Thursday, December 31, 2020

December Mini of the month


 This is my mini quilt for December.  It all started from those light blue triangles...I made the little quilt around those leftover pieces.  Hope you have a lovely day today, the last day of this year!


Please see Wendy, here, our great and fearless mini quilt leader!  Just wait until you see her mini quilt...WOW!


The Constant Quilter: Fig Leaf and Flower - ready to quilt


Julie

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Applique update

Good morning, all!  I am posting this from 2:30 in the morning...just cannot sleep.  This is not a good thing, because I have to work tomorrow!  Here is my applique update for my applique/piecing quilt, "Mrs. Lincoln's sampler quilt." I have all the blocks sewn together, to this point.
This one is my applique block, 
And this one is my pieced block.  I added some string piecing, just because I love it so much.  
I just like this jolly guy, so I added a picture of him!  The label on  the back says I made him in 2017.  
My buddy at work ordered this for me!  Cute!
Speaking of work, we have to wear blue scrubs.  I made this little apron, to wear...my shoulders are getting pulled forward with all the stuff I carry in my pockets, and I though this might help.  I know the young kids at work will tease me about this!
I experimented and made a tiny pin cushion, from a pill container.  I need something else to stuff it with, other than batting...maybe walnut shells.  


*********************************Nurse's  notes**************************

I went back to work after 4 glorious days off.  I have to say, the 26th was an especially lovely day for me!  Relaxed and just fun!

Covid is exploding here.  We had 40 (FORTY!) holds in ER...this means 40 patients were waiting for beds in the hospital. JUST IN MY HOSPITAL ALONE!  We had a total of 111 covid patients in-house yesterday.   I was in charge and got calls from Abilene, Argyle, Corsicana, Oklahoma even, all wanting beds for covid patients.  I just could not safely absorb any more patients.  I feel that this will be so much worse before it gets better, after the Christmas surge and then the New Year's surge hits us.  In Rockwall, our hospital reports all the administration is out on the floors, trying to help.  Nurse directors and managers are all taking patients.  All single rooms now have two patients in them, in that hospital.   I have no idea where they are getting beds from, maybe renting them?  They report 140% patient capacity in their hospital. 

Wendy, my nurse friend on our floor, is out with covid.  Olivier, our social worker, is out with it, and not doing well.  Emily, James, and Shelly are also out sick with it.  Many doctors are out with it, and this is where the tower could topple.  

The atmosphere is one of desperation, of frantic-ness, of anger and aggravation, of fear, interspersed with the occasional joke and grin.  Hugs are non-existent.  I ran all day long, trying to help where the help was needed most. Never sat down once, except to do staffing.   All I can say is, they get 12-14 hours of me, and then I go home.  That is it, folks!!  I will work as hard as I can for those hours, and no more...no more 16 hour shifts for me, although one dialysis nurse worked 24 hours straight with no relief, last week.  Way to go, Robin, my sweet friend!  Just more and more patients needed life sustaining dialysis, and they just kept on bringing her patients, so what could she do?? These patients were on the edge of death, high potassium levels, and HAD to have dialysis or face death. When your kidneys don't work, it is not good!  7 am to 7 am the next morning.

I get my second vaccine in the coming week, and that will be a good thing.  I liken this to the Crimean War, for old Florence Nightingale, or Clara Barton, in the civil war, who formed the Red Cross. At least we do not have to cook, and grow our own food, and make our own bandages, as they did, as nurses, or the many other harsh realities of life on those times! They had little medicine, very few supplies.   But this is our time to shine, and we are trying our very best to help each and every person who needs it. 

Blood bank is over-run with requests for convalescent plasma and blood products.  Lab is over maxed out. Radiology is using nuclear techs and ultrasound people to do x-rays on the floor.  Overtime is mandated, now.  Many are at 80-100 hours per week.  Ambulance personnel are doing 48 hour shifts on, 24 off, and then back for another 48. Good thing those kids are made of energy and toughness, fueled by Red Bull and coffee!  

We have received e-mails warning us that we will be expected to take twice the patient load per nurse as we usually have.  We received 11 government nurses, in the general hospital side, to help us...I have no idea where they come from.  So our paradigm is shifting, and we are taking more and more critical patients.  The doctors are choosing who gets the machines...vents, CRRT machines, bipaps are all at a premium. Life and death, honestly... Our elective cases for surgery have been stopped, so we can use those resources to take care of covid patients.  

********************************************************************************

Just for me....someday, I will reflect on these musings and I wonder what I will think of them?



Julie



Saturday, December 26, 2020

Quiltville mystery day!


