Tuesday, May 25, 2004

What is it about these daggon quizzes, that I have to take them every time I see one? :-)

You are Barefoot!

You're a total free spirit, go with the flow girl

You can't be restricted by shoes for very long

And unsuprisingly, the same goes for men

Your match is out there - and he's as carefree as you are

What Shoe Are You? Take This Quiz :-)

Find the Love of Your Life
(and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.

Erica Michaels "Summer Sun Square" freebie. I stitched this on 7 ct. cream Klostern using my own choice of size 3 DMC Perle. I'm waiting for the Royal Blue FyreWerks to arrive, so that I can fill in the sun's sunglasses.  Posted by Hello

Freebie from Indigo Rose called "Four Little Lady Bugs". I stitched this on 28 ct. Bridal White Alma using the recommended DMC colors.
 Posted by Hello
It's already Tuesday - man! Time really seems to be flying! All the trips to the hospital really have distorted my sense of days/weeks. Amazing how that happens.

I've started my summer stitching, and have found a real joy in stitching the freebies I get from Needlecraft Corner with each order. I've been putting them aside for quite a while, for the time I could afford to play with them and buy the recommended threads, buttons, etc. Since I've been keeping with my promise of not buying any new patterns, I've found that I have a lot more $ to spend on supplies and honestly, I've never had so much fun!! In fact, I'm considering not buying any patterns next year either. I have so much stuff to stitch up now, I really don't miss getting the newest stuff. Weird, eh?

I've started my first Chantelaine Design - a dragonfly freebie that came in one of my packets from Drema. I'm just loving the colors, and I so love Caron's Waterlilies thread. Ohhhh! So nice to work with and the colors are so vibrant! I think this is going to be just gorgeous when it's finished.

Anyhow - here's two pics of my latest finishes: (One's not quite done, am waiting on one color of thread.)

Sunday, May 23, 2004

I finally figured out how to post the pictures. I tried yesterday w/o success, and discovered why. I was under the impression that there would be a host for my pictures, but instead, they are uploaded to Fortune City - and of course, Fortune City was down yesterday... So no successful uploads. The case of the missing pictures is solved! So - you will find them at the end of this post.

I took some time today to sort and list my flosses - matching up my charts with the threads I have in stash. I have another huge list of supplies to order from Needlecraft Corner someday soon. I love playing with all the wonderful specialty threads and fabrics. Speaking of fabrics, Silkweaver has a 3 day sale going on. I ordered a hand-dyed piece that I hope will work for one of the space designs that I have to make for DH.

I'm stitching "Party Mario" for DD's birthday. I'm doing it on Silkweaver's hand-dyed Opalescence in skye. Those shiny threads make it a little more difficult to stitch on, but I think it will be really neat when done. So far, all I have is Mario's hand stitched. I'm not pushing hard, as I have till mid-August to finish it.

Today, I decided to do something for me, so I started Indigo Rose's freebie "Four Little Lady Bugs". I'm done with 3 of the four "legs" of the design that separates the bugs. Pretty neat! I wasn't sure I'd like the golden yellow that is used for the "legs", but now, I think it will look OK.

I love freebies - if you haven't noticed. I'm on my 50th freebie (that's if I haven't forgotten to count any - LOL) I enjoy changing threads or using the new ones in the freebies - it helps me decide if I really want to go to the expense of buying a large pattern and using all the specialty threads/beads/charms that many of them call for. I also like to substitute things for them - and if they don't come out great, well, I really haven't lost a whole lot of time or money. They also make nice small gifts and ornaments. Yup - freebies are the best thing since buttered toast!!
JBW Grandmother: A Special Love Posted by Hello

Sugarplum Wizzers Watermelon Posted by Hello

Dale Burdett Sugar and Spice Posted by Hello

Dragon Dreams Night Wizard - double matted with gold and dark blue mats. Posted by Hello

JBW Grandmother: A Special Love Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Wouldn't you know, the only time I have to really sit down and write, and Fortune Cities is down for upgrades - so this post will be late getting published. I'm trying a new program to easily publish pictures to my blog, but can't preview them right now. Hopeing it works - as it would be so much easier to upload this way.

