Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Whole Different World

     Seems like it has been an eternity since I last blogged on this site - I did add something on my Patriot Granny blog 2-3 weeks ago, but that was then and this is now.  This will be totally non-stamping as my world has been turned upside down in many ways.
     My husband, Roy, and I met eight years ago this past December 1 via the computer and the parallels and paths crossed in our lives have astounded us.  He's four years older than me and so was out of high school by the time I entered, plus growing up 30 miles apart.  However, we are fairly certain we had seen each other in a town midway between our home towns where roller skating used to be held in a community hall.  His comment, at first, was, "What would any self-respecting 16-year-old want with a snot-nosed 12-year-old" - until I asked him who told him he was self-respecting!  He doesn't say that anymore!!
     On top of that, his younger brother married a girl I went to school with and, for a while, had run around with; then after Roy came back from the service, he went to work for a rancher whose father had homesteaded in the high country in an area known locally as "the Muddy".  By that time, my folks had built a cabin on 150 acres just southwest of the ranch where he was working and altho we never met, he was very familiar with the area, so that when we began conversing via the computer, the common element was very strong.  We neither one were looking for love, but did want someone to go fishing with, go to rodeos with, etc.  Little did we know that God had different plans for us and within a very short period of time, we knew that this was it.  We were married on his birthday that next spring.
     Roy's legs have been a problem for him for several years and we knew there would come a time that he would have to quit his part-time work as an RV repair specialist because of them.  What we neither one ever expected was for him to have a stroke.
     He had been having several minute dizzy spells, but 12/24 was different.  The first one, here at home, lasted about ten minutes, but after sleeping for a bit, he seemed to be okay and when Grandson called to say he was ready to go Christmas shopping for his dad, Roy was raring to go.  First, however, Roy was supposed to put a blower motor in an RV furnace, so they went out there and had barely done anything when Roy again had a severe dizzy spell and became nauseated.  He had Robbie call me, so I picked them both up and headed for the VA.  Once there, they got his dizziness under control, gave him some Zofran for the nausea and we were just waiting for the nurse to come remove the IV when he again got dizzy.  Robbie and I were able to get him back down on the bed and he complained about the back of his neck hurting, then a sudden, intense headache.  By that time, the nurse was back in the room when Roy said he couldn't swallow, then his speech completely disappeared.  As soon as his right eyelid drooped, I had a pretty good idea that he was stroking, which of course, the nurse had picked up on, so they were able to immediately give him the medication which minimizes the damage - it's my understanding there's only a 45-minute or so window in which this can be done, so we were so lucky.  God was certainly looking out for him.  A CT revealed nothing, but the VA no longer has a neurologist on staff, so they wanted him where one could see him, which meant sending him to St. Mary's, there in Grand Junction.  Ironically, the same crew who picked him up had just picked up my cousin who had fallen and broken his hip and had delivered him to a smaller hospital there in town!
     The clot hit the brain stem and broke into two pieces, one going into each side of his brain.  The clot on the left then broke into three more pieces and the one on the right broke into two more pieces, so technically, he stroked five times.  He totally confounded the neurologist, who said he had never seen anything like this!  There is also an artery in his brain that had been throwing some clots, but apparently they have managed to stop it.  By the time the ambulance got him to St. Mary's, he could talk, altho it was very slurred, but he couldn't walk.  He ate quite well both that nite and the next a.m., but before he could enjoy Christmas dinner, he had lost the ability to swallow. 
     He has been transferred to a nursing home/rehab about half as far away as where he was and will probably be there for at least three weeks.  His voice is a little better, but there's a good possibility one of the vocal chords is paralyzed, and while he has regained some of the swallowing, he's still having quite a bit of problems with it.  As far as walking is concerned, he can't walk more than about 15-20 feet without drifting to the right, and cannot stand with his feet together without falling over to the right.  All in all, this has not been the best Christmas ever, and yet, because of the fact that God was watching out for him and had us at the VA when he stroked, it has been the most blessed.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


