Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Anterior Hip Replacement Part 3: Home Recovery

So what happens when you leave the hospital 3 days after surgery? What do you need to know about continuing the healing process at home?

For me, a few things were arranged BEFORE I left the hospital. First off, my Dr. ordered a blood thinner and pain medication prescription that was filled and waiting for me at home. I was also told to have a laxative / stool softener ready.  Because I had so much pain walking before my surgery, I had a cane to use already but I also opted to order and use a walker. It was much more stable and balanced out the weight of my body over two sides rather than just one side as the cane does. As I said in the previous post, I also went ahead and got an adjustable potty that was placed over my existing one so I didn't have to squat so far down to the ground right away. And I had that lovely pack of tools to help me dress myself. 

Home Health Care was also ordered by my Dr. so that twice a week for the first 2 weeks home, I would have someone come to check my incision, redress it and put me through a bit of physical therapy. I went home on Thursday and on Friday I had my first visit from Home Health Care. 

For the first 2 to 3 days or so, I mostly rested in my bed, getting up to use the restroom, eat and walk about so things didn't get all stiff. My husband and kids made sure there was food for all the meals and that I had something to eat. One of the most difficult things was laying on my back to sleep.... ALL THE TIME! I am a "side-sleeper" and boy did my back get sore, even using a memory foam mattress topper. Each day I would get up, have my breakfast, take my medicine, take a "sink bath", get dressed in simple loose clothes, and then need to rest for a bit. On Sunday I missed taking my pain meds on time and realized there really wasn't any pain. So I just stopped cold turkey. Never had any pain after that at all. BUT.... we get to Day 7.... one week after my surgery.

Maybe you do know and maybe you don't, but when you take pain meds or have surgery where you get pain medication, you tend to get constipated....REALLY CONSTIPATED. Sorry all, but it's the truth. I had a bit of an education about laxatives before I left the hospital. Apparently there are stool softeners and there is laxative and there IS a difference. While stool softeners draw water in to keep stool soft, laxatives stimulate the need to go. I had taken stool softeners all during my first week home but had no urge to go. I had also eaten quite lightly knowing that what goes in must come out. On Day 7 I finally awoke to the urge to go but it was impossible to go. I was drinking prune juice, taking stool softeners and laxatives but nothing. SUPER UNCOMFORTABLE! Hubby went to the store and I think he bought one of each thing they had! Now I was ready to try the mini enema treatments. Still nothing worked. So I turned to my faithful friend, the computer, in hopes that someone out there had tackled this subject and SHARED with the rest of us what to do. And here's a YouTube video that I found. Using the techniques shared there helped me so much. Still it was almost 3 days of feeling like crap, no pun intended, before I was once again myself. One of the things that seemed to help me was returning to eating almost like normal. Food in food out theory. If I ate to lightly, it would be days before that was helping to push things through.  I began eating normal size meals as often as I felt I could. My good friend told me, after the fact, that I needed to take a Senokot laxative each time I took a pain pill. She's had the issue before and says it works really well so I'm just putting that out there for you guys.

At the tail end of the constipation came Day 9.... depression for no known reason unless it was a delayed reaction of discontinuing the pain meds cold turkey. That and I had been miserable with the constipation. From the time I woke up that morning, all I could do was cry. Everything seemed hopeless to me. There were still so many things I couldn't do. I was still constipated. I knew my husband was going to work in about 4 days and I wasn't well enough to do EVERYTHING yet. The things in my life that give me some relaxation and comfort, gardening, playing with my pets, sitting and knitting.... were still impossible. My garden was down a ramp from my house and I didn't think I could or should try that yet. I was using an adjustable desk chair to sit in so I didn't have to drop down as low as my couch and my couch was where my little doggies were. My back was sore from laying on it day after day after day... well, life seemed pretty bleak at that point. I was in the bathroom washing my hands and looked in the mirror. Wow! I looked awful. The dry shampoo I was made my hair stiff and ugly. I just started bawling! Well, hubby said he was going to help me wash my hair and he cleaned out my kitchen sink and got things all nice and all I had to do was bend over a bit. I cried through the entire process even though it felt SO good!! Took a nice little sink bath and some Calms Forte and slept better than I had in 2 days! The following day the depression was gone, the constipation was finally over and my real healing began!

