Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Return of the Horse Drawn Carriage

What could be more peaceful than a ride through the winding back roads on one of these.
It seems more and more folks,in this area, are getting involved with horse drawn buggies and wagons and the like.We are surrounded by the Amish, so the horse drawn buggy is a normal site for us.They pass our house many times during the day. Some coming and some going.Like us, they have chores to attend to which require a trip now and then, to the nearest town for much needed items, then of course, some are going to the main roads to set up their wares for sale each day. You can see them set up at various locations,selling their quilts,handmade baskets,jams,jellies, baked goods,produce,furniture,etc.

As of late, we have been noticing a lot more English folk (non-Amish) coming and going in horse drawn carriages,buggies,wagons,etc.I suppose there are groups that get together with this sort of activity, but since we are not in it, we don't realize just how many folks are using the horsedrawn mode of transportation as their favorite past time. It does seem to be a hobby that would bring more peace and tranquility back to our daily lives.Everything is running at such a fast pace today,there is no real time to sit and relax and just be.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Update on Mom/Bring on the Green Beans

A lot of Mom's Tuesday,0n 6/26, was spent crying. She cries a lot, but we are hearing her sister,Edna, is going through that stage,too. It's hard to see your Mother crying, when you know it is nothing you can fix. We do the best we can to comfort her,but sometimes the requests she makes that would give her relief, are beyond our control.Talking on the phone or visiting with her seems to help. We just try to stay on light topics and keep away from emotional topics.Topics that we know may upset her. When she is busy, it seems the thoughts that make her cry the most, do not come.Keeping her busy, is a challenge.She wants to get any task you give her, done NOW.It's hard to keep enough jobs,things that she is able to do, lined up for her.She needs to feel the job we have her doing is important. Not some trivial job with no purpose. She's too aware, for that, just yet.

My sister,Rita, stayed the night last night with Mom last night.Rita works two days a week at Walmart, then babysits her 3 year old grandson a lot during the rest of the week,but she can come to be with Mom,more easily than myself,being 20 miles out, and my sister Stacey, who works weird days and hours at Walmart, also.Stacey must catch a few z's,during the time Mom is having her most upsetting moments,so which ever of us can go,when Mom calls,will do so. We are so thankful that her Alzheimer's has not progressed to the point,yet, that she can still call us when she feels the need.

I will be getting Mom this morning to work with me on green beans.We plan to work on her flower beds on Thursday. We are narrowing them down as much as possible since she is not able to care for them like she once did.Who knows. Today may be one of her good days.We just never know what to expect on any given day,so we just plan one day at a time.So far,that's working for us.This is all new for us, and we are learning as we go,but we're getting the job done,and are so thankful we are at a point in our lives where we can be there for Mom.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

How Much Wood Could a Woodchuck Chuck,

 How Much Wood Could a Woodchuck Chuck, if a Woodchuck could chuck Wood?

That verse came to my mind as I was thinking of writing about my wood collection. It's no secret. I love wood. I love fabric. I love flowers. I guess you could say my most favorite past times are working with these three things. I never get tired of working with them. I may run short of energy at times and need a little nap most days, but as for loosing interest,it doesn't happen. I wake up many mornings with my blood surging through my veins, ready to tackle an idea that popped into my head while I slept.

My basement  was beginning to get quite crowded with the multiple boxes of my wood collections which I have hidden away. Away from Pop. He burns every morsel of wood for kindling during the winter months. I am crushed when I find him sneaking some of my precious wood pieces and using them to start a fire.That's why I must hide them in every nook and cranny available.

Mom has been having some issues here lately. Dementia or Alzheimer's or something somewhere in between, but nevertheless, we have been keeping her close, until we decide what our next step is going to be. A couple of the daughters take turns about staying at her home,sometimes over night.
depending on what we feel she needs at that time. Some days are much better than others for her.When I can persuade her to come to my home and spend a night, we get involved in different projects, which seems to help,since she has always needed to be busy. That part of her life has not changed,but she cannot find as much to do on her own lately.Partly due to the dementia, and partly due to her failing eyesight. She has lost 75-90 per cent of her vision,but she can still function fairly well,to a point.

