Tuesday 30 October 2012


Finally! It is Wednesday in England.........Spooky time!
Soon to be a time for all sorts of scary creatures to be ringing my doorbell! Ringing it about 150 to 200 times I might add! Some years we have had close to 300 and others around 150 to 180 little trick or treaters. The costumes are usually fabulous and the kids so well mannered...I love Halloween!

My desk is pretty bare.I finally finished the gardening cards and so have cleaned up to have it ready for my next project...making little gift bags for the grandkids candy.  My daughter has scolded me about the amount of chocolate bars we gave on previous years...so we are under strict orders to rein it in this year.

 I think she will be happy...there is just enough room for a full size bag of Smarties, a full size Hershey's chocolate bar, and a few little  mini chocolate bars. I think they look kind of chintzy but she will think it is just right! Here is a close up...you can see the fabulous spooky card my neighbour brought me this morning. She was able to drop by for a really quick cup of coffee before rushing to pick up her little guy at preschool. Such a treat to have coffee with a friend.
Some people have asked about the clear drawers against the wall. They are square glass jars with silver push on lids...they are from the dollar store (Dollarama) and were only $1.25 each. Sadly, they are discontinued as I would like a ton more of the smaller size.
They are full of ribbon scraps, twine, jute, and flowers.....tons of flowers.  In 2013, my goal is to make a ton of cards that feature flowers as many of them are quite out of style and need to be "remade" into something a bit more stylish. A little stacking of various layers, a little inking, a few pearls, some scrunching and maybeI can transform some of the ugly duckling flowers into swans.

If you want to peek into a few more desks, swing by our hostess Julia's   http://stamping-ground.blogspot.ca/  but don't forget to leave her some bloggy hugs!!!

Monday 29 October 2012

You guessed it! Another gardening card.

I finally got another gardening themed card finished up...I think I will try to make another one with the same background design paper. I have decided to package them together in groups of two...That way I can put the envelopes in the center and face the front of each card out (front and back).  Think I will use some Cello wrap and  a snippet of twine to wrap them together. That way you can see what you are getting.

I got a little inkier with this one...ink and kraft just have to go together!
I popped the wheelbarrow of flowers  forward again and tucked a memory box wreath die in behind. I inked up the wreath die quite dark so that it didn't blend into the background kraft. I added some bling around the wreath just to help it pop a bit.

I had fun fussy cutting the gardening fork and trowel...I thought they just tucked into that corner quite well.
The Bliss sign was part of a package of several boxes I bought at the scrapbook garage sale. I think I paid 25 cents for a packet of about 30 boxes. I cut the box apart and trimmed up the word to use as the sentiment.
Hopefully someone is going to chose these card sets at the raffle...Basically you buy an arm of tickets and then have about 30-60 seconds to chose your prize before they are calling the next winner. As I can't dig up any perennials right now, I hope these cards will be a good alternative donation to the garden club.

This will be a great one for Pixies Crafty Workshop as it has so many snippets. When I am bored (or when my mojo fails), I sit and roll my left over scraps thru my Big shot,  into die cuts. Larger ones get stored in baggies, smaller one get stored in dollar store photo albums. Each photo sleeve holds all the colours for one style of die.  It is so handy and it sort of protects the snippets. When I used to just store them all as 1/4 sheets of paper or whatever, they got sort of jumbled in the file folders and got wrinkled or dented.  I even punch the smaller pieces with my stampin up punches and throw those into the photo sleeves too.

I am entering this card in the following challenges:
1. Pixies Crafty Workshop http://pixiescraftyworkshop.blogspot.ca/
Snippets form my die cut baggies and Bliss is fussy cut from a wee set of boxes I bought for a quarter at the scrapbook garage sale.
2. Unstampabelles   http://unstampabelleschallenges.blogspot.ca/  -Recycle or re-purpose (I cut the Bliss title from an set of boxes I bought at a garage sale)
3. Gingerloft  http://gingerloftchallenge.blogspot.ca/   No colouring allowed
4. Use it Tuesday  http://useittuesday.blogspot.ca/    #4 Use Orange.  The patterned paper has a cast of orange across one corner, the wheelbarrow has orange flowers, there is orange in one of the banners and the large mat is orange) The die cuts are precut and hoarded in baggies and photo albums...waiting for use!
The bling is from a Michaels 3 drawer bin...one whole drawer is bling and it is bursting out when I open it!!!
5..My Sheri Crafts   http://myshericrafts.blogspot.ca/          #91 Fall Colours and 3 embellishments. The  fussy cutwheelbarrow image on the memory box wreath, the fussy cut gardening tools, and the Bliss title with the fussy cut banners are my 3 embellies.

Sunday 28 October 2012

Here comes Santa Claus...

Hardly seems like 2 months left till Christmas.

Thank goodness for Christmas card challenges...I think I would never get any finished if it wasn't for the looming challenge deadlines. I discovered the Christmas challenges too late in the year though!

