He said he would…and he did!

It has been a couple months since I last posted anything to this blog.  My life has gone crazy.  You know, the kind of crazy that resembles being on one of those children’s playground merry-go-rounds.  The giant disk that spins with someone pushing it to go faster and faster until someone flies off.

I have had to come out of “retirement” from my truck driving job.  Joe has been in and out of the hospital since March 6th….for various reasons and procedures.  In between the hospital stays I have had to go with him to make sure he doesn’t do any kind of “Superman” stuff that would cause complications to his healing.

This will be a rather long post.  Mostly because of photos to catch up on what has been happening here.

Joe had made me two promises.  One was to make a “Press” for me to use in my crafting.  The other was to make a table/stand for my ginormous paper trimmer he got me for last Christmas.  It has bothered him – a whole lot – that he did not make them earlier.  Has not bothered me because I knew that he would make them when he could spend the time necessary.

So…without further ado.  Here is the story of my crazy life in March and April of 2014.  Seems like forever instead of just two months…..

March 6th he went in for hand surgery to take care of a problem he had with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Before surgery

Before surgery

After surgery

After surgery

 

He did well throughout the procedures.  Took a couple hours for the whole process and he was home that same afternoon.

His left hand was going numb.  Mostly the pinky and ring fingers and he could not make his hand close enough to get the fingers to touch his thumb.  The surgery has corrected that and the numbness has all but disappeared.

After a few days at home, after the surgery, he spent some quality time in his room at his drafting table.  He had his “thinking hat on” 😀  He’s “Old School” with his drafting.  Pencils, vellum paper, rulers, and stencil gauge thingys.

Joe at his drafting table

Joe at his drafting table

He loves it when I come with my camera

He loves it when I come with my camera

Joe is designing a piece of equipment for the Drive-Away business.  Something for the “Singles” drivers to connect their vehicles to the back of a bobtail truck so they don’t have to rely on public transportation.

 

He is having the first prototype built now from his drawings.  The equipment has been built and has been painted.  It will be a while before the unveiling.

Joe was back in the hospital a week after his Carpal Tunnel surgery.  He had another bout of blood clots in his lung.  He was a couple days in the hospital that time.  There was an IVC Filter put in to catch the blood clots before they reached his lungs again.  He is on blood thinner medicine once more.

In the emergency room

In the emergency room

Diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung

Diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung

This was an unexpected bit of news.  Thankfully he is one strong old coot and is doing well.  This problem had to be addressed and worked on.  Now it became uppermost in my mind to be with him when he went back out on the road.  Not so much for his physical well being but I felt I needed to be there just in case some calamity ensued while he was all by himself with no one to be there if he had any other problems and was found by the hotel/motel’s housekeeping staff.  That would have caused me a lifetime of grief.

Once  home and feeling better he went to work on my “Press”.  He got to spend some play time with his new friends.  The table saw and the drill press 😀

Enjoying some creative time

Enjoying some creative time

He had his stitches removed, declared nearly good as new, and we made preparations to get back out on the road.

Stitches removed

Stitches removed

Moving trucks from Alabama to Mississippi

Moving trucks from Alabama to Mississippi

We moved a total of 12 trucks from Mobile, Alabama on the Gulf Coast to Tunica, Mississippi to be sold at auction.

We had to be home, once again, for another surgery on Joe’s right knee on April 22nd.

Right knee surgery

Right knee surgery

Some "good drugs" make him loopy

Some “good drugs” make him loopy

Joe was in and out of the hospital the same day.  He had to remain bandaged for 48 hours.  That was the longest 48 hours either of us had been through.  Even all the other procedures he has had didn’t seem as long as this one did.

After he had the bandages off and found walking and moving to be considerably less painful he continued on with his projects for me.  Poor guy….gotta say that I love this crazy man.

As he began feeling better and better he continued work on my “Press”.  It was time to use the router to round off the edges of the pieces he built.

