A Good Week

Just before dawn

Every once in a while my husband who is a “real” photographer takes a morning photo for me to post on Facebook. The daily photos have become a much appreciated habit and a welcome gift for my friends and family – particularly during the covid shutdown. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place and I feel driven to share it with the world. We were, for the most part, pretty happy to be locked up here.

This week the CDC announced that all vaccinated people can go out in public without masks. It’s what we’ve all been waiting for, right? Returning to normal. Yeah, well, I’m not sure how I feel about this seemingly quick change. I think it’s great to be able to spend time with other vaccinated people in small groups of friends without masks but I’m not sure I trust the rest of the population to do the right thing if they’re not vaccinated. I’ll likely be wearing a mask at work for the near future. I’ll feel better that way.

Lilac in bloom

I’ve also spent a few hours outside on the porch and in the gardens. We were talking one day recently wondering how people take care of their yards and homes as they get older. It’s a big job around here! I am grateful that we can do it now but what happens when we get older? It may just all got to hell. Meanwhile, our goal is to make everything easier to care for. Native plants that are good for the birds and bees, ground covers that aren’t invasive so that weeds aren’t as prevalent, etc. Another work in progress …

Meanwhile, I’ve been finishing up a few projects and I’ve been starting a few, too. Ha! Ha! I’ve finished over 33 items so far this calendar year. Most recently I finished slippers for my big brother (his beautiful bride will be felting them so they’ll fit him perfectly), Socks for a new baby boy and his big brother, and I’ve completely finished (well, I haven’t found perfect buttons yet) my Daytripper Cardigan. I’ve also been baking a bit. Apple Pie Scones are among our new favorites (and used the old apples in the refrigerator before they were rotten, banana nut muffins with blueberries use the old bananas. Waste not want not.

I have a new shawl, Gallbladder by Becky Sorensen, on the needles at the request of my younger daughter. I’m making the shawl in Emma’s Yarn Practically Perfect Sock in two colorways. A silvery gray called “Jackie O” and a darker gray speckle called “Stolen Dances”. This shawl is designed by a college friend and she said she’d love it for her birthday. I’m thrilled to make it for her.

Gallbladder for my daughter

Also new to the needles are socks for my husband’s birthday. I almost used this Manos Allegria yarn for my son’s birthday socks but I changed my mind. So, this week I cast on sock for my husband. This is my sixth pair of socks so far this year. I’m once again participating in the annual Sock Challenge and these are my June socks. Allegria is so soft on my hands. I’m sure they’ll be wonderful to wear! My new socks in progress are first below … the rest are after that.

I took two classes this weekend and I’m so happy that I did. Yesterday I took a mending class with Bristol Ivy and today I took a finishing class with Deborah Newton. Both were wonderful and I always learn something new and useful. This has been a blessing in the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. To be able to take classes for a reasonable price with internationally known teachers is marvelous! I’m grateful to have been able to “indulge” in several classes over the past year. I’m grateful to still be learning.

My classes on Friday at Yardgoods Center in Waterville, Maine have started up in person again as of May. It’s so wonderful to gather together again. Zoom is a good situation when you absolutely can’t safely gather but it’s far better to be together in person. Friday is, again, my favorite day!

Gone knitting.

I Won’t Grow Up!

I know that when Peter Pan sang that growing up song, he didn’t want to have to assume the responsibilities of adulthood. I will accept those, but I sure as can be don’t want to get old and grumpy and alone.

My parents both died too young. One from (presumably) a heart attack and the other from Alzheimer’s Disease (she was gone years before she died). My grandmother died all of a sudden and was happy and active until “her time” came. The other grandmother was really old (96) and was bedridden and ready to go.

N’s mother is struggling with (I’m not sure if it’s life or) death. She is miserable. She is lonely and bored but refuses to get out of her chair and her room. I’d be stir crazy too if I was in the same room 24/7! But when her caregivers or we ask to take her outside, does she say, “yes! sure.” Nope. Will she go to the dining room? Nope.

I want to be active and healthy and, maybe most important of all, happy! Kick me when I get to feeling sorry for myself, will you? I will grow up if I can do it without attacking my children and facing each day with dread!

Gone sitting.

I See Old People

Another road trip. To Naples, FL, this time … to visit N’s mother who is in a lovely Assisted Living facility here.

Getting old really sucks. All of her friends and her husband are dead. “Nobody” (we interpret this as “nobody who I can remember or really care about) visits her. The aides who work on her wing, at least a few of them, have a HUGE chip on their shoulders and the attitudes make her feel threatened to the point that she feels unsafe at times. I can’t imagine being dependent on people who come into your room (her only home, likely for the rest of her life) with a grimace on their face, people who can’t even grunt out a semi-pleasant greeting, who leave you sitting on the toilet knowing you can’t get yourself up or help yourself. Unacceptable behavior for “care-givers” paid to be helpful.

Visits are getting more difficult and Nanny’s getting more difficult to please as her words are becoming less numerous and more difficult to retrieve. Communication is wacky – with “no” being the first response to every inquiry but often followed by a “yes” or a few words strung together slowly. We’re finding that we have to speak more slowly and distinctly and a lot louder! We are learning a lot about patience and are able to wait much longer for her to figure out how to respond.

I wish there were a way to remove yourself from the world of the living when you feel that your life is no longer worth living and when you’ve got no quality of life.

On the flip side, it incentivizes me and reminds me to get moving and to keep my life and mind active and full today … we don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

Gone knitting!