On one of her last visits, we gathered up all of the wood pieces we could find in my basement, and boxed them up, and carted them out to one of the little barns. Pop has a shed where he stores one of his tractors and an occasional lawn mower or two.On one wall he had stored some firewood, and there was a vacant shelf overhead.Just the place for my wood pieces.

Now, the few pieces I have kept in the basement will need a new home,so I gathered up a few pieces of pressed wood boards lying around the property and proceeded to make myself a wood storage box.It's a really rough looking box, but,hopefully when I am finished with it, it may not look so bad.I figure the grand children can use it as a table for their painting projects, so it really doesn't matter how it looks.
box under construction

box painted with primer coat
The color of the box is not it's final look. I was trying to use up some old paint that would most likely never be used for anything else.When I am finished, it should look a little better. But then,one can only hope.It will be a nice place to store my boards, and a spacious surface for the kids to use when painting some of their various projects.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Three Sisters

Now don't go,gettin' all upset, girls, thinking, you are the one I left out. The three sisters I speak of is the gardening project I am working on this year. I think it was my sister, Vicki, of My Favorite Things, who sent me an email with a peek at a blog she had stumbled across, telling all about this type of gardening.I hope I am giving the right person credit. Nevertheless, it sounded like something I'd like to try. New ideas in the area of flowers and gardening, catch my attention quickly.It has been a few weeks now since I planted my little row of Three Sisters, to experiment with.So far, they are coming along nicely. I,just this morning, added a little of my home made compost, then weeded and watered them with Miracle Grow.I am so proud of them so far. Now if only they bear like I hope they will, my next crop may be a bit larger.

This is my row of Three Sisters.

A Boo-Boo!

This squash was accidentally planted at the same time as the corn. I planted the corn first,waited until it was six inches tall,then planted the squash and the pole beans. This little squash evidently got planted the same time as the corn.

The tall Hickory King corn provides the pole for the beans to climb. The beans produce nitrogen for the corn and squash, and the squash keeps the weeds in check, beneath the entire group of plants.

Another name for this method is Companion Planting. I have read about it for years, but never tried it until now.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Mom and the five girls (that's me in the quilted jacket)

Death is a horrible thing, but I think it is even worse, having to gradually say Goodbye, a little more each day, to the Mom you use to know. Her mind is slowly,slipping away, as time goes by. Some days are better than others, but then there are segments of time, when she cannot function on her own, as she has always done.It is a heart breaking thing to go through,especially since she has been our "Rock" for so many years.

Mom had a horrible upbringing in her early life,and she struggled for most of her grown up life,hundreds of miles from her root family, with limited communications with them, raising nine children,on a huge farm, with very limited resources.Thank God for a Dad who always saw to it, that the land we lived on was our very own. No one could put us out of our home.Well, I guess, there might have been circumstances where that could have happened, but Thank God once again, it never did.Dad worked many long hard days, to make sure it didn't.Mom never worked public work, and she never learned to drive.Her job was raising us kids.

I am so thankful to have been raised during the period we were. The drugs and such that folks are dealing with today,were non existent back then.At least,no where near the extent they are today. I did hear of some type of pills being offered to athletes in the early 70's, but somehow,and I speak for myself,I just didn't hear about all of the corrupt things folks are using and doing today.I guess you might say we lived a sheltered life in the backside of nowhere,which could be a Good Thing.

Nevertheless, Mom taught us the basics of life.We each have our own daily demons to fight, as do most folks,but we had a good solid upbringing.We were taught to make the best of what we had,and to use the resources available to us, to the best of our abilities. We wasted little and needed little from the rest of the world,outside our life on the farm.Mom saw to it that we were in church, whenever the doors were open,Many of us have not followed through with that aspect of our lives, but I'm sure we each, in our own way,have benefited from our being raised in the church,during our youth.

