Monday, January 26, 2009

A Sunny Week Ahead

I love a Monday that offers such promise for a new week. I am sure that most everyone can relate to that statement. Some Mondays I want to pull the covers back up over my head and cancel all plans, but not this week.

This week holds the promise that my mother will finally be discharged from the hospital. She was to spend two to three weeks at the rehab hospital, but is doing so well that she may be released early. She is thrilled as are we. She has a gal who will spend the first week with her and then we will see where we go from there. My mother is confidant that she will be fine after that and is eager to resume her regular activities. After nearly a month in the hospital and several months of not feeling well prior to that, she has a lot to make up. Number one on her plan is a haircut. Who can't understand that????

As well, this week will include a trip to Florida for a convention that we attend each year. It is always a fabulous event and great fun to catch up with dear friends. One in particular is Midlife Mom . Our husbands are in similar businesses and we met each other several years ago. She is the one who actually "talked" me into blogging. Because of her I have met so many wonderful and creative people. What a wonderful world it is!

I received the most delightful package in the mail this week. It was from Laurie in Maine. She participated in the Whirl into Winter Giveaway and I was the lucky winner of her gift. Included was this wonderful knitting needle storage case. If you knew how I store my needles, Laurie, you would know how much I needed this. Don't you just love the quilt pattern on it? My needles will not know what to do in such a soft flannel interior.

She also added a fabric postcard that she had made. Look at the beautiful tiny embroidered flowers with beads. I read that she is also a fan of one of my favorite magazines, Quilting Arts. Thank you so much, Laurie. I absolutely love both items.

Knitting has been a hobby of mine since I was in nurse's training. I got a book on how to knit and started working on projects in between classes and hospital schedules. One of the items that I have loved to make is afghans. I did one for each of the kids for their 25th birthdays and they all use them to this day. I find a great fascination with the fancy patterns so I made afghans using a pattern that calls for using two strands of yarn. It actually won a blue ribbon at the county fair. Trust is warm.

We haven't had a lot of grandchildren time lately because of a stomach bug that is going through the different households. We do get to babysit the newest little one this evening while the parents have a "date night." Next week we will have a lot of time together as we are heading off to the Sierras for our annual family trip to the snow. I hope all are well by then.

Baba has awarded me with a Lemonade Award. Thank you, Baba. This is the statement that accompanies it.

Lemonade Award is for sites that show gratitude and a wonderful attitude.
Rules for the award:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

I will gladly add this to my blog and will pass it on when I get a chance to do so. For some reason my computer is not allowing me to make all the links right now. Grrrr.

The roses are finally pruned thanks to the help of my dear husband. I just had not had the chance to be out in the garden lately and I had over one hundred roses in need of winter pruning. Of course the pots are another story when you have a cat that enjoys making himself comfortable in the struggling cyclamen. I have to give them credit for trying.

Guess I have done enough rambling and it is time to get moving. I have "family training" at the hospital today in anticipation of discharge.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Once Again

Once again, I must start off by thanking everyone for your wonderful prayers, thoughts and e-mails regarding my mom. You folks are all awesome! The care and concern that I have found in the blogging world has been inspirational to say the least. It IS just like family.

My mother continues to improve since a diagnosis was made and she was transferred from the hospital to an acute rehab facility on Thursday night. Since she has not been well since Thanksgiving she will need some intense therapy to get her back to being able to do her own transfers from bed to wheelchair, etc. She has used a slide board which is a flat board that bridges the gap between wheelchair and whatever. It does require a lot of upper arm strength to lift your body even to slide across. She is feeling well, is very upbeat and eager to accomplish this goal and return home to living on her own again. So, again, thank you one and all. Today she was educating her occupational therapist on how to play Spider Solitaire.

Much of my time has been spent at the hospitals so I am now beginning to get a few of the very necessary things done around the house. Today was spent pruning roses. I have over 100 rose bushes and I generally have them all pruned by the beginning of January. We have had such a heat wave here and I noticed that the bushes were starting to bud out already. I would have much rather spent the day in my sewing room, but needs and wants can differ.

I have not been able to get to any sewing since the beginning of December and I was going to post some of the items that I was working on for Christmas. Since I did not get to it then, I will show you a few that I did manage to finish.

This was a gift for one of our granddaughters. She has one of the 18" dolls and needed some clothes for her.

This is a small quilt and pillow for a doll bed for the same doll. It was actually a Santa gift that my DIL had asked me to make.

I did manage to finish up both stockings for the new babies this year. I have always done the counted cross stitch ones and have loved doing them, but this year I did the felt ones. It is ironic and a pure coincidence that the felt kit that I selected for Jack was actually a Jack-in-the-box. I had picked up the kit before we even knew what the baby was going to be. All the same, I thought this was appropriate.

One more project that I completed was a table runner for Christmas.


