Thursday, January 26, 2012

Picked Up an Old Friend This Week

Way back in July of last year, I started this piece when I took Mark to the ER for the second time and knew he would be staying for longer than an overnight stay. However, after I got as far along as in the pic above, I realized I was one thread off and it was driving me crazy. So much so, that I was making many mistakes. I put it down, then decided I'd start all over again and frog everything that I'd stitched. I plucked out all of the blue and the red, decided I was tired of that and started stitching again, this time on the correct thread. I'd done a bit of the blue when I last stitched on it. Knowing I was going to be doing a lot of sitting in the waiting room at the hospital on Monday while Mark had his procedure, I took it along to work on. This is how far I got with it.

The white still needs to be taken out, but I'll do that when I get to it!

This past Monday, Mark had a defibrillator implanted in his chest due to congestive heart failure, a weak heart, and tachycardia (fast heart rate). He did great during the procedure and I brought him home on Tuesday. He has some limitations, but currently he's vacuuming the house. The defibrillator doesn't really help his heart work any better or more efficiently. It really helps if his heart rate gets up over a certain number of beats per second. It will send an electrical shock to his heart to try to get it back into a normal rhythm. If that doesn't work, then it will shock him (like you see with an external defibrillator on TV). Also, if he were to go into cardiac arrest, it would shock his heart back to life. If you'd like to read more, you can get some really good information from the Heart Rhythm Society.

In other news, we are picking up our new kitty tonight!! She's still sick and will have to be isolated from our other cats, but she'll be fine. I've already scheduled a vet visit for her next Wednesday for a wellness exam as well as a follow up on her upper respiratory infection. I can't wait to bring her home and get her on the road to good health!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Little Bit of Progress Made

I've been stitching on my Quaker Friendship Sampler during my lunchtime for the past couple of weeks. While I don't get a lot of time to stitch during lunch, maybe 15-20 mins, I enjoy it. It helps me de-stress from all the hectic activity at work. I also get to see a bit of progress. Even stitching for 15 mins a day brings me one stitch closer to a finish. I also worked on this last Saturday evening.

Sorry for the crummy picture, but my picture editing software wouldn't let me crop it. Also, my scanner isn't big enough to scan the whole thing in one scan, so I had to "stitch" it together.

For those of you who may be interested in this chart and my conversions (thanks to Jan at Tree of Life Samplings and Belfonte Notes). I am stitching this on 32 count Mockingbird linen which is a nice deep brown color, from R&R Reproductions. The design can be stitched in one color, or it has a suggested color palette. I am using Crescent Colours cottons. Here are my conversions:

DMC ----> Crescent Colours
840 Wild Oats (I started off with Country Lane but it was too dark for my fabric.)
931 Blue Beadboard
729 Tufted Yellow
223 Secondhand Rose
3041 Fleur de Lilac
3363 Dandelion Stem
3799 Rod & Reel

In other news, the husband's heart continues to do weird things. We thought he was doing okay, but his heart rate skyrockets to unsafe levels when he does anything strenuous or tries to work out. Husband already wears a device that tells him his heart rate, so when it gets too high, he stops what he's doing, but because of the high heart rate, he could suffer sudden cardiac arrest and possibly die. We went to see a second cardiologist this past Thursday. This guy specializes in electrophysiology (the electrical function of the heart) and arrhythmias (irregular heart beats). Looking over Husband's files and talking with the husband, this doctor also confirmed that Husband needs an implanted defibrillator. In addition to acting as a defibrillator, the device also acts as a pacemaker and will send electric impulses to the heart if it starts beating too quickly. Tomorrow afternoon, I will take Husband to the hospital for the procedure to implant the defibrillator in his chest. He will need to stay overnight for monitoring and then I'll pick him up on Tuesday. Hopefully, this device will enable him to feel better and return to a more productive life.

The other bit of excitement in our home is that Husband finally agreed to adding another kitty to our family! I've only been pestering him for a year!! After looking for several weeks on Petfinder, I found a cute little tortie girl (finally!) a couple of weeks ago. I emailed back and forth with her foster mom for several days and then we went to meet her this past Monday. She was a TOTAL love bug!! I held her up to my chest and she put her paws up on my shoulder, gave me tons of headbutts and chin rubs, and purred and purred and purred. While we talked, if she heard a strange noise outside of the room, she would run and jump up on the bench next to me to "hide". Her foster mom was very impressed that the kitty took to us so quickly. Coming soon to our home is this little cutie!!

Unfortunately, we haven't been able to bring her home because she's got a little upper respiratory infection. :{ When we saw her on Monday, she was sneezing and had a bit of congestion, but her foster mom has been taking great care of her. She's on antibiotics and will go back to the vet on Tuesday for a re-evaluation as she's still a bit congested. We've told the foster mom that we're willing to bring her home if she's still congested but not sneezing. Due to Hannah's herpes, we have to be careful with any sickness, but as long as this little girl isn't contagious, we should be okay. We've been through so many upper respiratory infections with Hannah that this should be nothing major. Her name is tentatively "Daisy", but that's subject to change.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Dusting Off the Ol' Blog

I have spent the past couple of months trying to catch my breath from all the "stuff" that has happened in my life the past year. Sometimes life can just be so overwhelming! Since the end of November, 2010, the following things have happened in my life:

*My truck was stolen from my driveway.
*My grandmother passed away.
*We had to put my beloved kitty to sleep due to chronic renal failure.
*My husband was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and had triple bypass surgery. A follow-up to the cardiologist had a not so good prognosis, so we are dealing with that as well.
*The Christmas shopping season at work has come and gone and I survived

The last thing has consumed my life since April. On a good note, the husband has completed his cardiac rehab sessions (36 of those puppies, 3 times a week for 12 weeks) with perfect attendance. He now goes to the same place for 'workout sessions' as many times a month as he wants. It's much less expensive than a gym or health club, too!

During this time, I really had no desire to stitch. I'm working on getting back in the stitching groove, though. I've decided to work on my Quaker Friendship Sampler.

I realized as I was putting this piece in the q-snaps that including the current medallion I'm working on, I only have 7 medallions left until it's completed!! I can do it! I can do it!! I definitely want to finish this piece, this year.

The kitties enjoying the sun on New Year's Day! What a wonderful way to welcome in the new year!