I have already chosen one of my 2013  resolutions...It is to participate in the Christmas challenges all year, starting in January.  There, I've said it!  It is one thing to think something and another to say it out loud...loud enough for all of blogland to hear! So it's out there for everyone to hear...and I am committed to carry through.

Here is another card  for Sarn's challenge...for the Penultimate Rudolph Day Challenge http://stampingforpleasure.blogspot.co.uk/

I recycled the Santa and the stripey topper from an old card. The aqua mat is one of those thinner type cards from Michaels that I was a bit disappointed in. The cards were just too thin so I sliced them in half and used them as mats instead. I think it made the perfect contrast layer for this card and made the other aqua elements on the card seem more balanced.
I chaked the edges of the white card base with a bit of red just to tie it all together.

Friday 26 October 2012

Gardening Cards - Part 2

Here's the next one in that series of gardening cards.

 I like this one much better than the last. I'm not sure why...somehow I think I felt that my mojo is returning. A couple more of these and maybe I'll have to get the copics out and make a "real card"! lol

Here is a little close up of the fussy cut image. I enjoyed cutting these out...it was very relaxing!
There is a wee bit of bling, a tint dark jewel in the center of the wheel...it doesn't really show up well in the picture.
I inked everything up on this card ...well, maybe not the wheelbarrow...but everything else, including the edges of the corrugated card, got a good going over with Color Box Chalk Chestnut Roan (one of my fave shading inks)
I stamped the sentiment about 8 times! I've lost my touch as I  kept missing an edge of a differing various  letter each time. I finally managed to get it right on the smallest snippet of white card that I had left. I fussy cut it out as there was not enough card around it to do anything else!!! Mounted it on another snippet of the salmon card and re fussy cut again. I probably should have mounted it a wee bit higher on the banner but was trying to leave that top cloud untouched.

Card base - Recollections  Kraft 6 x 6 in cards and envelopes, Michaels
Cloud banner strip - Echo Park,  hello Summer
Golden designer paper - Echo Park Yellow Quatrefoil Style Essentials
Salmony coloured cardstock - from stash
Fussy cut wheel barrow - Forever in Time, Spring Garden series
Jewels - Bling from my stash (Dollar Store)
Tiny banners on graph paper - Echo Park, hello Summer (fussy cut out)
Shading Ink - Coolur Box chalk Chestnut Roan

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
1. Pixies Crafty Workshop    http://pixiescraftyworkshop.blogspot.ca/  (the various cardstock used were all snippets from my stash...as were the jewels)
2. Cards Galore     http://cardsgalorechallenges.blogspot.ca/  Anything Goes
3. Creative Craft Challenge http://creativecraftchallenges2.blogspot.ca/  3 of anything
4. Through the Craftroom Door   http://www.craftdoormagazine.com/     Anything Goes #40
5. Anything Goes Challenge Blog  http://anythingchallenge.blogspot.ca/    Make your own embellishments (I hand cut the teensy banner and fussy cut the wheelbarrow)
6. Cards by Lady Anne  http://ladyanneschallenges.weebly.com/anything-goes.html  Anything Goes
.7. Brown Sugar challenge Blog http://brownsugarchallenge.blogspot.ca/ Anything goes

Thursday 25 October 2012

Rudolf Day - The Drat card.

I took a little break from working on my gardening cards as it is nigh on Rudolf Day at Sarn's.

Some of you may remember that when I was preparing my room for crafting while I was recovering, I put together a huge 12 x 12 woven basket full of Christmas papers, card stock, and embellishments. I had a good rummage around in there today and found a sealed plastic baggie with the makings of a non traditional card.  I think it was from a Michaels make and take and I believe they were demo-ing snowflake punches. Usually there are 3 or 4 projects and you move from table to table and give each one a go. I think I was in a bit of a rush and just took the baggie home rather than assemble the last card.

Or maybe it was just because purple is not my favorite colour and perhaps I just couldn't get into making it!!! I think it is from 5 or 6 years ago so I decided it was time to ignore my misgivings about the colour and just get it done. There was white gossamer ribbon in the bag...I substituted the silver string instead. Just when I had it finished  and photographed, thank goodness I enlarged the photo and noticed that the vellum had a mar on the surface. Sort of a dint! Drat!!! I guess that is what can happen when bits and bobs are stored for 5 or 6 years.

I had a rummage through my cardstock and found a purple that was pretty close to the cardstock on this card. Luckily I had some rub-ons in that big basket... so a Joy rub-on was applied to a snippet of copic paper (the only white I had left in the house)  and backed with a snippet of the purple card. I carefully placed it over the dint and problem solved.

As I was basking in a glow of thinking on my feet, I noticed that the whites looked off. Drat! Why does that happen with whites. They can only be a tad off and it looks like neon! My first thought was to take a pale purple copic pen and colour all the whites to match but I didn't think it would go over the rub-on. I pondered a little more and remembered that before all my fancy  pens and tools, I started paper creating with a paper slicer, tape runner, pop dots and chalk.

