Thursday, April 28, 2011


This was day 2 of the actual quilt show.  Again, our day began really early as Vickie had a class at 0830.  The three of us headed for the show and vendors again and took Carol to the Bobbinlace workshop at the church.  She had a good time and got her bracelet made, so we all have our handmade Bobbinlace bracelets.  We picked Vickie up about 4 and headed back to the Hideaway.  We have decided to go south through Memphis and west on I40 to get home.  It may take a little longer, but at least we will not have to go through flood waters.  I have had such a good time on this trip.  Our EQ7 class is in the morning at 0830 and hopefully they will let Vickie sit in on it.  She purchased the program here so she did not pre-register and they show that the class is full.  I purchased fabric today to make 2 Hanky Panky quilts for 2 sweet little girls, I can hardly wait to get started on them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Quilt Show

Today began very early as Carol had a class that started at 8:30 and we are 45 minutes away.  We dropped Carol at the church and made a quick trip to Wal Mart for extension cords for our class on Friday.  We went to the Pavilion first, but there were no parking spots at all, so we decided to go back to the church and view the wall hangings, some very beautiful quilts there.  We went to the next place and it was a vendor area that was jam packed full of folks.  I did not feel comfortable with all these strangers being so close to me, but I managed to make it through all the miniature quilts and most of the vendors.  The next stop was not so crowded, but still had lots of folks there with more vendors and the Lancaster 2011 winners.  From there we went back to the church because I had left my orange notebook on a chair there and had to get it back, good news is that someone had turned it in and I have it back.  We ate lunch in the parking lot, then it was back to the Pavilion where the show winning quilts were on display - they are just beautiful - and there were more vendors.  From there we went to the Grace Episcopal Church where we learned how to do Bobbin Lace.  I really enjoyed the lesson and we made bracelets.  By the time we finished with our bracelet it was time to get Carol and head back to the Hideaway.  I am very tired tonight, so I am off to shower and go to bed because our day will start at 0530. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Paducah, day 2

We slept in today, all the way to 7am.  I finally had a good nights sleep last night.  Thanks to Vickie, I did not sleep well in Poplar Bluff, MO because she was looking all over her bed for bedbugs, so of course, I felt them crawling on me all night.  So with the help of Laura's Wine Tea and a good ole Tylenol PM, I slept through a big storm and power outage last night.  We are currently in a Tornado Watch here in Marshall county.  Gary England they are not, but they are taking up the prime time tv just as the OKC folks do.
We finally met up with the other four from our quilt guild this morning at Hancocks of Paducah.  We were really worried about them because Poplar Bluff was being evacuated because of floods and they were to drive through that town on the way to Sikesville where they were going to stay the night.  Tina said they were re-routed north of Poplar Bluff and then back down to Sikesville, but they did not call to let us know that they were OK.
We shopped at Hancocks then went to the Rotary Club Quilt Show and they had antique quilts on display.  After that, we went to the Eleanor Burns Tents again and ate our lunch in the park before shopping.  While we were eating lunch DH called to say they had taken Mom to the ER.  She had told her PT that her face and right arm felt a little numb and her right leg was not wanting to hold her up.  They did a CT scan and did not find anything and were going to do a MRI and monitor her probably overnight.  I told DH to get her out of there as soon as possible before something else happened.  He said he would.  I spoke with him about 3pm and he said he had no news, so I will call about 7 to see what has transpired today.
Carol prepared a very nice meal tonight and we are sipping our evening Wine Tea and playing on the computer.  Hope I sleep good again tonight.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Paducah, Kentucky

We arrived this morning a little before 9am.  The first stop was Hancocks of Paducah, and as usual it was packed with people and fabric.  Next stop was Eleanor Burns' tents at the park, one of them was demolished in the storms on Friday and Saturday.  They were working really hard to get things moved and get a new tent up for Eleanor's show.  Next stop was lunch at Arby's, after lunch we went to the National Quilt Museum.  The quilts are beautiful, but I did not enjoy these as much as I did when I was here in 08.  After that we went to a shop with hundreds of bolts of fabric beginning at $3.00 per yard, then we went to the downtown store of Eleanor Burns.  We went to Wal Mart to buy our food for the week then to Carol's Hideaway where we will spend the week.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Garage Sale