Stacking the pieces together

Stacking the pieces together

Clamping on "Sacrificial" boards

Clamping on “Sacrificial” boards

Routing off the hard edges

Routing off the hard edges

Is that cool or what?!

Is that cool or what?!

Joe glued on Formica to the tops and bottoms of each of these two pieces.  This would give me a good flat surface when I press the pieces I need to when I glue papers on cardboard or on chipboard.  The Formica will be like a “non” stick surface with easy clean up for me.

He then used his router to trim the Formica and make this thing look really good.  The router bit broke at one point and caused a fur ball of a mess along the bottom edge of one of the pieces.  Joe is really upset with that but I’m not.  It will be on the bottom and no one will ever know there is a problem with his creation.

Routing off the extra Formica

Routing off the extra Formica

This is my “Press”.  It has wing nuts to tighten the pieces together over what is being pressed between the plates.  It is large enough for me to press anything that is as large as 12″ x 12″.  Bonus is he has installed handles on the top part for me to easily take the top off and/or put it back on the rods.

My completed "Press"

My completed “Press”

And FINALLY!  He built a trough thing for my ginormous paper trimmer.  The box he built fits on top of a rolling cart we bought from IKEA.  This thing will keep the paper trimmer from dancing around on the cart as I use it.  Plus he made it a little larger than the trimmer itself so it would be supported better.  Less of a chance to damage that heavy monster.

Paper trimmer support

Paper trimmer support

Since Joe has not needed as much “Babysitting” as I had been doing.  I got to spend a bit of time in my craft room and make an extremely late birthday present.  One of our daughter’s is plum crazy about New Orleans, Louisiana and Mardi Gras or ghosts.  I made her a mask as her birthday present.

Mardi Gras mask for my daughter

Mardi Gras mask for my daughter

Her late birthday present

Her late birthday present

And as if this post is not ALREADY long enough.  I’m going to add the YouTube video I made creating the mask.  Everything was purchased from Hobby Lobby and/or Michaels.  Oh, ya…with the exception of the colored beads.  I got them from Dollar Tree for a buck.

Now that should do you for your entire day wasted on your computer reading blogs.

Leslie

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. aspot2stamp
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 16:00:07

    So happy to hear Joe is doing so good. I have missed your posts but knew you were out driving so have just waited to see what you’ve been up to. The press and cart for your trimmer is really nice Joe does fantastic work !! I can really relate to the whirl wind business and chaos of the past few months. Will you be out of retirement for the summer to keep an eye on your man or do you think you can turn him loose? My crafty corner has been calling me but the time seems to keep eluding me 😦 I did get a canvas finished and Levi painted one of his plaster animals so it will have to suffice for now. Are you getting any of the horrible storms in your neck of the woods ? we have just gotten some wind and hard rain but no tornados and I am happy about that. Take care.

    Love and hugs to you and Joe
    Shelly

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      Apr 29, 2014 @ 18:37:06

      Thanks Shelly. I’ll be out with Joe for a while 😦 Not thrilled with the prospect but it will be through the summer.

      However. I will get a month off and I will be creating then. My youngest daughter will be having twins the end of June or first of July and I’m going to go be Gramma! I will be taking my craft totes with me and I’m going to mess up their house 😀

      We’ve had high winds and some rain. Thank God it has not been any worse than that. Tornado season is just getting a start here in Oklahoma. There is no telling what we are in for this year.

      I hope to see your canvas creation appear on your blog. Maybe even some photos of Levi’s work, too.

      Love you my friend – Leslie

      Reply

  2. Maureen Mathis
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 23:07:00

    Wow, you’ve been a busy girl, and Joe’s not letting any dust settle on him either! I’m so glad he was able to get around pretty quickly on his cleaned out knee. Has it helped his symptoms, making it less painful to get around? Or was it only while dancing to Phantom of the Opera that caused him pain?!!!!

