That’s All She Wrote

For 2012 at least.  It’s a quirky little phrase, but it rings true for this post and the end of 2012.  The best information I could find about the phrase is as follows:

If you search the reference books for the answer, you’ll probably come across the story that you mention, that it’s from a bitter joke of the Second World War. An American serviceman opens a letter from his wife or girlfriend and starts to read it to his mates: “Dear John”. He stops. “Well, go on,” his listeners urge him, “read us the rest of it.” “I can’t,” he replies, “that’s all she wrote.”

The story is sad, but somewhat funny, too.  I hope your 2012 went as well, or better than expected, and you did not receive any letters similar to the above.  My 2012 was excellent!  For the last few years, I have made a habit of making a new year’s resolution or two, but telling no one what they are.  This is most likely because I don’t really want to fail miserably at them and then be accountable to anyone other than myself for the failure.  Regardless, I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of resolutions I have been able to keep.

The big one this year was to stay out of the hospital for the entire 2012.  Barring any really crazy difficulties this evening, I have managed to meet this goal.  In the fall of 2010 and 2011 I was hospitalized for liver related issues.  This year, as fall approached, I was a little nervous about whether or not I would meet this goal.  I was thrilled when Halloween and Thanksgiving both came and went without incident.  Then came mid-December.  Somehow, even though I rarely leave the house, I contracted the flu.  It was not pretty.  Unfortunately, the flu symptoms mimic the liver issue I have (fever, chills, etc.) and so we never really know if I need to rush to the hospital, or not.  I was determined NOT to go, as I was so close to meeting my goal and, after treating the symptoms as if it was the flu, it turned out to be so.  We knew for sure that it was the flu when Scott developed the same symptoms two days after I did.  Can’t say I am happy to ever have the flu or that I am happy that I gave it to Scott, but the alternative, for me at least, is worse.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?  I have made a couple this year.  No, I am not sharing…  Here is hoping that your 2013 is better than your 2012 and that you have many more years to make those resolutions a reality.

I leave you with a photo of my sewing room that Scott took today with his newest camera.  Wow, it really looks like I have lots of stuff and it is all so well organized.  HA!

My Sewing Room - 12-31-12

Week Fifty – Gifts

This week’s post is all about gifts.  First I’ll start with the gift of an amazing husband who cares for me way more than I could ever deserve.  This past week, my laptop that I use for doing my job died.  My job is done completely online and there are several programs that I use that have to be configured just so in order for me to do my job properly.  Thanks to my husband, and some awesome tech support from Liberty University (my employer), we were able to get my iMac configured for my work tasks within a few hours of the crash.  The most amazing thing, though, is that my super hero of a husband had my laptop back up and running by the next day, complete with new hard drive and ALL my data files recovered.  He is so amazing!!

Second on the list is a gift I made for a friend who is having a baby shower this week.  Since I saw how much my kids keep my grandson in his sleep sack that I made for him, I decided to make one for my friend.  She is a Bama fan, so, the addition of a patch to the front of the sack was a special added touch.  I hope she likes it.

The third gift I would like to mention is the gift of doctors, friends, and pastors who care about me and were there for me this last time I was hospitalized.  During my absence from blog posting, I was hospitalized again for sepsis and it was anything but fun.  This time was not as life threatening as the last, because we caught it sooner, but going to the hospital once a year is not something I am interested in doing.  The sepsis is an issue that, if caught quickly enough, can be treated at home with the appropriate antibiotics.  I just have to make sure and watch closely for the signs.  This is a learning process.  This time, like last time, I really thought I had the flu or something viral.  A few days into it, when we figured out that it was not viral and it was similar to last year, it was too late to treat at home and off to the hospital I went.  Ugh!  I am feeling much better now and back to sewing up a storm!

That brings me to the fourth gift.  I have been teaching a friend to sew for the past few weeks and this week she made an absolutely adorable sleeper for a gift for a friend.  The sleeper was made of fleece and went together so quickly that I decided my grandsons really needed to have one, too.  So, I located some fleece on sale and a couple of patterns and have been whipping these things out like mad.  I think they may be finished in time to get to them as additional Christmas gifts.  Whoot!!

There is much more to post about, but it will have to wait till the next installment.  For now I leave you with this quote:

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ~ Douglas Adams

Week Twenty Three – Test Knitting

This week I started test knitting the Flower Power Socks I mentioned last week.  I love the way the flowers are turning out.  Test knitting is fun, but can also be a challenge.  You get the pattern for free, which is a plus, but you also get to be the one to find all the errors as you work through it on a deadline, a definite minus.  This designer has done an excellent job at writing the pattern the first go around, so there are not many true errors in the pattern.

