Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fri May 30: Finished FMQing

Finally!  I finished free motion quilting the baseball charity quilt.

I have trimmed the batting and the backing to one inch all around.

Tomorrow I plan to at least start the binding.

I'm going to follow the directions in this post:
It describes how to bring the fabric from the back forward so it becomes the binding.  I like the way she includes photos of the corners.

Unfortunately the edges of the project were not really straight - I lined up the side with the ruler though and cut one inch away.  We'll how it finishes up as I do the binding work...

My DH is quietly excited to see the progress - I think at first he thought I was actually done and could start again on his quilt....  : (

Oh well.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wed May 29: Out and About (Just A Little)

I haven't been feeling well - a sore throat that turned into a cold knocked me out for several days. Started the day we had a car rented for three days. What a waste for traveling.

Last Wednesday, I went to Boston to help with "Mending Boston". It was an interesting experience - we worked right near the finish line of the marathon to stitch down a work by Clara Wainwright.  I had read the article in the Boston Globe and was able to go to the Old South Church on Boylston Street.

After stitching was shut down I went inside the church for the first 30 minutes of a concert arranged to celebrate the 300th birthday of Wagner.  It was attended by lots of different people, some were dressed up.  I had my black jacket on so I blended in.  Once the tenor finished I slipped out to take the T back to meet DH.  We timed it so he picked up the car and we met at a side street off Central Square.  He got the car to pick up an office chair he had found on Craig's List - we drove thru Watertown and saw buildings we had seen on the news when they were looking for the bombers.

Then after a resting day DH did another pick up from Craig's List, snagging a nice table to fit in the mud room area of the apartment. It's not the nicest area - but it does give him a private space away from the rest of the living area and he can even close the door if he wants to. We had lunch in Natick at Casey's - what a treasure!  (From Yelp Review: Casey's diner is a real old fashioned dining car with no tables, and only about 15 or so counter stools.  The menu is limited to hot dogs, burgers, and a select number of sandwiches - but this is a gem of a place.  The friendly servers are always chatting with the diners, and you get to watch the short order cooks right in front of you.  So you kind of get a meal and a "show" for one low price.  This place IS NOT fancy in any way.  But the people are friendly, the prices are very reasonable, and the food is excellent.) We walked around the town a bit then it was on to Lexington.  We arrived after the historical places were closed - but we walked around after parking the car in the public parking lot and got a good overview of things. The sore throat was bad enough then that we went to CVS to get some meds, then went back to the car and I fell asleep for a few hours.  When I woke the throat seemed better - it was time to met friends for dinner. A terrific place in Lexington - Mario's - had a really good slice of lasagna (and a few bite of chicken parmigiana) and afterwards we had ice cream at a place across the street.  It was really nice to spend the evening with Jo and Ba.

The next morning it had turned into a cold - I spent Sat Sun Mon Tues taking pills and drinking lemonade.  I would try to walk and would get so tired that it was back to the couch for me!  Tuesday I thought to ask DH to get some Mucinex and that seemed to do the trick.  We walked to a little place we hadn't eaten at before for dinner City Girl Diner.  We had a good cup of white bean and kale soup before splitting a slice of lasagna.  I prefer the piece from Mario's though.  Then we walked to Christina's for ice cream.  It was too much to do really.  I took more pills then went to sleep in the bed though so was feeling better!
I haven't been walking much
this past week, but reached
this fitbit milestone today!

Today I finally was able to concentrate on emails - ate well - walked to return my library books then on to Central Square for a hair cut.  Called to get in touch with family and friends.  I'm about 90% - it feels very good.

All this caregiving has worn DH out though and he is very tired today and already asleep as I type.  The other holes in this blog are from days when I am doing a lot of things and just didn't type in the blog.  I'm coding these past few days as being ill though - feels good to be out and about even if it was just for a little today.

I'm listening to thunder and seeing some lightening now - so I will unplug everything and go to bed myself now!

Boston Harbor Hotel Tea for Two on the Hub's Historic Harbor

Just bought a living social deal - if three others purchase with this link then I get for free:

Boston Harbor Hotel

Tea for Two on the Hub's Historic Harbor


Warm scones, Devonshire cream, fresh berries, delicately prepared finger sandwiches -- the perfect accompaniments to the time-honored tradition of afternoon tea drinking:
• $49 ($78 value) for afternoon tea for two at Rowes Wharf Sea Grille
• Finger sandwiches: salmon, Maine lobster salad, Vermont cheddar, and more
• Five-star hotel lauded by Forbes for its one-of-a-kind experiences, like tea time
"The hotel's all-day restaurant makes for a more casual setting than some other teas, but it does have great views of the harbor and rose petals scattered on the tables set for tea lend a slightly decadent touch." -The Boston Globe
A Boston Tea Party
From classic Earl Grey to Lung Ching -- one of China's most famous teas -- you'll be privy to all of the awakening, enlightening, and relaxing effects of the world's finest herbs and aromas. Pair a cup of steaming darjeeling or jasmine with a crumbly cherry scone; then, finish with a spread of fluffy French pastries, including Boston cream profiteroles and assorted fruit tartlets.
Boston Harbor Hotel's Website | Facebook

Will be a nice afternoon with DH....

