Thursday, September 29, 2011

What Is Wrong With the Medical Profession???

This will hopefully be my final posting regarding my husband's travel through the health care system in central & eastern Kentucky.  I would like to tell you the entire story but I know he would not want me to share his personal information online & I will certainly respect that.  Therefore I will do the best I can to tell you the story but I will use the symptoms of another disease that is totally unrelated to what my husband has been dealing with.  The only thing that comes to my mind at this time is colon cancer.  Please be aware that my husband does not have colon cancer ... this is just the disease I am using in place of what is really going on with him.

The following is a true story.  Only the disease & symptoms have been changed to protect my husband's privacy.


My husband has not felt well for quite some time & has been experiencing problems with his bowels, weakness & fatigue.  Over the last 3 weeks I watched him get steadily worse with a new symptom appearing ... abdominal pain.  We recently learned that there is a strong history of colon cancer in his family (his mother & 2 brothers).  He had an appointment with his regular doctor on 9/22 & told her about this new symptom of his & about the family history.  She was not concerned.  She said she didn't think it had anything to do with colon cancer but to call her if there were any changes.

On 9/23 my husband began having rectal bleeding.  This continued on 9/24.  On the morning of 9/25 I heard a loud crash & found him on the floor of the bathroom.  He was unconscious & sweating profusely.  When I was able to wake him he was very confused.  He did finally agree to let me take him to the local emergency room.  His regular doctor is not connected with the local hospital but the hospital where she practices is 1-1/2 hours away & I felt it was important to get him seen as soon as possible.

The ER staff asked many questions & did a preliminary examination.  I made sure they knew his health problems, the course of his symptoms, & the family history.  They checked his blood & sent him for 2 standard tests, the results of which were normal, & then indicated he needed to be admitted to the hospital for further testing & observation.  Someone did tell me that his doctor would probably order a rectal exam for him.  

He was sent for 2 more tests on his first day of admission.  The hospital assigned a doctor on staff to take care of him.  This doctor was a specialist but not an oncologist (a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis & treatment of cancer), nor was she a proctologist (a doctor who specializes in diseases of the rectum & anus).  She was instead a gasterenterologist (a doctor who specializes in problems related to the gastrointestinal tract which includes the large & small intestine).

On the morning of Day 2, the gastroenterologist's assistant came to talk with John to tell him that the previous day's tests were also normal.  She told him that he had one more test procedure to undertake that afternoon & then the doctor would meet with him after she received those results.  This "one more test" was not a rectal exam.  I told the assistant that someone in the ER had mentioned to me that the doctor would probably order a rectal exam for him.  She said she knew nothing about that.  I then told her of my concerns ... how I've been seeing him get worse over the past 3-4 weeks, & about the strong history of colon cancer in his family.  She just said that the doctor would order any tests she felt were appropriate.

On the evening of Day 2 we received a visit from the gastroenterologist.  She told us that she would release him to go home ... all the testing results had been negative.  She then very flippantly said "He probably just has some hemorrhoids."  I was in such shock that for a moment that I couldn't speak!  When I could speak, I told her about how I have watched him get steadily worse over the past 3-4 weeks & about the family history.  She said she did not see anything to be concerned about & advised us to follow up with her in 3 weeks.

The nurse then came in to talk with us & said to make sure to call my husband's regular doctor the following day & schedule a followup with her within 1 week.  She also said to call the gastroenterologist's office to schedule a followup in 3 weeks.  We then went home.

The following morning my husband was not feeling well.  I called his regular doctor's office & spoke with the nurse.  I explained to her that he had been in the hospital & that he had been advised to follow up with his regular doctor within 1 week.  I told her what they did & didn't do for him at the hospital & my concerns because of the family history.  She said she would request that the local hospital fax his discharge summary & test results to the office right away & stated she would give them to the doctor to review & then call me back.

When she called back she informed me that the doctor found nothing stated in the discharge summary indicating that my husband should follow up with her.  She said all the tests they performed were normal, all the blood work was normal, & he should just follow up with the gastroenterologist in 3 weeks.  She said if there were any changes to his condition then I should take him back to the local ER.

I was dumbfounded!  Because I have personal experience with medical records sometimes containing errors or omissions, I decided to send a fax to this doctor explaining exactly what happened that led me to take him to the local ER & the care I witnessed being given to him there & while in the hospital.  I told her about the family history of colon cancer & that the symptoms John was having were the same as the symptoms his one brother had prior to being diagnosed with colon cancer.  I told her that no one bothered to do a rectal exam so how could they pass off his rectal bleeding as being "just hemorrhoids."  I told her I was with him at all times in the ER & in his hospital room & never once did anyone do a rectal exam.  I stated that of course I was not with him during his testing procedures or in the middle of the night but it was doubtful they did a rectal exam at those times.  I told her of my concerns, how I've watched his condition deteriorate recently, & asked her to please consider ordering a rectal exam for him.  I said this would at least ease our minds about the hemorrhoid diagnosis.

