Tuesday, November 12, 2019

A Day with a Veteran

Veteran's Day is publicized, I see it on Facebook, all sorts of meme's and photos with little cute/well meaning/proud/ sayings about thanking a veteran.

Many of the Vietnam Veterans stay silent. My husband ignores the day. He recalls that he was not thanked.
His kind were called names and vilified because they served his country in an extremely unpopular conflict.

He wants no thanks and no recognition. He did a job he was told to do and that is all he has to say about it.

When people come up to him and thank him, sometimes he is not sure exactly how to act. Mostly he quietly says thank you and moves on almost as if he is embarrassed.
We talked about that when the new 'movement' came about. It was after 9/11 and suddenly after losing people on our own soil, soldiers became appreciated?

My husband went to serve. He came home. He tried to begin a new life as a civilian again and be normal.

I didn't know him until we met much later in life. I never knew the before Vietnam Rich. I just met the ...way after...
after counseling and hospitalizations Rich.

So I did what he would have liked to do on this day. Just had a quiet day.

The neighbor kids came down late yesterday and brought Rich a hand drawn card and some Snickers bars.
That made him smile from ear to ear.

And that was enough for him.


Monday, November 11, 2019

Ice Fingers!


I had some time Friday afternoon to do some wandering around at the creek. With the fresh snow I was able to see where the deer had been making trails. I found one that looked 'as busy' as when the mules made a trail.

I see that the recent wet heavy snowfall had caused oak leaves to drop like crazy. I guess it was just startling to see them littering the fresh snow fall like some child had gotten hold of a pile of leaves and tossed them all just so perfectly!


I do enjoy how Mother Nature redecorates on a whim with her weather.

I wanted to see the change since the snowfall from two days earlier. The temperatures had dipped into the teens and down to the single digits overnight.
I knew that the water splashing in the creek would create 'ice fingers' on the blades of grasses and any weeds hanging over the creek.

...and I was right. A parsnip plant was bent over the water and the water and temperatures had made it into a pretty ice sculpture.


The tiny falls that is between our land and one of the neighbors had a thick little ice formation.


Everywhere I looked, there was ice!




I didn't have time to explore further down the valley, so I just stopped and watched the small trout flit back and forth along this place.


It is hard to explain how calming this little creek is. I am so lucky to have it within a five minute walk from the house.

While Rich is resting or watching TV, I can grab a little 'me' time and catch some very fresh air at the same time.