Yesterday was day 1 of the garage sale and, all in all, I would say we did pretty well.  Of course, the best stuff went first and I think we made about $300.  I am quite sure that we will not get that much today but we will give 'er a go.  I will check with the place associated with our church to see exactly what they need in donations and take that stuff to them.  A fella stopped by and left information on another place that takes donations of stuff and I will call them with the remainder of the items.
Mom did very well yesterday.  She started cutting the coupons from the paper then had PT at 9:00.  After PT she finished the coupons then started sorting the fabric scraps.  She worked on them until 9:00pm and got through one bag.  As she was going through the sewing room on her way to bed she stopped and counted the bags that were left to sort (3) and said "I still have a lot of work to do".
I have a lot of work yet to do today also.  Most of my packing is done, just the last minute stuff that I will use in the morning is left to pack.  I have laundry to do, day 2 of the garage sale, clean up after the garage sale, hose Mama down, and get myself hosed down and hopefully get a good nights sleep then get up at 5am and be ready to leave for Paducah at 6:30am.  I have my list of items I will be specifically looking for and of course all the gadgets that I simply must have.  It is going to be a fun time with good friends.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


My Miniature Schnauzer, Abby, came in yesterday and pawed my arm then pawed at her eye and I just petted her.  I did not think anything about it at the time, but a couple of hours later I noticed that her eye was very watery.  Upon closer examination we determined that something was definitely wrong, but of course it was after hours for the vet.  DH called first thing this morning and was able to get her in at 10am.  She has a severe corneal tear over 1/2 of her eye.  We are using an ointment 3 times a day and will pick up two other medications tomorrow to use and will take her back in one week for follow-up.  Sometimes these tears will heal and sometimes they require surgery to make a flap.  She may or may not lose some or all of her vision, it all depends on how well it heals.  To say the least, I have been on the verge of crying all day. 
Mom has had a good day today, she has felt better and has done some reading and actually did a little sewing for me.  She has been my "binding sewer downer" and has done several of the bindings on my quilts.  She does a really good job.  Gotta find some orange thread so she can work on my pumpkin quilt next week, that is if she needs something to do.  Here it is 8:36 pm and Mom is still up reading, she usually goes to bed about 8:00.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Whirlwind Day

The day began with a 10:20 appointment with my neurosurgeon.  Results of my one year post-op MRI showed NO sign of recurrence of tumor.  The void left after removal of the tumor has filled in nicely with fluid (maybe that is why I can be wishy washy at times) and there are no signs of any new tumors anywhere. All I can say is Thank You, God, you are awesome in you healing powers. I will have my next MRI in 2 years, follow up PRN if any problems.  After lunch I took Mom to the Medical facility where she had her urinalysis done on the 7th for her follow-up UA after completing her antibiotics.  This is where the whirlwind began.  We checked in and they took her vital signs, as is their policy.  We went to the restroom where the nurse has placed the "nun's cap" on the toilet, Mom peed and missed the nun's cap, so there was no sample.  She tried again and got maybe 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon worth.  There was enough for them to dip the stick and know something was still going on, but not enough for a C/S.  We went to the exam room and the PA came in only to tell us that Mom's blood pressure was low and her heart rate was 45 and that they were not equipped to handle emergency problems like this and we should go to the ER.  I told her I did not want to go to the ER could she call Dr. A (Mom's cardiologist) to see if she could be seen, she did but he was not in clinic, so she suggested that we go to the Heart Hospital ER.  She sent us with papers to help us with information they would need.  It was like a beehive with all the folks scurrying around doing important things, IV, EKG, Blood, Chest X-ray, hooked up to monitors, etc.  We answered questions and the doctor finally came in and we answered more questions.  He did an exam and said he would go out and pull up her chart from Dr. A and be back shortly.  He spoke with Dr. A and they decided that they would make no changes in the meds at this time.  We are to monitor her BP before we give meds and if it is below 100 we are to hold her medication at that time and to monitor her pulse.  We are to keep a record of the readings and follow up with Dr A on May 17.  They said there were no problems with her heart that all looked very good.  Tears of joy and thanks to God and we were out of there.  I called the Medical facility to let them know what we were told and let them know that I would bring Mom in the next day to get the sample for the UA.  I was told that the same thing (as in the BP & HR) would probably happen again and that I should probably see her primary card doctor instead.  I said I didn't want to do that and I would bring her in tomorrow.  Well, about 15 minutes later she, the nurse, called me back to tell me that she had scheduled an appt with Dr. M for Tuesday @ 3:45 and I told her I wished she hadn't done that and that I would call and cancel the appt that Mom already had an appt with her PT at that time.  I called and there was no appt so I said OK and we went on to the facility to give the specimen instead of waiting.  There is something going on in the urine so we were given another Rx for antibiotics and I will call to schedule an appt with Dr. B.M. for when I return from my trip.  What a day it was just to collect a bit of Pee.  I have 5 days to get all my things gathered and packed for my trip to Paducah.  I had such a good time in 2008 when I went before and I am sure this trip will be just as much fun.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The baseball bat

