Project, done

The new appliances have been delivered.  Tariff pricing has been avoided, if it happens.  We got through the whole thing with a lot of laughs, a few frowns, a couple of times walking to opposite ends of the house for a few minutes, no shouting and a minimum of sighing and giving one another that look that says "that's the second stupidest thing ever uttered by man."

The guys stayed long enough for us to install the fridge and the stove and then we put the dishwasher in the slot and it did not fit.  We thought we had bought a flat front dishwasher, but we had really bought one with a matching handle.  And, the drawers on the side of the dishwasher couldn't open past the handle.  That wasn't going to work.  That's where I store my baking tools. 

So, we went out that evening and bought one from a big box hardware store that they had in stock.  Funny story.  When this all started, I needed a dishwasher.  That was all I was shopping for.  Then, we decided to look at all new appliances and the old fridge started to go on the fritz.  The dishwasher we bought is the very first one I looked at and wanted. 

The fridge and stove are Samsung.  The stove was the piece I chose everything else around.  It has the double oven.  A shelf slides in that divides the top and bottom and there are dual controls.  Take that shelf out and it's one big oven.  The door has an extra hinge, so I can open just the top half of the door, or the whole door. 

Friday night, we were getting water through the door of the fridge, but no ice had made, so I wasn't putting anything in because there was a chance we'd be sending it back.  I read the "troubleshooting" section of the owner's manual that basically said, 'relax old man, give it time to cool off'.  And, overnight, it made ice.  I got up in the middle of the night and pushed the button and heard the icemaker moving ice, so I slept better the rest of the night. 

It was intimidating to get up Saturday morning and make breakfast on that shiny big stove. 

The dishwasher is a Kitchenaid.  It is silent.  I can't hear a thing.  In fact, when the convection fans in the oven turn on, it sounds like water running in the old dishwasher and more than once, I have turned quickly to see where that water is coming from.

Just as we put the last fittings on the dishwasher, we heard a drip.  The kitchen faucet.  We both looked at one another and said, in unison, 'no, not replacing that today.'   And, we had a big laugh.

Saturday morning, I made Coffee cake from Linda's cookbook at her request (Mary Berry speaks again).  Truly, truly delicious. 

I put Linda's Kitchenaid mixer together with the last part that came in the mail on Saturday morning.  I used it to make this cake.  I took a video of it mixing the batter, and not making that awful sound. 

We took cake to her and I showed her the video.  It made her cry a little. 

She is still with us.  The hallucinations come and go.  We saw her on Saturday and Sunday and both days she was bright as a penny.  I've found that the nurse's aids call me in to help do things that put Linda and I in awkward situations of seeing her in partial states of dress.  And, we've worked out a system where we just don't look one another in the eye.  It's a skill that came in handy yesterday when I helped her change from a soiled t=shirt.  It's funny what you can not see when a friend needs you not to see. 

Still no quilting.  But, I have a new stove, right?  I cooked a lasagna and a batch of cookies yesterday and roasted an orange glazed tenderloin.  Sydney came in from work and said 'something smells good, what's to eat?' and Rob said 'nothing that you can smell, that's all for later.' 

Everybody have a great week!  I do not know how my week will go.  Not much happened last week while I was out of the office, so I'm hoping it's a relatively quiet week for me.  Be well. 


All about me

On Saturday, I had some realizations.  I shared them with Rob, and now I want to record them here.  I'm not surprised that what we are doing with Linda brings up all kind of unexpected personal feelings. 

I had a very frustrating weekend.  In fact, when I was reviewing it on Saturday evening, the only thing that went right that day was visiting with Linda and bringing in a good lunch. 

I'd spent a couple hours working on the Kitchenaid mixer...Linda's mixer.  It was working fine, but it needed a bit of a tweak.  So, I took it apart and tweaked it and when I put it back together, it wouldn't turn on. 

After that, I scrubbed several years worth of muck from under the 40 year old fridge and the dryer and dusted the walls and cleaned out the dryer vent.  That wasn't really fun work, but it felt good to have it done.  Til Rob moved the washer. 

