Monday, May 30, 2016

Bulloch Hall 34th Quilt Show ... and more, part II

My post on the first part of this quilt show was published on March 18, 2016 - click here to see it.  This is the continuation of it.  Before stepping up to the attic we stopped in the Sewing Room and saw the quilts below.  Quilt 112 by Christie Fouts is called "Lucy with the Sky with Diamonds."  It was a challenge quilt - a piece based on a song.  Quilt 115 by Marie Huston is called "Bubblegum Iris" and is based on her garden where her variety of iris smells like bubblegum.  Quilt 118 by Nancy French is called "Mountain Meadow Lily" because the blues and greens remind her of the colors of the Great Smoky Mountain Park.  Click on collages to enlarge.

As my husband was reading about the quilts I walked slowly by each quilt and took their pictures.

Quilt 137, standing behind the bed, was made by Linda Wirtz as a gift to her daughter-in-law who went to the University of Alabama.  The quilt used the anchor, symbol of her Delta Gamma Sorority and is entitled "Anchor Aweigh" to the Future!"  (pictured in center of collage.)

I took some close-ups too.

Some Halloween quilts were displayed in the Civil War Room.

Below is a model of C.S.S. Alabama, displayed in that room, and an information panel.

Back downstairs we entered the Master Bedroom.  On the bed was quilt 15 displayed by Nancy Summa who says "I inherited this quilt in 2015.  It was made in 1884 by my great, great, great grandmother, Anna Maria Woodruff.  Entirely hand pieced and hand quilted by Anna Maria."  On the wall, above the fireplace, was quilt 17 "Clementine's Star" by Lynn Rinehart - it is shown at the top of this post.

In the Library was quilt 7 called "Red of the Month" by Jan Antranikian.  The pink quilt next to the piano is "New York Beauty" by Nancy Summa.  Quilt no. 8 in black and orange, above the fireplace, is called "Optical Illusion" by Meg Latimer.  A guilt member was sitting in front of the quilt to be raffled away (I bought several tickets but did not win it.)  On the sofa was quilt no. 12 "The Road Home" by Joan Lindley who completed this almost finished quilt because ... "Miss Edith, my sister-in-law's mother, was not able to complete this before her death at age 96."

We sat a bit on the front porch on two inviting rocking chairs.

It had been a sunny and warm March day.  It was hard to leave such a beautiful historic home - we walked on the grounds then had to drive back home.  On the way we passed by "Mimosa Hall" where I had been to an estate sale in the fall of 2014 - read about it here.  Now there was a pretty tree with pink buds in front of the house.

Looking at the pictures I took lately - they are mostly of our two cats, Cody and Mitsouko.  There were cats in some of the quilts we saw - here are three of them, then I'll show some of my cat pictures.

News from the home front - our move to Nashville is not moving fast - almost at a standstill (will be lucky to move by the end of 2016.)  My dear readers know that my husband has Alzheimer - he is in the middle stage I think.  He has no short term  memory at all so he cannot help me much.  For example if he looks at the table at a cup of coffee then at the window - he already forgot about the coffee.  It is not that he does not remember, it is just that there is no memory impression left anywhere on his brain.  He loves to pet our cats, and to look at nature outdoors.  Mitsouko was stopped in the den playing with something.  I looked down and it was a tiny snake.  I took it outside, placed it in a planter and it disappeared - still alive, fortunately.

The disease has taken all my husband's initiative so he gets bored and likes to get out on little trips.  A trip to the grocery store takes a couple of hours as he stops often (and I lose him.)  He was shy but now has lost his inhibitions and likes to talk to strangers - it can be embarrassing for me.  Constant care giving is not easy and very stressful - by the time I could work on clearing out our accumulations, I am physically and emotionally exhausted.  I do everything I know to slow down the disease - cook a good Mediterranean cuisine - which takes time, and give him Coconut Oil, walnuts, blueberries, anchovies, etc.  There is little to slow the disease and no cure.  Big Pharma spends $$ trying to sell drugs like Prevagen (that our neurologist says is useless and has many side effects) but they are ineffective and the risks are great.  Mitsouko, our grey Korat, does not forget to harass Cody ...