While gathering the last of the things from my Mom's house I picked up the baseball bat that she had standing in the corner behind the front door.  My mind congered up this image of the Indiana Jones movie where the Knight was guarding the Holy Grail and he was so old and feeble that when he lifted his sword up over his head he stumbled backward.  I could just see Mom doing that with the baseball bat should she have encountered an intruder in her home.  Just made me giggle to myself.  There are very few items left at the house, most have been taken by family members and the rest are in our garage ready for the garage sale.  All in all I think Mom is doing better.  Yesterday was not a good day for her, her belly bothered her most of the day, but around 4:30-5:00 she came to the den and stayed up til about 7:30.  She finished reading her book and was happy about that.  By the way, I found a total of 3 baseball bats in her house, can we call it her arsenal?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tax Day

Yuck, Yuck, Yuck,  I hate tax day.  The current tax system is just so unfair, why can't we just have the "fair tax".  Enough Said.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Waskaley Wabbits

I was up very early yesterday morning and when the sun finally began to rise, I looked out my window to check on my iris bed to see if they were blooming, sure enough they were.  Something moved in the yard and lo and behold there they were, two waskaley wabbits.  I watched them for a little while, then decided to get my camera.  I stepped out on the veranda and managed to get two shots of them before they scattered.  I took some iris photos also and will post both later, that is if the shots were any good of the furry little cottontail critters.  I think they were looking for our veggies, however, it is too early and they are not planted yet.  Which is a reminder to me, gotta get that done.  I will put that on my to-do list, with all the other things I need to do.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Whistle

There is nothing quite like being awakened at 0428 by three toots on a whistle.  We attached a whistle to the walker in case of emergency and Mama knows how to use it.  She somehow managed to find the floor this morning, so far, I think all that was hurt was her pride.  She did tell me she hit her head, no blood, but there may be a bruise.  She fell yesterday also.  She was working on getting her makeup stuff sorted out and was at the kitchen table, I was out the front door working in the flower bed.  I finally got the mimosa stump out of the ground and came in to get a drink, Mama had packed all her things she had been working on and was not in the kitchen or in the den.  I heard this faint call out and went to her room to find her on the floor.  I said "Whatcha doing down there?"  We managed to get her turned around and on her knees and were able to get her up so she could sit on the bed.  Clothes had to be changed in both cases as she had been in the process of using the bedside commode when both falls happened.  Not sure if she lost her balance on the way up or down, but both times we had pee to clean up.  I am thinking a carpet steam cleaner should be put at the top of my shopping list.  To say the least, I am wide awake a this point and will be going to make coffee shortly.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Today has been a very good day, Mom had her PT early and appt with Dr M this afternoon and she did very well with both.  We spoke about reducing some of her meds and will give that a go and see how she does.  She has never been diabetic but yet she is on medication for diabetes, so we will stop those pills and monitor her blood sugar.  Will use the allpurinol every other day and only use the remeron as needed for sleep.  That is a really big step to getting her meds reduced.
Mom and I talked about getting the fabric ready to cut so we can begin strip piecing this beautiful quilt that one of my friends shared her pattern for.  I can hardly wait til she is able to start sewing again.  I have this pumpkin quilt that still needs to have the binding sewn, and all this fabric that needs to be pressed.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Home from Retreat

I got home about noon, a bit weary but the retreat was such fun and I finished piecing the top.  If I can figure out how to post a picture I will do that here.  My mom is not feeling well today, c/o her side aching.  The only thing I can think of maybe she is trying to pass a kidney stone.  She does have the UTI and is on meds for that, so not sure what is going on.  I just gave her Rx strength tylenol, hopefully that will help.  We see Dr. M tomorrow, maybe he will have some input.  It is just amazing how tired one can get from sitting and sewing for 3 1/2 days, course it could be not sleeping well any of the nights were there, but I will be the first to sign up for the next one. Gotta go do laundry.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I woke at 0430 and stayed in bed until 0600 when I decided to get up and start piecing the blocks for Tami's quilt.  I finished piecing all the blocks just before supper.  After we ate, I started placing the pieces on the design wall, so I could get myself organized for setting the blocks together.  It is gonna be so beautiful and Tami should be very please.  I'm tired, going to bed and will hit it again in the morning.  Good night all.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Canyon Camp

