Monday, June 29, 2009

Another UFO Bites The Dust!

One of the benefits of accompanying Michael to his hospital and doctor visits is it affords me some time to get a bit of hand-sewing done. I finished the binding on four placemats on Friday whilst he was getting poked and prodded in cardiology and pulmonary medicine. These placemats have been basically done for two years and just needed binding.

We won't know the medical results of the tests more than likely until Michael's appointment on July 8. Michael is not anxious to know - he didn't want the tests in the first place. He's been difficult to deal with lately. I have to really pay attention to what I say and how it's said in order to avoid him getting angry. The tough part is I don't have a clue what sets him off. So, I've resigned myself to not talk a lot around him. It's a challenge since he and I have always been able to talk about anything and everything. My pals and Mom get to be my sounding boards more and more.

I don't want to return to the counselor I was seeing because of the expense and time involved for the appointments. Her office is 30 minutes away from home and the appointment hours force me to take time off work, which normally wouldn't bother me, but between Michael's appointments, my surgery, the upcoming appointment with social security, etc - I feel a lot of guilt about missing time at the office. Our church offers faith-based counseling that I may try and they have evening and weekend hours available.

My escape these days is quilting. I started the nine-patches for my boss' quilt and tidied up the sewing room this weekend. I went to the show at the Sharonville Convention Center, but honestly after NQA last Saturday, there wasn't much that intrigued or interested me. I found a cute cat fabric and purchased some more Lakeside charm packs.

Mom made it through her radiation and tests OK last week - now just waiting to hear back from her doctor about the findings. I like my Mom's attitude about all this - she places her trust squarely on God and her doctor, who claimed "I will get you cancer free!" What a team!

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thimbleberries Bargain

One of the new quilt stores in the area has a shelf in the back of their store for fabric marked down 60 percent. I happened to drop by on my lunch hour yesterday and found bargains too good to pass on from the Lakeside/Lodge line. I got seven yards of Thimbleberries fabric for $14! They're going to be incorporated into the retirement/autograph quilt for my boss since he's retiring to a lakeside cabin in Indiana. What good luck!

Phone call this morning from my gyn. The pathology report from Monday's D&C was benign, but she still thinks it would be prudent to perform the hysterectomy. I return for a follow-up on the 15th and we'll schedule it then.

I'm leaving work early to take Michael to Jewish Hospital for his pulmonary function tests and echocardiogram. He's still moaning that this is all a waste of time/ money. His philosophy is why find out if there is something else wrong. Why is it some people have this ignorance is bliss philosophy? My ex was the same way - he thought that if you ignore something long enough it will go away. I suppose I've always been one to tackle things head on, hence the conflict.

We're going to attempt to qualify Michael for social security disability. I contacted our congressional office a week ago to see if there was a way we could qualify him for ss despite him only having 24 credit hours earned in this country. (40 is the required minimum) Apparently, our congressman's aide discovered the US has an agreement with England that enables the US to accept hours earned in England in the calculations! We have an appointment on July 13 to start the process. Obtaining the appointment alone, was frustrating - they hung up on me once and it took nearly half an hour on the phone to get the appointment booked. Michael, of course, thinks this is a waste of time (familiar theme here!) I have a huge list of supporting documents to gather up in advance of the appointment, so it's a good thing that we see Dr. Dortin on the 8th. That'll help with the medical part.

Not much planned for the weekend - hair appointment tomorrow, the Sharonville quilt show, perhaps a movie. No complaints on that score - I like my weekends to be open with no firm plans. Get to bed early tonight. My tail is dragging a bit today since a massive thunderstorm went through the area at 2 this morning. Couldn't sleep through it - it was noisy - the power did briefly go off several times. So, when it came time to rise and shine for the morning workout, I hit the button and went back to sleep for an extra hour. I think I'd be forgiven in giving up one morning workout eh?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Catching Up With My Priorities

Five days since my last post....I am dreadfully behind on blogging.

Let's catch you up:

Saturday: Jill and I went on the bus trip to NQA in Columbus with our guild. We had a fantastic time shopping, looking at the award winning quilts and having lunch with Jennifer and her mum. I purchased some fantastic patterns, very little fabric, two pieces of cute jewelry, a couple of new tools and a rag rug kit. Unfortunately, the batteries in my camera decided to die, so I didn't get many shots at the show. Note to self: must download the photos which ARE available.

