Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy News and Cupcakes!

Happy news from our direction, or should I say, from Illinois, tonight.  Marty is home. After a long few weeks of not knowing, Marty was transferred to Barnes hospital in St Louis last Friday, and by yesterday they seemed to have the right combination of meds to control the voices in his head and stop the terrible tremors.  We are still waiting to see how he will do at home, but are very relieved that he is HOME.  Thank you all so much for all the wishes, prayers and positive thoughts....they are appreciated so very appreciated.

Meanwhile, here on Cape Cod, I was busy dog sitting last weekend, and dealing with severe allergies. I think they are finally under control with a big dose of Allegra every 12 hrs and a visit to my acupuncturist.
Looking forward to being with LM and Ms Graysea this weekend.... although I know I will have to work hard to distract her from gazing at her boyfriend....those two are besotted.

I've enjoyed two wonderful programs on PBS this past on Whales and Dolphins and the other about the Himalayas.  Very captivating offerings from the PBS Nature series.  I've been happily quilting while I watch....I'm such a multi-tasker and would love to break the habit, except it always feel so good to have something tangible to appreciate. Amidst all the other activities, I am also reading a good book "The Great Husband Hunt" by Laurie Graham - it's covering one woman's zestful life from before WWI. 
During all these at-home activities, I've been enjoying mini-bites of a glorious cupcake brought to me from Brooklyn Heights, NY last Sunday by my wonderfully thoughtful and fun co-worker, Christopher.  The masterpiece of deliciousness came from Crumb Bakery.  Oh my, I am so happy it is not nearby, although they do take orders on line!

Feeling very relieved and grateful and sated right now.....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Just Saying Hello!

There is no further news on Marty, but we sure are having an early Spring here....the morning is filled with bird songs, and it has been warm enough to leave the heat way down!  The ground has never frozen this year and we are all loving it.  There is the slight longing to have at least one big snowstorm before official Spring arrives but it's only a slight wish. Flowers are blooming in sunny corners, and Ms G whiles her days away in sunny spots while birdwatching. What a life.

I'll be back soon with another walk for you!  My weekend will be spent house sitting, sewing and enjoying a few more walks with LM. Life is good!   

Love to all!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Marty Update

Below is what I received via e-mail when I woke this morning.  Marty continues to be in the hospital and they are still not able to find out what has happened to make his brain functioning go haywire.

I am thrilled to know, though, that his oldest son, Steven, has been accepted at the University of Illinois.  In my last conversation with Marty, he was so hoping this would be the case. Steven attended 4 years of HS at an exam school which is part of the U of I campus, and he has thrived in the program.  He has also became an Eagle Scout last week.  Lots to be very proud of.
I do not know how Karen can be there day in and day out with the frustration of not knowing, what will happen with Marty.  She says the hallucinations continue through most of the day, as she mentions "the voices." Sam is their younger son, 14.  Thank you everyone for your continued thoughts and prayers.

Hard day today. Sam & I left him about 8. Thought he would have the spinal tap done today- seemed like we were waiting all weekend for it- now it will be tomorrow. Looking for some obscure infection or ruling it out at least. The anti-seizure med- Dilantin – levels wouldn’t stay up in therapeutic range even though they kept increasing it. So they switched that to a different one. They had started an anti-psychotic drug and that one Marty didn’t like the way it made him feel so they are going to try a different type of that medicine tonight. Whatever the combination of things they gave him last night or the amount made him sleep all night but… all day too. Could barely get him to wake up through the day. They cut one of those meds in half for the dosage now.

Something made his heart rate and blood pressure go pretty high while I was gone around dinner time so now they also have used some beta blockers. The doctor had said they would have to watch him with the new anti-seizure med as some people have some heart rate issues with that.

All in all it was a pretty frustrating waiting, waiting, waiting day and despite all this he still has the voices ragging on him pretty hard. It’s all a little hard to see him like this and a bit scarey. He’s just not himself, and he knows it, and he doesn’t like it. Sorry to not be the bearer of better news tonight but thought I should give you an update. Hopefully we will have betters answers soon.

Good news is that Steven found out on Friday that he got accepted to the U of I for next fall in Mechanical Engineering and we were able to share that with Marty. Steven is still waiting to hear from another school but has pretty much had Illinois on the top of his list. His high school is located right in the middle of the Engineering campus on the U of I.

Love, Karen

Monday, February 20, 2012

Prowling the Punkhorn

Out of my Allegra induced hazy mind, I made a little effort to catch up on some posting today....LM and I have been enjoying some lovely wintertime walks....hope you enjoy it along with us.

Wallking has always brought me solace, inspiration, newfound energy, and fun.  Why can't I remember the message in that sentence?  Well, anyway, Super Bowl Sunday afternoon was a sunny and cold day but there was no wind, and I was able to convince LM that he could find those wonderful benefits, too, and we were off to explore the huge Punkhorn Conservation area, only a scant 1/2  mile from his house. We were alone in these beautiful woods for over an hour. How wonderful that all this land has been saved!
One of the many interesting discoveries we came across....Not sure what kind of coupe this was, but it was filled with bullet holes!

A tiny branch had landed on this rock marking a trail.

Princess pine everywhere.  As children we used this to make is now a protected plant.
Beautiful moss in so many places.

Near the beginning we saw a a very swampy area covered with just a skim of ice. reminded me of areas we used to find in the woods to skate on when we were could hang on to the trees and twirl around.  My days of twirling are over and this ice was definitely not safe....all sparkly in the midday sun.

There were many lovely white birches bending over the paths.
The area was dotted with what look to be abandoned cranberry bogs.

