September 27, 2012

Officially Fall

I love fall.  Having been born and raised in Florida, fall is totally amazing to me.  Where we lived in Florida, you had two shades of green - green and then tired old green.  Up here we have many shades of green and then all those beautiful warm colors in the fall.
My knitting buddy surprised me the other day with this absolutely wonderful skein of yarn!
She calls it "Construction Paper Turkey." 
I think the name is very appropriate.  I wish my pictures did the colors justice.

Last I checked she had another skein she was selling.
If anyone is interested, e-mail me and I'll send you the information.
Meanwhile, I'm going to figure out what this skein is telling me it wants to be when it grows up.  I think I heard it whisper, "Definitely socks!"

September 13, 2012

Almost Four Months?

Almost four months of blog absence?  Is there an excuse?  Well, I could come up with many, but I'll just use a few.
1) R's broken foot
When we went to the doctor in May, he said it could take up to three or four months.  I thought he was nuts.  However, he is the one with the degree, not me.  Here we are - almost four months later and R is starting to walk with more confidence.  Still wearing the post-op shoe, although there was no op to be post!  She will be moving into a stiff pair of shoes soon.
2) Harper
Due to Harper's mom have foot issues, I have been his caretaker.  Oh my gosh!  That dog is going to kill me!  He has been dragging me all over this yard.  There is no way on earth I could take him on a walk by myself.  (If you don't believe me, check previous blog post.)  We have made some headway, but due to him being headstrong, there is definite room for improvement.
3) Mom
As most of you know, my Mom has Alzheimer's.  The past few months have been extremely difficult.  I can't speak for anyone else, but when the diagnosis was made, extreme depression set in.  I know there has been a black cloud over this house for at least two years.  Then something happened.  It was an awakening of sorts, but I will spare you the details.
It basically requires a whole new way of thinking.
When you first get the diagnosis, you are faced with major decisions.
Do you give up and put your loved one in an assisted living facility before they are truly ready?
Do you hire someone to come in and care for them when they are highly resistant?
Do you skirt major issues and hope they will take care of themselves? 
I decided to do the last one.  I avoided all major issues.  I couldn't decide what on earth to do.  My family was in turmoil.  Time spent with Mom was extremely taxing.  She wasn't happy.  We weren't happy.  NOBODY was happy.  If I didn't do something fast, we were all going down together, rapidly.  Then the aforementioned awakening happened.  With an extremely supportive sister, a wonderful husband, two kids willing to work together, and a patient therapist provided by the local memory clinic, pulled us up and out of the doldrums.  There are people out there who are putting stumbling blocks in our way.   They don't believe the diagnosis or the stage of the disease.  Believe me, I would never ever lie about  Mom having this disease or how bad it is.  Why would anyone do that?
With a new resolve, we decided to enjoy the time we have the best way we can.  When she is with me, I try to find tasks around the house that desperately need to be done and ask for help.  Yesterday we cleaned the inside of the refrigerator.  While cooking, I ask for help with cutting vegetables that I don't need right away.   Yes, I have to explain what size I need or answer whatever questions she has over and over again.  But, she repeatedly tells me how great it feels to be useful and needed.  And we try to find places to go that are not overwhelming to the senses and where she can walk by herself without fear of her getting too far away from us.
One such place is Reynolda Gardens which is adjacent to the Reynolda House.  
Reynolda House
Last Sunday R badgered us into taking her there.  If she was up to walking and since the weather was going to cooperate, we were game.  We all thoroughly enjoyed it.  Mom kept commenting on how relaxing it was, so it was a win-win situation.
Reynolda Gardens
An okra plant in the gardens.  The flowers were beautiful.
The photographer wasn't happy her face was in the picture, but I couldn't pass up sharing this picture.  The sky was gorgeous and the colors in this picture are beautiful.

A crystal doorknob on one of the cabins in the garden.  Little unexpected treasures were everywhere.

A bird in the hinge of the door of a private house in the garden.  Another unexpected treasure.
Heart shaped leaf found in front of Reynolda House.  Since Daddy died, I have found so many heart shapes in nature.  Think he was there with us?