A quick look into some drawers I haven't opened in years found my chalks and even some glimmer rub.
A quick chalk over all the white solved the problem (I think) and I even went over all the dark purple with an  ivory shimmer rub. The torn edge of the white cardstock took the chalk so much darker so I tried to tone it down with a quick dash of stickles.
Finally....A finished Christmas card, ready to enter over at Sarns Rudolf Day Challenge. http://stampingforpleasure.blogspot.co.uk/

Still not one of my favourites, but finished at last!
I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
1. Pixies Crafty Workshop http://pixiescraftyworkshop.blogspot.ca/                                                   snippets of purple and white cardstock were used to create this card
2. ABC Christmas Challenge http://abcchristmaschallenge.blogspot.ca/ U for up to you
3. Rudolph Day at Sarns Stamping For Pleasure http://stampingforpleasure.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/penultimate-rudolph-day.html Christmas theme

Tuesday 23 October 2012


Oh my goodness...surely it hasn't been a week already!

My desk is still covered with teensy, weensy, fussy cut, bits and bobs of gardening themed papers. I am proud to say that there are not quite so many of them as there were last week!

Somehow, I have managed to finish up 3 cards and almost have a 4th one ready to glue. There are a zillion scraps of other diecuts etc but I am not bothering to clean them up till I have 2 more gardening cards finished!!! Hopefully, I get some time again tomorrow to do just that

This was a good project to regain my mojo...I finally have a few card ideas racing around in my brain...anxious to be put to the test with cardstock and designer paper. I've got to get them made as they will all be bumping into each other soon...My brain is not all that big, you know!

I think I have won a Scrappymo! record for this being my shortest WOYWW post ever:) Julia will be proud of me for following the rules. If you are wondering what I am rambling on about, check out Julia's blog  http://stamping-ground.blogspot.ca/ and see just what all the other creative crafters have on their workdesks too!l

Sunday 21 October 2012

Six!!! Yes, she's finally six!

Little Miss C finally turned six!

She is the youngest and smallest in her class so it was important to her to finally be six. The best part about turning six is that you can take "Mom and Me" classes and perhaps learn to shade with your copics!!! Yes!!!

She had her classmates to her house yesterday for a veterinary party. Everyone brought their favourite stuffed animal. There were stations for X Rays, shots, checkups, kennels, feeding stations etc. and they all got a completed health certificate to take home.

Six beautiful birds (lovebirds, parrots etc) arrived with 3 handlers from the bird sanctuary. The children all got to hold and pet the birds. The party was a hit with 2 Mom's taking brochures home to plan sanctuary parties as well.

Today they are off to the pumpkin patch just down the street from us. Usually we go together every year. There are always a few animals to pet and a big covered wagon with seats made from hay bales takes you down into the pumpkin fields. This year they even have some draft horses to pull the wagon. The grandkids will just love that! The waiting area is set up as a store with fabulous pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, squash and other root vegetables for sale.  This year we are staying home as it is just a bit to unsteady for me this year.

After the pumpkin patch, they are all coming here for cake and course we have a gift.
Now I know that looks like a pretty small bag...In fact, I was a little worried if I could fit her gift inside! You see, there are 2 gifts. One she is going to like and one she is going to love...I will leave it to you to decide which is which.

Here's the one I was worried wouldn't fit into the gift bag. It is a little sleeveless dress that ties at the back into a big soft bow. The little velvet shrug jacket is needed of course, for the cold weather here at Christmas.
I always get a Christmas party dress for her birthday. Between both her parents work parties, plus  family and friends Christmas parties, a girl can just never have too many party dresses!
There is another little gift tied up with string and poking just out of the top of her gift bag.  It holds something that she has been wanting for a long time. A few copic pens chosen to colour ponies and a bit of sky...and a blending pen 'cuz everyone knows you need a blending pen to colour  Appaloosa ponies.

Here is her card...tried to make it co-ordinate with the gift bag. I used some really old Bo Bunny stickers, a butterfly from the dollar store and a piece of Authentique Blissfull Collection, Paradise as well as some assorted kraft paper and card.

Because the card was a wee bit thick, I chose to seal the envelope with a sticker...

It's getting near time...Halloween time that is!

This is the weekend I am usually outside decorating the porch and the front garden for Halloween. It is quite popular here to go all out with spooky, scary decorations.

Sadly, this year will find us with only a pumpkin outside:(

Dh is already waiting on me hand and foot, changing dressings, doing all the cooking, shopping and a lot of the day to day cleaning. He can't be climbing up the ladder to get down the bins of Halloween decor and then spend hours setting it all up...and I would not want him too...but...I still can miss how it usually looks!

People write all sorts of complaints about kids at Halloween and we find quite the opposite. Teenagers come and look all around and discuss the decor before they ring the bell. Several lads have lifted up their masks to tell me they like what I have added that year...Obviously they are some of our "regulars" that they can notice the additions! Little ones are scared at times but that is what Halloween here is all about!

