Monday, July 30, 2007

Yikes! The Patient is Coming Home - TODAY!

John just called and said the surgeon says he can come home TODAY!! Last night they didn't call for him coming home, I sure hope he really IS ready for this... but I'm not...soooo zooming around trying to get last minute things done before I head to Milwaukee to pick him up... please pray that I miss all the bumps and potholes on the way home - there are TONS of them lately and I'm sure John's back will feel every one!
....also, I think we'll both need prayers for extra patience with each other now that the patient is coming home... I'm thankful he is coming, now the trying parts start...and his recovery hopefully speeds along nicely too!
*poofs to get things done*

Sunday, July 29, 2007

John Update, My Pet Slug and My Workshop Shelves...

John had a better day today than the last two days, although he is still weak and somewhat confused at times, but he laughs about it - so it makes me feel better because it seems to be temporary. He has many wonderful nurses (and doctors), one nurse named Mary has been so good to him, and we are so thankful for her. She took about 30 - 40 minutes with us today to try to answer questions we had, and calm our fears and fretting, etc. after we had relayed our concerns to her. It wasn't something she was assigned specifically to do at that time, it meant a lot that she took that time out for us. It was a big help, even though we knew some of the answers to our worries, she helped affirm what we thought we knew.

John probably isn't coming home tomorrow... hopefully on Tuesday or Wednesday? He still needs to gain some strength and endurance yet and tires very easily after therapy sessions. Today he had a lot of company through out the day and he was falling asleep in his chair - sometimes in a blink of an eye, as he was speaking even. That scares me, if he comes home and I am at work and he falls asleep sitting in the upright chair will he fall over and get hurt? I am fearful of that ... luckily I can bring a lot of my work home to do.

Sooo, on to some other things... our older son, John, had built some shelves in the basement for me this last week... I was able to take all the bins from the dining room, which I had claimed as my "workshop", and organize them (with the help of my sister Peggy and her daughters), and move them into bins and to the basement. I will be setting up my "workshop" there so the mess isn't upstairs anymore. Besides we may need to convert the dining room into John's bedroom temporarily, esp. if he can't do all the steps up to our bedroom for awhile. It's rather nice having the dining room cleared out too! Here are the shelves and all my "JUNK AND TREASURES" for my assemblage art. I can't believe how MUCH stuff I had...uggh... I am putting myself on a strict Good Will hunting limit until I use a lot of this stuff up! (yeah right, try to enforce THAT!)..*L*

Sooo, on my limited Good Will hunt today... *G*... I found a new's been a long time since we had a pet, but this one won't take much care.. it's labeled on the bottom.."My Pet Slug"..*L*...and it only put me out .49 cents! Such a DEAL! And he's cute and keeps me company, and doesn't take up much room by the computer. *L* Now I just have to think up a name for my new pet....

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Just dropping in to tell what condition John's condition is in...

With apologies to Kenny Rogers & The First Edition for altering their song... *L*

I woke up this mornin with the sundown shinin in...
I found my mind in a brown paper bag within...
I tripped on a ladder and fell-a eight miles high (actually about 12 feet low)...
I tore my mind on a jagged sky (hurt his back on the ground below)..
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in...

This picture shows the L2 vertebrae that John fractured in several places (this is NOT a pic of his vertebrae). The surgery on Wed. fused together the L3 and the L1 over the L2, and they inserted 4 screws and titanium rods to help with that.

So, today, John's condition is that he is still at the hospital in Milwaukee and it appears he'll be there for a couple more days.

He is up and walking, but it takes a long time to go a short distance and it is very painful... and it takes a LOT out of him too. He sleeps between each 2 hour therapy session (he has 4 a day so far), where they have him walk down the hall, do arm and leg exercises and practice trying to get in and out of a bathtub, go to the bathroom himself and get in and out of bed. He'll need help with the brace he'll be wearing for the next 4 months or so too because he can not put it on and off himself...maybe that will come later?

He is on pretty strong pain meds, that make him confused and when he is tired his speech slurs some too... the nurse assures us this is normal. He doesn't remember too well the times certain things happen for him during the day, and he has weird dreams as well, a side effect of the stress and the meds.

He is having injections of blood thinner meds (or something similar) but he doesn't have blood clots as they first thought and did tests for.. his oxygen levels were very low. They are doing preventative things so he won't have blood clots we were told.

He has lost a lot of weight, he isn't eating well... just drinking fluids and a few bites of food each meal.

John told me Friday night that he plans on going on his moose hunt still in two months... but I can't see that happening right now.

