Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dizzy! I'm so dizzy, my head is spinning...

Unfortunately, it isn't just a song for me right now, I have been dealing with a case of vertigo since last Wednesday night/Thursday morning. This means I am not feeling up to getting my sewing room in order so I can do some sewing but it does mean I can spend some time getting you all updated with the goings on around here for the last 1 2 3 almost 4 months! 

The big story is that we have the cutest little baby boy living here! Our new little grandson has stolen all our hearts. He is a happy little guy who smiles and giggles so amazingly. Then you throw in our little poodle, Ginger, and life is so fun and crazy around here! 

Here are a few pictures of them. First we have Ginger taking a nap under the blanket I crocheted for her out of small bits of yarn I had on hand. She had fallen in love with the blanket my sister crocheted for the baby so I gave her a replacement of her own.
Next up is our little man taking a nap on my lap and holding his little face. It is so hard to not take pictures of this guy every second or so!
Here are both of our babies having a nap. Ginger wearing her cone of shame following her 'little' surgery a couple of weeks ago. She does love her playmate - can't wait till they are both a bit older.
So for probably about 7-8 years I have been returning calls to the customers of our appliance repair business and scheduling them for service. Two years ago I added on the job of secretary (or administrative assistant) of my church without too much difficulty juggling the two jobs at the same time. In the last year or so, a couple of our competitors have closed their doors which led to more business for us. Our son-in-law started training with my husband in the hopes that we could have two trucks on the road at some point. The calls were starting to be overwhelming and then I added on a third job in July - the bookkeeping position at the church opened up and I took it on as an interim position while a new person was found. It was pretty intense trying to keep things running at church and also keeping the guys busy with calls. 

Something needed to change and the change came when our daughter decided not to go back to school bus driving right away this fall, so she took over the phone calls for the business and has improved the process immensely. 

Need to take a break to share this new photo that just arrived on my phone. Ginger over visiting at the neighbors and guarding her baby as he sleeps.
So anyway, she took over the phones at the beginning of September and on October 1 the new bookkeeper started at work and is doing an awesome job and I am back to just one job and I am loving it, except for the last couple of days with vertigo, that is.

I have had very little time in my sewing room since July though there has been a little activity. Most of the last month has been getting projects ready for the October quilt retreat which was last weekend - yes, the vertigo started when I was heading to the retreat - I had four projects kitted up and some other options to work on so I was set. 

We had planned for my niece to ride up to the retreat with me from my eldest daughter's home last Thursday but she ended up driving instead since I was dizzy. We arrived and got set-up by about 1 and I was feeling a bit better so I got started on the first project - finishing up a Bento Box quilt top that my eldest daughter started for herself made from Japanese fabrics she had picked out. She had started the sewing so I had the blocks done in no time and before bed I had the top together. I may rearrange the blocks to make it a little wider and less long and then add a border once I do a little math.

The next morning I was dizzy again and stayed in bed until almost 1 pm. I tried Dramamine to control the dizziness and it helped some so I was able to get the baby quilt top done for the grandbaby and get started on the next project. It was a simple one - just adding some strips around some vintage crazy quilt blocks - and I almost got that done before bed the second night. In the morning I took the drugs right away and was up and sewing by about 10! I got the vintage top together and got started on my last major project - the last of the quilt exchange quilts with the ladies at Tuesday craft nights. I was happy I got all the blocks done and was able to lay out the top so I can get it put together as soon as my head is on straight again!

I don't have pictures to post because I haven't had the energy the last two days but I will post them as soon as possible.

Aside from all that...
  • I have graduated from physical therapy (I'm not 100% but I am getting there and just need to get the ankle stronger)
  • our son-in-law is now a certified appliance technician (which is good since hubby's knee is giving him problems and is likely facing surgery again so isn't going out on the road so much)
  • the garden was neglected again this summer (not a surprise with everything else going on) so I hope to get some time this fall and winter to get things cleaned up
  • we had quite a few visitors for a night or several over the last few months (that little baby is quite a draw).  
That is a quick synopsis of the last few months. I am hoping I will now have more time and energy to sew and keep this blog a bit more timely.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

It's a dirty job...