They do get a nice chocolate bar as their reward for braving the spiders and their webs and facing the skeletons and ghouls etc.

Today it hit me...I can still sort of celebrate the scariness of the season...I can show a few pictures of  past halloween outdoor decor. I have managed to find a couple of photos from 2009. So sit back, get ready and don't be scared......

Saturday 20 October 2012

Finally! Some Gardening Cards...

I've been playing with the bits and bobs of gardening themed paper I had out on my work desk this week. Finally got some cards finished and have one to share with you today.
I am a little nervous as these are more of my "quickie" cards. No lovely colouring here...just fussing cutting images, stamping a sentiment and assembling it into cards to donate to the garden club raffle.

I hand cut the cloud banner flag and the 2 layers of cardstock behind it, fussy cut the butterfly from the Spring Garden series paper and added 3 aqua bling jewels.

The glittered designer paper of the birdhouses and fence was trimmed from a 12 inch page to fit the card and small rust jewels added over the fence nail heads printed on it. Luckily, the bird houses and flowers were shot with glimmery glitter already!

 I added the fussy cut wellies and potted lavender and popped them forward with a couple of glue dots.

I kept the inside fairly simple as well.

That's it! I know they are bit too simple, but  a girl has to ease back into card making somehow!!!

Card Bases -  Recollections Brand, kraft corrugated 6 x6,  Michaels
Cloud banner - Echo Park , hello Summer
Gardening Designer paper - Forever In Time, Spring Garden Series
Bling Jewels - from my stash
White, salmon and golden card stock - snippets from my stash

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
1. Pixies Crafty Workshop  http://pixiescraftyworkshop.blogspot.ca/- I have used snippets to finish off this card.
2. Cards Galore Challenge Blog http://cardsgalorechallenges.blogspot.ca/ Anything Goes
3. Freshly Brewed Challenge  http://freshbreweddesigns.blogspot.ca/  Thinking of You
4. The Craft Garden http://www.thecraftgarden.blogspot.ca/  Banner (cloud banner strip) Pink (butterfly)
Sparkle (jewel bling and glimmer and glitter on my fussy cut images) flowers ( flowers in the wheelbarrow          
and in the clay pot)
5. Paper Crafting Journey http://paper-craftingjourney.blogspot.ca/ Add some bling (added 3 jewels on      cloud banner and all along fence rail).
6. Creative Card Crew http://creativecardcrew.blogspot.ca/ Birds (there are birds sitting on top of the birdhouses)
7. Creative Craft Challenges http://creativecraftchallenges2.blogspot.ca/ 3 of anything ( I have 3 jewels on my cloud banner strip)
8. Through The Craft Room Door http://www.craftdoormagazine.com/ Anything goes # 40

Tuesday 16 October 2012

WOYWW 176 - Finally have a desk to show!

I have been home 9 days now and finally feeling like creating a bit. The organized bins and stacks of supplies that I set up in the right hand corner, are still there untouched since in set them up in late Sept.

I have pulled some kraft cards and now I am busy pairing it up with some designer papers. I feel in the mood to make up a few  gardening themed cards. Luckily I have some glittery papers with bulbs, wellies, tools, wheelbarrows and baskets. I have fussy cut a few of these out last night...now to get my mojo working!
My two framed layouts are still not hung up.  I need my handy daughter to pop over and hang them up for me. They are just a titch further than I can reach at the moment.

Once healed, I am determined to rejoin the garden club. These cards will be to donate to the draw that they hold each month to help cover the hall costs. They are easy to make up as I will keep them simple. Best of all, I don't feel too much stress about my mojo being a bit off as these are going to gardeners, not card makers!!! lol

If you are wondering why I am sharing my desk and all it's clutter, pop on over to the lovely Julia's blog http://stamping-ground.blogspot.ca/  and check out what all the other crafters are doing. Be sure to leave some bloggy hugs!

Monday 15 October 2012

Day 7: Fingers Crossed, I'm Outta Here!

Day 7 arrived with my blood pressure consistently staying at 90 or slightly above and the lower number hovering in the low 50's..........YAY!

While I was waiting for my doctor and today's verdict on going home, a resident came into my room and started discussing my file with me. I had never had a resident before...Only my surgical fellows and my surgeon. The resident said I should stay in hospital until Wednesday or perhaps even Thursday!
Uggh...that would be 5 or 6 more days

 It was decided my leg pain was nerve neuropathy and I was started on  Gabapentin last night and would be taking it 3 times a day. It takes 5 to 7 doses to see any results and then generally the dosage needs tweaked higher, resulting in another 5 to 7 doses before they can see if it is the right strength. The Gabapentin would mask the nerve neuropathy pain in my leg.

