I haven’t done much since the last post. I have had some health issues dealing with some “digestive issues” and that is as far as I am going to go.
I have mostly been knitting and crocheting. I am still working on my sister’s lacy crocheted summer top. It is now November and there is snow on the ground and it is cold enough for the dog to wear its sweater and booties but I am still working on her top. The pattern came out of a magazine that was touting “Quick Weekend projects”. I can only assume now that they meant they took 48 hours of solid work.
The dog sweater I knitted last spring fits well – at least it did until the snow flew and it got wet. Then it stretched and the dog was walking up into the sweater with its hind legs. She would sit down and whimper in confusion until I untangled her legs and rolled it up a bit. I think I am going to crotchet some elastic into the band and some of the stomach area.
The knitting I was doing was for our yarn bombing group. We all created poppies to yarn storm Valour Place, the place where wounded soldiers and their families can stay when they get therapy at the Glenrose. They made 1111 poppies in all, I made ….. 6… but they are big and they sparkle!
Poppies for Valour Place
Last month I got involved with the local yarn bombing group. We do places like a local Alzheimer centre so they have something cheerful to look at during the winter.
Usually I just help out with assembly but this time we were asked to do a lamppost as part of a street festival and the organizers decided to do a garden. Now sometime in the distant past I helped create a set for an adult website where I knitted moss. This was fun, random knitting done on large needles so I decided to volunteer to create the “grass” for the garden. Of course as soon as I got home and checked my yarn stash I realized that nearly all those yarns had been donated before I left Montreal. I looked temptingly at the “moss” I had created, that had been returned to me, but the cat made very threatening noises at the thought of losing his soft, fluffy bed. This of course generated lots of fun FB posts about going out and hunting down some “grass”. I actually slummed and went to Walmart to buy tacky yarn and I actually used a Micheals coupon too.
It was a blast knitting on 15 mm needles after all the lace kitting I have done lately. I used two strands of yarn plus a sparkly lurex as the base knit fabric. I wove green fun fur in and out of the knit – sort of like how you carry a yarn of the colour you are not using in Fair Isle knitting. I used short rows to create angles in the knitting. The only issue I had was that it was very hot in August and sitting with a thick, furry blanket in my lap meant I only knit in air conditioned spaces. The finished size was 37 inches wide by 39 inches tall – it wasn’t a project one could stick in ones purse.
Lots of other people knitted flowers, birds, butterflies, leaves and of course sky! Now normally our creations are put up by some much younger people with significant others who don’t mind standing on top of a ladder at midnight at -20C but this time the whole thing had to be assembled in public in daylight. Our intrepid installers solved the problem by knitting themselves beards and toques and becoming Edmonton lumber jacks for the day. Luckily it was not too hot.
The lamppost decorating was actually a contest and WE WON. We donated the prize to Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts and the Alberta Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Society.
For more details and lots of pictures check out Knitmonton.
I have been working on the Pan / Green Man doll the last 2 weeks. I was reading the latest Wild Fibre magazine and they had a photo of these 4 horned black sheep that just enchanted me so now he has 4 horns. Oh and a penis because he is a fertility god after all. He has the first layer of hair on also. The background is kind of messy because I got fed up not being able to get into my studio and dragged it all upstairs and I have been working at the kitchen table. This means more interruptions, including my father making jokes about it….. But at least I am getting something done.
And that little bang?
Someone dropped this strange tube with electrical wires coming out of it behind the garage that the guy who does the lawn took one look at and called the police, who called the bomb squad. So we had a bomb scare in the alley!
We were told to get into the basement – umm no we can’t do that because mom can’t walk – so we had to stay at the front of the house while they blew it up. The whole thing took from 7am to 10:30 am when there was a sound of a garbage can being dropped. Apparently this was “oil field debris” that someone dropped off behind the garage along with one table leg and an empty bottle. And I thought life was a little boring and humdrum.
A week ago the dog got sick and spent a couple of days at the vet. Yes I know, I needed that like a hole in the head. However those couple of days showed me how much I depended on those 15 -20 minute walks. It is a time just for me and the dog and it is non guilt inducing and non-negotiable – the dog must be walked several times a day since we don’t have a fenced yard and we have wall to wall carpeting.
Every morning at 7 am we go out and walk. We watch the sun rise in spring and fall, we shuffle through the dark in winter and we pretend to run in the summer. We surprise the hares in the fields and sometimes we meet the little white dog from down the road getting its morning walk. While us humans use our stock phrases of “nice morning” and so on the dogs have a fest of sniffing and bouncing.
