Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Rain Drops

I must have 25 UFOs in my quilting room...but last night I just had to start something new.
I love to get fabric in the mail..never enough, says the hoarder.
Online I found a two charm pack bargain..added a few of my own cuts and started this last night
A no-think quilt is the scrambled nine-patch...here we go....
 Today, there was a surprise explosion...in my fragile heart..
I went to have passport photos for renewal and I cried. Nice picture that will be for the next 10 years!
Went to have the screw tightened on my glasses and when the girl asked how was my day..I cried.
Evidently I have a loose screw myself..and in public, no less!
This is going to be a long haul!
 
I need to thank you all individually for your nice comments.
I need to send out some thank you notes for the funeral,etc.
I need to take a shower.
I need to read my new WIdow to Widow book that Bonnie sent me.
Did I fertilize the rose bushes?
Did I forget to eat??  No chance on that one!!!

My bottle tree is supposed to ward against evil spirits.
This tree and I are going to have to have a talk!!
On my desk sit 12 certified death certificates for Himself...reminding me of what I do not want to know.
Did you know that people are being diagnosed with ALS every day...this horrid disease.
It is unbelievable.
We are fine with money now...but thank you Katie.
The death of Mr. O'Quilts took care of that..
At what cost....??
The happy note...always need that one...My sister came over to sew with me.
And, my daughter did the ALS walk in the rain.
Much love to all of you.
xxoo

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Germination

Life goes on...that really puts my panties in a twist...
The world has refused to stop since my dear man died.
 Keeping busy.
.I put some random English fabrics here as a possible border..
Better let them germinate for decision time.
 Yesterday, before my stress pulled a back muscle..
I put together three 16 patches from one shirt of my dear.
Still desolate here..Family all gone home.
I know my Stephanie cannot work 25 hours a week and sustain herself when she has been working 55 hours weeks..she will have to leave me.
I know my daughter has her own life.
I know I am not the only widow woman in the world.
Knowing is useless.
Between my brain and my heart there is a cement block.

I am shocked.
Mr.O'Quilts really should have said something like:
"Honey..you know I only have 10 more hours to live..so get real now.."
But, he didn't.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Silence

Loud is the silence with my dear man gone.  I am trying to stay busy.  
New idea...I have put a picture of one of my UFOs on my screensaver to encourage me on..lol
Last night, I attached another border to my London Olympic quilt.
 My girl has sent to Ireland her 16 patch made for her man's mother.
 I took pix of quilts I made 30 years ago for my niece and nephew...I always loved baskets.
These were hand quilted.

Day 6 of widowhood...
Week Sunday, the Audobon society came out to put up a Bluebird house in our yard.
Himself went out in the wheelchair with his caregiver to see it...He was thrilled.
Two days later my love was dead.
This morning I saw a Bluebird already in the house...I think it was my darling:)
Mr. O'Quilts has a new home now..and it is not too far away.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Celebration of Life

Today was the funeral of my dear man. 
  I did not throw up or faint or cry. 

The day was all about how wonderful my love was..
Why did I fret...the service was perfect!
350 or so people came to celebrate his life..with Irish football players in uniform and Irish dancers in uniform.
My daughter played a favorite  piece of her father's on the Irish tin whistle.
The grandchildren behaved..
 The best pix I could get of a favorite bereavement poem by John O'Donohue...
 taken from the church handout.
So many friends and relatives came with love..my quilting friends, my pool friends, my peeps, football friends, dance friends, neighbors, work friends and former clients, teachers..brought food, flowers and hugs. They flew in and drove in and walked in..

I did see in the obituary that they put he was 70...that was awful..until I realized that my healthy athlete
was 70...OMG  how did that happen????

Mr. O'Quilts is in peace now..no more horrid ALS...22 months of slow decline..he is free..TBTG
He is lucky...The weakness in his chest muscles did not support the lungs and off he went..missing some of the more terrible times.

Me...sitting here tonight debriefing with Rin Tin Tin, my security system, my vino tinto and my chocolate!
Now...5 days a widow, I decided to work on something new....

Thank you for coming, for the flowers, for the food, for the hugs...

Thank you all for being our friends!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

New life...for him and for me...

The separate journeys begin.....I am befuddled.
My daughter found this great picture of her Irish sports minded father.
 

I walk around in a daze.  I called the home health agency with an urgency that they pick up the hospital bed and Hoyer lift immediately... because looking at it was too hard.
Then, they came and I cried that they were dismantling my life..God help me...
Family from Ireland is coming in today, flowers, food, family and friends surround us.
The remains are going to Ireland for another service there.
My broken heart cannot grasp the huge loss.

