Saturday, December 22, 2012

Okay, so where was I?  Oh yeah . . . . going off the grid.  Well, I didn't really intend to be off the grid for quite so long.  But what's a girl to do?  On November 15, Hubby had heart surgery.  It is a rather long and involved story.  To sum it up:  He had a congenital heart problem that has been well documented and monitored.  We have known for a good long time that this surgery would be necessary and were not surprised when it did, but maybe not fully prepared for everything that was going to associated with fixing him up just right.  The good news is that the time was right in every way.  We were in the right place with the right people and just the best possible care.  And now we are back in the business of the rest of our lives.
Starting with a whole new way of life when it comes to diet.  Hubby's troubles were not lifestyle born, but we certainly don't want lifestyle to become an issue down the road.  Let me introduce you to my new, best friend -
I ordered it from Amazon on the day we got home from the hospital, one month ago today. So far everything I have made has turned out to be quite yummy.  I find myself leafing through the pages every day for ideas and inspiration.
The other thing we are doing is walking.  Walking and walking and walking.  The prescription was for Hubby to start with short walks of 10 to 15 minutes each, three to four times per day, slowly building toward walking continuously for one hour every day.  And we are doing just that now including taking on the hills in our neighborhood.  *whew* It can wear me out.  I have teased that he's going to have me running wind sprints in the soft sand at the beach before we know it.
What this does not leave time for is all of the prep work I did before going off the grid.  I have not touched Folk Art Gathering nor taken a single quilting stitch in the hexagon stars.  I finished knitting the bag that was on the knitting needles and it has been felted.
But it has not been lined, nor have the handles been applied.
I took a few stabs at one of the punch needle projects.
There is still a way to go before it can go in the finished column.
Hubby selected fabric to make a thank-you quilt for his surgeon.
It's been washed and ironed and there it sits.
Now let's talk about pre-washing.  I don't like it and I normally just don't do it.  But look at all of those reds - with the intent of making a gift, I knew that pre-washing was the right thing to do.  Still this just irks me  . . . .
That represents wasted fabric to me.  And it is only the ball of *yuck* I pulled off when I ironed, it is not what I scraped out of the washer or the second wad that came out of the dryer.  I just don't like it and will go back to my non-washing ways immediately!
The holidays have gotten away from us this year, too.  Precious little decorating has gone around here.  I artfully tossed a couple of Christmas quilts across the banister and stapled a few more on a blank wall.  That was going to be it.  But we live in a neighborhood that is quite festive.  Not competitive, but festive.  And I am nothing if not a girl who likes to participate.  A quick trip to Home Depot and *voila*
We have a fully decorated and lighted tree smack in the middle of our front yard.  Bonus - we can enjoy it from the living room.  I may be onto something here - I don't have to worry about keeping the stand filled with water, the rains have taken care of that.  And I don't have to vacuum up any needles from the floor.  This is how a new tradition is born.
Back in November, I thought about Christmas cards.  Even tried a few test photos of Larkin.
This is the best of the bunch and she looks rather like an evil elf.  The little hat is really for a cat.  She has grown to the point that it won't fit anymore.  Today I tried getting a decent picture with a Santa hat.
She was skeptical.
Then she shot me a *raspberry*
 And finally just laid down in surrender.
I have an idea for a New Years card instead.  I know that I will need to take her on a good, long walk before hand in order to garner a little cooperation in the way of being tired.  Stay tuned I know we can do it.
Well  . . .  that was a really long post.  Congratulations if you made it to the end.  I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas.  Ours will be a quiet one, but filled with joy for sure.


Juliann in WA said...

Wow! So happy for a good outcome and it seems your positive attitude will carry you through. I will be thinking of you and your hubby this Christmas.

Nancy in MT said...

Oh my Libby, so glad you all had such a wonderful outcome and best wishes in the days ahead.

Lorraine said...

Welcome back...and so pleased the surgery and recovery went to plan.....enjoy the walking....I a sure Larkin does! Love your Christmas tree....and you still have all your projects prepped ready for picking up any time you like....had a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic 2013!

Darlene said...

I'm so glad to hear that your hubby is recovering nicely.

Oh that heart - I know more about the heart than I ever thought I would. :-)

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Sue said...

Glad to hear that your husband is doing well after all he's been through.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

WoolenSails said...

I am happy to hear that everything is going well and it is nice that you both can get out and walk together. That is one of the things my husband and I enjoy together, a way to spend time together and take care of our health. Larkin is so funny, she knows she is being a little smart alec, my pets do that too.


Colleen said...

Larkin is sooo sweet! And does not look evil at all, lol. I am so glad your husband is doing well.

Quilting by the Lake said...

Glad to hear your hubby is doing well. I've been reading the Dr. McDougall books, Dr.Caldwell Esselstyn book, and the China Study. Very interesting reading and their message grows on you after a while. Not so hard once you start down the road. Happy Holidays!

Karmen Sunshine said...