I was trying to wrap my mind around this, as it was the first I had heard I might be in that much longer. Luckily, my surgeon walked in just before the resident left. The resident repeated all the info he had shared with me and my surgeon said very flatly,...Mrs XXX will be safer at home. The resident tried to broach each of the reasons and the surgeon just repeated (several times in the same flat voice...Mrs XXX will be safer at home.

He then leaned forward to get full eye contact with me and repeated the same words with emphasis on the word "safer".

It was really strange...but I understood what he was trying to say. I stammered out that I agreed with my surgeon and felt I would progress at home. They left to sort everything out with the nursing station and I called my husband in excitement. He had to grab a quick shower and would drive in right after and would be about 1 and 3/4 hours till he would arrive.

I packed my belongings up and went out to the nursing station to see if I was safe to leave my bag and poles in my room and take the wheelchair down for a latte in the other building. I shared I would come back in an hour and a half as DH had a long drive to get me. They all seemed a bit shocked I was leaving and several nurses advised I should say I wanted to stay longer!  But I didn't want to stay longer!

As I turned to leave, feeling a bit worried about what I had agreed to, my surgeon came up and sort of motioned me over to where we would be out of earshot of anyone.

He was friendly in his tone and said goodbye and reminded me of the exercises to be done and recapped  demonstrating the ski poles. By this time, I was quite comfortable with them and had been covering territory poling about the wards each day. He recapped my meds and advised there were scripts to be picked up back over at the discharge desk on the ward. He had added back the T3's as he decided that the single falling BP episode that occurred while still on them, was most likely a positional BP problem as it was taken immediately upon sitting up.
As I said goodbye too, he again sort of leaned forward and said that sometimes things happen on a ward that can affect patient recovery. Some of those things had  happened to me, like the catheter not removed when he ordered it and then getting the UTI.  His orders left for me to be mobile as of day 2 and compression stocking removed, yet decisions made to not follow those orders implemented out of concern for the BP problem and the compression stocking not put back on. There were a bunch more I haven't even mentioned. They all boiled done to his decisions being overridden.
 In his opinion, when these types of things start to happen, sometimes they can snowball for a particular person...He felt I was that person...therefore he thought I was safer at home before something else went wrong.

He left me a list of what to do for each scenario that the resident wanted me to stay for.

Bid me goodbye and instructed me to return to his office in 4 weeks....

Hurrah!                 I'm Outta Here!!!

Sunday 14 October 2012

Day 6: Even more cold turkey

Day 6  OK  now!
Let's keep this short and sweet...Limiting pain meds to T3's only resulted in a single episode of falling blood pressure. To me, that was good news!

But it was still one more than the doctor wanted to see. So, a new sort of expected question "Do you think you could manage with just tylenol...no T3's"?.

A quick nod of my head and we were off and running.

Day 6 produced the required results...Tylenol only and no more crashing blood pressure!!! YAY!!!

Going home is getting closer!

Just the pesky leg pain problem to be sorted, the bladder infection to be well on it's way, and I can go home!

Saturday 13 October 2012

Day 5: Goodbye Oxycodone Hello???

Day 5 found me still having the problems with my blood pressure falling really low. My head was throbbing and I was still spiking a fever. I was on meds for the UTI now and sort of had a fleeting thought about how I hate taking medications and would be glad when I didn't have to anymore.
Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!                          Famous last words.

When my surgeon visited me that day, he shared that I would be going home if it wasn't for that pesky falling BP. He suggested that sometimes medication causes this problem...the headaches and fever could be part of it too....so....Did I think I could manage to not take anymore heavy narcotic painkillers, so they could monitor and see if that might be the cause. I could still have 2 T3's every 4 hours so that would help.

I didn't have to think twice...I wanted to go home...and I wanted to not worry about falling or fainting and wrecking my "fixed" back.

Yep, I nodded my head...I can do it. He left to take the instructions to the nursing station and I remember thinking...Oh Lordy...what have I got myself into. All I could think of was...Thank God the TV got sorted!!!
If I am not as stoned on the drugs, the TV will distract me.................so..............................................armed with the trusty TV,  a huge stack of scrapbook magazines and access to a hand propelled wheelchair to get me over to the 60 minutes of interenet access provided for patients in the other building..........................

I had the world by the tail!

Friday 12 October 2012

Day 4: Feminine again

Day 4 started with a jolt of pain and a visit from my surgical fellows at around 6:30 am. I wasn't sleeping in the bed any longer and had moved to the straight back chair. My leg was about 20 on a scale of 1 to 10 so I could not manage the bed and one of them arranged to send me off for a DVT ultrasound on my leg, just in case.

My lovely care aid from yesterday remembered our conversations and came to bathe me first in the morning. So nice to feel refreshed.

I was told the reason some of the nurses did not know the protocols on the spinal ward was due to the fact that it was coming onto a holiday weekend...Canadian Thanksgiving...so all the senior nurses were able to take the week off and get an extra day off for their vacation time. A lot of the nursing staff present, were working with us on Overtime. They came in from other wards and were not always familiar with the ways of the ward.

