Sep 9, 2014

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

My mother has idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

This is a disease that is 100 percent fatal for every patient. Have you ever heard of this rare disease? Did you know: 40,000 people will die from pulmonary fibrosis (PF) this year -- the same number of fatalities as from breast cancer.

There is no known cause or treatment for PF, and the disease is relentlessly progressive; average prognosis is two to five years from diagnosis. PF can be inherited, but most cases are idiopathic -- meaning the cause is unknown.  She was diagnosed almost two years ago.

She has been hospitalized three times since the end of June.  My father was at the end of his cancer treatments then.  To visit her, I had to push him in a wheelchair because it was tremendously painful for him to walk. 

Two weeks ago, the Palative Care Team called a family meeting for my mother.  She is at what the medical field calls "end stage."  There is nothing more they can do for her.  Two days later, we arranged for hospice to deliver equipment to my house.  My mother will stay with me until this awful disease takes her life.  The doctors think she has a matter of months.

PF patients gradually lose the ability to process oxygen as their lungs fill with scar tissue and become like concrete.  She's been on oxygen 24/7 since June.  She can no longer walk without her oxygen level dropping to 50% or lower.  Then it takes 20 minutes or more for it to rise back to 80%. 

Four times as many people have pulmonary fibrosis as ALS or cystic fibrosis.

Since 1999, the number of patients with PF has increased by 156 percent, to more than 128,000, and more than 50 percent of cases are misdiagnosed for a year or more.

A lung transplant is the only treatment option to extend life, but 50 percent of those on the list will die before receiving a transplant.  Because my mother also has COPD, we were told she is not a candidate for a transplant.

September is Global Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month. For more information go to

Read more here:

Sep 5, 2014

Show Your Stash: Threads

I first saw this on Sandy in Montana's blog, but it originated with Anna at Stitch Bitch.  I always enjoy reading about stitching memes and participating when I can, so here goes:

What thread do you usually stitch with?
Mostly I stitch with the tried-n-true DMC, but I'm no thread snob.  I'll stitch with anything... JP Coates, Anchor, cotton threads from kits, silks, GAST, Carries, and the list goes on.

When you shop for threads, do you buy on impulse or do you buy only what you need?
Since I have enough threads to open my own LNS, I usually only buy what I run out of. You know how it is, you can have a zillion colors but not the one you actually need.

How do you sort it? 
The DMC is in numerical order.  My Six Strand Sweets is divided into baggies by alphabet.  GAST,  WDW, Victoria Clayton, JP, and Anchor are each in a large ziploc bag, not sorted.  Really need to get a better system for those as it takes me forever a long time to find the color(s) I'm looking for.

How do you store your thread?
Back in the 80's when I first really got into stitching, plastic floss boxes were all the rage. Several years ago, I actually had ELEVEN boxes of floss.

Then I learned about the "Jammer" cases, which were storage cases for matchbox and hot wheels cars. The brand doesn't exist anymore, but there's been a resurrection of them in the craft area at JoAnn Fabrics.  Here's the kicker.... Jammer cases were less than $6 at Walmart.  At JoAnn's, the same storage cases are about $15.  Can you say ka-ching?! 

On the left are two cases I store my DMC. Some stitchers have been able to get all the colors in one box, but I wasn't able to do it. Maybe their floss bobbins weren't entirely full... dunno. On the right are duplicate DMC wound on bobbins left over from the 11 original cases.

On to Specialty Floss....

I store my Rainbow Gallery threads in an awesome embossed tin I found at a thrift store. I made a simple cardboard divider to keep the threads organized. Works perfectly!

Krenik spools (Yeah, I know *ewww*) are stored in Plano 20 gauge shotgun shell cases. These can be found at almost any store that sells sporting goods. I keep VFB in one, and all the other types in the other.

The different brands of hand-dyed/over-dyed floss (GAST, Carries, SSS, Clayton, etc) as I mentioned earlier are stored in gallon size ziploc bags according to manufacturer.

I organized some even farther by putting the floss in quart size ziploc bags alphabetically (A-D, E-J, K-M, etc). Inside each gallon bag is the checklist (from the manufacturer website) of colors available. I have a checkmark beside the ones I have, so I know at a glance and don't have to go digging through the bag only to come up empty handed!

DMC Light Effects are kept in a fishing tackle box. (They are such a pain to work with!)

