Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stress Free Wrapping

As regular readers know, my grand daughter is in the hospital. Yes, she is still in the hospital, but she is on the home stretch. She had her stomach tube removed yesterday and today she will probably be able to eat some broth or jello. One of the signs that she is doing better is that she didn't want anyone spending the night to keep her up with their snoring. She's being a very brave little soldier, but enjoying the attention and roaming the halls.

Speaking of snoring... My granddaughter never lost her sense of humor. On her second night in hospital, she was terribly annoyed by dad's snoring and decided to repurpose the hand grenade sized stuffed dog her uncle had given her. Although she was stitched and drugged, her aim never suffered as she pinged dad from across the room with her new toy. He would wake with a jolt and she'd doze off until he disturbed her again. She has since named the little puppy, "Ammo". :) Kids are awesome!

With my little princess on the mend, my muse has been relieved and rewarding me. I got some cabbing done, which demanded more attention than I previously had and I got some more wrapping done. My cabbing was most rewarding though. I went through my stash of cabs and pulled out some that had always bugged or disappointed me in some way. I recut and repolished a slew of them and was quite proud of myself for it. Unfortunately, I didn't get before and after pictures, which is a shame because they are quite improved. I did, however, cut 3 new stones. 

Verde Antique Serpentine
Black Agate
Um... I don't know the name- some jasper from Australia?

Here are two pieces that I finished, as well.

Peridot with bronze webbing
Tribal Royal Sahara Jasper

That's it for now.

I want to thank everyone for the emails, messages, comments and positive vibes concerning my grand daughter. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wire Wrapping Therapy for Appendicitis

In my last post, I mentioned in the comments that my grand daughter was rushed to our local Children's hospital. I have received many inquiries and well wishes, so I thought I would tell her story- not only for those interested but also to alert others as to the sometimes mild symptoms of a burst appendix.

My beautiful grand daughter, who is turning 12 in a few days and who was my model during the cabochon drawings that I held, began having a belly ache about a week ago. It was mild and came and went. She rarely mentioned it and we thought nothing of it considering her penchant for eating a bowl of grapes at a time. Then a few nights ago she began vomiting. Again, because she's a kid and kids get bugs, we didn't think much of it. She was also complaining about being constipated. So, we kinda thought the belly ache was from that. But, the vomiting and the low grade fever of 99 degrees really had me worried and I urged my son to take her to the hospital. He was hesitant. My grand daughter was up playing, laughing, walking to the store and eating just fine. She had mild symptoms that she rarely complained about. I had a nagging feeling and put my foot down. I put in a call to my brother in law who is a paramedic and after some questions and a few gentle feels of her abdomen, he advised us to go to the emergency room. Once there, they immediately sent her via ambulance to the Children's hospital for a CT scan. By now, I knew she had appendicitis, but what I didn't know, and which was confirmed by CT, was that her appendix had burst a few days earlier.

After doing some research, I found out that appendicitis often presents as constipation. Abdominal pain will travel from the upper torso above the belly button to below it on the right side. One could think that the pain was from constipation and slow moving bowels. Often times, nausea and vomiting accompany the pain. The pain can be quite severe or in my grand daughter's case- not so extreme. But, the pain is a warning sign. The low grade fever a red flag.

Pain indicates a swollen appendix. When the pain lessons, it is often a sign that the appendix burst- thus relieving the swelling and pressure. After her appendix burst, her symptoms were much lessened. The pain was less localized and more a general pain in the lower abdomen set in.

The scary part is that when the appendix bursts, the infection would then be spreading through out the abdomen. And, forgive me for being so blunt, but, at this point, feces is also invading the abdomen. This is when the fear of peritonitis setting in comes into play and when this becomes a life threatening situation.  

I have read a lot about appendicitis over the last day or two and a burst appendix is rarely mentioned. It is usually just found in a quick sentence about it becoming a deadly situation in a matter of hours. The most I've seen is 12-48 hours. So, I am thinking our little girl was one blessed and lucky girl!!

During the 2 1/2 hour surgery, the doctors found little left of her appendix. They feel very confident that they got all the pieces, though and cleaned her up good. She will remain at hospital for at least another week and will still be in a lot of pain while she and all the antibiotics fight the infection. It will take time, but she will be alright. I'm sure she is most worried about being able to start school on time. As it is, she missed her Middle School Orientation, which she was very upset about. 

The moral of this long story is:  Don't ignore seemingly benign symptoms. And, as I had to convince my son, even a low grade temperature of 99-100 can be indicative of something that can kill.

And how did scared grandma hold up during all this? Well, my nerves are shot, my house has been overflowing with family and I have been doing a lot of wire wrapping for nerve therapy. I wasn't in any way interested in doing any long thought out designs. I just needed my hands to move. I did do an experimental piece last night, though. Here's a few of the finished pieces-- nothing to write home about, but damn glad they kept me busy.