Later in the afternoon, after our visit and while Rob was taking a short nap, I found myself sitting in the studio floor, frustrated that I couldn't make any progress on anything.  Everything I touch gets either messed up or I just don't have enough time to make any progress on it and I wasn't getting to any quilting.  And, there are boxes everywhere and the garage is a mess.  And, just as I was working up to a real good pissed off at myself, I realized what I was doing.  I was trying to finish Linda's work before her life ends.  And, it was frustrating hell out of me that I couldn't do it. 

I took one project to the living room and closed the door on the studio.  That thought needed to bake a bit.  On Sunday, I shared it with Rob and he saw the logic of it.  And, his feedback was "there are worse ways of dealing with your feelings." and he gave a couple of examples that were indeed worse.  Much worse.  And, that made me feel better. 

So, Sunday, before I started chores, I went in the studio and sat in the floor and started packing projects away.  They're not gone.  But, they're not priority.  I kept one project out.  And, my quilting is still spread everywhere, just where I left it, waiting for me to get back to me.

I hope Rob won't mind me telling this, but he's going through much the same thing.  He painted the laundry room yesterday.   Twice.  Two slightly different shades of yellow.  To get it just right.  And, to deal with how wrong it is to watch someone fade. 

On the up side, last night when we discovered the new refrigerator won't fit without having a plumber in to replace the ice maker shut off valve, we should have argued.  We should have fought like two cats in a sack.  And, accusing and angry words flashed through my mind.   But, I just didn't need to say them.  And, Rob didn't need to hear them.  And, he didn't need to say the angry words he thought.  We had made a mistake.  WE had.  Just one in all the other things we've done. 

We took a few minutes alone and then we came back together with solutions.

We are dealing with something hard.  And, we are dealing with it together.  And, we are dealing with it well.  And, we are learning things about ourselves.  And, we are building new examples of how to relate to one another that we can use in the future when we run into things like unexpected dimensional shifts in the space continuum.  Because there's no way we actually measured that fridge space wrong.  It had to be a change in the space itself.  That's probably how all that cat litter got swept under the dryer.

Who am I kidding, that part was my daughter.

Everybody have a great week!  We will continue to do what we do and keep you posted on our progress.  Unfortunately, I didn't get much done in the garage, but as an excuse, I offer that it was 105* here this weekend and the garage is not air conditioned.  And, if we don't get a new garage door until fall, I may be able to live with that. 



Current Adventures

I  wrote a post the other day that I didn't publish.  I'm very conflicted about what to say.  Some of it doesn't come off right in print.  You don't get a feel for the laughter and the peacefulness and the joy.  All it sounds like is crazy and I don't want people to think that's what this time is like for any of us.   

But, there is one story I know I want to tell.  Day before yesterday, Linda was talking to one of the nurses about Rob and me and this is what she said about Rob...yes, but he keeps bringing me the same breakfast tacos every day and I asked him for Round Rock donuts weeks ago.  (If you've never had a Round Rock donut, you don't know what you're missing) 

And, the nurse told Rob and Rob remembered that a few days ago, she did indeed ask for RR donuts for breakfast.  So, my husband, man that he is, took three dozen donuts to the nursing home yesterday and everybody in her wing enjoyed donuts, staff and residents.  They even saved one for me.  She was still asleep when Rob got there, and didn't fully enjoy the one he gave her.  But, when I got there, she asked for some poligrip and she attacked one with a bowl of mandarin oranges. 

Outside Linda's room, a lady stopped him and asked if he was Linda's son.  He said no, she was a very dear friend.  And, the lady said "you're here every day." and rolled on her way down the hall. 

Mary asked the other day if Linda had stabilized.  I didn't post that because I wanted to think about how to answer it. 

When Linda first got to the nursing home, we all thought she'd be gone in a couple days or weeks at best.  But, it turned out that the main thing that was killing Linda at that time was starvation, not cancer.  I don't know how long Linda went without food before she got to the hospital.  She didn't ask for help and nobody knew she couldn't feed herself.  And, when she got to the hospital, she refused to eat the hospital food.  She was finally so weak and drugged up that she ate what I offered her and she kept eating and after a few days, she was able to feed herself and she's been eating like a horse...well, more like a bird, but for Linda, like a horse, ever since.  So, she got physically stronger and we all enjoyed two weeks of relatively good health and great and frequent visits. 