My husband was diagnosed in 2009 but I did not talk about it on my posts (and my husband was reading my posts then and correcting my grammar.)  Friends told me that I should mention it as it is a condition that should not be hushed up.  We all need to do more to raise awareness on this terrible disease and support increased research.  I am one of 15 million unpaid Alzheimer caregivers in the US - one in three seniors die with Alzheimer or other dementia, and in the US every 66 seconds someone develops the disease.  I talked to my husband yesterday to see how his memory is holding.  I asked him his name - he knew it was Jim, but could not remember his last name.  He does not know the day, month, year and even my name, and cannot count or tell time anymore.  I asked him in which state do we live? No clue - Texas, maybe he said - no, I replied.  So I said "does Georgia rings a bell?"  he looked around and said "ring, ring!"  I asked him what he was doing - he replied he was trying to find the bell but the bell was not there with answers.  He has not lost his sense of humor, yet.  So we laughed.  I told him he sure needed a bell or something.  We laughed some more --- we laughed - what else could we do?

At least we have sun in Georgia most of the time, and beautiful days.  It would be harder somewhere where the sky is grey.  It reminds me of an old French song by Charles Aznavour called "Emmenez-moi" which means take me away.  It is about someone living in the north and wanting to be taken away to a wonderland, where unhappiness would be easier to bear under the sun.  I found it with the lyrics on youtube.  I hope I can paste it - for me it takes a while to start.  The refrain melody says:

Emmenez-moi au bout de la terre
Emmenez-moi au pays des merveilles
Il me semble que la misère
Serait moins pénible au soleil

which translates into:
Take me to the end of the earth
Take me to a wonderland
It seems to me that misery
Would be less painful in the sun


This week we bought several plants - annuals and herbs.  It took him two days, under supervision, but he planted them all.  He even noticed a little frog that had decided to hop into a Coleus plant, named "Spiced Curry." 

Also, moving some boxes in the garage I found a very old oil painting that I had done in the mid to late 1960s.  It was supposed to be a self-portrait but I did not like the portion around my mouth and chin and thought I had thrown it away (as so many of my paintings) but there it was.  I took it to the kitchen to snap it for y'all.

Memorial Day is here - take a pause to remember.  Summer will follow now.  I hope everyone will have a great summer!


Elephant's Child said...

Alzheimer's is such a cruel disease. For the person who has it, and for those who care for them and see a lot of the person they know and love slip away.
I am so glad that your eye for beauty is with you. And love your cats.

bayou said...

Dear Vagabonde, what a post! On one hand so utterly calming with all that 'Southern feeling' of that house and all these beautiful quilts and on the other hand, the bitter reality of your life right now. I so admire your courage and determination to cope with your husband's disease and all the so terribly stressing moments you have. And on top of that, that move. I think, there is only one thing to do, take it easy and don't overstretch. So easily said. And music! You should all the time have music one can join in singing wherever you are and whatever you do. I love the little bit of light on your photographs, be it the background of your wonderful calm cats or be it that array of pots your husband planted. Chapeau! I so wished to live closer to give you a bit of relaxing moments to help you in your full-time care. I so hope for you that there is some help to be found soon. Je t'embrasse bien fort de loin, Anke

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Those quilts are beautiful works of art. Your self portrait is very nice also.

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful and informative post. The quilts are all magnificent, one lovelier than the other. Loved the photos of your cats, too. Sorry your husband has dementia, I know how enormously hard it is to care for people with this condition. All the best for both of you, Valerie

Jenny Woolf said...

I adore your photos of the quilt show. I always really enjoy quilt shows, but (although this might sound a rather silly thing to say) I often get a bit upset because I can't decide on favorites. One quilt which might appeal to me in one style, is just as good as another in a totally different style. I suppose that makes me sound a bit weird :)
Despite this, though, I always make a beeline for the shows and so I enjoyed your pictures a lot.