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thur May 16: More FMQing

I did more work on the top - now about half done with the FMQing.

When I did the second quarter I started to think I should vary the stitching so I put in some stippling, swirls, and what not.  It looks better I think keeping the consist design - except maybe the inner border could be different.

I am enjoying doing the stitching.  The machine is working like a dream - it would be better if I had a drop in table to put it in, but the pinmoors that I got from Leah Day are working like a charm.  They make it so much easier than safety pins or thread for basting!

I do notice the little bubbles of fabric, mainly on the back.  I put so many pinmoors in I'm surprised there are any, but it still will be a nice quilt for someone to have.

So today I just stayed inside until the evening.  Watching TV and FMQing.  It was a nice day.

I'm not liking the quilt itself though - I'm looking forward to being done and being able to work on projects that I can keep or give to my family.

I called the people who prepared my mom's advanced healthcare directive as the dates are not the same on the different pages - hospice noticed this.  The lady on the phone said she would send the correct pages via email.  When we had the documents drawn up they put the pages in the binder - I didn't notice the date discrepancy.  I am not pleased that after all my mom's efforts that there was a mess up - hope they will just send the file and that will be that (that they do not charge for this!).

The tab on the back of my fitbit broke a few days ago.  I have been able to collect the tip and squeeze it back on, but tonight I pulled it off to compare my steps with my DH and the tip flipped off and I can't find it.  It scratches the material I pin it on when I wear it so I wrote to them to ask for a new cover piece.  I don't want to wreck my clothes with the fitbit  It's different than the one I first had, bu this one has lasted only five months so that's not a very good piece of equipment.   I have had several problems with this fitbit - not synching correctly or at all - not holding a charge.  But fitbit would not send me a new one so I have to charge it a few times a week and have to put up with having the website and phone updated when it feels like it rather than when I am near the computer or turn on the iPhone app.  It's a drag. It's fun to know how many steps I take so I hope they will hurry with sending me a replacement.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tue May 14: FMQing

Beginning FMQing on the charity quilt.
Today, finally, I FMQed!  It was my first time here in Cambridge.  I have the sewing machine on the dining room table - I'm unable to do the large stippling that I had planned on doing, but instead I did the sort of woven design in larger than usual size.

I'm not sure how much time what I got done took me.  I bent one needle very early on but that is the only needle trouble.

Had to refill a bobbin - put it in the holder the wrong way.  It was easy to correct and to rip the bad stitched out.

I think tomorrow I will finish this, and will place the design so it fits in the smaller squares.

Watercolor demo
I walked to Central Square and picked up two watercolor brushes and the paint I needed for the class - then I walked on to the library and the class.  There were not enough desks for the number of students that were there.  I wasn't inspired by the demo - so after it was done, I returned to the art supply store to return the items I had purchased today and the watercolor paper that I got a few weeks ago.  There was no trouble with doing that at all as I had the receipts.  I bought a pad of thick paper and a drawing pen to practice Zendoodling.  DS told me he had purchased a  workbook for me on this, I will ask him to look for it and send to me, but even if he can not do that I can practice from website sites!

I called DH to let him know I was not staying at the class and found out he had rented a zipcar to pick up a monitor - so I was able to meet up with him and go to Brighton to pick that up.  It's in Boston - pretty close though.  Very nice neighborhood.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Received: Fresh Off the Spool Winnings!

Danielle was very quick with sending my winnings!  What a wonderful selection of items - I'll start using them tomorrow!  Thank you so much!

Mon May 13: Nothing done

Today all I did was sleep and watch TV.

Oh well.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sun May 12: Legal Seafood

We got Zip Car and met Joe and Barbara and Legal Seafood for Mother's Day Dinner.  Great company - fabulous food.
28 oz steak

Grilled Shrimp

Nut Crusted Salmon and Mushroom Ravioli

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sat May 11: Salad, Bridge and Large Projection TV

Pink Snow -
Tree petals after
wind and rain
Today I woke late again - so after phone calls and emails there was only enough time for me to go to Live Alive to pick up salad for tonight - then I met DH at bus and we went to Wincester to friends'.

