Monday, May 27, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

I didn't get a whole lot accomplished this weekend, but I made a little progress here and there.  I got my first two blocks in the Primitive Gathering's Warm Winter Blessings BOM put together. They are wool on cotton applique and I used the Steam-a-Seam Lite as recommended in the pattern.  I've still got the stitching to do though.  It will be nice to do in the evenings after work.

Block 9 -- which is the first block they sent
Block 2
I also started working on my anniversary present.  I had posted some time ago here about my Hubby receiving a package from Primitive Gatherings.  Inside was my anniversary present.  He got me the Evelyn's Album BOM!  I had drooled over it when we were at the International Quilt Show in Cincinnati, but had already spent more than my share and let it go.  Click here to see the whole quilt. This quilt is wool on flannel and I got the first block cut out and fused and just need to do the stitching on it now as well.

Block 1
I woke up this morning to find that Part Three of Bonnie Hunter's Lazy Sunday was out!  And I'm WAY behind!  So today I spent the day cutting the rest of Part Two.  Hopefully I can get some if sewed together this coming Friday and get going on Part Three here in a couple weeks.
Lazy Sunday - Part 2
I completed another Lucy Boston block and started another one too.  But I failed to take any pictures.  Once I finish this next one, I'll take some more pictures. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Feline Friday

Our host, Sarah, at Sarah Did It! is on a two week hiatus while she is recuperating.  We all are hoping she is doing well and wish her a speedy recovery!  There will be no link up this week, but we'll continue on in her absence.

Hockey is my absolute favorite sport.  I adore hockey.  I miss getting to games, but I do enjoy watching it on TV unlike most other sports.  My license plate on my car even reads "PUCK NUT"!

Wednesday night was hockey night in our house as we cheered on our beloved Pens in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Khaleesi is a HUGE hockey fan!
Even her sister Keira is intrigued as she peaks up over the corner there to the right.

And they SCORE!!!


Happy Feline Friday, Y'all!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

My weekend had its ups and downs.  Saturday was really fun.  I met my friends Debbie and Susan at Quilts by Phyllis and we hung out there for a while.  Our hubbies hung out in the parking lot waiting for us.  Then we went to visit a local thread shop called the Village Sampler.  I needed thread for my anniversary present. The ladies there were very helpful and nice.  I got some of the thread I needed and they ordered the rest for me.  We then went to a local pub and got a bite to eat.  I was pretty tired by the time we got back home so I took about a 3 hour nap.  I continued to doze most of the evening.  By bed time I had the chills so I took my temperature and sure enough I had a small fever and some nausea to boot.

Sunday my temperature returned to normal but the nausea continued and I could not hold my eyes open.  Very long story short ... I spent the whole day in the ER being poked and prodded to find out nothing.  My official diagnosis .... too much Percocet.  I stopped the Percocet and lo and behold ... I feel better.  I tried to get Lortab today because I'm still pretty sore, but the doctor's office didn't call me back.  Aleeve just ain't cutting it.  Hopefully tomorrow they will hook me up.  This is my second bad experience with strong opiates.  As I have said many times today, I have no future as a drug addict.

Since it was so late last night when I finally got home from the ER and because they literally wore me out running tests, my hubby and I decided one more day at home was probably in order.  So I stayed home today and slept in.  Then got up and did some sewing.  My Civil War Sampler BOW is officially caught up! Yay!

Block 19 -- Ohio Star
Block 20 -- Lincoln's Platform

Next I started on a new BOM I received not long before surgery from the Temecula Quilt Company.  The pattern we are using is Road to Freedom.  It's being done in solids instead of prints.  So far I'm really enjoying it.  5" blocks though ... What was I thinking?? As the blocks get more complicated, the pieces are going to get teeny tiny!

Here are the first 5 blocks:

Block 1
Block 2
Block 3

Block 4

Block 5

Not bad for a day's work. Back to reality tomorrow however.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Surgical Vaction Update

I had ambitious plans for sewing while I've been off on my surgical vacation but I've not felt quite as good as I thought I would.  I've had a lot of swelling and discomfort.  I've mostly popped Percocet and dozed on the couch with the kitties.  

I did however get some work done on my Civil War Sampler BOW.  I'm two blocks away from being caught up on this one!  Woo Hoo!  But just this one ... sadly.  Here's my progress on this one:
Block 11 -- Blockade

Block 12 -- Louisiana
Block 13 -- London Square 
Block 14 -- Rosebud
Block 15 -- Apple Tree
Block 16 -- Tennessee
Block 17 -- Calico Puzzle
Block 18 --Tea Leaf

Pretty good progress considering.  And let's not forget my helper today, Nala:
 I've still got a couple more days before I go back to reality.  Maybe I can get a few more things done or maybe I'll just keep taking Percocet induced naps!

