While I lie around waiting to recover from my back surgery, I’m waiting for word on how my friend Ronda has done with her shoulder surgery today.  I do have word that she’s in the recovery room and her husband will call me later when they get home to let me know how she’s doing.  It’s never fun to know a friend is in pain, but I am hoping this procedure will bring an end to the suffering she has had to endure.

I’m trying to be a good kid with my recovery, but at the same time I would like my time off from work to be somewhat productive.  I had drawn out a new whole cloth at a quilting retreat in October and had hoped to quilt it for MQX.  When I got it out to load it on my machine before surgery, I decided that the scale was too big and the design had become clunky and odd looking in the size I enlarged it to.  I had a smaller rendition of the motif, so I now have a piece of sateen taped to my kitchen table with the design under it.  When I get up to get something to eat or a glass of water, etc., I stop by the table and do a little tracing with water soluble pen.  I don’t dare spend long periods of time doing this, as I know it is not good for my back, but I think that at the rate I’ve been doing it, I may be able to load this quilt during the weekend and perhaps I can finish the quilting for the MQX deadline.  I won’t push myself if my body isn’t comfortable with it, but I think it may be do-able.

I’m really looking forward to 2008.  It has to be a much better year than 2007 was.  I realize it is up to me to make it that way.  Wishing you all a great year too.

What’s that smell?

If your senses are being assaulted by patchouli oil and BO, you are no doubt in Eugene, OR. And, at this time of the year, you’d most likely be at the Holiday Market at the Fairgrounds, which is where I found myself today. We have a wonderful outdoor Saturday Market from the first weekend in April till the end of October (where there is another hippie smell added to the patchouli and BO) and then it is continued indoors when the cold and the rain sets in. I went today in search of a few last minute gifts. There are some wonderful things there, pottery, jewelry, leather goods, clothing, bath products, hemp products, and plenty of tie dye and long-haired (now very gray) hippies. I did manage to pick up a few things, then left to come home as my back was beginning to get sore. I’ve spent the day tidying (is that a word) up the house. My niece came by and did the dishes, vacuumed and washed the kitchen floor for me (boy did it need it), so things are beginning to look better around here. Of course, my two main helpers decided to take their lunch break for almost the entire day. my-boys.jpg

I’m so glad I got the ornaments on the tree. It makes everything much more festive around here. I haven’t had a big tree up for almost three years, I think. Mine has almost all purple ornaments on it. Purple having been, at one time, my favorite color. I still like it quite a bit. Even most of the packages under the tree are purple.my-tree.jpg

We’ll have Christmas here tomorrow (Monday) afternoon (oops, make that THIS afternoon — how did it get to be past midnight again!).  As my brother will have to spend Christmas day at his in-laws.  It will be nice to have everyone here.  I made a smoked salmon mousse earlier this evening and, unfortunately, I think I burned up the motor in my Braun stick blender.  I may have to take one of these 20% off coupons and head to BB&B to get another.  I really liked that thing, but it sure didn’t last very long.  Maybe I’ll investigate other types first.

I suppose I should be off to bed.  I just seem to find all sorts of things to do late at night!

I must be getting better

Today I ventured out for a little shopping.  Very little.  I went to the grocery store — picked up the items to make rum balls — then to the liquor store (needed rum) — and then to Costco and home.  I got the new Harry Potter movie, so I could entertain myself, but I haven’t watched it yet.  Instead, I came home, took a short snooze on the couch, and then got up and started doing a few things.  Yes, I’m being very careful.  I finally put the ornaments on the Christmas tree.  It’s been up since the weekend after Thanksgiving with just the lights (it’s a pre-lit tree), but now it has some ornaments on it.  Even the angel at the top.  Then I wrapped all the presents.  Turns out, I need to get something for my niece to open.  Luckily, the Holiday Market (winter version of the Saturday Market) is at the fairgrounds, which is just 5 blocks from my house, so I can go and get something for her there tomorrow.  The rest of her present is hidden in a hollow ornament on the tree.  Then I went upstairs and ironed all my fabric for the MQX Petpourri Challenge.  I’ll have to get a few more things for that (hopefully) tomorrow.  I think, if I’m very careful, I can load my whole cloth tomorrow and start on it soon.  I didn’t get to do that before surgery, and I think if I’m careful, I can manage to do it.  It won’t involve any heavy lifting, so it should be okay.  I also need to make those darn rum balls.  Basically, I’ll be making them for my sister, as no one else can eat them.  There is nothing special about them, except that once they are all made, I put them in the freezer for about an hour, then I bring them in and dip them in Euphoria Dark Chocolate.  That is what makes them so good.  I’ll have Ginny take them home with her and she’ll probably make them last all year, having one with a cup of coffee nearly every day.  I also got her the Chocolate and Coffee Bible for Christmas.  That woman would do anything for a piece of chocolate.  I like chocolate myself, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.