I sent that fax more than 36 hours ago.  I have not received a response.

I am beyond upset about this situation.  Neither my husband nor I appreciated this gastroenterologist's flippant attitude & my husband refuses to follow up with her.  I don't blame him.  And we are both discouraged over the lack of concern by his regular doctor.  Finding another doctor is not an option at this time for reasons I cannot go into.  It seems I have done all I can to inform his regular doctor of the situation & that there is nothing more to do now than trust God to handle things.  My husband felt better yesterday & today he seems to be feeling better yet.  The "rectal bleeding" has stopped, the "abdominal pain" is no longer happening, so maybe what happened to him the morning of 9/22 was just a one-time fluke.  I hope so.  

I want to thank all my followers who expressed their concern for my husband & me these past few days & for all the prayers that were said for us.  That means more to me than you will ever know.                     

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Husband Update

Thanks to all of you for all your prayers.  Please keep praying.  John was discharged from the hospital last night but things aren't right.  It's a long story but I'm not happy with the flippant attitude of the doctor they assigned to him while he was there.  They did not even do a test they should have done based on a strong family history for this one particular condition as well as his symptoms coinciding with that condition    : (   This morning he is having head pain & feeling nauseous.  I called his regular doctor's office & explained to the nurse what is going on.  She spoke with the doctor & they are obtaining his discharge summary & test results from the local hospital & will call me back with instructions within an hour or so.  She said to just keep an eye on John & if his current symptoms get any worse to take him to the ER.  I'll update again when I can. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Husband In Hospital

Please pray for my husband.  As some of you know, John has had a rough time of it lately & this morning I had to take him to the local ER & they have admitted him to the hospital for observation & testing.  I will post again when I can.  Please pray.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Giveaway at Granny Trace Scraps & Squares

My friend Trace at Granny Trace Scraps & Squares is having a Welcome Fall giveaway ... & it's a great one!  Have you ever seen so many wonderful fall goodies all at once???  I love-love-love 'em!

Trace is a fun person, a kind friend, & she works magic with wool.  Her blog is a true delight so do be sure to visit!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Comfy Morning & My Next Stitching Project

In truth it could be "comfier" but it's not bad!  Woke up to rain, lightning, & distant thunder.  I'm out of my usual morning tea, Hot Cinnamon Sunset, so choose Vanilla Hazelnut instead.  If it were just a bit cooler it would be a perfect morning   : )  

I have been attempting to do some math this morning.  Not a good thing for me to do at the best of times but I can't get a grip on it this morning at all!  My husband is a math whiz who marches to his own math drummer.  His explanation of how to handle your checkbook or do anything else math-related would make your head spin, but he understands it, it works for him, & I guess that's what matters   : )   Einstein-like as he is as far as math is concerned, he has always had a mental block when it comes to "word problems."  He would call this a "word problem."

I'm starting a new cross stitch project today.
The designer, for whatever reason, has not shared the finished size of the project.
I have checked the designer's website & blog.  There is no way to contact her.
What the designer has shared is the finished stitch count ... 49 x 49.
The instructions are to stitch this design over 2 threads on 30-count linen.
 How big will the finished project be?

Anyone???  Linen is quite pricey & I don't want to cut it too big & end up wasting some of it.  Then again, I don't want to cut it too small & be unable to have enough surrounding fabric to finish the project.  I've thought about just stitching it on a much bigger piece of linen & then cutting it out afterward but where do I start stitching???  I could still end up wasting fabric or not having enough for the finishing.  

When I get myself in gear & start working on my own designs, which will be after I finish my current stitching commitments, I will prominently indicate the size of the finished stitching area on my pattern charts.  I'm sure my horde or adoring customers will appreciate it   : )   

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Christmas Ornament Exchange Photo

I'm sorry it took me a while to take this photo to post here.  Too much other stuff happening.  Anyway, I recently hostessed a Christmas Ornament Exchange.  There were only 4 of us participating but we had a lot of fun   : )   Here is a photo of the ornaments we received ...

Going clockwise & starting with the gingerbread man, the crafters were as follows ...

Gingerbread Man - Me
Snowman Star & Snowman Mitten - Diane Lemieux (no blog)
Wooly Snowmen - Trace at Granny Trace Scraps & Squares
Center Tree & Pumpkin - Lynn (no blog) 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Few Things I've Learned In Just One Morning

1.  Use coffee when staining things, not tea.  Coffee does a better job.

2.  Wear waterproof gloves when you need to hold something in order to spray it with coffee.

3.  Washing your hands with Soft Scrub Gel with Bleach will remove coffee stains from your hands & fingernails.

4.  A liberal rubbing with scented hand cream will remove almost all the odor of Soft Scrub Gel with Bleach from your hands.