White Lilacs
We practiced a few hands of bridge - it was more fun just to do with the four of us without the teacher who really wasn't a good teacher but really knows bridge.  We missed his knowledge, but had more fun and practice on our own.

Then we had stuffed peppers and salad for dinner.

Whole wall TV
Then watched The Forbidden Planet on their whole wall projection TV.

I wasted time in the morning on a Freecycle problem.  Yesterday evening I had seen a notice for some assorted fabric scraps, beads and embroidery thread and had written the guy to say I was interested.  In his reply he gave his address and said it was now in two large trader joe's bags and he was including sewing patterns.  I checked google and saw it was 40 minutes for me to walk to his place.  So I said I could put what I could in my back pack but couldn't carry something that was heavy or bulky for that far.  He wrote that the deal was to take it all and I would need to get a ride to pick it up and take all or to tell him it was off and he would re-post it.  (This was all within a few minutes so I don't know what he meant about reposting it but maybe there is something I don't know about.)  So I wrote he should re-post it and thank you for using free cycle.  Then I reread the notes and wrote again as I wanted him to know that even though I mainly was interested in the fabric I would have taken it all as agreed and freecycled myself the left overs but that I didn't realize there would be so much stuff and so far away.

So this morning I get an email from him telling me to stop spamming him and how clear he had been on the amount of stuff that I clearly wasn't a decent person! So that was a kick in the gut. I reread his original post and did see that I had missed in the title that it was 4-5 bags of stuff - but the size of the stuff was not clear and since he was talking about beads and embroidery thread I guess I was thinking little bags.  Anyway, after thinking about it I decide to just erase all the emails and to hope he had a successful pick up with someone else, and I would be a more careful reader of details on the postings.  I've burned his name in my memory though so I don't respond to any of his postings again!  According to Seth Godin I should have perhaps tried again to fix the miscommunication, but calling me 'not decent' put an end to thinking about about how to do that.

The hospice intake case worker did a really good job of communicating this evening - she was working late to finish up the paperwork.  It would be nice to have email or fax communication so I would be more sure to remember everything, but it was nice to have someone to talk to.

Boy, I really appreciate the time my friend Ci in spending with mom during this time.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tues May 7: Avoiding, Then Finishing

No it wasn't sewing today either.

First I opened the email to find that two of the faxes I sent last night didn't arrive, but the nurse had written to say it was okay for me to send as attachment - so I did that.

Ja wrote and said it was okay for mom to have that hospice provider after all - so spent time notifying people of that. 

Then what I was avoiding was reading applications submitted for an award my organization is giving.

I went walking to a new to us cafe for a sandwich - delicious Cuban roasted pork.  We'll be back to that place for sure!

A few more emails for mom when I returned, then finally to the applications.  I printed out the list of people, read all the entries and wrote notes on each one.  I hadn't been told to do more - so that is what I did.  After three hours I clicked to submit my rankings and ratings for the top three.  It will be interesting to see if my choices overlap at all with anyone else's.

We walked to get some Indian to split for dinner - nice.  I had a pineapple lassi - didn't know that existed!  Yummy.

I tried again to get the presser foot to fit but can't - so I will need to take it to a shop I think to figure things out.

About the sewing machine:

The machine manual says
there could be screw-on
presser feet for this machine.

Shows the general foot disconnected
and the new one ready to be installed
- but I can't make it fit
Manual showing the two
types of presser feet possible
for the machine.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mon May 6: Tied to the Phone

Well, not just the phone but the computer for emails and faxes.

A long day - that of course ended with stress.

So first I got a fax with consent forms to sign for hospice.  I printed that and read it and sent email questions to the email on the fax.  Got some answers via email, wrote more questions.

Then called the doctor to verify what mom's terminal illness is that qualifies her for hospice.  It's dementia with age - there was a fancier name I should have written it down.  The doctor was very nice with taking time to discuss with me.

I didn't write down the order of remaining calls/emails.

The case manager at the rehab center called and said mom had a new splint that was more secure, and she was eating okay.  She said I think that she had spoken with Lu to notify her of the day of discharge and everything was okay.  She is going to check to see if transportation should be in wheelchair or flat - and will call back.

