Friday, October 3, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
If you have a breast concern, please don't put off having it checked by your doctor. Hugs to you all, Mary Lynn
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
In the second photo, I am working with my chosen napkin pattern. These are the small napkins, and I wish I had the large napkins because the napkin does not go to the bottom of the form, but I think t will be ok.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Here is my entry for Lisa Vollrath's Make It Mondays challenge. I know I am a day late, but I have been so busy, so I am just happy I have something to display! This weeks theme is Chocolate. If you want to play then visit Make It Mondays and read how. I really like this piece. I'm not sure if it is the colors, or that it is about chocolate! I found inspiration for this from the book "Embellished Emotions for Scrapbookers". I don't scrapbook, but if you like clean, orderly layouts using poems, quotes or sayings then this is the book for you. The author is Trudy Sigurdson, published by Making Memories. There must be a hundred ideas or more in this book. You might want to look for a used copy because I don't know if is still in publication.
I will be posting more photos later today of my dress for the wire form. It is time to get it in the mail!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
In the process of grieving, sometimes you may feel that life isn't worth living any longer, or that your life doesn't matter. I have gone through some of this, but I had a long talk about it will my Sis, and that my life does matter, and the blogging that I do, and the making of my art is important too, but still I just couldn't feel it. I need to be needed by someone, and what I do and the way I feel is not worthless. To "better" myself and feel more worthy to go on living, we have decided that to honor Charles we MUST get back to living, and that there is another someone out there that needs love, encouragement, and someone to care about them. We have found such a person, and her name is Joanna. We are going to reach out to her, and just see if she is interested in forming a friendly relationship with us. So I am hoping that she will, but if it doesn't work out, then we will look again. I know there is someone out there that needs me to care about them, just as I need to care for them. I want to matter to someone, just as Charles did, and so I lovingly say that Charles you are in my thoughts from day to day, but you are forever in my heart, and so I am moving forward.
My first step in getting back to normal after many months of heartache and trips back and forth to San Antonio to see Charles is to get back to blogging, and to making art. Since it is so late, I will sign off for now, and post a new project that I am working on later today that means something to me.
One more thing: I have had some many beautiful comments and emails from several of you. I know many of you sent cards, gifts, and money to Charles. I will always hold you and your generosity in my heart as well. I am blessed that you read my blog and "met" my brother, and as I told one person by email today, please don't ever think that when you leave a comment, send an email, or offer your condolences that it really doesn't matter because I am here to say to you that yes what you said and what you did made a huge difference in my life and in Charles' life. Your words to me helped more that you will ever know....until you are in my position of having lost someone that you love so very much, and I pray that there will be family, friends, and blog buddies there for you.
With warmest regards to each of you who read this, and God bless.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Here is an older photo of Charles from November, and a photo of myself and my grandson in April on my birthday. We went to San Antonio last Friday and got home late Monday night. Charles seemed better than the weekend before. We had a meeting on Monday with several members of the hospice that is taking care of Charles, and some members from the staff of Charles' home.
At the meeting we had the director, an RN, a social worker, and the Chaplin from Bethany Hospice. Also there was the Administrator, home nurse, Q, which is over the house mom, who was also there.
We had been alerted that the home was thinking of sending Charles to a nursing home, and we weren't having any of that! However, it turns out that they were not going to send him to a nursing home. The thing is that if Charles gets into a crisis that can be managed better at the mini-hospital of the hospice, they will take him there.
Charles is having increasing pain in his left leg, and so they are giving him more morphine for his break through pain, which makes him more sleepy.
The RN from the hospice and the RN from the home agree that Charles will probably suffer more broken bones, where the cancer lives in the marrow of the bones and causes large tumors. We are pretty sure he has one on his leg. They will probably put it in a cast, but it won't heal. Then he will be bed bound. They brought his hospital bed, which looks just like a twin bed. It has electric controls, and side bars that are down now. He just loves it. He said the handyman bought it for him because he is the one who delivered it! The hospice director said that everyone always wants to know how much longer the patient has. He said they count time differently than we do in the world. He said they say months to a year, weeks to months, days to weeks, and hours to days, and minutes to hours. They say Charles has weeks to months, so we are not sure how long that will be. He is loosing more weight, eating less, less active, and like I said, sleeping more. He has been sort of going up and down, but always in a decline, and as he gets worse, he will go straight down.
