Tuesday, July 30, 2013

No time...

I haven't had much time for photo taking, but I found this little guy out on our back walkway. I AM getting pretty desperate here. Not only have I not had the time, but about a third of our wildlife park, where I normally get flower and insect photos, burned. Flowers, trees, cactus, grass and a birdhouse gone. It also burnt completely through some of our post fencing. You can see the tracks where the fire truck drove around. They stopped the fire just a few feet from my shop. The scary part....we weren't home and don't have the first clue when it happened.

You would think this guy was pondering just how far down he had to go. But, he had an easier time going down the step than I did getting back up after the shot.

We also have a new batch of woodpeckers building a nest in the hole in the electrical pole. We just call them the 2013 batch.

The Infamous Bear

He is to me, anyway. I wanted to create a furry Teddy Bear. So many of my attempts turned into something else. Mostly because he was too time consuming. But, I finally finished him.

My husband says I am stubborn. I don't know where he gets such an idea. I saved him, the bear not my husband, as a .png file and can print him with all the furry edges visible. I wanted those furry edges. But, when I trace him into Make-the-Cut to do a PnC, I loose most of the edges. Although expected, it does a much better job than I thought it would. It does retain some of the fur that would be easy to cut...but not all of it. If you shadow the image, instead of perfectly smooth edges, the edges are bumpy and I kinda liked it. But, that is not the look I was after. Using Photoshop, I was able to create a smooth shadow edge and I can change the color if need be. The shadow edge becomes the cutting line in MTC and I can see all of the furry edges.

I am sharing the MTC file with 4 different colored shadows/backgrounds as well as the .png file with a transparent background.

MTC Bear Digital Cut File

Bear Raster File

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Year from You Know Where

Things are finally looking up!!

Back in February Hubby went into the hospital to have double knee replacement surgery. We were concerned because, among some other things, he has AFIB and takes a blood thinner to help prevent blood clots which he had to stop taking a week prior to surgery. Except for one bout of something like the flu, in the 42 years we have been married, he has never been bed ridden sick.

No need to worry. He went through the surgery like a champ. When they wheeled his hospital bed out of recovery to take him to his room, he was sitting up, laughing and making jokes at his nurse. Once he was settled into his room, physical therapy paid a visit. They got him up out of bed and he walked 20+ feet with two brand new knees, laughing and joking all the way. I knew and his therapist knew what he hadn't figured out yet. He was still under the influence of massive pain medication. We knew the next day would be different. And it was.....

Although, PT did get him out of bed to walk, he was walking only a few steps. No laughing and joking could be heard. Poor guy. They also re-started all of his medications. And, the worst was yet to come...

By the next day, his blood thinner had thinned his blood too much. He started bleeding internally, his blood viscosity numbers were off the chart, his white blood cell numbers were shooting up right along with his temperature. With glassy eyes darting from side to side, he was physically there in the bed but he wasn't. He had left the planet, entered a high ceiling-ed spaceship with all the doctors dressed in military uniforms. He could tell you his name and birthday, but he thought Clinton was still President. He didn't trust the doctors in their fancy dress uniforms. He wouldn't let them do anything unless I told him it was OK. In an effort to find exactly where he was bleeding they ran test, after test, after test. Some, not so easy for a mobile person, was sheer torture for someone with two brand new knees. Vitamin K, blood transfusions, and iron finally got his blood back to normal. Did I mention that he also became blood loss anemic? And, what did they find on the tests....

Cancer. They found he had a large tumor growing on the outside of one of his kidneys. They said it had been there for quite some time. They also said it was one of the few cancers that cannot be detected with a blood test. His doctor said it is found when other symptoms make themselves known or by accident. Divine intervention, a blessing in disguise. He started another round of tests to determine if it had spread, bone tests, bladder tests, dye tests, you name it. Thankfully, the tumor appeared completely contained, but the kidney had to be removed. And, that couldn't happen until he had recovered from his knee surgery...

After two weeks in the hospital and a week in a re-hab hospital, he was able to come home. Everyone was amazed at how well he was doing with double knee replacement. His re-hab nurse said I was going to need roller skates just to keep up with him.

At home and with the help of out-patient re-hab, his knees continued to improve. He was ready for his kidney to be removed. Well, he wasn't really ready but it was time. Three week ago we made the trip back to the hospital. Again, he went through the surgery like a champ. His doctor told me that he saw no other signs of cancer lurking around. That was a relief to both of us but what I had not told my husband was what the doctor had told me. If they found the tumor had spread, they would just sew him back up and send him home. There is no chemo or radiation that can be used for kidney cancer. So, an accident, Divine intervention, or a blessing in disguise, or whatever one calls it, his blood thinning out appears to have saved his life. After surgery restrictions still curb his activity, but he is well on his way to recovery.

I managed to hold onto my sanity because of the wonderful doctors that he had. They answered all my questions honestly, and fully. The doctor that was on call the day he started bleeding was particularly helpful. He told me everything and let me watch the digital images from the scans. I could see the tumor. I wasn't brushed aside like an irritating gnat. I will be forever grateful for that. His kidney doctor and his PA were also forthright and took the time to answer the most menial of questions.

Another thing that helped me was my ability to sit and create stuff for my digital cutter whenever I could. Even if it was just a few minutes at a time. I had no desire or energy for anything else. There is no rhyme or reason to what I created. I sometimes would start something that turned into something else or one thing would lead to another. I would like to share some of that stuff over time.

A couple of weeks ago, the only city in the country that was cooler than we were in the DFW area, was San Francisco. A Texas day in July with the high in the low 70's. Loved it!!! It lasted for several days, but, alas, that has changed. A great way to cool off in the summer heat is with a hamburger, fries and a cold beer while laying out by the pool

Summer Meal MTC Digital Cut File

Hamburger PNG File

French Fries in Container PNG File

Beer Glass with Reflections PNG File

Beer Glasswithout Reflections PNG File