Here I am at Canyon Camp with the Quilt Guild Retreat, having a great time.  I have been doing all the "dirty work" all day just getting the parts ready to assemble the blocks.  I have one block completed and it looks nice.  I tried to post it on FB for my daughter to see, but alas and alack it was not to be.  I am not very computer savvy so I will try again in the am after a good nights sleep.
My DH took Mom to the doctor today to find out if she has a bladder infection.  They said she had something going on, took a urine sample for testing, did a CBC, started her on antibiotics and will call us with the results.  Hope she is feeling better.  Going now to square up my 9 patch blocks.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Missed Posting

Well, I missed posting for two evenings now, so I thought I would catch up on this very early morning.  Monday was not a good day for Mom.  She seemed weak, her legs wanted to go out from under her and she had a hard time getting out of the chairs.  All she wanted to do was "rest".  PT came about 4pm and worked with her and gave us tips on how to get out of the chair.  The only chair that we have that sits high enough for her to get out of is a swivel/rocker, so I am thinking a new chair for Mothers Day, maybe a little early.  Tuesday was a better day, walking and standing seemed easier for her.  We worked on her stuff to see what she wanted to keep, discard or send to the garage sale.  Home health nurse came by to evaluate her and OT came by, evaluated her and announced that he did not see anything that she needed his help on, she was doing great as far a OT was concerned, so we will not be seeing him.  Whoo Hoo!! one less appointment.
I have a bunch to do today as I am leaving in the morning with my SIL to go to the NNNQG quilt retreat.  It has been an annual event for the last few years and it is so much fun.  I need to cut one more piece of fabric and it is a huge square then sub-cut on the diagonal.  I just do not want to tote my big square ruler, so I will cut here and tote the fabric.  I will be piecing a quilt for my daughter.  She actually purchased the quilt kit at the OKC Winter Quilt Show in 2008 and just has not been able to get it pieced.  So I asked her if she would like for me to do it for her, and after a short ponder on her part she said yes.  It is PINK, not my favorite color, but as she says, with a great southern drawl..."it's my signature color", I just love the movie Steel Magnolias.  I am off for my morning shower.  Will post again when I can.

Monday, April 4, 2011

April Fools Day plus

This was no day for joking, this was the day Mom had been waiting for, the day of the "jail break" so to speak, the day of freedom.  We arrived at the nursing facility about 10am and Mom had the remainder of her things packed (we had taken most of the things home the day before) and she was resting in her bed on top of the covers.  We had to wait for the mediation nurse to finish giving the other residents their medications before she could package Mom's "to go" meds.  One by one the staff would come by, say their goodbyes and give hugs and well wishes.  My DH took the remainder of her things to the car and then drove to the front door.  I rolled Mom to the front door and parked her there while I stepped around to say goodbye to a very sweet lady that I had become very fond of while Mom was there.  She was a "table mate" of Mom's, meaning they ate their meals together.  When Mom first arrived there, she shared a table with this lady, a man, and another lady who has since passed away.  Anyway, I got a little misty with my goodbye to her and I wished her well.  She has been in the facility for several years, knows most all of the residents and knows all the ropes.
We loaded Mom in the car and headed for home.  She walked into the house with the aid of her walker, I was so proud to see that happen.  Day one was just figuring out what would work and what would not work as far as her getting around the house.  I still want her to let me or DH be with her when she is getting up or walking around, because she is still a bit unsteady on her feet.  We (by we, I mean me with direction from Mom) rearranged my living room with her furniture from her living room to make it her home.  It looks very nice and I think she is very pleased with it.  Day two was spent at her old house moving things out.  She would tell us what she wanted to keep,  what needed to go to the trash, things she wanted certain folks to have and things for the garage sale.  Day three was spent rearranging things at my house to accommodate all those things we had brought home. 
This brings us up to date.  Believe it or not, this is the "short" version.  I will try to post every evening on the days events, more as a diary for myself and hopefully they will not be so "wordy".