What tips do you have for building a stash?
When I was building my stash eons ago, I would stock up every time JoAnn's had a sale 5 for $1. Then when Walmart decided to do away with their DMC section, I bought every skein they had for a nickel a piece. What a deal, eh?  My point.... stock up when it's on sale!  I've also accumulated a lot of threads I probably wouldn't have bought on my own by participating in floss exchanges.  Exchanges are a lot of fun!

How much is too much?
Really.... is there ever too much?!  Well, maybe if you run out of room. Nahhhh.... Okay, if you have tons of the same color, then maybe it *might* be too much. Maybe.

How do you whittle your stash down when it's gotten too large?
Actually, I've never considered whittling down my stash.  Maybe that means it's just not large enough... yet.

Do you have a current favorite in your stash? Let’s see it!
Gonna have to pass on this one, since I don't really have a favorite floss.

So what about you?  What's your floss collection like?

Until next time,

Aug 25, 2014

Stitch From Stash - August

Well SFS is past the halfway point.  It's all downhill from here.  Once again, it's time to report on the Stitch From Stash challenge coordinated by Mel at Epic Stitching.  At over the halfway point, I think I've done pretty well.  The idea of SFS is to stitch from our stash to reduce spending. 

I also look at it as a way to focus on reducing my accumulation of stash.  Actually it's fun to "shop" from our own stash.

During the month of August, I spent $8 on Button Up For Christmas #2 by Victoria Sampler.

No finishes since last month, but I did pull out Eight Immortals have been working on it all month as part of a online stitching challenge.  For the month of August, we are stitching on something with people in it.  Since I hadn't worked on Eight Immortals since February 2013 *gasp*, I thought it was appropriate for this challenge.  I've made quite a bit of progress:

I made more progress on Heart of America.  Since the weather has been so humid lately, HoA has become my lunch hour project.  As you can see, I'm 2/3 done.

I'm really enjoying stitching both projects.

Until the next SFS,

Aug 10, 2014

In Memoriam

It is with a heavy heart I'm letting my blogging friends know that my Dad passed away at 9:15am in his sleep on July 13th.  It was a Sunday.  A few days prior, my Dad had told my brother when he died it would be on the day of rest.  He is no longer in pain and may he be having a beer and fishing with his brothers in the afterlife.

Several years ago, I wrote a Father's Day tribute to my Dad to share a bit about him and what kind of guy he was.  You can read about him HERE.

My Dad's Life... In Pictures
I never knew my Dad had dimples.
Somewhere along the line, he lost them.
Leaving for Duty - 1964

He signed the back of this "A Sailor in White Ready to Fight"

Wedding Day - 1967

His Young Family
My Dad loved to go fishing!
Dad and His Two Sons
In his day, he enjoyed his beer.

Dad and His Grandkids, minus one who wasn't born yet.

Dad and My Sister

Me and Dad

This is the only time I can remember Dad
dressed in anything other than a tshirt.  On holidays,
sometimes he'd wear a knit shirt with a collar.
He is also smiling in this photo... He never smiles
when he gets a picture taken.
Christmas 2013

One of the last photos of Dad - May 2014
(with his only grandson)
Dealing with my Dad's illness, funeral planning, and estate administration has been one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do in my life.  I have received many cards and condolences from the online community.  I thank you all for your support and sentiments.

Until Next Time,

Aug 2, 2014

Journey Through Time

Have you ever thought about the evolution of your stitching area?  No?  Me either. Until just recently.  Sisters in stitching had posted photos of their "stitching nest"... prompted me to post some as well.  Heck, I didn't want to be outdone!

As I looked through my photos (and there are thousands, let me tell you!), I couldn't find a recent photo of my stitching area.  What I did find was two photos of previous areas.  Of course, this meant I had to tidy up my "nest" so that I could take a decent photo.  What better reason to tidy up, eh?

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

When I moved into The Townhouse, I had very little stash.  In fact, I had stitched very little in the previous five years or so because an un-named exH complained about me doing it.  Pfft.  After moving to The Townhouse, I set up my $10 lighting solution and sat on the end of my sofa.

 After purchasing The Homestead, I originally sat on the end of the sofa but eventually picked up a second hand recliner chair.  A TV tray became a makeshift side table.  I made the green tablecloth and topped it with a doily.  No one was the wiser.  Oops... I let my secret out. lol

Currently, I have a comfty recliner to sit in.  A music stand holds my charts and magnet board, along with a sock monkey beanie baby.  He's so cute!  My side table is now a 2-drawer cabinet that I refurbished (here).  As you can see, I still use the same light and MagEyes.

How about you?  How has your stitching area evolved over time?

Until next time,