I am so proud to have had a strong Mother. I am convinced it was her, that made me the person I am today. I can hold my head high, and say" I am proud of the person I have become, and I owe it,for the most part, to my Mother."I love you,Mom!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New Love at 64

I love flowers, and anyone who knows me, knows that,but here lately, I find myself loving roses,more and more. I don't have the best of luck with them, and I think the main reason for that is:I don't give them the attention they need. The newer roses are suppose to be blight resistant and more care free than the older varieties, but even they have their problems.The weather has been a bit cooler lately, and the pests have not been so bad,YET,so I have had a fairly decent rose explosion around my yard. I don't buy that many roses. I usually get starts from other folks, and take my chances on them living.I have pretty good luck with taking cuttings and digging a shallow trench,bury my slip, and cover it well,water it, and lay a flat rock over the site,leaving only a bud exposed,and forget it. If I don't accidentally dig it up during my weeding,it usually develops into a nice new plant.

My neighbor and friend,Connie, from Granny's Sewing Room, did have a rose garden, once upon a time. I haven't visited her yard in awhile, so I'm not sure she still has it. She is so busy sewing and remodeling her home, she may not have time for the roses.She is a busy lady,who also, cares for her six grandchildren on most days.

Nevertheless, I don't have a rose garden per se, but I may need to look into making myself one. Then I will be more able to care for my roses properly.
My Dad loved roses.I have one of his original roses. I think the name on it is Mr. Lincoln. It is the bright red one pictured above. Hopefully, I will work some with my roses later in the season, and fix them a nice home where they will get all the loving care they need. I hope to have more pictures then.

Does Anybody Really Know.....

What causes Alzheimer's? Or Dementia? Or Senility?Are they the same or different things?How does a doctor tell if  one or the other is truly present in a person? Is there medication that will help,at least, to a point?  Are they reversible to any degree? Are they caused by something we are eating? Or not eating? Something we're drinking? Or breathing?

Dealing with a person with either of these illnesses is a nightmare.It's like trying to deal with a two year old. No matter how much you explain anything to them, you turn your back, and it's out the window.Their sense of reasoning in many cases has vanished. Their imagination works overtime.Their fears and doubts multiply.Their trust in anything or anyone diminishes.Their ability to use many things they have used in the past vanishes. Their loose their ability to keep track of things like glasses, teeth, watch, cane,etc.Not to mention all the other minor things one normally uses throughout the day.They repeat themselves over and over,telling or asking you the same things, in a matter of minutes.They forget who gave them what, or who came yesterday or today.They can't keep track of the day of the week. If they have napped,they don't know if they have woke up in the same day,or if it's the next day. They panic about failing to take their medication,even if they've taken it a hour or two ago.They can't remember if they have eaten or not.They cry at the drop of a hat, over any number of issues.  And then they have minutes of clarity where they hate loosing their abilities to take care of themselves.They appreciate what we are trying to do to make things better,and they hate being a burden to everyone.Then there are moments when the world seems to be against them. Fighting them at every turn,trying to take everything away from them.Then they'll cry some more.

It's all new to most of my family. Dad died with Cancer, and that was a horrible,horrible experience. Watching him gradually die over a period of a few months. The type of care he needed toward the end was similar, but nothing like we are dealing with in Mom's case now. Their two cases, are both similar, in that they can drain the life out of the caregivers, while they are trying to figure out what's best,what will work, and what will not, to make things better,as we go along. It gets very frustrating on both sides.The caregivers,not sure what we need to be doing, and Mom,not understanding what and why all this is happening to her. It's a horrible thing to have to go through, but more and more folks are dealing with the very same or a similar scenario.Hopefully,we'll get through it, with the help of the family, Mom's church friends, and her neighbors.It seems there are a lot more caring people in the world, than we realize at times,who are ready, willing and able to pitch in and help where they can.Like many other tragic happenings in our lives,we will get through it with the help of friends,family, and The Lord.