View From My Window

Sunday, September 8, 2019 — I’ve been writing my biography and thought for today’s entry I would share a bit of it here. My paternal grandmother had a small dairy farm at her home in Cleveland, TN. She sold milk, eggs and butter to customers who would call to place their order and then some time later, drive up to Granny’s back yard and pick up their order. Sometimes, she’d send one of we three girls (I was the middle child of three girls) out to deliver items to the customers and to collect the money from them.

From Chapter 5… “So many memories of life on Granny Smith’s farm there in Cleveland, TN – There was a huge cherry tree in the back yard, and one day we happened to be visiting and the cherries were ripe for picking. I remember being helped up into the cherry tree by Granddad Hoffman so I could pick the ripe cherries that were out of reach from below; I picked a few cherries but then began eating the cherries more than picking them, and it made Grandpa mad. He had to coax me to come down out of the tree. Lighting struck that tree years later and it was destroyed.

Granny’s farm was across a dirt road from a pig farmer. Every Sunday was butchering day and it used to make Granny Smith really angry because she’d come home from church to the sound of pigs squealing and it would totally disrupt her calm, happy feeling. Sundays were also special days for dinners, usually fresh fried chicken. Granny would go out into the chicken yard, stand there for a bit looking at all of her chickens and finally pick one out. She’d catch that chicken and quick as anything, she’d wring it’s neck and lay it down on the tree stump there in the yard and whack its head off with the hatchet that was stuck there in the stump. Then she’d toss the chicken away from her and watch it bleed out all over the yard. Once it quit moving, she’d pick it up and begin plucking the feathers off. I’ve only ever had fried chicken as good as Granny Smith’s one time in my life, and that was at Tom’s Chicken Shack in Ramona, CA. It was like being back in Granny’s sun room, just off the kitchen, eating her fried chicken. And there would always be creamy gravy, with mashed potatoes. And biscuits!!! Loved her biscuits–she had these huge wood bins that came out from under the kitchen counter. The bins held her flour and sugar. I remember one day I pulled the flour bin out and it tipped over too far, tossing flour all over me and the floor. She’d put 100 lbs. in the bin just recently, and I wasn’t prepared for the weight coming at me. I never touched the bins again. LOL”

Always remember that you are loved. Be safe, be well and please be happy. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Blessings to all…

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View From My Window

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 — My hesitancy in posting about Robert’s dementia is firmly removed thanks to a post I received in today’s e-mail. The blog is called “Alice in Memoryland” and the woman’s husband has Cognitive Impairment. This particular posting talks about how her husband has lost his flip-phone. Hmmmm… been there, did that. Here’s my comment:

“Thank you for this. You’ve just described the very situation I went through with my husband’s flip phone a couple of months ago. He’s in the beginning stage of Alzheimer’s and until I read your post, I wasn’t sure whether I should continue to keep his phone service active or not. I replaced his flip phone with one of my older Android phones and have direct dial numbers on the front page. He has started to not carry the phone at all because he has trouble a) answering it, and b) using it to call me. The last few times I’ve called his cell, the call has gone directly to voice mail. I finally asked him if he wore his phone at all anymore and he said, no. I didn’t pursue it.” I’m going to start plugging his phone in at night and when he leaves the house, I will make sure he’s wearing it. I will call it to make sure it is turned on, and will keep my fingers crossed that this will solve the problem with keeping track of my dear sweet husband when he’s away.

Thanks for being here. I appreciate your input and guidance so very much.

Blessings to all. Be safe, be well, and please be happy. We only need to keep our hearts, minds, eyes and ears open for the Universe to give us exactly what we need when we need it. I have no doubt that the Universe (God, OM or whatever you call your higher power) is responsible for answering my cell phone dilemma by encouraging “Alice” to write about her husband’s flip phone situation. We are blessed, and watched over every day of our lives.

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View From My Window

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 — I’ve come across yet another caregiver’s diary/blog and have the feeling that I should be writing down some of the things that I’ve observed in Robert’s behavior. Then again, I ask myself whether it would be a violation of his privacy to share times when he’s been less than 100%.

For the most part, I’ve kept his lapses to myself. He’ll be seeing his neurologist tomorrow morning and I wonder how I will relay the truth about how he’s doing. I believe the Aricept is working, but then, how do we know if we don’t stop it?  And if we were to stop it, would that cause the Alzheimer’s to advance more quickly? Would we ever catch up to where we would have been if we hadn’t stopped taking it? It doesn’t prevent all of the dysfunction, and some days are harder than others. He really isn’t aware of all that I do to make his life easier. At times, it feels like I’m throwing my efforts down a black hole that will never fill up.