And, it seemed that might go on for a while. 

But, on Monday, Linda took a turn for the worse.  Systems are shutting down and current events are getting...okay, strange.  Flying on a chartered plane from London to LA, and not knowing how we're going to pay for it (I told her she should tell them to just arrest her and see what they thought about that).  Landing in a friend's front yard and picking her up.  Being murdered on Monday and if I didn't stop them, she was going to be murdered again on Tuesday. 

She's still there.  She still knows who we are.  She knows what is going on right this minute.  And, she remembers the past with complete clarity.  But, what happened a half hour ago or last night is more of a dream.  But, she'll point at me and say point blank that this what she's about to say is not a hallucination, then tell me about RuPaul coming to visit.

Turned out, after several hours of indulging that, shift changed and she introduced me to nurse's aid Roger as RuPaul.  When I apologized, he said it was okay and not the worst thing he'd been called in that nursing home. 

This is what dying is like.  This is what it's been like all three times I've been this close to it.  The difference this time is that Linda isn't fighting.  She's calm and peaceful and happy and smiling.  And, as long as we control the conversation, we still get good visits.  She had a good life and we're helping her relive the best moments and memories of it.  And, as long as she's not in any pain, I'll talk about anything she wants to talk about and flip through her photo albums with her and talk about the people and places pictured there. 

But, don't ask her what city we're in unless you want to hear about the current adventure and go off on a flight of fantasy. 

Everybody have a great weekend.  This is our weekend to get ready for the new appliances that are being delivered next week.  Woo-hoo!  It's very important that we take care of ourselves now, too.



Cleaning the garage

Sadly, there was no quilting this weekend.  Or, needlepoint or crochet or knitting.  This was a weekend for "man's work".  LOL!  As if there was such a thing.  We don't have a separation of chores here by gender.  We both do it all, so when it's time for something big, like the garage, where we both store things, there's no saying "that's the man's job".

Our garage has gotten a bit out of control and we need a garage door and there's not enough space for them to install a door and we can't make the space because everything is stacked three deep.  And, I confess that a lot of it is my fault.  The corner where I store my quilting stuff and the really big pots and pans kind of exploded a little.  Then, we brought in the things we got from Linda.  Then, I disassembled a Kitchenaid Mixer out there (note the capital letters, more about that later).  I could have just carried things to their designated areas and dropped them, but instead decided to actually organize some very disorganized spaces, like where I store my tools...yes, I have a hammer and drill and other basic tools, plus tools to lay tile and wallpaper and repair plumbing.  I told you I'm a renaissance man.

The problem has been that I can never find my tools, so a re-org was high on the priority list.  I got tired of swearing over never being able to find anything.

I got the Kitchenaid repaired and back together.  Then, I taped over all the parts I didn't want to paint and gave it a fresh coat of white appliance paint.  It's going to be like brand new.  The repair turned out to be the carbon rods...the piece you're supposed to repair periodically and the last thing I tried.  But, at some point, the sleeve that one of the rods slides into had gotten "stretched" at one end and the rod could tilt off slightly and made an AWFUL screeching sound.  Soon as I found it, I knew that was it.  Wham-bam and it was back together with new carbon rods.  And, because it purrs now, and I see the value and the difference a new set of carbon rods makes, and because my other kitchenaid makes a "missing" sound, like a gasoline engine with a dirty spark plug (renaissance man) and I believe new rods will correct that, I'm going to order another set of new rods for it, too.  And, it's a two and a half minute repair that costs about $6.

We didn't visit Linda on Saturday.  We split a happy pill and bought new appliances.  There was no arguing.  No one stalked off mad.  It was two men, shopping for appliances and using a tape measure to make sure they'd fit and studying the features and benefits of each.  And, then making an educated guess at what will make us happy.  Rob thinks we got much more appliance than he expected.  I think we reached a good compromise where we got the appearance we wanted in a size that fits and with as many cool features as we could get within that.  The oven heats from the back, not from the bottom, so that's going to be something to get used to.  Food will have to be turned as it cooks.  But, that means I can have two ovens, a small one and a larger one that cook at different temps.  And, when a whole lot of food needs to cook at the same temp, I can turn both those ovens into one really big oven. 