So, I’m finally sleepy and my ice pack has just about turned to mush, so I’m off to sleep.  Left to my own devices, I manage to become quite the night owl.  It’s just past 2 a.m. here.  I’ll have to re-adjust my clock to go back to work in the new year!

Ai chihuahua!

Well, the right leg sciatica is back with a vengeance today, but I choose to believe it’s because the nerve has finally realized it isn’t being sat upon anymore and is expanding back into its former territory. At least I hope that’s the case. I know I didn’t do anything to cause this, so that’s all I can come up with. Otherwise, I’m doing pretty well at lying around and watching the Christmas lights. I did manage to get a package in the mail today (thank goodness for USPS click and ship), so the folks back east will still know that I love them, even if I couldn’t be there for the holidays.

I thought I would share a picture of the quilt I did before I left for the hospital. I didn’t take many photos as I finished it at 4:00 a.m. and was a little too wiped out to care about pictures. I know the quilt has reached its destination, but haven’t heard a word back from the topper to let me know if she liked it or not. It’s not spectacular, but I thought it came out nicely. Of course, I think it would have been a lot better if I could have used a batting with more loft to it. She insisted on warm and white, so this is a flat, flat, flat quilt. I also was not allowed to quilt on the applique, so that part of it is flat also.bunnies1.jpg

All is well

Surgery on Monday seems to have been successful.  I almost didn’t need any anesthesia.  I was up until 4:00 a.m. finishing my last customer quilt.  I had promised I would mail it before surgery.  I took it off the machine, gave it a quick once over, and put it in the box and took it to FedEx Kinkos.  I managed to get home by 5:00 a.m.  I was so tired, I couldn’t go to sleep.  I did a few things around the house, then went to the bank for some cash (in case I had to ask family to get me things during my recovery).  Then it was time to head to the hospital.  My surgery ended up being delayed until amost 5:00 — it was supposed to be a 2:15 — but I did manage to doze a bit while they were making the operating room available.

So far, the pain down my legs is mostly gone.  I do get some twinges when I’ve been up and about for too long.  Lying down and getting the ice pack on it helps a lot.  I have this extreme compulsion to sew.  I may have my niece set my sewing machine up on top of a rubbermaid bin on the table so I can sew while standing up.  Sitting isn’t much of an option right now.

The other thing that is complicated now is keeping my eyes open.  I’m losing my battle with my eyelids right now, so this will have to be all I write for tonight.

Surgery is Monday

I will be having a microdiscectomy and foraminotomy on Monday.  This is actually good news, as it is the least invasive surgery we can do.  Hopefully, it will rid me of the pain going down my legs.  If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to have a fusion some time next year.  I am praying this will work.  The really good news is that I should be able to get up and walk around even the day after surgery — so perhaps I can stand to do some quilting. Not right away, but maybe a few days afterwards.  If this works out, I might be able to get my whole cloth done for MQX!!  I’ll be at home for three weeks.  Can’t lift more than a half-gallon of milk and can’t sit for more than 30-40 minutes at a time.  I’m so grateful to escape the screws and pins, etc.  They will just make a small incision, insert a tube into my back, and liquify the disc and suck it out.  I hope it takes this horrible burning pain away.


Well, tomorrow morning I find out if I’m having surgery (pretty sure that’s a given) and how long I will be laid up.  I have a million things to do, both at work and at home.  Do I feel like doing any of them?  NO!  I don’t know why I get like this.  Maybe I just feel too overwhelmed and like it’s impossible to accomplish it all, so I do nothing instead.  I procrastinated all day at work today.  I did manage to get a couple of bills paid, but I have a whole bunch of reimbursements to do.  I’d best buckle down tomorrow.  I did come home, make dinner and then go upstairs to quilt.  I made some good progress on the bunnies.  Hopefully, I can finish it early in the weekend and get it shipped out.  My customer wants to have it for a quilt gathering she’s going to on the 21st.  I think that shouldn’t be a problem, but I have to mail it to Georgia.    I’ve really enjoyed using the US Postal Service’s Click n Ship service.  I weigh the packages here, enter the info on line, pay with my debit card, print the label and postage, and call them to come and pick it up!  You just can’t beat that with a stick.  Sure beats standing in those long lines at the Post Office.

