Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Happy One Week Birthday!

I've made it one week!
Happy, happy birthday to "Frannie" my new hip!


She can hold me up nicely (in some cases so well that I forget to use my cane/walker)

Her incision is healing perfectly (no infection-knock on wood)

Her pain is minimal.  Still taking pain meds but tapering off

She is only waking me up once a night to change her diaper and for 3 o'clock pain med feeding

I can take her out for a 2 hour outing max but each day she is tolerating more.

Frannie is my new best friend.  I am going to depend on her for everything.  She will take care of me when I'm a little old lady.

on another note, Fannie and I ARE going a little stir crazy.
Every day I have these HUGE plans for us.
About an hour and a half into those plans I look at Sister and say "I gotta go home"
Frannie needs to rest.

Have a great day y'all!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

David Duke....A Photographer with Raw Talent

About a year ago, I noticed a picture that a Facebook friend of mine posted.
Now.  I love photography.  And taking a good photograph is something that I struggle with every time I click the button on my camera.  I think you either "got it" or you don't when it comes to a camera.

The definition of "Raw Talent"
Webster defines raw talent as "powerfully impressive talent"
I agree.

Enter David Duke.
David is 55 years old.  He lives in my hometown of Dothan, Alabama (one of the most talented cities in the country BTW)
He has carried around a camera all of his life, but has had no formal training.

Instinctively gifted is how I would describe him.  He says he's lucky to get the shots he gets.  I beg to differ.  I'm pretty darn lucky, and I have never, ever been able to capture images like he can.
I love that his photography brings peace to his hectic life.
I love that this guy has a hobby that he loves and one that he will carry with him for the rest of his life.

David is Executive Director for the United Way 2-1-1, in the Wiregrass Area.
(Lower Alabama for those of you unfamiliar)

now.  Sit back,  relax,  and enjoy the "Bug Photographer's" beautiful work!

"Powerfully Impressive"! 
Camera - Nikon D 3200
Favorite Lens - AF Nikkor 55-300, 1:4.5-5.6-GED

Let me also give a huge shoutout to United Way's photography event coming up!
If you're in the Wiregrass area, please try to attend!
Way to go David Duke!

have a wonderful day y'all!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

One Thing I Didn't Think About.....

You know, when we all decided (my whole family and I made this decision) that I would come to Birmingham for my recovery, there was one thing I personally didn't think about.
First of all,
The reason we decided that I should recover in Birmingham was actually a pretty simple one.
I can't drive for 6 weeks, Sister's job is more flexible than "W"s, and I have tons of family and friends  (including our three kids) who live here who can help occupy my time.
I was kind of worried that I would get depressed staying couped up by myself for the first two weeks.

So, as well as I am doing, yesterday a flood of emotions came rushing back into my body.
I didn't cry or anything, it was just kind of a reality moment.

First, I have just pounded it into my oldest daughter's head that my three g-babies cannot under any circumstance get on my lap or get hyped up around me.
I usually go busting in the door going "Gigi's here!!!" "Gigi's here!"  And we immediately start doing crafts or something!!!

(just a funny pic)
So, yesterday when we got to J's house, they were wonderful.  They were a little stand offish which made me sooooo sad, but they did exactly what I hoped they would do.
  I know that this is SO temporary and in no time at all I'll be jumping and playing and spinning around and dancing with them again.  But, I'll be honest, and I guess it was weird my thought process, (it's probably the drugs) but I saw fear in their eyes.  Maybe like they thought what's happened to my Gigi, and is she going to be like this forever?  I'm sure that they were actually scared because they've never seen me like that.  I'm so thankful that this is a temporary thing.  I realize it could be much, much worse.
when I got to Sister's house, my niece Harper met me out at the car.
I looked at her and saw the same fear in her eyes that I saw in my grandchildren's.
Now.  Harper really took the brunt of mother's issues.  There were many days that she changed Depends, made her dinner, and helped lift her from a chair (she was 14).  It was really pretty tough on not just Harper but all of Sister's kids (mom lived with them for the 6 months before she died).
Anyway, I guess it was just such a shock to see me who has never in my life had any issues, barely able to get out of a car and wincing in pain walking with a walker.  I'm the crazy aunt who does crazy things.
oops.  that's my sister, Ally and Harperdoodlebug.