Yesterday, I was 'forced' to hold this little bundle while his mommy took a shower. And then he was still sleeping so well, I had to hold him while his mommy watered her flowers. Oh, the burdens I bear for my children and grandchildren! I must say I really like having them living so close! It is so fun to see the changes in him each day!

This afternoon after work I ran some errands. One of those was to pick up some bird netting to keep the birds away from my blueberries and gooseberries. After finding the netting I took a peak at the plants and found some that I thought would work in a 'new' planter I have so I picked them up along with some garden soil to add to the planter. 

It was hot today but I was excited about the plants so I went out and cleaned out the planter, added the soil and some compost and added the plants. This planter used to be in the greenhouse that was attached to the garage but it was old and decrepit so it got torn down a few years back. Since the planter was part of the foundation and that didn't get taken out I decided I would put it to use. 
After getting things planted I was inspired to clean up the rest of the greenhouse space which meant pulling a lot of grass and weeds out. Luckily they were easy to pull. As you can see from this picture there are some portions of the cinder block foundation still in there but they can stay until we decide how to proceed. Meanwhile, we can enjoy the Black-eyed Susans, Mexican Heather and the other perennials I planted as we sit in the chairs and watch the puppy play.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Quilt Exchange And So Much More

It may have been a while since I have posted but at least this one will have lots of photos...and not all will be of the new puppy!

We will start with the quilt reveal at the neighbors. Here is the quilt that Cindy made for Linnea. 
This was the one I received from Sally. You can't tell from this picture but the black and white blocks are a print of women with purses and various adult beverages. It is all flannel and very snuggly. 

This is Nadine's from her sister, Linnea. The main print is a shoe print in red and black and white. Nadine does love her shoes!

Mary wasn't able to be there that night but I got word that she did like this blue and yellow lap quilt that I made for her.

I think you can tell from this picture that Sally was pleased with her quilt from Mary. It was the only really big quilt that evening but it seems Mary doesn't know how to make a small quilt!
Sally just wanted to cuddle up in it!
Last, but not least was Cindy's quilt from Nadine. it was the third with the red and black theme!
Little Ginger slept through most of the reveal on my lap. (I said they wouldn't all be of her, but there has to be a few!)
Last Sunday, we welcomed my new grandson, Karl Andrew into the family. We didn't care whether he was a boy or a girl but we all were hoping for red hair and we got that! 
Here he is shortly after he got home from the hospital, stretching out.
This one was taken when he was a couple days old. A request from a friend's 2 year old for a picture of the baby with me.
My eldest daughter and the grandkids came for the 4th of July and here is my granddaughter holding her little cousin. She thought he was pretty awesome!
My oldest holding the puppy back. Ginger gets pretty excited about the baby.
I made tie-dyed shirts for all three of the kids so here is that photo op. The baby was awake and happy for the occasion even!
Mandu and Ginger wanted to be a part of the excitement.

Kissing Cousins!
We celebrated Clara's birthday last night since we won't be with her for her real birthday. She was pleased with her birthday cake since she is very interested in plants.
Here is the picture from the end of May next to a picture I took this morning before the kids headed home. See how much Ginger has grown!
Our final baby/puppy picture was take this morning. I was cuddling the baby and Ginger really needed to get up close. She really wants to play with that little baby but no one will let her so she has to be satisfied with some snuggles, albeit restrained snuggles.
I have been enjoying being able to get back outside again. I have even roto-tilled the garden twice. The first time with our old roto-tiller that hubby repaired a couple of weeks ago and then with the brand new tiller. The garden isn't weed-free but I think we can tame it still. The strawberries are about done and the raspberries have taken their place! I bought a couple of boysenberry bushes last year and discovered this week that they are actually very healthy raspberries! So a little later this fall I will transplant them into the raspberry row and I will have to look for boysenberry bushes elsewhere!