Walking similar routes everyday I see the gardens changing with the seasons in minute details. I see the cosmos that have escaped to the field and watch the fruit trees blossom, show their fruit and lose it. I see the backyard that was an over grown mess suddenly cut down and groomed as new owners take control. After storms there are suddenly gaps in trees and crushed fences and huge puddles as sump pumps work their magic. And I walk past it all day after day, 3 times a day, just breathing and watching. The show goes on for me without lifting a finger, just walking and picking up the poop. Through sun, rain, snow, sleet and darkness, just walking and picking up poop.
It makes the days bearable. I can leave some of the stress out there for the gods to compost.
(Note: since the last post the number of new caregivers we have had for Mom since June 23rd is now 25)
No I am not screaming, sometimes turning the air blue, but I am not screaming….. yet.
After my nice holiday and the show I settled back into the routine until Alberta Health Services decided in its particular lack of wisdom to put out bids for home care to save money. Suddenly we had another home care provider, all the old familiar faces that someone with dementia needs disappeared overnight to be replaced with, in one week, 11 different caregivers. Yes 11 different people, many of whom had no experience, no clue what they should be doing and couldn’t lift a flea to save their lives. Since the end of June we have had 19 different people. All of whom I had to train.
During this time Mom has gotten worse (we had a trip to ER) and no longer pushes off when stood up and doesn’t step, so the care givers have been ordered to either use the hoist or have me lift her. Yes, that is right a 65 year old woman is lifting someone because those 20 somethings have no clue how to do this. Because the hoist is a joke, it is complicated and slow. We use it for bathing, note the “we” because I have to help with the hoist too.
And of course they come earlier so I no longer have any quiet, private time in the morning to help me balance, to journal or pretend to workout, so I can face the rest of the day.
We had some wonderful caregivers with the previous company but they couldn’t switch because they were indentured servants, i.e. foreign workers, full trained Filipino nurses who were amazing. Actually they were probably lucky to have a contract because all the other caregivers got their wages cut while the executives got bonuses and pay increases.
I have done quite a lot of knitting, mostly to keep from screaming. I did some painting too, but most of those were “experimental” and mostly splashing stuff on a page, not for public consumption. I did some work on Pan, doing more sculpting on his head. It is amazing how many hours one can needle sculpt without it making any difference to a photo.
Just after I got back from Nova Scotia I got an email from Harcourt House reminding me about a call for submissions for their members show. Not giving me time to think about it and back out, my sister pushed me to enter. It was a good thing she went with me because the whole street was torn up and we had to park several blocks away, I would probably have turned around and gone home but she helped carry the dolls.
They chose “Spell for Abundance” for the show. It is their 25th anniversary show on from June 13th to July 5th. It is also part of “The Works“, a city wide arts festival. The opening reception and open house for Harcourt is on June 20th. Which means I have to go and try to not hold up the wall of the gallery, the walls will hold themselves up quite well without my help.
Spell for abundance
It has been a while since I posted, that was because life got complicated. Then it got blissfully simple and now it is back to complicated again.
I went for 17 days to Nova Scotia to visit my youngest daughter, Vanessa, who was starring in her first lead role as Nanki pooh in The Mikado by Gilbert and Sulivan. Yes my blond buxom daughter sang the role of a Japanese male. She did a good job of it too, if mother can say so!
Vanessa and Theodore the Tug Boat in the rain
Me and Vanessa on the ferry to Halifax
Actually I thought I had booked to go for 10 days but when I went to pick up the car I was shocked to discover I had a return flight for the 28th not the 21st. Everyone said that must have been a “Freudian slip”. So I called the care giver company in panic and booked them for an extra week to look after the parents.
I had a great relaxing holiday. I slept late, ate too much of all sorts of foods, but especially seafood,I did a lot of knitting and I got rained on a lot. We did a lot of sightseeing and got rained on a lot. I had planned to run every morning but it was either raining or foggy every day except 2 and my body didn’t like that – in two weeks I emptied my puffer and my nasal spray, walking was a challenge enough. Luckily I rented an adorable little car – a Fiat 500 in metallic orange – sort of like driving a tiny pumpkin. It had a sun roof and on one of the two sunny days we opened it for a few minutes but it was barely 12C so we nearly froze.
Here are some shots – taken between the rain showers.
Daffodils at the Ferry terminal
The Lookout near Wolfville
Liverpool dock yard
Halls Harbour rocks and pilings
The Liverpool one was one of the two sunny days. She had a show there and we stayed at the Lanes privateer inn. Very nice with very good food and friendly helpful staff.