I guess I wrote so many questions about the form they had a person call me and walk me thru my questions and how to fill out the form.  She said after 90-days they have to write  report to get funding, then after another 90-days it's the same, then it goes to every 60-days.  That nothing would change for mom or for me if things were the same with mom.  The broken leg made this apparent to them, but didn't cause it.  So the original insurance will still be used for the non hospice things.  She has ordered items to be delivered to VLM for mom.  Mom's primary care doctor agreed with arrangements and would stay with her as doctor.  After the call I thought I had a clearer idea of how things were set up.

But then Ci sent me email that Lu had called and said they usually worked with a different hospice.  Someone from that company called while Ci was busy and she didn't get their name or number.  As soon as she could she called the insurance hospice to verify they worked with VLM. They said they did and it was up to the family what hospice service they used.  After all these hours on the phone, reading, verifying - what a monkey wrench Lu has thrown in.  I have worked to develop a relationship with her doctors and don't want to do anything to jeopardise that.

I wish she had mentioned something way back the first time I had called her. But then in retrospect she never called me, I just heard she had called or other people had called her. I always asked to be sure they consulted her...

So the day ends with stress again.

I wasn't even able to do any stress releasing FMQing as it turns out I bought the wrong foot for this machine. Ugh!

I don't see what difference it makes with which hospice service works with mom - they only work with one person at a time anyway.

I'm missing something.  Hope it isn't sleep!

So I'm just waiting now to have Lu's son email or text me with what to do.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday May 5: Harvard Mayfair

This morning we got a pretty early start (for us) and stopped by Harvard Square to see the Mayfair.  It was a massive collection of a variety of booths - food, crafts, businesses, fun!  The roads were closed off and the streets were lined with the booths.  So many things to see and buy and eat and think about.

DH was intrigued with a folding wooden chair that provided extra support for his back - I was interested in food!  We shared a plate of Korean food Bulgoki YUM! from Takemura on 18 Eliot Street. YUM!  It's a Japanese restaurant with Korean food too - anyway I'll have to go there and eat sometime soon!  Their dinner menu has pretty high prices - I got rice, cabbage, onion and half beef and half spicy pork bulgoki for $7 at Mayfair. That is closer to their lunch prices...  We also had a plate on Indian food that was very good too - from a restaurant on Newbury Street.

Then it was off to the T to go to Davis Square!  There was an open house for a nice place - problem was it was right next to an apartment and parking lot - probably too close to the city part of things.

After that we went to an art gallery with a twist - it was fiber art.  Fun food made of yarn - and other things.  They are having an event in August that DH said he would enter - something to do with maps.  So that was fun.  We stopped at Goodwill and I found a super little shirt for my son's friend - then we went to Dunkin Doughnuts for a regular iced coffee - it was delicious!  The coffee cake muffin is very good - DH gets those and they are always better than the doughnut I get.  This time I didn't bother eating it all....

Then instead of going on the T right away we went out a different door and walked along a parkway - a bikeway built on top of the T line.  Beautiful trees, benches, it was very nice and made us realize we liked this part of the city too.

Sometimes it's Cambridge, sometimes it's Sommerville...  We made it to Mass Avenue then saw sign for a garden to be open - it was an oasis in the city - so restful.  Water, chimes, rustling leaves and a few flowers too.

Davis T Art
We made our way back to Davis and took the T to Harvard so DH could get his chair - and I got him a grilled sausage sandwich.  He took the bus back while I walked and enjoyed the last of the sunshine for the day.

We watched an episode of The Tutors.  I made phone calls to check on mom and other things - now he is listening to a podcast and I am not sure what I am going to do now.  It's dark, a  little chilly but I think I'd like to walk some more.  The light in the dining/sewing room isn't very good at night time.  I could set up the machine but don't think I should sew now....

The people at hospice seem very organized and nice - seems things are covered pretty much under Medicare Part A - there will still be some medications we get thru Secure Horizons but they will write the prescriptions, etc.  They will fax a form for me to sign and return - seems the only remaining things are the doctor to okay the students to do upper body exercises and to get the okay to transport her back to VLM in our van.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I'm a Winner: Fresh Off the Spool

I got email from gmail that my mail box was too full again - something made me look at the headers of emails in my SPAM folder and I found that I had received an email last week that I had won a really nice drawing - the first by Danielle of Fresh off the Spool.  Her email asked me to reply by Friday - but I didn't read until this morning so we'll see if being one day late means I don't win her wonderful selection of things.  It's the ruler that I can immediately use - but since I'll be binding soon too those clips sure would be nice too.

But in any case, I'm glad I found her blog and hope you will visit it to see all the interesting projects she is working on.

