Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I Stitch To...

(Said in a low, slow voice) I stitch to create beauty.

(Continue in same voice) I stitch to soothe my soul.

(Real life voice) I stitch so my pants don't drag on the floor at work. LOL

Seriously, this is the only stitching I have done in the past week. First there was yard work. Then there were chores. Then there was me being lazy and not doing a darn thing but sit on the couch with my eyes closed. If I am good, and stay focused, I might get to stitch tonight! I've done all my chores except for the last load of laundry. I'll be honest, I don't really care if it gets folded since it is my husband's coveralls. Be realistic, no one that works in the garage will care if his coveralls are wrinkly. LOL

Rain update...only about an eighth of an inch. Nothing to brag about, just a little teaser. The weatherman keeps saying soon, we're hoping in February. The grass is still green and growing, so we need that rain. If it waits too long, the grass starts to dry out and the growing season will be over. We will then be back to buying hay for the cows.

One more week and we will be on month twenty of hospice. Dad's body is hanging in there, but his mind...there is not much response to anything that we say or do. We got a compliment from one of our hospice team. She said that Dad has the nicest skin of all her clients and that it is because our family and our team of caregivers takes such good care of him. It makes me happy to know that whatever little I can do for my dad, I am doing it right. Several people have said that I should send him to a nursing home so that I wouldn't have the stress of caring for him. Is it stressful? Absolutely. Am I exhausted most days? Of course. Would I change that? No. At this point, there is no point. I know that sounds weird, but due to Dad's dementia, there is no need for stimulation or interaction. It is time for quiet and rest. We can do that at home.

It is time for me to close if I want some stitching time. If I stay off the couch, I've got a pretty good chance at it! LOL Be kind to one another.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Where Is The Sunrise?

Up early, early, early this morning to take care of Dad. Now, just waiting for the sunrise. Yesterday was spent doing yard work. I had started last Monday by raking up leaves and cleaning out my iris beds, but didn't get the piles into the bin. So...yesterday was spent chasing the piles around the yard and getting ready for the next rain. I've lost at least six rose bushes to the drought, so pruning will be short and sweet this year. I can remember when it would take five or six bins to get all the trimmings recycled. Now, I think it will only take one. It looks like I might be losing another two bushes, but am hoping to get some new growth this year. Bare root roses went on sale at Lowe's earlier in the month, but I just can't decide to replace or ignore. I would hate to spend money for bushes and then not get rain. Again...

Yesterday was my son's and my dad's birthday. It was sad that my son is 2000 miles away, but I made an early morning call to sing happy birthday. It sounds like he's got his day filled with friends. He had several invites for meals and found another friend that was celebrating a birthday next week, so they were going to share a cake. I'm happy.

As for my dad...I told him happy birthday, but not sure if it got through or not. My brother stopped by to talk to him. Still no response, but I could tell that Dad was trying to talk. It was sad to watch my brother, this is so hard for him. I see it every day and am sort of hardened, but he only sees Dad every two or three weeks. My sister called to say she was coming, but when I told her that Dad hadn't spoken in two weeks, she changed her mind. Not sure why, he's still Dad. My son called to talk to Grandpa. Put him on speaker. Again, Dad tried, just couldn't get anything out. At least we made an effort, but this is difficult. Since my son was born on Dad's birthday, we always did something special for the both of them. Even last year, my son came home and Dad was still able to sit at the table. Now, nothing.

No big plans this Sunday, but do need to get moving on my projects. I have another baby blanket to work on and time is is a'passing. I still haven't decided on a rag quilt or regular quilt. I am thinking of blacks, blues, and tans, so if I can find a dark flannel for the inside, I will go with the rag quilt. I don't know...the older I get, the harder it is to make a decision.

Enjoy your day and be kind to one another.

Oh, and still no sunrise. LOL LOL LOL

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

There Was Stitching and Punching....And Chores

First, a beautiful sunrise...I was up early on Monday and this was my gift. Gorgeous!

Then, on the stitching front, I managed to add a little, tiny, itsy bitsy, really tiny bit of white. LOL I think I got in about 50 stitches and then had to move on to chores.

And last, here is the start to a new punch needle project. I have some recycled wool that I wanted to use for a pillow, so I fused the weavers cloth onto the wool and got to drawing. I hand-drew the pattern based on a picture in one of my punch needle books and then added the extra "stuff" in the grass. I have all the colors picked out and am really excited to get this started. I am doing gold and red for the wings, tan/mottled for the body, and multiple colors of blue and green for the sky and grass. It is a little harder punching than I expected because of the fusing, but was afraid to go with just the wool. I really didn't think that the wool was tight enough to hold my stitches. I just hope that I don't break a needle or spring. And then, came to a stop on this because, yep, chores! LOL

Things are really quiet with my dad. He has said one word in the past week. I try so hard to talk to him, but some days, I just can't take the blank stare and then I go quiet, too. It makes my heart sad. The hospice nurse keeps saying that as long as he is eating, we are not at the end. I know we're doing the right thing, but the waiting wears on the soul.

