Friday, January 8, 2016


It's amazing that we're already eight days into 2016. I'd like to say that I've been in my sewing room, whipping out quilts and projects right and left, but in fact, I don't have much to show for the past eight days.

It's this little guy who's captured all our attention and time. Hogan is wearing two of my t-shirts - one of them says, "I'm all about quilting!" - because wearing them prevents him from scratching the site of his surgery. He went through that on Wednesday.

Hogan is our 12 year-old rescued beagle-chow, who belonged to our daughter for five years before he became ours. He has health problems. They began in December with a very noticeable, golf ball-sized lump on his chest, just below his right front leg. I mentioned in a previous post that a test showed abnormal cells. Pre-surgery, his lump was quite noticeable.

While in Austin visiting family, Hogan went to the vet because of scratching that resulted in open, bleeding sores. Diagnosis: skin infection.

After more than two weeks of two different antibiotics, and two different types of medicated baths, the skin infection wasn't improving. But on Wednesday he needed surgery for that fast-growing tumor. The morning of surgery, we mentioned a dry cough he had been experiencing, and an X-ray showed bronchitis! So the poor boy went into surgery with bronchitis, a skin infection, and cancer.

Thanks to doxycycline, prednisone, and pain killers, post-surgery, it's apparent he's feeling a little better. The sores are drying up and scabbing over. He's no longer scratching or coughing. But the cancer... The vet had to go through three layers of muscle to remove cancer, and even at the third layer expressed her concern that she wasn't able to get all of the cancer. We're waiting for a pathology report and phone call from the vet to let us know Hogan's prognosis. Of course, we're hoping for the best while our hearts are slowly breaking. We love this sweet face.

Distraction over Hogan has kept me from engaging with my projects. Still, while with Big Cypress Quilters on Tuesday afternoon, I sewed another Dress a Girl Around the World pillowcase dress. It warms my heart to sew girly clothes, so this was just the feel-good thing I needed. The hem trim, pocket, and bias ties are sewn from one of the 75 beautiful Blueberry Park prints. Love.

Between December car time, and weekly time with Happy Stitchers, I've gotten a nice start on the hand embroidery of my Iowa Sampler. I'm using three strands of Cosmos embroidery thread.

I've half-heartedly begun quilting My Small World. Those are puffy clouds across the sky. I'm definitely not customizing my quilting as my Aussie friend, Di did... but gosh, hers is lovely! Take a look!

I've also made and prepped for quilting a 42" X 42" baby quilt. It's a simple design, sewn with a lovely 60s Scrapbag print by Emma Jean Jansen. This is one of the five patterns students can choose from when I begin teaching First Time Quiltmaking next Monday. Nineteen people are registered!

With lost time spent contemplating and praying, I've also been considering my 2016 word for the year. I settled on "lighten," because the word applies to three areas of my life.

First, I intend to intentionally "lighten" my fabric stash by sewing, as much as possible, from the fabrics I already own. It's not about having too much fabric, but simply focusing on what's at hand.

Second, I will "lighten" my person. This sounds like a goal to lose weight, and it is. But it's more about controlling the quality of the foods I eat - though we both, daily, continue to drink 16 ounces of fresh-squeezed vegetable and fruit juice - and again fitting into a pile of lovely clothes that have been stored away. I can and will place blame for my weight gain on my breast cancer drug (Arimidex). The oncologist told me weight gain is a side effect. I just don't intend to let this get the better of me.

Third, I will "lighten" my burdens. The fact is, I can't control what burdens befall me, but I can choose to give my problems to God. He knows I'm probably looking at some difficult times this year - Hogan and my own continuing PAD problems (plaque blockages in both legs). Giving my burdens to God, to lighten my load, is the best medicine for spiritual and emotional good health.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. - Matthew 11:28.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. - Matthew 11:30 
Not to leave you with too-serious thoughts, here's something that made me smile today. This was in the parking lot of the rec center where I'd just finished my weekly Bible study class. My heart did a lurch to see such a pretty-colored Bug. And it's a convertible, no less!

I'll always miss mine. Linda
Me on college graduation day, May 2000, with my present from Dan.


KaHolly said...

Hope Hogan has a full recovery! You've done well to accomplish as much as you did. Excellent word of the year, Linda. Well chosen! XO

Susan Snooks said...

Best wishes for Hogan's prognosis... our pets are a very special part of our families, aren't they? Your zigzag quilt is lovely- I enjoy making that design with rectangles rather than HSTs.Your embroidery is looking great- very relaxing I'm sure. And finally, love the pink car! I'd love a little one like that to zip around town in!

Marlene said...

Poor Hogan. Here's hoping for good news when the results are available. Lovely projects you have managed to achieve. Sending hugs.

Oops-Lah said...

Poor Hogan indeed. I know about the skin infection; our chow had them for years too. It doesn't help to live in a tropical climate. Our vet prescribed steroids and although it might have shortened his life, at least it was not plagued by constant itching. I hope he cancer prognosis isn't too bad. I like your word for 2016 and how you apply it to your life. Matthew 11:30 has always been one of my favorit Bible verses not least because of Handle's Messiah.

Paige said...

I hope Hogan is better soon! I need to lighten this year as well. You haven't changed a bit since college! Happy New Year!

allthingzsewn said...

I'm praying for Hogan and you. God loves him as much as you do.

DobyRed said...

Linda, I don't know what I enjoy more, admiring your amazing ability with needle and thread, both manual and electric or reading your blogs, which certainly are a testament to your journalistic abilities. My hear is heavy for Hogan and I will pray for God's will in his treatment. I too have an aging pet, who has been with us 19 years. Unconditional love. Hugs

DobyRed said...

Linda, I don't know what I enjoy more, admiring your amazing ability with needle and thread, both manual and electric or reading your blogs, which certainly are a testament to your journalistic abilities. My hear is heavy for Hogan and I will pray for God's will in his treatment. I too have an aging pet, who has been with us 19 years. Unconditional love. Hugs

tink's mom said...

Prayers go out to you, Dan and Hogan. I so understand the stress involved on your heart strings. The main thing now is that you guys love him and know that he knows that. Hugs
I had an original bug back in the day a 1969 in Navy Blue.

Karen said...

What a post. My prayers are with you in all areas that need a touch. Hope we can get together the next time you pass thru.

Nancy said...

Do sure hope that all goes well with Hogan-the poor guy has a lot going on! Oh that Bug- way cute. And your embroidery is lovely. Nice to have hand work to do now and again.

Robbie said...

My heart aches for Hogan and you....hope all comes out well and his prognosis is positive! Thanks goodness he has you in his life!!

Dar said...

Prayers going out to you and Hogan. Poor baby to have to endure so much in his later life. Your word for the year is a good one. I would totally agree with #1 and #3. Those would be on my list too. You have lots of pretty projects to start the year off.

leanne said...

fingers crossed for Hogan - such a sweet face ! and love the embroidery !

Jackie's Stitches said...

I'm behind on blog reading. So sorry to hear about Hogan. Thinking of you all and hope all is well!

Trina Gallop said...

I hope Hogan is feeling a little better today and is well on the mend. He's adorable and so special. Prayers for good news when you follow up on the vet with the results. They are such an important part of the family.


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