Monday, July 27, 2020

What's on my Camera?

Hmm. Let's see if I have anything to share with my dear blogging friends ....
I visited the thrift store and spent some leisure time in the bookstacks. Books were half-price, so I indulged in some that I normally wouldn't. I'm calling these "because the library is closed indefinitely" books. Also, "books I don't mind donating back" books.  That was a freeing feeling!
I have a little familiarity with all those titles except the Snow Flower novel by Lisa See. I've never read a Rosamund Pilcher book before, but I have an inordinate love of The Shell Seekers movie with Angela Landsbury.
Adam made "BLAT"s for lunch --  Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado Dip, Tomato Sandwiches. And yes, it IS that much better than a BLT. You're welcome!
My creative juices have been squeezed out of my brain lately, thanks to unrelenting worry. But here's one.
I sewed another stack of masks for the Masketeers group.
I found sewing easier on the mind than painting, so I turned  my attention to my cranky old sewing  machine. I cleaned the lint from the bobbin area.
I decided to clean it a bit more, needed instructions to do so, and discovered my grandmother's scribbles in the manual.
I'd love to ask her what "slow hand" means.
I began to disassemble some parts and give squirts of oil.
This is a hefty, sturdy machine with metal parts.

Our anniversary is coming up, and I want to make a second vest for Adam from the pattern I bought online. Below are the pattern pieces and fabric, all cut out. The brown fabric is the vest front; the lavender linen is the back and the inside lining.
Today I actually finished the sewing of the vest and tried it on him. It's a lovely fit, and I fixed the problems with the first vest. I have no photos yet; I'll show you it next time. It needs top-stitching, buttons/holes, and the strap along the back.
Adam is feeling a  bit better and is able to eat and (more importantly), cook! Here are a  few things he made in recent days:
Eggs Benedict for breakfast
Squash breaded (in corn starch) and fried in peanut oil. Guacamole dip in the back.
Homemade gnocchi with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese
Maybe that'll get you hungry for dinner! 
Today is a day for waiting. We're waiting for biopsy results from the dermatologist about Adam's illness. At this point they think it is probably Pemphigus Vulgaris, a very rare autoimmune illness, a skin-blistering disease. Not a very good disease to have, although it is treatable, and most sufferers live normal lives once the illness is gotten into remission. Usually that requires heavy rounds of steroids for a while, followed by other medications that keep it in check. So today, we are nervous, waiting for the call this week. It is the kind of diagnosis that can be a little life-altering. But I hope it will be better than the insane stress of the past 4-5 months of alarmingly increasing illness with no idea what's causing it, and nobody to help us. That's the worst. Many of you have been through these very rough patches in life, and come out the other side. We will this time too. Many thanks for your prayers.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Bloggers' Art Gallery

We're sharing our art! Kezzie (dear blogging friend) is having an Art-Sharing Party today. Click over and see all the bloggers who are sharing the art that they have in their homes.

I share a lot of my watercolors here, but today I want to share someone else's art. My daughter is an amazing artist, a true artist. She has sketched since she was a toddler. I'll share a few of her little pieces I still have stuck around the house from before she was old enough to insist on her own style. She's nearly finished college and does complicated art now, but these old pieces are still some of my favorites.

This first little one was painted when she was small, maybe 1st or 2nd grade. And yes -- she almost always paints out of her head. At this age, I knew she had a gift.
Most of the rest of these were done when she was in 8th grade, I think. Sketching is her first artistic love.
I've always loved this sketch of the lady in the long dress.

Acrylic on canvas. Again, out of her head -- the colors, and textures.
She captured the glass so perfectly here. That's hard to do. This was painted from a resource object.
As was this -

She quickly acquired a gift for lines, perspective, geometrical shapes.
Another watercolor using a cruet of mine as a resource.

She painted this English robin as the logo for my soap business.
This last one she painted for me before she went off to college.
My oldest brother Max is also an artist, and sketching was also his constant medium. I have a few of his pieces in the house that he did years ago.