The temperatures have dipped again today and will be 6 degrees tonight. Oh happy Ice Fingers!

~~~~~~
I'm opting for a hike in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve if I can swing it too this week.
I need to stop in at the Visitor's Center and see the photo contest display.

Two of my photos have made it to the Finals and they are announcing the winner on the 7th of December. That is my little planned get away visit so I won't be able to be present.

Below are the two photos that made it to the finals.
If chosen, they will be used on the KVR's web page or brochures for promotion.

I'm okay with that. I really like the the Reserve.



Sunday, November 10, 2019

As it happened....


This is my favorite view in the whole wide world.
The view between a mule's ears.

Of course this is Sunshine's ears and her mane is wild and wooly just like everyone else's on the farm this time of year. I don't roach the manes towards fall as the mules need that extra insulation on the top of their heads.
Well, at least that is what I think.

Molly texted that she was coming for a visit and bringing two friends. I was properly surprised to find that one of her friends was a guy. Nope, he wasn't a boyfriend of Molly or the other gal, but they are all pals at school.

More interesting was the fact that as we talked a bit Friday night I noticed his t-shirt and asked him if Glenbrook North Highschool was indeed the one in Northbrook. He said it was. I was stunned. And then I laughed.

"I graduated from Glenbrook North 45 years ago!" We spent a few minutes discussing a few streets and I told him what Northbrook was like when we had moved there when I was a kid.
And...we both went to the very same grade school.

I had one more intramural CrossFit 'game' 20.5 to do Saturday morning and I told the 'kids' that they could clean out burrs from the mules' tails and manes if they wanted to do some bareback riding when I got back.

All the mules had been cleaned up of burrs and brushed, well, all except Fred who was his usual anti social self.

Everyone was eager to try bareback riding. Only Will hadn't done it before. I decided to just stay in the adjoining pastures. Everyone would get some more experience on the two young mules with nice round backs...and some experience riding the bony backs of Mica and Fred.





I allowed them to switch mounts to see how different each animal was. Siera behaved as expected. After a while of riding in her pasture she decided to test her riders by putting up a little mule protest.

Mules generally don't like doing the same thing over and over so it was no surprise. Plus Siera felt she could get away with refusals.

I explained to Will and Sonya that these were not 'lesson' animals like they had at their school. These mules were more into trails and doing difficult things, not an open pasture where walking was boring to them.



Everyone enjoyed themselves and I imagine there may be some sore butts and legs this morning.

I brought out their cell phones after the ride was over so they could all get photos of themselves on mules to share.

I'd requested the phones be left in the house before riding. You should have seen their faces when I said that! Shock! [Well Molly wasn't shocked]

All in all we had a fun time and Molly's friends got introduced to mules.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Oh happy Day!

Yesterday while heading to CrossFit, I saw the Truck sitting outside the DeLap shop full of snow.
At least THAT headache was at the shop and not sitting in my driveway.

I think I am a worry wort...wart? I obsess when things are not going right. I like to have things tidy and in order. The truck upset that apple cart. As did the skid steer when it didn't start.

See? Machines and I don't like each other. But I am learning important things like how to maintain batteries over winter. How to keep the skid steer happy and working. How to keep the 4 wheeler properly running.
With the snowfall and sudden deep freeze, I worried about everything I cannot control.

I tried to get Rich to give me an answer as to whether or not he'd go back to Pulmonary Therapy. He keeps hmmming and hawing and issuing complaints that feel awful similar to a child not wanting to go to school. Meanwhile I have to monitor the new meds that were changed.
And I wonder if his reluctance to go is apathy or is he really having something else going on?


I decided missing CrossFit was not doing me any good so I went. I needed that. I needed to work out. I'd missed it for days while arranging for the truck to be towed and finding a shop I felt I could trust to do the work without ripping me off.

I set a trail cam up on our corner. I've done this before to monitor the traffic and watch animals that like to play on the road in front of our mailboxes. I set it up too for another reason. I'll get into that at another time.
I like trail cams and ordered a new one. My old one is over 5 yrs old and only takes black and white shots now. But still works well.

I like to 'see' what goes on around the farm when I am not looking!

So as the sun went down last night, I did chores. My stomach had given me a large revolt during the afternoon and I was sick as a 'dog'. I think it was my body's way of reacting to being a worry wort and then finally getting a release of that emotion by working out.
I'd slept most of the afternoon.

When I came in from chores, Rich announced that DeLap's had called and the truck was ready.
The little coiled line that went to the rear left brake had split, so it was replaced as well as the one on the right side. They'd checked out the brakes and they were all fine. Everything was good, and I should notice a huge difference now that it had brakes.
Hmmm.
The cost? $187

I'd gone to the one little shop in town where I could speak face to face with the owner. In the past I'd dealt with his father who I didn't care for, but this guy was kind and respectful and told me that no questions regarding a vehicle were stupid and not to feel bad if I didn't understand the workings of a vehicle.

The Truck Saga is over for now and it looks like I'm back in the business of being able to haul feed and...take stuff to the dump or scrap yard!
Doing the happy dance all the way to town this morning.


Thursday, November 07, 2019

Deep Freeze

