Monday, March 31, 2014

First Post-Op Week...

Quote for the Day:
"I was going to have cosmetic surgery until I noticed
 that the doctor's office was full of portraits by Picasso."

~Rita Rudner

Trinity stayed on here for a week after our vacation so she could help me out post-op.  With her here, that meant that Alex and Andrew were here, too!!  So here's some pictures from that week.

Cuddling with Alex...

Cuddling with Andrew...

Andrew got ahold of Grandpa's glasses...

We took the kids to the local park...(This park was built by community members and Andy actually helped build it!!!)

That concludes the cutesy part of the presentation.

Now...I'm going to warn you...the next pictures are not for the faint-of-heart.  But this is what my arm looked like on post-op day 6...

It's looking a little better now, but it's going to take a while for all the bruising to resolve.  :(   The incision is sore when touched or if I forget and rest it on something.  As for the numbness...I've not noticed any improvement in the numbness but at least the numbness doesn't get worse when I bend my elbow now.  I guess that is some consolation.  :(   And I don't get the pain in my wrist anymore from bending my elbow that I used to get.  

I just want the numbness to go away more than anyone could ever know who hasn't actually experienced this.  


Monday, March 24, 2014


After I published the last blog post I realized that I had title it "Vacation and Surgery Update" and then proceeded to not give a surgery update!  My bad...

We arrived home from our vacation on Wednesday evening and then on Friday I had a cubital tunnel release surgery on my right elbow.  

The surgery went well, but I guess it was a lot worse once the surgeon got in there than he had thought it was going to be.  I had the surgery at the hospital and surgical department that I work at, so I was amongst friends and co-workers the entire time.  :)

I awoke from anesthesia with severe pain and nausea.  My nurses took care of that and by the time I left recovery room, I was pain-free.  I had another episode of nausea in Outpatient Surgery when they started giving me juice and crackers, but once again, they treated that right away.   We finally left the hospital about 3 PM and arrived home soon thereafter.  

I have been blessed in that, unless I bumped or touched my right arm/elbow area or tried to bend it too much, I've had no pain since I left the hospital!!  I actually had MORE pain when I had my carpal tunnel surgeries than I have had with this one, and this one is a more invasive/complicated surgery!!

My daughter-in-law, Trinity, and the two boys stayed on after the vacation and she has been a great help to me during the last several days.  She has cooked and taken care of things for me and has even been pulled into the role of nurse when I needed help changing dressings, etc.  Of course, I also have to say that Andy, as always, has been a big help, too!

As soon as the first post-op day, I was getting very bored because I wasn't able to do anything due to my arm being bandaged.  I have spent most of my days snuggling my grandchildren and helping to feed and rock the baby, Alex!  

(It looks like my hair is standing up in these pictures, but that is actually fringe from the throw covering the rocking chair!  LOL)

As of now, the ACE bandage is off and the incision is only covered by a gauze dressing.  My arm is very purple and looks like hamburger meat!  LOL  I still have a lot of the numbness in my right hand, but I think some of the feeling is ever-so-slowly starting to return to my right ring finger.  The throbbing pain in my wrist and forearm are gone!!  Because my issues were caused by nerve damage and nerves take a LONG time to heal, it may be up to a year before we know for sure how much nerve recovery I will end up having.

But for now, I'm healing well from surgery and will drive myself to an appointment tomorrow for the first time since surgery.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers during this time!  They have truly been appreciated!


Vacation and Surgery Update...

We took a vacation to Maine two weeks ago and took our grandchildren so that they could meet their Great Grandma Flood for the first time.   Since Alex is only 8 months old, we took our daughter-in-law with us on the trip, too.  Three adults and three children.  Yep.  We are insane!  LOL

When we left home it was 69 degrees, but by the second day of travel we were driving into a blizzard in Maine that dumped between 12" and 18"!!  It was so bad that once we got to our motel room, we were snowed in and couldn't even go visit Andy's family until the next day!

This is the "main road" that the motel was on!  Yeah.  I know, right???  

And, yes, that is me outside without a coat.  Don't ask me why...I don't remember at this point.  But I do remember that the sun was so bright on the solid white landscape that I could barely open my eyes!!!

We couldn't afford our motel rooms, so the owners agreed that if Sera would shovel the parking lot, then they would write off part of our bill!!!

We finally made it to Mom Flood's house and the kids got to sled down a small hill that is usually a driveway.  Andy had fun using Uncle Mike's snow blower to clear the area and then pushed the kids down the hill on plastic sleds!  It was the first time that either Sera or Andrew had ever been sledding and THEY LOVED IT!!!

Getting the kids ready to go outside...

They had a BLAST playing out in the snow and we had to DRAG them inside before frostbite set in!!!

Baby Alex getting to know his Great Uncle Marty...

Alex in the camouflage sweater and hat that Great Grandma Flood made for him!!

Sera and Alex with Great Aunt Aimee...

...and Sera with Great Aunt Tricia...

We had so much fun visiting with Andy's family and the kids enjoyed meeting everyone!!  Thanks to all the Maine folk who welcomed us and made us feel right at home!  We love and miss you all!!!


Thursday, March 13, 2014


Last night I had three different dreams about my upcoming surgery.  In all three, I forgot that I was supposed to not eat, ended up eating, and then thought/plotted to not tell anybody so that I could still have surgery.

Anyone want to weigh in on this???


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

More Lozenges...

