Monday, August 31, 2009

Another business, Dementia Busy Aprons

Modeled after aprons I saw online, but the shipping was insane and the cost was $35+, I made these after blurting out in a support group that I would. Poor impulse control is a problem with dementia. I'm selling them for $25 no shipping. They vary depending on the person, this one is for a woman. The toy is optional and specifically for the recipient. For a teacher it might have a pocket full of letters or flashcards. The fabrics are lush and functional. The 4 square patch on the top is sewn on the right side, but the zipper comes completely apart so you can have a kind of flap. Just another bright thing to fiddle with. Hope this is a hit. Since dementia has sidelined my career, and SSDI as not come through for 3 years, money is insanely tight. I will make a tiny profit on these. I use all thrift store clothes to make the additions. I purchased the aprons. I have 5 more to make.
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Saturday, August 08, 2009

And the wait goes on...SSDI

about a zillion years ago I applied for Social Security Disability. I wasn't happy to apply, it seemed like defeat. I was depressed at the very thought and found the 3,000,000 forms more than overwhelming. I got through it eventually (took me about 3 months!) and then my doctor didn't turn in any records so I was denied, but that took many more months to find out. That was 2006. I'm still waiting to be approved. I got a letter saying I was slated for a hearing with an administrative judge in September 2009. I have read from other people that the hearing is just another hurdle, it is in no way the finish line. We won't get rich from my SSDI, but it could make the difference between having any medical care and having none. If the two year wait is applied (2 years from date of disability) then I'm past that. I hope they approve me for medicare immediately. SSDI payments could be over a year away.
I wonder when I'll ever be able to contribute financially to my family again? DVD sales are seriously off, no mystery shop assignments from Starbucks (guess they're cutting and back too) and the dog I babysit is finally home. Dementia sucks, but dealing with bureaucracy while battling the effects of dementia really suck. At least I am not in end stage...yet!

Lindy the motorhome gets a quilt

Sarah has been quilting for a while, my mom asks if I am quilting and finally I can say yes. After making pinch pleat drapes for the bunk sleeping area of the Lindy, I still had fabric left and wanted to make a quilt. Sarah helped me pick fabric, but left the final choice to me so I have no one to blame for the fact that it turned out to be a John Deere quilt. I even cut it out and sewed it in the Lindy during a Kendo weekend! Yes, that photo of me sewing is from inside the motorhome :) I still have to bind it, but we love it anyway. It's for the RV for heavens sakes. Now I have fabric for at least 4 more quilts stacked in the dining room. I must get organized!

Cat updates

Oh boy has it been a crazy cat year around here. You can see in August of last year we fostered (then adopted) an adorable tiny black kitten. Sad to say, Kellen disappeared in May of 09. Despite being chipped, going door to door and posting signs, no information was ever received.
While we were enjoying a rocking trip to Pensacola Beach in the motorhome, I decided to check craigslist and saw someone had listed a small black kitten. It was abandoned at the side of the road in a paper bag or box (the story was sketchy). We talked about it and asked around about some other kittens, but seemed to settle on another black kitten, tiny, abandoned.
We picked up new black kitty the day after we got home. Max had named him Odysseus before meeting him. I still forget his name and call him Kellen. They look so much alike! He's great, loving, but won't play with Molly like Kellen did and Molly is sulking a bit. He's growing, healthy and we all love him.
My 9 year old cat has been thin for several years. The vet thought it was stress, gave me some meds and left it at that. Lately, she's gotten much worse. For those of you (sarah) who won't get another animal because of the cost, stop reading! After a liver biopsy ($409.) it was determined that it was not lymphatic hepatitis as suspected, it was lympha somethingerother sarcoma. No treatment, no hope. She has improved somewhat and for now we're letting her eat all the raw organic hamburger, greens, roast chicken and butter she wants. She will hopefully pass over the rainbow bridge without assistance, but we are prepared to help her if need be. We refused to let her linger in pain.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Frisco Feeding Frenzy (Jimmy Buffett)

I found the best group online for Jimmy Buffett stuff ( and stumbled onto a group that was planning a party with a purpose before the show in TX. This, of course, fit my love of volunteering and I quickly signed up. Before you knew it I had signed up Ginger and recruited my brother and SIL too! We eventually (months later) converged on Frisco Texas and the Pizza Hut Park for a phantastic phlocking phull of phun. (get the Parrot head references??)
We over-nighted in the glorious Lindy and were grateful as heck. I was quick to make friends and Ginger wished for some personal space, but we'll do it again next year. I will try not to get as intoxicated...maybe. I will try to keep my shirt on more...maybe.
Here are some highlights. The blanket was one of two charity projects sent to me by other BN knitters. I seamed the squares up (they were not even close to the specs I asked for) and next time I'm going to insist people measure.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Catsup, Ketchup, Catch Up

