Friday, January 22, 2016


It seems that life just doesn't play fair.  I realize that there's good and bad aspects to all areas of life, and that it isn't supposed to be all chocolate covered cherries, but you never stop to realize that the darker areas, the parts that affect others, will at some point come and affect your life.

2 years ago, my Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  I remember the day I got the news, it was shortly after my birthday.  Not the present I was hoping for.  Looking back now, I think we all knew something was wrong. There were forgotten words, and misplaced items, and little moments of confusion.  There was a little more dust and a little more clutter than was typical for Mom, but we all "ignored" it. I think we were just hoping and wishing and praying it would somehow just magically go away. We hoped it was just because life had been unfair for Mom -  blood poisoning while on holidays that earned her an Ambulance ride and a hospital stay and a little bit of uncertainty on what was going to all happen. (She was deathly ill) Her Dad being ill with Parkinson's, and then passing away and the stress and tension that goes with that.  We hoped that it was just the stress of all of that, that was causing what we were seeing. But it was when extended family and friends took us aside and asked what was wrong with Mom that we really began to look at what was going on, and realized that there were some concerns.

Mom and Dad seemed to handle the diagnosis with grace and wisdom, knowing that it would get worse, but staying positive.  In looking back at talking with Mom, I think she was staying strong for us, being a support to us as we came to grips with the diagnosis.  I can remember seeing her often with her Bible on her lap. God's grace was getting her through this.  And it is His grace that continues to get us and Dad through this.  I do not understand why us, why her, but I will not let go of His continued grace and love shown to us through now and the following  years. He is in ultimate control.

Over the next year, the illness encroached on daily life. More forgotten words, more lapses in memory, but she was still Mom - still teasing, still laughing and still talking.  This last year, we noticed more progression of the illness. Mom withdrawing from conversation, as she couldn't follow the flow of all the chatter going on around her. A little more anger and abruptness instead of the patience and kindness she always displayed.  Meals becoming later and later in the day until she just finally stopped meal prep at all.    Her sense of time disappeared and conversations were repeated often.

Some of the moments were funny and sad all at the same time.  When we were at the farm for Christmas, Mom wanted to put on a dress, but needed help. So she asked if I could help her.  Well, as she was getting undressed, she saw her bra and wondered why on earth she had to wear one of those, and why she even had those things on her front.  So me being the not so shy one of the bunch, lifted my own shirt and said I hated wearing one as well, but as girls we just had to wear one! (Blushing a little now!) But it did seem to calm Mom down. Yeah, I realize I flashed my Mom, but it's something I can chuckle about, it's a bit of light in my dark.   And while it seems like an odd moment to cherish, it did still feel like a connecting moment with Mom, and I will always cherish it.  Especially as just a few short weeks later, we'd learn that the illness has progressed even further, and that she doesn't know me anymore.

Last week, I got a call from my Nanny (Mom's Mom), wondering if I knew what was going on with Mom. See, Mom always called her Mom - every day, and on that day - she never called. So Nanny called her, and Mom wouldn't talk with her. She was angry and mad, and wasn't making sense at all. So Nanny called me.  And I got in touch with Dad. To learn that the illness is progressing - quickly it seems now.  Mom had started hallucinating, and not wanting to eat or drink or sleep. There was another lady in the house, who was stealing Mom's things, and Mom's hands and feet didn't belong to her anymore - they were the other lady's.  By the weekend, Mom was in the hospital, a severe bladder infection seemed to be the culprit of the hallucinations.  So some meds to take care of the infection and some meds to help control the hallucinations and a weekend stay in the hospital.  She's at home now, but the confusion has gotten worse. Dad hopes that with some time, the confusion will lessen, but for now, this could be the new norm. She doesn't remember  me or my hubby or my boys.  It's hard hearing. It's even harder hearing her voice and realizing she's talking with you because Dad asked her too, and that she doesn't know who you are - I was a stranger she was politely talking with.  I wept today... I don't cry often, I tend to keep my emotions under too much control. It would probably be better if I did let loose and cry and scream and vent, but I can't, I don't....

Dad says it's like a light switch - on for a good day, off for a bad. And you have no idea how fast the switch can be flipped.  Yesterday was a hard day, but by last night, Dad said the switched flipped, and Mom knew everyone, and was excited to be headed here next weekend to see me, the hubby and kids, she was excited to see Sis #2 and her youngest when they come to the farm next week... This is wonderful news that the switch flipped, but it's hard news because we know that it won't last, and it might be a day, an hour, a week, but that switch will flip again and again.  It's hard hearing the news as the emotions take a beating. Such a roller-coaster!

It's almost impossible to carry on day to day life when ones heart and brain are 800km's away. But I find a distraction and let that distraction rule my life so that I have something else to think about.  The next two weeks will be that distraction as our Church is producing a big drama and as Stage Manager, I need to be focused on that.  Hopefully, if all goes according to plan, I will be headed out to the farm the week after the drama is done.  And if prayers are answered, the confusion will be less by then as well.  If not, then we take one day at a time.  And that's what it is. Dad tells me that every day... "one day at a time".

And so, one day at a time, I will get through this.  We will get though this.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Dollhouse Update...