We feel so privileged to live in this beautiful area. Hope you enjoyed our little walk. Many more to come.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Theo Goes Camping

Obviously, Theo loves camping, and the new quilt is the perfect venue.  Love that perfect brick red nose! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Love  for so many people, things, and, of course, cats, truly make my world go round, and I hope in yours, too.

I know I've been absent a lot here - a combination of Blogger's whims, severe allergies, and trying to process the fact that my dear brother remains hospitalized in a very compromised state.  I want to be there, but just cannot and it is tearing at my soul. I am trying to be as supportive as possible to his wonderful wife, Karen, and to find comfort in the fact that he does not appear to be suffering.  We wish we had an answer to why he is suffering many seizures and spending most of the time in a delusional state. 

A certain very special valentine visited my house while I was at work yesterday and left little gifts and cards in many unusual places, so that I would find them throughout the evening.  The first one was found when I opened the refrigerator to prepare dinner. He is truly the most loving and dear man, and I am honored to love him, always.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Anne's Quilt

Anne's quilt 2011  -  This was daughter, Anne's, Christmas gift.  Another extravaganza in blue and some beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabrics. 

Thanks, David for taking these great photos and then modeling the quilt for us! 

Theo has done quite of bit of quilt quality control and he is, here, quite indignant as "his" quilt had been removed to be photographed. I bet you have it back by now, cute one.  I love your haunch feathers!


Label.....I loved making this quilt so much.....many more to be done.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Laughter into Tears

Saturday we were invited to a house warming for Kristi's friend, Lisa, so there were gifts to be wrapped before we left.  As I began to open a package of tissue and arrange the gifts in a pretty bag, our favorite helper appeared out of the blue. We'd thought we could quietly get the job done without the help of our tape/ribbon and plastic loving girl as she was napping. Not to be.....she suddenly began circling my feet to assess the best approach.  She spotted some curly ribbons in my hand and they were too much to resist.  I confess to enticing her, and she did her little squirrel act on her hind feet as she batted the ribbon. 

When I got back to the job at hand, she decided to circle around and get on the counter via the dining room table....pardon the mess, we were in a hurry.

As I worked with the tissue, she quickly snagged the ribbon and tried to get away but her "boyfriend" caught up with her and tried some unsuccessful distractions.

She was shooed away from one side so came back another way....very clever, Ms G!
Then LM was laughing so hard he just let her be and have her fun.....he joined right in!
I loved that the refrigerator gallery has a nice picture of Kristi and her friend, Lisa, front and center.

LM gives instructions on how to be naughty!!

Now we see the "coach" in action!......
We came home from the fun party to find the tearful news that Marty is home but he is not doing well.  His wife, Karen, had written an update e-mail to let us know the latest status. Marty unable to be alone for any amount of time. He is very confused, emotional and quite weak.  There is still no answer on what has happened to cause all the brain malfunctions.  Later this week there will be appointments with various specialists but Karen will have to have a caregiver with Marty at all times.  All the siblings are trying to stay strong, support each other and thinking positive thoughts for Marty and his family.
Yesterday, as we waited the interminable wait for the Super Bowl kick-off time (it all seemed so hollow and foolish), I called Marty and was able to speak with him briefly. He knew who I was but it set off a storm of emotion as we tried to talk, his voice unidentifiable to me, and both of us sobbing. He was going over and over how much he loves every member of our family.  Beautiful and heartbreaking, as it seems, he is in a tortured state.
What can one do from so far away??  I feel so compelled to help, yet, I cannot be there right now, and I have to go on with my own life.  I wish I knew a way to make all their lives a little lighter right now.  It will come to me if I listen to my intuition but the deafening sound of my tears is in the way.

PS.....While at the party Saturday, we were entertained by a funny/sweet dog, Cleo, and you can bet that we were fully inspected and sniffed when we returned home, especially our shoes!  Comic relief.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

How to Cope with Winter

My godson, Jaxson, has found the perfect way to deal with cold winter nights.  He knows how to live, and his dear Mom, Sue, makes life very comfy for the dear boy!

Happy weekend. We are preparing to take Kristi to a house warming party today and gearing up for the Super Bowl tomorrow.  Neither of us are real sports fanatics but we are a bit caught up in the excitement of the Pats/Giants game.

Ms G is cuddled in her nest on LM's bed, enjoying the sun.

Marty is home from the hospital but not in the best condition.  Day to day, as we wait to hear his progress.  Thanks for your continued good thoughts.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Little Gray Helper

We had a very special birthday in our ranks last week. LM turned 75!!  Due to crazy schedules we were not able to be together to celebrate until the weekend....Ms G was really in to the clebration as it involved wrapped boxes, tape, crinkly plastic wrappers, AND twist ties.  Cat heaven! Taking photos was a challenge as she wanted to be right in the middle of the entire process.
The very surprised birthday boy, delightedly opens his new Bose system.  This man loves music, radios and technology, so the perfect gift had been chosen.

 Ms G helping......note LM's clothes drying operation on the kitchen chandelier!  Lovely, but efficient, as the heat rises from just below.
 "I want those plastic wrappers on the can have the remotes."
 Admiring her portrait on the birthday card......
 Ahhhhhhhhhh.   A lot of music was enjoyed as we worked through the birthday weekend, and sent healing thoughts to Marty.
Wonderful news this morning that Marty made significant progress yesterday.He is now cognizant of where he is.  Today they will attempt to do another MRI to see what caused this episode.  He remains in the hospital as he is very weak.  WHEW, and thank you all for the kindness of your prayers, thoughts and caring.