Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day 974

Sure doesn't look like Halloween around my house, does it?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day 973

The gals from work were right. They knew after my long day at work I'd come home to my recliner and not be able to get up. So I sat in my chair, turned down stocking cuffs, and had hubby put them on the couch so I could organize and count the last batch. But as you can see by the picture I was too tired to organize and count. Even too tired to get up to take the picture. It is what it is. A picture taken after dark, with a phone, from the recliner. The counting will have to wait. Unless you're talking about sheep.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day 972

Why would anyone have three shots in their knee joint before heading to work? (It originally started like this, but then the doctor also brought in an even bigger shot to add to the bunch.)

Just look at the length of those needles. And guess what? I have to go back next week and the week after to have the same thing.

So again, the question...why would anyone go through that? The story is in the pictures.

What you are looking at is an X-ray underneath a knee cap. See the large, even, curved spacing under the kneecap?

And take a look at mine. Notice anything missing? So until I can have a knee replacement we're adding synthetic synovial fluid, cortisone, and another drug in the mix to try and provide some lubrication/ relief. So fun.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 971

What do Christmas stockings for 205 soldiers in Afghanistan look like?
And the sewing continues.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 970

I know my elf is expecting to see a picture here tonight of the 100 stockings she sewed over my way. But I had more pressing issues at hand. Issues like trying to determine what could cause a sewing machine to get a bit of a hitch in its giddy up.

After some finagling it became pretty apparent what the problem was. When you have this much stuff clogging up a machine - and that's just around the bobbin area - it's no wonder the machine wasn't operating as well on stocking number 400 as it was on stocking number one. Looks pretty tinted with that red felt I've been using.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day 969

I enlisted the help of an elf today. Two sewing machines operating at the same time from opposite sides of the table created this. Depending on the time of the day it was either a great project or a big ole mess. Come back tomorrow and find out our total. (It's 11:00 PM and we're still working so no number yet.)



Friday, October 25, 2013

Day 968

The best reason for sitting through a day-long meeting in Boise? I get to see kiddo. And her kitty.

And the pumpkins kiddo and fiancé carved.




Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 967

1. Cut fabric.
2. Sew from top, down around toe, up to heel. 
3. Open stocking and sew felt cuff across top. 
4. Pull felt up out of the way and sew from heel to top. 
5. Turn stocking inside out. 
6. Sew felt edges together. 

6 steps take a very long time when you're talking about hundreds of stockings so I use the assembly line method. At first it was in groups of 25 at a time. Then it was 50 at a time. And now it has become a few hundred at a time. 

At least for steps one and two, that is...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day 966

Straight from the doctor's report on the ultrasound I had the other day:
"worsening disease activity as compared to prior scan despite infusions."

That'll start your day off well. Add to that another trip to the eye doctors, a follow up from a couple weeks ago. Did you know you can have arthritis of the eye? That's enough to keep your day rolling smoothly. I so wanted to try and go shopping by myself but between a meeting this morning, those two wonderful pieces of news, three separate conversations with three other doctor's offices...and I was defeated. Defeated and tired.

So here we go again. Another night of collapsing in the chair unable to move. I'm not sure any stockings will get sewn together tonight. If I get a burst of energy I'll get there. Otherwise it's time to keep admiring things in my Joann's box. Pretty fabric and thread snips. I love thread snips!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 965

These days sure are becoming take-the-good-with-the-bad kinds of days.

Bad: According to blood work, my liver function. Big time. No wonder I'm always so very tired.

Good: Arrival of the 50% off items I ordered online from Joann's.

Bad: Being so exhausted after work I headed right to my chair when I walked in the door. Dinner in my chair. Pain medicine in my chair. Opened Joann's box in my chair. Took picture from my chair, wrote blog from my chair. Still dressed for school. No stocking sewing tonight.

Really good: A little basket that was ordered from Joann's. Looks perfect for the front of my scooter. Now maybe I can finally do a little shopping all by myself without having to depend on hubby to push a cart. Ok, not really good. More like great.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day 962

You'd think someone who:

sews hundreds of Christmas stockings a year
is still using the same pattern since the 1st stocking made
made the how-to video for the Stockings for Soldiers organization, the video on their website and YouTube that is used every season when teaching others to make stockings

would have no problem whipping up those Christmas stockings.

You'd think. Thinking is something I obviously need to do more of when I'm sewing. Out of these 25 stockings I had to redo half of them. Why? Because I put them together incorrectly. Even had to watch my own video to see where I messed up. Let's hope I can speed things up for next few hundred!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 961

A thumbs up and thumbs down day.