From the simple service I had hoped for, now evolves an Irish ensemble, Irish dancers as greeters, anticipation of at least 300 people and out of town friends.
Of course for my dear, this is really what should happen...He was so Irish and so loved.
 His brother is doing the service. Even my brother is coming.
I want it to all go away, but reality is here..I have my smelling salts, my grit and my love for my dear man.

 I ordered my big girl panties..but they have not arrived yet.  I ordered xxxx large because I will need that.
Sherry and Stephanie put the rug back on the floor so the room looks like a room.
The school counselors are working with the children at school.

When I was shredding files, I found this great article from Quilters Newsletter, May 1994.  I see now why I kept the article, It is perfect.  Quilting for Solace.  I wish there was a link to it so all of you could read it.  For me...it is what quilting is all about...giving.

Thank you all for the comments and the love.
xxoo

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Dear Man's funeral arrangements for folks close by...





Fintan’s Obituary

Passed  peacefully, the morning of April 14th…after a very brave struggle with ALS.  Born in 1944, Galway, Ireland. Fintan Leaves behind Diane, his wife of 35 years, two children, Emily and Eamon and three grandchildren.  Coming from a family of ten children, he leaves behind several siblings, including Monsignor Brendan Muldoon of Indian Rock’s Beach, Florida, Living in Ireland, sisters, Maura Mongan and Ita Meade, brothers Kevin Muldoon, Kieran Muldoon, Declan Muldoon
Memorials to be given to the Camp Mindy summer camp scholarship fund, at the Jewish Community Center, attn.:  Doreen Sparks, 5007 Providence Rd, Charlotte,NC 28226
Fintan touched many lives with his big heart, wonderful people skills in mentoring, facilitating, advocating, teaching and music..He was a great husband, father, grandfather. hospital social worker, computer specialist, champion tennis player, teacher, gardener, bird watcher and woodworker, He was a founding member of the Clandarrah Irish band playing the keyboard, in Charlotte, North Carolina. And a long time member of the Irish Society of Charlotte.  Any time he could, he spread his love of Irish culture, especially music.
Fintan was loved and will be missed greatly.
A Celebration of Life Mass will be held on Saturday, April 18th, at 10:00 a.m. at St Gabriel Catholic Church. The family will receive friends from 9:00 to 9:45 a.m. in the church.




Thank you Marie for a pix of a great memory.
 Miccosukee Indian Reservations outside of Miami in the Everglades.
Fintan was the tribe counselor and I was the school counselor.
Jobs to remember!!
A great memory:)
 




Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Oh, My Love, My Darling....

My broken heart reports the passing of my Dear Man.
Just like that...our lives will never be the same.

xxoo Goodbye, my love...I will miss you so.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

There is no Joy in Mudville...A personal non-quilting post

My man went outside for 10 minutes and had to leave the beautiful day for the hospital bed again.  He was too weak, he could not breathe, he was not well.
 The comfort needed was through Morphine and Ativan, doubled today....again...
Tonight it is worse...He can not talk at all, only grunt...
.He is in obvious distress...
Squeeze my hand if it is swallowing, squeeze my hand if it is breathing...ok..breathing...more Ativan and more Morphine..yes..
.Call the Hospice on call nurse??...probably not as not many know about ALS...orphan disease...guess no one wants to know either as it is a big ugly nasty disease..All downhill with no hope.

I asked a friend yesterday to come by and see him for a minute..the friend said..he would but probably not since he cannot do sad...OK...I understand, I really do. but,
I do not understand why ALS even exists and why my wonderful man has to suffer like this.

All hands on deck here...my sister and my daughter and me..
Calvary of three..
Now...I have called the Hospice nurse...
It is clear that we need a a Calvary  of four!!
Stand by...Oh, my love..

Friday, April 10, 2015

The two sides of love

My daughter-in -law came for Easter to see her children.  She took some selfies and other pictures...on a walk by the creek behind our house.  I just love the pictures...so I am sharing. 