     The third chapter of Ecclesiastics is well-known for its recitation of "seasons" - "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven........"  In fact, when Reverend John Peter Muhlenberg preached from the pulpit of the Woodstock, VA Lutheran Church, just before revealing that he was a colonel in the Virginia military, he used this chapter.
     Verse 2 says, "a time to be born and a time to die", and verse 4, "a time to weep............a time to mourn........".  As such, it is now a time to weep and mourn in our household.  The older I get, the more often these verses are thought of, and not just for our human friends.  And regardless of whether the friends are human or four-legged, it still hurts.
     When Roy and I first started dating, part of his household included not only the old cat, Pete, that we had to put down earlier in the year, but a big lummox of a dog, half Great Pyrenees and a quarter each yellow lab and German shepherd.   Even more than Pete, Duke, short for Marmaduke, totally accepted me and was my shadow so much of the time.  And that big of a shadow (about 90# worth) was sometimes a challenge, to say the least.
     Duke was not Roy's dog - he had been a gift to our son from his then fiance some 15 years ago, so had been a part of our grandson's life from the get-go.  In fact, Robbie learned how to walk hanging on to Duke and used to ride him.
      We never worried about anybody trying anything because his sheer size was intimidating, to say the least.  I still have to laugh about an incident four years ago, before we got either one of the little dogs.  At that time, the gate on the south side of the front yard did not have a latch and therefore, swung back and forth easily - which he quickly discovered.  However, the only time he would get out was at night and he would go make his rounds, then come back home and stay here.  That particular summer, there were several residential break-ins on the mesa where we live, so we were a little leery anyhow.  One night, I didn't get to bed until after midnight and Duke was sleeping outside in the yard under the tree.  I had barely gotten to sleep when I heard Duke just literally come unglued, so I knew something was up.  About that time, I heard, "Oh, sh*t!" and steps, very rapid steps, running down the road to the south and the dog right behind, barking!  I don't know how far Duke chased the person, but we didn't have any more problems!
     We have known since last winter that our time with Duke was limited and considering he was going on 15 years old, rather unusual for as big a dog as he was, knew that the time would come when he would make his last trip to the vet.  That came this morning.  I suspected he had congestive heart failure, and his back was fragile enough because of the vertebrae fusing that the vet told us a couple of years ago he would treat Duke like fine china from then on.  About three o'clock this morning, he was outside and I heard him give a couple of yelps and when I checked on him, he was having problems even moving.  It took him at least five minutes to move maybe 20 feet.  He did finally make it in the house, but wouldn't take any medicine cloaked in cheese, so.........  When Roy took him up, the vet said he would have died sometime today anyhow, as his lungs were at least half-full and confirmed that he had congestive heart failure.  So, as hard as it was, it was very much the right decision that he didn't have to suffer any longer. 
     So, farewell, big, sweet lummox.  You will be so sorely missed.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Play Time!!

Actually took some time to do some stamping.  This has been such a busy summer.  Our Patriots' group has really been busy.  We put on a Vacation Liberty School in July, which while it was only a week long, it took a lot of prep time.  Held in on the third floor of a church, air conditioning didn't work all that good and wore a colonial dress all but the last day.  Very thankful it's over, but the kids enjoyed it, so that's what counted.
Had offered to help with the card ministry at our church, but hadn't had a chance to do much, so got with it last week and got several done.  Now, I just have to get them to the gal who is in charge of it all!  But here goes:
 I really like how this one turned out.  I don't normally use patterned paper, but had this piece and it was just dying to be used.  The quote is a stamp from a set called "Inspirational" by Stampabilities.  It is really a versatile set, as you can see!!  

This one has the flower stamp from Stampin' Up.  The "Faith" stamp is also by Stampabilities.
I love the framed look on a Cuttlebug folder embossed card.  This is the dotted Swiss folder, then used Spellbinders to make the frame and tag.  The stamps are from Stampin' Up.

I made two very similar ones for sympathy cards using the "Neutral Shadows" technique from the Technique Junkies newsletter.  It is so easy and looks so elegant!  The cross is from Stampabilities and the word stamp is from Stampin' Up.

This turned out to be one I really liked, too.  I used the "Blended Blotches" technique from the TJ newsletter and the flower and word stamps are from Stampin' Up.  As with everything I do, the paper is all Stampin' Up. 

Other than that, I've made seven pints of zuchinni bread and butter pickles and five pints of pasta sauce, so don't think the last couple of weeks weren't too unproductive!  Hope you are all having a good summer!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Once in a while, I do finally manage to get away and do a little stamping, but it usually is only when I have a card that is due, such as birthdays or sympathy.  I did agree to do the Technique Junkies Just One swap, but didn't get my card off until the 5th, so didn't even try to join for July.  My sister's birthday was in June, too, so.........., and had a sympathy card to do for tomorrow.

This was for my sister and is the paper piecing technique.  The printed paper is from the Old World paper pack, the pot is an Inkadinkado stamp and the flowers are Stampin' Up, as is the other paper.