5.  Quit while you're ahead.  When you've resprayed something using coffee & it looks "okay," don't go crazy & think "I bet if I use a coffee/vanilla mixture & apply it with a foam brush instead of spraying it on, it will look even better!"

6.  Know the sound of your oven timer & don't have any noises being produced in your home that might drown it out.

7.  Sometimes things work out even when you don't know what you're doing.

A Stitching Tale of Woe

As I mentioned yesterday, my plan was to work on my cross stitch projects & finish them into their final forms.  I am still not brave enough to tackle the finishing work on my needleroll but I did finish the 5 other projects I've stitched within the past few weeks.

After sewing them into 4 pinkeeps & 1 cupboard tuck I faced my next fear ... staining them.  I've stained things before & have been only marginally happy with the results so that should've stopped me in my tracks right then & there, but my back wasn't hurting & I wasn't craving a nap so I laughed in the face of fear & proceeded with the staining.

My staining directions indicated I should spray them with either tea or coffee & then pop them into the oven for a while on low heat.  I decided to use tea since I was told that coffee could possibly result in a grayish shade I might not like.  I sprayed tea on the cupboard tuck first, placed it onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper, & then took the 4 pinkeeps & sprayed those.  I also took the damp teabag & rubbed it around the edges for a really prim look.  When I turned to place the pinkeeps on the baking sheet, this is what I found.

The color from the tail & head feathers of my peacock had ran onto the fabric!  I used a different brand of floss when stitching this cupboard tuck (Weeks Dye Works).  Who knew it wasn't colorfast?  There was no warning on the label that this could happen.  It also only happened with this one color.  The other 2 colors, as you can see, stayed put.  

I have tried every suggestion given to me to fix this but alas, none of them will work.  The cupboard tuck is a total loss.  All that time spent stitching & finishing was for naught   : (   I guess I can just look at this as a powerful lesson learned.  

And how did the pinkeeps turn out?  As I feared I'm afraid.  When I look at them, I don't see "primitive" ... I see "Oh look!  Shirlee sprayed tea on those!"  Sigh!  I'm hoping that they can be restained in some way so that they will look better.  Ruining a cupboard tuck is one thing.  Ruining a cupboard tuck & 4 pinkeeps is another.  I'll let you know if this tale results anywhere near a happy ending.  

Sunday Morning

"...In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart!  I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

We've heard it time & time again ... nothing is too difficult for God.  Of course we are also familiar with the trouble there is in the world.  We may not experience this trouble ourselves all the time, but we will have our share of it & we will certainly witness it in the lives of others.

Everyone has troubles of one sort or another.  I was recently rather shocked by an online friend I've known for a few years who I thought had an idyllic life.  I happened to share with her something relating to my own life & she saw a parallel between the two of us & told me a few things about her own life that I would've never thought could be possible.  I had always sort of envied her because she always seemed so happy, so content, so "together."  Now I envy her for the way she handles the cards she was dealt in life.

Let me say for a moment that I have always used the word "envy" without malice of any kind.  I read a book years ago where the author defined "envy" as seeing what someone else possesses & wishing that you had it instead of them.  I would never wish such a thing.  My use of the word "envy" is rather looking at what someone else possesses & wishing I had it as well.  In the case of this friend, I wish I could handle the cards I've been dealt in my life as well as she handles her cards.

Okay ... having cleared that up, let's move on.  The best way to handle your troubles is to give them to God.  God tells us plainly in the verse above that we will have trouble in this world.  However, He also tells us not to be dismayed because He is bigger than any trouble we could possibly have!  There are many, many verses in the Bible where He speaks encouragement to us ...

Isaiah 41:10 - " not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you & help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

John 14:27 - "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you....Do not let your hearts be troubled & do not be afraid."

Psalm 46:1-3 - "God is our refuge & strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way & the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar & foam & the  mountains quake with their surging...."

Psalm 55:22 - "Cast your cares on the Lord & He will sustain you...."

1 Peter 5:7 - "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

... just to name a few   : )

We often tend to think that "the grass is always greener on the other side."  It may appear to be, but it's really not.  Sometimes we think our troubles are beyond what anyone else could imagine but then we come in contact with someone whose troubles are much worse than our own & we wonder how in the world they even get out of bed in the mornings!  The answer is this ... they don't dwell on their problems, they give them to God.  It's the smartest thing any of us can do.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Awake! Ambulatory!

