It seems much longer since my last blog post. A lot has happened. And, through the worst of it, I kept thinking "Monday will be a normal day, I can do what I want"...well...
So where I left you last, I was making good progress on my challenge quilt...
...Gabby continues to claim blocks as I display them on the floor.
I went to work Tuesday last week, planning to come home and do some cleaning (bathroom, vacuuming, etc) and then dig into the remaining 8 quarter circle blocks that needed done. I had planned to cut another batch of pieces and mix and match those as well, after figuring out the quilt would be smaller than I would like.
I got home Tuesday and my phone rang. It was my dad. "Can you come stay with me?"
Mom was out of town, running a quilt retreat, until Friday evening. My dad has had that nasty cold/flu thing that often turns into pneumonia. He was coughing like crazy (which he always does at the end of any illness - as do I), but was having trouble catching his breath. And he didn't think the inhaler the doctor gave him the previous day was doing much.
He didn't want to call my mom and ruin her fun. (She didn't even know I had been there until she got home! But had he gotten worse - or been worse when I arrived - she would have been contacted immediately.)
So, I dropped everything and took off. My parents live an hour away, and I tried to force myself to calm down enough to remember things like underwear and contact solution. I wasn't sure what I was walking into, but managed to think to pack a quilt that needed hand-binding and two books. What I forgot that I can't just go get anywhere were my glasses. I wear contacts pretty much all the time, but those shouldn't be slept in (I don't have that kind)...guess I'm going to do that for a night anyways and regroup in the morning.
When I got there, my dad was as he claimed. Coughing and breathing shallowly. But his color looked good and I relaxed a little. We figured out how to correctly use the inhaler, found his cold medicine to help with the chest congestion even more, and settled in.
I had hoped this was a case of him having a little bit of a panic attack at the inhaler not working completely and immediately, and once we got that started correctly, I'd be able to return home Wednesday in time for work - I had swapped an opening shift for a closing shift with a coworker before I left Tuesday. That was not to be. He requested I stay on. I stayed Wednesday night and left about 7pm Thursday, with a promise to keep my phone close and my brother to spend a good part of the day with him Friday until my mom returned.
Wednesday he was doing better. More himself, but still taking his time to catch his breath well before talking and having coughing fits. It's even harder to clear your chest when you can't get a good deep breath. So just a lot of patience from me. And naps for him.
Thankfully I had quiet things to do. (But just in case, my mom's sewing room was just downstairs and though her taste in fabrics isn't the same as mine, I'm pretty sure I could have scared up SOMETHING to work on, had I needed to!)
He chose to go to a Boy Scout meeting (he's an adult trainer/commissioner/something-or-other) on Wednesday evening after a nap. And he chose to go have lunch with some old work buddies Thursday, followed by a nap. He's like me - it drives him crazy to not be able to do whatever he wants when he wants to do it.
But I kept telling him that friends have recently had this. I had something similar in October. This is how it goes. The energy required to THINK about doing things almost wears you out. Never mind actually doing those things. It takes a long time to get over. The shortness of breath is normal. The coughing and chest congestion is normal. As long as you feel a little better each day, don't panic. I think that helped get him to relax, too. It was normal for that illness.
Yet I let him choose what he did. My mom, I know, would have pestered him to stay home. I offered to drive, to sit in the back quietly and wait. I didn't want to limit his freedom, so I let him take the lead. He chose to go alone and take naps.
He's doing better. He's still not well. We all gathered for Easter yesterday and he seemed a little better than when I was with him, but I think he was pushing himself to put up a good show for the family. Not that we didn't all know he was sick (he thought the brother who didn't come spend time with him was out of the loop - not true at all!), but he's been this big, strong dad for so many years, I know it's hard to let that image go. So again, we all were patient with him and let him take the lead on what he did or didn't do.
While I was there, I bonded some with the cat I call my baby sister, Shandy...
...I was a part of the effort to rescue her and get her to my parents quite a few years ago, so I call her my little sister. She's a great cat. The first night, she wasn't sure what to make of the guest bedroom being open and a person in there. The second night, she slept by my feet most of the night - getting up every so often when I rolled over to see if I might be awake enough to give her scratches. (She was right most times...)
And she even helped with the binding and testing of the graduation quilt that I worked on (and finished).