Sunday: After church I took Miss Andrea to Penney's for some clothes shopping. She made out like a bandit. Me? I got a new pair of sandals and two new polo shirts. Made a baked rice pudding for Michael as a Father's Day treat and his favorite meatloaf for dinner. The three of us then watched "Mamma Mia" - Michael's Father's Day gift from Miss Andrea and Tattoo Boy.

Monday: Spent the majority of the day at Christ Hospital being poked and prodded. Seriously, the D&C went well enough, but my doctor said there was so much scar tissue she couldn't tell for sure what is causing my difficulties. Next on tap - a hysterectomy. Stay tuned..... Michael was a good boy until he'd been there for four hours. The griping started in earnest when his meal at Wendy's wasn't what he expected. I was told everything was taking too long, what's the hold up, etc......Worst hospital experience ever, he claimed. Well, I replied they took excellent care of me, and after all isn't that what REALLY matters. He calmed down after I said that. My sister-in-law brought dinner to us at the house - a lovely chicken casserole and muffins. I was so grateful!

Tuesday: Picked up Jerry the Juki from the repair shop. Once I can grab Tattoo Boy for more than a minute, I'll have Jerry back on his perch on the frame. Yes, it was bobbin tension creating my issues. I managed to get all 70 of the autograph blocks done for my boss' retirement quilt and started the 135 nine patches that will go into the project. My energy expired about 3, so then I took a nap.

Today: Back at the office. Still kind of in a fog, but I managed a work out this morning - I've missed those the last four days. We're supposed to have lunch at Olive Garden, which cancels my plans to dash over to Seams So Easy. I need to pick up some more Thimbleberries charm packs for the Lakeside patterns. They had them last time I was there and at a great price too. I thought it would be good to include more of these into the quilt for my boss.

Michael news: He has an appointment this Friday for additional pulmonary testing and an echocardiogram. His new pulmonologist thinks Michael has pulmonary hypertension and needs the echo to confirm it. I had to do some serious convincing to get Michael to even agree to get the tests done. In his estimation, why find out what else is wrong if the lung disease is killing him anyways? Dr. Dortin mentioned there are drugs available that can ease the pulmonary hypertension and possibly help him breathe better. Lung transplant is not an option since Michael is too old for the list. The best hope we were offered was a possible spot in on-going trials at the university. Meanwhile, Michael has reduced his work to three days a week.

My mother started her radiation treatment this week and has a complete body scan scheduled for Friday. Please keep her in your prayers.

Tattoo Boy and Miss Andrea went to the midnight showing of "Transformers Two" I'm anxious to hear how much they enjoyed that. I've scheduled a day off next month so I can take Miss Andrea to the midnight premier of the Harry Potter movie. That should be fun.

Well, that's about as concise as I can make things in my world at the moment. My quilting keeps me focused, my work-outs help with the stress and I have my quilting bloggy buddies for support. I'm a fortunate gal.

Have a good Wednesday!


Friday, June 19, 2009


Today's ouch - mammogram. Need I say more?

I've been dealing with a nasty case of poison oak all week on my legs. Believe I've finally brought it under control with a bit of Benadryl last night. Good stuff and it helped me sleep through the night for the first time this week. We must get rid of those plants! They seem to pop up every year in a woody area near the house and I can't go within five feet of the boogers.

Tomorrow's the big day - the annual guild trip to NQA in Columbus. Must remember to pack the digital camera. Last year we met Eleanor Burns. This year? Who knows.....

And a big pat on my own back - two weeks of going to the gym before work! When Andrea returns to school at the end of August, I'll need to re-arrange to squeeze it in somehow. It's become a good part of my routine now.

No sewing. It seems I've had something to do every night this week. Thinking that NQA will inspire me to get back into the "groove".

Y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Consumer Report

I bought a Simplicity Rotary Cutting Machine at Joann's last night. And I'm returning it to the store tonight. It's not what I want or need. I can cut 2 and 1/2 inch strips faster and more accurate than this little waste of money can. Better to spend that money at NQA this Saturday! 'Nuff said.

No sewing last night. Because of Michael's doctor's appointment, we didn't get home until 6. We chose to go out for dinner vs fixing something at the house. Then I took Andrea to Walmart to buy the bike we wanted via Joann's (see above paragraph). I got to rest around 9.