I have also been blessed with two wonderful awards to start off 2009. The first one came from Baba and it states:

"This award focuses on the friendships that blossom here in blogland. Blogs who receive this award are 'exceedingly charming' say its authors. This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

Be sure to check out her blog and meet two adorable little twin boys.

The second one came from Midlife Mom and it says:

"The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervades amongst different cultures and beliefs. The Blog contents inspire; strives to encourage and offers solutions. There is a clear purpose at the Blog; one that fosters a better understanding on Social,Political, Economic, the Arts, Culture and Sciences and Beliefs. The Blog is refreshing and creative. The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking. The Blogger who receives this award will need to perform the following steps:

1. Create a Post with a mention and link to the person who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award.
2. The Award Conditions must be displayed at the Post.
3. Write a short article about what the Blog has thus far achieved – preferably citing one or older Post to support.
4. The Blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award in concurrence with the Award conditions.
5. The Blogger must display the Award at any location at the Blog."

I am thrilled to add both of these to my blog, but to choose only a few of the blogs for these wonderful awards would be exceedingly difficult. I therefore welcome my faithful readers to accept them and pass them on to others. I find all of the bloggers that I follow to be friendly, charming, witty, talented in so many ways and very inspiring. I think we all are motivated by one another and are vastly improved because of blogging.

Did everyone enjoy the HUGE full moon that we had last week? I heard that it is the biggest moon of the year and I had to take a picture of it rising from the East.

One more note of interest was my Amaryllis that I started in early December. I had planned to have it bloom in time for Christmas, but it shot right up and had five huge blooms on a short stem the second week of December. I cut that one off and would you believe it shot up another stalk with SIX huge blossoms on a very tall stem? I was so impressed in spite of the fact that I did not get my Christmas bloom. I have never had one do that before. Has that happened to any of you?

Second bloom.

I am off now to soak these sore muscles in a warm bath. I wish the best of all for everyone this coming week.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Some Answers - FINALLY!

I have to first of all thank everyone for all the thoughts and prayers that you have sent my mother's way over the past month. I felt all of those prayers as I was discouraged fighting the fight to get the care that I felt was necessary for my mom. The last month has been a merry-go-round here, but I believe that we are finally getting some answers to my mother's medical issues.

Many of you who follow my blog regularly know that my mother has been a paraplegic for the last thirteen years after being attacked by a virus in her spinal cord. She has had no feeling from mid chest down since that day. She has never complained and everyone is always amazed at her "can do" attitude. Many talk about what an inspiration she has been for them. Thus, when a medical issue arises, it is usually of the serious sort.

In September she developed a small blister on her outer hip which we immediately started to treat. Unlike her normal skin breakdowns, this did not respond to treatments. Wound care specialists were called in and they were doing all the dressing changes. Things were looking much better. However, in the beginning of December she started to experience bands of pain in her upper leg. Since she has been without feeling for thirteen years, this was odd. No one could figure this out and it was like pulling teeth to get anyone to pay attention. I was most concerned that it was perhaps the wound that was festering inside of her leg. No one seemed to feel that way since it looked "good."

A very long month of ER visits, septic work ups, doctor visits, holiday delays with offices closed was agonizing as I watched my mother become weaker, experience extreme pain, run fevers, have an elevated heart rate and become very confused. My sister and I were staying with her as she lives alone.

We were finally able to get into our local hyperbaric wound center and saw a wonderful doctor who agreed with me and cultured the wound. It turns out that what we saw as a blister was actually a septic hip. The pain has been because the sciatic nerve was exposed to the infection - much as a nerve in a tooth being open up. On Monday they put her in the hospital and are now treating her with antibiotics and will do surgery to clean out the hip. Since her heart rate was so accelerated they need to evaluate the reason before surgery can be done. The doctors feel that it could be the result of overwhelming infection within the body. Please continue to keep her in you prayers as we are not out of the woods yet.

Meanwhile, Christmas did come. The new year rang in as well. It is hard to imagine that we are well into January already.

A few events of the last month......

Mr. B turned 6.

Mr. T turned 11.

Our Christmas baby turned 1.

The children enjoyed Christmas Eve gift exchanges. I know the room looks filled, but remember that there were 50+ people here that night.

And Mr. J just enjoyed the older toys. Gotta love the crazy hair!

Cousins sharing a little Christmas cheer.

Meeting Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Breakfast with Santa.

My "chocolate" orchid bloomed. It seriously fills the room with the smell of chocolate. They are delightful plants to raise.

And now I am off for my yearly physical. YUK! It means a list of future appointments for mammogram, bone density, lab work and who knows what else.

I will be blogging as time permits, but I cannot promise anything regular at this point. I do try to get to your blogs and enjoy the time that I spend there. The visits always brighten my day.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

I wish many blessings to all of my wonderful blogging friends in 2009. May the year bring you many joys.

I have enjoyed popping in and out of your blogs and I will return to blogging when we get some of my mother's medical issues sorted out. Thank you for your patience while I am away.