Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Sun Has Set...

on Allegra's life.
After not being able to get much food in her
& after watching her go through 3 neuro episodes this morning,
- each one worse than the one before -
I made the decision to euthanise Allegra.



It wasn't easy.

In fact, it was one of the most difficult things I've ever done.

I've been worrying and stressing
about this for the last several weeks.
Knowing it was coming...praying I'd be ready.


Didn't matter if I was or not.
Allegra very clearly let me know that it was time.


Thank you all so much for your support, caring,
prayers & good thoughts.
I haven't been very good at replying to your comments.
Please forgive me.

And know that you are much appreciated.

April 8, 1998 - October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Something to Smile About...

I've been trying to keep busy. I quilted two kitty blankets for my sister, Julie. Here's a sneak peek. They make me smile. Need to square/trim these & sew the binding on them.




I got a package in today's mail! I won a giveaway on Monday from Shelly of Polkadot's Circus ...a charm pack of Gobble Gobble by Sandy Gervais! YAY! Fidget, her adorable little pup, picked my number! How fun is that!!!


First...take a look at the presentation...the orange wrapping paper, the orange plaid ribbon, the scissors pin!
And, here's the opened package and card. How fun that Shelly found a card with 'gobble! gobble!' on it...the name of the fabric collection. I smiled really big when I saw that!

Thank you so very much, Shelly!!

Good Days, Bad Days...



Today is not a good day.

For Allegra.

For me.

I am hoping that we will have many more good days together.

I am so not ready to say goodbye.

But, I know her time is coming soon.

She will let me know when she's ready.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Allegra.

Allegra has had 3 neuro 'episodes' in the past 24 hours. Not true seizures, but ataxia (unsteady/uncoordinated movements & staggering gait), nystagmus (involuntary movement of the eyes) and circling. It's so difficult for me to watch her having these episodes...I cannot imagine what those people who have had no experience with this must go through. As a CVT and a former CCU technician, it absolutely tears me apart to watch her go through these episodes...definitely an entirely different thing when it is happening with your own dog.

I had been weaning her off the Prednisone because it didn't really seem to make much of a difference. But, she started having more problems with swallowing and wasn't able to eat much. Apparently, the Prednisone did do some good! I put her back on it last night and she ate a good supper tonight. That's encouraging.

Please keep her in your prayers.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Au. Then. Tic.

Ohmygosh...look what came in the mail today!!!


It's a 'just because I love you' gift from Brenis! She's such a good friend! I have lusted over this fabric since the first time I saw a photo of it in June. Saw some at the LQS when my sisters and I were there...resisted (ohman, it was difficult!) buying any. Now I have some...YAY! Thank you so much, Bren! I love you, too!! There's about a yard total...what shall I make with it??? My brain is coming up with many possibilities!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You all never saw the apron I made for myself.
This is my 'sisters weekend' gift to myself.
(actually, I don't know why I didn't take photos of the other 3 like this!)
Allegra is doing well. Had a neuro exam today and Dr. Petersen was very pleased with how she is doing. Seems to have a gag reflex...or more of one (that was like nonexistent), anyway. Said she looks good. So.
But. Took urine in to be checked for bacteria. None showed. So, no UTI? However, it showed bilirubin and glucose. Glucose??? As in Diabetes??? Weird. I'll have some bloodwork done to see what that shows. 6 weeks ago, everything was completely normal.
So, prayers are still needed for my baby girl.
Today she is very happy and yappy. YAY!!
No way am I going to tell her to be quiet. Ya know?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Update on Allegra and More Small Projects...

Thank you so much for your prayers...they worked!
(but, don't stop, please.)
Allegra's fever is down,
I got 2 doses of antibiotics in her,
she ate some food (not a lot, but enough),
and she is resting very well.
Barking now, too. woohoo!!!
I need to give her a butt bath later.

So.

Thank you, friends...and Thank YOU, God.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since sitting and worrying about Allegra wasn't productive,
I got busy and worked on two more small projects.

