Our book today was sent in by Anne, Cranky Cat Lady. I am greatly amused that our resident Cat Lady is sharing a book about the killing of a bird.
This week Opus has sent us an interesting fungus that he found growing on his property.
Finally had a little time for photography so started with some fungus from the property. I have no idea what this is, or why it grows in square segments, but it is striking.
I’ve always thought of hibiscus as a tropical flower, but over the past few years I’ve noticed several of my neighbours plant the bush successfully right here in not-even-remotely-tropical Ontario. I love the big, bright, showy flowers that hibiscus put out so I thought I’d take a chance and plant one in my own garden. That was in the spring of 2018 and I took great care to give the plant the best start possible. I chose a nice sunny spot, amended the soil with horse manure and peat before planting and then hand watered it twice a day for weeks. By early July when we left for the east coast the plant had settled in and was growing well so I was expecting to see flowers when we got home.
Then our return home was delayed and delayed again and then delayed some more after that. By the time we got home it was the end of September and the flowers were finished and gone. The big, beautiful flowers were bountiful – so I was told – but I never got to see them. I had lots of people describe them to me and every single person made a circle with their hands to show me their size, but no-one had a picture to share. I’ve had to wait all the way until today to see what my big, red hibiscus flowers look like. I won’t describe them to you. I took a photo instead.
This pretty pink sedum plant lives along one of our regular walking routes and I’ve been waiting for the colours to emerge. I haven’t seen it in a week or so and was happily surprised today with its progress. Just look at all those delicate pinks jumbled together like a bag of confetti. This plant is throwing its own garden party!
It’s a beautiful day in my neighborhood and there are still plenty of flowers left to make me smile. This Rose of Sharon has been making me smile most of the summer. It’s been in full bloom for weeks and shows no signs of slowing down in the shorter days and cooler nights of September. I spend a lot of time admiring this particular Rose of Sharon because it lives at a home with a dog and Jack insists on a long, slow, careful sniff of their hedge every time we walk this way. It’s Jack’s Walk so I try to never hurry him along, but it’s always nice when he stops places that I can appreciate, too.
Hello, hello! Jack and I are back.
Our situation really hasn’t changed, though. My mother is still hovering in the shadowlands and I’m still spending most of my time at her nursing home. Mom beat the infection that began her decline and she did so without antibiotics. Her Dr. and I decided to withhold antibiotics because they would prolong her death, but her body didn’t get the memo and took care of it anyway. Now, she’s bedridden with heart failure, weakened, confused and barely taking anything by mouth, but she’s full of fear and not ready to die. She has near constant anxiety and calls out for help all the time, even when I’m sitting with her holding her hand. When you ask her what help she needs she tells you “I don’t know” or she says nothing at all. It’s difficult for her and for all of her caregivers because we feel helpless to keep her calm.
Mom’s pain is mostly well controlled, except for when she needs to be turned. That’s a painful process, but staff have it timed half an hour after her morphine injection and she generally falls asleep quickly afterward. She has medicine for the anxiety too, but it often takes 2 doses to settle her. That’s likely because it’s a part of her personality and not a new symptom. Mom has borderline personality disorder (not just my opinion – she’s had at least 3 psychiatrists tell her this over the years) and she’s struggled with anxiety most of her life. The calling out for help actually started about a year ago when she was hospitalized with pneumonia and congestive heart failure. Back then, on one of her better days, she told me that she needed help because death was stalking her. I think that same fear is what’s driving her behavior now. Staff here are great, but they don’t have the time to give mom as much reassurance as she needs, so I’ve been spending my days hand-holding, forehead kissing and doing my level best to calm her fears in this final stage of life.
So, that’s our basic situation and it means that Jack and I are walking closer to home and often at odd hours. It could be like this for while, too, so I’ve finally organized wifi for mom’s room and we’ll see how it goes.
This out of focus photo is from yesterday when Jack and I went to the Vansittart Pond. It’s fuzzy because I’m laughing and trying to back away from Bubba who really wants to wipe himself off on my pants. He’s covered in mud up to his neck from racing through the mud chasing frogs. It was awesome. The frogs were pop, pop, popping and plop, plop, plopping in all directions. Dozens of them, like a wave moving through a stadium crowd, down the length of the shore. Jack’s tail was at high mast and he was wearing his goofiest grin and when it was all over he was so happy that I just couldn’t get mad about the mud.
Last time we looked at the front, now it’s time to enter. I momentarily feared I was going to be shot at the security checkpoint because I jumped towards my backpack as they were trying to open it. But the nice people were trying to open a backpack full of camera equipment holding it so that my lenses would fall out. They afterwards agree that it’s a nice camera…
Anyway, when you enter you walk past a gate with flower and plant decoration, complete with assorted beetles. I couldn’t find out if there was something special about this fellow, but it was polished shiny from all the hands, so it seemed customary to caress it as well.
Visiting in the evening is amazing as the sun shines directly through the windows, basking everything in light and colours. We were extremely lucky with the weather. In Mataró it had rained all morning and when we set out, it was still cloudy. In Barcelona the clouds tore up, the air was clear and fresh and the sun shone all evening. When we got back we saw that in Mataró the rain had returned with a vengeance…