Been a busy week. Dad had more of his leg removed on Tuesday (the 18th) and I've been at the hospital quite a bit. I've also made some rhubarb-strawberry jam to put up for winter. Seems it never makes it though, as the kids devour it before the cold weather sets in. They've already opened one "to sample". Uh-huh! Got to get more made.

Pinetree Garden Seeds sent all my plants this week, and with all the rain, I can't get them in. I hope they don't suffer while waiting to be able to get into the ground. I've got asparagus, strawberries, horseradish, garlic, blue potatoes and wintergreen to get in. They sent these later than I would have expected, but won't complain until I see how they do. Our last frost date here is usually around June 1st.

I got a bit of stitching done while I've been offline waiting for Dr.'s calls. It's miserable with one phoneline, but I'm getting more done being off the PC!!! I've finished another old WIP and even framed 3 FO's that I had done earlier this year. I'm quite pleased with the results. I've uploaded the pics of them using the new program, so I'm hoping to have good results with it.....

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Fortune City was down for maintenance the last few days, so even though I had been writing to my blog, it wouldn't publish. Not sure if that was a good thing or not :-D Anyhow - we are back on track and "live".

I took some time yesterday to work on my newly adopted project - filling in the doll's hair and working a bit on the border. I decided to put this permanently on stretcher bars, so I could work on it daily for a while. Guess I'll deem this one as a focus project. I also started Shepherd's Bush "May" from their "A Year In Stitches" series. I picked a piece of True Colors Backgrounds in Chantilly instead of using the recommended Cherub Pink Linen. I'm not sure what I want to use for the butterfly button. I've got a bunch of different ones in stash, and I also just purchased a box of Sculpey clay to do my own buttons, so I might try getting more creative and doing my own butterfly instead.

I'm not sure how good the Sculpey clay is - as most of the people I know that make the buttons use the Primo brand. That was twice the price in the store - not sure why, but thought I would try this first, and see if it is satisfactory. If not, the kids will have something to play with while I purchase the other brand. I'm getting tire of spending a couple of bucks on each button when it only uses a few cents worth of clay. Granted they are cute and someone has to be paid for their work, but if I can do the same thing myself, so much the better, as I can use that saved $ on more gorgeous threads.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

I really need to keep personal stuff out of this blog - as I created this as an escape and to keep a journal of my stitching, knitting, crocheting, etc. I need an outlet for my "creative" side (ok, well creative with someone else's help in pattern form - LOL) and an escape from life, because life isn't always the best thing to write about.

So without futher blabbing, on to better things.....

My CIC socks are sitting and staring at me and making me feel guilty that I'm ignoring them. I should have never picked them up :) Our weather here has turned hot and muggy - promoting thunderstorms every late afternoon and evening. With no air conditioning, my hands get sweaty awfully fast when I knit, so I won't touch them until I'm either in air conditioning or when it cools down.

I had a small finish today. I'm one of those people who like to comb yard sales and the sales sections to look for cool frames. If they are a great deal and are cute, I'll buy them. At the time I don't have a clue with what I'll do with them, but along comes a project that is just perfect for them. This is one of them:

This was taken from the June 2004 issue of Stoney Creek Mag., and was designed for their specialty frames. The size was just perfect for a very small frame I found a while ago. It's only 1"x1-1/2" and fits perfectly when stitched on 18 ct. Damask. I'm really pleased with it, but my scanner just doesn't like the shine to the fabric. Actually, I don't think my scanner likes much when it comes to needlework. But, hey - the price was right when we got it.

What a wonderful trip to the mailbox I had today! I found an envelope containing an UFO that I adopted from Annette of the TWRBB!! It's a beautiful TW called "Under the Evergreen". I've had this pattern in my stash and have wanted to do it for a while, but like everything else, it was never started, because I always seem to get caught up in committment stitching, and not much with what I like. Since this is already started, it HAS to go in my rotation stitching!!!

Here's a pic of what Annette sent:

Thank you so much, Annette!!!! :-)

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Thursday Already?