When we were at Stitcher's Crossing last week,
Julie picked out some fabric.
"What are you going to do with those?", I asked.
She answered, "I'd like you to make kitty blankets for me, please."

And, yes, I did point out to her that those are dogs on that fat quarter.
She knew that. Wants her cats to remember that DOGS RULE!!! {grin}

She did a good job selecting the fabrics, don't you think?

I put these together for her this afternoon.
Need to sandwich and quilt them.
The big piece of green in the above photo is the backing.
I'll bind one of them with the blue...
not sure about the other.
The fabric is about all used up.


Take a minute and really look at this next one.
Remember my wonky log cabin squares
when I was trying to be random and used
practically the same fabrics/colors in the same place?
Look
here to refresh your memory.
I cut the strips for the kitty blanket
in random sizes, and thought I was placing them randomly.
However, if you start with the narrow orange strip
in the middle and go both ways,
you will see how I just can not do random!!!


That's all for this weekend.
Have a good week!

Allegra.

My baby girl is not feeling well today. She isn't eating, has a fever and possibly another UTI. She is sticking closer to me than she normally does (see, she's right across the hall from where I am sitting).Will take her in with me tomorrow...in the meantime, I'll start her on antibiotics and see if I can get her to eat some chicken.

She doesn't bark much when she doesn't feel well...and since she usually has so much to say about every little thing, it's very disturbing to me when she is quiet.

Please include her in your prayers today.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Small Projects.

Hanging out...
reading, watching a movie,
& working on small projects today.

Here's the September Pioneer Sampler quilt BOM block.

Here are the wonky stars I made for
Brioni of my Bee Addicted 3 block swap.
They were fun.

Cannot wait to see what we'll get this next month!

Friday, October 23, 2009

25 Hours With My Sisters...

Wow, I finally have some time to do this while my satellite speed internet is being cooperative. Finally.

I last wrote on Thursday night, when I made a quilt block for Julie.

The next day, Friday, Julie & I went to the vet school (where I work & where she used to work) so that she could visit with some friends.



We did a few errands and then came home to get
ready for the other two sisters.
Julie wanted some photos
taken with the pups.

Here's Tag, sitting nice & straight for her
(her hand - holding a stick - is just outside the shot).


I think she's whispering sweet nothings to Allegra.



Joyce & Jill finally arrived! YAY!!!
We had pizza for supper and then sat & gabbed.
(l to r: Julie, Jill, Joyce)
Each time we have our 'sisters weekend' we exchange gifts. Jill gave sister plaques, Julie gave each of us 3 jars of jam (oh, it's sooo yummy), Joyce gave each of us a votive candle, dishrag that she made + money. I made aprons for everyone. Julie's has a wine motif, Jill's has motorcycles, and Joyce's is black/cream with a pocket that matches the fabric of theplastic bag holder I made for her last Christmas. I think they all were very happy.
(I made one for myself...pizza slices!)
Photo

Mom and Aunt Bev sent gifts, too,
but I don't have good photos of them.
Thank you very much...the gifts are great!


I wanted to give Jill her Christmas/birthday gift so
that Julie and Joyce would have a chance to see it.
(yup, she's crying.)



We got our jammies on and were all set to watch a movie (he's just not that into you). Julie grabbed my 'practice' quilt, Jill grabbed a tan quilt that I usually have on the ottoman, and I had my star quilt that Brenis made for me last year. Joyce sat there in the middle...here's how it went. (Close, anyway.)


Joyce: don't I get a blanket?
me: oh. do you want one?
Joyce: well, yeah.
me: {sigh} I suppose I can get something. (walking toward the hallway) I think I have an old...


Joyce to sisters: I suppose I'll get an old army blanket or something...that'll itch.

I came down the hall with the black and white quilt (I know, you haven't seen it, yet...be patient!) and tossed it into her lap. She looked at it and asked if I had made it. Told her I did...she noticed the patch of purple on the back (her fave color) and we told her to look at the label. She did.