I like/dislike the deep freeze.

This morning it is 9 degrees out. What a change from yesterday. I know the temperature will drop a bit when the sun hits the horizon.

[Hooray! My neighbor woke me up plowing our driveway this morning! Looks like I'll be doing the cleanup this afternoon with the skid steer.]

However.
Yesterday was full of adventure. I took advantage of the 'snow' day to take more than one walk.
I went early while it was still snowing, down to the creek and enjoyed some quiet time next to the creek.

I only found two tracks where deer had moved. They normally stay put in a sheltered spot until the storm is over.





With this frigid cold snap the grasses along the creek will form ice fingers as the water splashes and freezes on them. Roots, branches, grasses, all form beautiful little fingers of ice.

If all goes well, I'll have to go out and see if I can find more developed ones!

I need to dig around in my husband's bib coveralls and see if I can't find a pair for my neighbor who must have been freezing his tush off this morning while plowing.
I thought he'd like to try them to see if they are something he'd wear while out on his tractor during these frigid days.

Rich doesn't use any of his anymore and he has several pairs. Uh...oh. That means I'll be sort of cleaning up and organizing in the basement too!




Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Snow Day!

Just last week I went and had new bindings put on the pair of non waxed cross country skis that Dad gifted to me years ago. I've hung on to them all this time because ... well, they were Dad's.
And today I had a chance to try them out thanks to Mother Nature dropping about 4 inches or so on the ground overnight.

It was like having Dad skiing with me in a way. I literally flew through the meadow with Charlie and Sven chasing me towards the woods. I'd purchased some 'back' country skis a couple of years ago for 'breaking' trials. They are wonderful, but lack the slide and glide speed of long skis.


It isn't exactly Goat Yoga, but Sven sure enjoyed the romp. Charlie chased along with his tiny legs. Sven got distracted a few times by some greenery, but always came along after I whistled for him.
Note the bright orange scarf. He is colored too much like a deer to go out during gun season of course. But I thought a sporty scarf on both Charlie and Sven would be fun.


I did a morning hike after chores and will look at some of those photos later. But this was the fun part. Walking the dog and the goat in the snow while on skis.

I walked with Sven and Charlie to check the mail and see if they had plowed the road on the ridge. They did. I checked the mail and didn't see anything. As I turned and started downhill I hear the mailperson come. They have a large Jeep Rubicon. I thought I'd stand and wait for the mail.

I have no idea what the issue was, but since there was unplowed snow by the boxes? The mailperson just made a turn around and left.

I was certainly perplexed.
The new hires for the rural mail carriers sure are picky.
I could have driven through the unplowed snow area easily with my Subaru, heck a regular car would not have had trouble.
Remember, this is the mail carrier that didn't think two fire numbers meant two houses.
These are the people that I had to draw a map for.
How odd.
Well, I've decided to put up a trail cam on that area for future reference.

I generally do anyway at different times of the year. I do have a good spot to put the camera that takes shots of the plates and vehicle as they come down the hill.

Sigh...
Anyway, the skiing even though it was not superb, was a lot of fun.

Moving right along

Oh happy Day!

Mike, the Tow Truck Man showed up in the late afternoon. No apologies needed as he tows for all over our county. He'd told me on the phone he'd try and get to me first thing ... but all it would take would be a phone call and that would change things.

I watched Mike back up our driveway as the places we use to turn around would have been too soft for his heavy truck and our truck on the flat bed.

Chris or Mr. DeLap will call sometime in the next day or so to let me know what the 'damages' are and what needs fixin'. I'm okay with fixing the truck and running it for a few more years. As Mike the Tow Man said, "Hard to run even a tiny farm without a good truck!"

I can't believe how considerate and decent these guys have been to me. [Of course I haven't heard what the costs are yet either.] I've been treated with respect so far. And that goes a long way.
Not like my experience last year where I was treated like 'a Dumb Woman' and ignored until I walked into the shop and stood toe to toe with the manager of the shop.

While waiting on the tow yesterday, I set up what I call the 'winter' fence. It keeps the mules closer to the house, yet they can get into the woods. This serves two purposes. I can usually spot them easily and keep an eye on them...AND during Deer Gun season they are near enough to the house so as not to be mistaken for a Mule Deer. [Insert a crossed eyed emoji here]

Snow!
I woke up to the lovely beautiful white stuff coming down in gobs! Mica and Sunshine were surprised when I led them out of the shed.

Charlie didn't want to venture out at first.
Chores are done.

The snow is coming down hard and it is calling me into the woods!

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Sitting and twiddlin'

The Tow Truck guy said he'd try and get here in the morning. So I am waiting.

Chores are done. Critters fed and moved around. Water checked.
Rich is still sleeping so I can't do much in the way of house work. I'm missing CrossFit to wait so I am fidgety.

Since it is chilly out and things are quiet, I thought I'd open up a tutorial on Paint Essentials. It is a program that allows you to mimic painting, except of course you use software.

About this time of year, most things around here are not so photogenic. I mean brown leaves, dreary skies, and dirt are not exactly exciting.

I grabbed some photos I'd taken in October and opened up the program and began to fiddle around first.


First snow fall on Tigen Road with an auto paint of impressionistic painting layered with detail painting.


Monarch on a Zinnia with a 'gel' layer and a bright painted detail painting.

Then I tried a pencil 'painting'.



