Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014

 The last day of 2014 brings our Evan learning to sew.  At nine and a half, he has been begging me to teach him.
 As I have no patience, I had thought of hiring it out...I did not have to. 
 He was a first rate sewist from the get go.  He had not looked at this machine before, yet he had it threaded and plugged in before I even got into the room.  He had his right shoe off...ha ha...I always sew barefoot.  I put the speed on slow and off he went.  I helped him with the first one and part of the second..When I left to attend to Granddaddy, he had done several more by himself..I am so so proud.!!!
 Picture fuzzy, but not the boy...ironing his strips toward the center block, spray starch and all.
 I have had these charms cut out for him for awhile, knowing he was interested. 
 My original intention was a disappearing nine-patch..hence the red middles. 
 Now, I am thinking for a beginner's success, a plain nine  patch should do...
It is for his own bed...all action characters..
In other less happy news...things with my dear man are stressful.  As he declines, his care is takes much more energy and focus.  We are all burned out.  Although the caregivers are excellent, today we had a no- can- come- last minute deal with no replacement for the holiday tomorrow.
 The detail and time it takes to care for the Mr. is extensive, and getting worse. 
 He needs the cough assist more...I am training Evan for that too. 
 There is a lot I cannot do with my back and arthritis.  He needs massages for his dead muscles, toileting, range of motion exercises...as he looses weight, he needs repositioning for comfort...that I cannot do.
  His Trilogy machine must be put on just so, etc.
  The emotional part of this is devastating for the entire family.  We really need a few days away in respite, but that will not happen.  We need more caregivers who care and are responsible. We need me getting braver.  I was helping my sister tonight at 11 with toileting and all that comes with that and I started to feel dizzy.  I decided that a beer and blogging would help..and so it did. 
 Cousin Ann is still here, but she leaves on Friday. She has been so great helping with the kids and even putting on the Trilogy mask. 
 We need a respite CNA that we can trust.  It is going to get worse and I do not know what we are going to do.  If it were morning I would say celebrate the positive and one day at a time.  But this post is going out as the last post of 2014 and it is 11:41 pm...so I am probably doing a negative whining thing
...It still feels good to get it out...
A New Year is like a new baby...there is hope for the future and something to look forward to.  I know that there is no cure for ALS...but there are other things in life that can be happy and uplifting...
So Happy New Year to that part...to hope and appreciation...to friendship and love.
 A Very Goodbye to  2014 and a Very Welcome to 2015
xxoo

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Just Today's Musings.....

Grief is exhausting.  I spend a lot of time napping..I did get these done in time for Christmas.  Saint Ava, queen of the nurses...angel from my mother...collects hens...Ha...of course even with a stash like mine, I had to take from my sister's stash!!  Ha!
 For Ava only...the fried eggs for the lining:)
 Then for dear BB Muggs...the Christmas sail away...all gifted in time!!
Today Muggs took the kids...from 10 to 4...ALL the kids...Saint Muggs. Immediately I went right back to bed.  Just taking one child out of the mix during this winter break is helpful, never mind all of them.
My dear man is stable.  He sits in the bed all day sleeping and watching sports. We have the best caregivers ever and he is so well taken care of.  Once in awhile he gets a visitor for a short while.  Now that the blood clots have moved out of the way, he can tolerate that better.  Although, talking is exhausting for him.
In the hour I have left before the wildness descends again...I have bordered a small scrap busting quilt top from two years ago.  Just to be able to do something other than pillowcases with my poor focus is such a thrill. 
 I hear Steph, the caregiver in the next room with the Cough Assist machine...1..2...3, 1..2..3, she is putting on the Fentanyl morphine patch  and I realize, still again, how blessed I am.... with help  and with friends.
And things to look forward to....Cousin Ann comes in tonight and two
O'Sister-in-laws come in on February 4th  Yeah!!
xxoo

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Somewhere in my Youth or Childhood, I Must Have Done Something Good



This dark. cold Carolina winter's day...brings more and more blessings for our family.
Michael...you are amazing to have walked into a JoAnn's fabric store for the first time in your life...ever..and buy me a gift certificate for fabric...Such an unbelievable gift of friendship.
And from the anonymous Women's Monday  Bible study group...a gift cert to Walmart.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
My  cup runneth over with gratitude.
My heart is so warmed by such caring.

 Love...Just the three of us...lol

From Michelle Bilyeu, these wonderful posts..thank you Michelle.
Bringing Forth the Light

I recovered Lynsey's IKEA doll bedding with Frozen flannel.  Made a Cowboy pillowcase for a gift...

A sneak peak binding audition.....
Himself looks good...but as he says..looking good is irrelevant,  He has not been out of bed for days.  Maybe it is the Irish weather that has descended upon us.
So looking forward to a visit...Cousin Ann...We cannot wait.

Bye bye Joe Cocker...Did you know you have been singing to me?
I Get By With A LIttle Help From My Friends
xxoo

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Family...making the difference

 Happy family birthday to me.  Emily and her man made breakfast for me today.  
I almost forgot about it as I was taking grands to karate party and kid's craft day at Michael's.
How could I??
 Homemade scones, Gingerbread pancakes from Trader Joe's, Irish sausages...etc.
and family love..
 