Good morning friends!  I have been MIA from commenting on blogs & posting on my own for a couple days.  I caused an injury to my back in my younger years & every once in a while it flares up on me.  It hasn't been really, really bad since 2004 but every once in a while I have twinges that warn me to take it easy or I will be in excruciating pain & unable to even walk to the bathroom without help.  Thankfully that didn't happen this time around.  I took it easy & called my doctor who prescribed some muscle relaxers which helped immensely.  No pain this morning & I can move about!  Woo-hoo!!!   : )

Yesterday I was sitting in my recliner doing a bit of reading.  I got up to make myself a cup of tea & was shocked to see it was past 1:30 & I wasn't feeling even a little bit tired!  After seeing my doctor this past Tuesday & telling her yet again that I'm tired of being so tired all the time, she decided to give me a little temporary fix.  One of my hormone problems is that I have almost no cortisol.  The way I'm understanding this, cortisol is the most important hormone in your body because it feeds all the other hormones.  It is also the only hormone that if you don't have it, you will die.  My cortisol level is extremely low.  She prescribed a very low dose of hydrocortisone for me to take short-term.  She said this should increase my cortisol & the result of that will be I won't be needing a nap or two each day.  She said it should take effect rather quickly.  I am happy to report that she wasn't kidding!  I took the lowest dose for just 2 days & stayed awake all day yesterday!  Unfortunately I got to bed late & my husband's snoring woke me up at 5 a.m. so I don't know how awake I'll be today but we shall see   : )

My plan for the day is to do some finishing work on my counted cross stitch projects.  I have shown you some of the things I've started stitching but you haven't been able to see the final products because I haven't done the finishing work on them yet which involves making them into pinkeeps or small pillows.  I am currently working on this Pineapple Sampler cupboard tuck designed by Mary at Gettysburg Homestead ...

Isn't it wonderful?  Mary has several great cross stitch designs & a nice blog to read as well.  You should pay her a visit   : )

We've had some wonderfully cool days lately.  I talked with my friend in North Dakota on Thursday & she told me that the temp the night before was 29 degrees!  I immediately thought "We need to move back there!"  I do believe that when I was living in Bismarck it was the happiest time of my life in many ways.  Might need to look into that   : )   Anyway, yesterday I actually wore this old long-sleeved top made from terrycloth.  It's a cheap thing I bought at Target back in the early to mid 90s.  They had several colors of them but I only bought one.  It's in one of my favorite colors to wear ... hunter green.  As you can imagine, it's seen better days but there are no holes & it's deliciously comfortable!  I wish I had bought a dozen of them!  Even John, Mr. Heat Radiator himself, put on a sweatshirt yesterday!  Oh happy day   : )

Thanks for visiting with me!  Hopefully I'll soon have some photos of finished counted cross stitch items to share with you at our next visit.  I also need to share photos of the ornaments received in the Christmas Ornament Exchange I hostessed recently.  I will try to do that today as well    : )  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Are Any Of My Followers Vegetarians?

I have a lot of knowledge about what's good for a person & what's bad for a person diet wise.  I'm not talking "diet" related to weight loss although I have that knowledge as well ... I'm talking "diet" related to what is & is not healthy to eat.  When I'm being "good" ... which at the end of my current journey of weight loss dieting will be forever & for all time ... I don't eat things that are "fake" &/or loaded with chemicals.  I can ramble on about all the things I've learned about sugar substitutes & fake butter & fake eggs & a multitude of other things that are, well, fake, but that would be boring unless like me you are "into" learning about that stuff.  For now, just believe me ... I have a lot of knowledge about these things.  This does not mean I have always practiced what I know but I've known what I know   : )

I've noticed that for the last couple months I seem to have developed an aversion to meat.  I've always bought organic or free-range meats because I didn't want to eat meat that had been saturated with growth hormones & other additives.  I had read more than enough accounts on how these things pass through the animal's meat & into humans & how a lot of our health problems today (including early puberty) can be linked to them.  That, however, is another story & comes under the ramble/boring reference I made in the paragraph above.

I never seriously considered becoming a vegetarian except perhaps for a brief time when I discovered that Paul & Linda McCartney were vegetarians.  It had always seemed to me that eating a vegetarian diet was associated with good health.  Then Linda McCartney developed cancer & that sort of trashed my thinking that vegetarian = healthy.

Back to my aversion.  I'm not sick to my stomach exactly but recently I've noticed that I have kind of a sick feeling when handling raw meat ... chicken breasts or steaks for instance.  Chicken breasts in particular remind me of a piece of flesh that could have easily been sliced from my way-too-ample thighs.  I don't see a chicken breast, I see flesh ... & seeing flesh rather than something good to eat just isn't palatable.

I've never studied vegetarianism but I ordered a book from Amazon to begin my research.  It is neither a "pro" nor a "con" book on a vegetarian diet.  The author has studied both sides of the issue & has interviewed various people on both sides including farmers & meat processors.  He thus far has accomplished something very few people can accomplish ... discussing both sides of an issue & allowing the reader to make his or her own decision.  Some of the things related to the meat industry I've already known.  Others are new to me.