Roger Gauthier said...

Je n'ai jamais, de toute ma vie, vu une telle collection de couettes - et aussi belles.

À propos de la maladie d'Alzheimer, Je peux sentir ton désarroi et ton épuisement. Ton courage aussi. Non, il n'y a apparemment rien à faire. C'est l'une des maladies les plus complexes, aux causes mal comprises. Son origine est très souvent génétique et de nombreux gènes sont impliqués, ce qui ne laisse pas prévoir de solution à court terme.

Mais que peut-on y faire ? La personne aimée demeure la personne aimée, qui en plus souffre de son état pendant de nombreuses années. Il ne doit pas être facile de sentir notre esprit nous échapper. Jusqu'au point où le contact se perd complètement.

Si jamais je souffre de cette maladie, je ne sais trop ce que je ferai. La réponse à une telle question ne peut être que personnelle et dépend de tant de facteurs.

DJan said...

This is a wonderful post, VB, from the quilts (which I simply loved) to the cats to the story of your husband's disease. I hope that your children are active in helping to make decisions about directions you might take. If he is no longer afraid of strangers, maybe there is a volunteer group that would be willing to give you a break now and then as a caretaker. My heart goes out to you and I am grateful that you can find the time to write a post now and then. It sure makes me happy to see your post pop up in my feed. Blessings to you and to your husband.

Things and Thoughts said...

Chere amie, je comprends comment cela doit etre avec un mari qui souffre d'alzheimer.Mon frere est neurologue et soigne de nombreux patients qui voient leur vie s'alterer a cause de cette maladie vraiment insaisissable.Ayez de la patience et du courage et acceptez le fait que la personne aimee s'eloigne progressivement de l'image que l'on avait d'elle. Je penserai a vous...
Du reste, je me suis bien rejoie avec les photos de dessus de lit faits a la main. Qu'ils sont beaux!
Un grand merci d'avoir publie ce billet, c'est une lecon d'optimisme.

donna baker said...

I love the quilts and how much work that went in to their making. I can't imagine how they are made in different patterns. So sad about your husband. I've been dealing with my husband's illness for several years and like you, getting rid of things, etc. My husband specializes in neuro things like dementia and Alzeimers and I always thought it would be a good way to go, but oh the caregivers are the heroes here. I sometimes worry I am getting Alzheimer's and it is frightening. I figure we all have to go someway, I just hope I'm not a burden to my family.

Linda said...

Your photos are beautiful and I love all the quilts. Alzheimer's is terrible. A friend of mine...both her mother and her aunt have Alzheimer's and it is very difficult for her. Thank you so much for sharing this post.

Linda said...

Je parle et comprends le francais aussi! :) Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada.

David said...

Vagabonde, Love spring with the flowers and everything so fresh and green with splashes of color! We bought a bunch of plants this past week as well and we have them on our deck. Those quilts are just beautiful and I especially appreciate the old ones.

Sad about all that you and yours are going through with Alzheimers. Both my mother-in-law and mother had a bit of dementia as they aged but it wasn't as tough to deal with as what you're going through.

Love Mitouko's look! Very pretty... Our cat J.D. would freak out if he saw a snake. He kills and eats skinks if they get in the house or on the screened porch.

I think that your self portrait is very nice. I have a couple that my mother painted of herself and I keep one hanging right across the room from my computer desk.

Best Memorial Day wishes...and thanks to all who have given it all to protect our freedom!

Take Care,

Big Daddy Dave

Tamago said...

Those quilts are beautiful and simply fun to see all the details. Love your self-portrait, too.
Alzheimer's is really a cruel disease. It takes away your loved ones just in front of you.. The pain you are going through is beyond my imagination but I'm glad you still have moments of laughter. Hugs to you and your husband xoxo

Frances said...

Dear Vagabonde, ma cherie, if you will forgive me, this is such a beautiful post, filled with observation of history, of artistry and also of how we see how we and our loved ones experience aging, each in our own way.

