Less is more, 2016 sucks so far

I started this really long post about my year so far and decided to condense it.

Lost job first week of January.  Been looking ever since, many interviews, no offers.

I researched presidential candidates for about a month and made my choice the weekend before the Illinois primary.  I’ve never felt this strongly about a candidate or learned so much about politics, democracy, republics, fascism, communism, oligarchy, plutocracy, trickle-down economics, free-market, capitalism, mainstream media blackout and bias, conservatives, liberals, neo-cons, Benghazi, the Humanitarian Party, fracking, the upper 1%, income inequality, LGBT issues, Texas’ attack on Roe vs. Wade, etc.  Can you guess which candidate I voted for?

Hubby started getting sick mid-February.  1st full week of March off work, sick every day, by Friday, GI specialist and endocrine team worried due to increased liver enzymes and jaundice.  Next week, went to work Monday, the 14th, Tuesday morning in ER feeling extreme pain and just unwell.  Jaundice 12.1.  Released after 5 hours, antibiotic, pain meds, follow up with PCP. Stayed home from work Tuesday, half day Wednesday, off Thursday, He followed up with PCP and he said, why did they release you, go back.  Thursday, March 17 pm returned 2:00 to emergency room, released 7:30 pm, did a CT scan, more blood work – found a mass on his kidney, colitis, enlarged prostate.  Half day Friday at work and brought home short term disability papers.

Monday, the 21st, dropped those off to PCP who said, you look terrible, go back to ER, threw up in parking lot on the way out.  Went to ER, they finally admitted him, Billirubin now 20, ran MRI of liver, next day did liver biopsy, two days later did ERCP procedure to unobstruct major bile duct, which wasn’t obstructed.  Still jaundice Friday, the 25th, said they could do no more, transfer to liver specialist in St. Louis.  Finally got down there Sunday,  they hemmed and hawed mainly we found out by Wednesday, the 30th when he was released, because the images and liver biopsy slides were not immediately forwarded to them.  They did colonoscopy, couple small polyps, not cancerous, no other procedures, released.  Liver team was supposed to follow up with appointment, I called them Monday, the 4th, had slides and had scheduled appointment for May 17.  I said that’s not going to work, he’s getting weaker and sicker by the day.

Many calls on Tuesday and Wednesday, the 5th and 6th, to liver team and to GI doctor here, and by Wednesday, he was so weak, I had to take him back to St. Louis because liver team had to conclude their investigation that there was or was not liver damage and/or sign off on having the surgery for mass off kidney, which Urologist here in Springfield believed may actually be causing all his symptoms, it’s an extremely rare renal cancer called Stauffer’s Syndrome.

St. Louis did a few other images and tests and as of Thursday decided it wasn’t the liver, let’s see what the urologist says, get that mass off your kidney to be sure.  He sat in hospital all weekend, not much going on, liquid diet, saw urologist Monday, and was released Monday evening the 11th.

We have appointment next Monday, the 18th, with liver team and urologist in St. Louis, and hope to have a date scheduled for the surgery, as right now, we see the surgery as the beginning of the end, that he can’t start “getting better” or “recovering” until the mass is gone.

He’s home, weak, careful of what he eats so he doesn’t get sick or blocked up – and taking a variety of pills to address the symptoms, not the cause.  If needed, we have serious pain meds, but so far, hasn’t needed the super serious ones.

I still have to get our taxes done, as it’s been crazy for me going to hospital, staying at Dad’s when he was in St. Louis, driving a lot, and otherwise worrying WTF is going on and when we will have an answer and what will it take to get that.

That’s my F’ed up year so far, how about you?




Christmas quilt throws

imageHello the house! I’ve been so busy quilting and working – not much time to post. So I’m just going to add pictures of my latest projects.


Ok just one for now, WordPress doesn’t work well on my iPad. I made 5 quilt throws for Christmas from October 11 to December 11.


Brush with Greatness – Cyndi Lauper

So, to continue my semi-random series on Brushes with Greatness, I will highlight my brush with Cyndi Lauper.

I don’t know how the ex scored these tickets, but at the time, we lived in Westborough, Massachusetts.  December 4, 1986, we had tickets to see Cyndi at the Worcester Centrum, about 40 minutes from where we lived.  I didn’t know many people attended, but we somehow lined up babysitting for the night and off we headed further west to Worcester – pronounced Were Ster.

Anyway, it was the True Colors tour, and I was then and am still a Cyndi fan, so it was awesome that we got to go backstage and meet her.  Many people lined up for pictures with her and the ex said I should do it.  I feel so silly now, but I noticed before hand and while standing beside her that she had lipstick on her teeth.  So, I told her, and she wiped it off, and we got a picture of that after.  I have it somewhere.  I still feel silly for saying, “Hey, Cyndi, you have lipstick on your teeth!” but in a way, I feel like she probably appreciated the candor.  I know I would have.

So, there is another brush with Greatness.  Do you have any?

Secrets/Tips – Cutting Part 2

More on cutting dirty little secrets and tips – Volume 2.  We continue at #7.

