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A little blog about my big loves; family, friends, stitching and yep, chocolate!

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Alzheimer's, Stitching and Estate Sales, Yay!

Dear friends,
I have tried to write a blog post many, many times since my last post.  I have so much to say and to show you that I just get overwhelmed.  And, I'm tired.  So, I do nothing.  I'm going to try again by taking one or two bites out of the elephant and then, if successful, I'll come back and do it again. 


First - thank you to all of you who have asked about my parents, and my mom, in particular.  They have settled in nicely and we've all gotten into a pretty good rhythm and are enjoying each others company.  My folks pretty much have the house to themselves during the day and in the evening, we are there to socialize and offer whatever help we can. 

This is the former dining room turned bedroom for them.

My mom's Alzheimer's has progressed, and is continuing to progress, faster than I would have thought.  I was sure I had a pretty good understanding of how retched this disease was but until seeing it day to day, I didn't have a clue.  

What I really hate is when she smiles and waves at someone, and they don't respond in kind.
It's hurtful.
It's sad.
I want to punch those people in the throat.
Sorry, but I do.

Not only are the memories of who we are fading from her, but her memory of how to do things we think so simple and ingrained are becoming a mystery as well.  My goal is, and has always been, to protect her and to make sure she never feels embarrassed, humiliated or without dignity.  I try to remember to ask if she'd like assistance with a task before jumping in and just doing it.  I don't always remember.  Simple things are becoming a challenge.  I try to remember to cut her food for her before serving, so she's not embarrassed that my dad or I have to cut it for her, in front of others at the table.  I offer to help her select her outfits hoping she'll know that I enjoy doing it.  I gently remind her that I am here for her, for whatever she needs.  We all are.  She was in the hospital last week mainly due to dehydration.  I beg, plead and cajole her to drink water but as with many, it's hard to get her to do it.  The hardest times though are when she wants to go visit her parents, who have long since passed.  She misses them terribly.  I wish I could find a way to ease that pain.  That aside, there are plenty of happy moments that make us smile and be happy that we are all together and we cherish those moments! 
I'm so glad they are with us.

Now... for some stitching related news!

My Joyful World SAL is coming along nicely, I think.

It's sitting in front of my little fairy garden, in a galvanized bucket, that Julie gave me last year for my birthday.
If you're part of the SAL on FB, I apologize that you're seeing this picture again! 

I changed the January, April, May and August blocks to suit my own personal taste.  I also decided to add our households names and birthdates under their birth month block and I have to admit, I love how it looks.  I hope to have the outline completed for September before the 10th, when the next pattern is released.  We'll have to wait to see if I decide to keep that block as designed, or change it up a bit.  This has been a fun project and it is stitched on 35 count, over one, with various DMC, silk and over dyed flosses.  I'm not really keeping track of colors.  If I use one, I toss it in a bag and I may or may not use it again.  If I want to add another color, I grab one from stash.  The August block is from a Cricket Collection Scottie mitten freebie.

I have managed to get a small bit of work done on Plum Street Samplers A Yuletide Welcome.  I can't wait to get this one done and really, just love everything about it.  I have debated and debated about how to do the grassy area because even though it's a Christmas sampler, I'd like to leave it out year round (if I can find wall space).  I think I've resolved that - but a pic will have to wait till next time.  I started the grass area during the Olympics and my goal is to have it done by the time the Olympics are concluded.  I may just stitch till then and call it done, regardless of what's been done.  

I almost hate to show you all the stitching related estate sale finds I've stumbled upon recently!  Seriously, fabric (more specifically, lots and lots of cross stitch linen), buttons, bed linens (glorious, hand embroidered and pieced together linen sheets and pillow cases), DMC thread boxes and lots and lots of floss, ribbon and old embroidery hoops and all kinds of other goodies.  Far too much to show in one post so here a few pics of my finds.

First, this is the home of the most recent sale I went to in Grosse Pointe.  Quite the grand house and not what most of the estate sale homes look like, but it's always fun to go in something this big, just to see the house and decorating.  The gardens in the back were absolutely spectacular.

I was so excited to find all of these calico buttons!  Aren't they pretty? 
What shall I use them for?  Any ideas?
                                                           More buttons I found.  I think the card was maybe a dollar. 
I might put these on a sweater. 

I thought these embroidery hoops were amazing and for a quarter a piece,
I couldn't just leave them there, could I? 
Some are marked... some not.


More estate sale finds next time.

Finally, Rob and I went to a concert last week and had a great time although the concert (Brian Ferry of Roxy Music) wasn't all that great.  The music doesn't always have to be great to have a great time, right?

We have another concert coming up this weekend - Sarah McLachlan and Josh Grobin.  Rob is not too excited about this one.  I'm mostly looking forward to hearing Sarah but I love Josh too, so I'm sure it'll be a good time.  We're going to that one with Sheila and her DH, Moe.  Can't wait!

Until next time, have a great rest of summer and be kind to everyone!



Joanie said...

Hey there...glad you posted. I've been keeping you in my prayers, I know how difficult it must be for you taking care of your Mom as her disease progresses. It's not a fun time. Your parents are so blessed that you can care for them and in turn, you are blessed by them.