My head is reeling, and my nerves are a mess again. I have been to the doctor to get some injections in my left shoulder, neck and head to block the pain, and I am taking muscle relaxers to help me get better. I also had injections in my right hip (my bad one) and my right knee. I am feeling some better. We would be going again tomorrow for the day, but Sis and her husband are going, and I will stay home and rest.
Charles is still happy to see us, and he felt strong enough to go to Denny's one morning for breakfast, and we had a great time together. He finished a new black velvet art project that was almost ruined. Someone spilt their drink on it, and some of the colors blended together. I think it looks great, and maybe that's the trick to blending those watercolor markers, just dump water on it! We had a great time with all of the clients there since we were all the house most of the time. Laughting, and playing and watching movies. It is the saying goodbye that is so difficult. I went over to him in his recliner to say goodbye on Monday, after the meeting, and I just hugged Charles so closely, and I could feel all of his bony back, and then I couldn't let him go. Only when I knew that I was going to cry did I let him go and turned away so he couldn't hear me or see my face. I went out of the door and just cried and cried for my brother.
Please continue to keep Charles on your prayer list. Thank you so much for all of the beautiful new cards that I saw this time. Each one a treasure to Charles and to me.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
I was telling someone the other day that we are hoping that Charles will make it to June, and I would love for him to continue to receive cards until the end. I know that is asking a lot of you all, and if you can't send another card, of course I understand. It doesn't have to be anything that you buy. You could just draw something, write a note, send a joke, he really wouldn't care what it is.
Well, at the top I have a scan of a mingle that I managed to complete this week. These are ATC size cards called Postage People, and you have to use a real stamp with a face. They are so fun to do. I hope you will try one. I didn't have any old face stamps so these are new from the post office. My favorite one is of the man. That was a photo of Charlie Chaplin (I think), and I cut off his arm and turned it around, and then I cut the hand and cup from another picture. I had fun doing that one!
As you can probably tell, there are a lot of things missing from my blog. I was going to change templates last week, and almost lost my whole blog. I am slowing working on putting it back together. I will make a new slide show too. Well, I hope you all have a great weekend, get some rest, and have some fun. I will update my blog early next week when I get back from San Antonio.
One last thing, thank you all so much for being so supportive, and so good to Charles. I am overwhelmed with all of the goodness that is out there that I never expected. Hugs to you all.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
My sister Jeannie and I spent the weekend with Charles in SA. He was happy to see us and to show us what he had. He has received several card (they are in his lap), and dollars too. Someone sent him the hat he has on and he wore it all weekend. He asked his house mom to hang up his cards, and she was going to get some bulletin boards, and when those are full, then we will get some more. When we first got there, we thought we would take Charles out for chicken fried steak, but he wasn't up to going. The next day he did want to go to Denny's for breakfast so we did, and he ate pretty good, and we all had several cups of coffee.
As much as I hate to admit it, I could see this time that Charles was more tired, and weak. I think that he will not be leaving the house much more. His home bought a new recliner for Charles and he loves it. The home does not want to isolate Charles back in his bedroom until it is absolutely necessary.
I can see that I haven't gotten any comments lately, but I know that once the word gets out about my wonderful brother, that some of you will want to send him a card. They bring so much joy to him, even as he was showing them to us. For you that have sent a card already, thank you, and I hope you are keeping Charles in your prayers that he won't have any pain. He doesn't now, and I pray that he never will.
Remember to email me for Charles' address if you would like to send him something. I have had a busy day working on my A B RR book, so I am off to bed.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Hello friends. I want to tell you about the angel in my life. It is my brother, Charles. Charles is 58, and mentally challenged. He lives in a home with 5 other "family" members in San Antonio. It was his choice to move to SA many years ago to be near some of his friends. Charles is always so happy and outgoing, and he was always busy doing something all the time. He has loved the jobs that he has had. He has worked in the shelters before, but he really wanted a job out in the public. So he got a job with a What a Burger, and he worked hard there cleaning tables, and keeping the parking lot clean, taking out the trash, and any thing else that he could do, he did it. Some customers came back again and again to see Charles and his smile, his good nature, and how hard he worked. He won Employee of the Year at his store, but then to his surprise, his home was able to find his "dream job". The car wash!
