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 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.

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: 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 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 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 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 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 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 matter the cost.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hello Day

No 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 is 6:30 am before school.
She does not seem to mind at all the pillow thief..everyone sleeping soundly.
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
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 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 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 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

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Blue, Rose or Pillowcase

Here are the pillowcases so far...or the therapy cases...Voila..the kitties...actually, it is Hello Kitty's boyfriend..Did you know question mark...or maybe no question!
 "Frozen" for Lynsey and I am going to put it on her pillow tonight.
 Owls...who couldn't like this..
 and doggies..
 Last night I was beside myself with my stupidity at making the cat pillowcase wrong again. 
Then I saw this advertisement. ( pillowcase tutorial )
Why in the world would the magazine print a wrong question mark...So then I said, "chill, Diane"...just chill...over the right and wrong way of pillowcases...I mean, really.....Do you not have other priorities....
.( Does anyone has a question mark key for my Compaq keyboard)
I am nuts!  When I read this just now,  Barbara Brackman's post...
my heart started beating and I got the itch to make more quilts. Then I got anxiety because I am old and I just may not make, as many quilts that I am desperate to make...
Then ...well...just then...What is a quilter to do....
My dear man is sleeping in the room right next to my sewing room.  When I open the French doors, we are together...each of us on our own journey..but together..for now.  There is some comfort in that!!

Tonight I cannot sew or think.  Himself is now connected to his Trilogy breathing machine looking like he is in outer space. I think I can carry on...but not sure if I can keep calm and carry on...
His family has now gone back to Ireland, promising to come again.
It is just so hard to grasp that I am only in charge of myself and my own journey.  I hate being powerless.

Making pillow cases and giving them away. I am way past the blue or rose periods...gone right straight into the pillowcase period.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Love Languages

  When I was working with families, I sometimes used a book called, The Five Love Languages.  It is about communication skills and how to nurture folks in the way they receive it, instead of how you feel that they should, etc.

Today I think that my love language is fabric...Ha!! Ha!!
 If you are not a quilter, u totally will not understand.
 But, then this blog is supposed to be a quilting blog after all!

From Beth  came this chocolate:)  After all, I love all kinds:)
xxoo Beth
From Ita came a lovely Irish tea towel..that could be used for just about anything creative. xxoo Ita
And treats...from my neice, xxoo Brenda

Of course there are other kinds of sweet love too. Pumpkin is 15, Dylan is 4.

Today's update: My man continues to lie weak in the bed. There are so many people in and out of the house that when I went 10 minutes to Walmart today, it was time stolen.
Today we had the Hospice aide to bathe him, the CNA all morning to care and feed him, the respiratory therapist to check on the Trilogy breathing machine, the ALS nurse to bring the Cough Assist machine and the Hospice nurse to make her visit.  When the ALS nurse started teaching how to use the Cough Assist machine, my sister and the CNA were attentive. 
The wife here had to go outside to breathe fresh air, feeling dizzy as usual.
 We have so many machines around his hospital bed and so many electrical strips plugged to the max.
 I hope the house does not burn down.
The respiratory therapist said that her husband had ALS.  He lay paralyzed for 2 years, but then not to worry..... as every case is that is some solace.
  I am still eating M&M's instead of Valium.
 It is very nice to have Mr.O'Quilts family visiting from Ireland.  It is a loving boost for all of us.
Tonight all three grands are going to a free Karate camp from 7 to 10.
Should I make potholders or go to dinner with the family..The CNA is taking care of the Mr.
Dinner was lovely.

I want to hug my man, but I cannot as he is surrounded by machines.  I can blow him kisses...and his blue eyes can still twinkle and that is good.
 My daughter is dealing with this with aroma therapy...a different cure in every room!
 The dog is dealing with it by sleeping all day...good idea Zoe!
We are still blessed that tomorrow is a brand new day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Day of Carolina Blue

Feeling the gratitude...of Mr. O'Quilts having everything possible for comfort on his journey.  Of, having my sister and daughter around for laughter and fabric loving and care giving. Of knowing that my grandchildren are safe and sound and so loved.  Of watching the colored leaves glimmer in these days of Carolina blue. . Of friends lifting me up out of despair into the light.  For family traveling from Ireland to encourage us on.
 A big thanks to Katie and Muggs for the wonderful gift of taking the children today....a gift worth a million dollars on this teachers' work day.