It is because I have had the pleasure of meeting you and Jim that this post touches me so much.

Your visiting the historic home, and seeing the beauiful quilts that were created long after the house was built, but still were created with care, stitch by stitch, in a tradition that even now is becoming a craft, rather than an art form used so long to recycle fabrics in evolving patterns with hand stitching. Stitch by stitch. (Perhaps it's this sort of stitch by stitch continuity with wich I hope to connect with my fair isle knitting.

It does not surprise me that selling your lovely Georgia home in what is truly a nature preserve will take longer than might be easier for you and yours. I wish that I lived closer to you and could just meet you often for coffee and conversation, and also help you with more practical matters.

Vagabonde, you know i am more of a "dog person" but your beautiful cats have begun to win me over.

Did I ever tell you that when I was first living in New York, I saw Aznavour perform at Carnegie Hall. I did. It is true

This past week, I got together with some very dear friends whom I have known for ... truly almost 40 years. One part of this couple is an amazing care giver. The other partner has a health condition that grows more serious, yet, it's still quite easy to see my old friend under the disease's covers, and we can have a laugh.

I know I am wandering now in this comment, and would be very glad to have more email conversations with you. Meanwhile, I do want to send you and Jim lots and lots and lots of love. xo

rhymeswithplague said...

What a wonderful post, Vagabonde! I always love your trips to Bullich Hall, but this post is rich with other things as well. I have to tell you that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is not just "a song", it was written by John Lennon (and perhaps also Sir Paul McCartney), and was a hit for the Beatles from their iconic album Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. There were rumors that the title referred to the drug LSD but Lennon said it did not. That quilt did look a bit like "a girl with kaleidoscope eyes" (a line from the song).

I think you would make a great spokesperson for the Alzheimer's Foundation, such a wonderful writer and conveyor of truth. Like a previous commenter, je penserai a vous and your husband are in my prayers.

Jeanie said...

Well, I don't know if the painting looks like you or not but as a portrait it is lovely indeed. And I enjoyed, as always, seeing the quilts, the cats.

My friend Cheri is experiencing much of what you describe right now and I can see a BIT firsthand some of the things you describe through John. But what I cannot even begin to get my brain around is how the brave homecaregivers like you and Cheri manage with a reasonable degree of patience. I suppose it is because of love. And because it is a disease talking, not the person who has it. And because you must.

I wish I could help you with your move. It must be terribly hard to do this along -- prepare to pack a lifetime. Instead, I send you strength and courage to get through each day, to find your time to rest and restore and the ability to keep on keeping on. Who cares for the care givers?

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I was going to say how sorry I was that you're both going through this now ... but know full well that sympathy , though welcome , can't change anything .
I hope you're getting plenty of help and are looking after yourself , for his sake as well as yours . May the moments of laughter endure .

Pat said...

As everyone agrees this is a wonderful post - lovely to look at and read - and heart-rending at the same time.
Great to listen to Charles Aznavour's song.
I really hope you will get help to cope with an ever increasingly difficult situation. You must protect your own health - that is vital. I'm sure you have been - during your life, self sufficient and independent but now is the time to share with your family and allow then to support you. If they are unaware - and I'm sure they have busy lives - they should still know how things are. I pray things will get easier for both of you.

Nadezda said...

Dear Vagabonde, I liked these quilts, they are master pieces all of them. I'd never could made the same :(
It's very sad to learn about Jim's disease, two years ago he seemed to be healthy in Saint Petersburg. The most sad is that you have to prepare your moving, he isn't your helper.
Lovely your self-portrait, especially now, after so many years. I think it's wonderful work, I'm proud of you.

Jenn Jilks said...

What a beautiful post, and such a difficult time.
I've managed my late father's dementia symptoms from a brain tumour. It was in the area of language, which was immensely difficult for him.
"The candle in the oven is out," he told me one night at 2:00 a.m. when he phoned me from his long-term care. It meant his TV wasn't working, as he couldn't manage to use the TV clicker any more.