Meh. Not too great, but then I decided to go follow a tutorial.

Why not? I'm never too old to learn something. And who knows, I might like it.

So I went to here: Getting Started with Auto Painting
and followed along as the lady did a painting....


This shot below is similar to the original that I 'painted' in layers.

It is pretty artsy fartsy. Enough to keep me engaged to try some more fun things and watch tutorials while I have to be quiet and  wait for the tow truck man.


And while I am still waiting, I did another one.


Because I cannot leave well enough alone I decided to add a layer of writing and then take my finger and smear paint around.

All in all, it was quite fun.

Since the Tow Truck Man hasn't come yet -- I certainly hope he comes before the snowfall tomorrow -- so on to cleaning the coffee pot and working on a DIY project that I'll share for the November doldrums.

Oh and laundry folding. How exciting is that?

Toodles...
Cool project stuff coming up.

Oh and for sure more cleaning in the large shed later this week.


Monday, November 04, 2019

I am not a mechanic

So with the stall safely done and the mule gals figured out, I moved on to the next project.
Well, actually, today I am not doing much in that department.

I learned how to hook up the 'Trickle Charger' to the skid steer and the 4 wheeler to keep their batteries alive all winter.
My neighbor came down to borrow the fence pounder and he gave me a quick lesson.

He also looked under the Truck. He pointed out to me that the horrors of rust and degradation I was so worried over...were just the dust shields.
WHAT?
I had no idea what that thingy was that I was looking at that looked busted up.
[not my photo...that is a dust shield and it looks funky to me even when it is in good shape. I thought it should have been whole. The ones under our trucks are rusted of course and nasty looking. But pretty much in the shape that this one sort of looks like. But hey, I am NO mechanic.]

I told my neighbor I thought those things would fly off the truck while I was driving it and the whole wheel would fall off. He smiled and said ..."No it won't. They just function to be there and ward off dust...as if that can be done on a gravel road."



He also said that vintage trucks [tongue in cheek with the word vintage] will indeed be rusty underneath. The truck is a 2002. He felt it was worth having it repaired by some experts and perhaps it wasn't as bad as the rust looked. He then showed me some brake things that he had that were nasty rusty looking.

So I'll be talking to a couple of owners of local repair shops hopefully today. I want to do it face to face. And perhaps we can get it arranged to have the truck towed in to their shop.

I've had one person tell me to just put in brake fluid and drive it in. Um. Not an option. I mean what do I do on the highway if the brakes are gone?

I am slowly learning the 'jobs' I always deferred to the husband.

Sigh.
If I can get it fixed, then good. I have a truck to haul feed and bedding for the indoor stall. Also a truck to haul 'stuff' to the dump or to the scrapping place.


Saturday, November 02, 2019

Mule solution




Well, we worked out a solution! Sunshine and Mica do very well together.

I put the gals in together and put in some sweet feed for them to have. They did not fight but ate out of their own pans and commenced to eating hay.
In the morning, they both politely let me put on their halters and lead ropes and I was able to take them both at once to the gate and let them go with no fuss.

This is a winner for me since Mica needs company and Fred pushed her around in the stall and is always creating 'old man mule' havoc.
So this is how it will go this winter.
Two mule gal pals sharing the stall in the poor weather.

Next up on my problem list is the old pickup. Seems the brake lines have a leak and there are some serious issues in the back brakes. Only 12 months ago AND 24 months ago I took the truck in to have it inspected and the Dealer I took it to said it was fine.
Well, they must never have gotten under the truck but each visit found at least $1,200 worth of work.

Never again with them. The UPS dude gave me a phone number of a guy who does this kind of work. So now I have to figure out if I want to tow it there and how much exactly would it cost and would it be worth it?

Decisions, decisions.

At least I am set with the mules for now!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Stall and This Old House

The stall is done! Finished!

Last night I put Fred and Mica [the elderly mules] in the stall for the first time. I was surprised that there seemed to be no fuss. They got to the business of eating. I'd given them plenty of hay and they each had a bit of sweet feed.
Our weather last night was to turn cold and snow/rain mix. This morning we do have snow on the ground.

In a little bit, as soon as it is light out, I'll give them their 'breakfast' and then turn them outside when I get back from CrossFit.


So there it is, not a masterpiece, but it is done. I put the plywood on the front and one side so that Fred will not put his head through the rails and try to lift them! Yes, they are heavy and anchored down, but Fred is Fred.
However, it seems he is content to be inside as long as he has company.

I have Amanda and Daryl to thank for finishing this up with me. The panels are heavy an awkward to move, but two people did it easily.
I learned how to use Rich's cordless drill and made holes in the plywood and zip tied them in.
I can add another skill to things I've learned this year!

On Sunday morning, I took my friends someplace different since the sunrise was just rather mundane.
I took them to the Abandoned House.


This looks like a winter shot but it isn't. It was taken in Infrared.


It was cold and frosty, however, here it is in living color with my friends acting as if they just found their dream house.



We walked around the house and peeked in the windows. The wrap around porch was long gone. In fact the first time I'd ever seen this house was at night in 1996 while Rich and I were coon hunting with our hounds. The dogs treed next to the house and we had to walk back to it. I have always wanted to come back and take a look inside since then.

At one time, I think it was a pretty grand old house.