HeLP for Hexie-aholics -- Lucy Boston

Here is my latest English Paper Piecing (EPP) project:

This is a Lucy Boston Block.  Here is the start of my second one:
I'm using scraps from other projects.  Eventually I'll need to pick out a background and accent fabric to tie them all together.  EPP is so ADDICTIVE!!

Linking up with Sarah Did It!

Feline Friday

Apparently it takes surgery to get Keira to sit with with me:
This is the first time she's sat with me since she was a kitten!   A bonus to going under the knife!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

I spent most of this weekend getting ready for my surgical vacation tomorrow.  I got the house clean-ish and the laundry done.  I moved my sewing room to the kitchen since I won't be able to do stairs for a while.  I'll be sewing on my Featherweight.  I figure there will be lots of sewing and napping for a few days anyway.  Maybe I can get caught up on a couple of my BOMs!

I did get in a bit of hand sewing in.  I got my first Lucy Boston block done:
I'm using paper pieces ... as you can probably tell from all the threads!  I plan on making them out of scraps from other projects.  I'll need to decide on a background and highlight fabric though.  I think I'll wait until I get a few made to select something.

We made an impromptu trip to take my Mom to lunch for Mother's Day yesterday.  I managed to get the binding sewn on one of my little quilts on the trip there and back.

Here's Nala modeling:
 And here's the un-modeled quilt:
This is from Tara Lynn Darr's Book "Simply Charming" and the quilt is called Hopscotch. I need to buy some quilt hangers.  I wonder why they are so expensive though every time I buy them.  I think I need to assign my husband a task of duplicating those little buggers!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Feline Friday --- A Blast from the Past

I'm feeling a little nostalgic this morning and I've been thinking about her lately a lot, so I'd like to introduce you to the kitty love of my life, Simba Marie:
My husband and I adopted Simba and her sisiter, Sia a couple of weeks after we got married. Simba and I had an incredible bond and she was all about me.  Simba spent the last several years of her life in kidney failure.  We gave her subcutaneous fluids as needed for years.  She ruled her roost though up until the last couple of weeks. She was the Queen Bee.
This was our usual position.  She slept with me every night ... on my head ... and usually with a fang stuck in my skull.  LOL  

I loved ... and still love ... that cat with all my heart and soul. People who don't know the love an animal are truly missing an incredible experience. I'm grateful for having such an incredible creature in my life!

Thanks for walking down memory lane with me!

Happy Feline Friday, Y'all!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Things That Make You Say Hmmmm .......

I wonder why my Dear Husband is getting packages from my favorite out of town quilt shop??

Hmmmmmmmm ......

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What's Been Eating Me Latley .... Puns Intended

I've debated about writing anything here about the Gastric Band issues I mentioned in a earlier post that I was having.  This is basically a "Quilting Blog" but it's also "My Blog" and this is something that is effecting me deeply.  I will warn you that this is lengthy.  And it's not open for debate or judgement.  Support however is appreciated. 

No one ... well almost no one anyway ... reaches the decision to have Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) easily.  In 2003 when I decided to have Lap Band surgery, I told no one but those closest to me.  It was a secret.  Partly because I was ashamed, partly because I didn't want input, partly because I didn't want to be under every one's microscope.  Eventually though I came out of the closet so to speak and started telling people.  I make no secret of it these days.  Even with the weight I've regained, I still own up to my band.  And I know that if I didn't have it, I would weigh more.

I reached this point in my life because I had a bad knee, high blood pressure, and pre-diabetes that I was not able to manage by diet alone.  I was on Metformin and knew that without getting my ducks in a row, it would only be a matter of time before I was insulin dependent and that scarred the bejesus out of me.  It seems diabetes is my Achilles heal for some reason.  That was the co-morbidity that forced me in to seeing what my options were.  Lap Band seemed like the best option 10 years ago out of all of my choices.  And even with my re-gain, I still have my blood sugar under control.

I'm not going to lie .... looking better and feeling better are also great perks of WLS.  There's no doubt about that.  I've had pretty extensive plastic surgery to go with my weight loss so I'm not going to pretend that I'm not at least a little vain and only had WLS for my health.  I'm nothing if not real.  I did it for both.  I can tell  you that I feel like crap with this extra weight right now.  Sluggish and no energy. 