I also realized that the holiday knitting I have started was going to have to remain a secret until Christmas.  This just won’t do.  I have to share what I am working on, or else, why blog?  LOL  So, I figured out that if I just show them on my blog without any specific recipient details, it may keep those potential recipients who read my blog from knowing who they are for.  This is the best solution I could come up with for this dilemma.  Of course, the baby and kid items are going to be obvious, but the socks, mittens, etc. shouldn’t be so obvious.

On the health front, my doctor, called me on Thursday and wanted to know why the oral surgeon had me come to his (my doctor’s) office for blood work.  Without my requesting it, he said I shouldn’t need a transfusion before I have the tooth extracted and said he would contact the oral surgeon on Monday to let him know.  I am thrilled to report that they hashed it out and I will not have to have a transfusion before the tooth extraction.  I do have to agree that if it looks like I am about to bleed to death that I will go to the ER for platelets right away…duhhhhhh….  I love my doctor!  He just made my Christmas gift list!!

This week, the kids come to visit us on their way to Disney World.  It will be great to see them and spend some time with them without being in the hospital.  I am really looking forward to that!

Quote of the day: “The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”  ~Voltaire

Week Twenty Two – Holiday Knitting

Yes, I have actually started my Christmas 2011 knitting and crafting.  I am hoping to give more hand made gifts this year than ever before.  Unfortunately, I can’t reveal photos of those projects because, as I found out last week, my family reads my blog from time to time.  However, here are photos of the socks that I started on the way to the festival last week.  These are most likely for me and you can find more details on my Ravelry page.

Both pair are now at the turn heel stage.  So, I should have two new pair of socks to show in a couple of weeks.  Also, I was selected to test knit these socks.  Aren’t they a gas?  Of course, I had to order yarn to make them…gotta love stash enhancement!

On the health front, I went to the oral surgeon to see about the third tooth extraction and he does not want to do the procedure until I have blood work done to make sure my platelet count is high enough.  This liver thing is a PITA!  I have had two teeth extracted in the last two weeks and have had no complications.  Because this guy is a surgeon and not a dentist, he wants to “make sure” (read: legally cover his rear) when it comes to my “procedure” (read: pulling a tooth).  I can understand completely, but HATE having blood drawn…  Anyway, after the tooth is removed, I will finally have a partial, something that has been a long time coming.

Quote of the Day: “We are the people our parents warned us about.” ~ Jimmy Buffet

Week Fourteen – It’s All Good

Ever have one of those days when everything went right and it made you a little afraid to step out in the street for fear of being hit by a truck?  Well, the last half of week 14 of 2011 was like that for us.  Let’s see if I can break it down.

We received the liver biopsy pathology results from the doctor on Tuesday, April 5th.  There is no cancer.  From here on out I will have to have periodic MRIs to monitor the disease, but that is the best news we could have hoped for.

Next, we finally received the paperwork on our sponsored child in Uganda.  Her name is Joanita and she is 8 years old.  We are so happy to finally know that she is the one we are helping to clothe and educate.  Now we are able to begin corresponding with her and we are hoping that Scott will be able to meet her in October when he goes to Buloba.  The organization we are working with for this sponsorship is African Renewal Ministries (ARM).  If you are so inclined, have a look at what you can do with $35 per month.

Also in the mail on the same day was my diploma from Liberty University.  It was a long two+ year endeavor, but I am glad I did it.  I now have a Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) to add to my list of completed objectives.

On Thursday, Sock Madness Round 3 began with the release of the pattern at 7 pm.  So the rest of my week was spent furiously knitting whenever I was sitting still. I stayed up until 1 AM last night to finish the pair.  My hands are killing me and, so, I will be laying off the knitting at least for a couple of days.

Finally, while knitting on the socks and talking on iChat with my son and his family, my son let it slip that he will be coming to visit us in June.  We were expecting to visit with our daughter-in-law and grandson on that trip, as our son was not planning on coming.  Their family is going to Disney and he was trying to avoid that adventure.  We are thrilled to pieces that he will now be joining them.

So, there you have it.  An overall GREAT week.

Quote of the Week: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr Seuss

Week Thirteen – Hurry Up and Wait

This week was one filled with knitting and a much anticipated doctor’s visit. Since I finished my socks for Round 2 of Sock Madness, I have been waiting for the teams to fill up so we can get the next pattern for Round 3.

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In the meantime, I finished the sock tiger for the baby and started back to work on my Louhi jacket. I am almost finished with the second sleeve and it will be a complete coat one day. I figure that if I work on it between other projects, it will finish itself eventually.