Yesterday I decided it was time to prune the 'jungle' across from the deck. It is an old planting of lilacs, beauty bush, mock orange, forsythia, and a couple of other types of bush. I usually prune them to some degree each year but the last two years it wasn't too drastically due to health issues. They are done blooming so it was time again and I did about half of it yesterday. There are now three distinct bushes of lilac, beauty bush and forsythia on the right side. It looked a lot like the left side before I got started. 
Clearing out allowed us to see a bunch of junk at the end of the garage so hubby was inspired to clean it up a bit and put that gate there to hide the propane tank that is used to heat the shop. Through the bushes you can see the chairs we've been sitting in watching the puppy play and also the garage shed. Once I finish the pruning we will look into getting bark to spread underneath. We might have to pull the old bathtub out of there also and put it in a better spot. My vision for that is for it to be a water feature with a shower head spraying down.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Long 10 Weeks

I didn't realize that I hadn't posted since right after my surgery! 

That is 10 weeks ago now and as of Tuesday I am done with crutches and walking on my own. It was a long 10 weeks though! At 2 weeks I went back to the doctor and got the huge splint off. The nurse who cleaned up my incision commented that the doctor's notes from the surgery described me as 'a relatively healthy female who is quite stoic' which I thought was funny at first but I realized that in doctor-speak it basically means I won't admit that I have pain. Which isn't true. 

Anyway, the doc was pleased with how things looked and I got an ace bandage wrap and a fancy boot with orders for no weight bearing for 4 more weeks when I would see him again. I also had to wait a couple more days before I could get my foot wet and I had to wear the boot anytime I was up and about and at night. When I was laying around I was allowed to take off the boot and ace bandage and move my ankle. I was finally able to sleep in a real bed again too.

I went back to work on my regular schedule and was able to drive thanks to my daughter and SIL trading cars with me. I got the old minivan back and they got my Prius so I could load my scooter up behind the driver's seat. It was so nice to start being independent again, at least a little.

When I went back to the doctor, he said I could start putting 50% of my weight on my foot for 2 weeks and then up it to 75% for another two weeks and as I said before, I am now totally off the crutches. I have a bit of a limp as I work to get the swelling down and stretch all those muscles that had a 10 week vacation and it does hurt some, but it isn't the ankle that hurts, it is my calf and various muscles in my foot. 

My family was great during my recuperation. Yes, even my son! He made my mocha most mornings and brought me food and other items I couldn't carry using crutches or scooter. My daughter worked at getting the garden prepared and planted and also planted my geranium starts in pots on the deck and kept everything watered. She has also been picking the strawberries the last week or so and there are a lot of strawberries again this year! Hubby and SIL were busy with work but helped me and picked up the slack where they could. Friends and co-workers were great as well!

A lot has been going on in the last weeks. First and foremost, we are waiting for our newest grandchild. Our daughter, who lives right here is having her first baby! It is due in the next week or so. She has been driving school bus all school year but decided to take maternity leave for the last two weeks of school. It was starting to get uncomfortable driving bus for longer periods. I have gone to three baby showers for them and it has been quite fun getting to know her work friends and church friends and SIL's family a bit more. 

I have been missing Lucy and started looking for a new puppy while I recuperated. I knew I couldn't get one until I was more mobile so I could work on the house training but I was looking. I discovered that finding a miniature poodle in our area was not so easy. There are lots of them in other parts of the country but not up here in the NW corner. I had almost given up and starting looking at some other options when I found some about 2 1/2 hours away. I called one Sunday and Hubby and I jumped in the car and headed out. We fell in love as soon as we saw the 8 week old red female and we were able to bring her home that day. Here are a few pictures, okay, a bunch of pictures. As I said we have fallen in love!

