sewed. I think we were both glad when I was done. What is this project? You'll see in a few days, I promise!

I managed to totally pull my left hip out of whack this morning. I wish I had a good story for how I did it, like a snow skiing accident, a long distance running injury, or something equally exciting. In actuality, it happened when I bent over to pick up the TV remote from an ottoman. I'll be fine in a few days, I hope. Meanwhile, Advil helps with the pain.

Nothing new with my father. I think he's slowly adjusting to life in the nursing home, though he still asks when he can come home. My mother is adjusting well to living alone. She adores her driver, my good friend. I knew she would! Thank you, B!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

An Organized Tool Caddy

Here's a peak inside my newly organized tool caddy. Loving it! My Aurofil thread spools are handy in their elastic bands. There's a place for everything!
And here's a peak at something I've been working on for the last few weeks. This project has been to San Antonio. It also spent a few days in the hospital while I sat with my dad. When I see parts of a quilt, I have memories of where I was and who I was with when I made it. So this quilt will have built-in memories of great times and not so great times, all within the stitches and patches. I love that part of quilting - the memories it preserves, one stitch at a time, one scissor snip at a time, one scrap of fabric at a time.

As of this morning, our house is quiet. Everyone has returned to their own homes and lives. There are tons of leftovers in the refrigerator, so I won't have to cook this week. (Sigh.) We're in for a soaking rain all day, so we will stay inside, resting under quilts with dogs in our laps. (Sigh, sigh.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Our Thanksgiving

Here's the entire family (minus my father). On the sofa, my brother-in-law, me, Elizabeth (Daughter 2). Seated in the middle are my mother-in-law (white shirt) and my mother. Standing left to right, my three nephews, my brother (black shirt), hubby, father-in-law, Tommy (son-in-law) and Emily (Daughter 1).

We had a great day. After lunch, my brother and my mom took pie to the nursing home for Dad. He's asking to get out of there again, but my brother stood firm with him.
After the extended family was gone, Tommy and hubby threw a football.
Doesn't hubby have good form?
By the time darkness fell, we were all SOOOOO tired! But it was a good day.

Today the girls are dying to get in the middle of the Black Friday sales. I'm not so excited about it, so I haven't decided if I'll go along or not. After the last three weeks, my body and mind are both tired...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Craftsman, Cooking, and Condos

Finally, a quilty post! This is the sad state of my hand sewing that sits besides my chair and goes along with me on road trips. Today I made a trip to Sears for something in the hardware department and I spotted this:
Ooo - la- la! A pink tool caddy! They also have them in red and black. Look at all those elastic loops for thread spools!
Each end has a mesh pocket. That metal clip is to hook a tape measure.
One side has these velcro straps (for a level) - not sure if I'll use them.
Here are the details in case you want to buy one, too. It was $12.99. I'll post another photo once I've filled it.

I'm busily getting ready to host 13 for Thanksgiving Dinner. My dressing is made and in the freezer. The turkey breast in brining in the refrigerator. House cleaning is almost done. Daughter 2 will be here Wednesday. Daughter 2 and Son-in-Law will be here Thursday morning. Brother and 3 nephews will be here sometime Wednesday.

Dad Update: Yesterday Mom and I had a good visit with him. For the first time, he didn't complain or ask to come home. He seemed resigned and very tired. I'm so relieved, and hope his attitude continues. He's fallen once since he's been there, but didn't hurt himself.

Condo Update: On the day Dad went to the hospital, hubby and I were looking at a condo in Auburn to house Daughter 2 while she's in Pharmacy School. We made an offer that day. While hubby was out of town on business and I sat at the hospital, I negotiated the deal and we came to an agreement. Yesterday hubby went down there for the inspection. A few problems came up and the seller will fix them. We close in early December. Yay!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Still Stressed...But Making Progress

We decided not to visit Dad today. We don't want him to expect us to be there every single day. However, he managed to call me. He can ask a nurse to call me or Mom so he can get on the phone to talk. He did this THREE TIMES today. Count em, three.

He has trouble saying the right words, but he got his point across:

He. Wants. To. Come. HOME.

I think it's interesting that each time, he called me instead of my mother.

He said that if we'd let him come home, he'd help with the housework. He cannot even stand without help. And he's never (in his life!) helped with any housework. He's really working on us. But we will stand firm. We will.

Hubby, Mom, and I will visit him in the morning. I warned him not to spend the visit complaining or asking to come home. He said he would not, but I know he won't remember that by then.

The good news: a good friend of mine (a fellow quilter) is going to become my mother's wheels. She'll drive her to the nursing home 2-3 times per week so that I can get back to my regularly scheduled quilting - that book is not going to write itself! My mother will be paying my friend, so it will be a win/win/win situation for my mother, my friend, and for me.

I can't say enough about my dear husband. He has gotten me through this. Though I did cave and have a good cry this afternoon. Then a nap. And now I feel better.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Dad is in the nursing home. So glad.

Everything went as well as it could have yesterday. We took him at 1:30. Hubby was with us, thank goodness - what a help he was! Hopefully this facility will be a good fit for him. For my Birmingham friends, he's at Greenbriar at the Altamont on Highland Avenue. It's in a beautiful historic area.

Within 5 minutes of arriving, he was talking about improving and getting discharged. How do you tell someone that will not happen?

I'm taking Mom to visit him this morning. We will not stay too long. Then I will have the rest of the day to catch up on the rest of my life. This has been a long week!