My home health care person, Randy, continued coming to my house making sure things were doing well. Each time he would come, we would go for a short walk outside. I transitioned from walker to cane to NOTHING in no time at all! Funny story, he would walk behind me to assess if I was limping or moving funny and of course, don't you know, my nosiest neighbor was outside watching. Randy would say, "Walk ahead, I want to see how you move," and I could only imagine the story my husband would hear at the end of the day about the guy who came and spent an hour at a time with me while HE was at work. Too funny. My last day of Home Health Care Aid came 6 days before my appt. with my Dr. I was so excited to go back and show my Dr. all I could do now! This was an amazing recovery process!

Hubby and I got up early for our trip up Hwy. 101 to Templeton on June 23. We checked in and sat in the lobby waiting our turn. A gentleman walked by and said something to the front desk staff and I thought to myself, "That sure sounds like the guy who told me about Dr. Sima!!" I thought about running out the front door after him and asking if it was him but I chickened out. When my turn came up, we went into the back and I had some new x-rays done. While I was relaying that story to the nurse, she said, "I bet that WAS him because he was talking to us on his appt. this morning about the woman he met at Starbucks and referred to this office." Oh man, and I missed my chance!! I told her when he comes in again, let him know he can call me or see if he will take a call from me. I need to tell him thank you. If it wasn't for him, I would not be here today experiencing this outcome!!

Next, we went into the room where the Dr. had all the x-rays up. Wow, he did such a magnificent job of everything! I could see little notes he had made on the x-rays noting where the bone would be cut and just how large the socket would need to be. There was also a measurement he had done to level my leg out so I would not have a limp anymore. He got it right on!! I mean, I'm already forgetting I even have anything in my leg. Dr. Sima asked if there was anything I was having trouble doing and I said, "Getting things up off the floor. But I'm using the grabbers and its working." He tells me, "Bend over and touch the floor." WHAT!!!!!????? No way! My leg will pop out for sure! "Just do it, bend over and try to touch the floor." So I did. And the only reason I couldn't touch the floor was because my muscles had less flexibility than a couple of years ago. Oh My GOSH!!! I can do this and not pop anything out!!! 

"Well, can I work out at the gym now?"
Can I ride my bike?"
"Of course, if you know how."
"What about my motorcycle?"
"You can do anything you did before you had this problem. I've had people who go horseback riding, play sports, etc."

I think it was at this moment that I wanted to cry and laugh all at the same time. That's all I've wanted in the last 2 years was to be normal. To be able to walk or hike or play out in the fresh air and live my life again instead of just existing. And here was the license to do just that!! I get to go back and see him in two months and I can't wait. By then my current physical therapy will be over, I'm going back to my gym on the 5th of July and I want to get started in aqua aerobics. It would be great to make this trip up there on my Majesty scooter too, how special would that be??!!

I've found my smile again. People are telling me all the time how happy I look. 


Thank you Dr. Sima for giving me back my life. You are VERY good at what you do and although that may seem to you like what you are doing..... to us, it truly is like a brand new life!! I am so very thankful to you!!

My new pastime? Stalking limping people. I know funny huh? But I want to help others to find their smile again too. Take it from me, this surgery, although it sounds incredibly painful and scary is just really not that bad at all. And best of all, your entire future is waiting for you out there, PAIN FREE! As my "Angel" told me, "Don't be afraid. Just make that call today. You will be so happy you did!"
That's pretty much it. Each day I try something new that I used to do but haven't been able to in 2 years. AND I'M ABLE TO DO IT. Hopefully, you won't have to wait as along as I did to find a really good Dr. doing that anterior approach and if you are anywhere around the Central Coast of California...


                                                      Dr. Sima

******How appropriate, that as I'm getting ready to finish this Hip Replacement Journey story, I would get the name and phone number for my Angel!! I was called by my Drs. office today and they told me his name was David. I could hardly wait to call him up and tell him thank you. If there was no David, I would still be limping around or worse yet, have had the posterior approach surgery. I am so very thankful to you, David!!*******

Location:W Branch St,Arroyo Grande,United States

Friday, June 28, 2013

Anterior Hip Replacement Part 2: The Hospital Stay

A week before my surgery I received three phone calls that almost, ALMOST made me change my mind!

