mom’s home

We were able to bring Mom home from the hospital today, hospice will come in to help us care for her.  She’s not going to get better.  We were told that hospice only comes in when the doctors believe the patient has about 6 months left to live.  Sometime people beat the odds and live longer, but it is uncommon.

Saying I’m upset is an understatement, and my father is dumping everything onto me.  I don’t think I will ever smile, ever again, at least that is how I feel right now.  The stress is making me sick, my insides hurt too.  I just hope I don’t throw my back out when getting her in and out of the wheelchair and the bed, I don’t have the strength I used to since my injury.

Yay

I was supposed to report for jury duty this upcoming week, but the trial was cancelled.  My cards suggested it might be, and I am very thankful that it turned out to be the case.  With the way mom’s health has been, I would have been worried sick the entire time I was there.

Been doing a boatload of cooking, I made a roast chicken with a celery stir fry, then the next day, made chicken soup from the leftover chicken.  Another day I made omelets for breakfast, it’s been an age since I made those, so I had to follow a recipe.  Those turned out well, I filled them with aged white cheddar with chives.  Another night I made broiled seasoned pork chops with sweet potatoes, I wasn’t thrilled with those, the pork was tough.  Unfortunately, my folks bought a huge pack of them from Sam’s Club, so I will have to come up with at least two more meals using the chops.  They’re thick enough to stuff, so I may do that one night.  There’s been few, if any, leftovers since I’ve been doing the cooking, and mom seems to be responding well to the food.  She’s been feeling much better, even cleaning her plate, which almost never happens.  She’s always been a picky eater.  I even made another mango cake and she’s been eating that too.

Tonight I decided to take the night off from cooking, I’ve been exhausted all day and couldn’t bear the thought of doing much of anything.  So dad went and got tacos for us all, they’re sitting in my stomach like a brick but food is food.

I finished off the ice cave painting, there is just a bit to go on the edge painting.  It has to be dry to the touch before I can move it to the spare room to finish curing.

Not much crafting has been going on, though I might as well shift to a yarn project while I wait for the painting to dry.  I have a sock on my needles, the beginnings of a sweater, the neverending circular scarf, and of course, the purple pillow and afghan.  I did get the basic shape of a pair of panties crocheted, just need edging and a waist band.  I wanted to see if I could make a pair, and now I know I can.  100% cotton too!  I doubt I will make any more of them, they will likely be something I wear on laundry day.

Memory

The other night I dreamt I was standing in a gallery, paying for a painting I already owned.  I was holding a white rabbit up near my throat with my left hand, it’s paws rested on my right shoulder.  The rabbit was relaxed and calm, content to be held and not bothered by the people around.  The gallery was in the middle of being repainted.  I noticed a music box on the counter while I was writing out the check, and I commented to the clerk about how I had one very much like it at home.

The dream was indicating a fresh start (the paint), having paid my dues (checks and balances as indicated by the checkbook), paying for the painting may represent earning the gift or talent.  I now have something to say with my art.  Holding the white rabbit near my throat indicates vulnerability, gentleness, and sensitivity, needing to express the desire for care, love, and tenderness, to be touched, held, and cared for.

I had forgotten about the music box, until much later in the day.  I spied it sitting on my bureau and realized I had forgotten what melody it played.  I walked over to it and wound it up, the mechanism was stiff with age.  It played… Memory.  I cried.

Memory

Midnight
Not a sound from the pavement
Has the moon lost her memory?
She is smiling alone
In the lamplight
The withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan

Memory
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
Life was beautiful then
I remember
The time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

Every street lamp
Seems to beat a fatalistic warning
Someone mutters and the street lamp flutters
And soon it will be morning

Daylight
I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I mustn’t give in
When the dawn comes
Tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

Burnt out ends of smoky days
The stale cold smell of morning
A street lamp dies, another night is over
Another day is dawning

Touch me
It’s so easy to leave me
All alone with my memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me
You’ll understand what happiness is
Look, a new day has begun

Songwriters
T.s. Eliot;Andrew Lloyd Webber;Trevor Nunn

 

here, there, and everywhere

Mom’s back home from the hospital, and things have been a little crazy as a result.  There’s been a few accidents since then, so dad and I have been on alert.  It’s tiring; all I want to do is sleep, but when I do sleep, I don’t sleep well because I’m listening for her.  I could really use a neck and shoulder massage, I’m all tense and sore from the stress.

Dad and I polished off the mango cake today; I’ll definitely be making that recipe again.  It was an awesome tasting cake.  Yay, cake!  It’s been ages since I ate cake that tasted like cake.  cake cake cake… don’t mind me, I’m on a sugar high.

I’ve almost finished the one pair of socks, and I may frog the partially knit sock I started previously (before the current pair).  I want to do something different for the next pair.  Last night, instead of sleeping, I crocheted a few rows on the afghan.  I have four rows to go on the giant friggin’ pillow top, there will only be one, ever.  I’ll name it Zuhl when I finish, if I finish.  I also did some work on a handbag I started last Fall.  It needs a strap and a clasp, and it’s finished.  It doesn’t even need a clasp, but it would be a good design element.

I’m probably going to be quiet again for a while, though I do upload photos to the FO page from time to time, so look there if you want to see what I have made.

Gluten free Mango Cake

I saw a recipe for a peach cake, which was essentially a pineapple upside down cake without the pineapple, and it looked really good except for two things.  I didn’t have any peaches and the recipe wasn’t gluten free, however I had mangos and I’m getting more adventurous with my gluten free baking.  The following recipe is what I came up with, and the resulting cake turned out very good.  No one would know it was gluten free, the texture was perfect.