That explained some of the weird things that had happened so I breathed a little easier knowing this. My doctor dropped by and OK'd me to have a shower. I was not expecting that until tomorrow so it was a real surprise. The nurse volunteered that I had already had a sponge bath and I quickly blurted out that I didn't mind having both...I could force myself to take that shower! hahahaha Ya... right! Even the surgeon smiled!

I knew where the towels and facecloths were, I had found them on my ski poling expeditions out into the ward so off I went.  I only needed a waterproof dressing applied over my incision bandages..

The joy of washing my hair properly with real shampoo was such a treat. I let the water get quite warm and felt like it was going to turn my day around! For the first time, I put on makeup and tried to style my hair a bit with some sculpting mud. I never knew a hairstyle and a bit of lippy could feel so feminine!

A dear friend came to visit that afternoon and we had a great natter and catch up. She lives in a lovely part of the city itself and I worked with her for many years. Over the years, we shared a variety of departments and so it was always fun to catch up on what the other girls were doing now.

The ultrasound was clear and I am one lucky monkey...

A sponge bath, a shower, a good friend visiting and good news all in the same day. What more could a girl ask for!!!

My next card is another type of hand made card. My husbands sister who lives in America came to visit. She takes photos and makes them into cards. She often sells them at the craft fairs in her area.

Her choice of a lighthouse was so apt.  This operation is allowing me to regain the steerage of my life. I am learning to be a bit riskier and push myself a little harder to get better each day. Each day, my job is to go a little farther than the day before. Add a little more variety, than the day before.  When you push like that, there can be danger to do too much. The lightouse  is my husband and he is there, beaming through the mist,  to help me steer right now, and guide me...and be counted on.

Thursday 11 October 2012

DAY 3: Clean at last

 Day 3 arrives and I am a wee bit down.  That little lull from pain over Day 1 and 2 was gone like the wind!

Some damn storm seemed to have blown in pain that took your breath away and for some other  reason it was taking up residence in the calf of my leg, very  similar to my old friend sciatica, but steadily growing in strength. As of today it was stronger than any sciatica pain I had ever felt.
To top it all off, I was having some problem with my blood pressure dropping dangerously low 78/35 , had the headache of the century, spiking  fever, and verging on passing out. Ugggh!

I had not yet had a sponge bath although was supposed to get one each day and then an actual shower on Day 5. Poor DH tried to do the best he could with wetting paper towel and then drying me with paper towel but it is just not the same.

By the time my surgeon arrived on Day 3 I was a bit teary about it. I think I was just in so much pain, I was getting a bladder infection as the catheter was still in, was running a fever,  and feeling at the end of my rope. He had never seen my with tears in my eyes or complaining and was quite sympathetic. He asked what would make me feel better. I blurted out the catheter he had ordered removed at 6 am the day B4 was still in, and I felt the spiking fever was due to a UTI . Then in a little tiny voice, cuz I had decided I must sound like a mad woman to pursue such a small thing, I added that I would like my sponge bath that I never got yesterday! I felt really small and whiny and sort of embarrassed.
His face perks up and says well that can all be solved quickly and minutes later that foley was out, urine sample collected,  and a care aid showed up to bathe me.

It was heaven! The water was warm and soothing.  The lovely stroking motion she used to bathe me was so relaxing and helped distract the pain cycle in my leg. I had my eyes closed, just lost in how good it felt and how much better I would feel with clean teeth, cleanish hair and a cleanish body.
The care aid shared a lovely story of how she came to this country from India with no English skills so did not have immediate access to education here. She had built such a good life for her children on the wages and overtime wages,  from bathing people and making up their beds. This lovely lady, who was roughly the same age as me, had 4 children. One a doctor, one a pharmacist and one a lawyer. She still had  an 18 year old at home and when he was through university, she could finally stop working overtime!

She was such an inspiration to me. I felt so renewed with strength after that sponge bath. It is just so amazing to me that such a simple thing can lift your spirits, strengthen your resolve and let you move through managing the pain..

Here is the card my daughter, SIL and little Mr P gave me

Little Miss C made it. She had seen a similar card on my desk and had asked for 6 images stamped off for her. She coloured them all and stickled them up. The other 5 are not made up yet but she assembled this one with a snippet of pink self -adhesive  floral ribbon and  a spellbinder die from the die cut baggie I made up for her. The only help she need was a straight line dotted across the page to line her ribbon etc up to. I thought it was quite well done.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Day 2: The Big Move

Day 2 found still in that initial euphoria that my back was on the road to recovery...I know that sounds like the description of a bad documentary but was such a perfect description to how I felt when I woke up that morning.

I was in a semi private room with a very nice fellow from a small northern seaport town. He was very friendly and a really nice guy.
There were not any private rooms available when I came onto the spinal floor.   I was told to keep reminding each shift change that I was willing to move. Both nurses questioned why I wanted to move. I mumbled that the private rooms had free TV and phone. Both had the same answer...Oh no...don't move and give up this great room with the great views...there are no free TV's here in the hospital...Private rooms come with TV's and phones built in but you have to pay to hook them up!