The first was from my Drs. office exactly a week and a day before my scheduled surgery. "We've had a cancellation for tomorrow, (May 21) would you like to come in a week earlier and have your surgery done?" As I pulled my freaking heart out of my throat I remembered the main reason for having my surgery done when it was scheduled, my husband's vacation, and I told her I'd have to stick to my plan because there was no way he could change his vacation. Phew.... one down.

The second call was from my local blood bank on the Thursday before my surgery. "Has your Dr. spoken to you about donating your own blood for the surgery?" Well, he hadn't, but I had read the literature and so I did know about it. "It looks like you would need to donate either today or tomorrow so we can have that on hand for your surgery. My surgery was the Tuesday after Memorial Weekend and that is why. "Or, we could have you use shelf blood." I tend to be anemic anyway to at this late date, and not wanting to be anemic for my surgery, I opted for shelf blood. As I hung up the phone I was thinking, HOW MUCH BLOOD AM I GOING TO LOSE ANYWAY!!?? Once you hear those words, you can't stop thinking about it and my brain played this "track" over and over for the next several days.

The third call was from the hospital as a pre-op phone call. They went over my paperwork, insurance coverage, any allergies I may have, etc. Then she said, "You will want to familiarize yourself with the pain scale. Have you ever seen the new pain scale? It has these faces along with the numbers from 1 - 10 and when you are asked your pain, you need to be able to tell the nurses so they can get you the right medication level." Pain, I think that was first on my list of fears. Oh man, this IS going to be painful. Now I'm terrified. I hate pain!! I've been in pain for a long time now. Well, I guess if it's painful, it will be the last pain I will be feeling as it heals. Still though.... I was expecting to be at a 5 for a good long while. 

Tuesday the 28th came up pretty fast after Memorial Weekend. Monday I was very calm. It was as if I knew everything was going to be OK. Tuesday, Wes and I got into the car for the 40 min. drive up to the hospital. I had to be there at 6 with a scheduled surgery time of 7:30. The nurses were very efficient and within a very short time I had been hooked up to the IV and monitored and given a blood thickening shot that was to help with blood loss during surgery. The anesthesiologist came in asking about any allergies. My words to him? 

Here's the order... 
1. Don't let me die  
2. Please don't let me wake up or remember anything!! 
3. No pain, no pain, no pain." 
$. Did I mention, DON'T LET ME DIE!!

The next thing I know, I was being wheeled into surgery! It was so fast. Of course, I got to see everyone in there as I wheeled by AND I got to see the surgery table.... cool and OH MY GOD... THIS IS FOR REAL!!!! Next thing I know I was breathing oxygen and getting a relaxing addition to my IV and that was it.

"Surgery is finished and you did great Mrs. Weems." Music to my ears! Wait, where is the pain? Oh, there is none. They probably keep it that way for a while. I was aware pretty quickly and they brought me juice and food and sat me up and still nothing hurt. I couldn't believe it was all over. Thank God! So I really lucked out pain-wise for that day. 
My nurse, Steve, came in and told me they had paged my husband several times but they didn't know where he was and he wasn't answering the pages. Want to know where he was? Here.....

The Hospital's Helipad. Oh, he swears to me he was in the lobby and had headphones in because he was watching a movie on his Ipad. But I think I know better. 

He did show up to the room eventually and stayed with me most of the day. He was so helpful and sweet, getting me juice, helping me sit up and keeping me company. I asked him if he saw a catheter bag and he said he THOUGHT I had one. Sweet, no getting up to use the restroom. Now this was wrong, I didn't have a catheter at all. My Dr. feels that it could contribute to infection and the last thing you would want after this surgery is an infection. At one point during the day, I felt a little sharp pain in my leg as I adjusted and I told my nurse I thought I had popped out a staple. He told me, 

"Well, that would be hard to do since you don't have staples!" 

"Oh, then it could have been a stitch?" 

"Nope, you don't have those either...."

"WHAAAAAT??!! What the heck is holding my incision together?"

"Glue and sterile strips." 

Wow, that means the incision is going to look really fine lined!! SWEET!!

