Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Downhill Slide

Michael's health continues to deteriorate and along with it comes new challenges. He's now hooked up to a catheter because going to the toilet challenged his lungs/stamina so much. Morphine has also been increased. The combination of that drug and his impairments makes him sleep nearly the entire day. That's a blessing of sorts.

Hospice was at the house every day last week, including Sunday night when he was in a lot of pain. Thank goodness for 24/7 response from that organization. The aide is going to increase her visits beginning next week. She is a God-send!

Work ordinarily would be my refuge from the home front. But, even the atmosphere at the office appears toxic these days due to a firing of a long-term associate, upcoming changes which my manager tries to keep hidden from us, and a power-hungry auditor who wants to squash us all into submission. (LOL)

So, my counselor says to look for the bright spots. Believe me, I try, but they are hard to find like a "Where's Waldo" game. Never was good at that stinkin' search and find crap. Sometimes stuff has to smack me in the face before I recognize it.

One bright spot was Valentine's Day. My darling daughter made a lovely card and necklace for me. Andrea's love and support have truly been a blessing, boosting me up. She's seen me at my worst, too, like last week when I couldn't stop crying because I thought I hurt Sophie.

Sophie had crawled into the dishwasher when I wasn't looking. I slammed the rack back into the machine and was shocked to hear the kitten shriek and bolt from the dishwasher. Oh, she was ok, but I think it was the "last straw" in a horrible day for me. I cried as I held poor Sophie, her black fur sopped up some big tears. Rather confused by it all, Sophie is and was fine and hasn't crawled into the dishwasher since.

And then there's my sewing...do I ever relish my time in the sewing room. I finished piecing the wedding quilt and the mystery quilt for my church's quilting club. In addition, I made great progress with the blocks for "Buckeye Bouquet". I hope to get the wedding quilt on the frame by the weekend. I've also been asked to donate a lap quilt to the company's Fine Arts Fund week auction. Thank goodness for flimsies all ready! They do serve a purpose.

I've also gotten into the habit of reading a bit each night before going to sleep. It's also my prayer time. Honestly, I look forward to that spot of time every night.

Today I read this:

"The burden of suffering seems to be a tombstone hung around our necks. Yet, in reality it is simply the weight necessary to hold the diver down while he is searching for pearls." - Julius Richter

I'll keep looking for my "pearls".

Love ya,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ch Ch Ch Changes

I found my sewing room! The door managed to open without piles of fabric crashing on my head. LOL Seriously, I decided to move some things around and made some changes between the sewing room and my bedroom. The large metal shelf unit is now in my bedroom, so I can go to sleep and wake up - last/first thing I see each day - MY STASH! Loads more space in the sewing room, so I can put up a design wall. Made it much more pleasant to work in there.

What joy! I sewed for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday. Finished the main part of the wedding quilt top - now on to the pieced borders. I also made some progress on the mystery quilt for the church quilt club.

Michael and I had a chance to chat last night whilst dinner was in the oven. He's felt so much worse the last week or so and is blaming the change on the weather. It seems like no matter how the weather changes, it gets the blame for his increasing discomfort. That's what he likes to think, not that it's his deteriorating health. Now, I could spout medical/clinical reasons why his lungs/heart are getting worse. But, he cannot comprehend it. The fatigue, constant sleeping, difficulty breathing even with two oxygen supplies, memory problems, etc. can all be attributed to his pulmonary fibrosis and congestive heart failure.

Today's shower and aide day from Hospice. So a change of bedding and a cleaner "outlook" may be just what the doctor ordered for Michael. I can't say it enough - I'm so very, very grateful for Hospice.

One other person I'm particularly grateful for today and every day is my mother. After I described what happened Friday at work, her response was wonderful. "Don't let it rob you of your joy," she advised. And that has promoted the change in my attitude the last few days. I still have weepy moments, but I'm doing loads better.

All this is changing me for the better - of that I'm certain. I'm not 100 percent sure of all the things I'm to learn through this experience. But, I am learning patience, humility and that God is in charge. AND: Everything will be OK!

Love ya,

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Need To Sew

Why I need to get some serious sewing done this weekend:

-I had the day from h-e-l-l today at work.
-Counseling tonight was tough - no tears though.
-Michael had a rough day.
-It's supposed to snow tomorrow.
-I just bought five more yards of adorable cat fabric at Joann's.
-The wedding quilt needs to be done in less than a month.
-The cat quilt for my church group needs to be done in two weeks.
-My cats think all the fabric stacked in the sewing room is for their benefit only.
-My stress level definitely goes down after an hour or two of sewing.
-All those lovely pieces of fabric don't do anybody any good just stored in the sewing room.
-I have to clear out the sewing room to make room for all the things I'm going to purchase at the International Quilt Show in April.

Today's good news is from two sources:

-Andrea received her acceptance letter from UC-Raymond Walters regional campus today.
-There's a good chance Danny may be headed to Australia this summer for a college co-op program.

So, I celebrate my children's successes. How very blessed I am to have them!

Love ya,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Phil Did Not See His Shadow!

The silly ground hog in Pennsylvania did not see his shadow, so we'll get an early spring, or so goes the old theory. Spring can't come soon enough! It was so windy last night, the ice from the trees surrounding our property blew off and smacked into the house. Sounded like we were being bombed at 2 am!

I always remember that my grandmother's birthday is on February 2. So, when I was listening to the groundhog broadcast on my car radio, I wished Grandma a happy birthday in heaven. It choked me up and I cried a little - not good to bawl when you're driving down I-75 at 60 mph! LOL. Then, all of a sudden I felt like she was right next to me! Strange eh? The feeling didn't last too long, but I sure was comforted by it.

You all probably think I'm losing it, but lately I've had these feelings that people are hugging me or with me and there's no one else around. I told my mom about these episodes and she feels the same way at times. Her pastor told her once that it happens when people are praying for you - you feel oh so comfortable like when you're wrapped up in a big 'ol comfortable quilt. Good to know prayer works at least on that scale.

Back to reality: I got some more sewing done last night on the wedding quilt. Each night I sew until 1. the bobbin runs out or 2. Michael needs something. It was the latter last night.

With the weather changing for the worse the last few days, Michael has really struggled. I think the good spell he had is over at least for now. Other than that, it's a normal "Michael week" with nurses' aides and nursing visits.

Milly's back to her normal Milly-self: chewing on Sophie, jumping onto the fireplace mantel, sleeping on table runners, etc.... you know .... normal cat behavior. She's forgiven me for squirting medicine down her throat. She sat on my lap last night for an hour. Of course, that had NOTHING to do with the flannel quilt I was wrapped in. LOL

My co-workers are all asking if I'm excited that the Steelers are in the Super Bowl. For some reason I just can't get all worked up about it and may not even watch the game. For one thing, I don't want Andrea filming me whilst I'm yelling at the television and it ends up on You Tube. She had her camera ready during the Division Championship game! No kidding! This is the same kid who filmed her grandmother (my mom) dancing at my cousin's wedding in November. The title of the You Tube post? "Grammy Gone Wild!"

Love ya,