I have lots of questions & I'm pretty sure this will be the first of many books that I will be reading.  I will also discuss this subject with my doctor.  In the meantime, I thought I would ask if any of my followers are vegetarians & if you are, please email me at lv2stitch (at) yahoo (dot) com.  (You know how that should look for emailing purposes.)  I'd be interested in hearing your story.      

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Morning

"The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness,
but who can bear a broken spirit?"
Proverbs 18:14

The Bible translations I have researched do not contain the word "depression."  I have searched online regarding this as well & it appears no one else has been able to find this exact word used either.  Words like downcast, forlorn, sad, discouraged, disheartened, mourning, troubled, miserable, despairing, & brokenhearted are used instead, but they all mean the same thing, don't they?  Roget's Thesaurus indicates they do.  

In our lifetimes we all struggle with depression now & then.  Sometimes we will hear someone say "I am so depressed today" but really they are just indicating they are a bit sad about something.  The actual definition of depression, per Merriam-Webster, is "A state of feeling sad.  Dejection.  A psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking & concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite & time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection & hopelessness, & sometimes suicidal tendencies."

A lot of people don't understand what real depression is.  If you dare to tell them you are depressed & perhaps share with them some of the things you are struggling with, they will tell you to "snap out if it" ... or they may suggest that you "get your mind off it" by busying yourself with some sort of activity.  

Sometimes there is a concrete reason for your depression that you can put your finger on.  A close friend or family member has died, you've lost your job, or your house has burned down.  This is what's known as "situational depression."  This is the type of depression we all struggle with now & then.  This is also the type of depression that can be overcome rather easily.  You can, as an old song suggests, pick yourself up, dust yourself off,  & start all over again.  You can choose not to be depressed by these things.  You can choose not to let them ruin your life.     

Clinical depression is something else altogether.  You know you're depressed but you cannot choose to be otherwise.  Sure, there are some bad things that you have to deal with in your life but you are keenly aware of the many blessings you  have.  You can recognize the fact that you are actually a very lucky individual compared to many others but you are still depressed.  Sadly, this type of depression will not just "go away" by you busying yourself with reading or crafting or taking walks or any number of other things, & this type of depression is not something you can just "snap out of."  You have no control over how you feel.  One moment you are shopping or crafting & feeling okay, & then suddenly a heavy curtain of gloom descends upon you & there's nothing you can do but wait for that curtain to lift again.  It might lift within an hour.  It might take a few hours, or days, or weeks, or months.

Clinical depression can oftentimes be relieved with medication.  Unfortunately there are people who have bad reactions to various medications & must do without it.  Counseling, more often than not, is a waste of time.  You may be able to force yourself to pray.  Even "God, help me!" is a prayer.  God understands what you are going through.  He can heal you.  However, He may not choose to do so for whatever reason.  Remember that Paul lived with some kind of "thorn in the flesh" ... some kind of physical ailment ... & he asked God three times to heal him.  God did not.  Why didn't He heal Paul?  There's a lot of speculation about this.  One account I've read indicates that God does not always heal a person because there is a purpose that person is fulfilling.  Their illness is strengthening them or it's strengthening others.  Of course there are those who believe that God heals no matter what & if a person isn't healed then they or the people praying for them are lacking faith.  All I can say about this is who had more faith than Paul?  Who did more good works for God than Paul did?  If anyone should've been healed, it should've been Paul!

I understand the logic of this pertaining to conditions like paraplegia or cancer or crippling arthritis, but the connection to clinical depression is rather cloudy to me because once again the person suffering from clinical depression cannot just choose to be better.

If someone tells you they are depressed, don't just tell them to "do something" or "snap out of it."  Don't, as I've personally been witness to in the past, tell the depressed person "I don't want to hear it!" & then change the subject.  Take some time to listen to the person.  Just offer them a little time & a kind word or two.  You may not be able to help them overcome their depression but if nothing else you can let them know you care.  Most importantly, pray for them.  They desperately need prayer.      

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Frankenstein's Monster

For the past 2 days I have been posting about my hot water issues.  Chad the plumber ended up plumbing us for $935 in addition to our needing to buy a new water heater & an expansion tank.  He finished his work at 7:30 last night & told us that we could take hot showers this morning.

As I previously indicated, our water tank sits in our laundry room.  It will forever baffle me why it wasn't installed in a corner of the garage but this is central Kentucky for you.  The furnace, which as you know needs to have the filter changed every 2 months or so, is installed underneath the house in the crawlspace.  We have to crawl on our hands & knees on top of gravel & past some pretty questionable arachnids, praying all the while that they don't attack us, to the center of the crawlspace whenever we need to change the filter.  I once had to have a heating & cooling guy come here to fix a problem with the furnace.  When I asked him what in the world they were thinking when they put the furnace underneath the house like that, he said "That's the way we do it here!"

