Dad got his triple bypass heart surgery done toward the end of August, and is doing pretty well. He is still in bed most of the time, but he has been able to walk a little more each week. He gets tired easily. We were surprised to find out that two of ...

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  1. Heart repairs
  2. Super Slug!
  3. Hearts and kittens and Wonder Bunnies

Heart repairs

Mom and Dad out walking in the yard, by Elizabeth RuffingDad got his triple bypass heart surgery done toward the end of August, and is doing pretty well. He is still in bed most of the time, but he has been able to walk a little more each week. He gets tired easily. We were surprised to find out that two of the blockages in his heart were almost 100% blocked, and the other was almost 70% blocked. The surgeon said that was “the good one”. It is amazing he was still going to work eight hours a day, walking around. We are all so glad we found out about this and that the surgery went well. Unfortunately, he has to go back in for a biopsy on his lung. I’m sorry he has more to go through. Hopefully that will turn out okay too.

It is rare to catch my parents on camera, since they both hide from me when I try to photograph them, but here they are, on one of Dad’s walks in the yard. I’m sure there were neighbors’ cats just out of the picture frame. They like to accompany them.

Mom and Dad out walking in the yard, by Elizabeth RuffingJust to add to the excitement of the surgery, I got so worn out that I managed to drop a metal cable TV box on my head, from about four feet above. I don’t do well without sleep, and we had to be at the hospital mighty early, not that I was sleeping much anyway. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to drive back and forth to the hospital. I set off a chain of headaches and numbness and pins and needles that has finally calmed down.

Mom has been getting up with Dad in the morning. I am grateful for that. I was doing it at first, but that, combined with Dad being mixed up about time, was leaving me wiped out. He was getting up when I was going to bed. One time he aimed a flashlight in my face at 3:33am, because he thought I might be outside. The nurse said that is a very common side effect of being in the hospital. I know my parents went through that with me, when I came home from the hospital, when I had encephalitis in my twenties. Back then, they took turns sleeping on the floor next to me, because I would wake up calling out or I would go try to climb the ladder to the attic in the middle of the night. I also remember the long recovery being a big downer. So, even though Dad is doing well, I know it is hard and it takes a lot of patience.

Stacks of fleece and toy bodies in progress, by Elizabeth RuffingI am doing my best to get my work underway. I feel I need to apologize all the time, for not being able to keep up, but I know that is ridiculous. I am doing one thing at a time, or, more accurately for me, twenty of one thing at a time. That is the closest I do to one thing at a time. I have a list of toys people have asked for, and I am cutting out those colors. I sew them by the stack. In my mind, that is practical. That way, I will be better prepared the next time someone wants one of those colors.

Hug Me Bunny gray fleece plush art toy by Elizabeth RuffingThis gray Hug Me Bunny is one of the toys that made it all the way to finished. I am making an apple green bunny for the same person. Someone else asked for a gray slug. That is why I have a stack of gray and apple green above. I didn’t realized I had so much apple green fleece. I have been tripping over the bag of it for months, but had no idea there was twice as much as I have in that photo. I hope everyone likes apple green.

Oliver Bunny, by Elizabeth RuffingI had to take my real-life bunny, Oliver, to the vet yesterday. I kept meaning to take him for a nail trim, but had no time. The night before, one of his nails was bent out to the side. It must have gotten caught on something. I felt like such a bad mommy. They were booked up until Tuesday, but one of the techs fit us in. Oliver did not enjoy his nail trim one bit, but I hope he feels better now.

Oliver Bunny, by Elizabeth RuffingHe seems to have forgiven me. He is camping out next to the air conditioning vent in the floor of my workroom. That is one of his favorite spots. Forehead pets make him feel better too.

Oliver Bunny, by Elizabeth RuffingScooter, one of the cats from next door, has decided that he is running away from home. He wants to know if I can provide refreshments. Scooter shows up at the back door every day he can, every time he hears dishes in the kitchen. He shows up for breakfast. He shows up for dinner. He waits by the back door in the dark.

Scooter, gray and white cat at the back door, asking for food, by Elizabeth RuffingWhen I try to feed Santana, he jumps in front of him and sticks his head in the bowl. Santana has decided Scooter is crazy and he is not going to mess with him. Sometimes, Scooter’s brother, Trouble, is out on the back deck too, but he usually heads to the front porch, to see if he can get past Santana for some dry food. Scooter prefers wet food and has figured out that you ask for that at the back door.

Scooter, gray and white cat napping on the back deck, by Elizabeth RuffingWhen he gets tired, sometimes he takes a nap outside the back door, just in case a can of food happens to come rolling by.

Scooter, gray and white cat napping on the back deck, by Elizabeth RuffingI emailed my neighbor to suggest getting Scooter tested for hyperthyroidism. We have had cats with it, and I have been told it seems to be common in our area. The desperation for food, combined with his weight loss makes it a possibility. He also howls occasionally, for no apparent reason, which can be another sign.