There's good news and bad news about Michael's pulmonologist appointment. The excellent news is this new to us physician is an excellent clinician. He took more time with us in one appointment yesterday than his first pulmonologist has done in nearly two years! He asked me to contact Michael's mum and see what lung conditions his relatives have had. I suppose if it's an inherited condition, that may mean something. The bad (very bad) news is that Dr. Dortin believes Michael also has a condition called pulmonary hypertension - a complication of his fibrotic lungs. Typically with IPF, the lung illness doesn't kill people - right heart failure brought on by pulmonary hypertension is what strikes folks dead. Michael had some blood tests run yesterday - wants to rule out connective tissue disorders (something the old doctor didn't do), and scheduled him for pulse oxygen testing and an echocardiogram next week. After all this is evaluated, Michael may be referred to some clinical trials at the university. A lung transplant is out of the question due to his age and the development of pulmonary hypertension. I sincerely doubt Michael would agreed to that anyways. Dr. Dortin said Michael should not be working, so his days of bringing home a paycheck(small as it is) are coming to an end. He's not eligible for Social Security since he does not have enough credit hours accumulated.

So, please keep Michael in your prayers.

I'm going to be OK. Our God must be looking at for me since I have such a good support group at the office, my family and quilters like Jill, Linda, etc. Shudder to think how much of a basket case I'd be without them all.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Run Around

With Andrea visiting her grandparents most of the weekend, Michael and I had some time to reconnect. We went out to eat on Friday - sort of date night. Michael commented on how much he liked to go out with just me, so I suppose there's something to be said for "dates" no matter how old one is. On Saturday, I went to the gym - worked out and spent some time in the sauna. I adore the Saturday workouts since I'm not constrained by time.

Once I returned home, Michael asked if we could stop by Hobbytown on our route. Saturday is typically our day to get all the shopping done plus the other tasks that we can't get to during the week. i.e. we're on the road a lot. So here's how the itinerary went:

- Drop off clothing donation at St. Vincent DePaul
- Drop off the ailing Juki at Sew Ezy. Buy two yards of off white Moda fabric for boss' retirement/autograph quilt
- Ditch Michael at Hobbytown
- Drive to the store next to Hobbytown - Penney's - and buy a new pair of walking shoes for myself and a pair of slip on Velcro tennis shoes for Michael.
- Zoom back to Hobbytown to find Michael is still perusing kits, glues, etc.
- Walk to Craft Peddler to kill time whilst Michael is in modeler's heaven. Bought an interesting wire quilt hanger and a wooden calendar - everything was 25 percent off!
- Push Michael out of Hobbytown.
- Have lunch at Steak and Shake.
- Grocery shop at Aldi's.
- Return home when we get a phone call from our friends Martin and Bev - "yes, they'd like to have dinner with us."
- Dash out to Krogers to get beer.
- Fix dinner.
- Visit with our friends until 10:30.
- Collapse.

So is it any wonder that I had wicked thoughts about sleeping in and skipping church on Sunday? I didn't though.

Since Michael worked on the kits he bought the day before, I got some sewing done - finished a table runner before Miss Andrea returned home. It was so relaxing to sit on the front porch and work on the table runner's binding during the rain and thunderstorms we had.

All in all - a pleasant weekend that was too short. Next weekend - NQA show on Saturday. I guess that means run-around day will be postponed.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Non Quilting Accomplishment!

Since Andrea has been out of school for the summer, I decided to get out of bed a tad earlier and work out at the gym prior to going to the office. I managed to keep my resolve every day this week and I'm feeling so good about it! There is definitely something to be said for exercise being good stress relief! Despite the curve balls I've been thrown, I'm doing OK and I think the workouts have a lot to do with it.

Several people have offered to accompany me to the hospital and be my chauffeur after the D&C. I'm so grateful for their offers, but I really think it's important that DH take care of me that day. We're supposed to take care of each other. This will serve as a nice reminder for him.

Rats! The repair guy at SewEzy is on vacation this week, so my Juki won't get fixed until the following Saturday.

I picked up the latest edition of Quiltmaker magazine since I heard Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt series was featured. I'm thinking about doing this. Has anybody else done a mystery quilt?

Other than that, not much going on. Hoping to have a nice peaceful weekend and gets lots of sewing done.


Thursday, June 11, 2009


Monique is right - it is easy to pull out stitching with the eyelets - I just didn't fathom how MUCH of it there was. I'm going to take the quilt off the frame tonight, work on removing the eyelet crap, and take my machine off the frame and get it into the shop. I may not have my Juki for two weeks as the man who does the repairs at my favorite place is on vacation. Time to work on smaller projects, eh?

