Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Family and Stuff

My dear man is soooo well taken care of.  He was outside in the sunshine again today.
Thank you Mother...I know that you especially loved him and have sent your angels and caregivers right over here to our house, continuing the family tradition of good caregiving with those who already know us...
Today is my first birthday ever without my mother.  That may seem strange at my age.
This post is a mixed bag...Here, Sunday....
The grandkids having a fun visitation with their Mommy
My sister took all  of them to the Irish  society Christmas party.

And today ....my birthday...The best day ever..


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Holiday spirit comes again...one more Mr.O'Miracle

With my girl and her man's help, the Christmas decorations are getting up.  We have two children with us this weekend.  Tonight we are watching Christmas movies.
This quilt pattern is called "Christmas Rose"  An Irish chain with a yellow center.  I found the pattern in a magazine some years back.  Used, the quilt is getting soft and comfy.
Bean bag from Aldi:) with small Christmas quilt Disappearing Nine-Patch.
I made a larger one of this too..It is just perfect to showcase Christmas prints.

I am pretty sick...darn asthma ruins any nice little cold a person could get.  Today I slept and slept and slept, while the nurses took care of my man.
.Finally I was up at 1:30 for a breathing treatment..It was quiet as a mouse around this house,
when lo and behold...
Out on the deck was my dear man all bundled up!!!!
and he was
Playing whist with Evan.
Now, this is really a Christmas miracle.
His CNA was doing play dough with Lynsey and all was well in our world.
Blessings
 Thank you Cousin Ann for your gifts of these charm packs...My sister and I were patting them today.
Above is Kaleidoscope and below is Mimosa
 And below from Anna Marie Horner is True Colors
Once upon a time, I vowed never to use pre-cuts...That was too silly...Little charm packs with five inch blocks are so lovely.When time is of essence and energy is low..I absolutely agree, that this is the way to go!
Last night the electricity went out at 3:40 am..  Because my dear man is quite hooked up with.electrical things now to breathe...I shouted out and hurried downstairs..
 There he was breathing away...at first I thought it was the back ups...but...Oh, No!

The electricity had evidently NEVER gone off....It was just me bad dreaming...Lordy!
The post of the day:)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ripley and Me...

The calm and the comfort...
My two cats, Pumpkin and Tigger...excellent role models on relaxation.
Just for starters so there are no secrets..I was eating a huge bowl of Christmas peppermint ice cream at 6:30 this morning..
The doc said I would end up in the hospital if I did not reduce stress..........no question mark key....
.Huge case here of Asthmatic Bronchitis for me.
My girl took a well deserved break last night to spend out with friends.
Of course it was then..when  I was alone with the three kids and the paralyzed Mr.O'Quilts that life just kept on happening. Midnight...letting the dog in..wheezing away...water gushing, rushing from the hot water heater onto the outside porch.

My dear man already had donned his Trilogy breathing mask... strapped and suctioned onto his face. no talking there...He could still use hand movements and I understood.
Big girl..on her own..I turned off the electrical switch and...Googled...
"water rushing from hot water heater onto porch and what to do"

Now, it is Google and me....nothing intimate..just a new friend.

She...is Google a woman  ( no question mark key)... Anyway..
I found a source that said turn off the house water too..
Up at 3 for breathing treatments...no sleep at all..steroids, you know...


After the 6:30 bus this morning, I found myself pleading my case to a plumber...
Make us first...paralyzed husband, three little kids, old lady wheezing..
It was fixed at one pm...so grateful...
K...Even I know that this is enough whining:)

 Moving right along to Happy time:)
Strippy quilt I bought in Oklahoma on a layover when I was flight attendant six trillion years ago. I bought it for $85 and I still remember the dealer being mad at me for bargaining it from $95!

This is a generational quilt..top is much older than the backing and it is tied with what I used to think was postal thread, but now realize that it was just regular twine.  It has what was probably a very old blanket inside.  I have been afraid to use it as it is delicate and as I said before, I do not want it to die on my watch as I love it so.
Now I realize that in the closet it could die anyway...just a more lonely death!!
And our Evan....growing up...
When a person has ALS they need range of motion exercises to keep the circulation going in paralyzed limbs and to ward off cramping.
 Last night the CNA taught Evan, age 9 and a half to do this with his granddaddy's legs.
 My heart stilled as I watched the two of them together.

