I HAVE MOVED...but please don't abandon me!

Dear blog friends...I have moved my craft blog over to:


please please please come on over and continue to be part of my craft circle? I promise a little better attention to posting!

And there's a cookie glaze recipe available in one of the new posts!

Hope to see you there!


arguably the worst...

I've been AWOL from my crafting, which I have to say is probably the worst scenario since I definitely need a 'therapeutic' escape right now. I realize that I've been living in denial for some time now concerning my Mother's condition and status. This is strange because she's been living with me for years now, and as her primary caregiver you'd think that I would be the person most in-tune with what her condition is/has been.

My Mother, Phyllis, is the third known generation of women in her family with what is referred to as 'early onset Alzheimer's Disease'. My great-grandmother, grandmother and mother all began to exhibit small signs of what was to come before age 60. I didn't really and truly see the issue for myself until my Mother was about 62 years old, but with hindsight we know that she must have been hiding a lot from those of us around her. She is now 69 years old.

About a month ago, and after a large seizure, Mom went from fairly functional at home to dwindling in a nursing home. It's been the hardest time of my life. I have had to make decisions that she did not set in place for me long ago. And, this week, the terrible burden is to choose whether to give her a feeding tube, or not to give her one. She has refused to eat for over three weeks now and is losing weight. In the Alzheimer's patient, the ability to eat is a late-stage symptom. Probably her brain has shriveled away in that area that tells you to be hungry and to eat.

It's funny how different the scenario is just one generation after my Grandmother's passing. 20 years ago, there were no Alzheimer's drugs to be had. You simply took the long, slow deterioration of the mind. But, my Mother had the benefit of taking Alzheimer's medications. It made a huge difference for her. People often have the mistaken idea that the drugs 'help your memory'. This is not true. Once the disease sets in and damage is done, there's no coming back from it. However, the medications made my Mother's progression very different. She stayed at a level ability to function for much longer than her own Mother. That's why this quick month of decline is hard for me. I expected a slower decline. And, it feels like it's 'snuck up on me'.

The pros and cons of the feeding tube/lack thereof are neither pleasant. There's no one decision that sticks out as the better option. At first, I thought, "There is no way that I will starve her by not giving her a feeding tube." However, after some education at the hands of medical care specialists, I am not so sure that a surgical procedure (which she may not be strong enough to survive) and the potential complications from the tube are humane either? Especially when they can never be resuscitated back to something better. Still, how do I make this decision either way and be confidant in it? Life certainly can be unfair and impossible sometimes.

It must be decided soon because as she becomes more malnourished, she could slip into cardiac arrest. I have to choose if I can deal with, and accept that. Pray for me...

I really liked this Alzheimer's graphic, made to advertise a statistic, created by Graphic Designer Ethan Bennett.


what a horrid start to the new year

I have had all of these great intentions to get my original patterns finished and online, and to simply blog more regularly, etc. Yet, the new year is off to a horrid start. As some of you know, I am caregiver to my Mother who has early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. I've known for a long time now that it has become time to find her a facility that can give her the kind of specialized care that I can no longer give her. However, Friday night she had a seizure here at home and had to be hospitalized. The general feeling of her doctors are that she needs to be transferred directly from the hospital to said facility as soon as her medications are stabilized.

Funny how many ups and downs your emotions go through during this process. In some ways I think it's a blessing in disguise that it is happening this way, because I could never imagine having to deliver her, personally, to a nursing home. And, though I know it's for HER own good, it's heartbreaking to think that she was just here and active and now she's not coming back home. My head has made the decision and made peace with it, as well. But my heart isn't prepared.

Seems as though I am in limbo. I don't have the focus to channel my grief through other outlets. Even my crafting, which normally would be 'therapy', is not something I can focus on. I guess it's just going to take me some time?



I'm striving to do a better job of posting in 2010, in addition to finally getting my original patterns written and added to my blog. I've been stuck in a huge crocheting phase for more than half of 2009, and have lately been itching to get back into my knitting (which is actually my stronger suit)!

Coming soon is a quick crochet, broomstick lace neck warmer pattern, as well as a few other freebie offerings. Please return soon for some small, freebie projects.


the 'after-Blogtoberfest' highs and lows...

