Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sewing for the Mom to Be

Sorry it's been so long since I blogged but since I retired I think I am busier than ever before. I've even been able to clear a few things out of the UFO pile. Big accomplishment but that's another story and I will leave that for later. Today I listed a couple vintage maternity patterns in the Etsy store and thought I would give them a shout. They are too cute to leave them undiscovered.

Simplicity 7297 Maternity Sundress, Jumper, and Jumpsuit Size 6-14 Bust 30-36 inches. The dress and jumpsuit feature a raised waistline, side pockets, and a button front bodice.  

McCall's 7471 Maternity Sundress, Jumper, Blouse, and Jacket Size 14, bust 36 inches Designed by Evelyn de Longe. Jacket features patch pockets and top stitching. The sundress has a tucked front and shoulder straps. The pullover blouse has a Peter Pan collar and short sleeves.  

I don't know which one is cuter. Both patterns are just right for summer months. The Simplicity pattern is multi-sized....a big plus. The McCall's pattern has a jacket and blouse....great for cool evenings or air conditioned areas. 

Well, that's it for now. Have to tend to the cookies in the oven. The hubby has a steady stream of folks that stop into his garage and often have little ones in tow. A batch of cookies from Miss Eileen seems like the right thing to do. 

Post by Eileen of GoofingOff Sewing Supplies on Etsy. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Braided Table Runner

Tropical Braided Table Runner by Karen Brake. This beauty was hanging at the quilt shop.
Last week I decided to take advantage of my new found leisure time and attend a class at the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shop. Once a month they hold a Sit and teach a new method or project. This month was the Braided Table Runner.

We used a pattern, #GE-101, from GE Designs of Chanhassen, Minnesota. The runner is a "Quilt as you go" pattern. The finished table runner is 17 inches wide and 52 inches long (42cm x 130cm). 

Two examples of the table runner to inspire us.
The runner starts with a six inch square in the center. I used a light color for my center square to create a light-to-dark effect but that is not necessary. Karen, the class leader, used a dark center for a dark-to-light effect.

Before starting we basted the backing and binding together. We used very thin binding, very low loft, since a pouffy effect was not desired.
We then marked the center of the fabric to place the center square on point. This is a very important step.

The strips are added on to the ends, making a point at each end....sort of the opposite of a log cabin....points on the ends and open triangles on the sides. The strips are 2 1/2 inches wide with 4 strips of each color, two 6 inch and two 8 inch. The strips are sewn in place, on each end, with a 1/4 inch seam, then pressed.
Adding the border.
When the strips are all in place the first border goes on, first across the length meeting each triangle.

Carefully adding the border.
The ends of the border are next to keep the braided effect. The wide border goes on next in the same fashion, then the binding to complete the runner.
When we finished the class we weren't done with the runners but they were close enough for pictures. We had the basics down. 
Table runner in blue and purples.
Table runner in Gator colors...go Gators!

Karen, our class leader, with hers. 

And here's me with mine. 

Ta Da! The finished product. I used brown and sage green calicos for a vintage look. It will look good on my old, I mean antique, dining table. 
It wasn't too difficult but it did take concentration. I didn't pull my hair or chew my nails so I think I might do it again, maybe in blues for Hanukkah. Got to think on it. 

Happy Stitching!

Post by Eileen of GoofingOff Sewing....getting the UFO basket emptied out, one project at a time. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Weeding Out the Riff Raff

This morning I was a little ambitious and did some work in the garden. I pulled out a few weeds, the riff-raff, and thought how much the tomato plants were like children.
We started our tomato plants in pots, carefully tending to them, watering and feeding them regularly. 
When the weather warmed up and they were ready to make it on their own they went outside in the garden.

We put cages around them for support and to help them stand straight. Some of the tomato plants are straight up in the cages flourishing with the support while others find ways to escape the wire, as if reaching for freedom outside the cage's confines. I gently put the tomato vines back into the cages and wonder how many will try to get out during the night when nobody is watching. I weed around the plants, clearing the riff-raff (weeds) to keep the weeds from stealing the precious nutrients the tomatoes need to survive. 
How like children they are! 
We nuture our children, feeding and loving them as they grow until they are ready to go to school, their first date, drive a car, or first big trip without Mom or Dad. Some will flourish with that guidance while others will bristle as if confined and look for ways to escape. We try to keep the children safe from the "riff-raff" that may injure or steal from them. 
So, as I weeded the next row, I noticed some volunteer tomato plants that grew up among the weeds, all unexpected, all strong and beautiful...because sometimes there is good in the most unlikely places. 
It's as if they were placed there to remind me to look for beauty everywhere, even among the weeds. 
Happy Mother's Day

Post by Eileen Patterson of GoofingOff Sewing.  

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Letting Papa Go

Today a friend came by the house and told me his grandfather was going to a nursing home. He said the thought of it is tearing him up but he knows it is in Papa's best interest. The old guy has quit taking his meds, won't bathe, and won't eat. I think the last straw was when Papa parked his scooter in the middle of the highway and wouldn't move. The sheriff had to come out and move him (Papa in the road on a scooter....that's the kind of stuff you see in the movies only this was for real and not so funny).

After all this, the friend said "I can't fight the ___. They're going to put him in a nursing home."
Several things went through my mind like can anyone convince him to change his behavior so he can stay home? Who reported the incidents? How did they know he wasn't taking his meds? (blood tests). I thought how much stress must be on my friend and his family trying to keep "Papa" safe and "they" putting Papa in a nursing home wasn't a bad guy stepping in but someone coming in and saying this situation isn't safe and we need to step in.

