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Archive for the ‘This and that’ Category

Good Days and Bad Days

Thursday, September 1st, 2016


I have made a remarkable surgery recovery when it comes to my knee, but this old body is not returning to the pre-knee problems energy level. I have days when I just don’t feel like doing more that I have to do. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to push myself and get past the fear of possible knee pain. I was able to do close to 8000 steps a day for a week and then this week, I crashed. I am exhausted and on top of that I am having insomnia. It is very depressing. I have a hard time even thinking about being creative.

So, I have avoided blogging, but decided to post some of the positive things I have done since coming back from NY.

I went to STASH meeting and Reva had arranged for an artist friend to come and guide us through painting with acrylic ink. It was lots of fun. The piece up at the top was torn tissue paper that was collaged and then outlined with black ink.


This piece was torn water color paper collaged on a watercolor board and painted with acrylic ink.


She played music for the last two pieces – this one was a jazz piece.


This was done listening to a classical piece.

Here is our art drying on Reva’s deck while we had a delicious lunch.


The next week, I hosted a tour of my studio for area SAQA members. It was fun to show them what can be done in a rather small space.

The most exciting event was a mini Twelve X 12 reunion. Helen, from England was here and Deborah flew up from Texas ans stayd with Kristin. We all went out to dinner and came back to The Congdo for home-made salted caramel ice cream. Here we are, photobombed by Scooter.


I had a piece of silk that was soaked in soda ash before my surgery that I never dyed so I threw some dye on it before it got ruined.


Clay’s mom came from Georgia for a visit and had a great time. One afternoon, Clay, Diane and I went for a boat cruise on the Wilamette. Here we are on our deck one evening.



Last week-end, Mr C and I went to the annual Dahlia festival in Canby. I never knew there were so many varieties and colors.


So, that is what I have been up to. Our 52nd anniversary is on the fifth so we are taking off for a little trip to Bend and Sisters for a couple of days. I will try to be more prompt in posting here. No promises.

Coming Out and Moving On

Monday, July 11th, 2016


After 7 weeks of being diligent with my care and physical therapy, today I graduated. I can get a good bend in my leg to 122°.  I can walk fairly gracefully (heh) on my own. I can manage stairs. I am sleeping quite well. Life is pretty good and I think it is time for me to get back to my life. That is me in the Total Knee Gym, getting iced after a rigorous workout.

I had to have x-rays done of my knee today for my appt. with the surgeon on Thursday. Here is how my leg looks in the classy shorts they give you for knee x-rays. You can see my lovely scar. Remember these legs are almost 78 years old! My surgery leg is still a little swollen.

File Jul 11, 8 24 30 PM

I have a video of my physical therapists playing kazoos and shaking pompoms for my graduation, but it was to big to upload. Here is my certificate:

File Jul 11, 8 28 10 PM

I started driving and am able to stand for longer periods of time and take back the cooking. Mr C is happy about that!!

Trinity Cathedral is hosting a wonderful exhibit called The Bridge. a ground-breaking exhibition of 47 premier Arab, Persian and Jewish contemporary artists from 15 countries of Muslim, Christian and Jewish traditions. The Bridge, exploring the theme of what “bridges” us to each other, as well as what they hold in common across their religions and cultures, is on view thru August 21 at the Cathedral.

On Saturday, I went to a training for docents. Yesterday evening, we had the opening reception with a huge turnout. The art work is really wonderful. I do my first stint of docenting tomorrow and I should be studying!! It feels really good to get out of my recovery bubble and be out in the world again. Here are a couple examples of the art.



Each one has a story of how the artist is representing the theme.

On Thursday, we are heading south to California to visit Paige and her parents. I can’t wait. We plan to stop in Grants Pass so that I can see the SAQA exhibit, Concrete and Grasslands. We always take a couple of days to drive down so we will stop overnight in Yreka, CA.

I am going to try to get back to blogging. I missed getting work into a lot of shows, but I hope to get back in the studio, soon. You can always find me on Facebook or on Instagram.

Quick Check In

Saturday, June 4th, 2016


I decided it was time to check in with my blog readers regarding my new knee. The surgery went very well and I came home the next day. Coming home was a bit daunting. I had such an incredible nursing team at Kaiser. Mr C has been doing a fantastic job helping me through this time. My daughter, Stephanie, brought us enough food for a few days – quiche, chicken pot pies and soup. I have been doing very well in physical therapy and have exceeded the goals that were set for me so far. Next week, I start working in the Kaiser Total Knee gym. Right now I am allowed to only bend my knee to 90°. Next week I will increase that and will be able to use the bicycle in the gym. These are my helpers, the walker and the icing machine that circulates ice water around my knee.


I have to stay on my back at night and I am having some weird pains in my thigh as the numbness dissipates. So, my biggest problem is being a bit tired and low on energy during the day. I do a set of exercises 3 times a day followed by elevation and ice. Here I am doing one of the more passive exercises: passive extension.


Next week I can start using a cane when I am in the condo, but still have to use the walker when I leave.

So all in all, my experience has been very good. The staff at the hospital said I was the poster child for knee replacement!!

Up at the top is the postcard for the SAQA Oregon show at the Rogue Gallery in Medford. I always love to have my work on the publicity!!

Good News All Around

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

gerrie congdon cover copy

Several years ago, I was honored to be a featured artist on The Textile Blog by John Hopper. I was a fairly new fiber artist and it gave me a measure of confidence about my work. He profiled several artists over the years. Click Here to read the original post. John has recently started publishing online magazines featuring fiber and textile art, titled Inspirational. In the most recent issue, he asked those artists to send him photos of recent work and to write something about our current artistic life. I am happy to once again appear in a publication of his. Above is the cover of my section. Click Here for a link to the online magazine.


The other good news is that I got a call this morning to reschedule my knee replacement surgery. It will two weeks from today on  May 24th. Whew!! So, I continue to prepare for the surgery, the pain, the physical therapy and the recovery. Thank you to every one who reached out to me. I really appreciate your good wishes.

Checking In

Monday, May 2nd, 2016


Oh my! I have sure been missing in action. Preparing for the knee replacement surgery has taken up my time. I had to give up getting any quilts done for upcoming shows. What will be, will be. I have had too much pain and appointments and other stuff to tend to.

I have continued to do lots of hand stitching on this piece which will go to the SAQA annual auction. I think I can get it done.

Here is the progress of what I have been doing. Just some random big stitches to outline the center panel.


Added some more seed stitches and French Knots.


Added some orange French Knots.



It is easy to work on this as I sit here in my ergonomic chair, watching TV.

I finished Winnie the Pooh. I still have to knit the neckline and stitch it all together.



Part of what has taken up my time lately is the diagnosis of sleep apnea. I had to do a home test with things strapped to my body and head. Then, I had to go to the pulmonary lab and have blood drawn from an artery in my wrist to check Oxygen levels and I also had to do lots of breathing tests to check my lung function. My home test showed severe apnea so then, I had to go to the sleep study center and spend the night. I had so many wires attached to my body! It took 45 minutes to set it all up. I am still finding sticky goop in my hair! I slept with a CPAP breathing apparatus and it was great! I wanted to bring it home with me. But, I have to see the sleep Dr on Wednesday and then they will write up a prescription for me. They want me to use it for a few days before my surgery which is next Monday! I think the apnea has gotten worse since I have been immobile from the knee problem and have gained weight.

Today, I attended a class on what to expect at the hospital and post surgery. Tomorrow, I meet with the surgeon. I got myself a nice pedicure today and Friday, I am getting my hair cut and colored. Hopefully they will lat me until I get be out and about again.

I will try to check in again before Monday.