Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Bit Of Sewing

Even fifteen minutes of sewing makes a huge difference! I managed to sneak away and stitch up three scarves my mom asked me to create for her. The hand-stitching needs to be done, but not bad at all for only 15 minutes.

My poor sewing room is such a disaster! I have Buckeye Bouquet squares stacked in one area, Winnie The Pooh squares on top of a half-finished Log Cabin. AND 18 half-complete squares for a Thimbleberries quilt for a wedding gift due March 3. I won't even mention the project for my church's quilting club - that's neatly tucked away in a tote bag. God created doors for a reason, so I cheerfully closed the door on my sewing room, the mess out of sight for now. SIGH!

Miss Milly is recovering from her operation and is quickly returning to her typical kitty behavior. I have to give her medicine twice a day which is rather challenging. The vet gave us pre-loaded syringes, very helpful.

So, for the time being, I'm the resident medicine dispenser gal at our house. At least I don't have to prop Michael's jaw open to slide his pills down his throat. LOL! He's a lot more willing patient than Milly is!

Yesterday was "Nursy" day for Michael. The hospice nurse paid her weekly visit and promptly ordered Michael a different oxygen concentrator. That thing is so noisy - it scares the kittens. What concerned me is the fact Michael was struggling for breath even when he just sat up in bed. This morning, Michael was sitting on the edge of the bed at 5:30 - never a good sign when he's up at that time of day. His aide will be with him today. Lovely girl - she's learned to bribe Michael into the shower with pastries from Servatti's. Seriously, she brings cakes and turnovers to him every visit and he LOVES it.

Andrea's been accepted at UC - the regional campus for the first year. She was disappointed at first that main campus wasn't offered, but she'll end up there ultimately. That's one more hurdle crossed! She's going to New Orleans with her dad for a week in early March. I think the time away will be good for her. She's been helping out with Michael so much.

I took a sneak peek at the list of vendors for the upcoming International Quilt Show in early April. WOW! No more fabric or notions shopping for this chick - I'm saving my spending money for that show - it's going to be great!

Love ya,

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Writing From The Heart

Each day brings with it a different challenge. Some easier than others. Michael was having a few good days last week - he was happy and feeling OK. Even talked about spring and summer coming. He does admit that it may be wishful thinking, but it does boost his spirits better than any pill can at this point. And for him to be happy on a drab winter day is a real accomplishment.

This morning when I got to the office, I found an e-mail waiting for me from Michael:

Each day, I see my lovely little Cathy and each day I cry. I wanted to grow old with Cathy. I wanted to take her to England every couple of years to meet up with the rest of the family. The love and the laughter at these events was so much fun. We didn't dream too big did we? We weren't asking for too much? Twenty years or so to spend together. Tending the garden, mowing the lawn. Watching the odd sunset now and again.

Cathy, my love, I'm so sorry I can't make our dream come true.

But know this my dear wife - I loved you with all my heart.

He told me he was crying earlier that afternoon, and now I know why. He was writing the above.

My response:

You do not need to apologize for not making my dreams come true. Dreams alter at every stage of life and often are forgotten in the day to day scheme of things. But is nice to remember them and dust them off from time to time. And I'm pleased to say that although my dreams have changed, you are and always will be a part of them.

Sweety, you have made so many of my wishes come true and for that I will be forever grateful. I look at things vastly different now thanks to you. We have spent time in England and with your family. We have cut grass. We have seen sunsets, spectacular ones, eh? Those are memories that I will have forever.

And even though you won't be with me in person, your spirit and love will remain in my heart. I'll always have you there.

Writing e-mails back and forth was fun during the early stages in our relationship. It never dawned on me that we'd use this medium now. But it's helpful. Some of the things we shared are really too painful to speak, but much easier to write. Honestly, I couldn't speak the words mentioned above without the tears flowing.

Michael's probably the same way. He's asked me to help him dictate letters to each of his children. God give us the strength to give each of those four letters the love and respect they deserve.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

No Sewing

Stash busting report - nope
Design wall - none to show
Fabric acquisition - 0
No mystery quilt, monochromatic quilt, no flimsies, UFOs, or PIGS worked on

S*I*G*H! The kittens spend more time in my sewing room than I have lately.

After feeling awful for a couple of days, I got checked out at an urgent care on Saturday afternoon. Yep, I had the creeping crud that's going around. Two shots in the hips (OUCH!) Two prescriptions too. I slept from 7:30 pm Saturday until 11 am Sunday! Missed church on Sunday, work on Monday and finally began feeling half-way human by that evening.

It also meant I had to keep my contact with Michael to a minimum. That was probably the toughest bit.

Monday morning Michael had another of those attacks when he feels like he's drowning and can't get any oxygen. Managed to calm him down and on more medication before the hospice nurse came by for an emergency visit. We've made some changes - he's now in a hospital bed, has a potty chair by the bed. His doctor wanted a chest x-ray, so a company was contacted which performs home x-rays. They paid us a visit last night. Michael's not doing well, folks. He confided to me that he asked God to take him home. Please keep him in your prayers.

My brother and nephew came over yesterday to tear down the king-sized bed in our bedroom to make more room for the new bed and equipment. They also cranked up the snowblower and helped Andrea clear the walk and driveway of snow....which was snow-covered again this morning. Ugh! But, I'm soooooooo grateful for Jimmy and his family's help and love. Jimmy phones me nearly every night to ask how things are going.

Keep warm and safe!

Love ya,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Buckeye Bouquets

Hooray for THE Ohio State University winning the Sugar Bowl last night. I'm glad I didn't stay up for the entire game since the ending would have stressed me out to the max and little sleep if any would have been possible.

In honor of my Alma mater, I began working on a quilt last weekend - pattern is named Buckeye Bouquet. I've completed all the required 300 squares and hopefully will start piecing them together this evening. There are several other projects on the go as well - one is an Eeyore quilt for Andrea, who needs to instruct me on block placement before I go any further.

The sewing has proven to be an excellent stress relief the last few days when I've managed to sneak in an hour or two in the sewing room. That's not always possible. I can't hear Michael from the sewing room so I may move my sewing machine and desk into the family room for the time being.

The last several days haven't been too bad for Michael. He actually found the energy to sit at the dinner table on Sunday and Monday nights. However, he did fall asleep sitting at the table after the meals. His appetite just isn't there any more and there are times he barely touches what we've prepared. In addition to the electric-based oxygen supply, he now needs a portable tank whenever he walks to the bathroom or kitchen. Even with two lines, he still struggles and has to take it slow. No wonder he rarely ventures out of the bedroom. He had his evening meal in bed last night - the home health care aide visited yesterday and showering, although it feels excellent to be clean, wears him out. His attitude has dramatically improved since Thanksgiving -very few angry outbursts. I attribute that to his acceptance of God and him finally realizing what a stress his situation has placed on the entire family.

Sophie, the little kitten we adopted last fall, spends a lot of time in bed with Michael during the day. There have been plenty of times I see Sophie's little black head pop up on the pillow next to Michael. She always makes him smile too! I'm sure if he were healthy and able, he'd spoil that kitten rotten.

Tattoo Boy's birthday is this Saturday - he's supposed to let me know what he wants me to cook and we're having a meal at home so Michael can participate. One thing he's certain of - He wants a chocolate chip cheesecake.

So, not much new at Chez Howe. We're just trying to make the best of each day as it comes.

Love ya,