Thursday, August 23, 2012

Life as we know it

It's never quite how you think it will be, is it?  In Sept. of 2011, Steven and I became the ...ahem...proud surrogate parents of our nephew Nathaniel, age 13.  Reasons don't matter, and he is now safely back in the arms of his father but for 4 months we took the reins of his life and tho our impact on his future was negligable, we did manage to keep him alive until his dad could resume his own life.  Shortly after his departure, my mother took a spill and could no longer manage to stay by herself, so she came to live with us.  Our wonderful daughter, whose room had finally been painted and made girlie after years of looking like the inside of NASA headquarters, volunteered to move back into her old room which we had turned into a pantry  (not kidding).

What a difference a year makes.  We now find ourselves caring for an elderly parent in a scenario being played out all across this country....a club we never thought we'd be joining (did we think mom was never going to BE elderly?).  We've gone from helping her change channels and taking her to her doctor's appts. to carrying her to the commode and feeding her meals.  She is frustrated and sad and in pain and I am frustrated and sad and unable to make her pain go away. I'm crying because of the burden and crying with guilt because I consider my mother a burden.  I'm alternately Mother Theresa and Dr Mengele.  In the immortal words of young people everywhere...this sucks.

 But, there are rays of light in an otherwise dim reality. Family has been a Godsend; without their support, physical help (thanks Stephanie) and the cleaning ladies (thanks John and Ashley) we don't know what we'd do...certainly drink a LOT more wine. This weekend two of my brothers are coming, one from Napa the other from Pennsylvania and I look forward to lots of laughs, lots of help and...well....lots of wine.  God has been extraordinarily good to us.  Simply allowing us to care for Mom is a gift.  Spending her last months here has allowed us to see a kindness in each other, especially our daughter, that we might never have experienced.  There is nothing in the world quite like watching your 18yr. old daughter give your mother a manicure.  I don't want to think of what the next few months will involve, neither the workload nor the eventual grief is a happy expectation, but it's our world right now and so we accept it.  We get up each day and do what we have to do...because we have to.

Mostly we try to remember to tell Mom how much we love her....every day.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Class of 2012

Our beautiful daughter is graduating from high school next week...

....we are both incredibly proud and profoundly sad.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

More Good Stuff at the Zoo

Front yard flowers.... dog Gunnar...

...and peas!

(lots and lots of peas:)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cabbage love

...and it made darn good cole slaw.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Big Changes

Our 'used to be so ugly that no one wanted it' kitten has turned into a rather beautiful young lady. To give you an idea of what she looked like as an 8week old kitten, her name is Yoda.

We've taken out the last little bit of grass in our back yard and are replacing it with a veggie garden. It'll be fenced because of the dogs.

The chicken coop will be enlarged and have two under the wooden arch and one back by the coop (left corner of pic). I'll post 'after' photos next month...and continue looking for some 'before' pics (external hard drive is 'unavailable' at the moment).

Monday, February 13, 2012

It's not like I'm not doing anything...

...just not blogging about it:)
Besides enjoying the comings and goings
of various relatives (long story, more later)
I've spent the last couple months...

...rendering lard...

...juicing apples...

...starting a backyard container orchard...

...making lemoncello (and messes)...

...chasing a puppy around the house...

...and finishing up soccer season!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rebirth of an Onion

The ledge above our kitchen sink is home to an ever-changing assortment of sprouting potatoes, herbs and this month...onions.

One month ago, I took the compost-bound end of an onion...

...and planted it into a small pot.

I had kind of given up on it ever doing....anything...but last week it finally sprouted.

Now I need to get back on the internet to find out where to go from here...I'll keep you posted.