Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Not a whole lot of stitching going on the last month.  What little I've done has been focused on an exchange, so no pictures!  I did manage to finish block 9 of Anniversaries of the Heart (minus the as yet to be determined personalization) and started on Block 10.  What can I say, I'm procrastinating the last 10 minutes of stitching needed on the exchange piece because I'm still a bit insecure about my ability to do the finishing.  I'm actually going to have to touch the sewing machine, and without the comforting back-up of Mom!

Going backwards in time, last Saturday I dropped Mom and Dad off at the airport to start the Grand Adventure.  By now they should be on the ms Volendam (after a 6 hour layover in Fiji and a day and a half in Auckland).  Lucky ducks, they get to spend 38 days on that ship, touring some absolutely wonderful places I've dreamed of (New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, etc).  The end destination of the trip is Vancouver, BC.  Mom will finally transition from a Pollywog to a Shellback!  Dad, of course, is already an Trusty Shellback, due to his many years in the Navy.

The Friday before that we moved Grandma out of the rehab facility and back to her room at her assisted living facility.  She made the decision a week prior that she wanted to stop taking her meds, and stuck to that decision.  We chose (as a family) to not just take her off all meds cold turkey, but to enter her into Hospice Care.  Best decision ever.  She's so much happier and more comfortable in her own room, and getting spoiled eating whatever she wants and no longer get her fingers pricked to check her blood sugar.  It made for a hectic few days to get all the logistics and paperwork done, but I know Mom left for her trip feeling more comfortable that Grandma is happy and taken care of.  Just because she's in hospice doesn't mean she's going to drop dead in the next few days.  Actually, Grandma was slightly upset when the hospice admissions nurse told her "You're not actively dying, you're going to be here for a while longer."

Thank you to everyone that has had Grandma in your thoughts and prayers, and sent well wishes.  Its meant a lot, and the power of positive thinking has really worked.  I can't expect an almost 92 year old to behave like a spring chicken, but I can be happy she's comfortable and happy.  In fact, we have a date to watch Casablanca in the next day or 2.  I'm embarrassed to say I've never seen it before.

I've been browsing blogs when I can, but have been horribly negligent in leaving comments.  Sorry about that.  I'm hoping (along with my MBA student mentor) that life gets into a bit more of a set routine.  I'm horribly behind on school, not just because of Grandma's situation, but also due to my own physical therapy and another flare-up of my Thygeson's keratitis in my eyes.  At least the opthamologist here now believes there really is a problem, and is going along with that diagnosis.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

WIPocalypse, Theme-a-licious and whatever else I'm behind on

I'm late for my WIPocalypse update, and even later for Theme-a-licious.  I seem to be on a downward  trend. For WIPocalypse, I'm not doing so great.  The only previously existing WIP I worked on for the last month was a bit of my BBD Anniversaries of the Heart.
BBD Anniversaries of the Heart, stitched on 36 count linen
with assorted overdyed silk floss
I did much better with Theme-a-licious for February, so much better it seems to be extending into March as well.  We were supposed to stitch on our projects by our favorite designer, and I chose Black Bird Designs.  I was hoping to tie it into AOTH.  Instead, I seemed to catch the smalls bug after doing the January and February CCN cottages.
BBD Pins and Needles Reward of Merit, stitched on 38 count
Gander linen with assorted overdyed cotton floss
Both the exact same design, just the one on the left being close to the called for threads, and the right one being a new color palette I chose.  Hopefully in the next day or two I can get both of these finished into pincushions.  Right after I took this pic I ended up finding some backing fabric for them in my mom's quilt fabric scrap drawer.  A quilter's scrap drawer is a cross stitcher's heaven for finishing smalls.

Right now I'm working on another smallish BBD chart, but have so little stitched its not even worth a picture, and its meant to be a gift.  I can thank the lack of progress on it to a tiny mistake on the first night's stitching which meant I spent the second night frogging.  Usually I'll just adapt and work around my mistakes, but this is one that was going to annoy me and make the rest of the chart just slightly off.  Out it came.

I caught a very un-ladylike picture of Annie the other night.  This is just one more of her "rub my belly" poses.  She was also sound asleep like this, until the flash went off on my camera phone.

