Monday, January 31, 2011

The importance of nail polish.

If you had to guess, would you think I was a nail polish kind of person? Nope, not a bit. Of course I've tried it, what ten year old girl hasn't? I don't like the way it makes my nails feel like they can't breathe. I don't like the way little bits of it chip off, possibly into the bread dough you are kneading. I don't like the way it takes time to put on, dry, and then remove a few days later when it starts to chip.

Nope, I'm not a nail polish person. Nor are my sisters, and my mom never used it either. Imagine my surprise to find that she now wears pink nail polish. At first I was outraged. How can they take a very forgetful lady who can't even see, and paint her nails pink? She didn't look like my mom anymore. I wanted to cry and shout about how wrong it was.

It made it hard to trim her nails - where was I supposed to trim? It looked sloppy when it started chipping off. But then I realized something. I can't be with her all the time. She thrives on attention. While having her nails painted, someone is holding her hand and talking to her. Someone cares enough to ask what color of polish she would like, and then carefully paints it on each nail.

So what if Mom never wore nail polish? She doesn't knead bread anymore. She's 88 years old, and a lady of leisure. If someone is willing to take the time to paint her nails, I'm thankful they are there to care for her.

My condolences to Daisy, who has been going through the same sort of situations with her mom, who has just passed on. Either way it's heartbreaking.

Friday, January 28, 2011


What costs $5 and gives you three weeks of entertainment? (And then a wearable, useful object!) A nice ball of sock yarn! I love self striping yarn. It knits up beautifully. This color is called "denim" and will look so nice with Larry's jeans. Mary Maxim catalogue had it on sale for half price.
Did I ever show you my homemade sock blocker? I got the idea from a clever You Tuber ( I have absolutely no idea who, which is what comes of cruising around on Ravelry - so much fun!)

Purchased sock blockers are very expensive, so she advised cutting pieces of craft foam the shape of the socks. I have her to thank not only for the sock blockers, costing about 25 cents each, but . . . for the wealth of fabric I found for 75% off when Wal-Mart was closing their fabric department early last summer. I was there for the craft foam and saw the sale sign.
Did you notice the mysterious thing that happened to these socks? I started out trying to make them match, beginning the second sock in the same place in the color rotation as the first one, so the stripes would be the same. Well, as I was happily knitting along I came to a very small knot in the yarn, looking all innocent. The knot was tying on to a new bit of yarn in an altogether different stripe!! The nerve. But what the heck? Stripey socks are just for fun anyway, and it doesn't matter. Although these are for a gift, and I did want them to look, if not professional, at least not like beginner socks. After all, they are my fourth pair!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The color of chocolate

Another birthday! Since Janary doesn't have much else to recommend it (what with it being the cold and dark season) it's lucky we have so many birthdays around here. David turned 24 yesterday. When he was little he always asked for a bakery cake, and chose the one with the brightest colors on it. Now that he's all grown up he knows the value of a tasty homemade chocolate cake in which brown is the only color. I fell in love with this gorgeous moda fabric at the quilt show we went to a few months ago. The vendor just had two fat quarters and a one yard piece. I bought what she had, and then did some "selvedge research". It's the first time I've ever looked online for fabric by using the information provided by the manufacturer right on the selvedge.
Just by typing in the words above I was able to find more of this beautiful fabric at the Fat Quarter Shop - they do sell more than just fat quarters! (A fat quarter is a quarter yard cut in actual quarters rather than the traditional linear quarter yard cut, and measures 18 by 22 inches).
I made a lovely scrub jacket for work out of the piece I bought, and plan to use the smaller pieces to make a new purse and tote bag. I would show a photo of the jacket, but *someone* seems to have deleted the photo. Yes, yes, I know, digital photos are easy, and I can take another one, which I will. (But not now.)
Thanks to Ginny for prompting me to come back to blogland. As I told her, my mom is not doing well, and I have spent much of my time off from work visiting with her. She has had to move from the assisted living section to the nursing care section of the place where she lives.
The actual moving of her clothes, furniture, and other posessions was the easy part, although we might not have thought that at the time. She has not adjusted well at all, and the fact that she can neither see nor remember has made it just awful for her.
Anymore I dread phone calls - they're nearly always from Nurse M with dire reports on Mom's latest misadventure. Last night Larry and I drove the 25 mile round trip in the dark and the snow, because Nurse M tells us how agitated and miserable Mom is at night. When we got there she was sleeping peacefully. We stayed for close to an hour, but did not disturb her much needed sleep.
My brain swirls round and round wondering what the best thing would be for Mom. We have considered leaving our cozy nest of 30 years to find a home with a room for Mom, but I cannot afford to quit my job, and I do need to sleep at night.
A song by Mary Baker Eddy came to mind the last time I heard from Nurse M.
The title is "Mother's Evening Prayer" and the fourth verse popped into my thoughts during that call.
"Beneath the shadow of His mighty wing;
In that sweet secret of the narrow way,
Seeking and finding, with the angels sing:
"Lo, I am with you alway," - watch and pray."
The first verse of the same song begins:
"O gentle presence, peace and joy and power;
O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour, . . ."
You can see why I find comfort in these words.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Guilt free lunch