One of the techniques from the latest Technique Junkies newsletter is called "Faux Tiles".  It is not only an easy technique, but a very stunning one.  It also works to make a card look like a Delft tile.
This one is done in pretty in pink and chocolate chip inks from Stampin' Up, the cherry blossom and sentiment stamps are also from Stampin' Up.  The ribbon is from Michael's.
Lastly, a very simple sympathy card for the husband of a friend of mine.  He was a rancher, farmer, lover of animals and simply did not wake up last Friday.  They are holding a "cowboy" funeral for him tomorrow - his son and grandsons run the local sale barn, so that's where the funeral will be, and his hearse will be his horse trailer.  I don't know what church they attended, but do know he was a good Christian man and will be greatly missed.
Hope your summer is going well for you!!

This and that!

As much as we hate it, there are times when we must say good-bye to those we love, animals included.  When Roy and I got married, he was owned by a big tuxedo Manx by the name of Pete that had moved in with him and his last wife shortly after they moved into this house.  While he never wanted to be cuddled, after I removed a big matted wad of hair from his lower back, he was my friend and at times would enjoy curling up on my lap.  At the age of 24, tho, we knew we wouldn't have him forever and sure enough, Mother Nature took her toll in the form of a pancreatic infection.  Even though he had two laser treatments and was on a special diet, it was not enough and last Tuesday, we knew it was time.  He knew it was time, too, and rarely fussed on the 30-mile trip to the vet's, except when the deer ran into the side of us. 
Why it is that things come in groups is one of life's big questions and this was certainly the case.  It was about 9:30 p.m. and the area between us and the vet in Paonia, my hometown, is notorious for deer and elk movement.   This one, probably about a two-year-old, was standing on the yellow line and when we saw him, Roy hit the brakes and swerved, but apparently, the deer moved right at that time because our side-view mirror was completely demolished and Roy's window was shattered.  There was even glass in my hair, in the cat carrier and my "Bubba" cup, which is a covered travel cup in which I had a straw!  And the deer ran off!!
We miss Pete, but since he didn't cuddle like a lot of cats, it hasn't been quite like it would have been if he did cuddle.  He did like to be around people and would come in and let me know he was in the room, then go lay down somewhere and sleep.  He did have a habit of coming up to me when he wanted food and at first, he wouldn't say anything, so I didn't normally know he was there.  He did finally get to the place he would come in and rub against my leg to let me know he was there.  If he was hungry and I didn't respond, he would finally meow - once, and if I still didn't respond, I would get one claw in the leg, not all five, just one! 
I used to joke about how he reminded me of the bulldog in the old Tom and Jerry cartoons - all shoulders and no hips.  He would walk into the kitchen and stretch and that's just what he looked like!  He never laid down, he just dropped and you would hear a thump, even if you weren't in the room!  Of course, the one time I got anywhere close to weighing him, his back half weighed in at about 18 lbs., so..........
So, enjoy sleeping in the sun and being a big lazy boy, Pete - we miss you!

Monday, March 21, 2011


     I thought I had posted since January, 2010, but guess not!  Know I have a couple of drafts of postings, but they obviously didn't get published. 
     What a year it has been, tho.  I haven't done much stamping - left Stampin' Up about the first of the year because they got fussy about posting cards with non-SU stamps and said we couldn't give other stamp companies credit when the cards were posted.  Put the shoe on the other foot and SU would scream like a banshee.  So, have been mainly holding jewelry workshops, teaching ladies about OPALS embossing enamel. 
     I do have a group of ladies who were meeting on a regular basis, but having surgery the end of July kind of put a hold on that.  They are a good bunch of ladies and we need to get going again.  Between the surgery and getting involved in politics, thanks to hubby, I haven't had a moment's peace, it seems like!
     Went to Washington, D.C., for the taxpayers' march on 9/12 - something I would never have imagined doing even five years ago.  The founder of our Tea Party/9.12 group and I flew back a day early and got to do some sightseeing.  Liz had been there the year before and was also there for Glenn Beck's 8-28 event, so she has kind of learned her way around - which I was sure thankful for!  Especially catching the subway!  We actually stayed in Bethesda but were only seven blocks from the subway, so it was an easy trip downtown.  There won't be a taxpayers' march this because it's the tenth anniversary of 9/11, but they are planning something later in the year.
     Along with the trip to Washington, Liz and I, along with three members of our group, went to Phoenix the end of February for the first ever Tea Party Patriots Policy Summit.   Liz has been asked to be one of two interim State Coordinators for Colorado and I will be backing her up.  In the meantime, we have worked on campaigns and continue to do what we can to restore some fiscal responsibility and sanity to our federal government.
     I have been doing a few cards, mainly on an "as-needed" basis, i.e., whenever someone has a birthday or there has been a death of someone I've known well.  Unfortunately, more of them have been sympathy cards that anything else, it seems.  I still have a lot of Stampin' Up paper and use their inks most of the time.  Will post a few with descriptions.