Have I mentioned yet that my RN was a man? Steve. I'm kind of a modest girl and knowing just what kind of things a nurse does, well, I was scared. Come the middle of the night, guess what they had me do? "Mrs Weems, you need to try and urinate now." Oh come on!! I don't even feel like I have to. So in comes the bedpan and I was told how I needed to use the pull up bar above me to pull my bum up so the pan could be placed. And this was really cute, he ran water in the sink and told me to pretend it was a little running brook. You must know how running water makes you feel. I don't know if I hadn't drank enough water or what, but that was the hardest thing to do!! I finally achieved, thankfully, and was allowed to go back to sleep. But let me tell you, Steve was kind and it was almost like my husband helping me. I wasn't afraid or shy and over the next couple of days, I came to realize that having a male nurse was just fine.

Not very pretty, I know, but I think this was taken shortly after my return from surgery. See.... smiling ALL the time now!

I had heard Day 2 was more painful that Day 1 so I was braced for the worst. But the next morning when I woke up, still no pain. This was the day to get up and WALK to the bathroom, which I did with the help of my nurse. My leg under me was strong and again, no pain. Later that morning, Victor, the hospital's physical therapist, came to get me for my big walk down the hallway. I put on my robe and was belted around my middle (just for safety purposes) told how to use the walker and we were off! 

How can this be??!! It's only been a little over 24 hours and here I am WALKING the hospital hallway, quickly and with no pain??!!! I was ever so careful because of all the stories I'd heard about dislocation, but man, this little leg of mine.... it was SOOOoooo very strong! I had two physical therapy sessions on Day 2, morning and afternoon and the same with Day 3. 

Have I told you yet how much I had been smiling up to this point. SMILING!! I am STILL smiling almost every minute of every day!!

When I got back to my room there was a woman there to hand me a bag of "tools" and teach me how to use things like grabbers, extended shoe horns, a little device to help put on socks, etc. It was like a little mini class on how to dress yourself. On day 2 it was mostly showing me how to use everything. On day 3, before I went home, it was more like, now I had to use these items and show her I was paying attention. On this note, I would like to say, I did pay attention and I thought I would probably not be using the items once I got home. WRONG!! By having the knowledge on how to use them and using them, I recovered just that much quicker because I could do things for myself! My husband only had 1 week of vacation and I knew I would have to be up and practically myself before he went back to work.

So still no pain, although it was stressed to continue with pain medication because, "You want to stay ahead of the pain."

Day 3 dawns and my Dr. comes to see me and says, "You are being released today. You will have a Home Health Care person come twice a week to help you at home. Be sure to take your blood thinner and I will see you back in my office on June 23, about 3 weeks after surgery." Then he asked how my stay had been and how my nurses were. "GREAT!" He said if I thought so, I might want to eventually write the hospital and mention people by name that had helped me. "Of course, I was already planning on doing that... my nurses, physical therapist, etc. were fantastic!" And he sat in that chair next to my bed and seemed so humble! I mean, here was the Dr. who really changed my life for the better and he is telling me to thank others? All his training, education, experience, attention to detail to make me better and he is telling me to thank others. Well of course I would, but my Thank You to him was going to be FIRST!!

And with that, I got dressed, nurses came to wheel me out and I was in the car for the ride home. No pain. As a matter of fact, as part of the release the nurse asked me my pain number.... 

"Ummm, zero?"

"Nope we can't have a zero, so I guess we will make it a 1." 

"Well, if we must.... but I'm feeling no pain whatsoever." Here I had thought I would be in agonizing pain and nothing. Well, once I was home, that may change, but I was going to stay ahead of the pain like I was told!

Bottom line, my hospital stay was perfect in every way. My room, although it had two beds was basically private. When I pushed the call button, my nurse was right there, no ringing for 15 minutes. Night, well if you've ever been in the hospital you know about the noise... Dr. calls, ringing call buttons, patients maybe making noise, people coming in and out at shift change. Well, Twin Cities Hospital in Templeton, CA was totally different. It was quiet! I was able to actually sleep and heal. The food was good and healthy. Staff was always friendly, right down to the woman who came to clean and mop. She was so sweet and friendly. 

Thursday, the 25th of May, I was on my way home. The next phase of my healing. What would THAT be like. Walking around in my home environment, using the potty (which we changed to the raised seat kind OVER my existing toilet so I didn't have to squat so far).