I got to Sister's after the 3 hour drive and went straight to bed.  Harper came and got in bed with me and we talked for a moment.  It was one of the sweetest moments of my life.  Sister came in the bedroom and said "what are y'all doing" and we both said "cuddling".  I love that kid so much.
Anyway, Sister and I were talking about this yesterday.  And she made the perfect point that when I got here, just looking at me brought back a flood of  horrible memories of what my mother went through just 3 years back.
But, thankfully, I have a hilarious sister to keep me in stitches.....
on another note....
I was getting coffee this morning and walking around the kitchen when I realized I was walking without the walker or cane....shuuuu don't tell "W".  It was a total accident that I cannot do again.

Have a wonderful day y'all!

Friday, May 23, 2014


WoMAN of Steel

able to leap tall buildings with a single bound.
well, maybe!

Tuesday I said goodbye to my art studio for at least a month.
had lunch with two of my favorites
(thank you E for coming and staying ALLDAYLONG with "W")
treated myself to these:
and a mani/pedi
packed my stuff for the next two weeks.

Arrived at Emory Spine and Orthopaedics at 7:15 a.m.
What a prompt place.  Let me tell ya, this started out like clockwork.
They got me back at 8 a.m., prepped me, and by about 9:15 I was back in surgery.

The doctor I chose is Dr. Thomas Bradbury.
Now at age 40 pretty young, but I researched the heck out of him.
Remember, my mom died from complications from Hip Replacement surgery.
She had MRSA of the bone.

Dr. Bradbury has done extensive research on MRSA related cases after hip or joint replacements.
When "W" and I went to see him the first time, I cannot tell you how impressed we were.  He was excited about what he did.  He was clear that this was major surgery.  He explained in almost excruciating detail what the surgery would be like.  i.e. pounding with a mallet, drilling a hole in the femur, manipulating the thigh muscle.

Also, this surgeon does not put you completely under.  I was in a twilight sleep similar to what you are in for a colonoscopy.
For Total Hip Replacement....Kray Kray huh?
He also does the surgery from the front of the hip.
Much, much easier for healing.  I've got quite a lot of backside so he didn't have to cut through all that fat.

I had the cutest anesthesiologist I've ever seen.  She was just precious.
Why the world are anesthesiologist always so cute?
She literally injected the needle below my spine and wham.  I don't remember anything until I woke up in recovery.
Wide Awake!

man, I did it!!!! why all the anxiety?  This was a breeze!!! This was what everyone had told me!  Easiest surgery ever!

That afternoon, they had me up and walking and I even got to ride this little contraption
yee haw.
BTW,  I'm designing new hospital gowns.  Good Lord have mercy for Fathers.

so, Dr. Bradbury came in around 7 that night.
Poor thing, he was totally exhausted.
He said "I have to show you something".
He pulls out his iPhone and shows me my hip.  As in the actual bone while he was doing surgery.
(I'll spare you the picture)
The ball of my femur was cracked clear through.  Picture a piece of wood cracked through.  That was my bone.
Yikes.  No wonder the pain!
Totally validated my decision for having Total Hip Replacement instead of Core Decompression.  C D would not have worked and I would have been back in the hospital for a second surgery.  Those prayers you guys all prayed for me?  Thank you SO very much.  
God listens.

Anyway, after thinking I'm Superwoman and can breeze through major surgery, I had a little problem that night.

First of all, I had to fire one of my nurses.  Totally incompetent.  Totally.  I have never in my life seen anything like it.  This is not how Emory S & O does business I know, so the CEO will be getting a letter from me.
This nurse:
First of all had a horrible attitude which did not sit well with me.
I go out of my way to be as nice as possible to nurses.  They have a tough job.
I had to go to the bathroom.  I had to tell her to unhook my compression cuffs on my legs.
I had to tell her to get my walker, and to bring the IV.  (and I was the one on drugs).
then she left with out covering me up.  I realize that sounds a little "princessey" but I couldn't bend down to get the blanket!
This happened twice.
The last straw was when she did not wash her hands after taking me to the restroom and then forgot to turn my compression cuffs back on.  (those are to help prevent blood clots)
and, she was obviously out of it.  I mean much more than I was!  I'm serious.
Now, I don't ever cause a stir.
but, I was there by myself and I absolutely did NOT want this nurse taking care of me.
I called in the other nurse and the head nurse and told them under NO circumstances "C" was to step foot in my room.
I was met with a huge apology and was told she wouldn't and that was not how Emory S & O does business.  I believe that too.

All night long I had to pee.  I felt so daggum sorry for my nurse.  I'm talking I was up every single hour on the hour calling the nurse to take me to the potty.  Which also meant that I never went to sleep.
I finally dosed off about 5 a.m. and missed my medicine.
Well. at 6 when I woke up I was in pain like I had never in my life felt.  Ever.
OMG y'all.  It was just horrible.