Thanks again everyone for the cards, prayers, well wishes, phone calls and love you've extended to John and all of us.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Surgery Went Well

It was a looooong day today... the kids and I left home at 5:30 a.m. for the hospital in Milwaukee. John was suppose to go in for pre-op prep at 7:30... he didn't go in until after 8:30... at about 1:30 the doctor called saying things went well and they fused the vertebrae above and below the fractured one, they removed the piece of bone against the spinal canal, and he was just about done being closed up. He was suppose to be back to his room by 3, but it was after 5 when he finally got back to the room. But, he is doing well... he has feeling and movement in his arms, legs, and all parts of his body...he said his back feels better than when he went into surgery, but he was also still numbed from the surgery, the doctors told us the operation would hurt and he'd need pain meds for awhile.

He is on oxygen overnight because his oxygen count was pretty low... due to shallow breathing the last few days (it hurt when he took deep breaths so he didn't), but now they want him to do that so he doesn't get pneumonia.

He was still pretty sleepy, so we stayed for an hour and a half, and then left to come home after doing some errands, and shopping for things.

I am thankful for the good results so far, knowing John has a long haul ahead... and especially thankful to God for the many friends and caring relatives and for the prayers and love they send us all.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Surgery Scheduled for Tomorrow

We talked to the neuro Doctor and after he viewed the results of the MRI today, my husband is going to have surgery on Wed. instead of waiting until Thurs.
The MRI revealed that the bone fragment that is poking into the spinal channel is not as big as they thought, so the surgery won't be required from the front as well as the back... so that is good news. After they remove that piece of bone, they will fuse the broken vertebrae together with the one above and the one below putting in titanium screws and rods. He'll have a brace on for months, and need therapy and be off work for a couple of months...BUT, he may be home from the hospital as early as this weekend.

So for now...we are taking it one day at a time... his surgery and recovery time may take as long as 6 - 7 hours.
Lord, guide the doctors, nurses and all who will be care givers, bless John and his speedy recovery, and the family as we take care of him too... asking this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Thank you all for your calls, comments, prayers, love and well wishes.
Relatives and friends are wonderful to have in times like this..and we are thanking God for you and your support.
With Love & Gratitude,
ALL of us!

Update ....

The surgeon(s) came in about 6:30 a.m. this morning and said that John is having an MRI this morning (hopefully)...they will decide after reviewing those results and the other things when surgery will be... or if surgery will even take place. It depends some on whether the ligaments were damaged, etc. But there will NOT be surgery today... it could be as late as Thursday before they do surgery. So we will know more by this evening hopefully?

John is in pretty good spirits... receiving pain meds hourly, and didn't get much sleep last night...all the poking and testing, etc. they do woke him up hourly it seemed. He is thankful he gets to have some water and some breakfast this morning since there is no surgery today.

We are all thankful for the continued prayers from everyone too....
More updates when we know more...

A "Fork in the Road" we didn't expect.

Today (actually, I guess it was technically yesterday - Monday) my husband fell from a ladder while trimming some branches from an evergreen tree next to our house. He fell about 12 - 15 feet, landed on his back and broke the # L-2 or was it 2-L? vertabrae in several places. There is also a bone chip that has poked into the spinal column too. Sooo, currently we are at the hospital in Milwaukee, where he was flown by flight for life. We waited a LOOOONG time here before he was given a room, and the neurosurgeons have decided he will have surgery tomorrow sometime. They have a family room here with internet access and a couch, so I am spending the night so I can hear more when the doctors come at 6 a.m. or so. John is in good spirits and joking some, he has feeling and movement in all parts of his body, and that is an extremely good sign. The doctors tell us he was VERY lucky that he was not paralyzed from the bone fragment. We are thankful for that and for the prayers of our family and friends. Modern medicines and surgeons can do wonderful things now days, and we are praying for a speedy and full recovery for John... it looks very hopeful that this will indeed happen.

Please continue prayers for John... we all appreciate them!!
Roberta and family.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What in the World?? The Birth of An Assemblage...

Here is the start of some creative-ness ...I'm toying with many ideas for this doll body I found. I had the old world globe that I took from it's stand and strung some wire into it, found an old drawer pull to anchor it at the top and attached it to the inside cord. I can spin the globe around too.. so that's pretty cool! I am going to be staining the body so it's darker and matches the globe head more too.