Mango Cake

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 to 2 cans sliced mangos

1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 egg

1/2 c softened unsalted butter

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

3/4 cup sugar

1-1/4 cups gluten free pizza crust mix (don’t add the yeast), I used King Arthur brand

1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

 

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350° F

1. Place 1/4 cup butter into an non-greased 9-inch round baking pan, place pan in the oven to let the butter melt.  Take out and add the brown sugar to the pan.

2. Arrange mango slices in single layer over brown sugar in the pan, sprinkle evenly with coconut.  I used 1 1/2 cans of mangos.

3. Cream all wet ingredients together in mixing bowl.

4. In separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients; add to wet mixture a little at a time, mixing thoroughly.

5. Pour over mangos.  Bake at 350° F for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

6. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.  Serve warm.

Good reminder

cslewis119176

Or in my case, pursue a dream long deferred.  Had a big argument with dad yesterday, but once I was done with the initial upset, I realized it is just the way he is.  I need to focus on doing what needs to be done, even if he doesn’t acknowledge that I’m doing anything.  He has a point, but so do I, but we’ll never get anywhere if we keep stabbing each other with them.

Mom is home from the hospital, they still don’t know what the problem is… I have no faith in the medical system anymore.  At any rate, she lived to freak us out another day.

The cat is back on her regular food, more or less.  I’m out of the canned chicken, so she better be ready for regular food.

The painting is coming along.  It’s at the point where I can royally screw it up, or maybe not.  It has developed an energy, sometimes it’s hard to work with that energy and all to easy to dispel it with a poor choice.

Sad day

It’s been a year since my sister died.  On one hand, it’s hard to believe it has only been a year, on the other hand, it feels much longer.  Not many people know that I named Liz the Cat after my sister, Liz was Betsy’s nickname in school.

liz4292014

 

I don’t have much to say, but I did want to acknowledge the day.  I find myself wondering, like I did last year, how do you celebrate Mother’s Day after your mom has lost a child and you’re the only one left?

I often think about my niece and nephew and wonder how they are doing too, losing their mom.

Purple

Lately I have been meditating, when I feel peaceful enough in my heart to do so.  It gives me a chance to talk to my higher self, and if I am lucky, I will receive a message from my spiritual guides.  In last night’s meditation, I was swimming in a midnight sea that shone like black glass.  The sky was dark as well and the moon seemed very distant and small, casting little light.  Normally, I would be terrified to be in such a space, but I knew nothing would hurt me here.  I dove deep and saw strange creatures, huge and fierce.  They left me in peace, even swimming alongside with me at times.  After a while, I noticed the moon appeared larger and had a purple halo, I asked “What’s with the purple?” as it was the first colour I had noticed all this time.  I heard an answer, “It is the colour of your sorrow.”

This makes sense to me on several levels, and I have added it to my personal colour symbolism for when I create.  I’ve had a difficult relationship with purple for quite a while, I keep being drawn to it but I don’t want to work with it.  I have numerous skeins of purple yarn from my sister, as well as some I purchased myself, and until recently, I have had difficulty in creating with any of it.  I have purple clothing I never wear.  Purple representing sorrow makes even more sense, when I think about how yellow represents happiness to me; the two are complements of one another.

This afghan is one I am making from the yarn I frogged from the purple poncho I started.  I knew I would never be happy with it, no matter what I did, so it is no more.

afghan_purplepink

I had trouble with this yarn as an afghan too, but since I started on the pink I feel much better about the project.  I think transitioning from the sorrowful purple to the heathered pink was the key for me to work with the colour.  Once I use up the pink, then the next shade is a pale pink blush.  After that, I’m not sure what I will do, I don’t know if I will need to buy another skein of yarn to finish, though I think I will.  I’m still working on the purple rose petal pillow, it coordinates with the purple yarn in the afghan.  I think I will like both once they are finished, but for now it is hard to get past the purple-ness of them.  I have 5 rows to go on the front panel of the pillow, I think I will do the back panel in another colour… I might just finish it in that event.

 

Interesting night

Last night was interesting.  All day I was struggling internally over my current reality, feeling the need to do something, anything, yet seeing limited options before me.  I started on a small sign with a circus theme, when suddenly I became overwhelmed with the futility of it all.  I put the drawing aside and buried my face in my hands and cried.  I was lost, frightened, and completely alone.

I began to think about a post I read on how family and friends can help “turn you around” to see options you couldn’t see before, in those times when all you can see is an impenetrable wall.  Now I’ve usually been the person in the group to see options and avenues where others don’t, and when my sight fails, the response from others is generally “Well, maybe if you whack your head on that wall a few more times, it will give way.”  This is usually expressed in sincere tones.  So anyway, I was sitting in the midst of my internal agony, thinking about “turning around” in the abstract sense, picking over the existing options looking for something that might work for me… that’s when I thought about literally turning around.  Turning away from the computer and the internet… what would I see?  So I did, and I saw a prepped canvas smeared with cobalt blue watercolour.  I stared at it, looking for something though I wasn’t sure what.  It had been started as a value study of ocean waves but abandoned.  I searched the canvas for some clue, for an answer, when all at once I spotted a tiny figure near the center.  It was only a smudge, a thicker layer of pigment, left by the brush.  I took a pencil and teased out the details I could barely perceive, a solitary figure in a vast ice cavern.  The ideas came more rapidly and I scribbled them around the edges of the canvas so as not to forget them.  By then my inner critic started making a fuss, but I already had my breakthrough moment, however small.