They removed Dad's leg on Tuesday, and he's not doing well with the reality of it gone. He's not eating much, so to entice him, I took a Happy Meal in for him. He LOVES McD's cheeseburgers and fries, but he really didn't touch it. A couple of fries were chewed and spit out and that was the end of it. I don't know if they told him he would be put into a nursing home for rehab/therapy or not. Dad is 79 and from the old school, so when he finds out about the nursing home, he's going to assume it's forever and we're dumping him there. We have all been discussing this between us (all the children), but there's nothing else we can do with the extent of the therapy he will need and they won't keep him in the hospital for it.

I haven't really been online at all, as we need to keep the phone line open for the doctor to check in with us as well as other family members. My one aunt - whom I never seen - made a huge deal of me being online one day when I got on to work on my online classes. I think I was on about an hour to an hour and a half and she made a large scene at the hospital about my irresponsibility of being on the computer and tying up the line when my father is ill. Since then, I really haven't been on except the early hours and late at night - but feel guilty even then. I need about 12 hours a week to do my classes, and I haven't been doing that. I'm behind and will probably lose my certificate now. I have less than 2 weeks to go, and I don't know if I'll be able to catch up. Oh well - it's no biggie, but it's frustrating that I get reprimanded like a child, and buy an aunt I haven't seen in years.

So, anyhow - I need to get off this, and on to more relaxing things...

Knitting. Yes, you saw it in print, I did some knitting. LOL I took a CIC sock with me to work on through the operation. It's much more portable than XS and as long as I don't have to count and just do straight knitting I was great. We could sit and visit, and the knitting kept me busy enough not to worry too much. I made it to the turning of the heel, and decided that's as far as I should go then. I'll get that turned and then let it sit to do more straight knitting when they operate on Dad's other leg in the near future. I tried to work on DH's sock, but ended up dropping a stitch, and for the life of me, I couldn't pick it up! Guess the stress of the operation was enough to keep me from getting that bugger. Dropped stitches and stressful situations don't go together for me. No count, calming straight knitting is more my style then.

I've been working on some old WIPS out of my XS box this year - and am happy to report a finish of 10 old WIPs/UFOs with another almost done. I'm having a great time working on them and it feels good to get them done finally! I won't own how many more I need to go, though. At least, not yet :-) I'm not only sticking to just those in the box, but am also doing whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like it. My latest finish is a Just Nan called Beaded Rose. I found the frame at Walmart, and it's exactly like the frame pictured on the cover of the leaflet! The only difference is, the one on the leaflet cover is $19 more!!!! Here it is framed:

On that note, I must get off line - as it's getting to that time when the Dr. calls.


Sunday, May 09, 2004

Long, Raw, and Way More Info Than You'd Probably Want.....

Last week was a very long week, and I'm glad it's over, but there's still more to come, none of which I'm ready for, nor do I really want to face.

My father is 79 and has had many strokes and other life threatening ailments throughout his life - most happening in the last 20 years. He lives with my brother and gets around pretty well - being quite self-sufficient, but still needs someone to keep an eye on him, as he has a habit of being forgetful and leaving things on - including the stove. He does some odd things, and has been getting a little more "unusual" and needs watched a bit more, so the arrangement at my brothers works pretty well.

At the beginning of the week, DH went to my brother's to work on our Explorer. The work well together, and sometimes I think it's more the need for male bonding than for help :-) That evening, DB had to do an errand and told DH he wouldn't be back for about 2 hours. A few minutes after DB left, my father went to get out of his chair, and had terrible pain in his hip. He tried to get it to work out, but instead it got worse, so he called down to my DH to come help. DH ended up calling the ambulance thinking it was either dislocated or something possibly worse like cracked or broken. DH called me and asked if I wanted to go to the hospital, or should he just go down and have my other brother meet him there. I suggested it's best he go, as it would throw him a good hour off, and they may need someone there for answering questions or paperwork, med. info, or something until my other DB gets there. DB only lives 5-10 minutes from the hospital, so he should have been there when the ambulance got there, or a bit after.