For now I am looking through my stash of "treasures and junk" for ideas that I like to go with this. Here are just a few, none of them really excite me...except I am leaning toward using the PEACE or HOPE phrases and developing that idea. Comments and suggestions are most welcome!
This is exciting... the birth of an assemblage ... hope the labor pains aren't too hard though. *G*

Fork In The Road Series 4 of 4

I think these are finished... although, if I find something interesting in my collection of cool stuff here, I may add to one or two of them... we'll see. These have been fun to do, and addicting as well! I may even have one of them sold already, but who knows, when she comes to see the others, she may want to have them ALL? (wishful thinking...haha) *S*

I've done different backgrounds, to depict different kinds of circumstances we encounter in our journey of life, on the forks in the road we choose.

I've already described the first one in my last post the other day...

Fork in the Road 2 has wooden shoe inserts as a base, it reminds me of walking in another's shoes so we can gain perspective of that person's journey better, there is a glass globe of the world at the top (what a small world we live in). Inside are more cloud pictures with an empty frame hanging in midair and a fork stuck upright in a piece of asphalt from a nearby road.

Fork in the Road 3 has three pool balls (#5, #9, #11) as the base, as this picture shows, the colors matched the sunset scene on the inside, hopefully I will still be journeying in my "sunset" years (which seem to be closer all the time..*S*). There is also a silver colored medallion with a crystal bead at the top inside above the fork on the piece of asphalt. A tarnished brass # 4 is on the outside of the shadowbox .. I was wishing I could find a tarnished letter -K- to put next to the 4 ...(get it? 4K.. sound it out, it sounds like FORK...ha ha!)..but I didn't find a K yet... if I don't, it's no biggie.

Fork in the Road 4 depicts the stormy times we come up against in life. Inside is a tornado scene, with a glass crystal that hangs over the tornado spout. I thought this looked like a large glob of water falling, a large tear drop of rain. It's difficult to see the details in the base of this one. It has swirls of blue inside the glass, and reminded me of a swirling tornado. It's actually a glass candle holder turned upside down. The fork in this one is also more twisted to depicted the twists and turns our lives take in the storm too.

So, that's it... I'm loving these...wish I had a gallery to show them in... my own gallery that is...*L*... ah well.. I probably wouldn't enjoy making them as much if I was under pressure to HAVE to make things....*L*

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Fork in the Road Assemblages Series - 1 of 4

This was inspired by a fork that was in a box of junk we unpacked when my daughter moved. She had found an old fork, all twisted, bent and smooshed flat in the road, and was going to toss it out, I grabbed it thinking I could use the idea....hmmmm, a fork in the road... we all come upon those forks in this journey of life... our lives take on different aspects depending on which way we go when we come upon a fork in the the road.

Soooo, this is the first of a series of assemblages playing on that theme. This one is in a shadow box which I lined with photos of clouds that I had recently taken on our vacation. The old fork (not the original one that Kasey had found) is twisted and turned, much like our journey in life often is... The fork is set on an actual piece of road I grabbed from some recent road work. The box sits on two glass candlestick holders turned upside down, inside are feet. On top is another kind of glass candle holder turned upside down with an arm and hand inside, reaching up... for help? for guidance perhaps? ... read into it what you may see, which may be completely different.

That's it for now...I may add more to it once I spent more time looking at it and depending on how I make the other ones too. Since I have 4 of those boxes, I figured I would do a series of 4 of these.

One down, Three more to come.....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Indulgences Assemblage

I decided to finish some of the assemblages I had started... some needed a few additional things... Here is one that is made from a jewelry box that had a photo framed cover, I turned it on it's side, inserted one of the old church shingles on the inside, on the back I put some material over some cotton for that quilted-like look. There is a brass corner cover at the top of one corner with a red crystal bead hanging from it, and brass looking letters made from nails that spell the word "LOVE".

On the other side is a heavy brass "paper" bag, with a heart tag attached that says, "indulge", inside is a wooden cross. Next to the cross is a brass Jesus figure, behind him are the words "READ, MARK, LEARN & INWARDLY DIGEST", with a brass and jade looking jewelry piece above the words, and a gold painted rope wrapped in a circle behind Jesus. On top is a brass handle I found, maybe a drawer handle? Also on top are three brass monkeys with red jewel eyes doing the "speak, see, hear no evil" thang.

Gimme a Hand...or two...or more...