Lesson learned....don't drink tons of water after surgery because they are pumping you with fluids.  I also totally over stimulated myself.

By 10 yesterday morning I was good.  PT came and released me and then OT.  We got our goodies...i.e. potty seat, cane, and walker and by 3:30 we were outta there!
about 31 hours after we arrived.

Today, I'm headed to stay for two weeks with sister.
Kim is a natural care taker.  

Please pray for these specifics for me:

That I will take it easy for the next 6 weeks and not try to overdo it.
That my typically high strung body will relax and that I'll get plenty of much needed rest
No infection.  Let me repeat.  No infection.
Complete recovery
that I'll be able to do this one day again!
This was us dancing just three weeks ago!!!

Have a fantastic day y'all!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sewing 101!

Yesterday I got busy.
I have been searching the world over (literally) for Palazzo pants for after my surgery.
Which is this Wednesday at 7:45 for all of those wanting to send flowers, gifts, money....heehee.
But, I will be at Emory Orthopeadics and Spine
just kidding about the gifts of course.  Money?  well.
Anyway, loose clothing is where I'm gonna be for the next six weeks.
And I want to look cute.  Because if I don't, my sister will kick me out of her house.
seriously.  She likes cute.
so anyway, in my quest to find the perfect pants, I either came up with pricey (very) or not so cute...,  so, I had to resort to my sewing machine.
Now, if you do not know how to sew, but would like to learn, this is a perfect, I mean perfect pattern for you to learn.
So, get out that dusty ole sewing machine that your mom gave you 15 years ago and get busy!!!
first up, this pattern.
Also know, that the people that design home made patterns don't know what they are doing as far as sizing a pattern goes.  I'm serious about that.  Go up ATLEAST 2 sizes.  This only applies to women's patterns.  Children's seems to be much truer to size.
You can learn a lot of basics with this pattern.  Cutting, sewing a straight seam, finishing a seam (I'll get to that in a bit), hemming, and making a casing and threading the elastic.
now, it was really too complicated for me to document every step of this with my camera, but I want to show you this.  I used a nylon fabric.  After you sew the seams, it is advisable to zigzag the seam.  If you have a serger (mine is stored away somewhere) this does not apply.  This is the setting I used.  Lower the stitch length, and widen the stitch width.  If this is too complicated just don't worry with doing it.

this is the outcome.

and these are what I made! (yesterday morning).  Takes about 1 hour (or less) per pants.

love, love, love this fabric

this is to let you know how important cutting your pattern out is.  If anyone can guess why these pants will ONLY be worn inside, you win a prize.  (don't get excited, just kidding)

and my selfies! :) (next surgery? eye lift)

this if for my beach trip that I'm giving myself after I recoup.
on to a more difficult pattern.
cute, very, cute.
you may want to sew a little before tackling this one.  Pattern companies lOVE to say EASY on them  because it sells the pattern.

love this and will wear it many times.  Could have used a large though.
Also, I think the fabric is a little stiff for such a draped top.
let me edit...
had to throw in this little number I whipped up this morning...
I love!
fabric and trim - Hoblob - total cost about 15.00

Breakdown on price.

Retro fabric (first pic) - Gail K Fabrics Atlanta - 12.00 yd. - 25.00
Tie Dyed Fabric - Hancocks - 6.00 yd. - 15.00
Red chevron - Hanckocks - 12.00 yd. - 25.00
pants take 2 1/2 yds.

Gail K Fabrics - 12.00 yd. - 25.00

total not including the patterns
90.00 for 3 pairs of pants and one top....
not to bad huh?

have a great day y'all!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

An Exciting Artist...Kathyrn Trotter

Every now and then I run across an artist too good not to blog about.
That would be Kathyrn Trotter.
Kathryn is one of the newest artists at Ferrari Fine Art

Kathyrn joined the gallery a couple of months ago in one of the Atelier that sits on top of the gallery.
This is where Kathyrn, Caroline and myself have our studios.

Now, to say I admire Kathryn's art and technique is an understatement.  Her use of oils applied with a pallet knife is some of the best work I've seen in a long time.  She mixes the oils to perfection.
Sometimes my poor new friend has to chew me off of her arm because I could sit and watch her paint all day long.  And you know, that can be somewhat annoying.
We have a wonderful relationship though because we both feel like we add energy to the gallery with each other and respect the advice that we offer one another.  (I hope I'm not being too assuming :)
With that being said, she is also a highly collectible artist.
Anyway, I wanted to share some of her beautiful work!

For more information, please contact:
for more information of Kathyrn Trotter's work!

have a wonderful day y'all!