Okay ... back to Frankenstein's monster.  My laundry room is never going to be included in a photo spread about laundry rooms in any prim decorating magazine.  I've always thought it has possibilities but of course we don't intend on staying here so decorating is the last thing on my mind.  The photos below were taken last March.  You can see a bit of the old hot water tank tucked into a corner just past the door in the last photo.  

Next is a full photo of the old hot water tank which again was tucked into a corner just past the door.  It's definitely not pleasing to the eye but it didn't accost you when you walked into the room & cause you anxiety or disgust of any kind.  

Following is the new hot water heater.  Because of the expansion tank requirement, Chad had to move the tank out of the corner & away from the wall toward the center of the room well over a foot.  This also brought the drip pan (or whatever it's called) farther away from the wall toward the center of the room.  Chad also had to solder on additional copper pipe in order to connect the tank to the wall pipes.  Here's what we've got now.  

You might be thinking "Oh, that's not too bad!"  Trust me, it's bad.  Pictures don't show the true horror of it.  It's the first thing you see when you walk in the room because you almost bump into it.  You can even see it when you pass by the laundry room door.  I told John that when we go to sell the house next March, people will be walking through here saying "Oh, what a nice home this is!"  Then they'll get to the laundry room & beat a hasty retreat out of here never to be heard from again   : (

Oh a happier note, we did indeed have hot water this morning & it was coming out of the shower head with such gusto that I swear there must be little bruises all over my body!  I just wish a monster wasn't providing it to us.      

Friday, September 9, 2011

Plumbing Update

Chad has been here for 3-1/2 hours.  The first 2 hours were spent doing the minor fixes I mentioned yesterday & seeing if the issue with the hot water trickling out of the faucets relates to the pipes.  It doesn't.  John & I had to go to Lowes to buy a new water heater.  We chose a 50-gallon tank since 65-gallon tanks were not offered.  We also had to buy an "expansion tank."  Beats me.  It's something the county now requires when you install a new hot water tank.

Chad has been trying to drain the old water heater to make it easier to get it out of the house.  Yes, our water heater is inside the house.  I have no idea why it's not out in the garage.  It's not like central Kentucky ever suffers from sub-zero temperatures.  Chad hooked up a hose to the bottom of the water heater, took the hose outside & then came back to open the valve.  Nothing.  He said apparently there is a lot of buildup inside the tank.  The water heater filled with water would weigh around 800 pounds.  He finally was able to get water coming out of the hose by using the old "sucking gas out of the gas tank" procedure with the hopes of decreasing the weight.  Siphoning!  That's what that's called   : )   Anyway, the water is now coming out of the hose at a better trickle than it had been coming out of our faucets.  It is a slow process though.

I've been busying myself with my DMC floss.  I finally got it put together into the filing system I used in the past ... baggies & plastic shoe boxes.  Each baggie is identified with a label upon which is typed 6 different DMC color numbers.  The 6 different skeins pertaining to those numbers are then sealed in the bags with the bags folded in half & filed in ascending order.  It's easy to find the number you need with this system & you don't have to bother with winding your floss around bobbins or other holders.

Sorry for the blurry photos.  It was fun playing with all the floss & seeing all the colors.  However, I'd now like to play with some dinner!  Unfortunately I don't feel comfortable making or eating food with Chad here so I haven't had anything since my bowl of cereal around 10 a.m.  I've asked him a few times if he'd like a sandwich or something to drink but the answer is always "no thank you."  Once he gets the new water heater installed (I wonder how much longer that will be???) I will head for the kitchen quicker than the Warner Brothers cartoon roadrunner   : )

Okay ... as I finished writing that last paragraph Chad decided he had no more patience to wait for the water heater to empty.  It was beyond difficult but with sliding it along on a throw rug he was able to get it out into the garage & then flip it into the driveway where he opened it up & looked inside.  There was about a 15-inch buildup of pieces of limestone & other tiny particles of rock.  He brought in a bit of it to show me ...

His exact words were "this is why I don't drink city water."  I haven't dared to drink water from a faucet for years.  I know bottled water can be "iffy" but you're not going to end up drinking this!  

Chad is now installing the new water heater which should be done relatively quickly compared to how long he's already been here.  I can just imagine what his bill is going to be.  Sigh!  Think of all the floss I could've bought!    

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It looks like it's going to be REALLY prim here at the farmhouse this weekend!

You may be asking  yourself "why is it going to be so prim at Shirlee's house this weekend?"  Well, I'll tell you.  We won't have any hot water!