You have a lot on your plate, and taking care yours, and your hubby's health, is number one. Larkin is such a love; I like your idea of a New Year's card. Maybe the three of you sprawled on the floor?

Quilter Kathy said...

Glad to hear that DH is well and you are all doing well.
Can't wait to see the new year's photo!

Shakerwood said...

Well, I knew a lot of this already and made it all the way to the end. Except for the tree. I think you have happened upon a GREAT new tradition. AND you don't have to rearrange the furniture inside to fit a tree. I don't think you will be able to put the gifts under the tree this way...I'm sure you will be able to come up with Plan "B".

Julierose said...

Oh I know how tired you get--my DH had triple bypass a few years ago--i keep telling him he's the "new and improved model"--while I'm huffing and puffing along...glad it all went well...enjoy the holidays...Julierose

45th Parallel Quilter said...

The news that your hubby is well is truly a gift and so glad to hear it. Health is SO important and, unfortunately, we don't give it as much respect as we should. Your posting has given me a reason to think harder about the coming year and changes. DH and I are retiring next month and want to spend many years together ... in good health. God bless you both and a very Merry Christmas to Larkin as well! What a sweetie!! Linda

The Civil War Quilter said...

I'm so glad your hubby's surgery went well. My Dad went through it twice in twenty years and lived well afterwards, although he didn't eat right or follow doctor's orders! It sounds like your hubby is off to a good start. Good for him! I don't prewash either and totally agree with you. With those Color Catcher sheets, you don't have to fear colors bleeding anymore. Just give a box of those along with the quilt with instructions for use. Love the dog photos!

Loris said...

Great news! I'm so glad it all went well. Merry Christmas to you and DH and love to sweet Larkin!

AnnieO said...

Here's a giant glass of Christmas cheer raised to you and your dear hubby's new lease on life! Glad everything went well from surgery to one month post, except crafting got left in the dust of all that walking :) Larkin's hat is truly hilarious. Can't wait to see what you come up with for New Year's cards. It will be a similar timeframe for my cards this year too. Merry merry Christmas!

Jenny M said...

Wonderful news about your husband's health. Wishing you both a lovely Christmas and a joyful and healthy new year.

Karen said...

I pictured you on a safari in Africa and not dealing with such a serious surgery. Glad to know all is well. My husband had heart surgery about 13 years ago. No fun.
Merry Christmas to you and family. Hope to see lots of posts from you in the New Year.

dee said...

so good to have you back and how wonderful it is that your husband is doing so well. I wish you both the best Christmas ever-continued good health and peace in the New Year.
That Daisy is a gift all by herself.

dee said...

so good to have you back and how wonderful it is that your husband is doing so well. I wish you both the best Christmas ever-continued good health and peace in the New Year.
That Daisy is a gift all by herself.

Dawn said...

So much good news!
Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays! Have a wonderful week - hope you start 2013 in a special way!!

sewprimitive karen said...

Hi, Linda, so good that things turned out well. Really, I would forget about the other stuff and concentrate on the walking and the cooking. The walking is so vitally important.

Lori said...

I've been following your progress on facebook and I have to say, "Way to go"!
Love your tree- no reason to go overboard. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Mary said...

After a while, things that are new now will seem perfectly normal and you'll be able to fit in time for quilting. Believe me. I'm glad your husband is recovering and that things are, medically, fine. Love your yard tree! Christmas is about so much more than decorations.

Merry Christmas to you both!

Kathie said...

I am so thrilled everything worked out
I thought of you often the past few weeks and was wondering how you were, where you were! and what were you making! boy I never would have guessed this.
Merry Christmas just relax and enjoy every minute of the holiday season decorating /baking, etc can wait till next year!

Guðrún Á. Rögnvaldsdóttir said...

The Christmas tree looks great in the sun :) It is so difficult for me here up north to imagine how it is to celebrate Christmas in the sun, maybe I will try that someday?

Carol said...

Great news! That is truly the best Christmas gift! Larkin is getting so big and so darn cute! I never prewash, for just that reason, it's a big fat mess! I just throw a Color Catcher or 2 in with the quilt when I wash and all is well. Merry! Merry Christmas to you all!

suz said...

So happy Andy is doing so well. Love the idea of the tree in the yard especially after putting up my fake tree and having fake needles all over the floor!
Have a wonderful Christmas and healthy, happy New Year.

julieQ said...

You and your hubby are doing so well!!! That is fantastic that he is healing so well. What a wonderful Christmas gift! Many hugs and wishes for a wonderful new year!

Karen said...

totally made it to the end, and am glad all is well at your home! Best. Gift. Ever, no??
I learned a lot myself this Christmas.
It's not the decorations, it's not the cards. It's really not the food...but that helps :-)
It is all about love, laughter and family.
Glad you had all three with a good dose of health throw in as well!
Happy 2013- I'm looking forward to pulling out some UFOs and calling myself a quilter again.
sending hugs from the frozen and snowy "tundra"!