 Good evening to everyone!  Christmas is over for the year, so I just spent the day in a relaxed mode. I had leftovers for meals, and pie for dessert.  What could be better?   I finished the whole Clue 5 of the Quiltville mystery!  I am delighted...I have changed the colors a bit, and I just think those little nine patches are cuter than anything!


So that is it...a hassock piled high with quilt pieces.  On we go!!



Julie

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!!

I am wishing each of you the Merriest Christmas, ever!!!  I received this tiny quilt years ago, which really says it all.  I keep it out all year round!!  Thank you, Janet!!
A secret, sneaky quilt snuck itself into December.  These blocks are make from 1 1/2 wide strips, and 1 1/2 inch red squares.  And away I went!!  

 I just laid them out quickly, so I could see how many I have.  I need to separate some of those blocks with the bright yellows/oranges!


Do you know what this means?  DO YOU?  



LOG CABIN LUNATICS ARE RIDING AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!     (at least this one.)



Hope you have a happy day, whatever you are doing!


Julie

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Update on the mystery quilt from Quiltville

Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt is well under way.  All the steps are still available, if anyone would like to participate.  Please see here:

Quiltville's Quips & Snips!!: Grassy Creek Mystery!




Here are my steps so far.  I haven't got all of the step sewn, but all are cut out and the directions printed.  This represents a lot of time, so far, and a lot of fun!  Bonnie's directions are good, and the pressing details really make the little pieces fun to put together.  This year, a friend and I are doing this quilt together, using different colors.  I am using black for gray, and teal for green...  She is using some purples, which I just love!




 I rearranged part of the pantry yesterday.  Cleaned out everything, sorted and tossed, also donated some good stuff to the food pantry.  It feels good to make some progress!  


I have sort of a quilting blogging plan for next year!  Stay tuned...I am excited!




*********************Nurse's Notes*******************************



There is a atmosphere of hopeful joy at the hospital, because of the vaccine.  Also, there is a pulling on of our "big girl panties", because after the holidays, there is going to be a surge of surges with corona virus.  We are making ready, as best we can.  Conference rooms are being readied for patients.  The fitness center is being made ready.  Huge oxygen tanks have been placed...tubings, vents, bipaps, all being assembled.   We are trying to accommodate the coming storm!  



As for me, I did have a fever of 99.1 after the vaccine, some chills and body aches, and a sore arm. Big deal.  Nothing compared to covid!  This lasted all of about 12 hours, and that was that!


So on we go!  Thank you so, so much, everyone for your kind words of support to me and my colleagues.  We very much appreciate you!



*************************************************************************


The following people made the sweetest comments on the blog last post, and I cannot answer back, because they come back "no reply" when I answer their comments.  I know you can fix this in your blog so that people can reply back to you.  I know there is a way, I just can't explain it, but I know some enterprising blogger will tell me, please?


Danice G

Laurie M

Donna Keating

Susan q 

Linda C

liferecipes

Donna Albright

Sue S.


Thank you for your kind comments, one and all!



Julie

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Vaccinated!

 They just called me from the hospital, and said get up here right now!  They just received our allotment of vaccine and I was Tier one to receive it.  This is based on how many covid patients you are exposed to.  


I went up there stat and I am now vaccinated!  So there is a second injection in three weeks.  I will be tested to make sure I have antibodies after that.  


The air in the inoculation room was one of joy and happiness!  Giggling and euphoria!  Doctors and nurses who in ICU and covid units received it first.  Teams of nurses are sweeping in and vaccinating us!  At last, maybe the beginning of an ending, after nine months of exposure to  Covid.  I saw one little nurse smile for the first time in months.  

I am so, so grateful to the immunologists and researchers who have worked around the clock to make this available.  Grateful!


I will tell you about any side effects or sequelae I have!



From a tearful and excited Julie!


Mid month applique update!

 





Good morning to all!    At last, I figured out the latest Microsoft update...it really messed up where my pictures are stored.  Here is my latest block for Karen and my progress, "The Farmhouse Sampler, " an applique quilt.  I really like this block!  Whimsical and with feathery leaves...what is not to love!  
Here is my progress on the entire sampler.  Of course, it needs to be pressed within an inch of its life, and I totally missed the November block, as you can see in the the giant blank space. (just not enough hours in the day that month!)  But I am making progress, and that is a good thing!  On we go to the borders, and that missing block!

I have all the pieces cut out for Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, " Grassy Creek."  I have some of them sewn.  Enough to make a squishy of the tiny slivers left over, destined for the trash...or not!  

