Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hookers Who Care

I have been AMAZED the past few months of my blogging experience the number of hookers I have encountered who are caring for an elderly parent.

Let me make something perfectly clear - I have wonderful friends who support me everyday and in every way - but the truth is ------unless you are living it-----you really don't totally understand it. And I feel confident in saying that - from experience.

Before my mother was diagnosed I called a girlfriend in Montreal once a week. Her mother had Alzheimers and I listened and I truly thought I understood what she was going through. I DIDN"T. Don't get me wrong, I meant well and I really felt for her and her trials with her Mom, but until I began to experience my mothers Alzheimers experience - I now realize I didn't get it!

My Mothers condition was one of the driving forces behind my decision to begin blogging. I needed some way to express myself. I have never wanted to overly burden my friends with my trials. My thinking is that everyone has their own problems. If I blogged my frustrations out into cyberspace it would be OK.

What I have discovered is beyond the words I have to express it. As caregivers we often feel like we are out there alone. BUT WE ARE NOT. I have found sooooo many bloggers out ther who are doing the same thing I am -----trying to work, care for a loved one, and cope with all the regular everyday crap. And its NOT easy, but we are not alone.

I take such comfort and assurance from reading these blog posts. And I hope that some of you take comfort from mine. Some days are good - normal even! Some are not. These are the days I need the blogger world.

We should all be grateful for those around us who care for others. As we never know when the person needing care may be us.

Thanks for listening!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wild weather means lots of hooking

This weekends weather had lots of variety. Luckily I left work Friday and tried to get all the shopping finished that evening. So that meant that Saturday I could hook all day. And I did! It was rainy and dreary outside, but I didn't mind at all.

I kept the coffee machine going all day and actually finished the 2nd side of my bullseye purse. What a great day - all snuggled into my little hooking corner. Ahhhhh....heavenly! I pulled the last loop and trimmed the tails at about 11:30pm.

Now the finishing! I don't have a sewing machine so I need to enlist my neighbor down the street. My plan was to pop in this morning with my purse under my arm and gossip with her while I waited for her to run a stretch zigzag stitch along the edges. Hmmmmm 8am and it was raining and blowing like a small hurricane. I could barely see out the windows. In fact I had to go rescue my compost cart from the next door lawn! Then in typical Maritime weather fashion, it began clearing around 10am and by noon the sun was shining and the temp was climbing. Actually, it ended by being nicer than many days we had in June. Late Indian Summer maybe??

While I waited I gathered up another little sewing job for her and dropped everything off mid-afternoon. She wants me to make her 20 knit dishclothes so I'll take it in trade.

As soon as she returns the purse I will start to put it together. For those of you who have asked - I will try to take pictures along the way.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Millie's new friend

Today Millie made a new friend! LOL. My mom arrived back from her adult day care program with a few prizes she won at bingo - including this cute little stuffed dog.

Millie naturally claimed it as her own new friend and after dragging it around the house for an hour, she now is curled up with it having a little nap! Soo cute.
Here they are sharing a laugh. Must have been a great joke!
And this is Millie after I pretended to take her new friend away. "Not a chance Mommy!"

Aren't new friends fun!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm bone tired!

Well, last weeks relaxation time is a far away memory. I'm exhausted.
Never-ending meetings combined with catching up on all the work I didn't do last week while on vacation has taken its toll. Plus Mom had a Doctor appointment this afternoon, and of course, they were running behind schedule. Trying to keep her seated and entertained for 1 1/2 hours was a treat! NOT
I'm going to make a cup of tea and maybe grab a handful of gingersnaps to dunk. Then a little more hooking on the purse might settle me down. I need to finish this project as I am falling waaay behind on the Monthly Reflections Project. My piles of wool are taking over the house. And I still have some hidden in the car that I bought from Momz Wool. I didn't need it, but had to have it. Well, I did need the turquoise. Maybe I'll smuggle it in after dark! hehehe

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Purse Progress Report

This was probably one of the most relaxing weekends in recent memory. Not a lot of company (very unusual) so I had time to hook and putter around the house. It was a nice end to my week of vacation. Hopefully it energized me enough for the week ahead. Tomorrow is one of those long days with a meeting at the end of it. On the 3rd Monday of the month my work day typically ends around 8:30 or 9pm.
I finished one side of my Bullseye Purse and got a start on side 2. I'm quite happy with it so far.
And as an added bonus, I think I know what I might do with it when its finished.