Grandma is hanging in there.  She was moved to a rehab facility last weekend, and has her good days and bad days.  One thing I've learned is you need to really keep on top of those facilities and make your presence known.  I think every employee there know's I'm 31C's granddaughter, and to watch out for me.  I know for a fact the Physical Therapy department is going to be giving her good care, and there's a chance I got one employee fired.  Don't you dare log you gave my grandmother PT when you didn't, and don't be so stupid as to log the time right when I was visiting and can prove you didn't do your job.  Better the PT department fire one person than get turned into Medicare for fraud.  Enough about that, Mom and I have decided we have them whipped into shape enough that we can back off the twice a day visits to just once a day.

Dad and I went for a visit yesterday and enjoyed some nice time with her outside, for an al fresco lunch.  It was such a nice time I decided to ignore her not touching any of her food, except for the ice cream.  Right now I'm just trying to do anything to keep her happy and comfortable.  We're all a bit concerned since her blood pressure and pulse have really been dropping very low, and there's a strong suspicion her kidneys are failing.  At 91, almost 92, we're not going to pursue the dialysis option. Hospice will be the priority, when the time comes.

I'm trying to get caught back up with school, but me writing this blog post is really just me procrastinating.  I finally got back to a spin class on Thursday after missing a whole week, and OMG, it was painful!  I went to a Saturday class to try and make up for so much missed the week prior.  It must have paid off since my weekly weigh-in this morning showed a loss (finally!) instead of just holding steady.

Thank you to everyone for all your kind thoughts and well-wishes, its really meant a lot to my family and I.  I'm not always perfect about responding to all the comments left, but I'm really trying to get better about it.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I gave up

Google Reader has been sitting at 1000+ unread posts for a few weeks now.  I was trying to just scan through the posts quickly, but it wasn't quick enough.  Then I tried just going to some of my favorite blogs to catch up, but I have too many favorites.  Today I just marked everything as read, and I'm going to start fresh.

I wish we could pick and chose what we start fresh, and not just our blog readers.  The last 6 months feels like its just been one melodramatic thing after another, and mostly medical with the family.  My poor Grandma just can't catch a break.

On Tuesday I was just commenting to her how pleasantly surprised I was at how well she'd bounced back from her last trip to the hospital.  I should have kept my damn mouth shut.  Wednesday morning she called us in horrible pain.  She'd fallen down in the night, twice, and had to call for assistance to get up.  She declined going to the ER at 1am, but asked the staff to call us.  They did, but not until 11 am the next day, after we'd been in her room since 7:30 am.  The last 24 hours have been mentally agonizing.  To make a long story short, she broke a bone in her shoulder, needs surgery, but won't be getting it due to heart and kidney issues, along with her diabetes.  The prognosis isn't great.  Without surgery, she's expected to get back 30-40% mobility, which means she probably won't be able to use her walker.  Hello wheel chair.

Trying to find a silver lining in all this, she and I managed to share a wonderful moment together yesterday.  Let me back up a bit.  Grandma hates ERs, they're cold, noisy, uncomfortable and she's always getting poked with needles.  At the time, we didn't know if her arm was just bruised, or she had a fracture.  Her doctor couldn't order x-rays without an appointment first.  Knowing all that, we made the decision to just make her as comfortable as possible in her own room until we could take her in for the appointment.  Drugged up on Tramadol, with an ice pack, and in her recliner, she and I watched one of her favorite movies - That Touch of Mink.  I should say, she dozed, and I watched, while working on some cross stitch.  It was probably the last truly peaceful moment she'll have in a while.  No matter what happens, I'll treasure the memory, especially since the project I was working on was my BBD Anniversaries of the Heart.

I missed the TUSAL posting date (Feb 21).  My mind just has a hard time with moon dates as deadlines.  I do much better with end/beginning of the month.  Oh well, here's my little hobnail sugar dish with the ORTs from February.

I'm also late for my February Theme-a-licious wrap-up, but I still need to take a picture.  Hopefully that will get taken care of in the next day or 2.  Right now my priority has been more on actually doing stitching to de-stress than to take pictures of the stitching and post about it.