Friday, May 17, 2019

Boy Scout Pack 272 Paints for Cancer Patients May 16, 2019

Tonight we painted with Our Lady of Grace Cub Scout Pack 272 in Stratford. They had heard about our painting with the Girl Scout Daisy Troop and contacted us to see if they could have a painting night too. Of course we love all scouts, so we were delighted to come to their pack meeting.  They chose to paint for Cancer Patients.  

Only half the pack was in attendance due to sporting commitments, but those who attended had a great time and painted such wonderful hearts. The parents who were with the scouts joined in and painted too. It was hard to tell who had a better time, the boys or their folks.

(click on any photo to be taken to a larger view, then photo can be downloaded)

Closing Ceremony Circle

 The hearts...

Painting for Hospice Workers May 14, 2019

This month we are painting for a group of people who do amazing, yet extremely emotionally difficult work...Hospice Workers. They are the doctors, nurses, social workers, aides, and chaplins who come into a family's life during what you may feel are the darkest times and bring light, hope, joy, and peace in.

Hospice is a type of medical care that gives seriously ill patients and their loved ones meaningful time together when the focus of care turns from active treatment to comfort and quality of life near the end of life. Hospice is not a place. Rather, it is a full range of services that put patients and their families in control, giving them hope about their last days, weeks and months together.

 Many of you may never have had any personal experience with Hospice and Hospice workers, but I have had a great deal of experience with it three times in the past 3 years.
In 2016, my father was admitted to the Connecticut Hospice in Branford. The care he received there was wonderful. The support my stepmother was given was amazing. The people who worked and volunteered there made sure not only that he was taken care of, but so was she. They constantly check in on her and kept her comfortable and cared for for the weeks that my father was there.  In 2017, my mom was placed on hospice care after fighting her cancer for 15 years. Her last treatment came with so many side affects that she and her doctor came to the difficult decision that she would stop treatment.  She began her 7 month at home hospice journey. We used VITAS for her and received such wonderful service and support. Her quality of life and the quality of care was outstanding. She went to Bridgeport Hospital for the final week of her hospice journey and received just as wonderful support there.  This past September of 2018, my stepfather was in the hospice unit at the VA Hospital in West Haven. He had been on dialysis for over 11 years and it had come to the point where his heart couldn't handle dialysis any more. 
 Each one of my parents was in hospice care for various amounts of time using different Hospice organizations, but what was the same was the kind, caring, and compassionate people that we came in contact with. In my mother's case, her nurse became a beloved part of our extended family. I don't know how these people do what they do every day. They come into your lives knowing they are going to lose their patient, but that doesn't stop them from being loving, caring, compassionate, upbeat, and full of hope. I will be forever grateful for all they have done for my family. 

I spy with my little eye... a Ben's Bells hiding in the shrubbery on our way into the Riverview Bistro!  Go get it Lucy, or more to the point Lucy's grandma! I can tell already tonight is going to be an awesome night!

So I told Lucy all about Ben's Bells and how sheis able to keep this since we found it. You can see how excited she was to learn that she didn't have to give it away.

She knows exactly where she is going to put it!

Lucy is explaining to Joanne where we found the bell. 

 Lucy loves setting up the display table. I love having one less thing to worry about, lol! 

Lily is a pro at setting up the round tables. 

 Miss Lucy is our fashionista here at Hearts of Hope. I don't think I could pull off a fascinator like she does.

 I do love that Lilly and Lucy always have a plan drawn our before beginning on their hearts. Most of the time they follow their plan, sometimes it is just a jump off point to get their creative juices flowing. 

Here is the plan and the heart, half way done...

 Linda and her daughter

 While some were painting, Pattie was stringing together some of the Hearts of Hope necklaces. We are having a booth on June 1st at the Main Street Festival here in Stratford and hope to sell a lot of our necklaces that day. 

 Tracey is one of our talented painters. She always comes up with the most unique and amazing hearts.

 Thank you Ryan for joining us tonight!

 Look, you can even do your homework while you wait for your heart to dry. And there are plenty of high school students, teachers, and retired teachers around to help you when you get stuck. 

 Vicki and Rebecca

 Marianne's Bunko girls came to Hearts to paint this month. It looks like they had a great time tonight. Maybe they will come again when they need another night out. 

 She is showing off her heart and artwork to her husband. I am certain he is impressed!

 Tonight we had a nuclear physicist from Maine come and paint with us. 

 This looks like a beautiful coloring book heart, doesn't it.... but it's not!

Wendy painted it free hand to look like our coloring book heart!  Admit it, that girl has skills, and no, she is not an art teacher.

 Lucy is checking out all the hearts that have been completed so far. She LOVES all of them!