I put a backing piece, layer a piece of batting next, (only cotton, no poly...it conducts heat!)  and stack the slivers of top of it all.  Spray starch on it heavily, and press!  Flat.  Then hope it all stays together, (it does just fine) and just sew back and forth all over the whole thing.  Then, I get a bowl from the cupboard and cut around it, making the circle.  Bind and use!  Or gift!  

Nothing to the landfill, at least not now.  Everything has a purpose and can be useful, right?  The circle...I often imagine there are a finite number of atoms on the earth, and the atoms are rearranged into different configurations...seeds, dirt and water to cotton cloth, for example!!  When the cloth is used and rotten, it returns to the earth and feeds more seeds to grow.



*********************Nurse's Notes*************************


THANK YOU for all your precious words and prayers for me, about  my last post.  You would think I would be a bit tougher, after decades of nursing, but I am tender and love my patients and want to do the best job I can; and I will, with or without hospital administrative support.  They are interested in money, the bottom line, the whiteboards updated, the scripts we are supposed to say to the patients every encounter.  All these things are OK, and should be done, but I am more about real love and reaching out, exploring what each person needs and providing that!!!!!!!!!  NURSING!!  

But hear this!  I WILL NOT LET this virus defeat me!  Although I have thoughts of us running off to the hills and being a quilting fishing hiking baking kind of gal, I will stick and stay, and HELP!  

I continue to have frightened moments...so I pray, and steel myself, plaster that smile on my face that no one can see, due to my mask, and forge ahead.  Isn't that what we are all really doing?  I think there are so many people, steadfastly going about their duties...garbage men, post office workers, just every single person is at risk, and I think that since I see the very worst of the viral sequelae, it makes me more afraid.  All I can do is my best, and that is what I will do, every single day.  Fear comes right from hades, I think.

By the way?  Since our heads are covered, and most of our face, we now wink, or tilt our heads...anyway to communicate well with our patients.  HOH people cannot hear our voices through the mask.  Communication is more challenging.  We use little white boards more and more, hearing aide batteries are now on our floor, (a few kinds only); we are just trying very hard to communicate well.  We have a language translator now, a computer on wheels that connects directly to 80 different languages and linguists!  Cool, huh?

We are making a little library on wheels, so we can take it around to all the rooms and share books.  Cleaning them first, of course!  Patient pillows there, too, to pass out.




ON THE OTHER HAND!  I think that a vacation is due for me, and some self care.  A good healthy diet, taking my vitamins, avoiding the donuts and junk at the hospital so lovingly brought to the nurses, exercise....some time off to fill up my tank so I can give back to others.  I cannot remember the last time I had some time, just for fun.  SO THAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!  soon! So there!

I am glad, so glad for friends far and near, that are so loving and supportive.  Talking about all of you!

**********************************************************************


Have a super day!

Julie

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

More blue blocks

Good evening, everyone!  Above are more swap blocks I received from my local group.  I love them!  I have about 70 so far, and these are just some of them!  These are all 8 inch finished blocks. 



I usually make a "squishy" from my little sliver trimmings when I cut quilt pieces out.  Here are a few of them.  They make great little coasters, or a trivet to sit a warm pot upon, or a pot holder!  I just dislike waste, I guess, so I try to use it all those pretty trimmings up!  It is a fun gift for visitors to the house, if covid is ever over...they can pick one to take home with them. 



They make a pretty stack!



I really like this one, made of trimmings from the latest quiltville mystery quilt.



I was given a great gift, and opened it yesterday, right after a 14 hour shift!  All the way from Australia, my friend gifted me with this quilt!  I just sat down and cried...I love it and the thought of her sending it to me...just could not believe it!  It is the most lovely thing. 

She also sent a Sashiko kit, and a very pretty little bag, made with this technique.



Here is the bag...so much fun!  THANK YOU so much!



I love these little acorns...I have ten zillion of them in the yard, and rake them up by the basket full!

Does anyone remember what a peck basket looks like?  That is the basket I am talking about.






**********************************Warning!  Nurse's Notes!  Don't read if you don't want to...it is real and sad!****************************************


 These little tags are from crash carts.  When someone has a cardiopulmonary arrest, we rush to get the crash cart, full of drugs and iv fluids, and try to resuscitate the person.  These little tags always get flung on the floor.  They are kind of the last number assigned to that patient, you know?  Like social security and driver's license numbers, etc.  I have no idea why  but I always pick them up and put them in my pocket. 