Here is Ginger with her daddy shortly after she came home.

Taking a nap a few days after she came home.

So tired she was sleeping sitting up.

As you can see, she spent a lot of time sleeping those first couple of weeks.

Chewing on one of her favorite toys, Lambchop.

Just lounging.

The grandkids with the new puppy. They think we made a good choice.

A few moments of peace with her 'cousin',  Kinzie, a labradoodle puppy a few weeks older.

Again with the napping!

Cuddling with my oldest daughter.
Ginger is a great puppy and has definitely bonded well with me but is very social and loves pretty much everyone. She has had opportunities to meet several other dogs and cats. First there was Mandu, our son's Maltese dog, followed by our resident cats. She met my boss' dogs, a Weimaraner and a Springer Spaniel and then our daughter arrived with her 90+ pound Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Ginger was a little scared at first but then decided that big dog was very cool. She wanted to play but whenever Sophia stood up she changed her mind! Just a couple days after Sophia left, Ginger met my sister's new puppy, Kinzie. She is a labradoodle 3-4 weeks older than Ginger and at least twice her size. It started out a little rocky but by the end of the visit they were well on the road to being friends.

Well, that brings you all up to date on me and the family. I hope I can get another post done tomorrow sharing the quilts that were exchanged in our Craft Night Group a week or so ago.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Deed Has Been Done

Surgery, that is. 

Once surgery was scheduled I had to get busy and get things done in preparation. The weather didn't cooperate too much but I did get the apple trees pruned (yes, I used a ladder while wearing a walking boot) and I got some yard clean-up done. I also got some extra work done at the office so taking time off wouldn't be too bad. Then I tackled some sewing room work. I got some quilting done so I would have 2 bindings to do and then got some other projects prepared for hand-sewing. 

Last Tuesday, my husband and I headed to Seattle and celebrated our 32nd anniversary at a fancy hotel about 5 blocks from the hospital. At 8:30 the next morning I checked in at the hospital and the doctors and nurses took over. The surgery went well. They ended up having to cut my tibia to do the work on my talus so I have a plate and several screws holding that together along with two 'large' cadaver plugs and some grafting material in the talus. I had a nerve block to numb my foot following the procedure so I didn't have any pain that first night.

A young friend who lives in Seattle came for a visit since Larry had gone home to be ready for work on Thursday. She stayed until I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. 

I had some nausea Wednesday afternoon/evening but was able to eat some crackers followed by a sandwich that night. Slept well other than disruptions from the usual hospital stuff along with a roommate whose husband spent the night (he snored some). She had an ankle replacement and was on self-administered morphine. She continued to be nauseous and the husband was sure it was because she needed coffee because they are big coffee drinkers. It didn't matter that the nurses told them that morphine can cause stomach upset! I could have told them that from my experience two years ago following surgery!

In the morning I had a 'nice' breakfast and waited for Jakob to arrive to take me home. The doctors came in and showed me pictures (x-rays) of the before and after showing the hole and the plates and screws. I was told the numbness should start wearing off but it wasn't until about 11 or so that I could barely wiggle one toe! I hadn't been taking any pain meds since it didn't hurt but I had a couple of tylenol for the trip home, just in case.

When I got home my niece was here to hang out and to quilt some quilts. She had 11 basted and ready to go. She also brought along Jack, the dog she is baby-sitting. He is a long-haired chihuahua and is very sweet. Between Jack and Mandu I was well entertained with a veritable circus on me!

The numbness had worn off by bedtime so I took some oxycodone to ease that so I could sleep. Turns out, the reason you take that every 3 hours is because that is all the longer it lasts so I woke up every three hours needing another. 

In the morning I switched to tylenol but didn't have much pain. Mostly it gets uncomfortable after being in one position for too long and now I am off the meds totally. 

My knee scooter is the best thing - so much easier than crutches! Luckily when we remodeled the house we made sure the hall and doorways were wide for wheelchair options and it makes it very easy for me to get around. 