~~~~~

Added note.
When I got out to the shed Fred decided he'd had enough of the stall and proceeded to literally try and tear things down.
Hmmm.
On to plan B.


Friday, October 25, 2019

That slippage Dementia thing....

I'm learning a lot these days about the word Dementia.

Well you know I call it 'Slippage', it is a kinder word. I wish the doctors would just call it something nicer like what it is.

Brain Disease. Perhaps instead of Dementia or Alzhiemers, or Vascular Dementia, Lewey Bodies...it could be called simply Brain Malfunction. Okay not that think of how the doctors like to use initials. BM sure wouldn't work well for Brain Malfunction.

Some days the neurons and memory pathways work perfectly for my MIL. She has very bright days which are less than her dim days. Those days she tells me of things that make no real sense to me, but make perfect sense to her.
She tells me that they moved her room again. I ask if it is 210 and she says yes of course it is. But they move it often, her name and number stay the same but sometimes they put it in different places.

I think about it later and this is a perfect explanation. It makes sense. If she is having trouble finding her way back to her room, it must have been moved. In her mind that is the only logical reason.
I'm beginning to understand how her mind will grasp something and she makes sense out of it with this type of reasoning. I applaud her line of thinking, it is imaginative.
It shows that she still is thinking and that is a good thing.

So the next time she told me that, instead of correcting her we went on an adventure to go find her room. We were both pleased as punch to find it and I congratulate her on being so clever.

"Not clever," she laughs. I leave her for the afternoon and go back home. In a way it feels hard to leave her sitting in her room like that. But now I know she will get her 'lift' chair from her apartment in her room. This should make her daytime naps easier and more comfortable than sitting in her wheelchair nodding off.


Dementia tests. There are a variety of them and though I understand the need for them to mark a baseline and watch the 'progression' of the slippage, I disagree with people visiting and trying to tell MIL to remember this or that. Endless questions instead of casual conversations.
Leave the prognosis to the doctors, but be there with your parent or spouse.

Yesterday Rich had a physical.
The nurse gave him a short 'dementia' memory test. A SLUMS test. He actually did very well and if the nurse took into account that he has aphasia, she would have scored it higher. I noted that to her... but... oh well.

His COPD is a bit worse, but I knew that because he has been avoiding going to Pulmonary Therapy. He figures that his summer work is done and he doesn't need to do more? Not sure.
Each time we get ready to go to Fresh Start he finds a reason he can't go.
"My tummy hurts"
"I'm too tired"
"I feel dizzy"

His room 02 sats are falling so I tried to show him that IF he doesn't work at it, he will get connected to the dreaded cord all the time again.
This resistance is understandable and frustrating at the same time.

I have been engaging him in opinions. "Show me how to put this cordless drill together!" He does. "If I build the stall and put some plywood in the spots where Fred would put his head through the rails would that help?"
We discuss zip ties and plywood.
A short but satisfying talk in which he tells me that I had a good idea.

He still there but fades most of the day into watching the trees and the mules out in the pasture or a TV show.
No longer is the boss guy around. The guy who would shudder to know his wife can drive his skid steer and drill a hole in plywood...or even rebuild a stall.

His is not so much 'slippage'. His memory is spotty about things from a year ago. But his issue is apathy. Stroke related apathy.
He listens to the doctors and nods, he listens to me and agrees to 'try' to do more.

And then.
He returns to watching out the window or getting tired. Self motivation seems to have disappeared completely.

Winter is coming and I feel like it could be a long one.







Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Big Shed

Update:


This is the area that needed to be cleared out.

There used to be an indoor stall here but at some point Rich decided that this would be where he stacked lumber and hay. He took 4X4's and made a floor for the hay and stacked sheets of plywood against the wall. At some point, he decided to stack the pieces of a large cabinet he purchased at some auction for future use.
It has resided there for about 9 years.
The cabinet will never be built so it had to go too.


Close up of the stack of metal...

I purchased some masks to wear over my face as there was a lot of hay chaff and bird poo, mouse poo, and dust over everything.