On Monday, I walked in, and my patient was coding.  I forgot to clock in, and just flung my bag down and started CPR.  We coded him for 39 minutes straight...and it was obviously futile.  Before he coded, he got on the phone with his wife and told her, "This is last time I will talk with you.  I love you and our kids...please tell them."  He knew...he knew.  Finally the doc called it and said stop.  The night nurse fled...just took off, I guess emotionally she just could not handle anymore.  I bathed his body, talked to him, changed linens and his gown, got his wife in there and facilitated them to have time together...and then when she was ready, I called the funeral home.  When the funeral home came, they said they are totally full with covid deaths and are renting space to store bodies.  WOW....they were so nice, but that shocked me.  




This week is the first time in my nursing career that I have thought...maybe this is not what I want to do anymore.   It is just so very stressful in the wards...so many doctors and techs and nurses are sick with covid...it is frightening to walk in there.  I pray before each shift...I have to fill out a questionnaire before every shift: "Are you febrile, do you have a cough, have you lost your sense of taste, do you have body aches...etc."  So on and so on. Then I have to have my temperature taken, which always show 97.2 for every single person, and then I am certified to work that day only.   Then we all have to have our temp taken at noon with a real thermometer which shows a real temp, not just 97.2. I have no idea why we have started this now, this month, after all, this pandemic started in February, in my  neck of the woods!  I think it was mandated by the state.


 The doctors say it is like swimming in " Covid Soup."  I have not gotten sick so far, but my co-workers have, and some of them are VERY sick.  I am quite healthy overall, but it still gives me pause.  


I try and think of other things when I am off work...cleaning and laundry and sorting and donating and quilts and lawn care and family stuff and prayer.   I get very nervous before I have to go in for my shifts in a row, now.   They are now mandating overtime, and we cannot refuse to go in when the hospital calls us...we got a letter from the state board of nursing, saying this, and also from our hospital.  

 It creeps in...I have not gone out to a restaurant since February, yet my quilting group locally is going out twice a month.  All elderly people, some in their 90's!! I will absolutely NOT go until this is under control, since I might make them sick, because I work in the Covid soup!  I am not sick, but I don't know what is on my purse, etc, even though I clean everything like a mad fiend. It perturbs me and makes me worry about them...then I thought, this is a symptom...you are not perturbed at them, you are perturbed at the virus and it's impact on YOU!! So I don't know...I wish they would stay home, but they don't work in health care, and don't understand, and are very lonesome, so I cannot blame them for wanting to get together.  


Thanks for listening, and I wish I could take a sabbatical, and go hike around somewhere in the mountains and camp by a stream, and hand quilt, and just forget the stupid virus for a while. There is a name for this:  COVID FATIGUE!  


The scary thing is...some people get more vigilant!  Some people get so relaxed they don't even wear their mask anymore...even one doctor...I have to get after him almost everyday!  (he is a young guy, so I can get away with it).  And guess what...he has covid now!


And guess what!  I got in trouble with my boss for not clocking in, the day of the code!  sigh.......................


No more whining!  On with the fun stuff!!



Julie






Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Half a day off

Good afternoon!  I went to work for 4 hours today, because a nurse I work with had a systolic blood pressure well over 200!  So, we sent her to the doctor, I worked for her, and she came to work after the doctor visit and her new blood pressure medication had helped her.  Hurrah!!  


Above is my mini of the month.  I started it a long time ago, and it is finished now. It seemed to be the perfect mini quilt for me, this month!   I really enjoy nine patch quilts.  This one has 3 inch nine patches.  Please see these ladies...they make mini quilts too, all led by the Constant Quilter, Wendy!  Please see her blog, here.  

The Constant Quilter: November Mini



And see all these lovely ladies too!  They are amazing!


Quilting Babcia (Amity Quilter)

Randy (Barrister’s Block)

Cathy (Big Lake Quilter)

Barb (Fun with Barb)

Shasta (High Road Quilter)

Julie (Julie K Quilts)

Kathy (Kathy’s Quilts)

Sandy (My Material Creations)

Barbara (Quilts, Gravestones and Elusive Ancestors)

Janet (Rogue Quilts)

Kyle (Timeless Reflections)

Cynthia (Wabi-Sabi Quilts)





I started the Quiltville Mystery quilt, "Grassy Creek."  Here is my first clue!!!  A start on it, anyway.

 The rest of the pieces to the clue are all cut out, ready,  waiting and raring to go!



You can join in on this yearly mystery....please see here!  It is free, but after it is over, it is not free anymore...so go get your clues and ducks in a row, right now, LOL!!!


Quiltville's Quips & Snips!!: Grassy Creek Mystery!



Have an amazing day today!!



Julie


progress

Good morning!!  I am working on the above quilt of valor for this year.  It is actually all together, and just needs to be sent off to Ray, ...