I phoned my mother last night to accept her offer to accompany me during my out-patient surgery in 10 days. Instead, I heard of her own health issues - her cancer has returned - just learned yesterday after her yearly check-up. She's supposed to get some additional tests and treatment all next week, so she's not certain she'll be up for the drive here let alone helping me out. Last time she had the treatment course they're prescribing, it knocked her on her butt for days. I told her not to worry about me, but of course, she will. (I know I got the "worry gene" from her!)

Michael has "graciously" (NOT!) consented to take me to the hospital for my procedure. If I can convince Andrea to come with us at least he'll have somebody to talk to when I'm out of it.

OK, enough. Back to sewing issues. I got a sales brochure from Joann's in the mail which features a product called Simplicity Rotary Cutting Machine. Anybody know a thing about this? I looked it up on line and it can cut strips up to 2 and 3/4 inches. Not sure if it's worth the $60 pricetag. Anybody have any opinions on this?


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Trouble Shooting

All of a sudden last night, my sewing machine (Juki) started to give me fits. It wasn't operating smoothly any longer over the fabric and when I looked at the back side - it looked like eyelets. UGH! I changed bobbins, changed the needle, rethreaded - still the same result. I did notice the thread wasn't coming out of the bobbin case very smoothly - really had to tug at it and the bobbins for some reason weren't coming out easily - as if the casing had shrunk??!! The machine makes a clunking noise too.

Any suggestions from the peeps about what could be going on? I honestly don't have a clue since this hasn't happened with this machine before. It is due a service - I've had it for 2 and 1/2 years now and never had it in for maintenance.

Thank goodness the quilt I'm working on isn't for anybody - the thought of having to rip out all those eyelets makes me want to cry. I'll just use this quilt for picnics and tossing around the house.

Rats! I was looking forward to having it done and posting my first UFO completion.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Closet Case

DD Andrea is constantly on my case about my clothing and lack of style. This coming from a teenager who lives in skimpy t-shirts and torn jeans?? (Sigh!) When I asked her what's so wrong with my attire, I got a whole laundry list: it's ugly, it has no shape, looks like something grandmas wear, the colours are all wrong, etc. etc. etc.

So, I challenged Little Miss What Not To Wear: Free access to my closet, toss out everything that doesn't meet with your approval and then we go shopping. Obviously, I have veto power on certain items.

When I came home from work yesterday, there was a mountain of clothing on my bed. Damn, she took her chore seriously! I hate to admit it, but she was right - there were things in there that didn't fit, were too shapeless and uncomfortable. Her intense hatred of holiday sweaters shone through since all my Christmas, Halloween sweaters were in that stack. I used my veto power - one for each holiday. A gal's gotta have some celebrating after all!

Since I've lost 30 pounds this is the first ruthless go through of my wardrobe and it was admittedly long overdue. We filled up FOUR Hefty yard bags with the clothing and made the first "deposit" at the charity box.

First? Yeah, she isn't done!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Quilt Show and Yard Work

For those of you who are firm believers that for every fun thing in life there is a price to pay or bad time to be had, this is YOUR post.

Saturday was an absolutely marvelous day. I got up when I felt like I'd had enough sleep. Went to the gym for a workout and sauna. Then, I went to the South Lebanon quilt show. There were some beautiful quilts at the exhibit and tons of vendors all wanting to strip my checkbook bare. I bought two things - a kit that was 40 percent off (love those kinds of sales) and a heart shaped quilt holder. Met Judy and her sister at the show, so I had company for a yummy lunch - Linda joined us during her break from working the Best Friends sales room. Gals, it's incredibly nice to attend these shows and find a friend or two there! Andrea, Michael and I had pizza for dinner and watched "Doubt" after I returned from the show.

I suppose Sunday started off OK with church, but rapidly went downhill from my return. Spent a lot of time in the yard, cutting down weeds, stacking dead branches and yard waste, putting tools away from the garage and trying to avoid Michael. Michael had a burr up his butt about my "lazy" children and wouldn't stop complaining about them and their lack of efforts around the house. He was upset that he was cleaning the garage and they were not helping. I told him nobody asked him to work on the garage - he could sit on his butt in bed and watch television all day if he wanted. Andrea offered to help sweep the garage, but he turned her down! Tattoo Boy wasn't even there until after 2 in the afternoon and then he and his buddy did some heavy duty work removing trees, tilling soil, putting down landscape fabric and moving landscaping rocks on the area. He'd do more, but finals are this week and truly that's more important. I was at a real loss on how to deal with Michael's rants and accusations (he said I was nagging him although for the love of God I don't know how I was??!!) In short, I could have really used somebody to talk to about all this yesterday. Still could, I suppose and that may be the reason for this post. I'm afraid that anything I say is going to ignite him (so to speak) and I can't talk to him anymore. When we were dating and even up until now, I was so comfortable talking with him about anything and everything. It was one of his best qualities.