I cannot sew.  I am grieving tonight for no reason at all...out of the blue... The day was good...I went to water exercises...I read my book...I watched the kids ride their bikes and go to Karate...then...when the caregiver was putting the mask on my love for bed...the straps were missing...I went nuts...Finally I found them underneath clean towels in the bathroom...He insisted that he could sleep without the mask...He is probably now blowing at 15% of what is normal to breathe...yet he has to be the stoic...even if it kills him..and I cannot stop crying...I find this so unbelievable that no matter how much support I have, nothing stops the core issue...a terminal illness of a wonderful man.
Now...vino tinto...enjoying these pictures..and bed for the crabby, irrational wife..
xxoo
PS  My friend Mona...says that Pearl has a sister....Wendy Whiner....OMG

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Visitor

Today I had a visitor..I could not get rid of her. 
 Her name was Poor Pitiful Pearl!!
She would not stop talking...blah blah blah...She was a broken record...on and on...
She had a dead mother, a dying husband, a son doing wrong things, grandchildren who were noisy, bad joint aches...etc..on and on she went, the same old thing over and over. 
 Finally I was just rude and I left and went to the pool to exercise.
When I came home, she was still there.  Ugh!!

I told her to get lost and leave me alone.  She would not.
So, I made this applique from Fresh Quilts.
 Pearl just faded away..
  I looked outside and the Dogwood was blooming and the Wisteria was out.
Lime green new leaves were on the trees...stunning.
Lynsey and Dylan spent all day yesterday playing outside.
They made a fort with a carport for the bikes.
 And, instead of a watch dog..they had a watch reindeer!
My man is somewhat stable in his condition...but, last night he was exhausted and all ready for bed when he made me take off his breathing mask and get out the ABC board..
 I wondered what worry the man had, when he whispered that he was worried about me..
.He thought I was not exercising enough and eating too much junk. 
OMG, really???
.But, that is just like Himself...always thinking of others.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The best Easter ever....

Here we go...My darling and me..celebrating a beautiful day and a lovely Easter.
I am going nuts about this quilt and these blocks...cannot stop myself.  I so need the design wall, but remember the promise I made to myself to finish the UFO that is already on there.

Remember how clean things have to be around here before the Easter Bunny comes back to hide the eggs?
FYI  Six year olds sweep with lollipops in their mouths!!!

We had a marvelous Easter.  Of course the Mr. requested a double Ativan and a double Morphine tonight once he was inside and ready for sleep.  I do not blame him one bit.
Em and Bri made the best roast lamb dinner, Stasi helped her children, my sister was on duty for Mr. O'Quilts.  A day to remember!!!
Grateful.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Just a little Easter post

Celebrating a new attitude in my quilting brain:  Voila...using two of my favorite fabrics...
Instead of saving them till I die!! On the right..are cats I bought in Japan some 30 years ago.
On the left is kangaroo fabric sent to me by Beth.  Love and use...my new motto!!!
Here we go making Bird's Nests..from Rice Krispie Treats and jelly beans. Totally fun.

And of course, dying Easter Eggs.
It is Spring Break from school..Nine year old Evan is having a fun time in Washington DC with his cousins.
Five and Six years olds..rather do Easter things.
Me??  Lordy, I am eating up the rest of the jelly beans(:  I have turned out just like my mother.
My dear man is resting.  He is hoping to have the energy to go out in the sun for egg hunt with the children. 
Did you know that the Easter Bunny does not bring treats to dirty places???  
Oh, there were two little ones scrubbing away this afternoon...lol
Wishing you all a peaceful Easter.

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Quite Good Day

In quilting,I have told myself that I would try something new..
I have never made this pattern because I thought it was too much work.  
..such a lazy quilter am I!! 
Last night I started it and it was sooo easy and fun..
Promised self that I would not play with the blocks until I finish the London Olympic quilt..
but playing with color made me happy enough.
 Emi-Lou's cafe has a new chef...man Brian..such an awesome dinner.
 Somehow Emily and Brian do not approve of my diet.  They thought that adding greens to my beer was delightful...oh...nothing like a good laugh:)
  From Sujata Shah's blog comes this amazing vimeo.
The update is good...
Mr. O'Quilts spent  FIVE HOURS in his wheelchair out in the beautiful Carolina spring day. 
 The day was stunning and fun. 
 Kids in the play pool, Stephanie taking care of my man, Emily making another awesome late lunch..
.Wonderful, and I almost missed it.
I went to the grocery store this morning...joints all achy, mind all worried..feeling a bit dizzy...Poor me...the stats say stress causes joint pain and maybe the concussion symptoms are coming back and woe is me.

As I walked outside with the groceries, I felt a light spring breeze...the trees were all in bloom...the Carolina Dogwood, the Cherry trees...It was a perfect day and I almost missed it.
With my...long litany of woes...as my Dear Man says.
When I realized that without the neck brace, he was unable to control his head, I almost regressed.
A second look saw the peace and joy in his eyes as he loved being outside.
Love..
xxoo

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Our ongoing saga.....with not a quilt in sight!!!