 I found this interesting link online.....
What Food Banks Need...etc
Just posting...
xxoo


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Just Today, That Is All

Thank you dear friends...I needed your confirmation on what really feels right.
Here they are...my comfort quilts.. You have seen them before., neither made by me.
The red rescue top for $15 tied with wool batting. And the 30"s-40"s scrap quilt..so used and soft.
I just do not want them used up on my watch, they comfort me.
  The newer quilts somehow are not the same with their "over quilting".. Too much thread makes things stiff, IMHO
Thank you Bridget for the perfect poems!!!And for the wisdom from all of you.

A break through for me..when last night Emily went out with friends.
A CNA is sick, my sister is sick, I am sick. 
 Mr. O'Quilts needed the Cough Assist machine.  OMG..OMG..
 I found the mask in the kitchen..attached it..and made it work...not that it is nuclear science..
but I did it!!!!
 He really needed it several times...
Scardy cat wife grew up tonight..such a tiny bit..
On occasion, all my stash is overwhelming....But most of the time, I love it.
  I really love having everything on hand.
The artist needs its hues of every color...
ha ha..that is hilarious.
This quilter has not quilted in quite awhile...she just looks and dreams...some artist!!

New fabric cheers me up for a bit...but I do realize that it fixes nothing...My man still lies there paralyzed.  Now my sickness has gone immediately to asthma...We are all walking around with masks and gloves so the Mr. does not get it.  The grands were thrilled with their own small bottles of antiseptic hand cleanser.  We have had to hire yet another CNA for PRN work..sigh.
 Bottom line is that my dear man is well taken care of.  He is trying to read a bit of his I-pad now..but it is getting heavier and heavier in his wasted hands..  My heart...I love him so.
This from Jackie's Black Friday sale...half yards...A pretty blip in my life.
.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Problem with Quilts...

I am having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit. 
 Every year, I make the tissue holders to take to my friends.  Today I went to the ALS caregiver support group.  At first I threw the tissues all in a bag.  But, then I changed my mind.  I took a vintage doily from my grandmother, a basket that my daughter made..a bit of raffia for the ribbon, a few bells. 
 I was glad that I had made the effort.  Much more festive.
 I have tons of antique and vintage quilts all stacked up and not used.  The one top that I tied with my friends and put wool batting in, I use all the time, but it shows it, as the fragile 100 year old fabric is breaking.  I also have stacks of  quilts that I made myself.  I try to give them away..but the keeping is outweighing the giving.
I am thinking about using some on the kids beds.
Below is Evan's room.  On the bed is a quilt I made a few years back that lived on my mother's bed for awhile.  Should I store it, or should he use it....Should he have memories of it, or should it be sold in good order at my estate sale when I go.
Here is Lynsey's bed...adorned with a Christmas quilt that matches her new Christmas pillow..happenstance...but fun...This is ok to use for sure..
 And Dylan's little IKEA bed.  I bought new flannel sheets for the two older kids, but none fit this little bed.  Alas...there was all that sale flannel from JoAnn's at Black Friday.  So I made him a flannel sheet.  I used to make my babies their sheets back in the day.  So easy.
 I found the children's Christmas stockings.  Yesterday was one year to the day that I took
 guardianship of them.  One step at a time.
I will make a nice Christmas for them, just as my grandmother did for me.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Happy....still..

 Here are the pictures of the grands with their cousins. 
 A miracle angel has once again touched down.  This time on Aunt Brandy and Uncle Steve, as they show their love for their niece and nephews.by taking them for weekends once in awhile.
  Aunt Fran...I think that that prayer of yours got us all going.  It was some prayer!!!
,



 I would like to continue with the happy.
Happy is S.W....our nursing assistant who is staying 9 hours today as we all are sick in bed with the cold that Dylan brought home from school. 
 Happy is Katie working with Evan on his self esteem and homework.  Happy for the support of my girl and her man.
Happy is that my man still is flying through the air with the greatest of ease in his Hoyer lift..up for three days in a row into his chair and outside !!!!
Thank you all for your comments that lift me up with love and courage, for even when I feel hysterical, I think of all of you sending me comments and good thoughts.
xxoo
And, for the quilting side...I just love Art Gallery Fabrics, Limited Edition. 
Their U Tube shows of fabric with music are right up my alley.  If you wait a minute after each show, another one comes on...BTW...did I tell you how much fabric makes me happy...silly me.