Adjusting and getting back up to speed so I could take care of myself. I was going to need to heal quickly! I thought I was ready for just about anything and it was going to be so nice to be home with my family. BUT..... no one told me what to expect on the 7th and 9th day AFTER I came home. 



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Anterior Hip Replacement Part 1: This is the ONLY way to have this surgery!!

This is the picture of of the fabulous Dr. that gave me back my life! Dr. William Sima. And this is the story of my Hip Replacement Journey......

Some of you know that I have had a problem for the last 2 years. In February of 2011, I began having quite a bit of pain in my right hip. My first Dr. said it was bursitis and treated it with antibiotics. No change. Then I went to an orthopedic Dr. and he ordered MRI's. That's when we found it.... a really bad Labral Tear to my hip socket. In addition, I had bone spurs and arthritis in the area and he told me the best way to fix this problem was a total hip replacement. 

WHAT??!! I was only 54 years old and I knew how limiting hip replacements could be. So I set out on a mission to "fix" my problem. This involved vitamins, chiropractic visits, eventually Physical Therapy and acupuncture.... all to no avail. Not only was none of this helping, but my pain was ramping up. There wasn't a day of my life that I wasn't in some kind of pain. Pain changes who you are, what you think and how you behave. Gradually, over the two years, my life started becoming smaller and smaller. I couldn't clean my house, cook, garden, play with my grandkids, grocery shop or even enjoy those lovely walks on the beach. The one GOOD thing I learned to do was knit, but basically, all I did was sit in my recliner, watch TV and knit. Not good for someone my age that had been so active. And even doing that did not insure I wouldn't have pain. I was grumpy, depressed and withdrawn with no hope.

My reasons for waiting so long to do surgery were:

  1. Pain 

  2. Rehabilitation Time

  3. Life span of replacements & Fear of what they were made of

  4. Approaches - At this time I only knew of lateral and posterior approach and my local Dr. did mainly posterior approach. 

  5. My grandma had hip replacement and never walked without a cane again!

  6. Post surgery limitations

My pain and limitations where becoming too much for me and now depression was setting in. I knew I had to do something, BUT WHAT???

And then, on a beautiful Tuesday morning at my local Starbucks, I met my Angel.... quite by accident, or not if you see things the way I do!! My friend and I meet every Tuesday for a nice little breakfast and some lively chit chat. Her knee had been bothering her and she was taking up a chair from the next table over to rest her leg on. Over comes a man and almost takes the chair out from under her leg and then realizes it. She told him she was in pain from her knee and he said, "Oh, I know pain! I was in pain for years trying to figure out what was wrong with me. The Drs. thought it was my back. But no matter how they treated me, nothing fixed my problem. Eventually I was in a wheelchair and unable to walk at all. That's when I found out I had hip problems and needed hip replacement surgery."

I hear myself boldly say, "Oh, I need to talk to YOU!" Now anyone who knows me, knows I don't do that. I'm very reserved but out pops those words!

He proceeded to tell me about Dr. Sima, and orthopedic Dr. practicing out of Templeton, CA at the Twin Cities Hospital that does Anterior Approach Hip Replacements. He lived up that way and went to a seminar being put on about hip replacements and decided to have his done that way. First he had one and then not more than 2 months later he had the other one done. TWO MONTH LATER!!?? Is that possible?? How do you recover from that kind of surgery that fast?? Come to find out, anterior approach surgery has THE quickest recovery time of all the different approaches. Muscles are moved out of the way rather than cut and as the patient gets up and down and moves around, they are continually be strengthened after the surgery. He said he was walking the day of surgery, doing stairs the next day and going home on day 3!!

"Ok, you've got me there but what about the pain? Tell me the truth.... what kind of pain were you in?"

"No pain," he says, "just kind of a numb feeling." Even right after surgery! Of course you do GET pain medicine and each person is different when it comes to what you need but, he said he didn't use anything shortly after he got home. 

"What about restrictions.... things you can't do after a surgery like this...." 

He says, "You can do anything! There aren't a bunch of restrictions again because of the approach." And he gets up and does a little jig for me and its such fluid movement, it appears he NEVER had a problem! Doing my research, I found out that the chance of having your hip come out of the socket are less than 1/3 of a percent! Your muscles are strengthened by daily activities and physical therapy and help to hold the replacement in firmly. Now this sounded GREAT to me because I love to ride my motorcycle, horses when I get the chance and be really physical.

