What Keeps Me Busy Right Now

The sudden changes from hot to cool rain take an emotional toll. Today I have four hours to get this blog done and then maybe, just maybe try to make a new print of something….anything! I worry my inks will dry up or I won’t find my tools or I won’t know what to make an image of or I will have forgotten how to do any of it. Hot humidity does that….makes you feel totally incapable.

Here is the back yard before rain last night.

And during the rain.

When the yard man returns I am going to have him carve a trail for Lee to walk down through here. Something winding that will bring him back to the house. He is now digging up rocks to place in lines around the driveway. I think I am beginning to not only see the necessity for him to do that, but how satisfying it must be for him to find a way to make an order out of chaos that must be going on in his head at times.

Normally he will drop off to sleep before I have read a paragraph to him but he stayed awake for the entire reading of Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It was fun to read. I cried at three places in the book which confused him because he was not getting the sadness of something happening. I just took another sip of single malt and got hold of myself, we laughed and I read on. It is that kind of story….relatable.

So just because, here is the front yard in the rain last evening.

Thank heaven the tree trimmer came last month or I would not be able to see through the leaves.

I am now helping Lee get dressed after his shower. Making sure his shorts are on with the fly in the front, helping him steer into his undershirt and sweat shirt. He can do socks and jeans with zipper, button and belt buckling and strap the velcro on his shoes. He can brush his hair, part it but forgets to then brush it away from the part. He can brush his teeth but needs the toothpaste put on. He can still use his electric shaver but misses quite a bit. And I must say it is hard to use that shaver on someone else’s face. I can’t seem to have him make all those necessary contortions that men do to tighten their skin in different areas. But it was fun trying. Once he can’t feel any more whiskers, he says I am finished, and thanks me for doing it.

The other day I took out the Responsibility Hands sketchbook and started filling it in with some new things he has forgotten.

He had filled a glass with Worcestershire sauce thinking it was beer….I caught that just in time. I could see why it happened. The bottle was the right size, it was brown and what came out looked like a nice deep porter. I think I got him to understand that the beer is only kept in the garage refrigerator, not the one in the kitchen that holds too many strange and nasty things that look like beer. I think our dining out days might be over now. He gets confused on his utensils and piles up whatever he considers non-edible on his napkin or on the table. Whatever is considered edible he cuts into the smallest pieces and mixes it all together.

I think I should write a book about living with dementia, how frustrating and funny it is at the same time. Document the slow decline and use these images as illustrations. I don’t know when I would have the time now.  Right now I am getting concerned with other ideas of things that I feel are important to get done. You know how it is when you wake up at three in the morning and say, “I really need to do that!” Then in the morning if you think of it again, you talk yourself out of it.

Well, I am not going to do that anymore. I am going to take care of it so I can sleep through the night and wait for the next idea to wake me up.

The drawings a day continue. I am making them larger, letting them run onto the facing page.

The inspiration for these drawings is this bed of black bamboo filling a stone-walled horse trough that we bought from a farm supply place for just that purpose….keeping the bamboo contained.

Within just a sprig

of black bamboo its elegance

is so apparent.


Old broken bamboo

fill in among all the new

and middle aged stalks.


Cautiously picked this

prickly stem of leaves and bloom.

Is it nettles?


Butterfly bush stem

of intense violet blooms

on ends of branches.

I still have three hours left of my four hour reprieve. I made new mailing labels on the printer. The very few books for a forest restoration charity in this country have mostly been mailed out. Only three of the ten Bush Books picked up interest in this country…the rest go to Australia and most of those mailed along with the Stoat Story.

My sample of the Stoat Story should arrive this week for me to go over and assemble. What works perfectly in our heads needs to be tested in reality. I am glad that Gwen Diehn reminded me of her son’s printing business. He has been most helpful long distance and seems to get what I am saying in emails. As soon as I get those sheets and turn them into books with hard covers, I will mail them out.  Thank you again to those who wanted one and plan to donate to the National Forests Organization here in this country and another that benefits the restoration of forests on Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. The exact addresses/websites will be mailed with each book.

Okay, I am going to sign off now.

Til later.