July 31, 2009

Spencerian Penmanship

I miss my Spencerian penmanship quiet time. Skritch, skritch, skritch
went my oblique angle dip pen across my copy book...with my slow but steady progress in alignment and size even my regular handwriting improved, I've gotten a compliment or two from clerks when I hand over a check. I have enough nibs to last me till the cows come home, and some lovely dip pens.
And the whole series of the Mott Media copybooks. Sometimes I look back through them and can't believe I sat down and took the time to make rows of o's and e's and s's. But each little homemade class is an exercise in stepping back from the technology overload that sometimes overwhelms me.

And one day I'll be back in my own home with space for odd hobbies, and I'll probably look back on this time away from home with some kind of nostalgia.

FIL is on a fairly even keel this week. No huge mountain and valley glucose readings, the insulin shot I give him each morning has really helped in that department. He is up to 3 liters of oxygen as the congestive heart failure kicks in fast gear, he welcomes the loaner wheelchair lift from door to car to store. With the recent heat wave he will give me a call sometime of an afternoon and say "can we go for a ride?". You bet, and off we go. We've found some neat little restaurants, and explored some of the small towns around; Napavine, Onalaska, Winlock. Mostly we just go. We had to go to Lincare and get bigger oxygen bottles!

He wanted to go with MIL and I to get groceries and 'just sit in the car'. I told him he was welcome to do that if he would leave the car running so he had air conditioning. No...he is too frugal for that, so I said "when I take my friend Theresa shopping I push her wheelchair and she pushs the shopping cart". I don't think he grasped to concept until I parked him near the necessity rooms and gave him a note to give to someone to call me if he needed me. Then a light bulb when off, he said "there's a cart, I can push it!". He did great too, wish I had a picture of us weaving and careening through a Wal_Mart Superstore, a real power high.

The funnest thing this week was playing cards with him last night. As his dementia picked up speed this spring I asked all his kids if he'd ever played games with them and they all fell about laughing at the very idea. But last night he asked his usual "what's next, what now?" question and I said we could play cards or you know how? He didn't but he was willing to learn so we played War for about an hour and a half. He has trouble recognizing 5's and the Ace standing for 1 made him laugh, he liked having ended up with both Jokers. "Wild card" he'd chortle and roll his eyes. All in all it was good fun and good for his brain; anything with numbers or dates is pretty much beyond him normally.

Anyway, that is life on the farm for now, tomorrow the old chickens will meet the freezer and the little girls will take over. Today I found their first egg. And who knew chickens would or could be affectionate?? They are so cute. These may never make the freezer but that's ok, we don't really need to eat many eggs anyway. I sure won't miss the old red one that breaks the eggs in the nest and gobbles the yolks.

The gold fish are getting big! Four to Five inches long and fat. I bought a little scoop net the other day so I could show you all. And at this size, according to the shops we've been in, our $20.00 investment in 160 gold fish for the pond are now worth $1600.00 retail. Who knew?

Friday Thankies
That Hazel can be jollied
That Gene has learned to laugh
That our Rob will be home in a few hours. Wait 'till he sees the 60 yards of hog fuel I had delivered today...

Golfball talley: 155 gleaned by the electrician assistant this week, for a total so far of 697. Two buckets gone with Electrician who gave me a "no bill, these are enough". Cool!

July 19, 2009

Goofball Talley and MIL's Button Box

This week my MIL has been scouring her cupboards for a soft measuring tape, she probably has about 4 hours into the job total. I spent 4 minutes in the sewing store and $1.09 and got us a new one. We are all so interesting in our infinite variety of personalities. I'll let you guess which one of us has more money and which more time...sort of. And now I have scored some more buttons courtesy of her searching. I'm thinking zipper pulls would be a good embellishment for something.

This week FIL has graduated to a wheel chair for any outdoor excursions and his short term memory continues to fall away. Today the loaner bull is on his mind. We sent it home in April. I tell FIL "Ben picked it up along with the red cow, remember how much trouble we had getting her into the trailer...and how the bull then followed her right in...boys being boys", and he nods and says "Oh...I'd like to go for a little ride". "And what about that bull?" Going for a little ride is his new favorite hobby. Friday we went to a quilt show :-) He thought that was real cool, he remembers quilting is my passion. Or at least he did that day.

