Judy L's UFO Challenge

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Meet Buddy

I want to introduce you to Buddy, my Dad's little companion since he retired in 2001.  Wait a minute...that is Buddy's bed but that is NOT Buddy.  That is Duke.  

So about Buddy.  No that looks like his bed but that isn't him.  That is Sadie.

Here is Buddy!  Chillaxing in his chair at Dad's house before his big adventure.  He is a bit round and was enjoying treats three times a day.  If you forgot he would run to the cabinet and point out that you had forgotten.  His last vet visit in NY had him weighing in at 34 pounds.  He loved all the activity of the move and all the people that came to the house just to see him and give him a big send off.

Dad always talked about him not being a very good passenger.  Because of this he got to ride with Ray who has an iron fist when it comes to pet's behaving themselves.  He did not cause one single bit of trouble.  In fact we will blame Ray for this one.  While on the way to Texas Dad stopped in Ohio because he just could not go any further.  He was not well and needed lots of extra help to get him into the hotel.  Ray and I circled back so that we could assist.  I was smuggled into the hotel because I wasn't supposed to be there.  I was very good and did not cause one bit of trouble.

When I got to Texas I got to see Duke again.  We already made friends.  I tried to tell Duke how things were going to go when I met him at my house last year but alas, he set me straight.  We are good together now.  In fact I was told I was going to love Sadie.  Well she plays too rough with me and I am afraid of her.  I spend a lot of time whining about her to anyone that will listen.  Sometimes we get into a tussle and Duke has to get involved to straighten us out.  Once day I hope I will learn how to play with her.  You won't see Augie this post but he and I get along just fine.  He is very gentle with me.  He has moire interest in Darcy so we are not around each other very much.

Here I am hanging out on the porch with Darcy.  She thought I needed glasses.  While I look very smart with them I don't think I need them.  By now I have already met the vet.  I had this cough they thought was caused by my heart.  Turns out I had bronchitis,  All the temperature changes and stress were a little hard on me.  Steroids and antibiotics to the rescue.  They stopped feeding me treats three times a day AND they made me share with the other dogs in the house.  I am down to a trim 27 pounds with the vet mentioning that another 5 would benefit me.  It's always those last 5 pounds that get you!

Dad was so so sick and was in the hospital for 2 weeks.  I was moping around and missing him terribly.  They told me Dad was missing me too.  Ray took the rolling sewing machine case and stuck me inside then smuggled me in to see Dad.  Dad doesn't remember but I did and I was much happier!  I was really glad when Dad came home.

Here is a rare sighting.  This is me sleeping in MY bed.  I didn't use it in NY but it's a pretty nice piece of real estate when everyone's laps are full!  Until next time!

Buddy and 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Marching into March

So here we are back in Texas.  I am working toward getting back into the workforce and also going about the business of getting Dad's new routine of doctors, etc.  Our biggest concerns at the time were that Dad not be dehydrated nor anemic.  The bit of radiation that he did have seemed to help with the anemia.  When I was in NY he was needing blood about every 4 days or so.  After the radiation I think he needed blood once while still in NY.

Somewhere along the way I gotmy start date of March 17th.  Dad has a doctor appointment with the new oncologist before then/  We make it to that appointment and all seems ok.  They agree that he is dehydrated and could use fluids.  We schedule that for the following day.  He gets the fluid and I get him home.  I went to the store and left Dad with Ray and the kids.  I was about 10 minutes from being home so Ray decided to leave and take care of some errands.  Not 1 minute after he leaves my daughter calls to say Grandpa is yellow.  Unfortunately we have too much experience with liver issues and know something is not right.  I tell her I will be right there and to keep him comfortable.  I walk in and he is sitting in his chair stripped to the waist and very confused about what is going on around him.  I make a quick call to home health care.  They agree that I should call the doctor.  Having just started with this group I was uncertain that I would get a quick callback and I did.  Quick discussion and they say get him to the ER.  I call the ambulance.  Dad is transported and  his liver is not draining properly.  The tumor is pressing against the ducts.  He gets a stent, antibiotics, blood and fluids.  They tell us that he did have a temporary stent in that they replaced.  They tell us he needs a more permanent stent and we set a date for that one and he is discharged.

We get Dad home and he has a great week.  We even go out for lunch one day and he eats like a horse which is an amazing feat.  We get home and are happy for our day.  I have already started my job.  I get a call from Ray the next morning about Dad and he is concerned.  I am able to leave work and finish the day from home.  I get him home and the home health nurse arrives shortly after.  Dad has a 103 fever.  We didn't realize it because Dad complained of being cold so we were trying to make him warm.  He earns another trip to the ER to learn that the newly replaced stent became plugged by the tumor throwing a clot.  Long gory story short lots of antibiotics, blood and fluids Dad goes home two weeks later still on IV antibiotics.  We got him to the scheduled procedure date for the permanent stent in early April without further hospitalizations..

