Saturday, August 27, 2011

Making Good Use of My Time

Mark had heart bypass surgery Thursday, August 18th. The doctor ended up doing 3 bypasses and discovered Mark has skinny veins in his legs below his knees, so he had to take veins from both thighs. Due to the shortage of veins, the cardiologist might have to go in and place a couple of stents in some of the arteries, but Mark needs to heal first before we start investigating that option.

Mark's recovery has been fantastic, though. He did very well at the hospital with the anesthesia and pain meds. He only got loopy a couple of times and told the nurses that he'd had enough and to hold off on the pain meds or find him something else. He came home from the hospital this past Tuesday and continues to get stronger and become more independent daily. It probably helps that I don't baby him and I push him to do what he can do within his limits. He is still in some pain, but his medical sensitivities make it difficult for him to take pain meds, so sometimes all he can take is Tylenol. He has two furry nurses to help him throughout the day. Here's Hannah ensuring Mark gets his rest.

While Mark was in the hospital, I had lots of time on my hands. My stitching went with me to the hospital to help me pass the time. I got the first part of the iStitch Mystery SAL finished and started the last block on my LHN Seasonal Saltbox piece, Blessed are the Peacemakers. I got a good deal of stitching on it while sitting with Mark.

I would post pics of my iStitch Mystery SAL piece, but we've been asked to only show pics that can't be enlarged and I've not figured out how to do that, so I'll work on that and then post a pic. Instead, I'll let Tumbles demonstrate the proper way to spend your Sunday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A New Start!

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I signed up for Carol's iStitch Mystery SAL. The first part arrived in my inbox a few days ago and the fun has begun! I finally decided on use HDF's Rose silk and 32 ct. Princess Pink linen from Silkweaver. I've had the fabric forever and the thread had been sitting near my stitching spot just begging me to use it. In my opinion, it's a pretty combination. :) If you click the picture, you can see it better and see the actual shading in the fabric and thread.

Mark's surgery is this Thursday. He went for his pre-op blood work and x-rays today. He came home with paperwork and a scrubber of betadine soap! He can't shave any potential surgery sites (chest and/or legs). Thankfully, we have that part under control! LOL I have to admit that my first thought was, "What man shaves his chest or his legs??" We both feel very confident with the doctors and the hospital. We both know what to expect when Mark's exposed to too much anesthesia and pain meds and now how to handle it. (He's got a very sensitive system and hallucinates, tears his clothing off, rips out his IVs, and many other things when he gets too much in his system.) It's still going to be interesting to see how he responds to any meds they give him, but I now know what to expect and can tell the medical professionals that it's the meds/drugs and not his normal behavior. We are also know that God has given us hope and we have nothing to fear. We know that God is in control and he holds us close.

In other news, the heat continues. We didn't break the record for most consecutive 100º+ days, but we're still having 100º+ days. We on day #50 as of this writing. I'm really looking forward to October!! The cantaloupes are still loving the heat. It's just about the only thing growing in the garden.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Finish & Answers for the Husband's Issues

While the husband was having his heart cath this past Thursday, I finished the 3rd in the Seasonal Saltbox series, Blessed are the Merciful, from Little House Needleworks. I really like the blue in this piece! I've already started the final chart in this series and hope to have a pic of it soon.

Next Thursday will once again find me sitting in a waiting room at the hospital. Mark's heart cath showed many blockages, so he will be having bypass surgery. I foresee lots of stitching time in my future, especially since I don't have a smart phone to access the internet. I covet your prayers for Mark's doctors and surgical staff, a complication free surgery and recovery, and for a full & complete return to health for my man. Also pray for me as I take over all the household responsibilities and continue to go to work.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Stitching Post (Gasp!!) With Info on a Giveaway

Lest you think I've just been playing around in the garden and spending lots of time watching Kitty Rescue Center Reality TV (which is addicting if you're a kitty lover), I have proof that I've not been consumed by either of those things.

First up is "Blessed are the Merciful" from LHN. I am determined to finish this by the weekend. I just have the wording and the little flowers to finish around the border.

Next up is the Sampler Daze exchange piece I stitched for Judith. It's Bluebirds and Daisies from Blue Ribbon Designs and stitched with the called for Crescent Colours fibers. You can download the design from the Blue Ribbon Designs' Complimentary Chart page.

My friend, Jan, over at Tree of Life Samplings is previewing her newest design and having a giveaway! Hurry on over and check it out!

Mark's angiogram is tomorrow (Thursday). I'm praying for peace for both of us and a clear diagnosis of the problem with his heart. I'm also praying for no complications and a clear and easy fix for this problem. If you're the praying sort, I'd appreciate your prayers.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

It's Hot!! So, I'm Joining a Mystery SAL!

We've now had 37 straight days of 100º+ temps and 6 straight days of temps 105º or higher. Granted, we Texans are a strong lot and we're used to hot weather, but this is ridiculous! We are now officially in a drought. I don't remember when we last had rain. Work isn't much better as it's 80-something degrees in the store. The air conditioning just can't keep up and we don't really have enough tonnage to compete with this heat. Our corporate office is "working on it fast and hard" which means we'll probably get a new AC unit in January! Bless our customers who have filled out comment cards expressing their displeasure over the temperature in our store. To help our customers and our staff, we've set out a 5 gallon cooler of cold water with cups for them to drink while in the store. It's been very well received and many have thanked us for it.

Lest you think everything is fried down here, which it pretty much is if it's not watered regularly, here are a few things that have survived in this heat.

This is West Texas Mistflower (or Blue Mistflower) and Strawberry Fields Gomphrena. Both love this weather and do well with little watering. Once you plant either one, you never have to plant again. The West TX mistflower grows from underground runners and the gomphrena reseeds like crazy.

These are Cowpen Daisies. (Nice name, huh?) I love them!! They have been blooming continuously for 3 months. They also do well with little supplemental watering. This is one of the few native annuals that I have in my garden. They reseed well, though, and it's easy to collect seeds if needed.

This little lovely is a Scarlet Fruited Passion Flower. It's another Texas native and it's the first year in my garden. I planted it at the beginning of June just before all this hot, dry weather started. Thought I was going to lose it, but with 2 weeks of daily watering, the roots were able to get established and it's taken off. This little bee was enamored with the blooms this morning while I was snapping pics, too.

Since my outdoor activity is limited to brief periods of time and only in the mornings when it's "cooler" and there's a slight breeze, I've decided to join the Mystery SAL on Carol's blog, iStitch. I will not be stitching on 40 count linen, though. Thirty-two count is the smallest my eyes can handle! I've not decided on what color combination I'm going to use. Will need to spend some time in my stash (what a drag!) to find something that will work for me. I might use a Belle Soie silk or one of the HDF silks my friend Robin has sent me. Decisions, decisions, decisions!!

On the husband front, Mark had an echocardiogram and stress test on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the results weren't what we were hoping for, so now he has to have an angiogram. This will be done this coming Thursday afternoon. Not sure what they'll find, so I'm a bit apprehensive. I know that God is in control and I have nothing to fear, but I'm still concerned and praying it's a relatively easy fix. I'm ready for Mark to start feeling better!