I've been enjoying my new hobby.... It's been lots of fun creating tiny things.  I even made the house bigger as 4 rooms and an attic just wasn't enough, so now it has a bright sunny kitchen.  So here's a few pictures. 

I found this cute little pair at the local thrift store.  They like to hide behind the potted plants on her patio.

For fall, I reused an old decoration I was going to toss.  Put the little scarecrows around the house, and some pumpkins I made. 

Here's the little pumpkins - made from Sculpey.

and some tomatoes...

and some navel oranges....

 and some carrots....

It sure was tedious and hard on the hands, but somehow relaxing all the same. 

To determine how big of a kitchen I  needed, I started with a cardboard mock-up.

Then I bought the wood, and started cutting it to fit.  Got to play with a new toy.  This new toy decided to come home and live with me.  :) 

Dry fit - looks pretty good. 

 Getting it glued and nailed in place, got the new doorway cut out as well.

Took a moment to bake some bread...

I also made a geranium for the kitchen. Which got painted a cheery yellow.

 Found a Christmas tree and some lights.  Also found my little rocking horse, so it got put beside the tree.

Kitchen mostly complete - walls painted, beams in place, trim up. Now comes the fun part. Making the cabinets!

My Mom gave me a little silver tea set - so an upcoming project will be a tea trolley.

Found a tutorial online for copper pots - really simple project. Longest part was waiting for the glue to dry.  

Creating a basket - this is my first attempt. A pain in the butt to make, but fairly simple to do.

The complete basket. 

Kitchen utensils.  

Perfume and lotion bottles. 

And the house in it's new location.

There's been a few real sized house projects on the go. Last night we moved the computers into the seldom used living room, and now it's our family room. 

Which meant that the office/library became just a library.  Some of the bookshelves got moved together to make the base for the house, and this is what the rest of the space looks like. 

Not much else has been happening on the home reno list.  I do have a list of smaller projects that I'm hoping to start later in the week.  It's time to get those done....

Monday, September 8, 2014

My Current Obsession

Yeah, I know... I haven't blogged in ages.  Just forgot about it I guess.  Well, want to see what I've been doing since January of this year?  First all, a little back story.  

Once upon a time, there was a little girl.  She wasn't quite your typical girl with a pile of dolls and lots of pink and ribbons.  She wasn't neat and tidy, but rather a bit of a mess! 
She played with dolls, but would rather make sure her dolls had a nice house to live in, or if the Barbies went camping, she'd spend hours making a campground for them.  Little boardwalks, fire-rings, little treehouses in the trees for her Sister's Barbie kids. Corrals for the horses, that her Barbie would bring. But playing? No, she was too busy with all the other stuff.
She never owned her own dollhouse, but rearranged both of her Sister's houses lots. 
Eventually she grew up, got married and had... 2 boys!
So, she put dollhouse on her Christmas wish list, and there it stayed, for a very, very long time.  Until one day this January, she found a wooden kit on the local classifieds and bought it herself.  She finally has her own dollhouse. 
By the way, that little girl was me! (Just in case you were confused!)

So, in January, this is how my dollhouse looked...

It was still in it's box, expect for some pieces in a pail. A lot of those pieces had been removed from their original sheet and I was left to figure out where they belonged. There was also a few broken pieces. 
So, I used some big ziploc bags and got them all sorted. Also glued and mended the broken ones. 

My house today looks like this....

 I'll have to get a better whole picture of it.  

It sure has been fun to do. Lots of little detail and fun finding thrift store items to turn into dollhouse furniture. Also some amazing tutorials found here:

Here's some inside shots of the house:

Putting wallpaper on the walls.  I choose a small print scrapbook paper.  This room will become the bathroom on the second floor. The second photo is the main entry, which will also be the dining room.

Here's the dining room all put together. 
 The living room

This room  has the bed in it that I made following a tutorial I found at the link I  mentioned above.  The bed is too big for this room, so it's moving across to the other upstairs room. Second photo is the bedroom.

A full view of the inside.

Here's a few things I've made for the house:

Bedframe and mattresses

Cabinet for the bathroom - I see little towels rolled up on the shelves, a dish of soap, and M'lady's perfume bottles. Maybe even a little mirror.

The book this lady is holding.  She's just a Christmas tree topper - will find an actual Lady of the house yet.

 A potted plant for out in the conservatory.

 The linens for her bed - old hankies come in very handy. 

A potted plant for in the dining room.

A sideboard for her dining room.

The artwork is from my Mom.  The fireplace was a creation from my own mind.  Bookshelf in the background is from a friend - she found it at the thrift store and bought it for me.  Now to fill it with books.

Here's a few odds and ends:

Artwork. The frames were picked up at the thrift shop. The artwork in the first frame is from my Mom. Second frame came with that artwork.

Gardening tools - M'Lady is a little eccentric and loves to kick the Gardener out and putter around in the dirt herself.

The washtub, although it's currently being used to store firewood by the fireplace.

Fresh milk

A patio set another friend gave me. 

The kittens at play were a gift from my Mom. The mama cat was a toy of my youngest son. 

Cushions made for the patio set.


 On display

That's about it for dollhouse stuff at the moment.  I'm still playing with pieces for it, but there's a list of other things I need to get done.  Can't just play all day. 

Thanks for looking, hope you enjoy.