Scooter, gray and white cat at the back door, asking for food, by Elizabeth RuffingThe cats inside the house are used to cats showing up at the door. They watch each other as they go about their daily activities. Juno makes sure she puts on a good show, demolishing whatever she can find in the living room and kitchen. This is the cardboard insert for her Star Chaser toy, the circular track with a light-up ball. Good thing we ordered extra inserts.

Juno, orange kitten, playing with her Star Chaser cardboard insert, by Elizabeth RuffingI had better go amass another stack of fleece rectangles, or take a nap, or combine both a stack of fleece and a nap.

    

Super Slug!

Super Slug plush art toy, yellow and purple-blue, by Elizabeth RuffingI finished a Super Slug!

Bias-cut, chevron striped lining of Super Slug's cape, by Elizabeth RuffingI got caught up bias cutting and piecing the lining for his turquoise and purple striped cape, making the stripes chevron in the center, that I made his cape twice the size I meant to make it. I didn’t realize that until I went to bed last night.

Super Slug plush art toy, yellow and purple-blue, by Elizabeth RuffingI thought it looked surprisingly voluminous! It has a purple and turquoise star print cotton fabric on the outside.

Super Slug plush art toy, yellow and purple-blue, by Elizabeth RuffingHe has my new custom-printed colored eyes. His are turquoise and green. I wish my camera would capture turquoise more accurately because the colors all set each other off so beautifully. He looks very dramatic.

Super Slug plush art toy, yellow and purple-blue, by Elizabeth RuffingI also made and pen-and-ink drawing of him for his hang tag. The tag can be personalized and comes tied to the Super Slug with a ribbon. This guy is already adopted, and was spoken for before I posted him. I just heard the “ping” of my mail from his adopter as I typed the last sentence. I plan to make more. I have a long list of toys that I am finishing for people who called dibs on the partially done ones already. I’ll make a second post to cover some of the busy-ness of the past weeks.

Super Slug hang tag by Elizabeth Ruffing

    

Hearts and kittens and Wonder Bunnies

Wonder Bunny plush art toys in progress, by Elizabeth RuffingI made some more progress on my Wonder Bunnies and one Super Slug. They just need their capes now.

Wonder Bunny plush art toys in progress, by Elizabeth RuffingThey are the last of the toys I had stuffed and waiting in the box on my ironing board. I have many bodies to stuff, and there is another avalanche of fabric starting in my workroom.

Henrietta sleeping on my workroom chair, by Elizabeth RuffingHenrietta has been keeping guard in there for me, while Juno has attempted to help me with my hand sewing.

Juno kitten in my toy box with my Wonder Bunnies, by Elizabeth RuffingJuno tries to fit in the box with the toys I am working on, any way that she can. I’m not sure why she thought this headstand position would be practical.

Juno kitten in my toy box with my Wonder Bunnies, by Elizabeth RuffingOnce she settles in, it doesn’t take her long to get into attack mode. There is a thin line for her between helping and attacking me. First, she has to choose which part of me she would most like to bite.

Juno kitten in my toy box with my Wonder Bunnies, by Elizabeth RuffingIf thread or embroidery floss is involved, the choice is easy.

Juno kitten in my toy box with my Wonder Bunnies, by Elizabeth RuffingThe trick is to try to look sort of innocent, and then lunge.

Juno kitten in my toy box with my Wonder Bunnies, by Elizabeth RuffingShe took the whole box with the Wonder Bunnies in it with her for this particular advance. This is the point where I usually remove the toys from the box, and let her have it to herself.

Juno kitten in my toy box with my Wonder Bunnies, by Elizabeth RuffingOliver Bunny thinks she is crazy. I am still keeping them separated. Sooner or later she has to calm down. Right? Maybe? I hope so.

Oliver Bunny with his IKEA doll bed, by Elizabeth RuffingA lot seems to be going on lately, and I haven’t been able to catch up with my toy making as much as I would like. There have been a lot of doctor visits to go to, and my dad will be needing bypass surgery on his heart soon, for three blockages. He is likely going to have a long recovery period, when he can’t drive or work, and he’ll have some other limitations. There will be a lot to do, and I hope everything will go well all the way around.

I have been having chest pain myself, for the past month and a half, probably from stress, and have to go to the cardiologist soon. I will be the only one here who can drive, and I am worried about that too. I’m not sure what I will do if I need to have tests done that require a ride. I’m trying not to think about everything at once.

Scooter begging for treats, by Elizabeth RuffingTrouble, from next door, has offered to sit ready at, or under, my car, in case I need him, but I don’t think his paws will reach the foot pedals.

Scooter begging for treats, by Elizabeth RuffingHis brother, Scooter, has offered to help me clean up any dishes I need washed, especially if they have cat food on them. He comes over to the back door to offer this service regularly. He asked to take care of a nectarine pit and then some lettuce for me the other night. He was very sincere about it. Cats are so helpful.

    

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