He has climbed back to his normal as of last week.  He has physical therapy a few times a week.  We get him out when he has the gumption.  Dad is living his life the best he can at this point.  He is tired and weak so we do what we can to restore him and take advantage of spurts of energy.  The house closing should be one day this week.  All the addresses that we can think of have been updated to his new address.  I have been mailing things for the home sale and still catch myself putting his NY address on the return.  That habit may never be broken!

Here is Dad sitting in my garage enjoying the warm weather.  I have you caught up on his move here but there will be more I am sure,  And you haven't even heard about Buddy yet!  More to come.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Decision Made

Once we knew there was not going to be any further treatment for Dad and that he could not be left alone, my plan to return to Texas to get ready was out the window.  I had a job opportunity materiializing with no date set.  I decided that I wanted to be back in Texas by March 10th ready to report to work.  This did not mean that I wanted to be pulling into the driveway the night before either.  We called my brother and told him the plan and made at\\arrangements to fly him back to NY in the next few weeks.

I packed the house with the help of several cousins, friends and Ray.  We sold things that would not be making the trip,  Donated a lot of clothing items and anything else we felt would not sell.  When my brother arrived the majority of things had been packed.  The moving truck had been picked up and was sitting on the driveway.  We all got up the next morning and the guys loaded the truck.  I finished packing things and took care of closing the house down, so to speak.  None of this fun nor easy but necessary.

My Dad and I pulled out of the driveway as a big snow storm hit.  We had to drop off cable equipment and gas up.  Ray left in our vehicle with Dad's dog Buddy.  We were about an hour behind Ray.  I was letting Dad acts as my GPS but it quickly became apparent that was not going to work.  I was supposed to be travelling along the southern part of New York and somehow ended up in Rochester,  Dad had been showing signs of dementia and it was really showing itself with all the stress of the move.  He was trying to circle us back around and take us back home.  I turned on the real GPS.  We drove quite a ways and made it to Ohio.  I was near the halfway point when we stopped.  We spent the night and got up and drove to Texas the next day.  I was laying in my own bed the morning of Match 1st.  Ray arrived shortly after us. 

My brother left the day after we did doing some final packing and cleanup before hitting the road.  He went to his house and unloaded part of the items then delivered the rest to my house and unloaded then returned the moving truck.  I was never so happy to have all this over.  It was a nightmare that included me having to call EMS for help to get Dad into the hotel we stayed at.  I have said enough on that topic!

While packing I came across this UFO of my mothers.  She had started this for my Dad and quickly grew tired of it.  All the yarn was with it,  I could not tell what the original plan was.  I layed it out and chose the design and had to make 3 additional squares.  The joke between Mom and Dad was whether he would ever get his afghan.  I have the top together and am tying in all the loose ends.  I throw it on Dad when he needs a blanket.  I know I will edge it but at least he has it and uses it.  He got his afghan!

Another bit of happy news is that the day we arrived in Texas I had a text from the realtor telling me to check my email and respond by 5.  We had a sales offer on the house.  After a little back and forth we had a contract.  The house is sold!  The attorney handling the deal for us has Dad's POA and will represent him at the closing.  That chapter of our lives will soon come to a close sadly.  It is hard to let that house go but life is what it is.

Stay tuned.  I am almost caught up with everything.  I will get quilty again very soon!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Odyssey Begins

What happens next is all jumbled in my mind.  I'm not sure it matters the order so I will just share and let the chips fall where they may. 

Remember we are playing wait and see with Dad.  Somewhere between the first of the year and the 11th of January Dad has gone into the hospital been released and rehospitalized.  I had been waiting for an all day sit and sew to happen at the church and attended that.  I frustratingly did not accomplish much but did get the second Harley top together.  I tried to get the backing made for the first completed but that did not happen.  I put it together.  Too small.  Frogged it and got a plan in place to get it to the right size.  The retreat/sew-in was over.  

While I was there I talked to Dad and knew that it was time for me to go to him.  One of the consults we were waiting for had not materialized yet.  The dreaded diagnosis of cancer, the third time, had been made.  Dad was alone, missing Mom.  He was fInding it harder to care for himself.  I went home and prepped the kids and home for my departure.  I packed with the intention of leaving first thing Sunday a.m. The 12th.

 I was packed and ready for bed when Ray announced we were leaving now.  It was close to midnight.  I had thoughts of grabbing quilt something to work on. That did not happen.  I ended up grabbing an afghan I had been working on.  We left Texas and arrived in New York Monday morning.  We took a nap and drove to the hospital to see Dad.  It was a balmy -8 degrees.  Quite the shocker!  

We left our cooler outside overnight.  I called this my Texans ice sculpture!

This is going to get long if I go into too much detail.  Dad came home.  Had another fall and was rehospitalized.  The decision was to give radiation.  My hope was that at the end of the treatment I would leave and Dad would be well enough to stay alone while he got his house on the market for sale and I made arrangements in Texas for him to come live with me.  After 5 treatments it was apparent he could not tolerate the radiation and the decision was made to stop.  He had a stent put in his liver because the tumor was pressing on the duct closing off drainage plus had a huge gall stone removed that was also blocking things.  My brother had been to visit and gone home waiting to see what was needed.  In light of the decision for no more treatment we decided to pack Dads house up, put it on the market and move him to Texas.  