So to fill in time while I waited, I started imaging my new room...daydreaming about the quietness to recover in... the joys of having my own bathroom all to myself...and the luxury of having a free TV and my own free phone. You were not allowed to keep your cell phone and there was no internet available in the rooms so that  TV would be a bit of a godsend.

Now, you all know I am a worrier. I had almost memorized that booklets they give you once your surgery is discussed with the surgeon. I had just got out the huge booklet to reread from 2 years ago when my 1st surgery was scheduled and I had just read the new huge 20 page booklet and both stated that although the private room was 30 extra dollars over the semi, it included a free TV and phone that was also inclusive of free long distance till 10 pm. Without the private room, I could not call my elderly Mum or my sister. They live 4 hours from me and definitely are long distance. When I mumbled something about the info in that booklet, I got a blank stare and a What booklet? question.

I could have sung Hallelujah when the evening nurse dropped by to say there was a private room available now! She wheeled me up and I was so excited to see it was on the same side as Bill so it probably had a sea view too! There was a lovely huge bathroom, a dresser, a night table and a small closet for clothes. I mentioned again about how did I get the TV (I gave up on mentioning the free part) and she carefully wrote down my name and my new room number and said she would leave it in the box for the TV lady's arrival in the morning and closed the door on the way out

I was in heaven! I lay on my bed in my new room drinking in the wonders of the peace and quiet and harmony, gazing longingly at my new TV and wishing a little bit that I could actually use it. It seems kind of funny now that I even wanted TV because I hardly watch TV at home. Just a few BBC Canada and Knowledge network series.   I kind of dozed off and woke up out a deep sleep to the sounds of what seemed like a Rambo movie happening all around me. Lights were flashing, there was a huge noise like something was coming through my roof...no wait...it now sounds like it is coming through my window. I turn to see what it is.
Now, you need to remember I have just had back surgery and to turn even a minute amount takes forever. I am also not to twist my neck so all in all, it was about 5 minutes later before I am finally turned enough to see what is going on. During that five minutes of log roll turning, I could also hear shouting, and lots of different levels of noise. I decided it was a movie. The Americans film a lot of movies in our city as the costs are cheaper for them to do it here. There are always streets closed and signage there is a movie crew filming for a week or so...
Finally, finally, finally, I can see the window and a helicopter rises into the air with what looks like 5 feet of space between my window and the blades.Oh my! It then does that sort of swoopy motion that they sometimes do as they ascend off. All in all, it was quite a sight! It was the air ambulance helicopter on the roof of the wing next to my room!!!!!
I remember closing my eyes and thinking so THAT is why the nurses were trying so hard to talk me out of the room! I took a deep breath in and exhaled slowly like physio had just taught me to do for relaxation and decided ......A person can get used to anything. It is not going to be distracting...it is majestic and gorgeous and where is my damn camera!

A student nurse thendrops by to take vitals etc. I ask her what time the TV lady comes by in the am. and she seems a bit confused. She advises that she just saw the lady leaving the floor and they had chatted about how the lady was done for the day!!!
I was now a patient on a mission. So far, I had never rang my buzzer, I tried to be respectful of the nurses time constraints (as they are very overworked) and I had limited any questions of mine to the 2 enquiries about the move to a private room...I could feel my TV slipping through my fingers as we chatted...I remember trying to digest this info and hesitantly asked  "So does this mean she doesn't come again till tomorrow evening"?  Oh no, she comes twice a day...she is probably in the other spine ward beside us right now picking up her ticket referrals for tomorrow am hookups. And then she asks in a quiet little voice...Would you like me to pop over there and see if she is still on the floor? Oh yes!!!
My spirits soared and she slipped away and returns with the TV lady a couple of minutes later.

The TV lady looks a wee bit cross and states firmly that she saw my name and room number referral but didn't stop by my room cuz the TV and phone are......wait....wait......oh yes...FREE!!!
hahahahahahaha They are permanently hooked up!

She turns to leave seeming a wee bit pissed she has had to waste her time coming over to my room. She does not get paid for anything to do with TV's in private rooms.  I understand that she is fed up with the system but  manage to blurt out but how do I turn it on? The nurse and the student nurse could not find any remotes. She turns back crossly and states that the remotes are right there motioning to my bed. The student nurse looks confused and looks all around the room and opens night table drawers etc and the TV lady marches across to my bed and reaches underneath to a little shelf and pulls out the phone and the TV remote. TV lady then makes a hasty retreat...sighing and shaking her head in discouragement.

The nursing student leaned over and said who would have ever know the remotes were stored under the bed!!! We then shared a giggle about the silliness of a system that wastes nurses time having them check room availability and then expects nurses wheel you to your room...when they are far too busy, and far too skilled, to be doing the porters job. On top of all that, expecting  them to fully do their regular job and the porters job and not even provide them info on what comes with the room and where it is stored is just plain silly.