And ps again...Here is Cousin Ann, in London...doing her thing!!!!  Yeah!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Still ...Another Miracle on Truesdale!


Fabric.com Black Friday therapy at $1.99 a yard..just sayin...
.and then..and then..
Really I am stunned.  And, I am speechless, however unbelievable that is!!
Yesterday two women came to my door with a Christmas basket.
  I was, of course, crabby...as usual and overwhelmed.
They handed me the basket and said, "Merry Christmas".

Christmas...Is it that time already, I thought.....I asked who it was from and they said that there was a card inside.  I asked them if they knew me.  They said no.

Well, the kids were getting ready for Karate...Someone had to bring them.
My husband was being attended to by the nurses, someone was bringing us dinner...etc..
I hope I told them thank you..
This is what the card said:
"In challenging times there are others offering prayer, help and encouragement.
  May this holiday be just a bit brighter.
To an Extra Ordinary Woman, from 12 Ordinary Women."
www.12ordinarywomen.com
The basket contained a daily reader, an angel and 4 $100 gift certificates to Walmart and the grocery store.
I have the card by my computer as I am amazed that folks would give to us in this way.
We are so grateful.
 I hope that in the future, I will be able to carry on and pay this blessing  forward.

The second stunning event today, is that Mr.O'Quilts has asked to get out of bed.  
Excuse me...  He has not had the energy for that in 2 long, long months.
 Now, he did not ask me...he asked his nursing assistant.
 Out is coming the Hoyer lift...Down to help are coming Emily and her man Brian...Back from the garage is coming the automatic wheelchair....
No one is asking me nothing about this, no how...
My heart is still.  I am amazed.  I pray, as I furtively look for my hidden chocolate to guide me......
 I am observing all of this from my sewing room.
Voila, the miracle....
AND...Cousin Ann is coming for New Year's!!!!
Oh, love is the word for our blessings today!
..xxoo

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Contraband from Texas!!

Just when I feel totally overwhelmed, I am once again lifted up.
 Nothing like a friend who understands from the bottom of her heart, life's real priorities.
 
 And, My kind of packing!!:)
 The books for the children hid the great stuff...
Good thing that the sniffing dogs were on holiday break.
 Just so you know how things are here in Charlotte.....Today's update is tremendous
ALS fatigue and a sleeping all day,  kind of day.
Thank you Laurel...You have put a smile on the Muldoon rooftop!!!!

Friday, November 28, 2014

RX Flannel

If you are not a passionate fabric collector, you may not fully appreciate RX Flannel. And, you just may not appreciate the Black Wednesday bargain:  $1.47 a yard and then the 15% discount equals $1.26 a yard ...equals abundant fabric hysteria and abundant new fabric.
Here are a few of the pillowcases I made today.
 Cats, (facing the right way)...Good girl O'Quilts!
 Just loving and touching fabric brings serenity...
 While I was preoccupied, this was going on.....Sewing machine was off..TBTG
I guess she had been watching, as her hands are perfectly positioned moving the hankie through.
Cough...cough...I was saying goodnight to the Mr. last night.  As he went to reply, he choked on his saliva...I screamed for Emily..by the time she got there, he had recouped.
.and I quickly realized that I did not know how to use the Cough Assist machine..

.Believe me, now I do.  Good Lord.