We have three birthdays in our family in January. We are firm believers in "Don't skimp on the cake!" which is my favorite birthday greeting. What with eating all this cake, we need to have some guilt free meals. You can make a very tasty lunch by starting with a piece of flat bread.

Spread it with one tablespoon of low fat sour cream.

Sprinkle 1/8 of a cup of low fat shredded mozerella cheese over the sour cream.

Pile on as much fresh spinach as will fit.

Roll it up and cut in two.

Add a delicious clementine, and you have a guilt free and very nourishing lunch!

Now you can have some birthday cake!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Getting organized

Something about the new year prompts me to get organized. What a mess my desk had become.
Tidying up generated lots of papers to be recycled. One thing always leads to another, and I cleaned the filing cabinet as well, since I could no longer stuff any more papers into the over filled folders.

And then I thought how handy it would be to have a little shelf beside the desk. Mainly because the little shelf sat on top of the printer ever since it was determined to be the wrong size for someone else's project, and - ahem - that person never did anything else with it. Who knew it would take this many tools to install one small shelf?

All done! Thank you, Larry, for the new shelf! In the "after" picture, it's on the right with the camera case and a white box on it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

I feel confused. How did it get to be 2011? Really. Wasn't it just 1974?

2010 was a pretty good year, for which I am thankful. Larry and I celebrated our 30th anniversary, and took our first vacation in eleven years. We had a marvelous time! Yes it was Michigan instead of Kauai, and was three days instead of ten, but you have to start somewhere. We loved everything about Saugituck, MI, especially the fact that we got to visit Miss Daisy on the way!

I began knitting again after a very long hiatus, and am delighted with not only the results, (17 snowmen with hats and scarves, 1 Larry sized hat, 1 pig, 1 cat, 2 bunnies, 4 mittens, and 6 socks) but the process as well.

I began crocheting and am still at the beginning stages of wobbley edged dishrags, of which I've made 3, but once again you have to start somewhere.

I ended 2010 at the very same weight I started with, which could be worse. Maintaining is just as hard as losing!

I've enjoyed visiting your blogs, although I have slipped in the posting department. I have found I can get so much more accomplished if I stay away from the computer!

My mom is a big part of my life, as she lives in a nursing home and can no longer see or remember, which is a terrible combination. If she could just see, it would be so much easier to know what is going on. If you can't remember where you are or why you're there, it is very confusing. I visit two or three times a week, and am thankful she is comfortable in body if not in mind, and well cared for. It is very very hard to hear her chatting about things that never happened, changing the past in extraordinary ways.

So far, any of the negative things that have happened in my life have made me better at my job. I can understand and sympathize with patients who have the same conditions. Skin cancer wasn't nearly as scary for me the third time around. I'm thankful for a skilled doctor who removes all traces.

The older I get the faster the time goes, and I know it will be June again in a minute, and I'll be able to swim and take walks in shorts and sandals. I wish you a wonderful 2011.