Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Emmy goes to...

I am so behind the times. I just found out that "Mom's" documentary, The Memory Loss Tapes, won an Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking. Yeehaw!

Of course, it wasn't Mom's. She was only one of seven people profiled in the documentary. To me though, it will always be "Mom's documentary."

Congratulations HBO, and Shari and Nick!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kinda Cobblestone Planning

I've had a vague idea in my head ever since the Cobblestone pattern was published. Use the Cobblestone pattern, but do a different color on the yoke. Cardiganize it, maybe.

This is the fiber for the yoke. I will spin this in long color repeats, but sort of haphazardly. I need some excitement in my life, even if that excitement is just not knowing which color will ply with which color, and what it will look like when knit in the yoke.

The dark blue yarn will be the body and sleeves. Instead of cardiganizing it, it will have a deeply split hem on the sides. I might run out of the dark blue yarn, so I may wind up with a capelet/yoked vest kind of deal. Just winging it for now.

I don't know how I decided on these colors.

It just came to me.

In a waking dream kind of way.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Art of Alzheimer's

I wasn't sure if I should include this. Then I realized that as her world gets smaller, she is still creating art with what she can reach. She isn't walking much anymore, so I try to have a variety of things she likes on her little tray table in front of her. She chose to carefully arrange them on the table. This piece was disassembled within seconds of taking this photo.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Spinning, not Plying

I got a lot of spinning done last weekend. Notice I didn't say plying.

Twelve ounces of llama blend on the bottom, and five ounces of alpaca blend on top.

I have some plying to do.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Checking in

Thanks to my sister, I was able to spend the weekend doing spinning demonstrations at the annual Threshing Bee my friends put on. I really needed the time off. It was wonderful, but I didn't take a single photo to share. I got a lot of spinning done, and would show you that except it is very dark and rainy here today, so no photos of that either. This will probably go down as my most boring post ever.

Mom is doing ok. She is eating and drinking, and still not in any discernible pain. The hospice nurse is coming this afternoon to discuss what hospice can do for Mom/us. I'm not sure they're really needed yet, but I guess that is what this first meeting is for.

The physical day to day part of this caregiving thing hasn't been a problem for me, it has always been the weight of responsibility that wears me down. That weight is getting even heavier in light of the decisions that will need to be made. It makes me want to run away.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Art of Alzheimer's

I have never been happier to post another installment in the Art of Alzheimer's series. Words cannot express my joy. Mom got out of bed this morning all by herself for the first time in over a month. She immediately headed to my desk, fooled around with the tape dispenser and the computer mouse, pretended she was going to write on me with a pen, then poked me with it instead, and just generally was her old self again. The other day she got up from the couch unassisted, twice. Yeehaw!

Mom found the perfect spot for her shaky egg.

(The installation was done on the tray, I just moved it to a window for better light. I try to take the photos where I find them, but since this one was contained on the tray, I did move it.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Debated whether to post this, but I've been open about everything else since I started this blog, so here goes.

Mom's CT scan yesterday revealed a 7cm soft tissue mass surrounding the throat and an enlarged lymph node. Thus the eating issues. Lymphoma is suspected. Fluid and plaqueing in the right lung. Thus the breathing issues. I'll be contacting hospice today to get more information. The good thing is she hasn't shown signs of being in pain (yet), and is still smiling and laughing, although weakened. With help getting up, she is still walking. She seems to have recovered her appetite, and is eating and drinking with obvious enjoyment.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yogurt Fluff

If you've been reading along lately, you know that Mom has been on antibiotics, has had some eating issues, and has lost a lot of weight. It has been a struggle for me to find food that she can and will eat. With all the antibiotics she has been taking, I've wanted to get some yogurt in her, but she didn't like it. Shoot. Yogurt would be perfect for her. In addition to the good bugs, it is high in protein and calcium. Plus, no chewing required, so the physical act of eating it is easy. I have found a way to get her to eat it, and thought I would share it in case there are other caregivers out there in the same boat.