Off to do chores (surprise! LOL). I've got Dad's dinner ready and I'm pretty sure we're having leftovers. Be kind to one another.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday, Sunday...

Up and moving this morning, much better than last Friday. I managed to kick my headache, but not until about 11:30 pm. Since I don't usually stay up that late, LOL, I wasn't worth much yesterday. Did some chores, managed a little stitching, and spent quite a bit of time snoozing in the chair. My current ornament start...

I've got the white thread on the needle, but won't be working on it until I get the house cleaned and the groceries bought. I took a peek in the refrigerator while getting my list started...probably a good time to put an end to the science projects I've got going in there. I cannot cook for only two. My son has not lived at home for over 5 years and my dad only eats soup. You would think I would get better at judging amounts. I have to admit, since I plan menus for 4400 at work, two is just not a reasonable number for me.

I am still working on my scarf. I think I added about another 10 inches. Since that looks just like the first 10 inches, no picture. LOL The funniest part? Temperatures are in the 70's today. I really don't plan on using this scarf this winter.

We're still waiting for more rain. Rumor is that January will be a little dry with better hopes for February. I sure hope so...we've bought one truck of hay for our tiny herd and really wanted it to last through the winter. We sold one of our big bulls last week. Not for the money, but he was a wanderer. If there were cows ready for love, anywhere within a two mile radius, he was through the fence and on the move. When my brother had to chase and catch him for the third time in ten days, he said that the bull needed to go. Either to the sales yard...or to the freezer. Since the bull was just doing his job, and is only about five years old, he went to the sales yard. We got an excellent price for him, so I know he was purchased for breeding. He will be much happier with a big herd. One of the many problems I don't like, but these things always come up when you are raising cattle. I am not willing to keep a bull that wanders in front of a car. A $2000 bull is not worth a $250,000 lawsuit.

Okay, wish me luck, I'm going in...I am pretty sure that I cleaned the fridge about two weeks ago, so I think I'll make it out alive. LOL Be kind to one another.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Trying To Get Through The Day

Bad dreams last night morphed into a migraine headache today. Something about a Christmas party, a pinata, a "blonde" raccoon, and a recycling truck. How does this stuff get into my head? I've had migraines in the past, and have the pills on hand to take care of it, but hate, hate, hate the medication. Makes me feel like I am standing outside my body, watching life go by. So, I take out the Excedrine Migraine and wash it down with diet Mountain Dew. It usually takes the edge off, but today, I just couldn't get rid of the dull ache along with the queasy stomach. I got through work, made it home, and sat. That's it, sat in a chair with my eyes closed for an hour. I'm feeling a little better. Going to have a little dinner and see if I can get on with my life.

Nothing on the stitching front. Not a single thing. Took my son to the airport on Wednesday morning to head back to Iowa and haven't been able to get on task since. We had a wonderful visit. We didn't really go anywhere special, except for the trip up the coast, but it was so nice to hang out and do "stuff". We have always been close. Partly because he was an only child, partly because we home schooled, but mostly just because. LOL I used to listen to other moms talk about how they couldn't wait until their kids went back to school after holidays and breaks. I didn't get it. I liked hanging out with my son. We played board games, took walks, talked, did stuff together. We spent one summer participating in paintball! Nothing like a chubby, middle-aged woman crawling around in the bushes, sneaking up on other kids. The best part was that the other boys didn't think I was a threat, since I was a "mom". Ha ha ha. I loved when I had the last laugh! My son was a mama's boy, but not in a bad way. He knew how to use his mind, had his own opinions and wasn't afraid to voice them. We had our rough spots and there were a few times that I pulled the "mom card". Our relationship was based on love AND respect. I truly believed that he is my greatest accomplishment...

Well, took a little break and dinner did not set well...I am heading back to my chair. Be kind to one another.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Our Visit Is Coming To An End...

Only a couple more days and my son will be heading home to Iowa. We have had a wonderful time...a trip up the coast, several stops at thrift stores, to the swap meet yesterday. My surprise find at the swap meet? Two beautiful 100% wool shirts! Since I had been at the fabric store last week, and noticed that Moda wool was over $40 a yard, I snatched both for under $10 each. As a side note, I did find some beautiful wool at another fabric store, but it was $99.98 a yard. LOL As if...So, took a little time yesterday, got them sectioned and into the wash. First time in my life that I was trying to SHRINK clothes, though I've done it several times by accident! LOL There are a few large pieces that I will add interfacing to the inside and use for punch needle, the rest I will use for primitive ornaments and such.