Yesterday..Here is my darling....outside in the Carolina blue with balmy weather..What can be better than that??
Last year the Mecklenburg Audobon society brought out a Nuthatch house and put it up for Himself. 
Yesterday we saw a bird there. 
 My dear man was able to go down into the back deck..due to friends building the ramp.
  He tried to use the binoculars.  But, he could not hold them.  
His left hand is completely paralyzed and the right hand has become weaker...as in about 75% paralyzed.
  It was a very sad moment. 
 I tried to help him, but I could not...
Call in now to the society to see if a volunteer could help with a different kind of binocular that maybe could attach to his head or be free-standing..Also need help from them putting up our bluebird house.
So excited to see this blog. I like all of her work.Quilted Under the Influence 
And... Diane is back..still feisty despite her MS..,Persnickety Quilts
The wonderful Angel Ava gift....
 Ava looked at a pix of Mr O'Quilts on my blog.
She noticed that his hair had not been cut in forever, that his beard and mustache were looking a bit woodsy.
She told me that she knew a hairdresser who would come to cut it free.
She did and he was delighted.  Then she said...free to us...she paid!!!  OMG
Ava  How nice was that???  !!!!

Remember Ava used to be my mother's nurse..for years and years.
 That is how she is now our angel...sent by my mother, says Ava!!!!
awwwwwww
Tonight's group brought Marie's bday on April Fool's day...Ha!!  Too bad the pix are wrong.
The laughter however, was awesome!!!
Today's update....Is it fatigue from yesterday's outing outside in his chair...or
Is it disease progression???
Today my dear man slept all day long.  In fact he slept so hard without moving his head that we had to see if he was still breathing....several times.
Thank you all so much for being our friends!
xxoo
 

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Visits that save our days...a no quilting post

The boys came back tonight...now it is an every Monday night thing. 
 See, here is Mr.O'Quilts awake enough to practice speaking with his Dynovox speaking machine..
 Evan asked to have a visit with his father alone without his siblings. 
 Here we are this afternoon at McDonald's play place. 
 His dad brought him his favorite thing...Legos.
They had an hour or so of fun making it together.
 People struggle to understand the concept of the visitation belonging to the child and not the parent.
Children own visitation. They have a right to regular supervised visitation with their parents..
I am exhausted.  
I am just putting this out there without quilting so my dear man's relatives can see that My dear man has swung back around from sleeping away his weekend.
He is still alive, I am still alive and hopefully we will all sleep peacefully this night.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cotton and Steel revisited...

With the children away...Grandma should play??.
Instead, I did nothing.  I slept and sat in my recliner by Mr.O'Quilt's bedside while he slept.  
I read a mystery and dozed off. I guess my To-Do list will still be there later.
Tonight with my little darlings asleep, I got the mojo going. 
 Cotton and Steel, you might say..
I have a girl friend who is absolutely  Cotton and Steel.
.Because of her, 
I started piecing the backing...in hopes that I can get it basted on Wednesday night.
Randomly piecing a backing is so much more fun
 than following a pattern of someone else's fabric and design.

Grateful that I have some clarity after a weekend of rest.  Voila..backing process.

The weekend update on my Dear Man.  He slept the entire weekend..
While you were sleeping Dear..your neurotic wife got online and Googled ....
 ALS  and symptoms of respiratory insufficiency.
Mr. O'Quilts has:
Orthopnoea...shortness of breath while lying down  
Dyspnoea...shortness of breath when talking or moving.
Disturbed night time sleep
Excessive daytime sleepiness
Difficulty clearing secretions
Difficulty swallowing
Inability to eat or drink through his mouth
Fatigue
Depression
Poor focus and concentration
Nocturia..more urination at night than in the day
A weak cough
Sweating
Difficulty talking.
Almost complete paralysis as he lies in his hospital bed.
 
So why?? did I have to Google this?  None of this is good...none at all.
So what to do about it...absolutely nothing..that is the problem..ugh
On one of the sites there was a Caregiver helpline...It said...caregivers must accept what they cannot change...again..again and again...
He does not even have to mouth the words anymore to me...
I know them....Go Sew...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Start...Stuck...Done...Repeat

Here is my latest UFO found buried deep deep deep...London Olympic quilt...2012
Ha ha ha...I do believe that some of our ancestors did this too.  
And, we go around trying for that perfect dating system!!
Now that the granny  block quilt is basted, I vowed to put the next WIP up on the design wall pronto.
Motivation!
Muggs' sailboats...one late and one early...gotta love them all.
 