I think I will make the cornbread today for the Thanksgiving dressing. And maybe work on a grocery list for the rest of my Thanksgiving shopping. I look forward to cooking again! And quilting! QUILTING!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Diagnosis...Sort of....

It was not a stroke. The doctor said Dad had a sudden worsening of his dementia. We're in for a downhill slide from here.

The good news is that he was corporative during the rest of his hospital stay. The bad news is that the hospital discharged him last night before we had time to make nursing home arrangements. So we brought him home in an ambulance and have round the clock sitters helping out.

My mother and I spent this morning checking out nursing homes and decided on one. Then we spent the afternoon running to the doctor's office and back to the hospital arranging for medical records to be faxed to the nursing home. It poured down rain all day, but I think (HOPE!) we have everything in order.

If the nursing home gets everything they need from all the different sources, we can move him there tomorrow. I know I'm exhausted, so at 81 years old, I don't even know how my mother is still functioning. But she's hanging in there.

The hardest part of all this was having to tell my dad yesterday that he must go to a nursing facility (for the second time this year). He was sad and mad and disappointed. I would be, too. But there is not another option. Hopefully we will all adjust quickly.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Here's the update on my father:

He was combative last night and had to be restrained. When we walked in this morning he was flat out naked (he kept removing the gown and the nurses finally gave up) and tied down. He was not happy, to say the least.

We gave him a good talking to about being nice and cooperative. They finally removed the restraints and he was a good boy. Let's hope he's a good boy tonight.

The doctor says now that it might have been a stroke, but he'll know for sure after the tests tomorrow. Can't wait to get those results!

We're just taking it a day at a time. I know he won't be able to go home when he's released. Some decisions will have to be made.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Sorry I haven't had time to reply to you, but I appreciate every comment more that you'll ever know!

Dad Update

When the doctor visited yesterday afternoon, he said Dad did not have a stroke. So we are really not sure what is going on. Dad will definitely be in the hospital for at least a few days while they run more tests. Unfortunately, when you get admitted on a Friday afternoon not many tests are run until Monday.

He seemed worse again yesterday. He can talk, but doesn't make any sense. His blood pressure is sky high. We hired a sitter for last night so I didn't have to stay with him overnight, and will continue to have a sitter at night.

Off to the hospital I go.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Stroke

This is my 600th post; I was planning to have a special quilty post with photos. But my father had a stroke yesterday, so plans have changed.

It appears to be minor, though the test results have not all come back yet. He's having trouble coming up with words, but yesterday he couldn't talk at all, so at least he's improving.

I'm just home from being with him at the hospital all morning while my mother went home to shower and rest. Now she's at the hospital, and I'm home to shower and rest. I'm taking the overnight shift with him at the hospital tonight.

The hospital knows he's at risk for falling, and have told us that someone needs to be with him all the time. Of course, we'd be there in any case. If his hospital stay lasts too long, we'll probably hire some nursing assistance for nights. Hopefully that won't happen.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More San Antonio Pictures

Here are more of my shots from S.A. Some fun textures...
This pigeon is called Patches by the local shop keepers.
We were serenaded at dinner one night.
Sweet cream waffles, anyone? Yummo!

I have been diligently sewing every day, working on three quilts for the upcoming book at the same time. I want to have all three ready for quilting by the end of the year. I think I'll make it - the power of positive thinking and hard work!

Hubby and I have also been doing some house hunting, or to be more accurate, condo hunting. We've decided to purchase a condo in Auburn for Daughter 2 to live in while she's in Pharmacy School. We want a second bedroom so we can stay over on football weekends (or whenever!) We think we've found one and will be making an offer soon. It's not furnished, so it will be great fun to start from scratch to make it homey and comfortable. Can't wait to get started with that. For now I'm pinning ideas on Pinterest.

I taught a quilting class last night. Four wonderful ladies. It was a one night class and we had lots of fun!

Oh, and a (belated) Happy Birthday to my writing partner, Peggy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My New Bermuda Friends

While I was in San Antonio and Hubby was in his conference, I ate breakfast alone in the hotel restaurant. The second morning as I was finishing up, I overheard the "Q" word coming from the next table. I turned around and asked the ladies if they were quilters. YES! Next thing you now, I took my cup of tea and joined them. Quilters always have an instant bond, don't you think?

In the picture above are from L to R: Nancy, Paula, Me, and Noella. They are all from Bermuda. After a few days in San Antonio, they'll be on their way to Houston for the IQA show - yes, I'm a tad bit jealous since I'm not going this year. Maybe next year for me?
Here's a picture of their quilt guild logo - Ahhh, so tropical. Nancy specializes in Bermuda landscapes. She had her IPad handy and showed me some pictures of some of her quilts; they were lovely!

We had a great time together. I was hoping to run into them again while we were there, but never did. Ladies, I looked for you in the bar that evening around 5:15. Let me know how the show was, please!
There we so many gorgeous tile mosaics in S. A. Here a fun one I saw on the River Walk.
I love this photo. I'm not making a commentary on the Occupy Wall Street movement, to be sure. But I just like the photo. This young lady was walking alone in a park. I like that I captured the movement in her skirt as she walked.

Today I picked up my Zaycon chicken. It is beautiful! I divided it up in freezer bags and stashed it in the freezer. I will not be buying chicken for quite some time.