The plywood was moved just to the left. I started to pull up the boards that Rich had screwed together. I wished he had used nails as it would have made the job easier to take it all apart.



No matter. He'd coached me well over the years on how to take 'stuff' apart.


With some elbow grease and a lot of pulling and pounding, I got the boards all apart.


The stall will be 12' by 16'. The rings are still in the supports for attaching the 12 foot panels.

Here is what it looked like in 2008 when Sunshine had to be placed on stall rest for a collateral knee ligament injury.


This 'stall' will house the elder mules together with plenty of room for them to bicker.
Neither mule will tolerate being in a shed/barn alone. So I am banking on the fact that they will keep each other company on those horrible days we get.


It rained and blew all of yesterday, but I got the rest of the metal pieces loaded into the skid steer bucket and started to drag the pieces that didn't fit to the 'metal' pile where it can sit until we have an auction.

This weekend I should have help to set up the panels and secure them. I will be prepared to keep Fred [Circa 30 something] and Mica [25 yrs old] on their special feed and help them maintain weight without fighting the elements.

Well, that is my best laid plans so far.
I'll be working on the rest of the shed all winter. Organizing the thousands of piles of bolts and other items. I need to make room also to put the riding mower and the 4 wheeler inside where I can use the trickle charger on their batteries once a month.

Lots of work to do!

Treasures!

This little pot below was in a box with some chicken figurines, salt and pepper shakers, and a 'Teapot' as the guy said.
It is not a teapot but a Drip-O-Lator Coffee Pot made around the 1920-1930's. There would have been a drip thing that goes on between the lid and the pot itself.
Interesting!
Wish I would have taken an interest in Antique stuff when MIL was doing these things. 
It is fun to figure out what some of this is.


Trinket Box. I was surprised to find this in the box too. It is cute as all get out. Tiny as can be too. 
It could hold about two wedding rings inside of it.


The Rooster and Hen figurines is what I wanted. Heck I tried to get my MIL for years to sell or gift these figures to me. She always said no, but never in a mean way. I just loved them ever since I first saw them.
I've looked these up and now I understand why she kept them. They do have a nice value to them. I wasn't looking for the value, I just loved the chickens!


The tiny chicken salt and pepper shakers!
The checker board behind them was another item I purchased. Just as a reminder of all the wonderful times I had at Mom's place and how I've always admired her homes and neat decorations.


This is something I saw when the auctioneer held it up. For some reason, I'd never noticed this before in MIL's collection of neat glass paper weights. She really loved these things and had quite the collection.

This is a St. Clair 'Carnival Glass' paperweight. Pretty unusual.
I didn't intend on getting any paper weights, but this was so different than any I'd seen, I purchased it.
When I got home I had to look up what 'Carnival Glass' was and what and who St. Clair was.
It is pretty and odd.
It suits me fine.


Copper Ash/Coal Scuttle.
I love the lions face on the handles.


My mother in law had this in her apartment and over many years I recall helping her decorate her place with her silk flower arrangements in all of these cool and odd containers. To tell you the truth I thought it was pretty and kind of odd at the same time. Hey, I am odd too. When I bought this at the auction I just did because it was neat.
Then I thought ... Hey I can put my stick Christmas Tree in this! Many folks use them as an umbrella stand. I have an umbrella, it is in my Subaru.

The one item I'd gone for was a sort of ... chicken nesting box/turned coffee table... primitive sort of piece. I'll have to get a good photo of it and show it off.

Years ago I admired this too. My father in law said he'd make one for me and my oldest son. We raised chickens a long time ago and this item was just so neat. It served as a small coffee table/display table in my MIL's house and in her apartment.
Lonnie had cut most of the pieces out for the duplicate table but passed away before the project ever took off.

And how is my MIL doing? Pretty well. She got to see her grand daughter this weekend and the great grand children. I was in on Monday to visit with her and she was tired and half in and out of her bed. I had a nurse help me get her situated and she asked me why I was there. I told her it was lunch time. She told me it was night time.
I let her sleep. Indeed the day was gloomy and overcast.

Her slippage changes often. Yesterday she brightly recalled her apartment when last week she didn't recall it at all. That is the confusing part of dementia/slippage for those of us who see it daily. One day is bright and clear, the next is something of a fog when there are gaps. And memories don't always fit together, but are jumbled in a different order.

However I am quite grateful for the figurines and the little treasures. I know the money from the auction goes towards paying for her care and I get to enjoy the items I so loved.

It is a sad win/win situation and a bit bittersweet in a way.