Wednesday, November 24

just a note say that I will be quiet here for a bit, I think.

My new studio is all settled in, and I am trying to get a nice big batch of things made to offer to all of my old customers in these next few weeks. As I try to find hours in the studio (early morning now, before Mom wakes up!) I am reminded why I couldn't take care of Mom and continue Small Meadow Press in its usual fashion. Work in the studio becomes all-consuming very easily, and that simply doesn't work with caregiving.

So I am trying to keep it just within Mom's sleeping hours now, tho' I will bring lots of cards to fold while we watch a movie or hang out in the kitchen together. Every spare moment is filled these days, with my studio work and the continual paring down and moving around of our belongings as the build continues and the seasons change. I am trying not to feel the pressure that usually begins to mount at this time of year, but feel already behind (as always!).

This will be our first Christmas with Mom here throughout. Usually she would arrive just after our large Solstice gathering and before Christmas Eve. My fingers are crossed that she will be cosily settled into her new digs. More about that to come....but it is back to printing and designing for me now. I should have another half hour or more before Mom wakes up.

All is well here.

Thursday, November 11


(Mom watching the digger working on the footings
for her new bedroom)

The same day I found Margaret Massey's blog
(in the sidebar), I also found Emily's blog-
My Mom's Brain

I read all of Margaret's posts that afternoon.
And as of today, I have read every entry of Emily's
from January 2009 to September 2009, but am forcing
myself to skim now...there is only so much time in
day! But her posts are so detailed and honest
just draw me in. It is the same with most books
I have read by people who are/have taken care of
a parent with dementia. I just want to devour them,
and often do, if I can find the time. I haven't
stopped to analyze why it is....but I am sure it has
something to do with the singularly weird nature of
the experience and how sadly comforting it is to
read about a different but similar version of
your own experience.

But there are only so many books out there,
and (depressingly) most are written after the
caregiving experience has ended. So for many,
many months I have looked for caregiving blogs that
speak to me and couldn't find them. Now I have these
few and leads-through them-to many more. Thinking
back, I probably discounted some blogs because the
caregiving wasn't going on at home, as it is for us,
and I was too focused on finding someone in the same
situation as I. Rather silly of me....for the
tenderness, the problem-solving, the sorrow, the
moments are all there-no matter where the
caregiving is going on.

Friends along the journey.

I am so grateful.

Thursday, November 4

one of those days.....

....which seem to come when I have had to help Mom back to bed too many times and zip her zipper for her and find her handkerchief for the sixth time and figure out why she isn't hearing me-again, etc..... Little, petty things that are not truly that much of a hardship.

But they bring me face-to-face, over and over again in one morning, how much my dear mom has changed and lost. And how I haven't truly yet gotten used to spending my days helping her through each and every one of these little challenges and losses and confusions. And how pressing it feels to be juggling homeschooling and caregiving and the addition and everything else. And how lonely it is facing it all day after day without a friend to sympathize and remind me of my blessings and make me laugh.

I have a large-scale project ongoing to help on a physical plane-the thorough and wisely ruthless uncluttering of our home and day-to-day lives....but this rainy day (rainy days at home I love, rainy days taking Mom into town are not as cosy) I decided to go to Panera (a fast internet connection speed-what a joy!) and spend some time looking for another caregiver somewhere in the wide webby world to give me some companionship in this often lonely journey. And joy of joys I found someone. So I am sharing her wonderful blog with you, and feeling very grateful that my search was fruitful this time, after many searches that were not so.

Someone who understands can make all the difference.

Wednesday, November 3

wednesday, cloudy november morning

number of times Mom woke up last night: 2...but I only needed to go downstairs to help her back to bed once.

what we watched: Woman of the Year-Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy's first movie together. Lovely.

what we had for supper: bowly bowls of left-over pasta

After a blissful four nights in a row with Mom not waking at all, she was back to her usual last night.

I had received the 24 hour clock that I ordered in the mail a few days ago, but had tucked it away with the good nights we were having. I got the idea (gleaned from some discussions on the web a while ago) to adapt the face of the clock to what Mom does at certain times of the day, to help her know better when it is time to sleep. She really doesn't understand how to tell time anymore (tho' it does shine out occasionally), but she cares very much about doing the right thing at the right time (as it gets harder and harder for her to discern, she cares more...a sad circle). I had put off this project when she started sleeping through the night several nights ago...but will put it back on the list now, I think. And share about it here when it is accomplished.

I feel a heaviness about it all coming down a bit again...

I think it is the cold weather...something my mom has always intensely disliked. She doesn't want to take walks outside anymore, tho' the house is warm she grumbles that it is cold outside, we can't tuck her up on the chaise in the sun anymore. But when the sunny, wide hall that will lead to her bedroom is built, I am hoping it will make the winters more pleasant for her-and therefore-for all of us.

In the meantime, I will try to more often make a pot of tea when she wakes up from her nap in the late afternoon, as I did yesterday. A bowl with cashews and little chocolate biscottis, our cups of milky tea and our books (tho' Mom was so happy with the snack she never got to her book!) certainly warmed up the day and led us into a peaceful spite of the election returns. : )