My mother's oldest friend was over Friday to pick her up for a little outing. They go out once a week for an ice cream sundae. Of all the things my Mom has forgotten - she still remembers ice cream. She is almost single-minded in its regard! Alice noticed the purse on the frame and RAVED about it. She was the recipient of one of my first rugs. So...........the little light came on in my head - Christmas present!

I guess now I will have to be extra careful with the finishing job!


Friday, October 16, 2009

I've been keeping a secret!

Well it wasn't my intention to keep it a secret but I was scared to mention it too soon, in case I chickened out. On Wednesday I got braces on my teeth! I guess it goes with my new found philosophy (did I spell that right?) to start doing a few things just for me.
I am sore as heck, but it will be worth it in the end. I might even lose a few pounds since all I've eaten for a few days is pudding, apple sauce and cream of wheat. Tonight I was so hungry I popped an extra Advil and had some french fries with gravy. Semi-solid food - big step!

It wasn't as bad as I was led to believe. A few people gave me horror stories before but luckily it wasn't like that for me. There was a few minutes in the dental chair where I thought I might be auditioning for "Silence of the Lambs". They need to keep your teeth dry for the glue to adhere so they put these cheek spreaders in your mouth and in the middle is this plastic basket -----this is where you stick your tongue to keep it out of the way. Yes, it is a basket. And all I could think of was that thing over Hannibel Lecters face in the movie. I was trying so hard not to laugh, because I thought I might choke to death! Seriously, if he had looked down and called me "Clarisse" I was outta that chair! LOL

So this year, finally, the Halloween candy is safe. I can't eat any of it. Hmmm, I didn't really think this through, did I??


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Big Fun at the Hook-In

We had a great hook-in today. It was my first time hooking with a group of people, and it was a blast. You got the chance to see so many different styles and color choices. The class was on Fisheye Rugs Bala handbags but some of the girls brought some of their other in-progress rugs and previously hooked bags.

The day started out a little.....well, late. I got up early, made my lunch, made coffee, read the paper and then grabbed another cup of coffee while I caught up on some blog reading. The class started in an hour so I had TONS of time. I decided to check the festival schedule to see if I had forgotten to pack something ........only to discover the class started at 9am not 10am. It was now 9:03am. Next thing I know Corinne is texting me wondering where I was! Arrrgh, I raced out the door and arrived about 15 minutes late.

I discovered that we tend to do alot more chatting than hooking at these things but that all added to the fun. And I finally got to meet Jennifer from Fisheye Rugs. Its great to put a face and a personality to the blog I've been following for months. We were laughing at how we "bloggers" tend to feel like like we know each other after awhile. I was amazed the locations people had travelled to for this Fiber Arts Festival, and its growing each year. Our small little class had ladies from New Brunswick, Cape Breton, St. Johns Newfoundland and the lady beside me was from Pennsylvania!

Here are some pictures from our day: (My apologies, I have forgotten everyones names by the time I posted, so I can't give proper credit for their projects)

Here is Jennifer teaching some of us how to sew the finished purses together properly. The gals at this end of the table had their bags all hooked before arriving. They get the gold stars! haha And here is Corinne hooking away at her Skelefloral purse. Her Mom is seated behind her but was a little camera shy today! Ahhhh, one of the supply tables with all Jennifer's leather handbag straps and gorgeous dyed slub yarn. By the end of the day the tables were almost empty. And yes, I bought some too! Big surprise, right! This lady hooked a beautiful seaside motif on her handbag. This little sheep handbag was gorgeous. The applique and prodded sunflower really popped. And you can't really see from this photo, but the sheep is hooked all puffed out in 3-D. WOW! This rug in progress is of the famous 3 churches in Mahone Bay. It is almost finished, just the sky left to hook. I thought it was a great coincidence since I just visited Mahone Bay last week.

Special thanks to Jennifer and her Mom who helped out today too. It was a great day and the time flew by. I'm registering again next year - for sure.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Hooking with Dora

Yes, this is a Dora the Explorer Lunch Bag - And yes its mine! Cute huh!
And the background story is kind of cute also. It all started last week when I asked a friend of mine (lets call him "B") if he had an insulated lunch bag I could borrow. Tomorrow is my first ever hooking class and we have to bring a lunch. Now, the only reason I asked him is because I have seen him with several different ones over the years. (But never a pink one)
Of course he said yes, because to be honest, he never says no to me. :) So the next day I arrived at work, and this pink little bag was sitting on my desk.
Look, I laughed so hard and couldn't figure out where he dug this up. And then it dawned on me......why did this grown up, manly man - with 2 grown boys - have a pink Dora lunch bag?? Seriously, it was a little disturbing.....heeheehee.
So later in the day when I called to thank him - and more importantly - quiz him about why he had this - thats when he surprised me..... He went out that night on purpose to BUY it for me.
Awwwwwww, how sweet is that? He knew I liked pink and thought I would get a chuckle out of it. He is the sweetest! Its ironic, this guy who likes to say I'm "High Maintenance" could make me so happy with a little pink bag. I'm definatley Low Maintenance!!!!!
Time to gather up my supplies for tomorrow and figure out what yummy treats I will fill Dora with.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bullseye Purse Progress