You'e had a tough time. All the best. There are day respite and caregiver groups here. It seems to help some families.

Just do the best you can each day! hugs

Carol Crump Bryner said...

Such sadness and such beauty all in one post. Humor does help, as do cats and frogs and most definitely, sunshine. Wishing you strength and patience in your care-taking, and the comfort of friends and family near and far.

Magic Love Crow said...

Your post is very touching my friend! First I have to say, I love all the quilts! Gorgeous! What an experience to see them!
That snake was not tiny! I would have screamed! LOL!
I love your cats! They are so beautiful! I want to give them hugs!
My heart goes out to you and your hubby! So happy, you are still able to laugh! I am so sorry for everything! I wish I could do something! Prayers are being sent your way! I do hope you can get help! And, I do hope you are able to move for next year!
I love your self portrait!!
Sending Big Hugs and Much Love, Always!
Keep gardening and finding frogs!!

Vicki Lane said...

I love seeing the quilts -- and knowing that you are still able to get out on these little trips. And the fact that you a Jim can still share a laugh now and then is worth a lot.

You are in my heart, dear Vagabonde. I think of you so often.

Ginnie said...

First of all, the quilts! How can anyone NOT like them. By now you know that sister Ruth's passion is quilting, which she now does in every spare minute. But her quilting is more free-form in the modern sense of quilting. I tend to be more a traditionalist, loving the exacting designs and patterns you have shown here...but both are dreams in their creativity.

Secondly, you know how I feel about Alzheimer's and that you are trying to take care of Jim by yourself...WHILE also trying to move house. I keep hoping there is a place where you can have him looked after 24/7. OR at least a daycare facility that would give you time during the day to get things done. PLEASE take care of yourself. This disease is much harder on the caregivers than on the "patients" themselves. If you don't take care of YOU, Jim will lose the best thing he now has...even though he doesn't remember your name.

Shammickite said...

My thoughts are with you, and with your dear husband too, as I know that alzheimers and any form of dementia is a dreadful torture for all concerned, the sufferer and the caregiver and in fact the whole family. Take care of your self, accept help when it is offered, and keep a smile in your heart.

Paulita said...

Those quilts are amazing art.

claude said...

Ils sont tous beaux ces quilts.
Tu as de la chance de pouvoir faire toutes ces balades et visites. J'aime beaucoup le commentaire de Roger. Cette maladie est tellement éprouvante pour le conjoint.
Je te souhaite beaucoup de courage. On sent que tu as besoin d'en parler.
Joli ton auto portrait et tes chats !
Bises amicales

Down by the sea said...

My Dad had dementia and so I can appreciate some of the issues you have to deal with. Your husband is so lucky to have you. It affects so many of us these days that it is good to bring it out in the open and discuss. Sarah x

Linda P said...

Dear Friend, First of all thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind message and I'm sorry I've not been able to visit you and leave a comment on yours due to my health issues that have been going on for some time and then the anxiety of a sudden, new diagnosis. I could only type slowly due to the medical procedures. You have been in my thoughts and prayers at this time of trying to move house whilst your dear husband needs your loving care because of
his condition. I remember when my mother was in a similar situation caring for my father and we lived in Italy - so far away. It was difficult for everyone, but eventually my husband and I managed to return to England to support them. I do hope that the house situation improves and you can live nearer to your family. I hope that you are able to get out and about on little trips with your husband this Summer. The quilt exhibition and visiting places of beauty give you pleasure. I'm glad that your husband has the opportunity to be in the garden in good weather and can do familiar, practical things such as a bit of gardening and can take an interest in the creatures he sees there. Your kitties are beautiful and a comfort even if they have their moments of teasing one another. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your treasured collections, for the musical video clip in this post and your photos. Your posts are always interesting.

sandy said...

I enjoyed the post, photos and so sorry you are dealing with someone with alzeimers. He is so fortunate to have you taking care of him and I like that you both find a sense of humor and things to laugh at, at this stage. Beautiful quilts above and I enjoyed seeing them.

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