Sunday, April 18, 2021

Thanks

 Thank you to everyone who commented on the last post. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

On another sad note, I forgot to mention that in the past few years I lost both of my cats.

First Nova got really sick with kidney problems which progressed into congestive heart failure and then he passed away. I was really devastated over his death and could not write about it. (And I still can't.) He was a super awesome boy who loved being part of my dollhouse world.

At the beginning of January last year, Kovu got sick with diabetes (just when my husband came home). He required two injections a day which was not fun! It feels so cruel to give injections into the scruff of the neck and I am sure he did not like me doing it. The hard part was, I also have to give my husband injections and I was nervous that I could mix them up! (Although Methotrexate and insulin are very different.) He got progressively sicker as the months wore on and had many visits to the vet. Unfortunately, Kovu passed away in October. We had the cats for about fourteen years, but it feels like such a short amount of time.


I also lost my mother-in-law last June. Planning a funeral amid the COVID-19 lockdown was pretty complicated. My husband is now the successor trustee and so I have been helping him with the estate. It really amounts to a lot of endless paperwork, dealing with lawyers, banks and tax accountants. Yeah, life has been trying to knock the stuffing out of me, but I am pretty resilient. (I think it is the laid back Aussie in me that has allowed me to just roll with the punches!)

On a happier note, I got another dollhouse this week. It is BIG but in rough shape. Looks like someone sat on the roof as it is completely broken and will need to be replaced. This is the kind of dollhouse that I enjoy finding as I am free to completely change and modify it. Even better is the fact that there are no internal walls or stairs (things I usually rip out to make more room). However, I have about a hundred other dollhouses waiting for attention (and as I remember, Kinsey was first in line to have her house finished).

Cheerio, Sam


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

It has been a long time . . .

 Wow, it is exactly two years since I was last here. Life gets really crazy sometimes!

Here is the short version - I will be blogging again sometime in the near future. I have not abandoned the doll world. In fact, I have bought a few more dolls and dollhouses over the past two years and have many stories to tell when I get the time. I think about my dolls every day and am looking forward to writing my blog again. (You may stop reading here now as I am going to go into the boring details of the last two years....)

At the beginning of 2019, my husband was diagnosed with scleroderma/ systemic sclerosis. This is a stupid disease that has turned our world upside down. The doctor bluntly told him that he had about a year to live due to his clinical manifestations, but I am happy to say that two years later, my husband is still with us!

After the initial diagnosis, my husband began to deteriorate quickly and spent the next three months in hospital. He came home for two months and did intensive physical and occupational therapy four days a week. However, the therapies had to be stopped as it was causing the disease to progress much faster and he completely lost the use of his body. We now have 'quadriplegia' added to his list of diagnoses.

In early August, my husband lost the ability to swallow and was rushed back to hospital. He had a feeding tube placed into his stomach and receives all nutrition, medications, and liquids through this tube. He also requires constant suctioning due to the inability to swallow. He remained in hospital for another six months, eventually coming home in January 2020 to do palliative care at home.

The doctors decided to try chemotherapy to see if we could halt the disease progression. My husband had his first round of chemotherapy in hospital in February. He was supposed to have chemo once a month for the next five months, however COVID-19 struck the world, and the doctors did not want to strip him of his immune system completely during a pandemic.

In October his gallbladder burst sending him back to the hospital for a few weeks. 

January 2021, he lost blood flow to his feet and was hospitalized again, and in February he was back in hospital for another two weeks.

So far there have been no hospitalizations in March, so we are doing well despite living with this relentless disease. He still requires full nursing care (provided by me and my kids) for everyday living, as well as two people to transfer him from bed to wheelchair. My kids have been really great assistants helping their dad with nursing care as well. The thing I find hardest of all is that he needs to be physically turned over every three hours during the night to prevent bedsores. It took me quite a while to get used to this routine, but I now can get up numerous times a night to care for him.

Anyway, I am looking forward to blogging again sometime soon. 