It read: "To Joyce, From Jacque. Heart, 2009."

She sobbed. Not kidding! See?

And, sobbed.

For 10 minutes!
She finally calmed down and looked it over.
I think she likes it. 

And, here it is...the black and white quilt I made for her.
I bought the fabric last spring and made it
in 4 days a few weeks ago.
It's Joyce's birthday/Christmas gift.
See the text pieces? They are verses from Psalms.

Here's the back. See the purple?
She LOVES purple, so I had to put a piece in there for her.

I didn't want to have any quilting in the text blocks,
so I just quilted it in straight lines on both sides of each horizontal seam.

After all the excitement died down, we settled down to watch the movie.

The pups got comfy, too.

We stayed up late, chatting and laughing and having a good time.

The next day, Saturday, I made breakfast for everyone.
We showered, etc., and went shopping at Gordman's
(a discount department store that is Julie's all time fave store!).

Joyce and I talked about the doll quilts she wants me to make...
so we ended up at Stitcher's Crossing to look for some fabric.
Went in with Joyce saying she wanted purples and pinks.
Here's what we ended up with.

They are gonna be so dang cute! {grin})
Julie bought some fabric for a quilted kitty blanket. More on that later.

We ate lunch here...
(left to right: Joyce, Julie, Me, Jill)


Salute! To the 4 J's!

Of course, time for them to leave came all too soon.
I love them & miss them very much.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Couldn't Help Myself...

had to cut into Julie's fabric.
Made one block.
She loves it.

Second Day

Julie wanted to buy a digital camera.
Finally! I've had one for over 6 years.
How can one get by without a digital camera???

So, we went shopping.
She got a nice little Nikon...plum colored.
She has now left and will be out for the evening
with a good friend, so I am on my own.


Whatever will I do?


ahhhh...perhaps read.


Or, cut pieces for a new quilt project!


hmmmm...I guess time will tell!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



In the meantime, here is the Iced Mocha quilt.
All done.


Laundered, label on, ready to go.




Measures 46 1/2 x 55 inches.
As you can see by the photos,
I had a lot of fun quilting this one.
Random lines in the center,
stippling on the inner border,
zigzags on the floating squares and
intertwining lines on the outer border.

I am very pleased. In fact, I love it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First Day

My sister, Julie, got here late yesterday afternoon. This is her cute little rental car...a Dodge Caliber. Isn't it a lovely color? Actually, she does not like blue, so I thought it was very funny that they gave her a blue rental. Cute little car, though.


Didn't do much last night...I showed her all the projects I have going on...and coming up. Watched tv, visited, and played with the pups. Went to bed at a decent hour. Here's Julie at 8:00 this a.m....while I had been up for well over 2 hours. Okay, actually, she had been awake, but decided to get a bit more sleep. She did not know that I took this photo. {grin}


Went to my LQS today. Got all the fabric for Julie's quilt...and it'll be much larger than a lap quilt...my biggest venture to date! Got some really nice compliments from the owner and one of the workers at the shop...about how far I've come with my quilting...{sigh}...there are times when it's difficult to be humble.


Well, anyway...here is the fabric for Julie's quilt. The large green piece is the backing and a border. The paisley and gold and green are for blocks. It's going to be an awesome quilt!


We'll visit with Claire & Curt later and will have another easy evening. It's so great to have her here. I have missed her.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Allegra and Sisters

Update on Allegra: she's doing about the same. No better, but no worse. We're hanging in there.

Other news: I am trying to get everything done this weekend...my sisters are coming. Several years ago, I read Nicholas Sparks' book, "Three Weeks With My Brother". It's an exploration of relationships between the two brothers (Nicholas & his brother, Micah), & how life has influenced them, etc., as they go on a trip around the world. I loved it! And, I have an autographed copy!