That sounds like a really good idea.  Ask me in a couple months how it works. 

Yesterday, we went to see Linda.  I think she was a little frustrated that I worked and puttered the whole time I was there, so I walked over to the side of the bed and explained that we thought she was going to be gone already, and if she insisted on living, which was fine by us, we needed to get her situated to live in a nursing home.  And, that meant organizing her stuff so the Aids can find it when they're changing her and figuring out what she has and what she needs and getting her name written in all of it.  Because her clothes are disappearing.  And, it looks like she's going to need them.  So, Rob visited and hung a painting at the foot of her bed, under her clock where she can see it.  It's a painting that her best friend painted and the painter and the place portrayed are important to her. 

Her son dropped the painting off on Saturday.  He texted Rob that Linda seems to have a roommate now.  Yeah, since Tuesday. 

I took her some slices of lemon bread.  And, explained to her that it's been a bit like The Great British Baking Show.  Linda, portraying Mary Berry tells me what she wants.  And, even though I've never tasted it before, I go home and try to reproduce it the way she remembers it.  She asked for this lemon bread that's in her personal cookbook, so we bought a bag of lemons and I made it yesterday morning.  Turns out, she'd left the sugar out of the recipe, so it became a Mary Berry technical challenge.  I did some research and figured out how much sugar most lemon loaf recipes use and I used that.  And, it was perfect!

And, then I made dinners for the week, including Birti Beef, an Indian dish of beef in a sauce of tomatoes and onion and garlic and spices and some smothered pork chops.  So, at the very least, we will eat well.  I even cleaned the old stove when I did the dishes.  And, believe me, that's hard when you know that in two weeks, it's being recycled. 

Have a great week!  Keep us in your thoughts.  Lane


Tempting Friday the 13th

I got a great appointment at the mechanic's today.  I guess most people don't tempt fate by putting someone in their path that can bring so much bad news.  Probably a good reason not to go to the doctor, either, right?  I'm not really superstitious in that way and today was a good day...and it doesn't hurt that I've kept up with all the maintenance on the Prius and there's nothing I know of that is wrong with it, so I'm not expecting any bad news. 

This week, I was very focused on work.  We sent documents to the state for approval.  That can get really weird.  I used to be terrified of receiving feedback from them because the person that did this before had nightmare exchanges with them about commas and semicolons and capitalization and where exactly does that sentence end?  I brought in proofreaders and took a technical writing course and I haven't gotten any punctuation feedback from them, so we get to focus on what my documents mean, not how they are punctuated.  I'm much better at that type discussion.

I need to spend some time quilting.  I really didn't take any time to quilt this week and my soul needs the recharge.  During TV time and last Friday with Linda, I worked on this and finished it yesterday morning. 

When I showed this to Linda, I said, I don't think this is your work.  The back is pretty chaotic and the thread ends are little birds nests.  She looked at it for a second and said no, that's not mine.  I wouldn't do that.  It's ugly. 

Okay, don't hold back, tell us how you really feel.

This is something I'm looking at. 

This is another Linda UFO.  She asked me specifically to finish it, but the rest of the yarn didn't get here.  There's one multi-color yarn in the centers and I found out it's still available, but discontinued.  The rest are solids and would be easy to replace.  I could put them together as a very cute baby afghan.  Or, I could make more blocks and make a bigger afghan.  Or, I could stack the squares up and put them in the back of the closet and think about it again next time I do a deep cleaning. 

Pretty sure it will be one of the first two.

Linda has a roommate, sort of.  They placed her with a lady that is pretty vegetative and doesn't really know we are there.  That's a good match for the patient that has lots of visitors. 

She's stuck on being in a hospital in Samoa.  It just pops into conversation sometimes and she can look at our reactions and know it's wrong, but it's also somehow right.  Her room mate is Prince George, King George's son.  King George has three children and they all come to visit and Linda got to go to a wedding yesterday where there was a snake woman.