These are the items in the drawing:

  • Clover Wonder Clips-I love these and use them all the time! They are great for binding. No more pins sticking me!!
  • OLFA non-slip Frosted Ruler- I love this ruler because the frost makes it easier to see light and dark fabric no matter what color your cutting mat is. I also love the very thin lines on it to make more accurate cutting.
  • True Grips non-slip adhesive rings- This will help with the ruler. Although the ruler says non-slip, it does. If you add these rings, or even the dots in the rings, believe me, it ain't going anywhere!
  • Clover Seam Ripper- Clover has a few different styled ones. I love this because of the very small blade, and the handle is so comfortable
  • Schmetz sharp needles- I just like these best.
Update! I wrote Danielle before she drew names again so she will be sending me all these useful things!  Good way to start the day.  : )

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fri May 3: Extra Care and Rosebud's Diner

This morning DH and I walked to a new place in Central Square for breakfast - it was really nice - not sure why we hadn't noticed it before.  We both had noticed separately last week - it's between a coffee shop and a little store - neither than we have visited, but they are on the way between Harvard and Central.

After that he went to the Main Library and I went down to the Central Square Library to get the class list for the water color class later in the month.

On the way I passed a beautiful yard of tulips and other flowers, ended up meeting the owner and having a nice time chatting with him.

 He planted over 1000 bulbs last year when he inherited the apartment house from his uncle.  They are even more dramatic in person!  He told bulbs have to be redone every three years about - so he has a little rest this year and can work on the inside units instead!

I learned more about the neighborhood and restaurants he enjoys.  He was a good person to meet.  We exchanged emails and he sent the list of restaurants so I wouldn't forget and could visit them.

The supplies for the class will be around $30 so I bought some today and will return later to get more.  I visited Rodney's books on the way back and saw some nice books - I thought I'd go back on Saturday to look more.

At home I worked on getting the file up to date for our little business in Quickbooks.

I read in the paper that Rosebud Diner had been sold and was going to close the end of the month, so when DH came home I suggested we go there for dinner.  It's a train car made up for seating for cafe...  The food was very nice.  We had grilled combination of meats - and dessert.

While we were walking to dinner, a lady from hospice called and said my mom met the criteria for their home health program.  So when she is discharged from the rehab facility she will have home health people come to visit, and the assisted living place will be able to call for help 24/7.  What a relief to have this extra help for her.  I'm so sorry though that she had this accident and broke her leg bones - she was enjoying going to her exercise program and to have her nails and hair done each week. Hopefully by the time I return she will be back to being able to do those things.  The hospice lady said she was being given pain management pills twice a day now on a schedule.  My friend said she was back to saying it was a nice day and was eating her food so I guess the pain meds are working. Accidents happen, but I am surprised or maybe not surprised that the family of the lady who made her stand up and then let her go has not called to see how my mom is doing.  The doctor said being in hospice care does not mean they have a timeline for the end - just that they work to be sure she is comfortable.  I'm hoping when I return she will be able to go back on her program of going to program and to the beauty shop.  To that end I'll get some students to come to her to work on upper body stuff as soon as the doctor gives the okay.

I finished up all the Quickbooks stuff that I wanted to - there is still more, but I'm hoping Saturday to be able to clear the table and actually sew!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wed May 1: Juice

After reading emails, went to Life Alive to pick up food for the day.

Life Alive, Superhero Alive, Jive Alive, Simply Alive & Wheatgrass
DH and I split the salad, the Life Alive and Simply Alive Juices for our first meal of the day.  Delicious!  (I had the wheatgrass myself as it builds red blood cells, something he is not supposed to need help with.)  So we have the same amount of food to split for another meal today - sweet!

Explorer Salad & Green Goddess Bowl
All delicious - I'm not sure if I'll be able to actually do an all juice 3-days as Tina did at Carrots 'n Cake, but I'm so glad I read her entry as it hadn't occurred to me to even try the juices at Life Alive.  So far the juices just take good, we have a few more to go before we have tasted them all.  I wanted to taste ahead by sharing with DH just in case there was something I didn't like at all!  Just in case I do try a 3-day juice adventure.

It was only $45 for all this freshly made goodness, still less than the $60 Tina was paying just for her juices...  I enjoyed the 3500 steps to and from the restaurant too!

There were more calls regarding my mom today, she is doing well.  Eating and saying "it's a nice day."  The sent a fax that she would be at end of coverage on Friday so that meant a bunch of time calling and trying to figure out the system.  You'd really think these rehab places would do a better job of communicating with family members - but this is our fourth experience and even though now I know a little better what to expect - I expect to be surprised at the end. And if again they discharge her without pain medication prescription it will be running around to get that settled.....