Well, DB (who lives by the hospital) decided he didn't have to show up since DH was there, and DH was left "holding the ball". Anyhow - DB #1 gets home to a house that's locked and didn't have his key, as he didn't need it since everyone was there and should have been when he got back, so he took over 20 minutes to finally find a way in (and a little repair work to do), to find a note that told him all that our Dad was in the hospital. He called me and I told him to wait and see what was going on, in case DH was on his way home with my dad - or to at least hear from him when he knew something.

Making a long story short, DH was with Dad until almost 2am - told DB#1 not to come down, since they were admitting him, there was nothing more he could do. They found that he didn't have a hip problem, but an aneurysm of his artery behind his knee, and a blood clot below it. They would be doing tests the next morning and keeping him on blood thinner until then.

The next day, I called to find out what they found, but no real information was given, except they did a chest x-ray and would be doing other tests. At 1:30 that afternoon I called, and was told he was in another test, so I decided to call back later to see how they came out. I got online to check email, and do my online class, expecting them to have results by 3. I guess just about the time I got online, the hospital was trying to call, to say they had to operate. Well, come to find out, that was known in the morning, and that is what the test was for, but no one said that. DH came rushing home as soon as he found out and got us there before Dad went into surgery, but they wouldn't allow us to see him, as we were supposed to be there an hour before. However, all the other family came down from having seen him up until the time of his surgery. More mis-communication. UGH!!!

The operation was over 7 hours long - another thing they forgot to tell us, allowing us to believe it was just the clot that was to be taken out. HA! All 3 main branches of his arteries below his knee were clogged so badly that they couldn't open them. They ended up doing a graft, and weren't confident that it would work. This was all explained after the operation, and that's when we found that it was not only a clot, but a very big possibility of a limb removal.

Days have gone by, spending my 40th as well as every other day in the hospital, visiting Dad and trying to get answers. The graft has worked some, but his toes are now black and they as well as part of his foot has no warmth to it, although now he can move his toes. Tomorrow is the deciding day of what they will do. According to the nurses, it looks like it is an almost probable removal. Dad thinks it's only his toes, but according to what I understand it will still be just below the knee, as there weren't really any good arteries, except for a couple of small ones that weren't clogged, and he felt that wasn't going to be promising to keep that whole leg alive and well.

Another bit of good news is that he has an aneurysm behind the other knee as well, so this will happen to the other leg in time, which means another operation on the other leg.

There does not appear to be any good outcome to this situation, and now he is running a fever, doesn't have an appetite, and is very quiet. I'm worried about infection, and depression. He's watched many family members including his parents lose their legs, from complications of diabetes, so he knows what the future holds.

If he does have the leg removed, he will be forced to be wheelchair bound - making it very difficult for DB#1 to take care of him. DB#2 said he can't and won't as he has other obligations (can't figure out what - as he has no kids, can't hold a job or anything else), and DS can't as she has a husband with a bone condition and a mother to take care of. That leaves it to DB#1 and me. With a wheelchair, Dad can't stay here - there is just no way to get back to the bedrooms or bathroom. My Grammy stayed here when she was ill, and had to be carried to bed and to the bathroom as the hall and doorways were too narrow. We have one working vehicle, so I can't go help him till DH comes from work - unlike DB#2 who has a car that my father bought him just a month or so ago.

My father is frustrated with DB#2 - as he hasn't visited him since the operation and feels that since he is going to be taxed with hospital bills, Dad won't have the $ he used to give to him. Sadly, that's the only time he's around is when he needs something from someone. It frustrates me to no end, and I keep praying he will prove me wrong on that kind of thinking, but so far, not. :-(

This post is way too long, and way too informative, but I needed to air it. Everyone I can talk to is way too close to the situation, having their own thoughts and feelings to deal with, and I don't need to add any more to theirs. Please keep my father in your prayers, as he is really going to need them. I keep hoping for a miracle, but as time goes on and his toes get darker, I don't really see one coming. I don't know how this fits into God's plans, but I won't question them - but accept and try to help the best I can.