Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I need to find friends with smaller feet.

This pair was knit from fiber from Aries, my rose gray alpaca. That foot liked to take forever to knit!

Today is the two year anniversary of Mom moving in with me. When I think back to then, I wonder that I made it through. At that point, I had been living alone here on the farm for five years. I wasn't used to having anyone else around. My brother had just been killed in a car accident. She was actually going to move in the week before, but we had the funeral that day. She was confused about why she wasn't going home. I was working full time, with a two hour each way commute three days a week, and Mom rode with me and attended an adult day care. The other two days I worked from home, and then tried to get all my outside chores done on those two days, all the while making sure that Mom didn't wander off, trying to walk "home". She was used to walking at the lake for hours on end. Every day she would ask about my brother, where he was, why he wasn't coming to visit. I would just say that I hadn't seen him for a while, and try to not let her see me crying. Sometimes she would remember, and cry. That was so much worse.

The friend (in Philadelphia) that I knit those socks for called me literally every day that first year. I'm sure the first two months I cried every time I talked to him. I was exhausted. So was Mom. The least I could do was knit him some nice warm socks, gigantor feet or not.

Don't get me wrong, I do not regret for a moment having Mom here. Every day she makes me laugh. I get to see her in a way I've never seen her before, sort of like I get to see her how she was as a young girl.

It has been a good two years.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I just remembered this story as I was doing Mom's laundry from the weekend.

It was shortly after she moved in with me on Halloween, 2005. Caregiving was a whole new thing for me (I don't have children), and I was innocent to Mom's wily ways. She only had one bra that she liked to wear, so one night I had hand washed it, and then hung it in front of the corn burning stove in the living room so it would dry quickly. Now, Mom is of the generation that "dainties" should not be in public view. Even when she would hang the laundry on the line at home, the dainties were always hung towards the house, and shirts, pants etc on the street side so the neighbors couldn't see. Apparently, the living room was much too public, as the bra disappeared. I looked in every nook and cranny, the cupboards, the freezer and refrigerator, the oven, couldn't find that thing.

Fast forward about a week or two. I saw that Mom was eating a banana, so the search then began for the peel. That's right, the cupboards, the freezer and refrigerator, the oven, couldn't find it. Just as I was about to give up the search, I lifted a stack of papers, magazines, vet supply catalogs, etc that was sitting on the counter. Aha! There it was!

The bra, that is. Since I had just started a load of whites, and the machine had just started to agitate, I decided to throw the bra in too. Lift up the door, and there is the banana peel sitting on top of the clothes.

I laughed so hard!

Monday, October 29, 2007


I was spending a few quality moments in the pasture with the animals, enjoying a beautiful fall Sunday morning, when I heard a faint honking in the distance. Here they are passing overhead.

Then they very conveniently flew in front of the setting moon.

I observed that everything looks beautiful edged in white.
The burdock is down and burned, so the animals have another pasture to eat down. I'll leave them in there until deer hunting season opens, then it is back into the close in pastures only. No sense taking chances.
Mom came back exhausted. I don't think she slept all weekend. She woke up singing though.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another entry to the Art of Alzheimer's Series

This tile of Bluebonnets usually sits toward the back of the counter, behind the canisters, the toaster, etc. Mom set it in front of the canister, tore off the stems of these artificial flowers, and arranged them in front of the tile.

Mom used to love to paint. It was therapy for her when my Dad died. She can't, or won't, paint anymore, but she is still creating art. That makes me smile.

I have the weekend off. I took a nap. I sold a skein of yarn at the craft show, which paid for my booth fee and still left me with money to spare. I handed out a lot of business cards, got my picture taken by the roving reporter for the local paper, and she says she is going to call me next week so they can do a "human interest" story. I did enough spinning at the craft show to replace the skein I sold, plus more. But the nap? The nap was goooood!

Tomorrow there is a pasture full of burdock that should be shaking in their leaves, because they are going down! And then they are going to burn! And there is a chicken coop that is going to get cleaned out and new bedding put down for the winter, and raised beds to weed so I can fill them up with compost from the compost pile which needs emptying so I have room to put the chicken coop litter, and the leaves need raking, and the lawn needs mowed, and and and now I am making myself tired so good night.