Our hot water pressure dropped dramatically a couple weeks ago.  We've just put up with it hoping it would go away but it's instead gotten worse & worse.  The hot water last night & this morning was coming out of the faucets in a little trickle.  We had a couple other minor plumbing problems to take care of so I called a plumber (Chad) who came over this afternoon to take a look at things.  The minor problems are indeed that ... minor.  Quick fixes.  However, the hot water issue is totally the opposite.

Chad, a 3rd generation plumber, says there are two possibilities for the drop in our hot water pressure ... (A) there is something caught or some sort of buildup either in the pipe coming in to the water heater or the pipe going out of it, or (B) the water heater insides are shot & we need a new one.  We have a 65-gallon water heater.  I don't know why the original owners selected such a huge water heater but I've been thankful to have it.  We've never ran out of hot water.  I guess they are difficult to find in that size now-a-days so we will most likely be ending up with a smaller size if that's the route we need to take.  Chad is coming back tomorrow to check out the pipe issue.  He said something about 2 to 2-1/2 hours.  I'm not sure if that applies to the time he will spend playing with the pipes tomorrow or the time he will spend if the water heater needs to be replaced.  Either way, I now see a dramatic drop in our bank balance.

Chad thought it best to turn off the water heater so we are definitely without hot water from now till he returns in the morning.  He is 90% certain that the water heater needs replaced & if that's the case, we will be without hot water all weekend.  Life will go on albeit a bit less comfortably.  Things could be worse.

Thursday Morning Ramblings & Booty from JoAnn's

It's been a rainy week thus far for which I am extremely thankful.  This was the second summer we've had here that has been so terribly dry.  The ground needed a really good soaking & hopefully most of the plants & bushes & trees will be able to get a second wind.  Once it dries up I will need to mow the lawn (I'd like to think it will be for the last time this year but I know that's just a dream) & also get outside to pull weeds & trim things.

Last week I went to JoAnn's in Lexington where I discovered that the DMC I thought was on sale wasn't really on sale until the weekend.  I found this out after spending the good part of an hour going over my list of colors I didn't have & choosing them from the display.  Decided to buy them anyway (138 skeins) since I had spent all that time searching for them & wouldn't be back to JoAnn's for a while.  The sale wasn't all that good anyway so I only ended up spending a couple dollars more than I expected to.

No matter what's been happening around here I've been devoting some time to stitching each evening.  I've finished stitching 4 pinkeeps & I'm almost finished with the needleroll I mentioned a while back (need to make the space to thread the ribbon & then sew it all together which terrifies me a bit).  Tonight I get to start a new stitching project.  I'm not sure yet what that will be.  

Just saw the country singer's tour bus head down the road.  It always puzzles me why he lives here & not in Tennessee.  I've never met him although I believe his child plays with the child who lives next door (the neighbor who lets his dogs wreak havoc in our yard).  

Not much planned for today.  A little bit of cleaning, a little bit of crafting ... why does that sound familiar?  Oh ... the Bible!  "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest..."  (Proverbs 24:33).  I once read that this verse is often quoted during a funeral service but it actually pertains to someone being lazy.  The entire verse is "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest - & poverty will come on you like a thief & scarcity like an armed man."  

I'd better go be un-lazy   : )  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why Don't People Respond?

I'm just wondering about this.  I realize that we all receive emails &/or personal messages &/or comments (or parts thereof) that really don't necessitate any particular response ... but then there are the questions someone asks or the incidents they relate to you that, well, they deserve to be acknowledged!

More than once two particular internet friends of mine have written to me & asked what I've been up to lately.  I have responded promptly, filling them in on what's been happening in my life & ending with "& what have you been up to?"  I then never hear from them again until a few weeks or even months later when they write & ask "What have you been up to lately?"  Puzzling, is it not?

Then there are people who are more along the lines of acquaintances.  People you "know" by reading their postings on forums or blogs but you don't really know them.  A while back someone posted on a forum asking for information about a software program for designing craft patterns.  "Tori" responded on the forum saying that she loved the program she used, gave the name of it, & invited people to drop her a line if they'd like more information about it.  It sounded interesting to me so I clicked on the link to send her a personal message & asked for further information.  Nothing.  I realize not everyone knows to check forum messages (although this person certainly should've known since she was the forum administrator) so I then sent her an email asking for information.  No response.  I've been emailing for many years & do know that every once in a while an email "goes missing" so I sent another one.  No response.  Finally ... out of desperation because I really, really wanted more information about this software program from someone who used it ... I posted a comment on her blog & asked her about it.  Again no response.  What's up with that?  I know what you're thinking ... perhaps some life crisis happened to keep her from responding.  Nope.  She continued to post on her blog, continued to post on the forum, etc.  Needless to say, I gave up.