A rheumatologist appointment, the 7th doctor's appointment in the last two weeks. Thumbs down.

The Dr. canceling my infusion today. Thumbs up.

Because they aren't working. Thumbs down.

Working at getting pre-approval from insurance for another infusion. Thumbs up.

This one lasting 4-5 hours. Thumbs down.

Start on pain pills. Thumbs down. (But if they help it'll turn into a thumbs up.)

Go on temporary disability until things get turned around. Thumbs down.

Ultrasound on hands to judge progression of disease. Shot in the rump to combat pain and inflammation. (You can decide which category that falls in.)

Some money from sales of my book + a gift card from my birthday + some cash back from hubby's credit card + an extremely small portion of my winnings from a couple weeks back = a box containing this, sitting on the doorstep when we got home from the half-day long doctor's office visit. A huge thumbs up.


Christmas stockings in various stages of completion cluttering up a sewing table so much that it'll be a while before I have room for a new machine. Thumbs down.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 960

I was having a Sesame Street moment at the doctor's office today.

My knee has been continuing to worse over the last few months and I knew something had to be wrong. When I saw the x-ray of my knee cap, I thought about this song.

What would make me have that certain tune in my head?
A normal knee: See how rounded everything is and how the kneecap just seems to float above the knee?

And then check out my kneecap. Or what appears to be a kneecap. Certainly not floating, and certainly everything else in that joint isn't rounded. Anything that doesn't look like the normal knee -all those misshapen surfaces and growths in the joint - aren't supposed to be there. And by the way, did you notice that big piece of they-don't-know-what but probably bone or calcification sitting up above my knee?
So did you figure out the answer before the end of the song?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day 959

If you were to ask me how today was different from yesterday I wouldn't have much to say. Probably just copying and pasting, with a few word substitutions, will do the trick.

When I got home from work after four tonight I went right to my bedroom, put on my nightgown, then right to the recliner, put my feet up, covered up, took off my glasses and just sat there. Too exhausted to do anything. Sat there as the sun went down, too exhausted to turn on any lights. I sat there, covered up, feet up, glasses off. No lights no sound. Until hubby came home from his parent teacher conferences at 7:30.

As he turned on a light he saw me sitting there. A box I had kicked from the doorway through the dining room to the chair sat beside me. A box of fabric that had arrived in the mail, an eBay purchase.

I sorted through the box next to the chair. I found lots of fabrics in the box and found one that might just work for another bag/purse. If I had the energy to do that.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 958

When I got home from work after six tonight I went right to my recliner, put my feet up, covered up, took off my glasses and just sat there. Too exhausted to take off my sweater, too exhausted to take off my shoes. Sat there as the sun went down, too exhausted to turn on any lights. I sat there, covered up, feet up, glasses off. No lights no sound. Until hubby came home from his meeting at 8:30. 

As he turned on a light he saw me sitting there, still dressed for school. Bless his heart he took off my shoes, took off my socks, and recovered my feet with the blanket. Even brought me over a box I had plopped on the dining room table on my way from the door to the chair. A box of fabric that had arrived in the mail, an eBay purchase.

I sorted through the box from the chair. I found lots of pretty fabric but couldn't decide on my absolute favorite. Is it the baby fabric? Or the fabric of me riding on my scooter? (If I could only be so hip!)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 957

I took a break from stocking sewing tonight and whipped up a bag for school. Good thing I was considering it a "practice" bag. It came out to small for my scooter needs. Oh, yeah, and I put the loop for the button on the wrong side, too.

Back to the drawing board. Next one up will be with some fabric I've been wanting to use since Day 10. Geez, that was in 2011!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Day 955

I've been saying this to myself all afternoon. (Click on the link to hear it.) It's a line from Chevy Chase on the Vacation movie. While I'm not about to jump into a cold swimming pool like he does, I am swimming. Swimming in felt cuffs for the stockings. I cut the exact number I needed. What kind of crazy number would that be?

625.

Yep, passed that 400 goal. Thanks to EVERYONE for making that happen. Guess I better get sewing now!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 954

The generosity of people who read this blog continues. Look what Deb from Illinois sent my way. Christmas fabric that will very soon be made into Christmas stockings for the Stockings for Soldiers project.

Thanks, Deb!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 953

Between doctor visits today I stopped for my bargain lunch, two tacos for 99 cents. While there I noticed a sign for something happening at night. If that grilled cheese hamburger thing is part of their party I think I'll pass.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 952

When I won the money the other day I probably should have been more excited. In the back of my mind I knew I wouldn't be able to spend it - I figured it would go into savings and never be touched again. But hubby had a different idea.