Day 2 closed with me feeling content, having chatted with family, and the TV on in the background, as a quiet distraction from the hospital noise.

If you have stuck it out thus far, here is the gorgeous card my next-door neighbour Lisa, made for me.I just love the pretty stamped image and I think the small square Bon Marche Boutique Sign with the wire dressmaker form on it, is priceless.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Day One - Of course there has to be a Get Well card and WOYWW

My desk is proudly displaying all my gorgeous Get Well cards. Sadly I can't submit a picture of my desk as I can't bend to insert my camera card into the computer so I need to show them from the individual photos my daughter took for me and loaded on my computer pictures file.

When I was trying to think of what creations I could post here to share with you, I really struggled to find anything.

I had thought I would whip up a couple of cards so I could create posts to showcase those. Unfortunately, I was not able to get them made in time.  Drat!

Then I had a light bulb moment...no more worrying...I'm saved! I can post my Get Well cards and I am going to show them on 7 numbered posts that are being created to share some sweet,  but funny moments that occurred on each of the 7 days I was in hospital.

The first night post-op, I was released to my room at around 9 or maybe 10 pm.  Even though it was a work night for DD, she picked him up and they drove into the city together.  I think it was a one and a half  hour drive into the city, they stayed a good hour and then another one and a half hour drive back home. It was even longer for her as she wanted to come and pick him up. I hate to think of how tired she must have been at work the next day!

I remember a lovely visit with the two of them.  I was delighted to see them and was thrilled the operation was all over. They seemed so distraught so I recall telling them it was not as bad as I had expected, and clarified the pain was tolerable and to stop worrying. I do remember my mouth was dry (I think from the anesthetic) and so I had to work at  forming  the words.
They remember coming to visit and my pain was so bad I could not even talk or form words! My poor daughter posted on facebook that she had never seen me is so much pain! Oh my ...I felt badly when I came home and read that on facebook. In reality, I fell asleep after they left, marveling that I was falling asleep in a bed, on my side, for the first time in 4 years.  All in all, that first day truly was quite special!.

My daughter was smiling as she pushed 2 fat little envelopes through the bars of the bed  rails.  Little Miss C had told her they needed to chose a card from her stash as she wanted to give me one of her own cards.  I was smiling as I took them from her hands as I knew fat envelopes usually contain handmade
cards.  Here is my favourite...it is one of those "no sentiment cards" that do well for the stash box as you can turn them into "all occasion cards"
In this case, it is what she added to the inside that tugs at my heartstrings. They were sitting together at the dining room table heads down, printing their sentiments and she looked up and said that she underlined everything to emphasize that she really meant it.

You all know by now that DD does not like her families full pictures or names on my blog. This next shot only shows the last 2 letters of Little Miss C's name as I wanted you to see that she learned all about periods that day and was quite excited to show me that she knew not to have a floating period. Today she learned that periods never float and always follow a word or a thought!!! I was grinning and thinking that the next day they probably learned about how they anchor sentences.
 She then shared with her Mum that she made the period quite dark and big so that I would notice it!!!

Oh, she is a girl after my own heart. I'm sure I can sometimes drive you all crazy with my overuse of periods and exclamation marks. I can't seem to blog without them...everything seems so formal without them!  Somehow it seems that when I use them, you can see more of the non blogging me...that I love to have a natter, that I love to giggle,that I am a worrier, and that while I can be a bit "anal" about certain things...that I take great joy from being organized and can't relax if things get out of hand. Without them, I think I portray myself as this "stick up her butt lady" who has a control freak personality.

Keep in mind that I am fairly drugged right now ( and tired) so these next few posts will be minus my usual triple checks of spelling, grammar and sentence structure etc.

Hopefully your interest is piqued to pop over to Julia's blog to see some actual desks in action!  http://stamping-ground.blogspot.ca/

Hope you will stop by tomorrow for my next post,    Day 2 - The Big Move
This post will reveal the hidden joys of moving to a private room  and showcase my next door neighbours   gorgeous card!

Thursday 4 October 2012

Still alive and almost kicking

Just a short update from the hospital.
I have had my back surgery and I'm on the road to recovery.
I have been up and walking already...just hours after the operation.  Not very far...but up and moving.
Since the initail short walk, I had a little set back with my blood pressure crashing to 78/38 whenever I stood up or sat up, so had some problems with passing out and got  taken off the "walking list". Drat!
They finally figured out yesterday that it was from my Oxycodin so my surgeon made a decision to pain manage only with T3's  and I don't pass out anymore...Yay...I get to be mobile again!
Pain is a bit of  handful to manage but it ws really bad before surgery and I manged then with T3's so I am sure I will be OK.

Little by little, I will be able to walk farther and farther...before you know it, I  will  walking again with my husband  after supper, just like we used to do.

Time to take a nap...will update again once I am home.