Managed to get some quilting done on the frame after dinner was cleaned up. By then, I was exhausted.

One of the best things about summer school break being here is that I can get up a bit early and work out at the gym before doing to the office. I did that again this morning. It's a good stress relief!

Andrea wants me to buy a new bike for her so I agreed provided there are certain jobs done around the house. She's supposed to start those chores today. She helped me tear ivy off the house yesterday - a big help. She has a couple of job applications to complete so perhaps we'll deliver them to McDonald's and Frisch's tonight.

No quilting finishes to report. I'm going to be the last one to earn a mark, I'm sure.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Need Help From Da Peeps!

During retreat, several of you had quilt squares circulating for signatures. (I signed several of them). My boss is retiring and I thought it would be nice to present him with a signature quilt. My question is: what kind of pen is best used for this? I have until March to finish this, but I'd like to collect signatures from associates all over the country, so it'll take some coordination in addition to the sewing and quilting.

On a different note: Andrea passed her speech class! Not only passed it, but got a solid C! I don't know who is more relieved - her or me!

I should have my UFO list updated and ready to post in a day or so. Still finding stuff.....

Last night wasn't REAL productive - managed to squeeze in two passes on the frame and finish the Sew To Win block for next month's guild meeting. I'm thinking about signing up for the next Stash Pot Pie session at Best Friends. Perhaps that will help me get back into the groove. Not really motivated at the mo.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Flimsy Flophouse

Since a lot of my fellow bloggers are working on UFOs this summer, I decided to take stock of the sewing room closet - that's where I usually stuff the flimsies. OMG - seventeen of them! And where was I on my lunch break yesterday? Buying more bloody fabric! It's gotta be a sickness, I tell you. So last night I began working on the frame with one of the UFOs. I do not think I'll get all my flimsies completed by summer's end, but will make a valiant effort.

I honestly should be on a self-imposed exile from all fabric stores and web sites. Starting today. Of course, quilt shows are exempt from this edict. The South Lebanon show is this weekend and NQA is on the 20th. I will, scout's honor, do my best to keep the impulses to a minimum.

During my moment of weakness at lunch yesterday, I visited The Briar Patch in Fairfield. Jill, I think this shop relocated from another spot in Fairfield and may be the one you mentioned smelled like they smoked in the shop. I got a whiff of cigarettes when I walked into the store - not good. But, the owner is a sweet British lady - we chatted for a long time about England. On the way back to the office, I stopped at Seams Sew Easy - yet again!

Since Michael's family returned to England, he's been nicer to me-doing small odd jobs, thanking me for my cooking efforts, etc. Well, I found out why. His eldest daughter, Leah, raked him over the coals about how he treats me. No complaints, mind you. It's nice to have somebody stick up for me!

Andrea's done with school for the summer - her only concern is her final grade in speech class. Certainly don't want to have to repeat it. We should find out tomorrow. I took her to the library last night to get some books and CDs to keep her occupied during the early days of the break. She told me about all the movies she wants to see at the cinema this summer. My response, "well you'd better find a part time job."

Hoping to get more sleep tonight. Between the thunderstorms, wind, rain, electricity going off, and the cat pounding on the bedroom door, we got little sleep last night.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, June 1, 2009

What's Been Going On In My Sewing Room?


Well, not exactly. But, we did get the beds out of the room and back into storage. I moved my sewing desk, machine and boxes of projects/would be projects and recent fabric purchases back into my haven. Managed to get everything back in its proper place when I discovered our guests left their underwear hanging on my frame. EW!

No sewing. Just loads of yard work this weekend and spent entirely too much at the grocery store, but we were out of a lot of stuff. Michael, Andrea and I went to the cinema Saturday night to see "UP". Very cute movie - we saw the 3-D version since Michael is mad about that film technique. The drive home was rather harrowing since a big thunderstorm complete with tornado warnings hit our area just as we left the theatre. Good thing the movie ended when it did - stupid me left the sunroof open on the car!

Tattoo Boy helped me out tremendously yesterday. When I came home from church he was waiting for me to give him instructions on all the yard work I needed help with. There's nothing better than handing a heavy tiller to a 21-year-old son who is used to physical work! He had my veggie plot dug, fertilized and ready to plant in 15 minutes!

Now if I can keep the bunnies from eating my plants it will be a success!