Dad is still the same. I thought that having my son here would help, but no. He is a bit more responsive than a few weeks ago, but when I asked him my name yesterday, he just shook his head. He hasn't said my name in over nine months...though I know that he knows who I am. When someone from outside the household presses him for answers, he gets very agitated and starts to shake. He stays calm when I ask him my name, so I know that he is aware that I belong, he just can't give me an answer. This disease sucks. It takes away all the light and soul of a person.

I was checking out a few new-to-me blogs and ran into several that talk about a craft budget. My head agrees, my heart is afraid to make a commitment. LOL I have a horrible habit of picking up just one more yard of fabric, just one more skein of yarn or over-dyed thread, just one more, just one more, just one more. I need to dive into my stash and get a reality check. I am pretty sure that there is no need for more.

Off to start my chores for the day? Or back to bed? My son and I have a coffee date at 10 am, so I do have a few free hours. I did most of my chores yesterday, so maybe I will sneak in a little morning nap. We have dinner guests tonight, but I'm going for easy: baked chicken, roasted red potatoes, and a nice mixed greens salad with a some avocado that I picked up at our farmer's market. These are friends of my son that are making a four hour drive to see him, so I want something nice. My son says that I am a good cook, so whatever I make will be fine...I sure hope so! I have had my disasters. LOL

Be kind to one another.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Our Drive Up The Coast

Our family took a little drive up the coast yesterday. I've lived on the central coast my entire life and the beauty of our area never ceases to amaze me. First stop was Ragged Point on Highway 1. It is only about 40 miles from our home, but about a an hour and a half drive because of the winding road.

The owner's have done so much work, it is a special stop on Highway 1. The is a beautiful hotel, a large grassy area with a pergola for weddings, a small glassed area for receptions, a few trails, and a couple of restaurants with gift shops. Oh, and bathrooms...LOL In this day and age, it is hard to find a business that has bathrooms available for travelers without restrictions. Of course, there is a small gas station, but we know the area, so filled up before we went. This station had the distinction to be the highest gas in the nation a few years ago. I checked the price and I think they're in the running again! Gas in our area is down to $2.73. At Ragged Point...$5 a gallon. Yep, I think I know how they keep those bathrooms open. LOL LOL LOL

Turned around and started home. This was our view of the ocean....

It was a bit overcast, but not foggy. I love the way the sun makes the sea so shiny...

Little farther down, we stopped at the popular elephant seal beaches. (Sorry, last post I said sea lions. Oops!) They looked like big rocks until they moved around to get a better spot.

These animals are protected by the state, so no close encounters. But, there is an extensive boardwalk overlooking the beach with lots of information posted about the elephant seals. I really liked how they put up a board showing the true length of a seal. Males can be over 13 feet. Gives you a better perspective of how big they really can be! During calving, there are even docents who share all the little details. This is one of our favorite stops.

Had a wonderful lunch in Cayucos, participated in a tiny shopping trip, and then back home. Just a little vacation from reality, but so much more special with my son.

Today, he and I are sticking close to home, so I see some stitching in my future! We stopped at a fabric store yesterday, but still none of the fabric I need for my pinwheels. Oh well...improvise, improvise, improvise. I think I will work on my scarf and then do a little stitching on my ornament. I really haven't worked on any of my projects since my son came, so this is the day to catch up.

Okay peeps, I've finished my first cup of coffee so off to start my day. A little oatmeal perhaps? We've had big breakfasts twice this week and need to get back on track. Have a great day and be kind to one another.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Maybe...Did I Do It Right This Time?

Here I go again...I started over and seem to be doing better this time. Edges aren't curling (as much), so I think I will keep going.

I've got an extra day off tomorrow and Monday to spend with my son and DH. I have plans! We are going to the beach, maybe check out a quilt shop (LOL), stop at a surplus store, and have a nice dinner. Tomorrow, there's care for Dad until 6:30 pm, so that gives us a little extra time to spend together. The one place my son asked to visit is up the coast to the sea lion beaches. Yes, I will get pictures. The last time I was up there was with my sister last August, so this will be nice. The birthing time is usually in February, but maybe we'll catch a few early babies.

Nothing much else going on, spending most of my extra time with my son. I've managed to get in a few times on the bike, but I need to stay focused. Need to get that exercise in every day. I need to work on recycling my thrift store wool, but probably won't get it done until after my son goes home.

Off to chores. Really need to get that last load of laundry done before tomorrow morning. Be kind to one another.

Monday, January 5, 2015

What Am I? Not A Knitter!!

