Tuesday, September 29, 2015

. . . a little different kind of blog post . . .

Hello! This post is being written from my hospital bed. I had reconstructive colon surgery a week ago today and expect to be released into the care of my loving and capable husband, and a parade of visiting nurses, in a day or two. I am amazed at what kinds of medical procedures can be done ... and with such promising outcomes. I have access to all of my medical reports through a portal. I went there tonight and read the surgical reports. I didn't understand all of the lingo and procedural info, but I got the overall gist of what the doctors did. It was no easy or insignificant task. How on earth do they ever get brave enough to do this kind of work? I have had many first days on the job, but nothing I have done on my first day would ever compare to theirs! My surgeon is one of the nicest, most genuine, and expertly skilled doctors in Buffalo. I was referred to him by my internist, who hand-picked him for me. None of this was ever left to mere chance. My doctor's office staff has been immensely helpful, compassionate and understanding while shepherding me through all the details of my care.

I am humbled and blessed. I have had the pleasure of being cared for by a team of caring and capable experts here at the hospital. I am especially fond of my PCAs ( Personal Care Assistants) and Nurses. They have cared for my every need in ways that I cannot imagine doing for others...regardless of getting a paycheck for it. These professions take a special brand of person. My life has been forever changed by their touch. Without them, I would not have survived. I owe them more than mere gratitude. 

I am not in the habit of disclosing my medical condition on social media, and I thought about it a lot before I posted info to my Facebook account and now here, to my blog. I prayed about it and when it was overwhelmingly clear to me that I was being prayed for by hundreds of people, I was glad I did. I had asked for prayers , too, for my doctors and caregivers and my husband. This has been far from easy on him. He has taken care of me for over a year, when this whole chain of events began...from two tough bouts of diverticulitis, to many trips back and forth to Buffalo for tests, doctor appointments, and then surgery last December ...plus a Christmas Eve emergency admission due to a raging post-surgery infection. Some of you reading this know from your own experience, what this is like. For those of you who don't know, I hope it stays that way! I believe that I have healed faster than I expected through prayer. Thank you to each and every one of you who prayed for me, including my cousin and a friend who carried me on their hearts to the Pope this week. That is a feeling beyond describing!

So, as I lay here listening to the Nurses and PCAs care for my new roommate, who arrived this evening after surgery, the cycle renews. She is speaking softy and asking the same questions over and over; and they softly answer....over and over...

As usual, I have taken photos of lots if different things over the past few weeks. They appear below with captions.  

I drove over to the cemetery last week to visit my parents' grave.
When I arrived, they already had a visitor!
You can see just what a chameleon this little guy was!
I don't know what kind of toad or frog he was, but he made himself look just like granite!
Our Mustang hit 50K !
She is a 2007, has never been driven in the winter or on a salty road.
I'd say she is pretty special!
I took this photo of her one day on the way home from Batavia.
She is a lot of fun to drive and autumn is perfect convertible weather!
I think a few rides a week during my recuperation is just what the doctor ordered, don't you?
Another visitor in our midst spun this pretty web on our back deck. 
My new Rykas!
They're great for my nightly walks.
I am trying to get my studio organized for about the umpteenth time!
I plan to add another of these little bookshelves to my right,
 so I will have a "U-shaped" work area with all of my most-used items at my finger tips! 
There were a few things being crafted prior to my hospital stay.
This is a birthday card I made for my older stepson.
I used the Stationers paper collection by Prima.
Since he is a writer, this was perfect.
The corrugated paper and burlap kept it looking masculine.
Here is the interior.
I really like how it turned out.
When we were in Pennsylvania in August, on a nice long vacation,
I shopped at one of my favorite stores in Blue Ball.
I purchased these silk flowers there for the beautiful vase
that my husband picked out at the Lenox store.
On the morning of my surgery, I couldn't sleep.
I had done a little decorating for fall in the wee hours of the morning,
so we would come come home to a cheery house after my surgery.
I decided to pull out the yards and yards, (24 yards to be exact), of tulle and burlap
that I had purchased to dress Genevieve, my studio companion.
I placed her in our central hallway so she could greet my husband during my absence.
My little friend has made my stay at the hospital cheerful when it was kind if scary at times.
If you give her tummy a squeeze, she says her prayers....Now I lay me down to sleep . . . in the cutest little voice. 
I think we are starting to even look alike!  ;-)

See....this WAS a little different kind of blog post!

I hope you enjoyed reading about what's been happening here and some if my thoughts about all if it. I plan to post again soon. As always, your questions and comments are welcome. 

And until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Quilts 'n' Things

There are just a few things to write about in today's post. Two quilty things are included that are unrelated, but worth mentioning. First is a card I made for my sister for her August birthday. I wanted a change from the kinds of cards I had been making. This patchwork pinwheel style card is a definite departure from the floral and shabby chic cards I have been making!

I used a few sheets of 6x6 paper made by Authentique.
I embellished the card front with sheer ribbon and metal brads.
The interior of the card.
Another August birthday in our family!
Our oldest grandson turned 15 this year.
I couldn't wait to finally use my 8x8 pad of Graphic 45 Good ol' Sport paper!
I used a corrugated card base and inked the edges.
He is a true sports enthusiast, so this paper was perfect!
The interior.
I used individual little block stamps for the simple sentiment.
Another quilt.
This one has a funny little story.
I saw this hanging on the wall of my younger granddaughter' s room.
I thought it was cute.
When I asked my daughter-in-law who made it, she said,
 "You did. You and Becca made it together several years ago!"
After searching my memory banks, I remembered sewing it at our house when the kids and grandkids were at our house for a summertime visit.
It was a quick project and intended to be a doll quilt, but has been elevated to art on the wall!
My granddaughter, who is ten years old, also absolutely loves to craft,
especially with her Gramma Emmy.
She had an idea for an altered composition book.
She intently searched the internet for a mermaid image and printed one out.
Her plan for the cover was for it to look as though you were looking at the mermaid through a dimensional "window".
We rescued an empty cereal box from the recycling bin and cut the ovals and "windows", layered them, painted them with silver paint, and placed them over the mermaid before we glued the whole piece to the cover that Becca had chosen to cover with the light blue floral paper.
The metal key is strung on a cord to resemble rope and, in keeping with the mermaid theme, is tied with a nautical knot.
What I find most interesting and precious, is the poem on the cover.
I asked Becca if she found it on the internet and she matter-of-factly answered,
"No. I wrote it."
I might be just a little biased, but I think it is pretty cool that a ten-year-old could write something so poetic!
Becca wrote it that morning!

Being that it is now September, there is no getting around it. Fall is right around the corner. It is time to button up all the end of summer lawn work. We need to buy a couple bales of straw and get some pumpkins and gourds and hang the fall wreaths and garlands. That is on the agenda for this weekend! Don't you just love fall? What special traditions do you have...or what traditions do you want to begin? It's a new season. Have fun!

That is all for today. I hope you are happy and well; and until we meet again, May the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.