He was very tired yesterday, more so than he’s been in some time. When I took his lunch to him at the Depot, he walked over to the table where I was setting his lunch. He leaned against the end of the table and appeared to be close to dropping to his knees. I told him he looked very weak, and he said it was because he’d been standing in the hot sun, working on the signals. I told him to take it easy and to sit and rest. He thanked me for the lunch and apologized for not telling me that it was going to be a brown bag lunch day. I told him that was o.k. since I needed to go to the post office anyway.

He’s made comments to me that make me realize he doesn’t acknowledge the times when mistakes he’s made are actually his fault. A couple of weeks ago, he forgot a pan of sugar water he’d started cooking on the stove. The water evaporated, the sugar burned black and it almost ignited. The kitchen filled with smoke and the house smelled for several days afterwards. He apologized that night and the next day said he wasn’t going to keep the hummingbird feeders going anymore. It really upset him and bothered him for the next couple of days. I enjoy watching the hummingbirds, so I began making the hummingbird sugar/water in the microwave–a quicker and safer way to make it. Eventually, he began taking over the hummingbird feeders again, but just the other evening, he said that burning the sugar/water on the stove that time wasn’t his fault. I was speechless. I didn’t say a word, but sat there thinking that in his mind, the fact that the pot boiled dry and almost ignited wasn’t his fault at all. It’s like the time several months ago when he rear-ended me with his truck. He claimed it was my fault for stopping in the street. I did stop–because I didn’t see him following me. We were headed to the mechanic’s and I was leading the way. He happened to get distracted by some workers doing something to a house and when he turned back to look at the road, there I was, stopped dead in the street. But that was MY fault for having stopped. It’s all in how he views the world. For myself, I can’t begin to contradict his view of these situations. Best to let it go, but it shows how his mental viewpoint is changing.

He’s quit carrying his cell phone–he’s had trouble remembering how to use it and when he doesn’t remember to charge it at night, the battery goes dead. Then when I call him, my calls go straight to voice mail. I’ve pretty much given up trying. I won’t cancel the phone number just yet, but will wait and see if he wants to try a different phone before we give up on him carrying a cell phone.  I haven’t run across any answers for this. I think it’s just another thing that has to be given up.

Changes are a fact of life. When dealing with Alzheimer’s, none of the changes are easy.

Be safe, be well and be happy. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

 

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View From My Window

Thursday, August 29, 2019–Bernartex quilt update! Top is ready for a border. I would like to say I have enough Bernartex fabric to make it a 100% Bernartex quilt, but I don’t and don’t really have the money to buy more fabric, so will use what I have. This top took longer than it should have because I stopped to press the seams open after each sewing session. I admit I skipped the last two seams and will have to work on getting them opened and pressed. But I’m very pleased with how it turned out. Totally unplanned, I did as instructed and took 20″ off the first strip and just began sewing. I went through two full bobbins of thread and thankfully, I’m using a cone of thread for the top thread. DSCN3947.JPG

Robert’s watching a football game so I think I’ll read for a bit and then I’ll work on finishing the binding on the Great-great-nephew’s quilt. Here’s a snapshot of it as it stands right now.

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That’s all I have for now. Have a good evening!!

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View From My Window

Thursday, August 29, 2019 — Some time ago, I entered a drawing through Benartex, my all-time favorite fabric manufacturer. I was totally shocked and jazzed to learn that I had won. My fabric prize arrived on my doorstep yesterday, and this morning I found the perfect pattern for this gorgeous roll of fabrics. It’s called Jelly Roll Race. I chose Jennie Doan’s tutorial to show the process of this quick and easy quilt pattern. Jennie is owner and creator of the Missouri Star Quilt Co. another of my favorite quilting supplies companies. They have a Daily Deal that I became addicted to and had to unsubscribe because I found it hard to resist buying the wonderful fabrics/tools when the price was like giving the product away.

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On to the race!! I’ve decided to make this quilt top and have it quilted by my good friend Carolyn Wright, fellow Tehachapi Loose Threads member, and owner of “The Long Arm of Tehachapi” quilting service. She does such excellent work, and I know she’ll be the perfect person to add a special touch to the quilt.

When the quilt is bound and ready to be delivered, I’ll present it to my niece, Jeanette Vogt as a raffle prize to raise money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Triathalon race being held later this year. Jeanette has been training hard for this race, as she does for all of the fundraiser races put on by CCFA. I can’t think of a better way to pay it forward than to take my fabric prize and turn it into a gift that will raise money towards a cure for bowel diseases. I’ll be posting photos of the completed quilt and will have a way for you to purchase a raffle ticket.

