GARDENING--a happy mystery

 Have you ever wondered how deer can chew on roses and why they don't mind the thorns?  I have.

Why is digging in dirt so much fun?  Have an answer?  email it to me and I might just post it here.

I have a great way to get inspiration for all manner of creative activities.  I am a pitiful gardener but am gradually working my way through the Master Gardener classes in my community.  Digging in the dirt is a great way to switch gears, decide on the next plot point and maybe even end up with fresh flowers and vegetables. 

I am always on the lookout for deer remedies.  The most recent one I've heard, and I haven't tried this yet, is stringing fishing line around the areas needing protection.  The theory is the deer bump into it, can't see it, and are unwilling to walk into it.  Hmm, we'll see.  If you read about a woman in Wyoming, tangled in fish line dragged into her garden, it might be me.



LIFE IS NOT FAIR--a sad mystery

Catastrophic diseases that affect children is one of the sad mysteries.  A friend of mine who suffered such a loss is involved in a project that supplies travel pillows and bright homemade pillows cases for children under treatment.  "Benjamin Smiles is named for her late son.  Sewers and quilters--she would welcome your participation in the project.


Go to and click on Benjamin Smiles.  Thank you


ANOTHER SAD MYSTERY (one my family knows well)


ALZHEIMER'S and related dementias are the cruelest of all diseases.  Not only do they gradually erase the person but they take a terrible toll on the entire family, especially the caregivers.  Oddly, the family caregiver most actively involved in the day to day care of a demented person is frequently considered the "bad guy" by the patient. Don't ignore complaints from the patient but don't assume they are valid.

A common misconception seems to be that these diseases simply make a person forgetful.  Nothing could be less true.  Experience with both parents has taught the myriad facets of this disease which may include paranoia, anger, the inability to reason or understand, violence, passivity, over-eating, under-eating, loss of balance and ability to walk, incontinence, and hallucinations.

If no one in your family has developed this awful disease, count your blessings.  Please be kind to the caregivers in the trenches.  Disputing the medical diagnosis by saying things like "Harry can't possibly have Alzheimer's because he knows my name," is cruel and misinformed.  The truth is more complex, each patient is different and abilities decline gradually and vary from day to day. 

Caregivers, you cannot do it alone.  In addition to seeking help from the medical community, participate in support groups, in person or online.  There you can find practical advice and learn from others who have experience in the trenches.  They are always willing to answer questions, share your joys and pains, and listen with a sympathetic, understanding ear. 

Here are are couple of my favorite online sites.  Find help 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world.


Ami Simms, a quilter whose work makes me look like a beginner, also knows too much about Alzheimers.  Visit her website and join in the fund raising for research.