Medical expenses.

Unfortunately he's right for several reasons.
*If our little trip to Jackson Hole taught me anything it was that I'm so doggone far from healthy. And that things are only going to be going downhill from here. (It appears denial isn't working so well anymore.)
*Just this week I have six medical appointments and next week I have yet another two. (That's way too many if you ask me.)
*Next week is infusion time for me again. (The money I won will only cover HALF of one infusion. Ugh.)
*Hubby's still in physical therapy - been there over a year now. (And we're still paying the bill.)

So while I would love to celebrate and do something fun, it is time to be responsible and thankful for the opportunity to have medical care that keeps me alive and breathing (albeit with one lung) and moving forward (as long as I don't have to actually move), and the ability to work on Christmas stockings for folks who have things a lot worse than me. But no Christmas stockings pictures today.

How a couple pictures of roses still left blooming in the garden instead?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 951

Not a katydid, not a praying mantis. An albino grasshopper?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Day 950

25 more scrap stockings made and a heck of a bunch of scraps still left. It'll be quite some time before Santa's workshop closes.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 949

Hubby knows I'm a big believer when it comes to the power of the universe. Things always turn out the way they are supposed to. If you are generous and kind, good things will come your way. But sometimes hubby uses the universe thing to get his way.

"The universe wants you to go to the casino" says hubby. (Yeah, right.) I was worn out from my high altitude excursion and even though we had a free room and dinner and show I just as soon go home. But that couldn't happen because hubby had a voucher from a slot machine that would expire if not turned in. (I wasn't all too pleased that he hadn't taken care of it before.) I'm not one to give up a hundred bucks so I had to relent and make a detour to the casino. 

I wound up having to agree with him on the universe leading me to the casino. Because just a couple minutes after sitting down at a penny machine I hit the bonus. 9 diamond symbols during a ultra spin bonus round let me to hit this jackpot of pennies.

That $4,438.37. Thank you universe.  

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 948

We sadly had to leave Jackson Hole. But I have to admit I was glad we were leaving. (Note to self: never, ever plan a high-elevation trip without first consulting the lung doctor.) I do hope to go back someday, but oxygen will be at the top of my packing list. I had a heck of a time of breathing so I will never make such a mistake again.

I have to go back. If not for the National Park then for the beautiful drive between Swan Valley and Palisades Reservoir in Idaho. The fall colors, the river, the snow capped peaks, the numerous osprey nests. We stopped so many times for so many pictures. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Day 947

When we got home from the Suck the Marrow Tour 2.0 in July we started talking about where our next adventure would be. For me it was an obvious choice. A place I've always wanted to go, a gorgeous place that would provide lots of spectacular picture taking opportunities. So we made our reservations back then - nonrefundable - so we couldn't make some lame excuse not to go.

But that was then and this is now. While it hasn't turned out exactly as I hoped I can't complain. I get to stay in a cabin in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I get to wake up to snow. Looking at the side mirror on my car it appears to be quite a bit.
But where we really planned on going was Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Except it is closed just as are all the National Parks. It didn't stop me from taking some pictures, but just not exactly the ones I thought I'd be taking.

Thank you, federal government, for this picture:

But look at these two I got anyway.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 946

A lady coming down with a chest cold. Vacationing at 6000+ feet. Only one lung working. The combination of the three made me spend the entire day in this room, mostly in the bed sleeping. Not the best way to start a trip. But at least I get to stay in my dreamy one-room cabin.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 945

As I was driving last evening looking at the beautiful sunset and the clouds with the orange and pink tint to them, I was thinking about my suck the marrow and I choose joy beliefs.

I realized I have a dream life.

I have people who care about me and support me, I have a paid-work life and a non-paid charity work (sewing) life that I truly enjoy. When we have time off we get to travel and with the assistance of my scooter I've been able to experience new places. We have a too-big-for-us house which we plan on selling in the next few years and have a much tinier place, closer to kiddo, already purchased.

2 bedroom, 2 bath. Not exactly as tiny as I thought it should be, though. I wanted to sell everything off and live in a one room cabin. In hindsight, I'm glad we didn't go that small. These next few days will be a test to see if that one room would have worked.

We have a couple days off from school and tack that onto the weekend and we've taken a little jaunt to another state. To stay in a one room cabin.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 944

Am I over 400 stockings? Well each stack is 25 and I have 23 stacks. Wow.