She's quite a spunky little girl, but I love her. My parents do have another cat, Lily, but she has a lot of problems. She was also a rescue, but unfortunately not young enough to be without emotional scars. She's very timid and spends most of her time in my parents (very large) bedroom. I went in and gave her some love (and made sure she was fed and litterbox scooped and water bowl filled) a few times, but since my dad spent a fair amount of time propped up in bed, she wasn't lonely.
During one of my dads naps, I ran some errands and got two king-size battings from the sale at JoAnn's, as well as bringing home some contraband (chocolate and Coke)...
And had to give my mom a hard time about her egg hiding skills. Most years she does an egg hunt for the grandkids. This year, because she was out of town the previous week, my brother and his wife hosted Easter dinner and my mom didn't do the egg hunt. But that didn't stop me from giving her a hard time about finding this when I arrived at their front door...
So I returned home Thursday night fairly late and had a frenzy of laundry and dishes and paying bills to catch up on the more important chores. Because Friday I had planned to sew with guild friends. One was even coming from out of town, so I was very happy that my brother offered to spend Friday with my dad. (Otherwise, I would have stayed longer.)
I took no photos at the sew-in, but sewed the remaining eight blocks and then cut out 22 more. I had a great time with friends and a wonderful lunch. But the flurry of catching up continued Friday evening, as a few more chores were completed (finishing laundry, unpacking and putting away things from both outings, etc.) and I prepared to work an opening shift on what was expected to be (and turned out to be) a busy day at work. Saturday evening found me baking for Easter and doing yet more dishes (baking is a messy ordeal!) and Sunday a good portion of the day was spent with family...but grocery shopping and more dishes were also done.
I kept thinking through all of this, as I said above, that Monday my hubby would be back at work (at least in the afternoon), and I could get back to normal. I could do MY things.
This morning I got up and finally cleaned out the pantry where I found buggy food (you know those little wormy things that spin spiderwebs in your cardboard-boxed food? ewwww!!!) and sat down to relax. No shower yet, just contemplating the things to do for the day...label the baby quilt (she's not due for at least a month, but hubby reported she's having contractions already, so I'd better get that done!), mix and match the new block pieces, write a blog post, make a simple lunch before the hubby leaves.
And he comes down the stairs and says "let's go to Menard's and get some lumber and netting to revitalize the cat playland"... Also, after sleeping comfortably on the marshmallow that is the mattress on my parents guest bed, and hearing Menard's had good deals on Serta mattresses, I decided that was a good trip.
So hurry into the shower, clean out the bed of the truck and take off.
So much for a lazy day.
I got a new mattress. It's much higher than the old one, but it's a good marshmallowey consistency! We also got the lumber and such.
Back home to haul the old mattress out (it will go to the dump this weekend when they're open) and the new one in - good and sweaty doing that - and a quick, rushed, sandwich lunch, and the hubby was off.
So NOW can I sew?
I need a new mattress pad. The old one won't fit. And it's old.
Do the sheets fit? This mattress is much taller.
And Skitter was already having trouble getting onto the lower, old bed. So I need to (finally) go find a pet stair thingy.
So back out for errands.
Who knew mattress pads were so doggone expensive? (Of course, the cheapest one - I don't need anything fancy - was out of stock.)
I skipped the sheets - also pricey and not very good quality at Wal-Mart. Thankfully one of the newer old sets fits just fine.
And who knew a carpet-covered set of boards making up stairs for a cat was that expensive? (But it's sturdy, so that's a good thing.)
Back home and I realized I'd managed to not pick up a gift bag for the quilt.
Back out again.
But that's okay. I had made a cheesecake for Easter and brought home 5 slices. Having (homemade) whipped cream on it means the hubby won't touch it. So I ran a couple pieces over to a quilty friend and neighbor who was more than willing to help the cause.
Bed fully made.
Block pieces mixed up and pinned in sets.
Quilt label made.
Blog post in progress.
I still have to sew the label on, but that won't take long.
I never did get the bathroom cleaned or the vacuuming done.
There's always tomorrow.
But Freddie makes a pretty difficult drain hairball...
...he looks mad, but he was just being squirrelley. He's obsessed with the overflow drain (bottom left of the photo) and was going bananas playing with it. I have no idea what the draw is, but he sure likes it. And I suppose there are worse things he could be terrorizing...like his 15-year-old neurotic sister, Skittter!