"Well, does everything feel right, you know in the right place?"

Come to find out, there is a special operating table called the HANA table that not only allows the replacement to be done through a much smaller incision but x-ray can be done and the "new parts" are precisely put in. Because of the precision, there are fewer, if any, problems with leg length issues and hips being out of alignment. You walk quicker, better, faster!!

And the best words out of My Angel's mouth, "Don't wait any longer. You go home and call today. You will be so happy you did! Don't be afraid at all." And with that, he went to pick up his car that was getting smogged and that was that. I didn't even get his name!! BUT.... I did go home and make that call.......THAT DAY!! 

3 weeks later I met with the Dr., had new x-rays done right there in the office and saw the damage that 2 years of walking had done. My leg was actually shorter by about 1/2 in.! I knew I had to get this done and now I really felt like I was in the right place! My husband had vacation time coming up within a short month and I figured he could spend it taking care of me for the first week out of the hospital. So I scheduled the surgery for the week prior to his vacation on a Tuesday morning. Then I went home and started getting my prescriptions ready, my bedroom ready and myself ready for what was to come. For those few short weeks, my pain increased so much and my mobility was greatly reduced. I was trying to stay off of any pain meds (Aleve) and it was at this point that I realized my timing was perfect. While I was waiting, I was doing research, trying to find other who had the surgery, watching YouTube videos and the actual surgery (I wouldn't really recommend that unless you are VERY curious like I was! Sometimes it's better to just NOT know what is going on!) My favorite was the story of Mary Lou Retton.  Our stories are so similar and watching her in that pain, I could really identify!! 

Just a week before my scheduled surgery, I received three phone calls that almost, ALMOST made me change my mind!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013


"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."    ~Native American Proverb

As I was working in my garden this morning I was thinking that exact thought. What kind of world AM I leaving to my kids and grandkids? A world full of debt? (nearly 17,000,000,000,000!) A too strong Government that is only getting stronger as it feeds off removing freedom after freedom? "Super Farms" that use GMO seeds, super fertilizers,pesticides and yet whose end product isn't as nutritional as something grown without all that? Pesticides that actually KILL the biggest pollinators, bees! A medical Dr./ insurance/ pharmacy trio that works to make sure you never REALLY get well? (Remember the days when you actually got OVER something? When Drs. FIXED what was wrong with you?) There's poverty, racism, injustice, overcrowding, polluted lakes, oceans, streams and groundwater from agricultural run off and trash being dumped into it .... well, the list could go on and on. 

Seems pretty bleak wouldn't you say? Or perhaps I'm only seeing the glass "half full". I hope so, I really do!! But bottom line, the world seems to be traveling in a "not that great" direction right now. 

Mahatma Ghandi said, 

    "you wish to see in the world."

"What can I do, little old me, to help turn things around?"

Speak out. Walk the walk and talk the talk. Get out of debt. Garden and grow some of your own food using natural methods of soil amendment like composting and manures. Attract birds and bees and other beneficial wildlife to your yards. Fight for SOMETHING, where ever your heart leads you. Be a model for your kids and grandkids in the way you live! Have compassion for others whose life doesn't mirror your own. If you have extra food, clothing... THINGS.... give the extra away to someone who is in need. GIVE THOSE THINGS AWAY without expecting anything back. That is true giving. If you see an injustice, don't just stand there and do nothing. Find the strength to speak up. There IS strength in numbers. Use spare time to work with others in a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, community garden and with victims of domestic and child abuse. We are all given "talents", and not all the same thing. Recycle, not just bottles, aluminium and cardboard. Recycle clothing, furniture, bikes by passing it along to the next person. Create nutrient rich compost by recycling vegetable waste, vegetable leftovers and leaves. 

I hope I've inspired you to get out there and make a difference. Each day we do positive things like this, we will be making "deposits" into the "account" we are leaving for the generations to come. Even though we are only ONE... we CAN make a difference. Be a Rainbow Warrior!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Word of The Year 2013 - JOURNEY

My Word of The Year For 2013

Webster's defines Journey as "an act of traveling from one place to another." I've also seen it described as traveling from one stage in your life to another. I'm hoping to do a bit of both!