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The doctor’s visit happened on April Fool’s Day. We got up at 3:30 am to drive to Birmingham for a 7:00 am appointment at UAB for a liver biopsy. The first thing they do when you are going to have a procedure like this is blood work to check platelet count, etc. Mine was low. This is normal for me. However, they would not do the procedure until it was raised. So, I got to sit in a hospital bed and receive 2 bags of platelets and at 2:30 pm they finally did the biopsy. It was bizarre and not something I would recommend for fun. I had to be awake for the procedure. They gave me sedation and a local (lidocaine) anesthetic then they went to work. While they were using an ultrasound device to locate the lesion, they would tell me to breathe and hold my breath. Then 3 or more times, they went in with a very long needle and took samples of my liver tissue where the lesions were. The doctor had a very hard time getting to the spot she needed to access and ended up going through my two lower ribs to access the spot.

After the procedure, the doctors wanted me to stay for observation for 5 more hours. They were watching for signs of internal bleeding. There was none and Scott and I managed to escape the grasp of the hospital staff about an hour earlier than specified by the doctors. Thank goodness for awesome, intelligent hospital staff that can think outside the box. We made it home by about 10:00 pm and Ebby, Scott, and I collapsed into bed.

I am still recovering from the lack of sleep. As a general rule, I am not the most friendly person when I am sleep deprived. Anyway, now we wait. The results should be back next week. However, this place does not work all that fast, so there is no telling when we will hear something.

Quote of the week: The budget should be balanced, the treasury refilled, public debt reduced, the arrogance of officialdom tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt. ~Cicero (106-43 BC)

Week Nine – Hello Sock Madness // Goodbye Hair

This week was packed.  We went to Birmingham on Wednesday so I could have a MRI.  Never had one before, quite an experience.  I can’t imagine being claustrophobic and having to endure one of those.  Good thing I don’t scare easily.  Official results are not in yet, but doc said it looks cancer free.

Round one of Sock Madness V (2011) began March 4th this year.  I am amazed that I am going to be able to finish a complete pair of socks in under a week.  Here is my progress thus far.

We have two weeks to finish the pair.  Those who finish the pair in time will be put into one of four teams, who will then compete in brackets making additional pairs from patterns we have not even seen yet.  The patterns are all different techniques and the time to make the pairs gets shorter.  There is no way I will win this competition, but it is fun to try.  The consolation is that I end up with several new pairs of socks!  Yay!

On the tatting front, I finished this lovely piece just minutes before the Sock Madness pattern was released. Whew.

Just like the motif from last week, I love the design, but do not like the colors.  The pattern is “Small Cross” from Tatting with Visual Patterns (Mary Konior) and the thread is Lizbeth (size 20, color 147).  On the spool, this thread is deceiving.  This one looked red and black on the spool, but tatted up red and burgandy.  I think ordering directly from Handy Hands is a good way to go, since I can see the tatted example of the thread colors on their website.  This spool I bought at Hobby Lobby.  I am going to make this one again in black, perhaps with silver around the outside edge.

Finally, there is the subject of my hair.  I was unaware of how sensitive your hair is to changes, like illness and surgery.  My hair has been falling out in handfuls for a month or two now and it was getting so thin and stringy that I had to take action.  Here is the result.

Some people have told me that I am so “brave” to have my long hair just cut completely off.  But I really see it as doing what I have to do.  It is either going to fall out or be cut off and since I would like to think that I am still in some control, it had to be cut.

Those are the highlights of my week.  What was yours like?

Quote of the week: “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Week Seven – A Tender Touch From The Past

It has been said of Scott’s great great aunt Dotie that “she would tat around anything that sat still long enough.”  This week we were blessed to be given a box of her tatting that had been saved by Scott’s great aunt Lynn who passed away last year.  In the box were yards and yards of edging that she had tatted, as well as, about 25 motifs.  I came home with the motifs and will be using them on the Christmas tree this year.  They are all in need of a good washing and stiffening, but they are all so intricate and beautiful even as they are.  She was very good at it, indeed!

This week I also managed to get the Corset cross stitch framed.  I bought a black frame and spray painted it silver along with another frame holding another cross stitch from the past that was gold.  Now both pieces match and I think they look awesome!

While I am still waiting for Sock Madness 2011 to begin, I started my next tatted motif, twice.  Yes, attaching to the wrong picot seems to be a problem of mine…  It should be completed next week, so photos will have to wait until then.

In other news…my diagnosis is finally in and we have found out that it is not cirrhosis after all.  Apparently, I have a 1/1,000,000 rare disease of the liver called Caroli disease.  To most doctors, other than liver specialists, it looks like cirrhosis.  This explains why the doctors were so perplexed at first and kept asking me if I was a heavy drinker or drug user.  My family keeps reminding me that this means that I am one in a million.  Hahaha…  So, now that we have a diagnosis and a prescription regimen, we will just monitor things from here on out.  If things go downhill in the future the “cure” is a liver transplant.  I don’t know what the future holds, but I have a feeling that a transplant is a long way off.

See ya next week!