I just can't seem to get myself together. It's been a 'blah' month. There was a bright, shiny moment yesterday when I received my last Blogtoberfest giveaway from Tinniegirl. It was LOVELY - inspirational cards and a mix tape! - and as soon as my camera battery is charged, I plan on blogging a photo. Thanks so much, Cathy! It made my day...week...month!

Maybe the blahs are because it's officially winter now here. 'Here' is Ohio, USA. We had our first snow day before yesterday, and it's so cold out there this evening that when I walked my dog, Lola, around the block I came back a popsicle!

I am JUST SO CLOSE to being finished with that school bus scarf. Just dragging my feet on sewing on the tires and embroidering a bus number. And, I've been doing some granny-square crafting. More pictures coming on that soon, too.

I'll go and have another listen to that great mix tape and think of warm Australia/New Zealand, and my new blogger friends!


crazy days

It's been a rather crazy month for me. There's been a lot of sadness. Two funerals within one month - not to mention the ongoing caretaking here - have really been taxing. Just this week, I found out that a man that I worked with for several years (only 48 years old) had a heart attack and passed away. He had 5 children, at least three of which were still living at home and school-aged. Now, I know that when someone passes, we have a tendency to praise for all the good which that person possessed. But, John truly was that person who lived an exemplary life. He taught his children by example how to be a compassionate and kind human being. He was soft-spoken yet strong when it mattered. And, I always had the utmost respect for his integrity. The world is less somehow without him. I'll miss him.

With all of this mental strife, I really have let the arts/crafting moments slip by. I'm 'stalled'. The most recent thing that I've been working on for a relative who is a school-bus driver is this scarf, right. Pattern at The 8 Track Knitting Diva's blog.

I still have ideas for some original patterns in the works, and hope to have them up for the coming year. Hope that all of my blog friends are safe and sound during this month of holidays/indulging.


thank you thank you

a HUGE thanks to Kate at Bib and Tucker for the lovely hand-spun yarn. It is just as beautiful up close and personal as it was in your photos! I can't even think, yet, of what to make with it. It's so lovely I don't want to waste it. I'll keep you posted on what I come up with!
I received your package a while ago and, my apologies for the tardiness of the 'thank you', there has been a funeral and flu in between. Much hasn't been accomplished! I haven't had a blog post or finished project or outing to even write about!

It was very much appreciated, and I'll keep following your lovely blog!




Originally uploaded by stumptious

Well, it's not a great photo...Better ones to come (of both my mural and those of the nine other artists involved in the project).
It was a lot of work but very gratifying.


it was the best of times...
it was the worst of times...

What an "up and down" week it's been! I had an absolutely dream-fulfilling Saturday (Oct. 31, 2009) when I went to see the Broadway touring version of RENT in Cincinnati, Ohio. Original RENT performers Adam Pascal, top, and Anthony Rapp are on tour with the group, which is the part I always dreamt of...hearing the two of them perform the material in person! It was pretty fabulous! They were just great. I've been humming the music all week.

And, I've enjoyed painting on my Dayton mural this week. It's nearly finished. So close now.

However, this evening, I found out that I lost a very dear old friend. Her name was Oveda, but our whole family called her Aunt Beets. Where the nickname originated, I don't know. I'm sure it was born before I was. Oveda was in her 90s, and I knew that one day I'd be surprised by her passing and that it would be sudden. But, it's very painful right now. She was not my Aunt by blood. Rather, she was the Aunt of one of my Aunts, by marriage. I always remember her kind, gentle nature and how she crafted with me on occasion at her home when I was a child. In recent years, she and I could discuss poetry and books. She was a very beautiful and intelligent lady and I'll miss her greatly.


FINALLY...there's a winner!

I want to apologize to all my new followers, and readers, out there. I have been tardy with the results to my giveaway! My camera battery is charging right now, and I felt the need to go ahead and post my winner without a shot of the old 'fishbowl' drawing! lol

The winner of the crocheted wristlets and assorted trinkets is SAM of Sam's Snippets! Sam, please send me your mailing information so that I can get a package out to you! You can mail me at asm_flash@yahoo.com

All who entered, a great big thank you for your interest, and for the new follows! I've met so many great crafter friends this month. I wish Blogtoberfest could be year-round! Rest assured, I'll still be watching your blogs and enjoying your fabulous ideas!

My plan is to get my blog up and running with some original patterns and tutorials soon! Please hang around. I'd love to keep my friends from around the globe! You're all so wonderfully talented! Hope to see you soon!