Here we have Dylan, age 4 helping Aunt Emily prime the pump for Granddaddy's tube feeding.
  Care giving is a family affair.
 The HSTs (half square triangles ) from the other night on the design wall to cheer me up.
 And, one more pillowcase:)...On Black Friday, JoAnn's fabric usually has a huge flannel sale. Two years ago, it was like $1.88 a yard.  Last year, it was $2. 29 a yard.  We usually go in the evening when the crowds are all home exhausted, shopped out, eating dinner.  There is no one in the store.  It makes shopping a pleasure:)
Opiates for my husband; Pillowcases for me; children with friends.....a lovely day.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

That Ripley Thing

My dear man has not had any food by mouth for a month.
 He also has struggled drinking water. 
 Believe it or not, 
Today he started back on his mugs of Irish tea.  I was so delighted.  It is a drop of normalcy. 
 Now I was never much into the normal thing..ha ha...but believe me now I crave it. 
 So delighted to see Mr. O'Quilts putting down that Barry's tea today!!
Jo came to visit me the other day with dinner...look at the prized piece she made and gave to me!!
 xxoo For sure a gift of love.
 Tonight I was trying to go through my mess.(again)  I came upon some hand dyed charms...probably from forever ago.  They were screaming HST.  So I made them...just have to do a bit of a trim.
 I am just too tired tonight.
 In my mess, I also found a Christmas ornament from a years ago Christmas sale.
No, these are not cookies, they are felt cut outs.
 See how cute this is. Lynsey insisted it was a reindeer from the movie, "Frozen"  sigh....Don't you know that Grandma?? (I just discovered that it is the question mark key that has flown from my keyboard across the room!!!  I just had to do it with a pen.  That slows down the typing process  lol)

 So exhausted me tonight gratefully shares... a bit of the good stuff:)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Day

As I am still in my pillowcase phase, Evan mentioned  a friend's 10th  birthday party coming up.  He said that his classmate really really liked the Carolina Panthers and would I make him a pillowcase.  We decided on a fleece pillowcase as all my grandchildren love theirs...Voila...present made in 15 minutes...
If all of life's problems could be solved like this!

I just cannot believe out of control today.
Bday party invite for the 5 year old, karate for the boys, my sister overwhelmed and needing a day off, me crying over nothing,  cat throw up dried onto karate pants noticed just as we get there...a roach on the floor, my man's feeding tube leaking all over the bed and Emily and I together cannot change the bed,  so we have to wait 4 hours for the new CNA who is 30 min late.
 Me deciding to get a grip by cleaning my keyboard.  I flicked off the keys to get at the everlasting cat hair...and.....a key flew into fabric space...never to be found again...
And, now Tuesday is a teachers' workday...jeeze louize...
Training a new CNA...OMG
Then I overhear the regular CNA teaching the new one:
The Mister....very private, very calm in the bed..knows what he needs, likes to watch sports.
The Wife...high strung and emotional..bring her a glass of red wine as soon as you get here and then she will start sewing.  Once she starts sewing, she will be ok.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Mr.O'Quilts...Happy Birthday to you!!!

To the Mr. from the Mrs.
xxxooo I love you so.
A few folks dropped by....they just could not help themselves...My man is such a prince.
 And you know, he always was turning the tables and praising them...That is who he is!!

 Hugs right back at all of you!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Humpty Dumpty Changed Up

Oh, are the knowing kind of friend...sending fabric to cheer up sad times.!!!  
I just love all of it!!!
 The other night I had the grands pick out fabric from my stash for Christmas pillowcases.
Immediately, the next day they asked if they were done yet???. 
 Well tonight I did them...I think I am in the pillowcase mode for sure!
Lynsey's Christmas kittens...
 Dylan's patriotic snowmen...
 Evan's blue Santas...
I think I will put them away till after Thanksgiving.
A person should never take Humpty Dumpty literally...
Because it is all about emotionally falling apart, and it really can be put back together again...can't it??

Last night the Hospice on call nurse had to come to give my Dear vitamin K.  You see, his Coumadin was too high and there was some bleeding going on that was not nice!
  Who needs that when you already have blood clots and ALS.??
His nose is all bloody from the Trilogy mask he has to wear at night to breathe. 
 The latest thing is a 24 hour opiate patch to help with the breathing.  It is really working so that is nice.

Sometimes when there is stress, just one little piece of straw can make the entire haystack crumble.
Tonight one of the CNAs decided she was giving me 36 hour notice that she no longer was going to work Saturdays and what had I planned for that??? OMG
 Sirens always remind me of my mother because of her poem..and the way she died. Believe me there were plenty tonight.  I could hardly get out of the Karate studio with the kids when I saw car accidents everywhere with police and ambulances...,
Then my girl called.  She had taken the four year old and the dog for a run in a wooded path where she dropped the keys to the car.  It was the wheelchair van keys and the other keys were locked inside the car.
It was getting dark..OMG...
I do not seem to be able to brush things off lately...I feel sucker punched by everything..

 Stephanie...the reliable CNA decided that I needed another glass of vino tinto tonight.
Once Mr.O'Quilts was settled, she ironed the pillowcases for Emily and I...

She has become a convert. She too is buying a sewing machine... and off we go.....
Thank you Jo for the dinner tonight...and Michael for the awesome birthday present for my dear man.

Tomorrow is his birthday.  I am so grateful that he is still here with me.