I noticed a recipe for yogurt pie on the yogurt container. Add 1/2 a package of instant vanilla pudding to 12 oz of yogurt, and mix well. Fold in 6 oz of whipped topping. Pour into a graham cracker pie shell, and refrigerate six hours. Top with fruit or whatever. I didn't bother putting it in a pie shell, I didn't want her to have to chew. I just made it like yogurt pudding. She eats it right up. I might fiddle with the yogurt/whipped topping ratio. The more yogurt the better, but then I have to make sure she'll eat it, too. I'm trying to come up with fruit/yogurt combinations that she can eat. Next time I might try adding a chopped banana, her favorite fruit. Strawberry yogurt with banana would be good. The last time I ordered groceries, they brought Orange Cream and Banana Cream yogurt cups as the free item. I plan on using those as the yogurt in the pie recipe, adding (canned, chopped) mandarin oranges and bananas, and we might have a new favorite for Mom.

Now, a couple of gratuitous signs of fall photos.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Snakes on the Shelf

Several weeks ago, my sister came and watched Mom while I went to my spinning group. A few days later, I finally noticed this.

I had to call my sister to ask if she had done it, or if Mom had. First, we had a good laugh that it took me so long to finally notice it. Then she admitted that she had done it. Turns out, her seven year old does this often. He'll leave his dinosaurs or monsters in the fridge for my sister to find. Like grandmother like grandson.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I planted a few sunflower seeds around the Wall of Junk, but didn't really expect anything to bloom because I planted them so late. I am happy to say I was wrong.

Only two have bloomed so far, but there are many buds on the plants. So bright and cheery.

I had to play around with Poster Edges, of course.

Not good news at the doctor's yesterday. Despite the huge dose of antibiotics, the fluid in Mom's lungs is worse, and she has lost even more weight. Her white cell count is elevated, so there is still an infection somewhere, despite all those antibiotics. We will start another round, but also do a CT scan to see if that tells more. I am very worried. To end on an up note though, I do have a funny Mom story.

For several days, I have had to feed Mom, and she wouldn't eat anything that she had to chew. If she couldn't just immediately swallow it, she just held it in her mouth. This meant that I wasn't giving her her usual beloved waffles for breakfast, but had instead switched to oatmeal. Tuesday morning, after about two spoons of oatmeal, she refused to open her mouth for more. Instead, she sort of glared at me and said "Get me something else." Yay, Mom was back! I made her a couple of waffles, which she ate all by herself and finished. She has been feeding herself and eating more normally ever since. Woohoo!

Monday, September 7, 2009


I just wanted to share a resource for caregivers out there regarding pain in AD and dementia patients that I came across today. It is often difficult to tell if a person is in pain when they can't verbalize it. This online workshop shows you how.

Mom seems to be in a downward spiral. I keep hoping that she just has to regain her strength after the pneumonia. We go back on Wednesday for another chest x-ray to see if the latest round of antibiotics have worked.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Shameless Plug

I was recently accepted into the Indie Dyers Cooperative, and have been busy carding up a storm for the Fall Fiber Frenzy scheduled for Tuesday at 3 pm Eastern. Check out the previews, sign up for Hyena Cart, and tell all your friends!

I'll be stocking mostly spinning/felting batts, with a few handspun yarns thrown in when I can. Here are a couple sneak peeks.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Have you ever seen a cecropia caterpillar? They are quite pretty.

The picture is from here.

I was inspired to make a yarn of it, of course. This picture taken in the light of the setting sun, so the actual color isn't quite as golden as it appears. It was my first attempt at spinning coils or beehives or whatever these are called. I might have some of each plus some other techniques I don't know the name of, which are complete accidents!

The yarn then became this collar, woven on the peg loom.

The coiled/beehive parts sort of curl above the rest of it, looking rather inchworm like. Maybe I'll have to change the name of it? Or do another leaving out the yellow and blue, and calling that one inchworm. If I were better at adding beads to my spinning, I would just spin the green fiber, then add yellow and blue seed beads to it. That would be even more cecropia caterpillar like.