Here are some things that I got to work on while in NY.  I finished that afghan and have to tie in the thread ends.

I made a couple fabric bowls.  The first one I made was sort of flat but works well for some of the bowls I like to use.  I made another that fits this bowl more snugly.  I love them!  I have more cut out and ready to sew.

More of the story to come.  Stay tuned!



Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Bonnie New Year Tradition

Each Christmas my best friend asks me what I would like for a gift.  I have told her that I do not want anything but she won't accept that answer.  In 2013 I got the idea that I would like a quilt class and it just so happens that Bonnie Hunter comes and does her NYE mystery in Plano.  So I asked for a Bonnie Hunter class!  I have received this gift two years in a row now! 

The 2013 mystery resulted in Lazy Sunday which was published in Quiltmaker later that year.  For 2014 she came up with her next mystery.  This too will be published in Quiltmaker.  We are allowed to share the block pre-publication but not the quilt.  I got to meet Allison who you see Bonnie refer to on her blog from time to time.  You will hear more about Allison very soon.  This quilt was meant to be rainbow scrappy.  I pulled neutrals from both my stash and my mothers.  I then pulled the rainbow from mom's scraps and stash.  I am glad it turned out that way because I will have another quilt from my mom and I couldn't help but think about her the entire time I was putting this together.

Sadly I got news that same day, New Years Day, that my father had fallen at home and was taken to the hospital.  He lived in New York at the time and there was no way for me to get there in any hurry so I stayed for the class.  Dad and I discussed it and agreed that we would act in the "wait and see" mode. 

I have not progressed on that quilt since the class but I truly look forward to getting back to it.  More to come on Dad, Allison and this Bonnie NYE mystery quilt!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Another Harley Davidson Quilt

I showed Ray's quilt to a lot of people.  I posted it on my Facebook page and a longtime friend of mine asked me to make one for her to give to her boyfriend.  I made a quote based on the same quilt as i made for Ray.  When I told Ray he asked that I not make the same exact quilt. He wanted his to be one of a kind.  This was after I accepted a check from her.  I sketched out a few designs and texted them to her.  We came to an agreement and I went to work.

I had to get another Harley flag only to find out they were limited to one per dealership.  I looked around the shop looking for an acceptable substitute.  One salesperson talked to another and word spread.  A manager came up to me and we spotted another flag just like the first one.  They sold it to me used at a discount.  I examined it for flaws.  Found none and happily purchased it.  I put this top together pretty quickly.  This quilt is now at the quilter.

During this time my Dad came to visit me.  He spent two weeks with me.  Ray was great with Dad and took him around whenever he ran errands.  I was at work but hurried home as soon as I could to spend time with Dad.  We went to different eateries that he had enjoyed in the past.  My mother had told me a story about Dad's pool playing prowess.  I wondered how I had reached my late 40's before ever hearing this story.  Of course we went and played pool.  He was really good!  He kept thinking I wanted to beat him when what I really wanted to see was him play.  I could picture him hustling someone in a game of pool as my mother told me he had done.  

He went to visit my brother and then headed home when there was a hurricane threatening my brother's area.  I think he was missing his dog Buddy too.  He safely made it home.  He used to love driving but I could tell it was getting harder on him.  I invited him back for thanksgiving and/or Christmas.  He opted to stay home.  Local friends and family hosted him for those holidays.

More to come.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

I've Been a Bad Blogger

Not long after I last posted I took a trip to Michigan to meet more of Ray's family.  I met his sisters and lots of nieces.  We also went to see a friend of Ray's and stayed with them for a day or two.  After that we travelled to NY to visit Dad and see how he was managing on his own.  He was taking good care of hisself.  When we left I took more of my Mother's things including her machines and sewing table.  Dad wanted all her clothing gone so I also took care of that leaving a stack for my cousin to pick up for her church.

I had continued to sew and have completed a few tops.  I have also been crocheting and have a few things to share.  I am going to catch you up over the next few days with multiple posts.

Here is the quilt top I made for Ray.  He had been asking for a quilt.  I began looking for a Harley Davidson something to feature in the quilt.  In my mind it was going to be a t-shirt.  I was pleased to find a flag, made of nylon, for the center.  I backed it with black 100% cotton.  The design is based on the Gettysburg pattern by Nancy Miller.

I wanted a bed sized quilt.  When I was figuring the math I kept thinking my blocks were 10" when they were only 8".  Ray said not to worry about it.  That's not my style. He wanted it for the bed and so did I.  I made the flame border to round it out.  I like the flame although it definitely looks like the after thought that it is.  The quilting will tie it together and the borders will be hanging down the side of the bed.  Ray is happy and that is what counts.

Glad to be back!