I just wanted to reach out and tell you that you've been on my heart. Love the estate sales, wish we had such wonderful sales in my corner of the world. Your stitching as usual, is superb!
God bless you,

Robin in Virginia said...

Hi Terri, it was good to see your post today. You have been in my thoughts and on my mind lately. I like your changes/additions to the Joyful World SAL piece. Look forward to seeing your PSS piece. I am glad that things are settling in for your household. Thinking of you!

marly said...

My heart feels for you. And brought back memories of the tricks we had to do with mom. Always saying "I need your help - let me do this and you tell me if I'm doing it right". That's the only way I could do things for her. We had a single seat swing made for her and oh did that calm her and make her smile. She loved it. She dictated letters to her parents that were "out of town" or I let her write them. Telling her they were visiting any one of the aunts/uncles was believed. Be home in a few days! So devastating. But incredibly fortunate to be so well cared for and loved.

Ellen said...

I have walked this journey that you are on. A photo book of copies of olden times photos of family and friends helped. Always a way to start a conversation. A walk when the weather was good also helped. Making a game out of drinking 4 or 6 ozs. of water, who could drink the most in 15 minutes, worked. Even the mailman would pitch in on that one! I think that the community of those around us wants to assist in any way they can but don't know what to do. Neighbors and friends would swing by, stay for a few minutes engaging in conversation or telling a story and then leave. Any visit was good. Also, my children were in high school and they would spend time with her with their friends. She loved that!

My mother forgot my name but always knew that I was someone she loved and trusted. This must be so hard for your Dad! He is blessed to have you as a support for them both. Be strong and don't take anything personally. Those non-wavers are the losers! Keeping you in my heart.

woolwoman said...

So very sad Terri - I do so admire what you and Rob have done to help your folks. Your poor Mom - I think I told you I have a friend from MI who just brought her mom done from Grand Rapids kicking and screaming and threatening to call the police and tell she was kidnapped from her home. I just wish they could determine what causes this dreadful disease and get a cure before it affects everyone. On a happier note - Love all the stitchy news and photos. Love the Yuletide Welcome - that is a beauty and one I'd love to do too. Have in my stash (I think)Take care my friend - hugs and good wishes to you and your family. Mel

Amy said...

So nice to hear what you are doing. Your kindnesses to your mother are wonderful, even though she may not realize all the things you do for her.

Annie said...

Your post brings back memories of those difficult times my family went through with my Mom. You really don't get it til you see it each day. You are a doll to think of all those little details to help your Mom keep her dignity. It can be exhausting for everyone.

So nice that you've had time for some stitch therapy and estate sale shopping. Lucky you to find all the stitching goodies.

Have fun at the concert.. good R&R.

Vickie said...

So good to get caught up with you Terri. I am so sorry for these difficult, difficult times. God bless you and your family. I have NEVER seen anyone as successful at estate sales as you!!

Ellen said...

Hi Terri

So sad to hear that things are progressing downhill so quickly with your mother. We have been through a similar journey with Tom's mother and understand how difficult it can be. I'm sure your parents, especially your father, are so grateful for all that you have done and are continuing to do for them. By the way, their bedroom looks wonderful--so warm and comfortable.

Glad to hear that you are able to take a bit of time for yourself with your stitching, estate sales, and concerts. You need to take care of yourself as the caregiver. You continue to find the most amazing estate sales. I especially love those calico buttons! What a find!! You can tell Rob that if he wants to skip the next concert, I'll volunteer to go with him.


Marilyn said...

Sorry to hear that your Mom is progressing so fast.
I went through that with my Aunt.
All you can do is love them and make them comfortable.
Love Yuletide Welcome.
Great estate sale finds!
The concerts sound cool.
Take care.

CathieJ said...

Sorry to hear about your mom's progressing illness. My FIL is in the early stages, but he has had problems with dehydration for many years. My MIL finally hit upon Pedialyte which he seems to prefer to water and will drink more of. Just an idea. Your estate sale finds are very pretty as is all of your stitching. Music is soothing and hopefully you will also find comfort in your readers comments. We are thinking of you and praying for you. Hugs.

Prims By The Water said...

Will keep you in my thoughts with your mom. I have a co-worker in which both of her parents have this disease. It has really taken a toll on her. As always, love your newest stitching..I almost bought this pattern, but I have so many that I have not completed yet. Hope you have a great week. Doing the antique trail this weekend. Janice

valerie said...

Oh Terri, how reading this pains my heart. It's terrible what dementia/Alzheimers does. My poor dad had such a hard time before he passed. I feel fortunate that he never really forgot me...he'd falter but then remember. But boy was he stubborn! He refused to drink and take his medications. It's wonderful that you can be there for her. Huge hugs to you.

deb said...

Terri, my heart goes out to you regarding your mom. It sounds like no matter how the disease progresses, being there with you, she will know she is loved.

Enjoying your take on the Joyful World SAL. And must say that you clearly have excellent estate sale radar - all I ever see is rusty garden tools and kitchen gadgets.

Jackie's Stitches said...

