December 29, 2009

Flat Santa

How can I keep the faith with Santa Claus when I see something like this in the neighbors yard?

Makes me feel like weeping every time I go by. Whose idea was it to invent and market something that feels this cruel? This is worse than the discarded trees on the roadside, at least we can think their last weeks were cheerful and bright. But this Santa, flat with his face frozen in the grass, puffs up each night, only to face the same sorry fate each morning. This has to be one of the circles of hell.

On the home front, let me preface by shouting, I'm no saint, I'm no angel. I'm just able to be in the right place at the right time for me. The saints of the world are the workers who keep it going. The ones who show up every day at the office salon store mill airport. I did that, I've worked for pay since I was eight years old. Here, in dementia land, for the first time I can be with my doggies around the clock. If I get wound up I can go talk it over with my hens. And I can fondle my fabric and pins and needles all night long if I want, I don't have to be anywhere tomorrow.

I've gotten some real traction on my little project, bits and pieces are turning into prepped blocks at an incredible pace. FIL has stopped asking me what I'm doing now that fabric has entered the picture. He gets that I've been a passionate quilter for all the forty years he has known me. FIL has also pretty much stopped eating and is clearly growing weaker by the day. He wakens about once an hour, says "well, I guess I gotta get up", moves to the bedside commode, and back to bed. Last night at the 3 AM-ish transfer he said "well....I know, it's a hole in the ground". Took us both by surprise and we had a good laugh.

Tuesday Thankies
Chickadees and Nuthatches
PVC pipe
My small Rowenta iron

December 23, 2009

Beginnings and Endings

May all of the best the season has to offer bless you and yours, my friends.
As we have transitioned to the home hospice stage of care for my father-in-law there is a lot less for me to do so I've taken my sewing machine out and set it up on the dining table just a few steps from his bed. He keeps asking me what I'm doing, and I keep saying I'm making a quilt. Then I laugh because for four days I've been busy making a quilt and so far he hasn't seen a single piece of fabric or a needle. He just shakes his head, assigning my actions to one more dementia symptom. Mine~

He has seen a pile of manila folders getting used up

A stack of virgin 16# onion skin paper being covered with odd shapes
He has seen me standing at the dining room window tracing the onion skin shapes onto the folders
Those cut out shapes have gone into little zip-lock baggies
My mind copes with the end while my hands create the beginning

Wednesday Thankies

Little Pembroke's willingness to assume her part of the team, giving comfort by remaining curled up by Gene's side
Simply Fresh 100% orange juice
Flannel sheets

December 7, 2009

Elixir of the Pharaohs

Today I have the pleasure of bottling our honey bee's output. Isn't it lovely? I probably have another gallon left to drain but it needs to settle for a few more days. These cold crisp clear days are just about my favorites of the year, it invigorates me, with the exception of keeping the stock watered. Frozen faucets and iced here's a thought...Rob is off to the farm store for mineral blocks, hows about I call him and ask him to look at tank warmers? Sometimes good ideas are slow to sink in.

Inside at the funny farm FIL continues to pull back slowly from the brink but classic sundowning has been added to the mix of things to plague him, bless his heart. If I can sweet talk MIL into sitting next to the bed and verbally cuddling with him, after about 15 minutes he goes right off to sleep. MIL carries her own childhood baggage as do we all, and she considers this spoiling behavior and last night she wouldn't do it. So we ended up with panic attacks well into the wee hours. We have a new oxygen concentrator and I must have checked it thirty times trying to help him get his breath. When our elders say don't get old...believe it. This is our little corner of the world for the nonce.

How's this for a twist in today's modern medical practitioner? I'm looking for a new doctor for MIL and the one we've heard the best things about is going to be accepting a few new patients in January...but we have to go by the office and pick up an application; from those apps they will be choosing whom they take. Insert thunderous frowny face here. They will see her age (86) and drop it in the round file. She is in better shape than I am in many ways, and still walks four miles a day whenever she can get out. It's a weird old world isn't it?

Monday Thankies
Honey Bees
Mason jars
Flannel sheets

December 1, 2009

Toys For The Girls

Good First of December my friends. Having discovered that chickens are both smart and affectionate I now worry about them getting bored in their play pen between breakfast egg-making and outdoors work-like-dog time.

This is one of the toy ideas I've devised for them, a compressed bell-shaped wild bird seed feeder. Chickens can jump good...I have this one suspended from the roof of the pen about eight inches above their heads. It didn't take them long to figure out that electing someone to the high jump position was the better part of valor rather than all of them jumping at the same time and simply accomplishing a giant chest-bump. I think for Christmas dinner I'll get them a watermelon, they are mad about it. I'll hang it in a netting bag. For common days I'll do a head of lettuce or an apple on a string. Note the bell is hung using the ubiquitous farmer's helper.

On the other front, on Thanksgiving I checked my FIL into hospital with acute renal failure. We just got home again last night and set in place the next step of care, moving his bed into the family room with a bedside commode on one side and his big brown chair on the other, my new bed for the duration.
Even though he ate next to nothing while there he is up eight pounds, all retained water. We do have a plan, and for the first time in two weeks he is hungry. Praise the Lord, and pass the French Toast.

Tuesday Thankies
Sweet yams
Zen mouse pads
Toothpaste choices