Right after my plastic surgery in 2006, I started having problems with my Lap Band.  I started throwing up more frequently and started making poor food choices opting for things that were easier for me to eat and not necessarily healthy.  By 2010 I had put back on about 30 pounds and pretty much threw up every time I ate.  My doctor and I decided that we would revise to a Realize Band and during Christmas 2010 we did the surgery.  This band and I got off to a bad start from the get go.  I had to have a leak repaired 3 months after it was installed and two months after that I had to have the port replaced.  So between the end of Dec 2010 and May 2011 I had three surgeries for this band.  After I finally got all healed up and ready to get serious about losing weight again, I went in and started getting it tightened.  Every time I got the restriction I needed, I started to have reflux. Pretty sever reflux.  We'd take fluid out and it would go away and then we'd try again and it would come back.  I lived with it this last time for about 6 months thinking eventually it would stop, but it didn't.  In April I broke down and went to see my surgeon.  He immediately removed all the fluid from my band and scheduled me for an endoscopy. 

My endoscopy biopsy showed that I have what is known as "Barrett's Esophagus" which refers to an abnormal change in the cells of the lower portion of the esophagus. It occurs when the normal squamous epithelium lining of the esophagus is replaced by goblet cells (cells usually found lower in the gastrointestinal tract),  The medical significance of Barrett esophagus is its strong association with esophageal adenocarcinoma, a particularly lethal cancer.  Yes, I freaked out.  But .... Barrett's Esophagus is however NOT CANCER.  It's PRE-CANCEROUS.  I just have to monitor it and be careful .... and keep reminding myself of that fact!  And that, so far, has been the hardest part.

What does this mean for me?  It means my 10 year journey with a Band has come to an end.  I will part with my Band in a mere week on May 14th ... which also happens to be my 19th Anniversary.  Timing has never been my forte! 

In the little over a month I've been without fluid in my band, I've managed to get my total regain since 2006 to 50 pounds.  I'm certainly not proud of this.  And let me tell you that skin that has been surgically altered does not stretch comfortably.  I have been miserable both physically and mentally. 

My doctor has not left me out in the cold however.  He has recommended that after I let my stomach and esophagus heal and rest for three months we revise to a Vertical Gastric Sleeve.  I know me.  He knows me.  We both know I need assistance to control my weight.  I have no satiety when it comes to food.  I need something to smack me up side the head and say, "Hey, Dummy, you're full."  When I have that mechanism in place, I can make the right choices and I do.  And the outcome is a healthier, happier me.  I guess 10 years makes a difference because I no longer have that sense of shame that I had during the first surgery because I need help to lose weight.  Losing weight is hard. And it's OK to need help. 

My next big hurdle is my insurance company.  Last Friday, they gave my surgeon's office a verbal denial for my Sleeve surgery.  They stated that I do not qualify for WLS.  That my BMI is not high enough and I do not have two co-morbidities to go with the BMI I currently have.  I say thank God.  That was the whole point 10 years ago.  But they are saying I need to regain weight in order to qualify and hope that a co-morbidity shows up along the way so I will qualify.  Plus they have a bunch of other hoops they want me to jump through, but this one was the most outrageous.  It's counter intuitive that an insurance company is asking me to be unhealthy.  It's crazy.  And that they would pay for whatever knee problems and medications for sugar, high blood pressure, and cholesterol that I may need along the way.  How does this even make sense?  It doesn't and I've looked in to hiring an advocate to help me with an appeal.  I'm starting that process today.

On Friday when I found out about the denial, I was defeated.  Today, I'm mad that someone sitting behind a desk who doesn't know me or my situation can have so much impact on MY life.  In August, come hell or high water I am having my revision surgery one way or another so I can get back to the healthier, happier me.  I am not allowing the insurance company to dictate how my life will go. 

And I MUST give props to my Husband on this.  He has been my rock and without him I wouldn't have gotten through this as well as I have. He is the one that will make this surgery happen regardless of our insurance company and for that I will never be able to thank him enough.  I'm not one to get all mushy and stuff, but the truth is:  I'm lucky to have found him and am thankful every day for his presence in my life ..... even when he leaves his clothes on the floor!!  LOL

So folks, if you've made it this far, now you know why there has been very little sewing going on in my life lately.  This has CONSUMED my life for the past couple of months. For me, this is a HUGE deal.  I know there are bigger travesties in the world, but right now in my little world this is MY travesty. I also know that eventually it will all be OK, but the getting there is the hard the part.  The "what ifs" can eat you alive.

With all that being said, it still remains that  ... I NEED sewing!  I desperately need that distraction more than ever now.  Especially with 3 months of no appetite control coming up!  So now that things are kind of moving forward as best they can .... and I have week long "surgical vacation" coming up ... it's time for some QUILT THERAPY!!