    Enjoy your time at home until he gets cleared to get back on the road. It won’t be so bad for you; last time, you had a bit of anxiety about the impending retirement, wondering if you’d adjust and find a new, happy, normal. Now that you’ve seen that it’s not so bad, you’ll really enjoy your time with Joe, but will look forward to your next retirement, but this time, you’ll have a better sense of what it entails, and how you can balance your activities and really enjoy it.

    I don’t know if you knew this, but I’ve developed quite a talent for predicting the future in the past few months, and I foresee a trip to San Marcos in your new retirement for a crafting weekend! Love you, my friend!

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      May 01, 2014 @ 08:21:19

      Thank you, Maureen. Joe has a limp. He’s had one for so long that I think it is permanent. He says his right knee doesn’t hurt any longer. He can twist his foot at odd angles now, something he has not been able to do without a lot of pain. He can straighten his knee fully now when he lies in bed or is reclining in his chair. The pain at night when he is abed has finally gone away and he can sleep fully without having to spend the night trying to find a position that doesn’t hurt.

      😀 That big smiley face was for your mention of “Phantom of the Opera” and his dancing!

      A crafting weekend in San Marcos?! That sounds like so much fun! Let’s do that! YES!

      Love you – Leslie

      Reply

  3. gardenpinks
    Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:29:24

    Was wondering how you guys were getting on and then here you are with a lovely long newsy blog post!! So glad to hear that Joe is on the mend again but sad that you will have to work again – however not for so long hopefully.
    Hope Carissa is well, bet she is getting lots of things prepared for her double trouble – been there and got the t shirt 😀 Tell her it does get easier………..eventually LOL. Love the way you think you are going to have time to craft while playing Granma 😀 Yeah right!
    Love the press and table top Joe constructed for you, he is such a perfectionist isn’t he? Has he ever tried making things to sell? Wood items are so popular especially items that can be ‘altered’ such as unusual boxes, triptychs and icons.

    Our youngest grandson of 9.5 months is now hauling himself up onto his feet, causing heart failure when he tries to throw himself off tables and chairs, has two teeth and the most gorgeous smile and big brown eyes with long eyelashes 🙂

    Love and hugs to you both
    Lynn xxxx

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      May 01, 2014 @ 08:37:08

      What?! Are you saying I won’t be able to strew my craft stuff about Carissa’s house after the babies come?! 😀 I guess if anyone would know it would be you since you have a set of twins. I’ve been with two of my daughters after their single babies were born. The most recent one I got to spend my time cleaning their home and cooking meals for them. The chaos of a newborn and the lack of sleep for the parents left them no time to do anything other than feeding and diapering of the little one.

      I’ll have to have a talk with Joe about making things he can sell for craft altering. That is a fantastic idea, thanks Lynn for that idea!

      Has it been that long since your newest grandbaby has been born? Where has the time gone?! It sounds as though he has the potential of being one who finds adrenalin rushes exciting while everyone else suffers from heart palpitations or having it lodged in their throats 😀 I bet you have a great time with your grandsons when you are asked to watch them for a day or two. Looking into those big brown eyes with the long eyelashes and wondering what he is going to get himself into next 😀

      Love you – Leslie

      Reply

  4. Betsy Skagen
    May 19, 2014 @ 12:22:23

    I’m so glad you (and Joe) are ok! I had been wondering. What will you do with the press in particular? One thing I have been wondering about is how to get my scrapbook flat again after they have been mixed-mediaed to death with gesso, paint, ink, glue and ephemera. I have tried a low temp iron, but have only had moderate success. Perhaps a press would work.- Betsy at PaperCalliope.com

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      May 19, 2014 @ 18:40:03

      Hey, Betsy. That Joe….between our truck driving job and his penchant for taking vacations in the hospital :/ crafting has been reduced to once in a while 😦

      I make journals and notebooks. The press is to mash the fool out of the chipboard and/or cardboard covers covered with glued on papers.

      If you don’t have a lot of thick items in your scrapbook – mixed media journal thing – putting a stack of books on top of your warped stuff. Probably leave it for a week.

      Leslie

      Reply

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