I have never proclaimed to be an amazing knitter. And to be honest, I am a crappy crocheter. Bad, bad, bad. I have crocheted one blanket. Just one and it was not square. I don't know if it was single crochet or double crochet. All I know is that I used a crochet hook. I have knitted one sweater. It took me five years. I never wore it because it had gone out of style. So come last Saturday, it was cold and I only had one blue scarf. Ever the optimist, I decided I would make a really cute scarf for me to wear this winter. I get started using this really, really fluffy yarn. Good start, until I dropped a stitch. Because the yarn was so fluffy, I couldn't find the dropped stitch. Ended up pulling all of it out and sticking it in a plastic bag. I decided I would find some other yarn since this was not working for me. Off to Michael's, found a nice wool/poly blend. I get started. Four hours in, I notice that my sides are curling.

Off to the wide world web...well, the only way to fix it is to do it correctly the first time. Yay. Next step...

Try to pick up my stitches. Gee, surprise, surprise, I am horrible at this!! Next step...

I am so utterly disgusted. I am trying to remind myself why I am doing this. And to make matters worse, the cold spell is over and it's 70 degrees outside. I know I can do this, but at this rate, it will not be done until NEXT winter. Sad face.

On the happy side, my boy will be home in California at midnight. :-) I was a little (okay, a lot) worried that he would miss connections in either Cedar Rapids or Chicago since it's about -25 degrees there today. Got a message a few minutes ago that he made it to Chicago in time to make the connection. Should be good flying through to LAX and a hop, skip, and a jump to home. It is only a 40 minute drive to the airport so I don't even care that I have to pick him up so late. I am one happy mom. I will have him home for ten days and I will be off for five of those. I am so happy, I could giggle!

Okay, ready to pick up those darn needles again. Sigh. It really can't be that difficult, right? Be kind to one another.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year's Resolution or Prudent Planning?

So, I don't usually get sucked into the "New Year's Resolution" vortex of shame. However, that being said, I really need to work on some planning for my exercise program. LOL For the past six months, I have more or less (mostly more) cancelled my exercise program. Between working full time, taking care of the house and my dad, there just isn't a lot of time left over. The extra hour I have a day should be used to exercise, but I have fallen into the habit of sitting on the couch and falling asleep. I don't even work on my crafts during the week anymore, just try to fit them in on the weekend. Looking ahead, I am planning to participate in the Miracle Miles for Kids again this year. It is a 10K walk/run on the beach. A little over six miles, not bad. I have done it twice and did okay. I had under a 20 minute mile, not the best, but I made it. I can tell you that if I had to go out and walk that today, it would be ugly. So....if I plan on walking that route, and I don't want to die, I better climb on the exercise bandwagon. LOL The walk is scheduled for May 9,2015. No excuses, I have plenty of time to get ready!

I was at my favorite quilt/fabric store yesterday (missing one yard of fabric, but that's for later) and overheard two women talking about finishing all their projects. One of the employees said that she takes one hour each day to work on her quilts. It isn't enough time to really, really make a dent, but it keeps her going and focused. I like the idea of a set amount of time, maybe it would work for me. I do pretty well when I have a definite deadline, think baby blanket, but when I don't....just shaking my head. I try to set myself up after sewing so that I can just pick up where I left off. It helps that I have an actual craft table/corner. I can leave out my quilts without worrying that I will need to move stuff so we can eat dinner! Cross stitch and punch needle are easier to move around. I have a end table with a basket in the living room where I stack my stitching. Since we do not have kids or cats, it's pretty safe. LOL

Now about that missing yard of fabric...I am still working on my pinwheel quilt. Yeah, I know, the never ending pinwheels...but somehow, when I cut out the pieces for the pinwheels and the alternating blocks, and then I sewed the pinwheels together, my alternating blocks are a 1/2 inch too small. Not sure how this happened, there has to be some mathematical reason, but it means that I am short one yard of fabric! At least I only did fifty blocks and not the full one hundred. I had bought enough fabric for the front, back, and binding. And since I CANNOT find any of this fabric, I will have to use the remaining fabric for the blocks. I did find a nice black print for the back, and if I piece it with a few extra pinwheels, I can make it work. It bums me out about the binding though. I wanted a nice clean look for the front, not a "framing" look, so not sure what I will do for that.

We have hit the 19 month mark on Hospice...never did I think it would take this long. I don't want to sound mean, but the sadness wears on your soul. We try to do what we can and keep upbeat, but at this point, it just about making my dad comfortable. I know he is better off with us than in a nursing home, but it is hard. At least there is no pain, just quiet. My son will be home next week for ten days. Every day we tell Dad that his grandson is coming. I'm not sure, maybe that's why Dad is more responsive...he's waiting for say goodbye...

Off to start my day. Going into town to take care of some chores and meet up with a friend for coffee. I think I will take a little walk while I'm in town, I love to look at houses and yards. Oh yeah, I can get in my thirty minutes of exercise! LOL Be kind to one another.