 At Michaels, the kids painted paper...at home, we cut it into snowflakes with Accuquilt Go cutter..
 
 
 The kids made presents for their mother at the kid's craft day...once home, they wrapped them in fabric from my scrap bucket..They had a great time...Now, too their Mommy will have scraps to sew with.
 The helper.
.I was trying to finish up last minute pillowcases and needed a red bobbin...they were tangled..
I got crabby.
  Evan took scissors and cut off the thread....He said..Grandma..don't you know that bobbins do not untangle when they are like that....9 years old knows lots.
 Winding bobbins for his own new bobbin holder from Grandma.
 Evan organized the sewing drawer for me.
 He stayed up late doing sewing things with me that the other two are too small for.
It was nice.  I wish I could be a better grandma, instead of such a witch at times..eg..do not talk back, you are in time out...listen to me...OMG...I am exhausted. 
 I want to be a sweet grandma..not a hag. 
 And I am exhausted all the time even with tons of help.
Himself seems stable today..although he has not been out of bed for a few days. The suction machine broke.  Brian super-glued it back together as the Mr.O cannot be without it...New one coming tomorrow.
I wish I had a calm and easy going personality like my Mr. Wonderful. 
 Too late now...you saw the candles on the birthday cake...old old old dogs do not learn new tricks or evidently have the energy that young dogs do.
.I would like more energy from Santa..but last year I asked to be 45 again...and oh, no..I did not get it.
This year I am thinking that I will just be grateful for what I have.


How old are you now? How old are you now?

Your guess.....
Cake on fire!!
Flowers
 Presents...clever Drenna put a jelly roll in this jar and covered it with M&Ms
An arrangement from my girl
 Clever Muggs used empty medicine bottles with numbers from Michaels on pins..to help us mark our blocks
 Mulled wine from Kathylynn and mint M&Ms
 The Muldoon favors for this year...thanks to Emily...Homemade vanilla..seeped for months in empty jars on the shelf.  Cute bottles bought online. She also found cute labels online.
Celebrating with good friends..so so lucky
I told the grands that all the pretty lights in the city were for my birthday and not Christmas.  Even the four year old did not believe me!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Guess what I got for my birthday on Wednesday?????????????????

Lol..Thank you Sherry!!!
The good news is that Mr.O'Quilts is no better and no worse from his scary ordeal last night. TBTG  
 The good news is that his wife is better grounded in the real facts of our life..ugh.
And that the doctor thinks the episode was ALS related..
The good news is...I cleaned...kinda...but good for me..my sewing tables.
Ironing table...look in middle not to the sides(:
 Cutting table..again..keep eyes centered!!!
 And the best of all....a Christmas present for all the world to see...our friend and dental hygienist..and quilter, Ann....cleaning my man's teeth.  Evan on light duty using the light on Ann's smart phone for guidance...
Thank you Ann...This meant so much to him!!  
As you passed through my sewing room, even if you took a few fat quarters...it is so ok.
With such a good day, what if I actually get to post some quilting tomorrow???
Just what if?
????????

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Fear and the Fairy

The Fairy
I was crabby McNasty today..
It was the.last day of Prednisone for my asthmatic bronchitis...ooo..stay away..
I was horrid.  No sleep, etc....oooo

And, then I got out of bed and found this package on the table..

I burst into tears.
 It was so loaded with gift cards and M&Ms and fabric that I was just in shock.
Immediately I said..."Why me"...and thought that others needed this kind of lift more..I patted it and loved it..and aloud..."Thank you so much"
Dear Santa....I am sending love and gratitude for this wonderful box of treasures for us.
 To where do I send my love and thanks??? 

Today was very difficult...a perfect day for a treat. Lucky lucky O'Quilt family:)

I really needed to get outta Dodge and the Target gift card just called my name.
Katie saved the day by taking the kids to karate graduation.
Almost....Ha ha..  no one should ever have to take all 3 kids anywhere!!!

Here is my loot from Target.
Baby wipes and Kleenex.
Hospice does not pay for much on the wipes.  They think that we should use washcloths to toilet our loved ones.  We think not...$50 is a lot of money, but well worth it.
I am so so so grateful.
 The Fear....
Finally..the day is done.  Kiddos are asleep, My sister and daughter have the night off...
Thought I might actually clean off my sewing table and start sewing a bit..
Nope!!
, Enter emergency call to Hospice on-call nurse.
There was uncontrollable scary shaking numbness and weakness in his left arm and hand.
When my dear man is nervous....not good.
Evidently it was a small seizure or TIA or brain bleed.
 His damaged left arm has not regained  its range.

During today, I was struggling with what is.  I wanted so badly to turn back the clock and make our life just  like it was 18 months ago.
Poof!! That was wasted dreaming...Tonight's episode clarified what I really do know inside...
Tomorrow ALS will be not be better.  ALS is never better. There is no going up in this disease.
And when he can no longer move his tongue and lips to tell the nurse what is going on..
When he will not be able to tell me he needs the Cough Assist machine...
I will need more strength and the Calvary to come.

The Calvary does come, doesn't it?
I think it did today...in the form of a gift box from friends with great big hearts.
xxoo

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.