Golfball Goofball update. I picked errant golf balls from our pasture this morning, about a third of it anyway. A large kitty litter bucket full is 30 pounds and holds 275 balls. Someday I'm going to learn to start from the far end and work back...30 pounds is way more than I want to carry a quarter of a mile.
A rather pedestrian collection today though
275 total including
1 split
12 brights
1 'pasture moist' and tossed
and one for my non-collection, a #3 Noodle Jagermeister with a winged bird and cross insignia. Jagermeister turns out to be a 70 proof herbal 'digestive' aid.
So 697 since I began counting.

The ones that didn't get counted are how ever many the ball rustlers got picking by flashlight in the night after jumping our fence. I'll have a surprise for them next time. Balls are nothing, fencing is expensive and hard work.

Sunday Blessings
Margaret's help
Beautiful weather
Sticky notes

July 15, 2009

Christmas In July

I got a chance to get away and take a card-making class last Saturday, a mini-artist's date. Nice classmates, great teacher and fun all around. I'm not crazy about how the rub-on technique used center bottom turned out so I'll cut out something else to layer over. That is the card-makers credo...when in doubt, layer.

On the home front at the farm, you can almost see pieces of my FIL's memory chipping off and falling away into the abyss that is dementia. It is incredible how quickly this disease of age spreads once it gets it's toehold. He is loosing his ability to connect his thoughts together coherently about anything recent. The real cruelty is he recognizes and knows it. On the other hand we had a couple of good laughs yesterday and those are worth their weight in gold.

Wednesday Thankies
Fresh raspberries and blueberries
North Fork Construction
A job well done, and done

July 10, 2009

Sewing House

Are these the cutest buttons you've ever seen? This image is from SnapDragon's blog. Can you see this idea translated to selvage buttons? With real buttons stitched on? Bliss~

A friend wrote something this week that made me smile. Someone was regretting not having a sewing room and Linda said "we have a sewing house". I am extremely fortunate to have a big well lighted room in my house to call my quilt-room, and here in the 5th Wheel RV at the farm I dedicated a quarter of the space to sewing. On the go I carry a busybag or busybox and can instantly have a sewing room anywhere. Life is good with a needle in hand.

Friday Thankies
Rob will be home this afternoon!
Oxygen and Lincare
Summer berries

July 4, 2009

Fishy Story, Or the 160 Who Came To Dinner

What in the world??

Ah...something to do with the new dock.

Ah, the plot thickens...
Hokey Smokes Bullwinkle...They forked over 20 Samollions for 160 gold fish.
The question is WHY?
Because they were there!

Three weeks later. They've doubled in size and only three have gone to the big pond in the sky. I'm training them to come to the surface when I ring the previously mentioned cow bell. We watch the fish, the bullfrogs watch the pen, the cat watches the bullfrogs. Stay tuned.

Saturday Thankies
Dust that makes dirt that makes gardens that make round zucchini, Yum!

July 3, 2009

Goofball Tally

Updating this golf ball tally post with what I picked last week.
116 balls including 4 brights, 3 sliced open and 3 interesting ones;

A Pinnacle Ribbon 3 carrying the Susan B Komen cure logo
A Nike Swoop one with a pretty green Karma imprint
A Lucky Eagle Casino.
If I weren't trying to downsize by half, I could build a pretty interesting oddball collection.

On the dementia home front this week's interesting factoid; FIL had Rob build an extension for the hayrack on the hay wagon. Last weekend he insisted it was too high and had Rob saw off 18". Today he wants Rob to raise the rack because it is too short. Rob has been working out of town all week and I haven't had the heart or nerve to bring him up to date :) It would be a moot point if the lady who cuts and bales the hay would just get here and get the job done.

Friday Thankies
Vacuum cleaners
Cell phones
Generous and loving clients