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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Lots to Catch Up On ...

Let's just say 2020 was anything but different.  Yes, different. I'm home all the time no matter what year it is, but last year stole the joy in many things, but added joy in others.

 

Masks

On March 1st, 2020, I decided to make masks for front line workers at hospitals and grocery stores.  That led to a full fledged business that I called "Our Stitchuation," thanks to my daughter, Kathleen's, suggestion.  The online store was up and running and I spent at least 12 hours each day at the sewing machine to keep up.  All in all, I made over 2500 masks of which at least 800 were for front line workers.  It was grueling work, but well worth it.

By June, my spine was not responding to spinal injections, which I had been having every 3 months for 10 years.  I met with a spinal surgeon that came highly recommended, Dr. Todd Chapman, OrthoCarolina.  After several visits, we made an appointment for surgery at Mercy Hospital on December 15th, 2020.

 

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Leading up to the surgery, the pain in my lower spine was debilitating.  All I will say is I ended up with 3 surgeries over 2 months due to two spinal infections that had become chronic.  In the last surgery on January 29th, Dr. Chapman had to remove all the hardware from the first surgery, clean and sterilize everything thoroughly, then replace it in my spine after cleaning out all infection in my spine as well.  3 months of hell.  I'm shocked I survived it all, but I reach for God in prayer, and Bob to thank for getting me here today. 

 

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And, so far, I've lost 32lbs from the ordeal!

 

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While I was in the hospital, Bob and the boys built me a ramp from the deck to the driveway.  I can hardly believe they built this for me, but I must say I am impressed.  If nothing else, it certainly helped all of them relieve stress over me in the hospital.

 

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In August, 2020, we had a beautiful wedding.  Yes, my youngest child, Matthew, (not a child anymore), married Danielle.  A love that is impossible to miss.  They live with us as they are both still in college.  Matthew begins his Masters in History in the fall, and Danielle begins her degree in Baking & Pastry Arts.  Someday, I am certain that Danielle will have her own Bakery.

 

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Matthew graduated from the University of North Carolina Charlotte this past May with his Bachelor of Arts in History.  He is pursuing a Masters in History and then on to Law School to study as an Attorney of Constitutional Law.  How wonderful it is to see our children grow up and be successful in all that brings their passions to life.

 

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Big News for our daughter, Sarah!  She graduated in May 2020, from Wake Forest University with her Masters in Divinity!!!  Sadly, they had to have a virtual graduation.

 

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However, Wake Forest came through this year, and she was able to have a real hooding ceremony at the University.  We could not be more proud of her!!!  Sarah also got her first post graduation job as a Director/Minister of Discipleship for a Methodist Church near Asheville, North Carolina.  I know she will be a wonderful addition to the church community.  Her husband Matt, will be pursuing his Masters in Divinity from Northwest University in the fall.  Great things for them both in the coming years, as they pursue their dreams, and that makes me so happy!

 

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Let's not forget Glen!  He is attending UNC-Charlotte for a degree in Computer Science.  He is interested in pursuing a career in the Navy as a Cryptologist or Intelligence.  He will do great.  In his spare time, he is a fantastic help to us here at home.  I don't know how we could have made it through our recoveries without his help.  Thank you Glen!

 

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We lost Hannah, our little white dust mop.  She was 13y/o and had developed a tumor on her hip that could not be removed.  Letting her go was difficult, but the right thing to do. 

 

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A few months later we found these two pups.  We named them Rusty & Cooper and adopted them into our family.  Cooper is my puppy, and Rusty is Danielle & Matthew's pup. 

 

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So, we have 2 German Shepherds, 2 Aussie-doodles, and our cat Picasso.  Definitely a house full of activity.

 

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Last year, Bob purchased 2 recumbent trikes for us to ride together and have some fun.  I've been riding with him on his trike too.  It is lots of fun and protects my spine, which is a good thing.  Ignore my white legs.  LOL

 

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My mother is 96y/o and still kickin'
We've determined it must be all the preservatives in the donuts and Hungry Man dinners she loves so much. LOL  The sad news is that Mom is now on Hospice here at home.  She is suffering with hallucinations and confusion and sometimes walking in her sleep.  I love her so much and hate to see her going through all of this.  She has been so strong and able.  Please keep her in your prayers as she makes this transition in time to her heavenly home.

 

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Our daughter, Kathleen, is living in San Diego and is also a wonderful artist.  She works in acrylics and also creates beautiful digital artwork.  I will share her website as soon as it is up and running! 

ARTFUL NEWS ...

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Some good news - my painting "Hauling in the Spring Line" is now in the permanent collection of the US Navy Museum Network of 9 US Museums and the Pentagon.  I'm so happy for this and hope that many will enjoy seeing it in the Museums.

 

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In 2020, I made this quilt for my daughter, Sarah's dear friend, Serena.  It is for her baby boy.

 

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I also made this quilt for our grandson, Glen. 

 

2020 is gone - thank God, and 2021 is all about eating healthier, exercising more, taking care of each other, and hopefully, by the end of this year, I will have made a full recovery, Bob will have found another job, Kathleen will have sold some paintings and prints, Sarah will be well on her way in her new job at the Asheville church, Matthew will be studying strong for his Masters degree and doing well, Sarah's husband Matt will be well on his way towards his Divinity degree, Danielle will be baking like crazy, Mom will still be with us, and all will be well and good for the Vaughn Family.

 

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