No matter what you call it, it's high time I play serious catch up and get back on the blogging wagon again. I admit that Facebook has taken the place of blogging, but will stop that silliness soon.
  • Hitting the high lights, Kellen, the much loved and affectionate feline who landed in our lives in August 2008, disappeared without a sign Friday, May 7. Despite much calling, posting and asking, he remains MIA. We only pray he is alive and doing well. We miss him more than words can say.
  • The Swine flu scare didn't scare us at all and we went about life
  • The boys are enrolled in Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering. Do not believe one word of what you read about it. The teachers are 99.9% outstanding. The administration is 99.9% hot air. We are counting the days until the new administration kicks in and hoping the boys have some other options before next year.
  • We adore the RV and had a BLAST taking her to TX for a Jimmy Buffett concert. We will return to FL to visit friends for a week and do a little fishing before our summer starts.
  • Max is going to be riding a bike to the local university (University of Memphis) to take Latin I and II for "fun" this summer.
  • William is going to be working at Molly's la Casita, attending Future Builder's camp at Bridges and hopefully going to the Library's computer camp and Bridges Peace Jam Leadership camp. The latter two are competative and we haven't heard a word yet.
  • Max is aiming for MIT, Virignia Tech, Georgia Tech or (his fall back) CBU for college. U of Alabama and Rice have also hit the radar thanks to friends who know his penchant for competition and high academic standards. We're hoping for a full-ride scholarship.
  • My dementia is slowly nibbling at my life and I rest a great deal every day. I still manage the bare basics of cooking and taking kids to and from school with occasional meetings thrown in
  • Ginger turned FIFTY.
  • The kids got us Mother's day presents without any help this year (internet shopping is great)!
  • We went to the Memphis in May [Mud] BBQ Festival and had a BLAST with the VooDoo BBQ Crew. Thanks Tricia and Chuck for including us. Thanks Gay, Jerry, Nancy and *Kelly* for partying with us.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

no good deed goes unpunished

Hi! Reporting to you today from purgatory, or as close as a Jew can get. The boys' school, who I have high hopes and expectations for, is currently deciding if they will allow me to drive 16 hours round trip to pick up FREE textbooks for teachers. Why, you ask would this even be considered? Ginger firmly believes this is NOT my battle. I, as a long time home educator, have to admit I feel compelled to provide the best education for our children. That means giving as much of my failing brain and body to their current school as possible while still keeping my sanity and health. Why would the school, in existence 5 years, need textbooks? That's too complicated for me to even fathom, but has something to do with the plan to be a textbook free school and the reality that all kids don't have laptops. So here I sit, keeping an interview with Joe Shapiro of NPR on hold, the COO of Pink Palace hanging as well as friends for dinner and the family. Waiting to hear if the administration approves of (and will pay fuel costs) for me to drive to FL to pick up textbooks. A symptoms of my illness is poor judgement. This might be a symptom instead of a good deed!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

sand summary

The RV lifestyle appeals to our family, it fits our personalities to a "T". Despite a glitch in getting to Pensacola Beach in time for our welcome home party (we were 24 hours late!) and spending the night in the parking lot of the Hattisburg, MS Firestone parking lot, we enjoyed ourselves. Even when marooned in Hattiesburg (and I was sorely tempted to call a S'Wheaten friend so we could park in her driveway) we were content. We ran out of fuel because the 3rd tank fuel pump wasn't functioning properly. No problem, despite rain and cold the furnace was working and the kitchen was stocked. I prepared lunch and we sat, as a family, and enjoyed lunch. Then rested quietly while waiting for the AAA guy to show up with fuel. Loss, 2 hours; gain, relaxed family. Moving on to Hattiesburg and we noticed the engine was running hot. We had finally turned off the heater in the cab and that put extra heat on the engine. Quick call to my darling brother who is a Ford-o-phile and a decision to seek a mechanic before it was a roadside emergency, thus the overnight at Firestone while waiting for a part for the 1-ton engine. We enjoyed margaritas, DVD's and a warm dinner. Rainy evening and the kids stayed up to watch the antics of city people in parking lots late at night (from the safety of their RV windows). A great breakfast of sausage and biscuits which had the mechanics salivating and then they got the part and started working. We were all happy, warm, dry and relaxed despite not being at the beach.
The week at Renee's was chaotic. Financial, health and personal chaos ensued, but we helped as best we could, stepped back when we needed to and had the oasis of Lindy the RV to escape to at all times. Packing up and going to the RV shop was even pleasant as we got the best service we have ever had in Gulf Breeze Camper World. Again, as we waited and shopped newer RV's, we were able to step to our RV for drinks and snacks and bathroom. Heaven.
We learned we love turtles, with our home on our backs we are able to be safe, comfortable and connected anywhere, anytime. It's probably a testament to our parenting and love for each other that 10 days with 4 people in a tiny space produced no fights! TV, puzzles, games, Xbox, books, knitting and naps. We'll be back May 29th Florida, get ready!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Beach Bound!

Not to put too fine a point on it, but we are leaving for ten glorious days in Pensacola Beach, FL! And while the water will be a chilly 70 degrees, the weather will be warmer and sunnier than least part of the time. I'm sure Memphis will get nice and warm while we're gone, but we're still leaving! Photos to come, we're unplugged for the entire time, which should be interesting. Are you jealous?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Purim at Or Chadash

The entire family celebrated Purim this year. Max took a major role in the Purim skit and had the audience rolling. William jumped in and read fabulously at practice and got the part of 2 characters! Despite 4 shots of Seagrams, I didn't fullfill the mitzvah of getting snockered, oh well!

Willi's quilt for Patti

When Willi (z'l) died, unexpectedly, while Patti was out of town last year, everyone who knew them was stunned. I talked to Patti about Willi's extensive T-shirt collection and offered to make her a quilt out of his favorites. She carefully culled his t-shirts down to these few and after some initial trepidation, I jumped in and made this quilt. Now she can snuggle up with him any time she needs or wants!

more RV updates

I painted the kitchen and bathroom. Got rid of that wallpaper. Ginger said she didn't even notice it, but I sure did!