I was unpacking today, (still) from our camping trip and found some other things I bought the second day of vacation, when it was rainy and cold.... I forgot I had bought them..*L* They are porcelain hands, probably used to make rubber gloves or something like that? I found them at an antique store.... and believe it or NOT, my husband, who NEVER sets foot in stores like that, went along and browsed with my daughter and I... I think he was sick or something? *L*

Anyway... I love hands like this, I have some kind of odd fascination with them... these will join the others in my eclectic collection, many of them I have in my upstairs bathroom... sometimes I used them in my art creations too... (check out earlier blog entries to see how).

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Shopping Day in Hayward

Today was our annual shopping day while on vacation in Hayward. The local Sports Center was having a special Summer Fun Fest and there was a flea market there. These were some unusual things I just HAD to buy to make into some kind of assemblage.... ideas are always welcome... please DO comment!! *S*
The one large item is a jaw bone to a moose, I think?? The other is an upper plate of false teeth... a couple even have a gold filling! *L* Yes, it's weird...which is why I like them! *LOL*
We are now enjoying liquid libations around the campfire... although, it finally warmed up to mid 70's here!! We are soon to head out to COOP'S for pizza or whatever we want dinner.... I think I will just have an appetizer and a cup of soup... still full from lunch at our traditional lunch place on Saturday.... The Angler (outdoor cafe) Restaurant. Called my mom from there at lunch and told her we were thinking of her and missed her not being here too! Sometimes it's kinda bittersweet when traditions we've done as a family for close to 35-40 years change.... ahhh well... time for new traditions too..
Off to the campfire......

Lake Superior & my goofy sister - well one of them..*L*

On the beach at Lake Superior, Mouth of the Brule State Park... it was not as sunny as this pic looks, but it was nice on the sand...about 66 degrees, we all mostly wore coats and sweatshirts! Although some of the nieces and nephews were brave and went swimming...brrrrrr!!

This picture was taken without me knowing my sister, Chellie was making faces in the background..*L*

Anyway...breakfast time... we do communal meals since there are other families here (all relatives)... but not as many came as usual... only 27 of us this trip.... but despite the cold and rain, it's still a fun family time!

Time to eat, and then shopping.... Yay!! The guys go fishing, the girls go shopping...*S*
More to come.....

Friday, July 13, 2007

So far a cold and rainy vacation weekend....

Greetings from Hayward, WI! What was suppose to be a fun kayaking long weekend has been a cold, dreary, rainy one....although, today it is sunny and so far about 65 degrees! We are heading to Lake Superior to check out the mouth of the Brule and possibly kayak the shore of the Lake. The rivers - the Brule and the Namekagon are at 50 year lows! Hopefully we'll get some sun and NO wind, but it's still pretty chilly...brrrrr.....

*time to go*....

More to come......

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Adam2 Assemblage

Adam2 is finished!! Hurrah! I decoupaged pictures of Adam & Eve, leaves, snakes and a couple of apples on the torso, polycrylic-ed it with 12 coats, glued on the metal "fig leaf" and inserted the mirror and tahhhh dahhh... it's done!

I'm happy with the way it turned out... it can be used as a functional piece of art too... it could be a clothes "valet", to hang a blazer, sweater, or jacket on, and you could view yourself in the mirror to see what you look like after you put it back on even! *S*

Here are some more pics of all the sides.
Click on the photos for a larger view of them.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Adam 2, the Sequel... *L*

Since I have all these torsos laying around, I figured I better get right into creating with them, then my husband won't be complaining as much...well, maybe..*L*... my dining room DOES kinda look like a junk shop lately, good thing we aren't having any company any time soon to eat there..*L*
So, anyway... here is my Adam2 ... or Son of Adam, perhaps?..Maybe I should call him Cain then eh?..*L*.. funny, cuz my son's name is Kaine...anyway..spelled different and different story...

This torso is fiberglass, not like the others that were cardboard and plaster stuff. When I cut the hole for the mirror, it causes all kinds of fiberglass "sawdust" and that stuff HURTS!! OUCH! ... tiny slivers of it poked into my arms, I had to go wash down because of it. I've sanded it down, coated it with some Gesso, then tissue papered with Mod Podge after cutting the hole to fit the mirror. Then I had to build up a small platform inside the hole to be able to glue the mirror to when the time comes to do that. Right now it's just temporarily in there to see how it looks. I also found a cool metal leaf that I'll use as a fig leaf. Right now it's just propped up against Adam2, but it will be glued on a bit higher after I decoupage the pictures on it. I like how the mirror looks, almost like you are looking right thru him.
Here is the view from the back of Adam2. I kind of like the simplicity of no pictures on it, but I think it needs something more too.... maybe another idea will come to me before I start gluing?

So, that's where I am now.... More to come....