At any rate, I determined then and there that time spent with my family was the most important thing in my life. Sisters Weekend resulted from that. Joyce lives in Alaska. Julie lives in Colorado (though she still lived here by me when I instigated this idea), and Jill lives about 2 hours away here in Wisconsin. Once a year, when Joyce comes to Wisconsin to see family and friends, we set aside 2 days for the 4 of us to get together. It's not always a weekend, and it's usually only one overnight. But, we spend time together, just the 4 of us...the 4 J's. We don't do anything special. Sometimes we shop, sometimes we just hang out. The one thing we always do is eat well! Julie missed the first year after she had moved to CO, and we didn't have the opportunity last year, so this year is very special. We each buy 4 gifts...not birthday or Christmas...just a special something for each of us to have from our time together. I've been busy, but I cannot tell you what I'm giving...you'll have to wait until next week when this is over.

Julie and Joyce are flying to WI today. They'll stay in Eau Claire where our Mom lives. Julie will come to Madison on Tuesday, while Joyce takes more time to spend with her youngest daughter, her grandson, & friends. Julie will spend time visiting friends in this area, bathing my dogs, and just hang out with me. I only work Monday & Tuesday. We will probably do a bit of shopping...I know Julie needs a digital camera. On Friday, Joyce and Jill will come down. It'll be a great time and I am so looking forward to it!!! It'll come slowly, but will be over much too soon. They'll all leave Saturday night. I hope to have lots and lots of photos to show you!

Here's what I'm working on right now...just need to hand sew the binding...trying to get it done before my sisters are here. Nooooo, it's not for any of them. Just want to get it done. Look at all the quilting on this one...I had some serious fun! Random lines in the center, stippling in the first border, zigzag lines in the floating squares, then just some lazy lines on the outside border (which you cannot see too well because the binding hasn't been turned to the back, yet). I used a brown/cream variegated thread...so pretty!
Have a great weekend.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Wanna Smile?

Got this photo of Kaylynn Marie today.

Makes me smile...
you, too, huh?

Rag, Leaves, Mini, VIP...

First of all, cuz I know you're all wondering, Allegra is doing fine. Same, in fact. Though, she does seem to be eating better...could be the prednisone is working...or it could be the fact that I have found the correct size of meatballs to feed to her. No, not meatballs like with spaghetti, but small pieces of canned food rolled into a ball. Much easier for her to eat.

Second, I had a crappy a** week. Worried about Allegra, then my car broke. Thank goodness it was just the battery, but I still had to go without my car for 3 days...and rely on others to take me to work and back. What a pain. For them, as well, I am sure. So, when I went out to get the mail and found a large package waiting for me, I was amazed. Who was sending me something??? I knew it wasn't my quilt from the doll quilt swap...the box was too big. And, heavy. Well...I tell you...I cried my eyes out when I opened the box. Sharon, a friend from a wonderful group called An American Primitive Gathering, sent me this kit to make my very own rag quilt! How totally awesome is that! Thank you so very much, Sharon. You are so very generous! This was exactly what I needed on that day. (the colors are much richer...cannot get a good color for some reason)
Sharon also sent along a magazine, "American Patchwork & Quilting". In it was this quilt pattern. Isn't it lovely??

I walked into my LQS yesterday to pick up my next BOM kit and saw bolts of these luscious leaves...had to buy some fat quarters to use for the leaves of the aforementioned quilt!
Third, here is the mini quilt I received from my partner in the Doll Quilt Swap 7! Anna saw that I, too, was a Christian, so she wanted to make something with a verse. This is what she did. Isn't it just the perfect mini for me? Totally AWESOME!!!

Anna wrote, "When I found this verse I just thought of how we always focus on our flaws & not the beauty in us. So I made the quilt kind of wonky & with some wrinkles as a reminder that no matter how many flaws we may focus on, we are God's amazing creations."

I absolutely love it! My first doll quilt swap was so much fun...the next one doesn't start until the New Year. Thankfully, I have a ton of things to get done by then...so the time will go fast.
I am working on a very important project...hoping to get it done this weekend. Here's a sneak peek:
Hope you all have a great weekend!

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