Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Red Letter Day - NuMotion

Today is a Big Adventure for Julie. At 10 AM a new semi-electric wheelchair will be delivered to her at Mesa Manor.  It is to have wheels powered by an electrical battery that will give acceleration when pushed, with both low and high settings.  Even for a bariatric person, it should be able to go up inclines with a manual wheel turn.  It is a NuMotion chair, sold and fitted to her by a fellow who worked at the Para Olympics in prior times, pairing para athletes with specially adapted wheelchairs. A picture of the new electric blue chair will be included later. It costs as much as a small used car, a kings' ransom in my mind, but all for the cause to help Julie have a more functioning life. Her borrowed chair is unwieldy.

And speaking of Julie, I have set up a blog for her, As The Wheels Turn.  She is not enthused about this endeavor, but I will continue pushing for her to write about things that interest her.  She did manage to dictate her own "profile" for the blog.  When she sends me an email about a topic that piques her interest, that will be the clue for a new post.  I would dearly love to see if she gets any traffic to her site, but sitemeter has been down for over a month, and visits cannot be tracked through them.  Does anyone know of any gizmo that will track blog visit sites by location?  Please comment, if so.  Google only tracks visits by number in their stats.

Every morning, Julie and I stay outdoors at the facility, and she often eats her lunch on a tray alfresco before I leave for home.  So far, no other resident has been at the gazebo table, as one-to-one staff attendance is mandated outdoors.  And our lack of other patient visits to the gazebo may be because we are calling the gazebo our own, and I spread out all my doings on the tabletop.

A few weeks ago I was cutting down the front bushes at the nursing home and was told to cease and desist because of liability reasons; that incident must have come up in their weekly staff meeting since the summarial dismissal to QUIT making the facility more attractive was reversed.  Several days ago I was told by The Powers That Be that I could officially be a volunteer at the Genesis owned facility.  Official in their corporate minds must include coming under the umbrella of their liability insurance policy.  So, I duly underwent the first of two tuberculosis tests, and was deemed negative for the dread disease yesterday, but still they need to inject me for a second screening at the end of the week. It is a good thing they are allowing me to volunteer, because Saturday I planted several containers with geraniums and petunias, watered all the plants in cement containers, and weeded. Yesterday I painted one of the geranium boxes red because it looked like it had not had any attention in ten years. Surely the Powers are grateful for all this gardening attention?

This evening the husband and I are hosting a writers' class pot luck with fellow students from Sandy Dorr's spring writing group here in Grand Junction.  I am making sangria, red, for the festive occasion.  Pictures tomorrow if I remember to take snapshots.  The weather has been cloudy and rainy and since this is to be an outdoor soiree, we may have to be indoors, defeating the purpose of the outdoor summertime theme.

Post Script: the party did take place outside, although we received more rain while eating and the six of us scurried under cover so our combined sweetness did not dissolve into sugar.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

If Your World Rocks on its Foundations

Suppose your whole world seems to rock on its foundations; let it rock, and when the rocking is over, the picture will have reassembled itself into something much nearer to your heart's desire.
           ----From The Seven Day Mental Diet by Emmet Fox

From Why, O Lord?.....
I have known that if I want to be happy on earth I must fall madly in love with God and the things of God.
Then, all things being equal, in time of suffering the easiest way to allay the suffering, especially if it is really sharp, is to get out of myself - yes, get out of myself; visit someone who is suffering worse than I am, do something to remind me of the sufferings of the world, set my heart in order if I feel a residual dislike of someone, write a cheque for the world's poorest mission, answer a tiresome letter from someone who wants me to tell him whether hell exists, or what he should not do to leave his nasty possessive wife. 
In other words, perform an act of love that requires patience and honesty.                .... Carlos Caretto

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hand Spun Gifted Wool

An internet Scrabble friend whom I have virtually known for about seven years but have never met personally, sent me this:

An amazing gift of hand spun wool

This wool draped over a tomato cage is not even all he sent because I shared some with friends.  Natalie got right to work on her portion, knitting up a pretty shawl.  The darker and lighter colored two ply wool shown below will be worked up as the bottom piece of the wrap.  She is doing a good job of styling John's yarn into a usable creation.

My friend, John, spun all this wool himself.  It cost him a kings' ransom just to mail it from where he lives in Australia.  He and I have previously exchanged post cards; he sent me a picture of an Aussie wombat years ago.  He likes wombats.  I sent him something back, a watercolor methinks.

And not only does this John spin, he also knits.  He asked me via the chat line on the ISC forum several months ago if I needed something knit up: a baklava, or a hat. My reply was "no" because I happen to also knit.  But I asked him if he could spare some hand spun wool because I can't, don't, and will never spin wool.  

Lo and behold, he sent me over five pounds of hand spun Australian sheep wool.  Wow.  You should feel the lanolin in this wool, just marvelous.  Thank you, John!

This is the tomato plant not clad in wool, and it has produced three actual, edible tomatoes.

And this sweet little four inch tall angel was given me last week by the husband because he thought I needed a bit of extra love.  She is hanging off my newly replaced iPhone.  Replaced because the first one was in a sack in which iced tea was spilled, ruining the iPhone. Note to self: do not put your phone in a plastic sack with other items, especially one containing liquids. 

On the Julie front: after church this morning I am encouraging her to write a blog.  Her stepfather, her aunt, her uncle and I have all asked her to do this, but she has been unenthusiastic about it thus far.  It is now time to take the bull by the horns and sit down in front of a laptop plugged into some common room area at Mesa Manor and start the process.  Maybe next time I post it will be with a link to a Julie Created Blog.  We shall see.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Three Weeks in Summer

Forgive me readers, it has been 22 days since I last posted.  And I have made many mistakes and committed to just a few major decisions.

As daughter Julie is in a nursing home, and is the youngest resident there presently, she seems to be considered either a staff sister, daughter, or granddaughter.  Julie is treated well and respectfully, although at times waiting for help is inconvenient.  But waiting for her is not life threatening, and the hours and days continue on.

Visiting with daughter takes my mornings, and worrying about her comprises the afternoons.  I try to plan something to do with her each morning: a manicure, doing a crossword puzzle, a hair trim, petting a dog.  Suggestions appreciated.  I used to take care of the entry garden area, pruning the rose bushes with clippers, picking up debris, and puttering.  That came to a screeching halt yesterday when I brought in my battery charged hedge clippers to trim the bushes and was told that this was not allowed as it was a "liability hazard."  Funny, who knew trimming plant overgrowth was considered hazardous.

When I left yesterday before lunch she was talking (high decibel level) to a resident new to her assigned meal table.  He was hard of hearing, and she was helping to make him comfortable by chatting him up.  She has a good soul.  Julie later called to tell me she encouraged him to eat, similar to how as a child she had also prodded her great grandmother to take "just a bite."   What caring lessons she learned as a child seem to have carried onwards.  Maybe she can still help someone now.  I think so.
Julie, smiling on the 4th of July, Gene, not smiling.  Dogs playing at Gene's feet, but out of sight. They were happy visiting.  Gene or I take one or two dogs several times a week to be petted and they are getting into a routine of outings in the car.  Libby, the Wonder Therapy Dog for 7 years, newly retired because of knee problems, is much better at sitting and patiently waiting for the visit to end.  Although she does like the head scratches and cookies that Julie gives them, albeit five calorie Milk Bones snapped in half.

It will not be three weeks until I again post, but sooner.  Count on it.