Like I said, Charles loves to work, and he really loved his job at the car wash. He would do back breaking vacuuming of the cars, and drying the cars all day long. It didn’t matter if it was near freezing, or 105, he was on the job, and doing his best. His boss said that Charles is an inspiration to everyone that he comes in contact with, and that he has taught all of the new hires not only how to do their job, but how to be at work on time, clean and shaven, with a smile on their face everyday, and to do a good day’s work, and that you don’t leave early, but stay until all the work is done. I am so proud of my brother. He has never been a burden to his family....instead he is the joy in our lives.
Charles has always been healthy, and living a happy life, until one day in October. We got a call from Charles’ house mother, and she said Charles had broken his arm at work, and that he was on the way to the hospital. So my sister Mary and I jumped in the car and went down to SA. It takes about 4 to 6 hours to get there, depending on the traffic.
When we got there Charles was back home, and really dopey. His hand was swollen, and he had his arm in a sling. So we talked to him and he said he was OK, and not hurting. Then we went to talk to the house mom. She told us that the doctors were not able to set Charles’ arm because the break was caused by a tumor on the bone in his upper right arm. We continued to talk, and my sister and I were just devastated, and trying not to be upset around Charles. We went to our motel and wept over the news.
The next day we went with Charles to see an oncologist. She said that from the x-rays she could see that Charles had some form of cancer. As I’m sure you can imagine, we never expected this would happen especially since no one else in our family has had cancer. We stayed all week, and the doctor did a biopsy on Charles’ arm. She said that Charles has multiple myeloma, which is cancer of the blood, and cancer cells attach themselves to the bone marrow all over the body, especially the larger bones, and it also spreads to the other organs. They found a huge mass on his tail bone and all around it, and that the cancer was already in his liver, besides being in his arm and other bones. It is considered to be one of the worse types of cancer, with many devastating effects on the body. She sent Charles to a doctor that specializes in the type of cancer that he has.
The doctor told us that Charles’ arm will not heal. He ordered a brace that Charles wears under his clothes to immobilize his arm and shoulder, and he still wears the sling to help support his arm. At that time we were told that Charles could not be helped by chemotherapy. They did do 10 radiation treatments on his bones to strengthen them to try to keep any more from breaking. Charles never complains. There is a smile on his face for everyone he sees, and he has never said or done anything bad in his life. That is why I call him my angel, because it is hard to believe that there is someone as good as Charles on this earth. We were also told that Charles only had 6 months left to live. He is on a really good pain medication program, and he is still mobile, but he uses a wheelchair when he goes out.
Charles loves to fly (and he worked and paid for his own plane tickets, his clothes, and anything else that he wanted), but the doctors will not allow him to fly now. Because he hasn’t worked since last October, Charles’ bank account is nearly empty. We try to buy him everything that he wants, but we have the expenses of going to SA so often to see him, and we have to save for expenses later. All of this with Charles living in SA, and us living in Ft. Worth has been so difficult, but we are making it. We are happy to spend our last dollar on Charles.
Charles wanted to come home for Christmas, as usual, so we went and got him, and we made it fine. We had a wonderful old fashioned Christmas with lots of baking and cooking, like it was when we were kids. Then, Charles was still feeling pretty good at Easter, and he wanted to come home for the Easter bunny. I drove down on Thursday morning, picked Charles up, and drove back home. Charles was really tired when they got here. He ate a snack and took his medications and went to bed. The next day he was feeling better and talking about the Easter bunny, and the eggs, and the food. We had another wonderful holiday with Charles, and he got a big basket from the bunny filled with all kinds of snacks, candies, crackers, jerky, etc., and we had a huge ham for lunch and Charles ate and ate.