I’m still sewing the binding down on my Great-great-nephew’s quilt and I have to admit it is looking soooo good. I’m very pleased with the way it’s turned out. I told Robert I was always surprised when what I make turns out well because I don’t use a kit so everything has to be calculated and put together as I go. I’ll share photos when I’m done. I think you’ll like it.

Be safe, take good care of yourself, and be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Friday, August 23, 2019 — The end of another week and I’ve just about finished the latest baby quilt. All that’s left is making the label, quilting, blocking and adding the binding.

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I think it’ll be a cozy quilt for my Great-great-nephew. His Great-great-grandmother loved Sylvester the Cat and Tweetie Bird, so she would most definitely approve of this quilt. She’s most likely smiling on the other side of the veil.

I have had an ongoing problem with Ruby — the neighbor’s cat that has adopted Robert and me. <sigh> She absolutely loves my office chair! If she gets half a chance, she’s on it.

Second to my chair (or more often than not, first in line) is a place on my ironing board. I’ve taken to covering it with the previous muslin covering, trying to prevent her hair, dander, dirt and foxtails to rub off on the area where I iron fabric and quilt pieces. Doesn’t she look regal here, basking in the last rays of the sun? LOL

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Her other favorite place is sitting in the window–watching the hummingbirds flit around the feeders, just outside the window.

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Besides taking my chair, our only other gripe is she has taken to clawing the furniture whenever she gets a chance. <sigh> I’ve read all sorts of recommendations online. I even bought her a scratching pad (see the first photo). Oh! and she’s crawled inside our cabinets when we’re not watching. I tried closing the desk drawer the other evening and it stopped short of closing all the way and came sliding right back out. Hmmm… I thought perhaps something had got caught up in the drawer. Nope, next thing I knew, there was a dark furry paw sneaking over the back of the drawer. I wound up pulling the bottom two drawers completely out so she could escape. Strange cat… and Robert had the kitchen cupboard open this morning,  making the morning coffee. He’d let Ruby in but didn’t really keep track of her. He went to close the cupboard door and spotted her tail sticking out and waving… LOL She’d crawled into the bottom shelf and all the way back into the corner of the cabinet. Sneaky thing!

I’ll close this with blessings to all. So many friends have health problems right now that need your prayers and positive thoughts. We are so blessed in this life. Be safe, be well, and please remember to tell those you love that you love them.

 

 

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View From My Window

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 — It’s a hard thing to accept — your heart says yes and your body says nope, no way, not today! Limited energy and my weakness in wanting to help others is not a good combination. Even my housekeeper gave me a nice ‘out’ before I walked over to the neighbors house to meet with them and the coordinator for Valley Caregivers. My housekeeper reminded me that the neighbor’s situation is THEIR problem, not mine, and they are now in good hands. She said “You’ve done your part. Let go and let the professionals take over caring for the neighbors.

So when I went over, I sat down with the coordinator for a moment and when there was a lull in the conversation, I asked if there was any further need for my attendance. The coordinator shook her head no. That gave me the grace and opportunity to excuse myself from any further discussion of the neighbor’s finances and their health care. Later on, I received an e-mail from the neighbor’s son, asking me how it went. I replied and said I hadn’t stayed as I didn’t feel right listening to their private financial or health information. In fact, I was unable to continue to do any caretaking or errands for his parents because caring for them brought added stress to me and thus to my husband and we couldn’t handle any more stress than what we were currently dealing with.

It’s been nice to have the house quiet once more. Robert came home from his volunteer duty at the Depot and was too weak and tired to even go to Home Depot with me. We needed a moat for one of our hummingbird feeders. I left him asleep in his chair and went to the thrift store first, only to discover it was closed until after the 22nd, so all of the donations sitting in the trunk of my car will just have to sit there for a couple more days. I then went to Home Depot for the feeder moat. They didn’t have moats, but they had a new style of feeder that had a moat built into the top of the feeder and the flowers had bee blocks. I picked it up and headed to the checkout.

I had planned to go to the grocery store but was concerned that Robert would wake before I got back. I usually wake him before leaving the house, but this time he was so exhausted I decided to just go and to hurry back. He said he felt bad that he was too weak to take care of the house. I told him we were supposed to downsize when we built this house but we didn’t — we actually increased the size of the house. We love our home and we love our view. I told him we’d just have to be frugal and hire people to do what we can’t physically do ourselves. I know that one day we may be forced to move from this wonderful place because we may face health challenges that make the decision for us. But until that day comes, we will live one day at a time, thankful for our blessings.

Be safe, be well, and please know that you are loved. I am grateful for friends who remind me that I am a limited supply commodity and must ration my energy according to the priories of my life. I must remember that the word NO is a sentence. Blessings to all…

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