Thank you for the the messages, prayers and well wishes. :) 

Biggs Jasper
Cherry Creek Jasper
Indian Paint Stone (experiment)
Dendritic Serpentine

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Time Flies!

First- some spam, I never liked it in the 70's and I still don't like it, but the little devil on my shoulder tells me I have to do this:

I have a Summer Sale going on in my Etsy store. 15% off through August 2012. 

Back to our regularly scheduled program.

I can't believe it has been so long since I blogged! I tell ya, I have been so busy. School is getting ready to start again which means shopping, haircuts and stress. The kids are antsy and it seems to rain everyday. In between all the everyday chores of life, I have been squeezing in cabbing and jewelry- though not much.

Here is a stone that I am tickled to death about. You might remember it from my post here where I discussed durability in a stone. This Candy Striped Opal (aka Bacon Opal) from Utah is NOT a durable stone. Take a look at these pictures. The first is how I received the stone, the second is after I tried to set it. The third is how I saved the stone. Now that I have my Gene(ie), I can fix some old stones with issues. :)

Got a much better shine on it, too.

I've done a little wrapping, not much. Here's a real simple piece that I love. One person said that it looks like the wires are coming down to hold the sides up. Kinda like suspenders, I guess. Maybe, it's a female stone and she's holding her skirt up instead. ;)

Brazilian Yellow Quartz

Here's another based on a design that I wrote a tutorial for. And, at the risk spamming myself again, I have to mention that I dropped my prices on my tutorials now that I am not obliged to keep them at the higher price.

Gorgeous Bloodstone

This was done with much larger gauge wire and the effect of the swag is much more prominent. Of course, it's a pretty big stone, too.

Hope y'all are enjoying some quality jewelry time! :) I'll be back blogging more regularly after school starts.

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Rock Pup Grandson

I have three kids and three grandkids. None have shown much of an interest in my hobby until my youngest grandson started oooo'ing and aweing over my rocks. He's also a dinosaur aficionado and loves everything to do with them. He's at the right age. He just turned 8.

I had some dino bone pieces which I gave my grandson that enthrall him. I also cut a cab of turitella, petrified snail, which I gave his delighted self. I have given him a few pieces of petrified wood and he was impressed with those as well. That was the extent of which I had to give.

I put out a call for donations at the rock forum I go to. I was overwhelmed by the response. My goal was to keep my grandson's interest up. I think it worked.

The following are some pictures I took of him with most of the donations, which include many different kinds of fossils. I also snapped the moment that he saw the most impressive of the generous gifts:  A beautiful and complete fish fossil donated by Tony of Idaho Rock Shop. The donations were made by Don (Jakesrocks), Scott (Shermlock), Diane (Deedolce), Brenda (Albertarockhound), Riverrock, Helen of, Susan (bluesky78987) and  Jo (NatureNut). I hope I didn't leave anyone out!  Thanks to all for making a little boy very happy. :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Water Trouble Round II and Fit for a Man

Wow! You don't really know how much the internet means to you until you lose it.

Sort of related to our water problem was our internet problem. Water, rain, storms, lightning we had it all! Huge thunderstorms with generous amounts of lightning rolled through on Monday.

I was sitting there enjoying the sounds of a nice storm (I'm weird like that, one of the things my eldest daughter and I share- love a good storm.) When I heard a huge and loud explosion. It was as if there was a war going on in front of my house. Now, I've lived a long time and I've been through plenty of boomers and hurricanes, but nothing had been like this. Lightning made a direct hit on a transformer just around the corner. Man, was it loud! So, we lost power. No biggie, right?

We have a lot of trees around here, so we lose power a lot. I have a battery pack for emergencies. I plugged the modem into the power pack, as I always do, and waited for the power to come back. However, the modem didn't come on. OK, no biggie. I tried a few things and resolved to be without power and internet for awhile.

I called the repair people who were really awesome. They did a few things on their end. No go. A tech was supposed to come out the next day. He called later in the day and could squeeze me in. Yay!! But by then we had lost power again and our neighborhood was flooded. No go.

The very nice repair guy came out this morning for about an hour. My modem was fried. My network card in my desk top computer was fried. New modem still wouldn't work. He had to go to the network hub and get a tech higher than himself to trace up the problem through the network. Buried somewhere deep in the matrix was our issue.

To make a long, long story short- I'm back. Boy, I sure missed the internet.

I guess, I should make it up to you for having to read my rant. :)

You remember the custom pendant for a man? Done! No power and no internet did have its advantages. I had plenty of time to sit and think about this one. I sent the pictures of the finished piece to my client and he is very happy. Yay! That really makes me happy. He has such wonderful stones. I'm glad I was able to help him wear one.

The pendant is 3 by 2 inches. The stone is a wonderful, wonderful turquoise. The cab was cut without a bezel.