This is the second time in a few days that this has happened.  I am trying to stay in today and enjoy it, but it is very hard not to project doom and gloom.
Big thanks to Drenna and Charmaine for taking the children today....and for the wonderful nursing assistants that help us.  Now, I think we may be needing them a few more hours.  We are so so fortunate and blessed for the help we are getting and for the friends and family to lift us up.
xxoo

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Gifted Thanksgiving


This Thanksgiving has been a gift from the beginning..
.I found myself deliciously awake at 10 am with no noise about. 
 Emily and her man had taken care of it all...Downstairs I found grandchildren occupied and Em and Bri in the kitchen fixing the dinner.. Mr. O'Quilts' nursing assistant had washed and folded all our flannel from the fun flannel spree at JoAnn's yesterday!!
...My cup runneth over!!
I was allowed a preview of the preparations.. Yummy brussel sprouts on the stalk from Trader Joe's
 
No one asked for my input on the dinner so I sewed and read and hugged my man.
Then I picked up the kids' Mom, from the bus stop.
  She has earned the dinner with us today.
There is a lot to be thankful for.
 Our tradition is to use the Christmas plates on Thanksgiving to welcome in the holiday season.
A sneak peak tease of some of my new flannels..Now two of the CNAs are buying machines for themselves for Christmas!!!
Then too, were the kids cutting card stock and Christmas paper with my new Accuquilt-Go cutter.  The vendors both said that it would be fine for paper without dulling the blade..  The grands had a great time cutting Christmas trees and snowflakes. 
When they see their mother on Saturday, they will take the cut outs with them to make a bunting.
My dear man feels better today and before dinner all 11 of us were together holding hands with him at his bedside saying our blessings.
The best Thanksgiving Ever!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The End of Wits...mine, that is..


The warm fuzzies from the awful situation we are in:..The special time spent with my girl and my sister.
While the CNA's are here, we have been able to sew...and as I said before...The Mr. likes his doors open.  So, we are all together.
Emily has made some presents for her nieces in Ireland: (Ava and Kiera:)
 Some cute zippy pouches with iron on laminate:
and clear vinyl from Walmart
Some "Frozen" pillowcases..
Those girls are 6 and 8 and they will adore these presents.
Meantime, someone around here gets more attention than most:
ZOE....here she is getting a bath with 4 people attending!!!!
I am at my wits end.  Mr.O'Quilts is not good.  He was upset about something last night and when he went to pontificate, he couldn't speak and he started choking..He had to use two of his machines and still...not good.  So scary. 
 Today, His intestines do not work...again.  All the muscles that push food through have atrophied and there is disaster in there.  Hospice nurse came again today to try to regulate things...He is so uncomfortable.  When he tries to assist his digestion, his body starts to shake like Parkinson's...OMG  worse than scary.
  His right hand is shaking badly.  I think I have gained 5,4039 pounds eating and drinking my way thru this so far....no one will be able to recognize me.  And, I still have no control over it.
No school today has meant terror in the grandchildren department. Finally I just had to cry.....all too much.
Now, there is some good stuff...and it is......hold on.....
 Yup, you are right...FABRIC...ha ha... fooled you:)
When my sister came on duty, Emily and I headed out to JoAnn's annual flannel sale...OMG...
I totally took all my frustrations out on the flannel rack.  It was, I think...about $1.47 a yard plus my 15% discount...heaven.
 I discovered that JoAnn's not only takes coupons from ACMoore, Michaels and Hobby Lobby...BUT they take up to 10 coupons at a time.  There were a few things that I bought full price and the cashier kept saying...do you have any other coupons...and I moved my phone to the next email..
.Wonderful and amazing...
Fun to see Sherry and Carol there:)  Fabric friends.
My sister is taking the 4 year old home for the night...TBTG...He is way too wild for a stressful day.
I am so trying hard to get a grip.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It all kicks......

By this time last year, I had at least 30 potholders ready to hand out to people for Christmas.  This year..nada...until today.  I just finished the potholders for the Karate teachers' holiday presents from the kids.
Here are the fronts:
 And, here are the backs:
The wonderful Karate studio is run by a husband and wife team and their assistant.  I Sharpied in painted toenails for the awesome women!!!  A relaxing day.. Potholders are the most relaxing of all...:)
A few months back, before my man was bedridden and we hired pricey CNA's,
I decided to buy the children...eg Evan..age 9 a sewing machine...
I am a sewing machine freak!!
I have some very expensive sewing machines and did not want Evan to start on those...
Then there is my beloved, Little Blue travel machine (Kenmore,made by Janome)... I cannot have that touched either.
 This machine was $143 on Amazon. It won the best beginner machine award.  I cannot believe all the things it comes with and it sews like a charm...tons of stitches.  Now it is noisy and the light is weak..but come on, for that price, it includes the bonus pack of... a walking foot, a free motion foot, a table, a thread cutter, a cover...etc..OMG. and it is like 12 pounds..