The big question is when you make a promise to keep an elder home when do you say 'Enough, I can't do it anymore' without feeling like you are betraying him or her? How do you finally say 'I need help' without feeling like a failure?

In my friend's case I am on the outside and I can see how some intervention is called for; however the view for my friend is not so clear.

I am a devil's advocate. I can't help myself. I try to look at both sides of an argument and recognize the other person's side of the story. I see the pain and helplessness on the friend's face. I also know how hard it is to care for someone. As a nurse 12 hours caring for a person can be exhausting especially when the person has some form of dementia but I get to go home. How hard it must be to do it all day and night and with no escape. ....and how difficult it must be when there is no one else to come in and take over, no night shift, no one to give you a coffee break.

Well, I guess I will keep them all in my prayers; my friend for the helpless feeling, Papa for wanting to be independent and not doing a good job at it, and the folks where he is going where he will be treated with care and respect...and keep him out of the road.

Post by Eileen

Monday, April 18, 2016

My Dog Had a Stroke The Salty Dog Blues Part 2 Recovery

I promised an update of Salty's recovery. I originally journaled it on Facebook so please pardon the format. Here it is:

March 19, 2016
Salty Dog update: A long, tiring day with Dad. Walked 10-15 feet four times today and drank water. Even had time for a short 4-wheeler ride. Still no appetite but rice gruel and chicken is on the menu for tomorrow. Hopefully he will be able to lap some up. He's not giving up so we won't either.

Salty in the hubby's hands. 
March 20, 2016 Salty Dog update: He's eating, really eating on his own....and pork chop, not rice gruel. He walked earlier today and not interested in walking with me tonight but tomorrow is another day. Another step on the road to recovery.
Dan started Salty on rice gruel (over-cooked rice in too much water until it becomes mush) mixed with a can of Mighty Dog dog food. He started eating one morsel at a time.

March 21, 2016  Salty Dog update. He is eating a bit better, in fact we need to cook more rice for him. He only walks and eats for Dan, though. Lots of massages to keep his legs from stiffening up. And there's Sammie checking on him. Maybe she's a little jealous. Just a little.

March 22, 2016 Salty Dog update: Fall precautions.
Today Salty spent the day with Dan. He ate breakfast, walked, drank, watched Dan work on the bedroom wall and work in the garage. Dan sat him up in a chair and it was there Salty decided to get up and jump from the chair. Dan wasn't fast enough and Salty fell. He doesn't look worse for wear but Dan is. Shook him up a bit. All I could think of is putting his bed on the floor and little yellow socks for his four little poodle feet. Four little yellow socks. And a "Fall Precautions" sign.

March 23, 2016 Salty Dog update
Salty got a bit of therapy in the form of petting and hugs from the grandkids. He was barely moving this morning until he saw them and heard them call his name. When he heard "Bud Bud" his tail started wagging more than it has since the stroke. The little guy who would hide under the table stayed alongside the girls just taking in every bit of love he could. He even joined us for supper eating some of Dan's then walking to the water bowl on his own.
A slow recovery but a recovery none the less. I am amazed at the difference love can make and awed by the magic that exists in a child's voice.
Salty riding the four wheeler with Dan. He loves the wind blowing his ears back.

March 25, 2016 Salty Dog update
Today is the 9th day since Salty had his stroke and the first time since then that he got to ride the four wheeler. A milestone but it is overshadowed by him climbing the porch steps by himself.


We celebrated by dressing up with a bow tie and having a picture taken. It's a little hard to see the red bow tie but he knows it's on. Sam was a little jealous and had to have a ribbon, too.
Thanks to all the get well wishes from everyone.

April 1, 2016
Salty Dog update....He got his bark back!
After suffering a big stroke Salty suffered a cardiac arrest. After resuscitation he was unable to move his left side. Recovery has been slow but he can move. He's running again. His bark was still missing until today. His tongue still hangs out, though. Scruffy little fellow. #‎SaltyDogBlues #‎ToughLittleDog

I tried looking on the internet about the loss of bark from a stroke and found nothing. The symptoms of strokes in dogs weren't like Salty's and involved walking in circles. I spoke to a neurologist from UF about Salty's loss of bark after his stroke and if it was equivalent to human aphasia  and he believes it is. The vocal cords in humans are much more developed than in dogs but the loss of bark is like the loss of speech. I am glad I followed my intuition and didn't give him water before he was ready. Not barking could have meant the inability to swallow as well which meant he had a high risk of aspiration.

If a patient,  a human patient, suffers a stroke, one of the first things done is a speech and swallow evaluation to avoid aspiration. The food provided is soft, sometime ground or pureed until a person is able to swallow safely. In extreme cases the person may have to have a tube placed into his stomach for nutrition. Each case is treated on an individual basis.

April 18, 2016
Salty is still recovering and doing well. He is a little slower than he was prior to the stroke but his recovery is remarkable none the less. He eats outside in the morning with everyone else and lets us know when he has to go out. He's still not steady enough to climb and watch for cars. He likes to stay on the porch and wait for the hubby to come in the yard. Once he's in the yard Salty doesn't leave his side. He tires out faster and sleeps more than he used to. He still loves to go to the garage and hang with the guys. The hubby is his favorite person and he's happy just being next to him. He lets me brush him, something he never did least not without a battle.

We don't keep Salty on any special food or do anything special.  He is no longer on the aspirin. The aspirin was for 10 days, no longer, to avoid risk of stomach upset. The recovery is no longer as dramatic as earlier. We see improvement but it is much slower.

We are grateful for everyday we have with him. We love him and he loves us. It's all about quality of life and the little guy is happy just being with us.

Post by Eileen Patterson whose dog, Salty Dog, had a stroke and recovered. A four legged miracle that has his bark back.