I'm sorry those images are not clear. They are behind glass and are large and on the wall. The pair of draft horses is quite large and heavy. He enjoys sketching horses.
This last piece is a painting (I think an oil) of my mother when she was in her late teens. I don't know who the artist is.
That's my little dab of art sharing. I hope you enjoyed it. My walls are covered with art from various friends, usually friends of my mother, who attracted artistic friends like a magnet. Their beautiful artwork, gifted to her, is dribbling its way into the homes of her children and grandchildren as the years pass. We are thankful! But more than anyone else's art, I love the art of my daughter and my brother.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Breathing Again

It's Saturday now. On Wednesday I took Adam to the E.R. in Greenville, on the rheumatologist's strong advice. He'd found nothing in his testing to indicate he could help Adam. "Take him to the E.R.," he said. We hoped to find more help at a large teaching hospital. And although it was hectic there and even scary from the influx of Covid patients, we were not disappointed. Adam was in bad shape (his tongue was so swollen it filled his mouth), but the worst part was the hopelessness of thinking we might not find help, that we would be sent home with him just the same. I cannot express the despair and fear of that.

But an internal medicine doctor who studied Adam's mouth sores decided to keep him overnight to do a culture on them. He is pretty certain the sores are viral infection. He also prescribed a steroid dental paste -- a steroid paste that you apply to your teeth so that it will transfer to your tongue and cheeks. This is a paste we already had at home, that had been prescribed by an ENT two months ago! But he gave Adam the wrong instructions for applying it (rubbing it into the open sores was not the correct way -- excruciating!), so it sat, unused. And Adam suffered for two months unnecessarily.

At the hospital he was also prescribed an anti-viral and a steroid mouthwash. He feels so much better -- his symptoms are under better control than when he was on steroid shots or pills. Will it last? We don't know. Is this caused by a virus? We don't know. Will it go away on its own? We don't know. We hope so. If this is also a virus, that means Adam contracted THREE viruses this spring. Somehow that seems bizarre and unlikely.

I have my own troubles: anxiety. I've struggled with anxiety for years, but these latest difficulties have made it a bit more debilitating. The trouble with anxiety is that it grows. The more distress you experience, the more anxiety you have, and each new event gives you a bit more. This is my own health issue to cope with, and I'll be addressing that, hopefully in more productive ways than I have in the past, on my own.

Since Adam feels better, he is cooking again! He didn't cook for about two months.
He made Chinese stir fry.
My tummy was so happy to meet Adam's cooking again!

I'm sewing masks again.
I've found a group of ladies in our county who make masks for charitable organizations to give out to their people who need them.
Hope Clinic is one, a free medical clinic in the county.
They provide the fabric and elastic. I'd stopped making masks because I had no more elastic.
I made 8 masks today: 3 large, 3 medium, and 3 child size.
I've done a little painting. I like these faded flowers.
This is a larger piece, not a card.
And some speckled eggs for fall:
A Facebook watercolor group sets a challenge each week. This week it's butterflies:
See the same fading technique here as with the flowers?

To be honest, I'm mostly resting at home, trying to convince my suspicious brain that things might be getting back to normal, that I'm not losing my husband, that there is hope for his future again. We really were losing that hope, watching it slip away day after day. There's no guarantee that this improvement will last ... but there's hope. We thank God for listening to the many prayers thrown up to heaven, and for answering. We hope in Him.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Living on Nerves

Is it awful to say that nearly everything else in life has taken a backseat to our stress over Adam's illness? Many of you know, how very hard it is to live day after day with a very ill spouse whose condition deteriorates, and not being able to find a healthcare person who can help. I hardly sleep one night, sleep badly the next, and the third night I sleep too hard, catching up for the other two. My stomach is in knots. 
We did have a good virtual appointment with a rheumatologist today who I think will help, ordering lots of blood work and giving steroids in the meantime. We're tired of steroid, but so thankful for them. Adam can barely swallow now.

On to other things!
That's a card I painted from a photo on FB. 
A friend bought it right away.
Those are elderberries.
I neglected to visit the veg. garden for weeks, 
so this is what was left. 
Maybe next year I'll be more careful to harvest them.
I was shocked to discover my lone lavender bush alive.
And flowering! So I snipped a few off.
I painted a little bird and some zinnias
from a friend's photo.
I bought some center-cut bacon, which we usually avoid 
because of the cost. But it makes a yummy egg sandwich.
I always have a prayer shawl in the works, 
even if it takes me months to finish.
The pattern is simple: Knit one row. On the next row, leave 5 knits on each end. In between, do this: YO, K2Tog, 2K. Alternate these two rows. No purling!!
This is Simply Soft, which is light with a nice sheen. The color is Light Country Peach.
I think that's it for today!
Everyone, thank you for visiting this little spot online.
Stay well, stay happy, stay thankful.