Hope you stick around for the ride!

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lavender Wands

Lovely Lavender, Lavandula Angustafolia, one of my favorite flowers! It attracts and feeds tons of bees, smells heavenly in bouquets and has historically been a useful herb due to its antiseptic qualities.

After visiting two local Lavender farms in my area, I started growing Grosso and Provance and each year I get a bumper crop of flowers. Last year I dried bouquets for decoration, made wreaths and a bunch of drawer sachets. This year I'm trying a little something new, lavender "wands". They can be swished in the air to add a sweet smell to the room or use them as I do, as a means of relaxing right before bed. I keep one on my night table and will take deep breaths of the wand right before I drift off to sleep.

If you would like to try your hand at making Lavender wands, check out this YOUTUBE VIDEO

 After watching I got my scissors, clipped some lavender, made my wand and then added on some ribbon for a feminine touch. I can't begin to tell you just how wonderful it smells!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Projects and Update


With Memorial weekend and the 4th of July quickly approaching, I'm feeling a bit Patriotic! (Not to mention the upcoming Primary election!) So here is the little project I'm currently working on.... a pretty basic quilt with squares and hourglasses. It was seeing those little hourglasses that reminded me just how long it had been since I updated my blog! Found the idea for this over at That Girl That Quilt where Jennifer put together the sweetest little quilt all in pinks. It's been MANY years since I sat down to make a quilt and most of mine never progress beyond the top because I'm terrified of "messing up" the 3 B's.... batting, backing and binding!! That being said, following along with someone and watching A LOT of YouTube videos has given me the courage to give it a try. 

The top was finished about two weeks ago and I spent this last week trying to pick the perfect backing and binding material (ie: see I'm still terrified!! Ha Ha Ha) After making a trip to JoAnn's last week, I came home with a really pretty light blue with stars for the backing and a solid red for the binding, which I'm going to MAKE.... I know, can you believe it?! 

Next step? Laying everything out, pinning the layers together and getting read to quilt the top. This step will be a machine quilting and probably a pretty basic quilt in the ditch. One of these days, soon I hope, I'll get to the freehand quilting but not with this one. Did all the ironing yesterday so the layers are nice and flat, and today will be the pinning!! Yay!! Have to keep going with the forward motion. I'll keep you posted as the progress continues.

I have also been gardening, although a little less than I should. My backyard is a "work in progress" to say it nicely. My sweet little neighbor across the street offered to give me some of her old picket fencing and I was ECSTATIC!! Early in the Spring, I had plans for a new gardening or chicken area that was going to be fenced off from the regular yard and now I was going to have the fence to do it!! We cleared out our strawberries, took pictures off the internet, decided how large we wanted it, etc. etc. and I was so excited!! Then we decided against chickens when we found a pretty good price for farm fresh eggs. It was kind of sad and good all at the same time. No hassles, no having to be here all the time or find someone to watch pets, not having to "off" them at some point when they were no longer layers. So, now off to the gardening idea. It's nearly June friends and my yard still looks a lot like this... Over the last couple of weeks, once my Spring garden beds were all cleaned out the questioning began to my husband, "Are you going to try and finish this and move the beds or am I going to Summer plant where I'm at?" Maybe you can guess the answer.... That's right, still not done, no date in mind and the rest of my back yard looks a WHOLE lot worse than this area while the upheaval is happening. 

The older you get, the harder it is to wait on things. I've teased my husband a time or two that just when I get everything here looking the way I want it, we will either move or die!! Why can't I just have the space I want NOW and enjoy it? Oh well...... I'm sure with time it will all happen and be worth the wait.  There are days when it just becomes one more "negative" thing in my already wild and chaotic life. 

The update? There will be more blogging here. It's not going to be all sugar coated though, because frankly, that isn't my life. Each day, probably like a lot of you, I set my intentions to find happy, positive things to focus on and do. Like attracts like right? And some days that works. But some days... well, to coin a phrase from my daughter, "It's like Hell on Earth" and there is just nothing you can do to make it better no matter how many times you "restart your day." So I will be sharing some of that here too, because that makes me REAL. And one thing I am is real!!

If you're still with me on this blogging adventure, THANK YOU!!  I hope to have much, MUCH more to share with you in the upcoming months.


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