Cheerio, Sam

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Ernie and Blanche Return

"Gee, it is great to be back home," thought Ernie as he looked out at his garden. A pang of guilt flooded through him as he remembered the loyal tenants that he had evicted. However, he was happy knowing that his wife Blanche would be arriving home very soon, as she had been in the hospital for the past few weeks.

Ernie was also expecting two other visitors; Dr Zoe and a live-in home-care nurse named Cassie. He was glad to see both of the health care workers arrive early.
As they engaged in some small talk, they heard the ambulance roll up. Ernie could hardly wait to see his beloved Blanche.
And even before the ambulance personnel were able to get Blanche out of the rig, Ernie jumped in and gave his wife a hug and a kiss. It was a very tender moment.
After getting Blanche settled comfortably in her home, Dr Zoe and Nurse Cassie stood on the porch and chatted for a while.

Dr Zoe told Nurse Cassie that she is currently renovating an old house into a doctor's office.
"Why only a doctor's office?" asked Nurse Cassie. "Why not go bigger and build a hospital? After all, you do know about the special funding that is available this year for doll hospitals, right?"
Special funding? Dr Zoe was intrigued.

After their conversation, Dr Zoe walked away in a dreamlike state with her eyes sparkling. "Imagine getting free money to build a hospital. . . ."
Cheerio,
Sam

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Vacation Time

Kinsey and Kitty were quite tired after the big move.

They arrived at the caravan park, which will be Kinsey's temporary home until her real house is finished. Kinsey and Kitty met Hayley, the caravan park owner, at the office door.

Kinsey introduced her sister Kitty to Hayley.

"The Winnebago is over there," said Hayley.

Hayley offered to drive the van closer so they wouldn't have to carry their luggage very far. The two weary sisters thought that it was a lovely gesture.

Hayley expertly maneuvered the recreational vehicle closer to them.

"This is the last move of the day," Kinsey declared.
"Thank goodness," Kitty said. "My arms are about to drop off."



With a quick wave goodbye, the two sisters were off on an adventure.



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Foam and Dr Zoe's House - Part Four

Hi everyone,
Thumbkin is fine. Thanks for your comments. I must be a glutton for punishment as I have been carving more foam (but doing it very carefully).

I was going to use paper mache for the stove surround, but there is something very satisfying about carving builder's foam. I have some cool dental tools which are fun to use. I sketch out roughly what I want with a pen and then carve in the details. I have been making fireplaces for both Dr Zoe and Fairy Hazel.


The foam actually takes paint quite well. I have used this method before to make a base for my Greenleaf Tennyson (even though a Newberg dollhouse is currently sitting on top of it).

The only problem is that it chips very easily and then you can see the blue foam.

This is not a good method for a dollhouse base, whereas the paper mache rocks on the exterior of the Westville are set like concrete and are extremely difficult to damage.

Dr Zoe and I decided to just go with the foam rocks over and around the stove. (As Dr Zoe pointed out, she will not be bumping them like the clumsy human does!)

It seems quite obvious that she has also consulted with Harley (the Tree Ent) as her house is beginning to have tree branches/roots taking over. I guess that she also wants a tree-house home.

Cheerio,
Sam

Saturday, October 6, 2018

When Thumbkin Met Stanley

Let's just say that these two were never meant to meet!

Thumbkin got to experience Stanley's point.

Fortunately it was only a minor fight. No major damage.
A bit of antiseptic, a bandaid and all is well.
Thumbkin now has a very healthy respect for Stanley.
Cheerio,
Sam

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Dr Zoe's House - Part Three

Hi everyone,
While Kinsey and Kitty are busy with moving and preparing for a vacation, Dr Zoe reminded me that she wanted some stone work around her cast iron stove.

I made a quick mock up from foam to check for size. Dr Zoe said it was just right.

I did some quick carving into the foam to resemble stonework.

I liked the idea and thought that maybe I could just cover the foam with spackle.

Feeling rather pleased with myself, I left it for a whole week to dry.
But to my dismay, it was still slightly wet and gooey underneath. Not so good.
Looks like I will have to resort to my trusty ol' paper mache tricks to make rocks.
Cheerio,
Sam