Thanksgiving dinner is over and I am stuffed and happy. Not only was it a sunny day but I also got a few hours (yes, I said hours) of hooking in. And it is looking like I might be able to repeat the feat this evening. This is almost unprecedented!

I finally got to start my Bullseye pattern purse from Fish Eye Rugs. All next week Amherst is hosting a Fiber Arts Festival. More info here http://www.creda.net/fibre/

The gals from Momz Wool (Corinne and her Mom) and I are registered for a "hooked handbag" class from Jennifer Manuel. As I mentioned before, the kits were mailed out weeks ago, so I am a little behind. But thanks to a quiet day......here is a sneak peek at my project for the class.

I'll try and take some pictures Tuesday from the class. It will be fun to see the other patterns and to learn how to put this darn thing together once it's hooked. Corinne and I have a back-up plan ..... if necessary we may convince her mom to sew our purses together. Shhhh, don't tell Nancy!

I wanted to take a picture of this burning bush in my backyard all week, but it was always raining. Today was sunny, but it has started to shed, but it still is quite pretty.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

This is my favorite holiday - in my opinion the best weekend of the year.

The weather is usually perfect - no heat waves or snow storms - just cool crisp air. You get to dig out the warm, cozy sweaters which I love, and everywhere you look are beautiful fall colors - some still on the trees and some covering the ground.
And lets not forget Thanksgiving Dinner. A feast, for sure. Turkey with all the trimmings. No diet this weekend - mashed potatoes and gravy, turnips with a brown sugar glaze, carrots drizzled in honey, bread stuffing (my personal favorite), cranberry sauce and then pumpkin pie!
(Excuse me for a second, while I wipe the drool from my chin!)

This is one of the few holidays that commercialism hasn't conquered. Its not about gifts or presents or extravagant decorations. Its still all about a nice long weekend with family and friends. Its about being grateful for what we have and who we get to share it with.

Our home has always been a gathering place. My grandparents had the philosphy that there was always room at the table for whoever walked in the door. They have long since passed, however I still prepare meals with the thought that it is better to make too much than not enough - just in case.

Another family tradition (of sorts) has been to "take in strays". Our holiday dinner table has always included those friends who might otherwise spend the holiday alone. Some faces are the same every year, while others have come and gone. This year - for the first time in my life - we will have no guests for dinner. Two of our regulars will be travelling and spending the holiday with their own families.

While it will be different, things have been extremely hectic lately so I am looking forward to a weekend with just my immediate family and being grateful that they are still with me.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another Age Old Question...

Do you buy your Halloween Candy early.....and risk eating it, or do you wait until the last minute??
This is my struggle every year. You see, most years I end up buying my Halloween candy TWICE. I start picking it up gradually several weeks ahead and naturally I sneak a treat every now and then....and before the 31st rolls around - I'm almost out again. So I trudge back to the store and vow to "never do that again".
I have even tried to force myself to buy the kinds of candy that I don't like - then I won't eat it. But where's the fun in that???
So here we go again - I just returned from Walmart with the first load. And yes, I am testing out the twizzlers.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Home Again

I finally am getting back to normal after 4 days away from home. My conference was great - beautiful location, fabulous food (and lots of it), great speakers and sessions and believe it or not....I managed to relax a bit.

Things at home went not too bad - there was one little caregiver melt down on Thursday night but my Auntie managed to get through it until I got home. I spent today trying to get back to the routine here.

I missed my hooking so as soon as I post this blog, I'm grabbing the frame. But first I should show you the stuff I bought at the "Encompassing Designs" Rug hooking shop I found in Mahone Bay.

Isn't this wool gorgeous? I couldn't resist.

And this is the Angel pattern I had to have. I saw her hooked and finished hanging beside the door as I went to leave the shop. I instantly fell in love with her and although it is a larger pattern than I was looking for, I just couldn't leave her.

Apparently I have NO impulse control.