My heart started thumping again...a bit...for Cotton and Steel.
I decided to work on the backing..These colors are grand.
 Just read this...
My darling says he is not in pain and not frightened.  He is just sad
He says that he is worried about me and the children and can do nothing about it....
 I am sad and worried about him, and can do nothing about it...
We accept the disease and the sadness and take care of ourselves.
I know that this is not brilliantly new news...but it does take awhile to get around the bend.
He took some morphine last night for his breathing and swallowing.
I ask how breathing and swallowing is for him...he answers...bad, bad, bad...

Moving on to ...presents...made..
Thanks to Annette at the local ALS clinic...flower  pens for teachers' presents. Annette has them all planted in a flower pot on the counter at the clinic..cheering us on..
 All from the dollar store...plastic flowers, pens, florist tape and a bit of electrical tape for the end.
The kids were thrilled to give their presents to their teachers today.
 A Lego birthday present...IKEA tray with Lego board and Gorilla glue...
wonderful to carry that special Lego project around.
 Breakfast with my girl today (2pm) and tomorrow a workshop on Youth Violence
Gotta get those CEU's...although I really do not know how I will stay awake...really...
Our update.
xxoo

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Just Do the Right Thing...

Amongst the daffodils is the granny top finished...Thank you all for the feedback.

Doing the right thing is so hard sometimes...but the rewards are oh, so sweet.
My daughter-in-law is turning 30 on Wednesday. 
It coincides with her one year celebration of being drug free.
Today she spent the day with her children at my house.
I was exhausted and the kids were thrilled.
But..then...after all day, her friends were having a surprise birthday party for her.
I so would have preferred to crawl into bed early..but....
I drove her home and the kids and I hid in the back yard to join in the surprise.
Lynsey told me over and over thank you for letting them go.

She is doing so well.  She has 11 roommates.
They love her so much that they put on this party.
The rainbow behind the clouds.
My mother would be proud...lol.
My man has been in bed all day on this dreary Sunday.
He is still able to whisper the words to tell me to go sew.
And..to put his two cents in on occasion!!
TBTG
Going to bed now...a wonderful day after all.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

One more of those totally personal posts ...no quilts

Mr. O'Quilts showing off his new collar...Now my man has been collared before...but by choice!!
In twenty months...from tennis pro to this...My very brave dear man.
 His mood remains positive and loving...


Sitting outside this morning,  memories engulf me...On the left there is a haze in the distance over the pond,the air is crisp and I feel it is Autumn and we are driving north up the coast in California.  Lovely...Then I hear the grass being cut in the field next door..and smell the freshly cut grass ..That is beloved spring??  Looking forward some trees are bare and with the crisp air,I think it is autumn again, in northern Virginia the apple season.  Very relaxing...I love autumn....
But, to the right the pear trees are in bloom as are the daffodils and tulips..Spring..
I am confused,  That is not such a rare thing now-a-days. This morning is a comforting confusion.

I am reading a book I had wanted from the library.  A Three Dog Life, by Abigail Thomas.  I heard good things about this book.  I want to, need to read a book that I have heard good things about.
I did not know what it was about.
Now I know.
It is about living with grief.  I cannot put it down.
In spite of myself, I fell asleep in the sun..red faced with warm diet Coke...it is now summer:)

My man is stable in his condition.  We are celebrating that good news today. He was lying in his hospital bed, attended by Stephanie, his caregiver.
I was reading in the sun, pondering life. He has now joined me..but he does not ponder.

Several excerpts from this book attract me:
About a storm and a dock coming loose in the waves..."How great to be enjoying the ride, however uncertain the outcome". and about aging
"being cautious is new territory; my specialty was leaping, not looking".
I loved the book so much,,the articulation and writing style.  I thought about buying and owning the book, but my book buying days are over and this one is a library  book.. my new book venue.

Now that I have finished reading my new friend...I feel that lull of what to do next...as my dear man has his chest shaken in a vest before he eats into his stomach tube.
Life is such a strange thing.
 What if we had moved up to the mountains like some people we know...
Retirement barely started here...we are 20 minutes away from one of the 5 best ALS clinics in the country. Crazy life.
From relaxation back into worry.
The caregivers now say that my man is dead weight and now requires two people to move him in bed.
  I cannot bare to even think of where this might take us..

Better to just sit in the sun today.
xxoo