Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ann Hood visits The Bar B Que shop

In a move that confounded me, I was informed via one of her many publicists, that Ann wanted to try unique local cuisine. Since I organized this little lunch, I got to pick the spot so of course I chose The Bar-B-Q shop. Locally owned and only one location, this is *it* for Memphis Barbecue (you are free to disagree, but remember, I own the blog so your comment probably won't see the light of day). Ann, ever the adventurer, got the entire menu. From appetizers (Suzie introduced her to smoked barbecued bologna) to ribs, pulled pork, even spaghetti! She took home a T-shirt and 2 containers of Dancing Pigs dry rub as souvenirs. We wore her out though and she begged off a planned visit to the Yarn 2 Go. Too bad, the ladies were waiting with their books and dessert. :( I'm sorry, but I completely understand her fatigue. I'll post more photos of the actual reading and signing tonight.

Beyond Memory, the BC documentary

Elaine Wright and Lynn Jackson, formerly on the board of DASNI, are featured (along with 4 other British Columbia residents with various types of dementia) in this outstanding FREE online documentary! Ever wondered about dementia? Thought or even said to me "You can't have dementia, you look so normal!" This documentary will take a little over one hour of your life, but give you a very good education about what my life is like every single day. Please watch and leave a comment here. I'm interested in what you learned and will answer any questions you have. There are some incredibly informative and insightful statements in here from the people and with dementia and professionals featured. Beyond Memory
One of the things that I truly love is that Elaine knits! She has forgotten some and still works to remember that skill. There are days that I forget how to knit. The first time it happened I was terrified. Now, as with so many other glitches in my life, I have learned to respond with patience and distraction. Often these things will come back, but panic is not going to help.
DASNI pretty much saved my life. Without the daily support of the core group, I never would have pursued or believed the diagnosis of Dementia. I couldn't have dementia, I was too young! I didn't act like "those people". Now, after years of education and acceptance. I understand that Dementia, like many other progressive diseases is a sliding scale. Early onset can be the key to stopping the degradation in its tracks for a while, slowing it at worst. I panicked when I first struggled with losses, it even looked like I was "losing my mind", but only those closest to me ever saw this. For several years I withdrew from my more public events because I could not predict when I would forget or get confused and I had been told my personality had changed. Now, with the aid of time, acceptance, coping and medication, I am once again engaging in volunteer work fairly regularly. I have even taken on a tiny part-time job. It leaves me absolutely bone weary tired. We believe it is the interaction with others that drains me. I'm not sure I can keep this job, but struggle to bring in some income to support my yarn habit and the children's expensive activities. Ginger is incredible in supporting this family of 4 in a political climate that does not recognize our family, but that's another rant.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Bethany!

JJ and JD did a great job throwing a BBQ for Bethany's birthday. Too bad we had to leave early, but we enjoyed the company and the food for the short time we were there. I'm sure the fun started later when the Margerater was cranking and the poker chips were flying. I hear they all had quite a fine time last week celebrating JJ's birthday with many shots at the bar.

latest socks; summer lacy anklets

Knit out of KnitPicks Dancing (hula?) on size 1 needles, these socks created a nasty orange pool at the toe that I told myself I would hide by making it the bottom of the sock, but I turned the heel in the dark while watching a movie and was too lazy to rip it out when I saw what I had done. They are not my favorites. I have washed and dried them. They are okay, but I just do not love varigated yarns. I have not noticed any more stretch in these than any other socks, despite the fact that they have elastic/nylon in them. The yarn is on clearance and I now see why. For the ankle i did a k, YO, k2tog pattern and while it does not hug the ankle, it is relatively short. I've CO for the next pair; ProNatura from Trekking. I've noticed a few spots where the core yarn is not well wrapped, but they already feel very soft and I haven't even finished the entire toe cap!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Heifer Project Field Trip

I highly recommend anyone and everyone find some reason to visit a Heifer Project location. We are fortunate in that my friend Andrea is a devote' of this charity and alerted me to their location in Perryville, Arkansas. The stalwart crew who got up early to attend PeaceJam was the same crew who made the 3-4 hour drive each way for this field trip. Vera's family and our family are truly wonderful kids. Both of us wonder why others didn't take advantage of this excellent opportunity (aside from the few who's children were under the age of second grade.)
We were given a long and indepth tour of the ranch, the history and function of Heifer and several hands on opportunities. We learned about zero-grazing pens, the health risks of open indoor cook fires and that chickory is a natural de-wormer for sheep! Our guide, Ken, was a wealth of information and gave us special treats as our group was small and moved quickly. We visited all the global village, several gardens, all the animals and had a great picnic lunch. The kids are motivated to do some fundraising for Heifer so don't be surprised when a special event involves a request for a donation to heifer.
After a stop for some caffeination and cold drinks for the kids, the drive home was blissfully uneventful.

More Kendo in Nashville with Maeda-sensei

William is quite devoted to the study of Kendo. We are fortunate to have Maeda-sensei within a reasonable drive (Nashville, 3 hours one way) monthly. We had hoped William could leave the trail build and practice with Maeda at TMG in Sweetwater, TN at least once during our week in Stony Fork, but the 2 hour drive coupled with getting off the trail at 3 and being grubby and tired did not lend itself to driving to Sweetwater and arriving by 5 let along the multiple cautions we were given about not driving the narrow, twisting mountain roads (did I mention no side-rails?) in the dark. So we dropped that plan and kept with the Sunday practice in Nashville. We left Margo and Peggy early Sunday morning in order to arrive in Nashville for practice. Had William's himo not broken, it would have been better, but we remain exceptionally proud of him for losing hours and hours of sleep to continually get there for practice. Since Maeda is moving in August, and there are several other activities in the mean time (Atlanta "camp), this may well be the last practice. We remain deeply indebted to Mrs. Maeda for sharing so many hours of her husband with us. I believe she has plans for reining in the outside activities once they move to Florida!

Lovely yarns from the Netherlands!

This was waiting for me when I came home from trail building. I haven't CO yet because I'm finishing the ankle portion of a pair of socks made from Dancing (KnitPicks) before I allow myself to dive into this fantasy yarn. Do not expect exciting patterns from me, I prefer plain feet and small pattern ankles. The Scheepjes may be colorful enough to do in plain stockinette! But I do think the lovely solid ProNatura will crave some beautiful cabling?