Jeannie took Charles back on Monday, and again he was so tired, but he was also feeling really weak. Sis and I decided that Charles couldn’t make any more long trips. Since October, we have gone down to SA every other weekend , or sometimes we go every week, and even twice in a week to see about him, or to see his doctors or the people that own Charles’ home. Charles’ hospice doctor recently said that Charles’ liver is completely covered in the cancer, and they do not know how he can still be going. They say it is a miracle, and I say that it is the power of prayer, and God is letting us keep his angel just a little longer.
You may ask why I am writing this about my brother. Well, that is because I need your help, and I wanted you to hear about a fantastic person. First, I need your prayers for Charles that he will never have to suffer any pain, and that when it is his time to go that he will slip away, quietly in his sleep. We did have to tell Charles that he has cancer, but that doesn’t mean anything to him. He knows that my sister lost her husband to cancer, but Charles doesn’t understand about death. We told him that one day he will go to sleep, and when he wakes up he will be with mom and dad, and my brother-in-law, but he didn’t ask any questions. Second, like all small children, Charles loves to get mail, and I am asking you to send Charles a card or a note. It doesn’t need to be any thing fancy, and if you put a dollar in the card he will be the happiest man on earth. He can’t count very high, but he knows a $1 bill, and he loves to have a dollar in his wallet, and he will go with a worker from the home to go drink coffee at Denny’s. He loves his coffee!
Charles is a cowboy. He lives for western movies, and Walker, Texas Ranger, but now he will watch Gibbs on NCIS too. He thinks the Dallas Cowboys are the greatest team in the world, and he doesn’t care if they win or loose, he just loves to watch them. He also wears boots and jeans, a western hat, and a belt with a nice big buckle. Some days he will wear his bolo tie and his sheriff’s badge.
Well, I know this is a long post, but I really wanted you to know about this wonderful man out there that cares deeply about people, and things in his life. He has never met a stranger, and he is a great friend, and he has taught us so many things about life. I just want to say that if you don’t have an extra dollar, that’s OK. He will be fine without it, but I hope you are able to send him a card or a note just to say hi or get well, and if you don’t have the time right now to send a card, then would you please just take a second and say a little prayer for the greatest brother in the world, and if you can’t do that, then God bless you. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter, and please tell your friends about Charles too, and thank you so much for the prayers, the cards, the money, or whatever you can do to help Charles have just another happy day.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you Charles address.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Here are a couple of pieces of my more girly girl art. Well, maybe it is just more of the same. I have some work to show you from a friend's RR book that I will put on later. Tomorrow, I want to tell you about the angel in my life. His name is Charles, and he is my very special brother. I hope that all of you will tell everyone you know to come hear about Charles.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I have been working on a piece for an Easter Bonnet lottery. This is my piece above. The pink cross is on top of the lid of a tin giftcard can, and the bunny is on the inside of the lid, The woman in the big Easter Bonnet is in the bottom of the tin. I had so much fun doing this tin. I painted it with gesso, and sanded it some, and finished it up with some ink pads. I printed the woman on a piece of cotton and then I started on her really large hat. Gathered ribbons, old velvet flowers that I made from some scraps, and the premade roses. I added the trim, and the gold piece and it was done! I really love the look and feel of this project, and I hope you will too!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I worked on these Valentines today, and I just thought I would keep them simple! I know, this may not be what you would call simple but for me it is! Not too frilly, but I still like them. As a mater of fact, the pink one is my favorite! Big surprise, right! I love pink! Well, I have started on a new header for my blog, so I am going to work on it now. I just can't stand another day of that plain burgandy header!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Yea! It's M day, and my banner is complete. Here is a photo of the whole thing, but it isn't the best photo so I may redo it tomorrow. I love the way the whole thing looks, sort of girly, well really girly, and I love the colors and the glitter! I really want to thank Lisa at Simple Journeys for coming up with this really fun challenge. I enjoyed working on each letter and trying new ideas. I was just at Lisa's blog, and I read that she has agreed to do another one later in February. The next banner will spell out SPRING, and we will finish it up just before it really is! You don't have to do anything special to join in this challenge. Just leave a comment at Lisa's blog when you have your letter finished, and post a scan or photo on your own blog or on Flickr, or where ever you store your photos online. Well, I am still in Valentine mode, so I am going to try to finish a couple more, and then off to bed. I can't wait to see every one's letters tomorrow!