My husband, kids and friends have been wonderful taking care of me. Yesterday I even got to go to work for a couple of hours for staff meeting and a visit and then spent a while out on the deck in the sunshine.
I am glad I had the surgery so that hopefully I will have better, if not full, use of my ankle again but I do hate being laid up, especially in the spring when there is so much that could be done outside!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Quilt Retreat!

Well, the denim quilt class went well. We had a great group and had lots of fun. In the end I brought home four half done quilts to finish and several people took the pieces home to finish theirs. I finished those four tops over the next week or so.

I have been spending a lot of time going to the doctor and working which hasn't allowed for much time in the sewing room. Adding to that I have found that I get tired more quickly because of my foot issues. The doctor that I saw after the MRI recommended I get another opinion from the doctors at the University of Washington so I made an appointment there. That doctor wanted me to get a CT Scan to compliment the MRI so another two weeks went by. I got the CT Scan and saw the doctor again on Tuesday. The CT Scan showed that I have a divot in my talus and that the little step-up on the top of the talus is starting to damage the cartilage on my tibia. So the decision has been made for me to have surgery that will put a cadaver (I know that is kind of strange) bone and cartilage plug into my talus. The surgery will happen on April 2 and then I will be laid up for quite a while. I will not be able to put any weight on my ankle for at least 6 weeks and then limited activity for 6 more weeks. Not sure how long I will be stuck at home but I am starting to work on getting things in place so I don't go nuts. I will be able to work from home to a certain extent and I have a number of hand sewing projects to work on. The most frustrating part is not being able to do much in my yard again this year!

This past weekend I was able to go to quilt retreat with my sister. We missed the one in October due to other things going on that month and we both were really needing that time away. I was amazed at how much I got done.

I arrived on Wednesday afternoon and had the room to myself so I was able to get focused. While I watched a movie and listened to music I got my first quilt top done. It was this baby quilt which I finished the next day so that I could give it to a camp staffer at her baby shower on Saturday.
My next project was another denim quilt using black, white, gray and a few red squares. I think it turned out great!
That top was done by Friday afternoon and I got started on the next ones. This time I had enough of the navy, cream and light blue plaid twills to make two tops so I worked on both at the same time. Those were done by Saturday evening (even with going to the shower and having the grandkids visit for a few hours. Here is one of those two tops.

While the grandkids were visiting I let them help me get started on another denim top. Let's just say it was crazy! Here is a picture of the four of us working on the quilt. The kids took turns handing me pieces, snipping the pieces to be pressed and pressing (with their mom's supervision). They had a great time! We might be able to finish that top this next week as they will be visiting for their spring break. I am hoping for some decent weather so they can also spend some time outside.

Saturday I pulled out this One Block Wonder project I started about a year ago. This one needed dark green strips between the blocks so I had to figure that one out. I stayed up until 11:30 to get the top together. I think this will be the bluegrass festival quilt in light of my upcoming surgery. 
My son has been back at home since August along with his little Maltese, Mandu. A couple of weeks ago he dropped her off at my office while he went to the gym. She will probably come to work with me sometimes when he is in Korea (or wherever he goes to teach English) so this was a little test. The test showed that she is going to need some training for it to work! She likes to be on your lap and in the middle of everything which makes it hard to get much done! Here she is looking over the top of my desk to see what is going on outside the door. Gotta say, it is awfully cute!
When I left for the quilt retreat I looked at my flowerbeds and the almost blooming daffodils and when I came home I was greeted by lots and lots of beautiful flowers! Spring really is coming!
I started wearing my boot again so that my foot doesn't hurt as much. Today I wore it to work and when I got home since my foot was feeling pretty good I decided to spend some time out in the yard. I kept the boot on and managed to get quite a bit of work done and as a result, every part of my body besides my foot is tired! The rain is supposed to return tomorrow so I need to take my moments in the sun when I can to get a little done outside!