Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Tripflashing: Oregon to Alaska Again


One day I am leisurely pinning and sewing a quilt together... and the next day I am the quilt sandwich.

I went from a Saturday of playing with my blocks from my class with Jean Wells and getting the last two of them finished, to frantically trying to finish this baby quilt on Sunday. It was all pieced and had a back, but it needed to be completely pinned and then machine quilted, a binding made, and attached, and I only had one day to do it in. A day that also required another huge list of things to do, as well. But...quilting first.. after all, I have my priorities!

I will finish the last bits of it in Alaska...day after tomorrow. Yes, back to Alaska again!

And no, my mother is fine, and as stable as anyone with advanced Alzheimer's can be...but I am needed to be the 24 hour a day in home caretaker during a transition period.

The nephew who was living there has had to leave and so now all of us had to step up the tempo and our own contributions from our usual all day 'in and out' of the house care, (and in my case, state in, state out care) to someone having to be there at absolutely all times, round the clock.

A brother and his family will move in to live after I leave and the rest of us will still take our turns and shifts for continuing all of her care. We have no outside help of any kind and of course my mother is blind, diabetic, and cannot walk besides having advanced Alzheimer's and living in a quiet fog 90% of the time.

It's all very challenging but we somehow manage....some of us kick and scream and others just do it. I tend to do both....but most of my kicking and screaming is done politely behind closed doors. Too many people have already offered to make me quilted and padded white jackets as it is. And to be very honest, I look awful in white.

I'm bringing this little quilt with me and several 'almost ready to go' AAQI priority quilts for registration and mailing from up there, I updated my web album on Sunday with recent photos for future posts, and even got a couple of posts written in advance!

I have some wonderful photos to show you of the amazing JeanWell's quilts and quilting from last Thursday, some secrets I learned about her/and from her/ and many more adventures I am sure will happen en route.

Say a prayer for me as I am flying off on Tuesday at 8 am...I'm the one who has to change airplanes 3 times just to get one that is deemed fit to take off from the runway and I don't want to spend my average if 3.5 hours of sleep a night in an airport filled with bright lights and no soft places to lay on!

Maybe that's why I always make sure I have a quilt in my carry-on bag...just in case I need it, myself! It might be a bed, it might be a cover, it might be a parachute, and it might help me out as part of the 'sandwich' generation. If I'm the cheese in the sandwich, then I definitely want quilts on either side of me for my buffer zone!

Douglas Island, Alaska...here I come again...ready or not...Surprise! I'm "it" once again!

12 comments:

  1. Hang in there. That's a lot of caregiving. I'm glad others are stepping up to the plate, too. It must be so hard to see your mother like this.

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  2. I will think of you daily and say little prayers for a peaceful visit. You are an inspiration and I never cease to be amazed at what a gift it is to have found your friendship. You made these last months so much less painful for me-I can never thank you enough. I pray that you have peace and no incidents on your trip.

    My BIL loves Alaska so much. I have mentioned you several times and he commented on how much he loved Douglas. He's going back in August with his buddies.
    Stay well and keep your lovely chin up!

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  3. I am keeping you in my prayers Michelle, have a safe trip.

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  4. I want to go to Alaska with you and keep you company! Safe travel.

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  5. Have a safe trip Michelle. Hugs and warm thoughts

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  6. You always have such a good attitude, no matter what yu are called on to do, it seems. I have been guilty os "stinkin' thinkin' " lately, so I am in need of your prayers too. We can lift up each other. One of my favorite speakers has said, "Find something today to be thankful for, because this is the day which we have been given". So true and your post reminded me of that. Thanks for posting and s your life!

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  7. Sending love, hugs and prayers for a safe journey, landing and a very successful stay. Do you take that sandwich toasted or on the plain side? Stay safe. Hugs, Finn

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  8. It must be so hard for you all doing this caring with no outside support.

    My stepmam is in a home now where she is looked after very well. She's not my Mam so it wasn't my decision and not up to me to say I wouldn't have done this. All I can say is she seems happy, she has company all day long and she is certainly eating better than she did in her own home.

    So take care have a safe journey Michelle. Bless you!

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  9. Safe travels Michele! If anyone can keep up the hectic pace and responsibilities it is you my friend ;-). You are truly an inspiration. Looking forward to hearing more about your class with Jean Wells.
    (sent from airport while waiting for hubby to pick me up)

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  10. Hopefully you are well on your way to Alaska by now. I hope you have had an uneventful journey, and that you will find joy in being with your beloved Mother again. Will miss you until you return to us. :) Love and hugs, Angie

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  11. Michele,
    I hope that you find your time in Alaska not too hectic- I know you will be busy caring for your beloved mama-
    I will look forward to reading about your adventures with Jean Wells- I have loved her work for a long time. I have at least 4 of her books. They are so inspiring - just looking at the beautiful gardens in the photographs.
    I will be thinking of you and sending you lots of positive thoughts.
    Warmest regards,
    Anna

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  12. You are in my prayers.

    sao in Midlothian, VA
    www.shirleyannesheart.com

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.