I just visited my parents today - my mother has dementia. Your words summed up my feelings exactly. XOXO

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

You have a very full plate! Yes, you are correct I can remember how someone treated me and how it made me feel--still remember. Your stitching is beautiful--watch lots of Olympics!

Alice said...

I'm so sorry you are dealing with your mom's deteroration, my dad suffered from Alzheimer's as well and it is so hard on the loved ones. I'm impressed at how busy and positive you are. Love those calico buttons!

Pam Tanner said...

God Bless! What an insightful post in dealing with a parent with Alzheimer's. My mom lives with me too. She's 95 and we are lucky that she is fairly heathy both mentally and physically for someone 95. Regardless it's still a challenge at times. She took care of me all those years ago, now it's my time to take care of her.

Maggie said...

Terri it was lovely to see a post from you, I'm sorry about your mum, it is a horrible disease and must be just as terrible for you seeing her decline. (Hugs).

You manage to find the most wonderful bargains! good for you :-)

Your stitching is lovely, well done for keeping up with the JW SAL, love how you have personalized yours :-)

Take care xx

Ann said...

My heart goes out to you. My dad had dementia, which has a different progression but many of the same symptoms, and we also had problems getting him to drink anything. Kool-aid was the answer! and the sweeter, the better as far as he was concerned. At that point, worrying about his weight was not an issue.

And what a great haul at the estate sales. Don't you know the previous owner would be thrilled to know her stitching treasures were finding a good home!

Hilda said...

Terri, I am so happy to read a post from you. Your are such a wonderful daughter, that you took your parents into your home and care for them. So sorry to read that the Alzehimer progress goes down so fast at your mom's.

I love all the stitched pieces you showed - great progresses. And I really love all these embroidery hoops - you can use them as frames for smaller stitchings.

Have a wonderful rest of Summer and take care of you!


laceystitcher said...

I always look forward to a post from you with your sharing of heartaches and the joys. Life just deals hard journeys so often. I pray that God's Grace will fill you daily for each step you take. You are such a blessing to your parents, and I know you will never regret having them with you. I read all the comments from so many who care about you and you are one lucky gal to have so many caring followers - so happy for you! The pics of your stitching and estate sale goodies were so fun to see; I am glad you are able to work that in on your busy schedule. Hang in there, and I pray blessings to you each and every day - one step at a time. (Hugs)

Penny said...

It's nice to hear from you, Terri. I think of you and your family often and am so sorry to hear that things are progressing so quickly. It is such a devastating disease and as you say so hard when others are hurtful to our loved ones - you really do want to punch them in the throat. Your stitching as always is a pleasure to look at, and I am always amazed at the lovely things you find on your treasure excursions. : )

Sending hugs and prayers for you and your family.

Carol said...

Your post has me in tears, Terri, as I know just how hard dementia of any kind is on a family and how much harder it is going to become. Watching my dad fade away from a brilliant surgeon to the level of a two year old, was beyond heartbreaking. It sounds like you are doing everything right and everything you can to help your mom live out her time here on earth with love and dignity. What a blessing you must be to your entire family!

I'm glad you are still finding time to stitch (just love the SAL changes you've made by the way), go out with Rob, and hunt down those great bargains. The buttons are adorable and wow--what a find in those hoops :) It's so important for caregivers to take time for themselves and I hope you keep it up!

Sending a warm hug your way!

Barb said...

It is so hard to believe that people would not wave back, what's that about. Our local radio station has tried to start this one nice thing a day. Whoever ignores your sweet mom would not win that one. I offered to let someone ahead of us in an airport line yesterday and she was so shocked she kept thanking me, no big deal. Why does it surprise people when someone does such a simple thing. Anyway I will keep all of you in my prayers. Now for Yuletide, after A Ghoultide Welcome, I doubt that I will do another one of the series. I love it but WHAT A JOB! I think that for me, the hardest part is so much repetitive stitching, the house, the grass, etc. I will be looking forward to seeing yours all finished.

Anna van Schurman said...

Love your buttons and hoops. Fabulous stitchery too. You're so good; stay strong.

Margaret said...

Love seeing your stitching and your estate sale finds. I've been thinking of you and your family and wondering how you were doing. hang in there. Ignore those people who don't wave back. (Grrr!) I admire you so much for being there for your parents.

Jane in Wisconsin said...

Thanks for sharing your journey, Terri. Many of us have had family members and friends with dementia. It is certainly a challenge. You and your husband are wonderful to be helping your parents in this way.

Your stitching is wonderful, as usual! Your Plum Street sampler makes me want to get mine back out in order to finish it!

Desiree Ehleiter said...

Sorry to hear your mom is progressing so quickly. She is so lucky to have you and your husband willing to take care of her and provide support. Your stitching is lovely and your estate finds are wonderful. Enjoy your concerts!

Brigitte said...

So sorry to read that your mom's alzheimer is getting worse so fast. But good to know that your parents have settled in with you well. It must be a blessing for them to be with you and to have you.
Your finds at the estate sales sound terrific. So much stitching linen that you can fondle :) And great progress on your stitching. Joyful World is such a great piece and seems to be very easy to adapt to our personal choices concerning colours and motifs.