Lily is from Flourishes, used Cuttlebug Swiss dot folder and Spellbinder's fleur de lis border die.

Done in copper, rather than gold, but otherwise CASE'd from Gina K's recent Easter card.  Stamps are all Stampin' Up.

This is white-on-white embossing, using a technique shown on Splitcoast Stampers a couple of weeks ago.  Used a Cuttlebug embossing folder and Spellbinder dies.  The word stamp is from Stampin' Up.

Done with the texture duet technique from Technique Junkies.  Don't remember who makes the cross and the word stamp comes from Stampin' Up.

Done with the Cuttlebug Swiss polka dot folder, stamps are all Stampin' Up.

     I have gotten to do a few "fun" cards, too, for birthdays and such:
 This was for our step-granddaughter's 9th birthday, which she just celebrated.  A very special little girl.   The technique is one I learned from the Stamp 411 blog and is called Inlaid Embossing.

 Birthday card for my aunt who celebrated her 94th birthday this past September.  Other than using SU papers and ink, I couldn't tell you what stamp set I used!  Slept since then.

 Hubby's valentine - need I say more?

My friend, Liz, is half Irish and I hadn't had an opportunity to use this stamp, even though I've had it for a number of years.  This is the "Out of Box" technique found in the Technique Junkie newsletter.  The leprechaun, from Art Impressions, is done with "penciled twinks", another TJ technique.
I'm hoping my Just One partner for March isn't reading this, or she will catch a glimpse of her card before she receives it!  The technique is called "Texture Plate Smooch".  I used a Fiskars texture plate called Irish Lace to make the background.  Stampin' Up paper, inks and stamp used otherwise.  Ribbon is from Michael's and is glittery, which you can't see from the picture.

     Will try to do a better job of posting, but with Vacation Liberty School coming up in a couple of weeks and needing to get a Colonial style dress made, plus numerous other things, no promises.  Will explain more about the Vacation Liberty School in a later post.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Talk about negligent!

I can't believe it has been as long as it has since I last posted - and so much water under the bridge! Because of Stampin' Up's new policy regarding giving credit to other companies for using their stamps, I have quit Stampin' Up, altho I love, love, love their products. I understand why the decision was made, but I think it was the wrong one. If the shoe was on the other foot, i.e., other companies not wanting Stampin' Up to receive credit when one of their stamps was used, I think they would realize that it was the wrong decision. That being said, on to better things!

I have been very busy with OPALS embossing enamels and not only have I made quite a few pieces - and sold several - but I have had both a workshop and a make-n-take at a local craft show. Both were unqualified successes. At the craft show, things were very slow until a couple of children asked their mom to let them do it. Before long, they were standing two and three deep to do a make-n-take! For a small community, doing 27 of them in about 5 hours was quite remarkable in my estimation! There were some slow times, but for the most part, my helper and I were quite busy. I have another workshop scheduled for my home on the 6th, then will be doing a make-n-take as part of a Haiti relief effort, so I'm hoping we have a really great response and make quite a bit of money!

Although I haven't gotten to play in my rubber room much, I did get my Christmas cards out - thanks in part to taking part of them with us to work on while we were in Florida the first full week of December. In fact, we left the day after the craft show, so it got a little hairy, trying to get everything done that had to be done. I've also participated in a couple of one-on-one swaps for Technique Junkies, plus a sympathy card or two.

One of the biggest changes in our lives has been this little guy - Jean Pierre Puddles I. I introduced him the end of October by e-mail, but have to include him here. For such a tiny guy - about 6" long and 6-7" high, he was sure an intrepid little soul. Someone had thrown him into a ditch beside one of the busier streets in town and I still think it was God's will that we drove down that street, rather than taking the highway. He had managed to get out of the ditch and was sitting on the yellow line. He was so cold and wet it took me 45 minutes to get him dried out and warmed up enough to quit crying and shivering. How anyone could try to drown this little guy is beyond me.
He and our Pomeranian, Half-Pint, have wrestled and tusseled from the very beginning. Now that he is just about the same size as Half-Pint - minus the hair - it really gets wild. Roy calls them the "teenagers"! He really is a goofy little guy and altho we have gotten his face trimmed some since this picture it very much shows his goofy personality! The red thing behind him is a collapsible kennel and not only is it his bed, it is a toy as he just wools it half to death. It has a permanent list to the right because he's collapsed the one side so often!

Our trip to Florida was great - we met my daughter-in-law, her son and the daughter of a friend of hers and spent a week with them. We, of course, "did" Disney, Epcot Center, Sea World, and attended both the Medieval Times and Arabian Nights dinner shows. They were quite something - particularly the josting and horseback games at the Medieval Times show.