I suppose there's another situation to include here where someone receives an email from you & then responds immediately saying "I really can't answer your email right now but I will do so soon."  They don't.  Again you know there's nothing wrong because they still post on their blogs, they still post on forums, etc.

These types of things really used to aggravate me.  I considered them rude & thoughtless & I still do ... but I don't let them aggravate me anymore.  After a while I just write the person off.  After all, there are more important things to get aggravated about   : )      

Monday, September 5, 2011

Giveaway at Cranberry Samplings

Those of you who enjoy counted cross stitch will want to head over to Cranberry Samplings where Deborah is offering a very generous giveaway!  Two books (A Schoolgirl's Work & With Needle & Thread) plus fabric & floss for 2 of the projects inside!

You must be a follower of her blog.  The winner of this marvelous giveaway will be drawn September 12th   : )

What A Beautiful, Beautiful Day!!!

It has rained all night & it is supposed to rain all day as well.  Thank you Jesus!  We need the rain so badly.  It seems there has been plenty of rain all around us this summer ... just like last summer ... but it skips over our town like a stone skipping over the water.  And our temps!  Our beautiful, fall-like temps!  The prediction for today is 67 degrees!  One of the first things I did this morning was pop a blueberry muffin tart into the tart burner.  The gentle light of the tart burner is illuminating the area surrounding it, the scent of blueberry muffins is circulating throughout the house (these are great tarts), & I sit here just oh-so-thankful for this beautiful day!

I am happy to report that after much searching & begging on various internet sites I have finally found a long-arm machine quilter who will work on baby Lana's quilt & get it back to me quick enough for me to finish it & give it to Lana when I see her!  I've already cut out the blocks, arranged them, & stitched them together.  I've chosen the border fabric & the backing fabric.  I will work on cutting & stitching those fabrics today & hopefully I have some batting stashed away somewhere to send along with the quilt.  If not, I will need to order some & have it sent directly to the quilter.  If all goes well ... & it should ... I will be able to mail the package tomorrow   : )

I'm finished with the Christmas Cabin pinkeep I was working on & of course have started another one.  As you know, I like to make those things in twos ... one to keep & one to give away   : )   I have joined a couple stitching exchanges so I will need to work on those next.

I hope you are all feeling as comfy & cozy & blessed as I feel today   : )

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday Morning

"Come to Me, all you who labor & are heavy-laden & overburdened,
& I will cause you to rest.
[I will ease & relieve & refresh your souls.]"
Matthew 11:28

I've been thinking about this scripture a lot this week.  Isn't it a wonderful one?  God is literally telling us that no matter what we are going through, He is there to comfort us!  Are things not going well at work?  Are you experiencing some sort of health problem?  Is a friend or family member causing you stress in some way?  Does it seem like you have way more to do than is humanly possible?  Does it seem like whatever you attempt to do ends up being a big mess?  God is just waiting for you to talk with Him about it & He is always available!  That really means a lot to me.

The above quote is from the Amplified Bible.  I rarely refer to the Amplified Bible because I find it to be a very tedious read most of the time, but every once in a while it expands & defines a scripture in such a beautiful, clear-cut way that it really touches your soul.  I love how the writers have expanded this scripture to read "I will ease & relieve & refresh your souls."  Our souls all need to be eased & relieved & refreshed from time to time.  It is at these times that we need to remember that we can sit with God & tell Him exactly how we are feeling & He will ... in sometimes the most unexpected way ... ease & relieve & refresh our souls.  Hallelujah!  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Desperately Seeking Long Arm Machine Quilter!!!

As some of you know, my husband & I have been searching for many, many years for some long lost family members & we finally found them about 3 weeks ago!  We found out that they had been searching for us as well!  We are all very happy to have found each other   : )

We were told that our nephew Bryan, who was 5 or 6 years old the last time we saw him, & his wife Kristy were expecting their first child soon.  As you can see by yesterday's post, that child arrived on Wednesday morning & John & I are now a great-uncle & great-aunt   : )

I just have to make this little cutie a baby quilt & I need to finish it quick!  I can whip the top together this weekend but I don't have a long arm machine, nor do I any longer know someone who has one.  We have no quilt shops nearby.  Is there anyone reading this who does long arm quilting or knows someone who does who can do a good job of quilting a baby quilt (probably between baby & crib size) & get it back to me in a week or so after receiving it?  I don't want anything fancy ... just a large meander pattern.

Keeping my fingers crossed!  I would like to be able to give the quilt to little Lana when we see her at the beginning of October   : )

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm A Great-Aunt!

Yesterday at 5:45 a.m. I became a great-aunt & John became a great-uncle!  Our long lost nephew Bryan & his wife Kristy gave birth to their first child, a lovely little girl named Lana Josephine!