Quote for the Day:
"When perfectionism is driving, shame is always riding shotgun. 
And fear is the annoying backseat driver." 
~Brene Brown

Today was "injection day".  I got my knee (arthritis) and hip (bursitis) injected today and the relief was VERY WELCOMED!!!  My knee has been hurting so bad the last 2 weeks that I was limping again and even my chiropractic adjustment yesterday only gave very temporary relief.  

It's amazing to think that I hobbled into the orthopedist's office and strutted out of it!!!   That's how immediately the pain is relieved.  In fact, by the time I step down from the exam table, the pain is GONE!!!  Between the adjustment and the injection, I'm no longer limping!!!

Since finishing the Sailboat quilt, I don't have a quilt loaded into the hand quilting frame yet because I don't have a batting for the next one, yet.  I needed something else to do this evening to unwind, so I decided to pull out the "Lozenges" pieces and do some sewing.

And here is proof that I couldn't sew a straight line even if it was drawn on for me...LOL...

As much as I would like things to turn out perfectly every time, it doesn't always.  Unless it is HORRIBLY WRONG, I don't worry about it too much for two reasons:  1) fabric is forgiving and has a little stretch which helps make up for minor boo-boos; and 2)  quilting is my HOBBY!  It is supposed to be FUN!   I do it to RELAX!  In my job, if I make a mistake it can be life-threatening and devastating.  With quilting, no one is going to die if I'm not perfect.  So I don't sweat the small stuff.  I can guarantee that when this quilt is sewn together, you will never see where that line is not sewn straight!  And if you can, than you are entirely too close for my comfort!!!  LOL

This of my stack of "lozenges" that I was able to crank out tonight while watching Duck Dynasty...

They need to be pressed and sliver-trimmed, but since my sewing room has been turned into a guest bedroom for the a few days, they will need to wait till my ironing board is set back up...which will be after the company has gone.  In the meantime, the pile grows!!

With company arriving this weekend, plans for the next two weeks, and then surgery when we get back, please excuse me if I don't do any posts for a while.  I'll be back, I promise...and better than ever!!!  :)


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sailboat Quilt is DONE!!

One of my goals was to, before my surgery, finish hand quilting the sailboat quilt that was a customer's quilt.


This quilt was HAND PIECED by a lady in her 80's for her great-grandson.  I've never met the lady that made the top, but I work with her daughter...who is the grandmother of the little boy that this quilt is for!!

It is twin-sized and those adorable sailboats are JUST PERFECT for a little boy!

I put the binding on it this past weekend and washed it.  Today I made a label for it...just because.   I don't usually make labels for customer quilts, but since I know this lady used to hand quilt and can't now, I felt a special kinship with this quilt.

I will be delivering it to my co-worker on Thursday.  I truly hope it meets with both her and her mother's approval!!


Calling All Quilters...

Quote for the Day:
“Every time you do a good deed you shine the light a little farther into the dark. And the thing is, when you're gone that light is going to keep shining on, pushing the shadows back.” 

― Charles de Lint

I have a cyber-friend and fellow-blogger named Kevin who also just happens to be a QUILTER, too!!!  He loves to make quilts for the charity "Quilts of Valor", which give quilts to veterans.

He has issued a challenge!  He is asking quilters to make a block...or 5...or 10...or however many you want to make, and send them to him.  He, along with a local QOV group that he works with will make them into quilts to be donated to Quilts of Valor.

You can read about it here in his blog!

I'm glad that he is giving us until June to get our blocks to him because as soon as I recover enough from the surgery I'm having at the end of the month, I plan on making some to send to him!  :)

It's a very simple block that even the most novice of quilter could make!  

But look at what a STUNNING quilt it makes when you join 30 of them together...

So quilters...


Saturday, March 1, 2014

A New Quilt Started...

Fans of "The Big Bang Theory" show will get the song reference in the cartoon above!  LOL

For the last several months, my 3.5" scrap bin has been full and overflowing to where I can't get the lid back on.  I've been looking for a pattern that will use up these scraps, but hadn't found on that "grabbed" me.

Then this week, Bonnie Hunter revealed her new 2014 Leader/Ender challenge..."Lozenges"...and it calls for 3.5" strips!!  She wrote the pattern based off of an antique quilt she saw.

Stained Glass, 1890. Made by Rs. Frances Clarke Westergren. Boston. From the book Massachusetts Quilts, Our Common Wealth.

Oh my lucky day!!!   Love those scrappy quilts!!!

Since I have some major 3.5" strips to move out, this will be more than just a "leader/ender" project for me and I will spend quite a bit of time working on it to get that bin cleaned out!

Last night I did some cutting and began sewing the blocks...

Because I am trying to keep optimum contrast between the corner units and the printed strips, I'm trying to keep the neutrals very light.  For that reason, to help tone down some of the prints on the "lights", I'm actually using the BACKSIDE of the fabric.  You can still see the print show through slightly to give some "interest" to the quilt, but the print is kept to a minimum to maximize the contrast.

In this picture I've circled those fabrics that I've used the back of instead of the front...

We pay for the backside of the fabric as well as the front, so we might as well use it when the time is right!!!  This isn't the first time I've used the back of fabric instead of the front.

A couple of years ago I needed a backing for a feed sack quilt.  I had a king-sized sheet, but the stripes were too bright to go with the faded feed sack fabric.  I ended up using the underside of the sheet as the outside backing for the quilt and it was just the right intensity of color!