Somebody brought a bunch of library books in.  I'm going to get Rob to read the book jacket of the one she's trying to read and see if maybe this is coming from there.  It doesn't bother us.  We just nod and steer her back to something real, like lunch. 

This week, her shower didn't tire her out like the one did last week.  And, yesterday, she had her hair cut by the once a week hairdresser that visits.  Rob took care of all of that for her, setting up the appointment and making sure she had the money.  I got there when they were bringing her back to the room and she had been sitting up for an hour and a half...the most she had sat up in three weeks.  And, she was grumpy as heck.  But, once we loaded her back in the bed (15 minutes and three adults) and I got a little Diet Coke in her, and got her hearing aids in, she calmed down.  She hadn't had her teeth out in a while and I got them brushed and set before the lunch tray came.  I'd brought a sandwich and she had a stuffed bell pepper and we sat and had a nice lunch and I propped a pillow under her and went back to work. 

What must it sound like to you all when I say things like that?  It's become my new normal and I don't even think about it. 

The other day, I ran into the hospice nurse.  The hospice nurse was talking to Linda about getting better and it was all I could do not to call her out for it, right there.  She sees her once a week and happened to be there...well, before we went to Samoa. 

Linda asked me why they weren't giving her any chemo to treat her cancer.  Just another variation of us having to tell her what's really happening.  So, I held her hand and patted it with my other and gave her my sympathetic smile, the one that doesn't push my cheeks up and close my eyes.  And, I told a very sweet little old lady that she's dying.  Slower than we thought and she's physically stronger now than she's been.  But, it's only a matter of time and chemo won't help any more.  She thanked me for telling her...again.  And dabbed at her eyes with the sheet.  And as I walked away, I said something wildly inappropriate...I hear that in heaven, your boobs go back where they belong.

And, she nearly laughed herself off the bed and a nurse out in the hall snorted and I looked around at the ceiling, innocent as a kitten wrapped in yarn.

Cause tha's how we roll. 

Everybody have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend.  We're planning to buy new kitchen appliances tomorrow. We've shopped and shopped and now it's time to pull that trigger before prices go up too much. 

I've picked out the coolest stove!  That's the one thing we didn't really need to replace, but it's the piece I've enjoyed shopping for the most.  Dishwashers and refrigerators are tools.  A stove is a partner in the kitchen.



That weekend we took it easy

We took it easier this weekend, limiting what we even tried to put on the agenda and making time to rest. 

Part of me resting was sitting at the sewing machine recharging my batteries by working on this quilt.  It was in rows, and I sewed the rows together and added three of the four corners.  If there's time after blogging, I'll add that fourth corner this morning.  If not, another day then.

The receiving couple isn't getting married until December and I'm quilting a nice loose wind pattern on it like I did our leaf quilt a couple months ago, so I'm not in any danger of being late.  Yet.  But, I'm sure I'll get there.  I've been making half triangle squares as my leaders and enders on this so I will have another border for that quilt soon, I hope. 

I also got the kitchenaid mixer put back together.  Notice the lower case letters.  That tells you that the noise is still there.  I've replaced all the moving parts except the gears and made sure the mixer makes the noise without the gears, so that means it must be a non-moving part touching a moving part.    I've ordered the most basic and easily replaceable part that it could be, the carbon rods.  The one part you're supposed to replace periodically.  Or course, I didn't start there.  If it turns out to be that, I'm going to say the same ugly word I said yesterday when I turned it on and that awful noise came out of it. 

Here's a recipe that I made this weekend.  These are Linda's Grandmother's cookies and there was always a jar inside the back porch to steal from.  But, Linda tells the story better than I do.

I want to try them with butter and throw in some pecans.  I think they'd make a wonderful pecan shortbread.  I made them with dried cranberries and they were delicious!

Linda's strength level goes up and down.  We bring in food, whatever she orders, one day chili con queso and another, cottage cheese and fruit.  Whatever experience she wants to enjoy again.  On Friday, she couldn't decide, so I took Chicken and Dumplings and baked cinnamon apples from one of our favorite country cooking restaurants.