I’ll try to get a post up tomorrow to let you all know about the surgery.  I’ve done lots of research on line, so I’m fairly certain I know the options.  I’ll see what the expert says!

What color should my Christmas Tree be?

I saw this on someone’s blog.  I like taking some of these tests.  I’m not sure how accurate this is — I’m not all that generous — but I do have purple and gold decorations on my Christmas Tree!

You Should Have a Gold Christmas Tree

For you, the holidays represent a time of optimism and wealth.
You definitely have a generous spirit, and you give a lot during the holiday season.

You really go over the top for Christmas. Everyone on your list gets a great gift.
Even if you don’t have a lot of money during the holidays, it’s the one time you pretend like you do.

Your gold tree would look great with: All kinds of metallic decorations

You should spend Christmas Eve watching: Miracle on 34th St

What you should bake for Santa: A ton of cookies, cupcakes, and candy. You would enjoy spoiling him.

What a week

Well, last weekend we had a big storm. It wasn’t all that bad down here in Eugene. The wind caused some damage around town, but we only got about an inch of rain. My back continued to deteriorate during the week. I was desperate for someone to help me. I did manage to get hold of a surgeon and they could see my on January 18th. I had no idea how I would manage to hold on till then. On Wednesday, I went to my physical therapy appointment. My therapist took one look at me and called another surgeon in the same office as the surgeon I called, and got me an appointment for December 19th. He told me to call the following morning to see if they had any cancellations. I did call the next morning and got an appointment for Wednesday the 12th, and if I need surgery, it will be on the 17th. I’m hoping for a simple decompression — just taking out the piece of disc that is pressing on my sciatic nerve. There is some chance that so much of it has squished out that I will now need to have a fusion. The two vertebrae are down to almost bone on bone because so much disc has oozed out.

Friday was our department’s holiday party. I had arranged the whole thing, so I had a feeling it would be okay. I scurried around as best I could after work on Thursday and got the presents for our bosses — the department head and associate department head. So, Friday morning I got up early and decided to go into the office so that I could wrap the presents and get them on their desks before they knew what was happening. On the way to work, in the dark and the rain, I hit a woman on her bicycle. I had stopped at a stop sign, looked both ways, even though it was a one way street, and then stepped on the gas. There was a sickening crunch. I saw a face slide down the side of my car as I tried to stop, and I was just certain that I had run this person over. Thank God I had not. I managed to get the woman’s bike out of the street and chain it to a bus stop post and then I took her to the emergency room. I gave her my insurance information, and then I made my way to work. I called her office later in the day and they said she had taken the day off because she had a bike accident and hurt her hand. I explained who I was and asked that they let her know that I called to see how she was. She did have a light on her bike, but it was a small, dim light, and she was wearing all dark clothing. I just did not see her. I alerted my insurance company and filed an accident report with the DMV. I still feel horrible about it.

So, the added tension and hauling the bike out of the street did nothing to help my back. I could barely sit all day. I managed to last through most of the party, which was very nice, really. I’ve gotten several emails over the weekend to tell me what a good time everyone had. At least I can feel good that I did okay with that.

I’m working on the last quilt of the season. The Baltimore Bunnies. It’s a really nice quilt and I’m getting close to finishing it. Mostly background fill left to do. Hopefully, it will be done this week and then I will have the weekend to prepare for back surgery. I surely hope 2008 is a better year for me.

Wooo Doggies!

Well, we are having quite the weather here in Oregon.  It is pouring buckets of rain and the wind is a-howling.  I love weather like this.  Of course, I’d love it more if I had a fireplace, and could stay inside with a good book and a nice snifter of brandy.  😉  So, I’m here at work, hooked up to my tens unit, to keep the sciatica pain at bay.  I finished the Sun Bonnet Sue quilt last night and now have to finish the Baltimore Bunnies, then it’s time for ME!  I have a wonderful whole cloth all drawn out and am hoping that I have some time to get the basics of it down before I head off to the Cape for Christmas.  Then I can work on the background fill when I get back and maybe, just maybe, have enough of it done to submit it for MQX.  I am going to have to work very hard though.  As they say, there’s no rest for the wicked!