Stampmaking!

Remember that article I wrote for the magazine Cloth Paper Scissors about carving stamps and stenciling back in ’07?  You don’t?  Well, you can get it for free, now, it’s included in a Cloth Paper Scissors free ebook.  You can read about it and download it here!

A bad trip

Right now I should be showing you wonderful photographs of a great trip to North Carolina, in fact, I shouldn’t be showing you them yet because I am suppose to be in Florida for another day or two.

But it is not to be.   Last week Mark and I went down to Charlotte, North Carolina for a radio swap meet, one we do every year.   The meet was Friday and Saturday.   Friday morning Mark moved a radio chassis and did something very, very bad to his back.   He threw it into spasms that got worse through the day, and by Saturday morning there was no getting him out of bed, not even with the help of a couple of wonderful members of the antique radio community.   Mark was in unbearable pain, and the only thing to do was to call 911.

If you ever have to follow a loved one in an ambulance to the hospital, it is a memory seared in your brain.   They got him to the hospital, took him and and he started receiving treatment right away.   Nothing they did helped.   Mark couldn’t sit, couldn’t stand, he could only lie on his back.

After the first course of drugs, we were told there was nothing more they could do and we would have to leave.   I don’t know if it was because Mark cried out in pain every time they tried to sit him up or the fact that I was sitting in the hallway on the floor crying, but they decided to do a second course of drugs.

Those worked.   The spasms stopped.   Mark was still in pain, but he could move.   With help, they got him leaning on a wheelchair and headed for the door.   I got him to the car with no help from the staff.

A lot of this trip I would like to forget.   This is what I’d like to remember, though.   The help I got from the Charlotte Airport Sheraton Hotel was amazing.   The desk clerk that made the call made sure I didn’t have to worry about having a room for an extra night.   When the phone rang in the emergency room, I knew it couldn’t be for me, but it was.   It was the desk clerk checking on us.   The hotel maid hugged me and comforted me when I needed it.   The members of the club offered help and advice, their concern was wonderful, they did everything they could.

Then there was the drive back from the hospital to the hotel.   I hadn’t paid attention to where the ambulance was going, so I was clueless about getting back.   Mark kept dozing off, but with a few wrong turns he managed to get me on course.   I was driving in rain, then sprinkles, then rain, and then the sun came out.   I turned a corner and a huge rainbow filled our windshield, it can’t help but give you hope.

Over the next couple of days we got back home, Mark getting progressively better.   He is still quite sore, but doing very well.   I am very happy to be home, to be with my comforting cats, and to be among my things and my friends.

If you see Mark, remind him how important it is to do back exercises.

Where I stood, among the crocuses

You knew this photo was coming, we’ve got stuff blooming all over already.   We enjoyed a very light winter and now it seems we are enjoying a very early spring.

Mark and I are taking advantage, cleaning out the garage.   It appears we are not the only ones using our garage for storage.

This box was designed for shipping radio tubes, but it has been repurposed by a squirrel.     First we noticed the chewed flap.

Then, of course, all the carefully packed walnuts.   They will ship nicely, without damage.   Industrious squirrel.