We found out yesterday that the son said the family would do her laundry.  Only he isn't going up to visit, so nobody was doing her nightgowns and clothes.  So, we've taken that on.  Washing the blankets she brought from home as well...we might switch her to hospital blankets soon so we don't have to do that part anymore.  But, I don't think she's comfortable laying there half naked under just a thin white hospital sheet. 

We found out this weekend they've upped her medication to include some morphine.  And, managing her pain means she has energy for other things, so I took up some crochet so she could make a pair of slippers.  It's an idea she got in her head that day we thought was her last and she remembers it (and not much else).  So, I printed instructions in really big font and found a hook and a skein and took them up.  No start yet, but I think she finds it comforting to have things she could do if she decided to, like books and crochet and History channel and music.

She doesn't remember that she's winding down.  And, I've gotten tired of reminding her.  Let her enjoy whatever there is in pretending.  She has noticed that her son has stopped visiting.  He says he visits in the night, when she's asleep.  Even if it's true, it's a way to make sure he doesn't have to visit.  So, we go every day and we visit as long as we can without giving up our entire lives.  We bring things like one of her mother's sherry glasses to sip some juice from and a real napkin from the hundreds that we accidentally took (what the hell will I do with all the napkins???). 

We're enjoying spending more time with her.  Her other friends are too.  And, she's enjoying the company and the food and being taken care of a little bit. 

Right now, everyone is happy and enjoying what is happening right now instead of dreading what may be coming tomorrow.  I'd like to say I'm going to adopt that for my whole life. 

But, I know I won't.

Have a great week!  Lane 


New devices

Left up to my own devices, I generally make trouble. 

Maybe not so much this time.

I am working with a new laptop.  The Surface is very convenient.  But, I'm a bit over the tiny keyboard.  And, the tiny screen.  It will be a great tablet for when I don't want to lug around a larger and heavier device.  But, I'm glad to be back on a full size laptop. 

July 4 was our anniversary.  We've been officially and fully married for two years.  Time will tell if we still get to file joint tax returns, but we've been together for 18 years, and not being married isn't really an option, no matter what anybody else thinks.  And, after all that time, I still feel like I'm getting to know the best of him, especially now.  Relationships get tested periodically.  It's not whether there are tests.  It's how the relationship weathers the test.  And, in times of stress, we are at our most synchronized. 

I've managed to squeeze in some quilting time.  I quilted a good part of the afternoon on Independence Day.  And, I got one block quilted.  It came out exactly like I thought it would  Which is totally not how I wanted it to. 

This is a 30's reproduction quilt.  I want it to be comfortable to lay under and to use.  But, this densely quilted it won't be comfortable for that.  It needs looser quilting in the white background. 

Unfortunately, I'm in the mood for some really dense quilting, so even though I just made up a half dozen bobbins in this thread, I think I might pin baste something else to work on.  Something I can go hog wild with. 

I've also done a bit of needlepoint.  These are things I got from Linda's.  She and I bought this the last time we were in JoAnn's.  She took it out of the package, but that's as far as she got.  I got a good bit done last Friday when I spent the day with her. 

I showed it to her and she gave it compliments, even when she flipped it over and saw the back.  The back is a bit disorganized.  Like my thoughts have been while working on it. 

Oh, well.  If it gets framed, nobody will ever see that side. 

I started this yesterday. 

It was already well underway when I pinned it to the frame.  I don't think this was Linda's work.  The back of this one is a nest of loose ends.  That's not like her.  Maybe she inherited this from someone else, and now I've inherited it.  How many times can one thing be handed down?

Linda had a good week.  Her decline has slowed a lot.  We see it because we are there every day.  But, most people are deceived into thinking she is getting better.  Yesterday, I noticed that when I extended my hand for her to re-position herself in the bed, she couldn't lift her upper body.  That was new.  And, they've brought in oxygen.  And, I don't know whether it's because she had an especially active Wednesday or just the new normal.  She had a shower and a hair wash on Wednesday and tamales we brought in for lunch.  Yesterday, she had chicken and dumplings and baked apples.  But, I can't bring food in every day, so I'm working with another friend of hers to have him bring in food a couple days a week for the duration.  And, to help her eat it.  And, to remember the bib because none of us is in practice at this. 

It takes a village at the beginning and at the end, I think. 