My Little Blue...is 11 pounds just like the Singer Featherweight
I am starting to like this new machine a lot...hmmmmm  Do I want anyone else to touch it....No question mark key.....

I have the chimney sweep here.  Since Michael's sister's house burned down, I have been freaking about a fire in our fireplace...Peace of mind is worth the $$$$  Oh, NO!!  He found cracked tiles in the 40 some year old chimney...repair bill...$2500...I must need glasses.....grrr  Well...that too!
The children are at their Aunt's for the weekend...Silence is golden...

My man still so brave...glad he is here with me..no matter the cost.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Hello Day


No quilting.yet.....me napping and napping and drama everywhere...So here is a bit of the other part of our lives..:)
Lynsey has learned to whistle..five years old is a very good time for that..as is 6:30 am before school.
She does not seem to mind at all the pillow thief..everyone sleeping soundly.
https://mail.aol.com/38848-916/aol-6/en-us/mail/get-attachment.aspx?uid=31189507&folder=NewMail&partId=1
Dylan at the apple farm with Auntie Em, looking quite like his older brother!!
Pigs in the background.  They must like apples too
Evan getting his big cast cut off and a smaller cast attached. Quite the fascination as a saw cuts the cast and misses the skin..


Mr. O'Quilts has not been out of bed for almost two months now. 
 I want to scream...Get out of bed right now...come run with me in the wind.  Let's dance on the back deck...Lets hold hands and walk in the woods.  Let's quarrel about where to hang a picture or how to plant a rose bush.  Let's do the retirement thing like we planned...
Alas, he is paralyzed and he cannot..
.He wants to do it too...just like me.
Accepting life as it is and carrying on, it so tough sometimes.
Enough, enough..I am going to sew something right now.  I do not think I will be able to catch up on holiday sewing at all..
Marie..this is a picture that forever I seem to identify with...

And today's post from
Gratefulness.org
I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.

by John O'Donohue
"Fluent" from Conamara Blues

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Flannel Pillowcase Therapy..ad nauseum



The morning's gratitude.  I got up at 6 for the 4 year old's bus which was 45 minutes late...but the kids were dancing to music in the car and I just had to laugh.  A few minutes later, I was back to the bus stop with the other two grands for their 7:20 bus.  The crisp autumn air with mist and color...how could a person not feel wonder. Back to check on the Mr. sleeping peacefully in his bed and back to bed myself..a rainy autumn morning, perfect for another snooze.
That was yesterday, this is today.
Still good.  Update on my dear man is called plateau...mostly.  ALS does that.  It plateaus and then it crashes and then it plateaus at a new not so nice level.  That is where we are at now...However, I noticed that when the Mr. lifted the cup with his right hand...the only functional limb... his hand shook.
 What is that about...like what is any of this about.
Deliveries from the UPS truck and the Fed Ex truck are constantly at our door.
 No, no more exciting fabric arrivals..instead, Hospice supplies.
What..what was that...OMG  Really...did UPS  enclose red wine and M&Ms with the feeding tube masks..Really...? (pen inserted into hole on keyboard for question mark)
 Lucky me.

Tonight Charlotte will have 18 degree F temperatures.  We have covered the outdoor faucets so the pipes do not freeze.  This weather in Charlotte is a really big deal.
I really want to go to a retreat. Now is not the time, but that doesn't mean that I do not want to go.  I also want to go to Target..It is all the same.
My man wants all the room doors open now.  He feels quite claustrophobic as he can no longer move his limbs and is so dependent on others.
 He never complains...
I, not only complain, but I publish it for all the world to see....
We are quite a team, are we not!!!!!

Now, really how could Mr.O'Quilts not just love the new pink bird pillowcases I made him...just for his comfort.  The CNAs are rolling their eyes...but my man just smiles