"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, February 17, 2014

WINTER AT THE LAKE

My dear brother-in-law Michael (husband of sister Christine), made a trip over to the lake on Sunday, for some cross-country skiing and to check on their camp and our house, 10 doors apart.  

The photos are stunning… and make me know that we will live there for part of winters, at some point.  Notice I said "part."

From the street side, it looks so desolate….. it is!

Stunning ain't it?  Great sledding hill down to the lake!  OK wait a minute, it was a
tobogganing accident that tore up my knee 40 years ago, initiating this year's
Knee Project.  I'll sit by the fire.
My lovely red row boat, upside down on the platform, and the frame to our glider.
I hope ice out is not too late this year.

From the road side--looks like we had the back up generator place just right, it's not under the snow bank.


THE KNEE PROJECT----PROGRESS!!!

Well, finally there's good news and pictures to show of what we now call "The Knee Project."

This was an atypical knee replacement story because I have MS that caused complications none of the top docs I went to anticipated.  Shame on them.  They made my life a living he#$ since the November 20 surgery.  I went to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, in case ya wanna know.  During both of my stays there, great attempts were made to kill me.  Huh,   fooled them, I got out alive.  If you are going for a joint replacement in Boston, go to New England Baptist.  

So, last week I achieved the set goal for "my bend," a disappointing 110 degrees (I always want more!) but there was too much damage and now too much metal to go much further.  I may with time get to 115.  No more curling up like a pretzel, which at 5 feet tall is what you have to do to sit on most couches, cuz they aren't built for shorties like me. 


Not pretty, but bending!  Here it is, crossed over my left leg, man that feels good. 

The bend!  From this angle it looks pretty good.  


I don't know whether to get a longer swim skirt or just show this baby off
while at the lake.  One thing I know for sure, it'll have a good layer
of zinc oxide for sun protection all summer.  When I look down
at my leg the incision doesn't look so wicked…
in pictures the real story
is told.  It's a big one.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

THE PAW, QUILTED

The Green Paw…. made using a picture of a quilt on the web, no pattern available.  My quilting teacher/mentor Rhonda Galpern built the pattern and guided me through the process.  I could NOT have done this without her guidance and encouragement.  
It is huge.  Really huge.  All I'm thinking of now is the machine sewing portion
of the binding strip.  I think I'll have to drag my sewing machine to the dining
table to have maneuvering space.  


Quilter Julie Crossland chose the design for the quilting.
It is perfect.  


Someone asked me if I had counted the number of points
I made for this quilt.  No, I did not.  I may be nuts, but I
am not that nuts…. yet.  

That's Cassy's foot in the upper right hand corner.  Sure, tromp on
my quilt the first time I spread it out on the bed.   


A BEACHY QUILT FOR ANNA

Today I got a couple of quilts back from "my" quilter, Julie Crossland, and I could not be happier!  

First, a quilt I made for Anna, using toss away men's striped shirts, ones that a local thrift shop had found not good enough for the racks.  They would have gone into a bin that the shop sells to a rag company.  Instead, I donated a bit for each, and here's what came of that:


The binding will be of the blue/white striped shirt fabric.  

I had Julie do a nice simple Chevron all over,
and got exactly the look I wanted.  

Cassy declared it dog worthy.  

I name most of my quilts, usually after songs
that fit the person and the quilt.  

And this is what my labels look like.
I have them quilted on, so that they
can never be switched out, just in case I'm
famous someday.  :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

THE KNEE PROJECT

One of my dear curious blogging friends asked, "Well, what's the knee look like NOW?"  I was chronicling it in all it's ugly glory early on, before the complications started.  

So, here you go, here's what it looks like now, I don't know how many weeks post-surgery.  It's been through an awful lot and the oversized scar is my badge of something (bravery? stupidity?)  It is not a typical total knee replacement scar because I already had some pretty large scars on my knee from surgery 40 years ago, and they had to jog over to the side to incorporate one of those into this one, so as to not pull on the old scar tissue.  A plastic surgeon was in the OR to close up after the surgery was done.  I think he did the very best he could with what the orthopedic surgeon gave him, the work done was pretty extensive.  Also, I had told the surgeon that I really, honestly, didn't care what the outside looked like afterwards, just get the inside parts right.  My modeling days are long gone anyway.  
LOL in the picture it is beastly looking!!  I guess it is a pretty big one.  I have had large scars on my knee since I was 17, so I've gotten pretty used to that and this one will not bother me any more than those others did.  It's just another sign that I'm doing it all up quite well, using the parts that God gave me to their fullest extent.  

Monday, February 3, 2014

A SNEAK PEEK

I have been working some in the sewing room, it feels so good to be getting back to things bit by bit.  

My last finish was the Green Paw, pictured earlier.  I made that quilt without a pattern, and with the help of my quilting teacher/mentor, Rhonda.  We worked off a picture of a quilt I had come across on the web.  No pattern or hints of any kind.  It was quite a task.  

Now I've started a batik quilt for our son Paul, and it has a clear, concise pattern and the fabrics were already chosen by the author of the pattern.  I'm loving this process, that someone else did all the brain work, I just have to do the cutting and sewing.  

I've got the first section on the wall, and can see this is going to be a fun quilt to work on and will be fabulous when completed.  




ONE LUCKY CAT

We are having ourselves one cold and snowy New England winter, which is exactly how it should be.  I love winter!  

To warm our great room, we have a pellet stove, and it sure does the trick.  Right now it's about 1000 degrees in here, the pellet stove is cranking.  I could go over and shut it down, but there's someone who would be disappointed by that.  
Miss Poppy, rescued from the streets of Orange County California when she was around 4 weeks old, fostered by our daughter, and flown here by us.  She will lay in front of that stove in a heat coma, happy as can be, so very content.  I'll sit here and get into my own drowsy state before turning the stove off, I just can't bear to deprive Poppy of her favorite thing.  I am a lunatic when it comes to the comforts of these creatures of ours.  

A LOVELY GIFT

Back in November I got a lovely gift from my friend Sue.  She crocheted for me a lovely burgundy shawl, to wrap myself in as I faced my knee replacement and the cold New England winter.  

Sue is a phenomenal crochet and quilt queen, hop over to her blog to see her lovely work.  

I have wrapped myself in this shawl hundreds of times over the last few months, it has kept me warm and comforted.  Tonight as I went to get a picture of this shawl, I found it where I had left it on the couch, after using it to keep myself cozy while icing my knee (icing one's knee on a snowy New England day just seems all wrong).  When ever I leave this lovely shawl on the couch, there's another lady in the house who seems to think it is hers.  It is not, it is MINE!  And, lucky me:

Misty on the shawl that Sue made for ME