The new parts came in for the kitchenaid mixer yesterday so reconstruction will begin soon.  I'm very anxious to get that begun.  The mixer made an awful screeching sound on speeds 3-7.  Above and below that, it worked fine.  There was a bearing burned out.  At least that's what I hope it was.  We will know soon.

Everybody have a great weekend.  I'm going to continue to personalize this laptop.  And, then get on to my electrical repairs. 



Things are going well here

Things are going well here.  We're managing to keep our regular lives going and whenever Rob or I get upset about forgetting something, we both know it's no big deal.  We are cutting one another a lot of slack. 

I got the third quilt entered in the show.  I got delayed and was a little worried that the entries would have filled.  They've set a hard maximum on the number of quilts.  Seems that last year, there were more entries than the venue could accommodate.  I hope they didn't jinx themselves by setting a maximum.  But, that number is either 425 or 450, so it's a really big judged show. 

My quilting is going so well that this quilt hasn't moved since last Thursday. 

And, my house is, as always, neat as a pin.

(At least it's not on the dining table, right?)

But, the fridge is full of cooked food.  I made Sesame Chicken and Spaghetti and Kheema Aloo (Indian ground beef and potatoes with peas, cooked in a tomatoes and spices), and a Shepherd's pie.  I shouldn't really need to cook this week, no matter what happens.  And, I have the stuff for a 4th of July bbq. 

And, the yard is watered and the garden is doing well and the baby birds have flown the nest.   I guess that one egg is the one I accidentally dropped before I knew there was a nest in the plant.  Oops!  But, that one meant the one I didn't drop got to live as did the two she laid later.  I guess that's part of life. 

You guys don't have to read the rest of this.  But, I treat the blog as my diary and I need to write it. 

We thought Friday might be Linda's big day.  But, she rallied and her son called hospice and they got involved (finally) and things perked up and we got an extra couple days.  Friday was the day she realized what was happening and she spent the whole day thinking it was Thanksgiving.  She asked me.  Flat out.  And, I said she was winding down like an old clock and she looked off in the distance.  I asked if she knew what I meant and she said yes, and thanked me for telling her.  And, she gave me a painfully long hug (I was bent over a hospital bed) and then asked for the phone and called a friend for a few minutes.  I stayed til the supper tray came.  They moved her to pureed food and we had some good laughs about the barbecue chicken and pork roast puree and why would they serve barbecue on Thanksgiving???  

The nursing home is fascinating.  Yeah, there's lots of gross, too, but I enjoy walking through the halls saying hello.  I told Sydney they just soak up whatever attention I have like sponges.  I say hello to every one I pass.  And, on Friday, at 4:30, I got the hell out of the way because they moved as a herd to the dining room.  One gentleman was leaned forward and rushing at a pace of 2 inches per push and a nurse told him to chill out, dinner's not until 5:00.  And, he insisted over his shoulder that he had to get to the dining hall, it was dinner time. 

She has lots of visitors, and that's a good thing.  She had me and the janitor and a friend and the friend's son on Friday.  When they all left, I told her more men had been in that room that day than a gay bar on Friday night.  I thought she was going to fall out of the bed laughing. 

On Saturday, we went back for lunch and I broke the news that it was June.  She was confused, so on Sunday, I raised the blind on the window and let her see outside and she knew.  It looked hot out. 

She's lost interest in food, but asked for a root beer float on Saturday, so Rob and I went out for a really nice lunch and let her sleep off a pill.  We brought back three floats.  Neither Rob nor I could finish ours.  She ate every bite of ice cream and drank all the root beer, even gurgled the straw at the end.  Yesterday, she was blue.  Didn't want anything.  I tried making some beans and cornbread for her to mash together for lunch.  And, she ate a few bites, but that was all. 

We bring laughter.  No matter how weird the conversation is, or how confused it is, we manage to find a laugh, sometimes after a very surprised look.  She thanked me for being there on Friday and thanked me for my help.  I told her it was my pleasure, but brushing her teeth for her was probably the weirdest thing I'd every done.  We got a good laugh about that, too. 

Hug a loved one.  Share a laugh.  Smile at a stranger.  Fill your soul up with good stuff.