7.  Scratched or nicked a ruler or template with the rotary cutter.  Did I say these things are sharp and/or dangerous?   So, your grip slipped, and the rotary cutter made a nice nick or cut on the edge or top of your ruler.  Have you NEVER done this?  Let me know your secret!!!  I have a 16 1/2 X 16 1/2 inch lapboard I use to crop blocks evenly, but the corner by the “1” is a bit trimmed away.  I try to accommodate for it, but it’s a bit of a bother.It’s my bad for, you know, cutting the ruler. Agh!

Also, with the rulers, sometimes your rotary cutter or arm develops mind of it’s own and skips up from the fabric onto the top of the ruler.  I dont’ know how this happens.  I’m just glad that so far my fingers have not been in the wayTip:  Try to start an inch into the edge of your square – cut backwards to cover that inch and then forwards to your square.   As far as the rotary cutter developing a mind of it’s own, I don’t have a solution for that other than it must be a user error.  How so, I’m not sure.  Enlighten me!

8.  Dropped the rotary cutter open accidentally onto the floor (and luckily didn’t take off part of your toe!)  I don’t know how these rotary cutters get so slippery sometimes, but I have done this a couple times at least.  I check the tile floor afterwards, and one time had no marks, another time, there was a 1/2 inch small slice in the tile.  Dang!  Did I say these things were sharp?  Tip:  I don’t know what to say except keep a good grip on these cutters or just use scissor and maybe always wear steel toe shoes when cutting?!

9.  Lost the rotary cutter (hopefully closed) under a pile of fabric.  You are cutting several pieces at once or several fat quarters or strips or blocks, and set the closed rotary cutter down between cuts, shift things around and suddenly – Where did that thing go?  Hopefully, you closed it, so when you shift through everything to find it,  you don’t cut yourself.  Tip:  Always close the rotary cutter after each cut.  And set it  somewhere other than on your cutting surface. 

 A few more cutting tips to follow, have you learned anything so far?


Brush with Greatness – Jerry Lee Lewis

Yesterday and today, I was listening to Jerry Lee Lewis  (aka the Killer) at work with my headphones.   I just love what he does with a piano.  Great balls of fire, it leaves me breathless, ah….

I recalled the time back in 1982 when my ex was working at a country station in San Antonio, and had an appearance to make at a mall where they would doing something silly about sexy legs or something.  He wore a yellow dress shirt, orange shorts, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat.  I have a picture of that somewhere, I think. (I don’t know if anyone actually won or who else was in the contest!)

For whatever reason, I went with him with our baby Nick in tow.  At this mall that night, Jerry Lee Lewis was playing on the same stage the ex walked his “sexy legs” walk.  I wish I would have known then what I know now about how amazingly talented this man is/was.  Stupidly, I wasn’t even sure if I had ever heard of him!  I don’t remember if we even stayed around once he started playing!  How stupid is that?

I know he made a bit of a mess of his life by marrying his 13 year old cousin, and probably a lot of others things I don’t know and don’t know if I want to know.  But, he is one talented piano player, and not a bad singer at all, even if a lot his songs and remakes of other’s songs all sound kind of the same.  I just can’t get enough of that piano slide, it’s actually called a glissando (bet you didn’t know that! I didn’t either until just now!) – and he does it a LOT, like in almost every song, and sometimes several times in one song! Click here if you want to learn  how to do it without hurting yourself.

So, I just want to send a thank you to Jerry Lee Lewis for making my work day a little less painful and little more rockin!

I know this is totally random, but I also had a weird thought because I can type pretty fast, probably not as fast as Jerry Lee can play the piano, though!  But, today I was thinking, Piano Keys …  Keyboard Keys – If all Jerry Lee’s piano playing in his lifetime were translated to keyboard strokes, how long would that book be?  Or how many books would there be in the series?  It’s mind-boggling!

P.S.  He’s still playing, and he’s on his 80th year Birthday tour.  Yup, he was born on my parent’s wedding anniversary (1956), easy to remember – September 29, 1935.  Aww!

P.P.S – Did you know Jerry Lee was one of four members of the Million Dollar Quartet?

By the way, check out the link to his website above by clicking on his name in the first paragraph.  And, even if you don’t do that, you need to go check out this piano pen!

Happy Belated Anniversary

I totally missed this, but I published my first blog post on 3/29/2014!  Yeah, Happy Belated Anniversary to me!

My goal was to publish one post a week, and I’m happy to report that I exceeded that mark by over 2!  I know I took a few haituses, so, I’m really stating an average.

Sometime in summer of 2014, I realized I had already done 52 posts, so I made a new goal of 100 by the end of 2014.  I made that mark, too.

I haven’t made any new goals.  I should, they help keep me focused on creating blog entries.

As of 3/29/2015, I had done 127 posts.  So my new goal could be 127 posts for the next year, bringing the total to 254  OR, I could try to double my previous efforts – 254 before 3/29/2016.

Or… I don’t know, I’m looking for ideas.  Any suggestions?

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Stitchin' together words and quilts.