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Off to Rehab

She was moved from ICU to 5th floor, I think, and spent 4 1/2 days there, then was transported via Medride to Jim Thorpe Rehab.  She was making great progress, regaining strength, learning to walk again, to feed herself, to dress herself and do the activities of daily living.  She got a UTI and I believe this is where she contracted a Staph infection.  She was on a mega dose of Cipro for the UTI which caused her to have diarrhea.  To say the least, her diarrhea caused her rehab to go down the toilet, no pun intended.  She stayed in rehab until the Friday after Thanksgiving, I think it was the 4th of December and was transferred to Meadowlake Estates which is a skilled nursing facility.  She was there until the 11th of December.  I got a call about 6am to tell me they were transporting her to the ER by ambulance because her oxygen level was low.  We got to the ER and they diagnosed her with pneumonia and a UTI.  They started her on antibiotics for the pneumonia and antiobiotics for the UTI.  They did blood cultures, broncoscopy, urine tests, stool cultures, more blood cultures and found that she had Staph which meant more antiobiotics, all by IV.  Day after day after day she got worse and worse and weaker and weaker, she could not roll over, sit up, feed herself, she was seeing things and telling some really wild stories.  My brother, husband and myself were staying round the clock with her taking 8 hour shifts.  I really thought she was going to die.  One night while my husband was with her they moved her to CCU because her heart rate jumped to around 200 then would drop down to 40.  They were scrambling to get her heart rate to stabilize and the stool cultures came back and showed C-diff which meant that now we had to gown and glove to go into her room.  I keep thinking, what else can go wrong.  After 2 1/2 days in CCU she was moved to another room.  We still had to glove and gown to go in and just before Christmas the doctor said they would be moving her to another facility.  I was livid.  Here we are with a big bad infection that we have to gown and glove up for and they are wanting to move her out of the hospital to another facility, I looked that doctor right in the eye and told him I was not the least bit happy about this move.  The move happened the next day and it made no difference if I was happy or not.  The new facility was able to do all that was done in the "real" hospital, doctors, nurses, rehab, etc and this is where the "not so nice mama came to be".  To be honest, she was downright mean and nasty at times.  She was so ugly to one of the therapists that I felt the need to apologize to her on a regular basis and try to explain to her that this really is not like my mama.
We stayed in this facility until the 17th of January and was moved back to Meadowlake Estates.  Again, she was diagnosed with a UTI.  They put her on Cipro again and I thought "oh boy, here we go again".  Once we finally got all the infections cleared up and the heart rate back to normal she began to feel better, but was still so very weak that they had to use a lift to get her in and out of bed and this scared the waddin' out of her.  She began to work really really hard in therapy.  The therapists call her their "miracle patient".  She planned to leave there and move to our house the 1st of May, but decided that she did not want to stay there any longer and changed the date to April 1.
Somewhere along the way she decided that she would no longer be able to live at home and care for herself or her husband and told us that she thought it was time to sell her house.  I think that when she made that decision is when her mental attitude changed and she made such great strides in her therapy.
More about what has happened since she moved in later.

The Quilting Caregiver

     I have been quilting since 1999 and have loved every minute of it.  I have done longarm quilting as a small business from 2000 to 2009 when my world as I knew it fell apart when our youngest son took his own life.  My journey to get back to a "normal" life is still a work in progress.
     My Mom has been needing more and more of my time since I retired from nursing in 2001, but my really big adventure with her started on October 23, 2010.  At the age of 82, my mama took care of her husband, who has a brain injury from a stroke, her very much loved and spoiled Boston Terrier, her home of over 40 years, worked her rose garden, did light housekeeping, and, at times, would venture out with me to shop for fabric.
     We have a small place at the lake and Mama had been wanting to go ever since we got it.  So on October 22, 2010 off we went, my husband, myself, mama, my step-dad and 3 dogs.  We got to the lake and unloaded the car and it was such a wonderful afternoon we decided to take them fishing.  Everything was great and only one dog escaped while loading the parents onto the boat.  Fish were caught, no one fell overboard and all is well.  That evening we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, the next day we played "cornhole" and my Mama scored the winning point.
      That evening after everyone was in bed Mama decided that she needed to get her dog and put her in bed with them.  I asked if she needed any help and she said she was OK.  Next thing I heard was a big THUD and my DH said "That did not sound good".  I got up and she was flat on her back and out cold.  I wanted her to wake up, but was afraid if she did that she would move around and possibly do more damage if she had injured herself.  Ambulance was called, she was transported to the local small town hospital, CT scan was done and there was a bleed in her head.  She was transported to OKC by helicopter.  Our daughter was called to meet her at the hospital as we had to gather some things, drive and hour and a half and deliver my step-dad to his son before we could get to the hospital.  More CT scans were done and it was determined that there were two bleeds, sub-dural and sub-arachnoid, but that it did not look like any surgery would be needed.  Thank God for those prayers answered.
      I will stop here for now and continue the "bring you up to date" later.  I don't want to make the first post too long.  Bye for now.