On Monday please don't ask me how much of that actually got done, ok?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Just call me Oscar.

It happened again! I called the nursing home with the Alzheimer's unit where Mom stays about one weekend a month so I can have a weekend off, to see if they had a bed available. Why yes, we just had an opening. In other words, one of their residents just passed away. This has happened so often, a bed opens up a day or two before my call, that the social worker has started to expect my call whenever a resident passes away.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Art of Alzheimer's?

This is why I try to limit the amount of gum Mom chews. I never know where I am going to find it! I have to admit, this made me giggle. This trivit is usually hanging on the wall.

My broody hen hatched out her chicks yesterday. All 7 eggs hatched. Despite all the warnings about never helping a chick hatch, I did last night. The poor thing had been trying all day, and at 11 last night was still struggling. Most of the shell was gone, but the membrane had dried out and turned to a rubbery little cell for the guy. I held him in my hand and carefully peeled the membrane back until he was able to do the rest. I stuck him back under the hen, and this morning he was all dry and fluffy and chirpy. Yay!

I bought Mom a baby doll the other day at Fleet Farm. I had noticed that she loves looking at pictures of babies, and always smiles and comments if there is a baby on the television. She is fascinated when we are out in public and there is a baby nearby. It is hard to control her from reaching out and touching them. Anyway, she loves it! It is terribly sweet (but kind of sad) to see her talking to it, touching it, etc. She carefully sets it in a sitting position and tucks a blanket around it when she wants to do something else.


I had a friend who was wanting to sell two goats, and my sister wanted some goats. So I brokered the deal, and delivered the goats to my sister on Sunday. They are meat goats, but walk on a leash and basically act like big dogs. My five year old nephew is in love, and named them Larry and Gary. We had let them into their new pasture to explore, and my nephew asked,"When are we going to take their how much signs off?" Huh? How much signs? It took us a while, but then we explained that those weren't price tags, they were ear tags to help tell them apart.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It is Wednesday, right?

Mom was standing in the kitchen, looking at the counter, and giggling like a schoolgirl. She had her hand over her eyes, and would take a peek, and then laugh some more. I went in to see what was going on. She pointed, and then laughed. All I saw was a butternut squash sitting on the counter, with a towel draped over it. She laughed again, and then said, "It's a butt!" and giggled some more, dropping her head and hunching her shoulders. She was certainly right, it was a butt. Very disgustingly pimpled, but a butt nonetheless.

Probably not what was intended, but it serves as my entry for

ETA: Yes, I am an idiot. I don't know how to make that a link. I also don't know how to just show the name and not the whole link. Oh well, here's the link.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Mom just called me by name. The first time in about two years. Woohoo!


I may have mentioned previously that I had been doing some dyeing.

This alpaca/targhee was dyed as a roving, spun, wound into a center-pull ball, and then plyed on itself. I like that it is randomly variegated. This might become a pair of socks for me, or I might sell it. Choices, choices. Hm, I just remembered that this was spun on my birthday, sitting next to a lake in Wisconsin, on a very wonderful weekend off. Might have to keep this one as a remembrance of that day.

One of my silly hens has gone broody. She has six or seven eggs on her nest. I hope she gets them hatched and feathered out before it gets too cold. The ones above were hatched out in July.

An actual conversation with Mom:

Mom: Who's that girl? (Pointing at the neighbor girl (who used to watch Mom for a few hours a couple of days a week) as she was driving away.)

Me: That's Melissa.

Mom: Who is Melissa? (Looking at me.)

Me: That girl (Pointing)

Mom: Oh, what's her name? (Looking at Melissa.)

Me: (whimper) Melissa...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


This is the inspiration.

This is the result.

I've been doing some felting. I was trying to capture the dark stormy clouds along with the white fluffy ones. With the addition of a felted button, this is a neckcozy for a friend. The alpaca fiber was wet felted, let dry, then was needle felted to a piece of fleece. It will be soft on the inside(skin side?), and rain and wind resistant on the outside with the alpaca felt. And really warm, which is important here in Minnesota! I am working up many of these to sell at a small craft show in town later this month. It will be my first.

I'm not sure if Mom thought this toy needed a bath, or was cold or what, but am just glad that the burner hadn't been turned on yet.